Pounding the Pavement

Pick me! Pick me! Hire me! Photo courtesy of familyhomesecurity.com.

Still searching for employment?

Ya, me too.

As a recent grad, clutching her freshly minted diploma in hand, I had no dreams of stepping off the stage and dozens of job recruiters boisterously jumping over themselves to offer me THE job. Not with an unemployment rate of 9.1 percent in May 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Couple unemployment rates with a staggering 1.65 million graduates in Spring 2011, according to USAToday, and you have too many people clamoring to claim too few jobs. Let’s not even mention the number of previous years college graduates still looking for work…

However, even with all of this, I wasn’t expecting to still be jobless almost two months after graduating. Definitely not in the life plan.

The situation leaves me hunting like a fiend for any opportunity in the field of communications. The dream? Digital journalist – online, social media and more geeky possibilities than I can comprehend. Willing to take – anything. I applied to be a desk clerk because they allowed me to do some copy editing on the side.

Sigh.

And, whenever I or you do seem to get a job in your sights that you feel perfectly qualified for…

Photo courtesy of wsjw.org.

You are smacked with the reality that there are hundreds of people behind you apply for the exact same position.

There were 4 million people pounding the internet’s synthetic pavement searching for jobs daily in 2002 (you can be sure that number has doubled by 2011), according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Once that number has sunk in, you pick your jaw up and prepare for the fight of your independent life to get the interview and then the job.

Photo courtesy of barbaraleung.com

If you’re under the misconception that eh, you have time. I would advise you to think again. Class of 2011 is being referred to as the year of the most indebted ever, according to – everyone.

The historic figures of debt 2011 graduates on average accrued: $22,900$27,200.

The most laughable of all of this?

I only know one single 2011 college graduate with loans that low – and it wasn’t me.

 

***UPDATE*** Since posting this article I have found work as the Public Relations and Digital Marketing Strategist for 5 Star Agency Inc.

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Beyond Bonas

Is the idea of searching for a “grown-up” job adding stress to your life?

To ease those worry wrinkles, St. Bonaventure University’s Career Center hosted “Beyond Bonaventure: Where do I go from here?” on Friday, Feb. 11, in the Hall of Fame Room.

Image courtesy of Investor Centric Blog

“Beyond Bonaventure” is just one of the programs provided by the Career Center, which is attempting to ensure Bonaventure
graduates are not part of the 8 percent of recent college graduates unemployed in the U.S., according to a May 24 article in the New York Times.

The event featured a young alumni panel presentation and a student-alumni networking reception.

The alumni panel was composed of five recent graduates including Jordan Steves, ’09; Amber Pietrobono, ’09, ’10; Bob Gohn, ’10; Michael Avillo, ’09; and Craig W. Montanye, ’07.

Each alum offered advice on getting a job, keeping a job and what life is like after finally leaving the 14778 zip code.

All five alumni suggested students focus on networking and getting in the game early.

“The Bonaventure network has been amazing for me,” said Pietrobono, a brand marketing associate at Fisher-Price. “Pull on that connection, through friends, family and other alumni – you never know who could be the next person forwarding your résumé along.”

Avillo personally used networking to his advantage his second semester senior year to land an interview at BBDO in New York City and started his career as an account executive with them by June 2007. All through the power of networking, he said.

One tip given by the panel was to start your job search before the second semester of your senior year. According to Montanye, a financial analyst for The Avco Company, a Goldman Sachs Company, this offers more time for you and the company to interview each other, and it gets you ahead of many of your peers.

As for the interviewing process, Gohn, an account coordinator for Text 100 Global Public Relations, and Montanye offered students pieces of advice.

Gohn believes acting open and being yourself at an interview distinguishes yourself from other candidates.

“(If the interviewer) asks you a question, don’t be afraid to say you don’t have an answer,” Montanye said. “Instead say, ‘I don’t have an answer now, but later if you want I can e-mail one to you.'”

It shows follow-through and a real interest in the job to answer like that, he said. That answer is much better than making an answer up on the fly and potentially being wrong.

Steves, a lecture associate and assistant editor at the Chatauqua Institution, often interviews potential employees himself and recommends asking questions, speaking clearly and dressing professionally.

“Those are important qualities to getting a job,” he said.

As for the life outside of work, the alumni agreed that keeping in contact with friends after Bonaventure and maintaining a social life after work can be difficult.

“It’s a different world outside of Bonaventure,” Gohn said. “People (I work with) are getting married, having kids – At first, I was like ‘What’s happening? Three weeks ago it was Senior Week at Bonaventure and I was on a couch outside at 3 a.m.”

Opportunities to connect can be found through social media websites, e-mail, planned road trips and getting involved in your local community.

“Remember, life is a balance, and you don’t want to burn out by the time you turn 25,” Montanye said. “Work and play are equally important.”

For more information on careers, networking, resumes, practice interviews and future events, contact the Career Center at career@sbu.edu.

Article published by The Bona Venture

Issue date 2/18/2011