“american college grads can’t buy a job”

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This news clip aired just seven months ago in the DC area and, although it’s noted that the economy is “getting better”, it makes me wonder if we have really seen much of a change since January. I know some local economies are in a better place than others (check out the June 2010 local unemployment stats) but I can’t help feeling as if this recent graduate’s story is different than those who have graduated since. As 54% of Americans under the age of 25 remain jobless it’s hard not to look back on our education and ask, was the tuition (or debt) really worth the risk?

It’s stories like these that do make me question the theory of college, but there is no doubt in my mind that the value of higher education is still necessary. It just may take a little longer to reap the benefits.

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week 11: vacation at the shore

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Being that summer is a time to celebrate the beauty of the outdoors, we’re all guilty of taking a little vacation from time to time to embrace the weather. I guess you can catch me guilty as charged. Not only was I not searching for jobs but I also didn’t post on The Jobless Grad! My apologies for keeping your hopes up, but a girls gotta get a break sometime.

With that being said, spending a few days on the shore in New Jersey (no, not like the show) at my grandmas house helped me take a little off time from the search. This gave me a time to say positive, which is so important in this process. When you’re down, you’re down, but I’ve made some great connections in the past few weeks and I’m confident these professionals will lend a helping hand in the near future.

Other than that, I’m still working on my internship and I have two prospective positions in the works for next week. Hope they go well! Stay tuned for updates and I hope you all have a great weekend.

@JoblessGrad2010

Photo: http://www.conservapedia.com/New_Jersey

profile: louise, mullen advertising internship

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With the competition of finding a job in this economy continuously increasing, it makes job searching even more difficult for us grads with, well, no experience. If you’re anything like myself, I tried to work around this no experience issue by beefing up my resume with internship after internship to gain the highest level of expertise before graduating. Lake Forest alum Louise Lloyd Owen did the same and graduated in May to begin her “real world” job search.

“I moved home but knew my parents weren’t going to dish out money after graduation so I worked at J. Crew,” said Louise. “My goal was to be somewhere by September 1st but I began working 40 hours a week and I found myself not looking for jobs at all. I felt myself being lazy and miserable living back at home.”

Louise quickly realized she needed more time to search for jobs and, in an effort to begin networking in Boston, she transferred to the J. Crew in the city. Within one day, Louise received a call that eventually changed her summer plans for good.

A few weeks prior, Louise applied to one of the top advertising internships in the country at Mullen. Roughly 1,000 applications are submitted by young hopefuls at the turn of each academic season for only 25 spots at the agency.

“I’m so lucky I got this internship,” said Louise.  “It’s stressful but it’s the kind of stressful where its so fascinating that you’re learning. I actually want to go to work every morning.”

Louise was selected to be an intern in the PR department among other departments such as brand planning, account services, analytics, media, creative, etc. She works each day from 9:00 to 5:30 and admits it’s unlike any other internship program she’s ever participated in.

“From the first day you are put onto real accounts,” she said. “You are in contact with the client and they have you doing everything a normal entry-level person would do after being hired. Some things are confidential. They really trust the interns and they want you to see the real life workings of an advertising agency.”

Some of Louise’s daily tasks include creating media lists, writing press releases, making sure pitches are received and evaluating whether publications are going to print the story.

“The big thing with PR right now is completely relied on social media,” she said. “You have to know what people are talking about out there. I help monitor and update the Twitter and Facebook accounts throughout the day for clients.”

The great thing about Mullen’s internship program is that is has a weekly class called Lunch and Learn where the interns from various departments gather together to listen to teachings from the agency’s employees.

“There are very few places that are young, dynamic and integrated like Mullen,” said Louise. “It is truly a fun environment to work in.”

Louise will complete the internship in August and she aspires to continue working in the PR side of an advertising agency.

If you’re anything like Louise, adding another internship to your resume is not only a logical option, but it gives you the opportunity to network in your area. Both Louise and I went to school outside of our current network so Louise is definitely on the right track to using these connections in the future.

the social network movie

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This may seem somewhat unrelated to the job search but I thought it may provoke some food for thought. Where would we be today without Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Craigslist for our job search? Most of us seem to rely on these social networks and forget that searching for jobs the old fashioned way still exists. I’ve discussed this before, but what happened to a simple phone call or meeting with a professional? I’m sorry but sometimes email just doesn’t cut it.

This weekend I challenge you to think of alternative methods of searching for a job. Using social media as a tool is cetainly beneficial but allowing it to take over an entire search may make you feel like you’re running in circles.

On another note, You Don’t Get to 500 Million Friends Without Making a few Enemies will hit theaters this October.

worst mistake: “i’ll take anything”

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I recently found the above video and thought it make spark a little interest for you readers. It’s pretty motivational actually. Did you know the average time it takes to get a job is 3-4 months is a good economy? I’m at two months in a poor economy so, realizing that finding a job doesn’t happen overnight, has to be motivating enough to keep us truckin’.

The first things that’s recommended to us job seekers in this video is to take a moment to calm down. We spend so much time stressing about what we don’t have that realizing what we do have may help us push forward. The next thing to think about it how fear plays a role in our decisions and, unfortunately, fear can lead to poor outcomes.

The most valuable piece of information here is getting into “I’ll take anything” mode. None of us want to live in a city we don’t like, have a job we’re unsatisfied with, or feel like we’re not making enough money to support our lifestyles. So let’s continue to stay positive by tapping into our professional network and remembering Rome wasn’t built in a day.

@JoblessGrad2010

week 9 – make the call

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Well folks, it looks like we finally made it. The first real chance I can look back and say week 9 felt like just yesterday, but that’s cause it kind of was. As mentioned yesterday, I wanted to dedicate last week to searching for the perfect people to connect with to find, well, that perfect job.

Remember when I mentioned a position at my dream company opened up two weeks ago? Well, I started the week by actually calling the hiring manager. Yes, that’s right I said it, calling her office. It wasn’t until a few days before this that I completely forgot calling professional people was an option. I guess it’s a combination of how we rely so much on email that the art of speaking to someone via telephone seems out of line. But, then again, we’d never miss a text or call on our cell phones that live so near and dear to our hearts.

That day I told myself I would finally make the call. I was nervous, I was putting myself on the line, and I could face rejection, but, you know what, I needed to get some answers. Then, after mustering up all the confidence in the world, I listened to eight rings and was sent to voicemail. Bummer but I left one anyway.

The second call I made that day was previously arranged so I didn’t have to deal with the stress of calling someone blind. The call was for a position that hasn’t yet been created at a renowned adverting agency. I caught wind of this position from an alumni of my school who expressed interest after I reached out to him to have a pick-your-brain meeting. See what connecting can do? The phone interview was amazing and I couldn’t be more appreciative of someone willing to help me out.

This brings me to my next milestone from last week. It only took me nine weeks to realize that connecting with alumni really does work so I figured connecting with the alumni group in my city would probably be my best bet in speeding up this process. I emailed the President, he replied and before I knew it I received the July Newsletter highlighting “helping a new graduate out with her job search”. That new graduate happened to be me. The email list has over 1500 people and within a day, three people reached out to see how they could assist me with this process. Gotta love those alums.

Lessons learned this week: Phone calls work better than email and I love my school.

Photo: http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/iphone.jpg

week 8 – find a connection

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As the editor of this blog, I myself am itching to make it to present time to provide you readers with more job searching tips instead of continuing to list of the many correct (and incorrect) things I’ve done along the way. Although I’m sure you’re all itching to hear the lo down of my job search I have to be quite honest that I’m getting kind of sick of talking about myself. So, for the record, stories of OTHER GRADS will happen later this week. You just wait and see.

I’m going to recap Week 8 for you as quickly as possible.

Monday, July 5 – Lake house with friends for the holiday but I still applied online to an advertising agency in Boston that evening

Tuesday, July 6 – Met with my internship team to gather the To Dos of the week, an IT recruiter contacted me for another job opp AND I contacted an alumni in the area who works at the agency I applied to on Monday.

Wednesday, July 7 – Worked on my internship tasks and heard from my advertising alumni friend. We set up a time to chat via telephone

Thursday, July 8 – Internship work again

Friday, July 9 – Went to the city for an interview

There ya have it, the shortened version of Week 8. I wanted to make it quick because the emotions that set in this week were far more important than the actions that took place. I guess we grads get caught in the “well I applied to five jobs this week and I’m waiting to hear back” instead of taking the time to search for those with a connection to us. I am seriously sick of sifting through lists and lists of uninteresting positions.

I dedicated the next week to solely connecting with people instead of focusing on the numbers. Is that so hard? Find out tomorrow.

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