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The Senior Experience: Finding Entry-Level Jobs

(The Verge) – For all graduating seniors, the idea of venturing out to find a job or get an internship at a prestigious company is among the top priorities on the list of things to do. As our education at Monmouth University comes to a close, we hope to look forward as leaders and follow the path to success by walking across the stage and receiving that long-awaited Diploma. And it seems, we all have it: Senioritis.
According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “Senioritis” is defined as a colloquial term that describes students who are nearing the end of their college and graduate school careers. As a university student in full throes of senioritis, I can relate to the overwhelming pressure of following my checklist of things to do: complete all coursework, apply for graduation, order the cap and gown, pay off bills to the Bursar office, purchase senior portraits online and much more. And then paying off the student loans. You log into Monster.com, Indeed.com and a plethora of job search engines hoping to find the perfect job that fits your degree to a tee.
Then, it hits you. The job is great, but it’s far. You’d have to drive a million miles before reaching it. Or the job needs more experience than you have. These issues are what drive many students to panic. Should seniors keep job-searching? Or just head off to grad school? And that can be interesting, considering all the steps one must take into applying for grad school. You encounter yet another checklist: get letters of recommendation, maintain a high GPA, write a personal statement, choose a characteristic of program (within your field, of course) , writing countless essays while filling out numerous applications and paying fees for every application you send out hoping to receive a letter confirming your acceptance. It can be overwhelming and a daunting task to experience.

The job market has been on a steady increase since 2008’s Great Recession, but that’s not to say all is clear and overwhelmingly optimistic. Seniors now are pondering thoughts on grad school, as certain majors have had hard times finding a job. Image taken froM: scm-l3.technorati.com

The editorial, in the Huffington Post, “A Guide for Graduating Seniors”, Catherine Seraphin remarks on the hard road ahead after graduation and that grad school is not the only option to consider. In her opinion, she feels that when you start looking for a job, keep your mind open. Don’t eliminate internship opportunities during the search. Seraphin said, “Although it’s ideal to immediately begin your career, internships provide you with more of those personal connections. It also adds a little garnish to your resume while you buy time searching for a full-time position.”
Seraphin agrees that Grad school isn’t necessarily the solution, either. She adds, “Many go to grad school right after graduation simply to avoid the horrible job market. If that’s the case, you’re going to grad school for all the wrong reasons, especially considering you’re digging yourself further into debt. Yet, unfortunately, grad school has become the new college.”
Grad school is a lot of money, and I encourage all seniors to gather a few years of work and funds before diving into the application process. What if you start in your major field and end up hating it?
Nancy Gallo, Job Placement Coordinator in Career Services, commented on finding the right career in your field by testing it out first. “Instead of getting your MIT in teaching, one should have experience in substituting first in order to have an idea of what is to be expected when it becomes a full-time career.” She also noted that the use of LinkedIn could be a positive influence in job searching and that, “connecting and joining groups,” will introduce meeting people in your field with potential job offers. These strategies can aid you especially when it comes to your future plans after graduation. She mentioned the use of refining your search on job engines to find the right jobs and that it could be critical in order to achieve the best results.
A recent poll on the senior experience was conducted on April 15, 2013. Seniors and juniors commented on thoughts on life after graduation and pursuing entry-level jobs. English major Gregory Sanchez said, “Although I have two undergraduate degrees, I want to pursue a job in criticism.” He also commented on advice for incoming freshman adding, “Just work hard. All the prerequisite courses are still part of the bigger picture with a common theme.”
Richard Lytle, a history major, said: “I plan on attending grad school and working.” It is common for seniors who are graduating to attend graduate school. But Lytle disagrees. “Work for a year first, and then if you like it– pursue a degree in that field,” he says.
Other seniors are not sure about finding jobs after graduation. Kaitlin, a psychology major, said: “I am extremely nervous about the job market. I don’t know if I will be able to find a job.”
Whether you’re graduating and heading off to Grad School or starting out in an internship over the summer, graduation is a commemorative milestone to reach and as a member of the senior class, we should be proud and optimistic in the months to follow.
And after these cumbersome final exams are finished, we can finally say: Congratulations to the class of 2013!
“Hire Me!” A phrase many students will be thinking in the coming years after their graduation. Image taken from: fosterthomas.com