Remember Graduation Day? Hope…Optimism…Opportunity….recently my intern, Lora Berthiaume graduated from St. Thomas University…congratulations Lora! As she embarks on launching her career in advertising/marketing/communications I am fortunate that Lora will be spending just a little more time with me this summer…she is a Rock Star ready to contribute significantly to the right fit employer! We chatted recently about her transition from campus to career and how she and her peers felt about making the leap. Bottom line, its still a tough market for millenials entering the workforce and as the data shows new grads simply have fewer opportunities and are accepting jobs for less compensation. Lora had this to say as she approached her Graduation Day:
When the anticipation of putting on that special cap became reality the anxiety set in. College life is over. We have been waiting for this exciting day since we were little, and now that the time has come, we wish it would be years ahead of us still. Although I can vouch for many that we are all thrilled to not have to spend endless hours at the library, or eat the terrible cafeteria food, it is a mutual understanding that we are scared. This is a turning point in all of our lives, one that most of us are not prepared for. The biggest fear of entering “the real world” is finding a job.
The lucky select few have full-time jobs, many have internships, but most of us are still in the job-hunting process. Yes the economy may be turning around and there are a few more jobs opening up, but it is still not the prime time to be looking for that first career.
Job-hunting should be considered a full time job itself. Like most of my graduating class, I have used every job seeker service and networking connection out there. It takes time and a whole lot of effort to find a job. The main site my classmates and I use to find available jobs is the University of St. Thomas Career Development website. Next on the list is going on companies’ websites you are interested in and looking at their job postings. LinkedIn is also a popular tool. A non-virtual path most of us have taken is attending career fairs around the Twin Cities area, as well as organizations such as Advertising Federation and American Marketing Association, which allow you to network.
Many available jobs right now require numerous years of experience in that field. It gets a bit discouraging when you find a job description that fits you perfectly, until is says 5 years experience required. How are we supposed to gain experience when entry-level jobs are scarce? That is why so many of my friends (and I) are doing internships post college in an effort to quickly build more of that necessary and relevant experience.
Ideally, the company at that first “real job” holds an energetic, welcoming atmosphere and possesses an innovative and unique culture. Getting fully submerged in a company right away allows one to learn the quickest, so the more fast-paced, the better.
With all the fear and anxiety aside, it will be an amazing feeling to receive the diploma we have all worked so hard to get. I know my major in Marketing and minor in Advertising will lead me to the perfect position in my career field. My passion is a mixture of business and creative work. I am diversified from marketing plans all the way to graphic design, and would love to do anything in between. No matter what opportunity arises, I know I will succeed.