By Alexandra Puffer
With spring commencement less than two months away, many graduating students are beginning to feel the pressures of making the most out of their remaining time as undergraduates.
Graduation once was a time of great excitement and sense of accomplishment, but for some seniors graduating in May there is a sense of anxiety and instability, as they scramble for employment while looking forward to years of paying off student debt.
Rebeccah Quist, a corporate communications major graduating in May, has just begun her job search. Most applications she has encountered have a minimum requirement of two to three years of experience in the industry, ruling out most recent graduates. For this reason she urges undergraduates to take advantage of internships because they provide the work experience employers are looking for.
“It’s important for students not only to just get an internship, but to learn everything they can while they’re there,” Quist said. “It’s the only time you’ll be expected to not know everything.”
Bridgewater State alumnus Kenny Minks of the class of 2011, felt very unprepared during the weeks leading up to his graduation. He knew he wanted to move out of Massachusetts and was determined to do so. After a couple of months working at a crepe restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia, Minks finally landed a salary job. This job has led to opportunities in advancement, relocation, and travel, like he wanted. Minks was led to this opportunity through connections on LinkedIn, and was ultimately employed because someone came across his Twitter account and thought he would be the perfect fit for the job.
“Always touch up your resume and digital face. Your resume will never be perfect and can always be updated,” Minks said. “Also be careful on what you have on your social media pages.”
Alum Kelly Nemitz of the class of 2012 knew she would be moving to Atlanta, Georgia, in August following her graduation. She spent the months leading up to her move working her usual summer job knowing it would be difficult to find a job from a distance.
Her first job in Atlanta was working the front desk of a hotel and although she worked during the evening, this allowed for her to take advantage of using business hours to search intensely for a better position. After five weeks she found a position within a small company that has a lot of room for advancement.
“Although my bachelor’s degree was required, it is certainly not what got me my current job,” Nemitz said. “The degree is necessary but the work that is put into the job search is much more important.”
Even with the struggle of finding employment facing her, Quist is still optimistic about graduation.
“The best advice I’ve received about graduating is to not take it for granted,” Quist said. “So many people don’t have the opportunity, and it’s a huge accomplishment.”