By Carley Thieret | Student Columnist
When I was younger, people always asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up; my answer changed about a million times. From teacher, to doctor, to crossing guard, I could never make up my mind. As a senior in my last semester of college, I am entering adulthood and I have been getting that same question a lot lately.
“What do you want to do when you graduate?”
Well of course the simple answer is to get a job in my field – marketing or journalism. Isn’t that what the past three years of internships, networking and all-nighters were supposed to lead up to? In this day and age, it isn’t that easy. In fact, 284,000 college graduates held minimum wage jobs last year. Working in a restaurant on the weekends is great for extra money, but it isn’t what I went to school for.
Although the job market for new college graduates can be overwhelming, there are ways to network and promote yourself to prospective employers, and resources on campus can help.
People always say that networking is not only the best way to get a job, but to move up in the corporate world. Duquesne has a wealth of knowledgeable people to talk to and make connections with. More than ever this year I am taking advantage of Campus Career Services.
Career Services offers career counseling, resume reviews as well as online job postings. As an underclassman, I deleted the emails that came into my inbox from Career Services; now I check their site constantly for new job postings. The website has been recently updated to allow students to create a profile that customizes their interests and prospective employers.
One of my majors is marketing, so I am going to do what I do best and market myself to potential employers. I had a professor last year who required all students to create a business card for themselves. She explained it would be an integral part of the job search, and she was right.
The business card each student created was small and simple, but it was designed to reflect the student, their personality, ambitions, goals and desires. Each card was unique to the student that made it. Giving a business card that reflects who you are will help employers remember you and show them why you believe you will be an integral part of their company.
In a world where technology is so prevalent, there are many different outlets to promote yourself to potential employers. According to an article published in Business Insider, Google, Facebook and LinkedIn are the top three sites employers search when considering a prospective hire. When entering the job search, having an active LinkedIn and a clean Facebook page could make – or break – a potential job opportunity.
According to a study from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, unemployment was down for nearly every category of majors in 2012, the only exceptions being communications and journalism. But the paychecks are not following that trend.
I know there are a lot of people like me having the same thoughts, fears and apprehensions about graduation, and finding not only a job in their field, but also one that pays well. I saw on Twitter that the countdown to December graduation is less than 100 days away. That means it’s 100 days closer to finding a job in a market that isn’t always so welcoming to recent grads.
I read an article in Forbes recently that gave good advice to upcoming grads: “Find something nobody else is doing. Create something that did not exist previously. Be that new chimera the rest of us are too afraid to dream is real.”
So when January comes and someone asks, “What are you up to?” my response will be, working in marketing and loving every minute.