In the seemingly hopeless economy, the task of finding a steady job out of college appears daunting, and near impossible.
Graham Hudgins, a 2008 graduate in business information technology, stands on the other side of this challenging feat, with some advice for current students.
“Come in to the job market with real world experience,” Hudgins said. “I would definitely recommend engaging outside of the classroom.”
April Schwartz, a 2000 graduate in marketing management, echoed Hudgins’ advice.
“Get hands on experience in the field that you want. You have to do the grunt work,” Schwartz said. “I think kids these days don’t really want to do the grunt work and start at the bottom. But honestly, if you start at the bottom and learn the work that goes into it, then I think you’ll appreciate the job.”
Schwartz and Hudgins feel this situational, real-life experience is essential to putting oneself above other applicants in today’s job markets. This experience can come from internships, jobs, and volunteer work throughout students’ high school and college years.
“I definitely recommend extra curricular activities,” Hudgins said. “I had a full-time job during the summer and a part-time job during the school year at the Bank of America on South Main.”
Aside from devoting his time to a job, Hudgins also served as the treasurer of his fraternity, which gave him experience in the finance field.
“I worked all throughout high school, and I worked through college too. I definitely wanted my resume to look great, so I worked a lot,” Schwartz said. “I actually worked at the Pamplin College of Business during those years. I did administrative work for the business school just to get my name out there.”
It may seem as though these alumni had their entire lives planned out, knowing exactly what they wanted to do and acquiring positions relevant to their majors. However, like many students, Schwartz thought about the future, but was not exactly sure what she could picture herself doing.
“I got into marketing because I thought it would help me to explore other areas. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do,” Schwartz said. “I just wanted to wear a business suit and work in an office. I know it sounds kind of silly, but that’s how I pictured myself.”
Like Schwartz, Hudgins chose his major based on his interests.
“I was always a computer nerd, but I wanted to be more on the business side, and less on the computer-science side,” Hudgins said.
Although the two were unsure of exactly what they wanted to do, they chose majors, jobs, internships and volunteer work that not only sparked their interests, but proved to be relevant to the jobs they currently hold.