By Melanie Spina
Graduation is approaching in just 16 days. Seniors are finding themselves constantly being asked, “What are your plans after graduation? Do you have job?” Those questions makes many of us want to run and hide under our beds. If you’re a senior, chances are you’ve been on an extensive job search since before the spring semester started.
I started browsing through job posting sites in January and one thing I came across was the amount of experience many jobs were looking for. For example, to be an assistant for an editor, you need at least two to three years of professional editorial writing experience. For a social media job, you need three or more years working in social media. These requirements tend to make the process very stressful. I constantly find myself thinking, how in the world am I supposed to have all of this job experience when I’ve been in school for the past four years to get a degree that I believed would open doors for me in the working world?
A degree alone, it seems, is no longer enough. A 2013 report by High Fliers Research, an independent market research company that specializes in student and graduate recruitment, stated that college graduates without any type of work experience, let it be internships or regular jobs, don’t have as big of a chance of getting a job when they graduate.
This is why, as I prepare to leave Post, my advice to students who still have time to prepare for their future in the real world is: Get as much experience as you can in what you want to do, whether it is by writing for The Pioneer or joining your major’s club on campus. Get out there and start to do things that will benefit you in the future. Start doing internships early. I used to think that I didn’t have to do an internship until my junior or senior year, but now I realize how important it is to start as early as possible.
“I started to do internships the summer after my sophomore year,” said senior public relations major Marisa Kofmehl. “Other than that internship, I interned for three other companies during my time at Post.” Kofmehl even interned for two companies at the same time last fall, since she is a strong believer that having done previous internships is what makes a difference when applying for jobs. A hiring manager is going to give more priority to a resume that shows internships, volunteer work, and being part of organizations, over a resume that simply shows the university attended, degree and GPA.
Not only do internships help you gain experience, but a lot of times they open your eyes to what you actually want to do with your career. Doing an internship early in college can help a student determine if that is the career he or she actually wants to pursue. “During my internships, I learned a lot as to what I wanted to do and not do with public relations,” said Kofmehl.
Unfortunately, at this moment, it seems that it isn’t enough to just have a degree. It’s important to keep busy and keep working on a well-rounded and strong resume. As I step into the real working world, I leave you all with the advice I wish I had heard back when I was starting college. Keep yourself busy, join as many clubs as you can, and work hard so you can get any type of experience in the field you wish to work in and then hopefully land your dream first job.