As the semester begins to wind down, many seniors are rushing to get their lives in order before embracing the ‘real world.’ Big decisions must be made about where to live and what the best options are for their futures.
The up and coming commencement for seniors has left many students without concrete plans of life after college.
Daniel Melnick, a media production major with a music minor, has no idea what he wants to do when May rolls around.
“I may have no choice but to stay close to home,” says Melnick, “real close to home. Like in it.”
Danielle Turner, a sociology major from New Jersey, is applying for a fellowship in Hillel’s “Foundation for Jewish Life Corps,” which will allow her to work on various campuses and expose Jewish students to expressions of faith.
Hillel Headquarters, an international Jewish organization, Turner said sent out her application to many campuses for review. Turner was then sent a list of 14 schools to schedule an interview. When offered a position, Turner will move to the area of the college campus and engage Jewish students into the Hillel organization.
Michael Minutoli, Assistant Director of Career Programs at the Career Services Center, helps in the organization of weekly workshops and “Career Searches” for students to help them decide what career best fit their values. He recommends that students contact Career Services in the fall semester to get resumes filed and distributed.
For example, senior registration sessions, which are given throughout fall semester, allow seniors to fill out surveys about career preferences, starting their resumes and providing students with job listings. While these sessions are over, Minutoli still recommends meeting with an employee from Career Services during office hours to oversee the process.
Minutoli also noted that seniors who are looking for jobs should begin the process of interviewing a few weeks after spring break. He strongly suggests making connections between people.
“Most students should be networking,” he said. “Eighty percent of jobs are going through people you know, including alumni.”
He said that most students from Quinnipiac move to more urban areas, like Boston or New York, to make stronger connections and embrace better job opportunities. The average graduating senior’s salary from Quinnipiac, he estimates, can range from $30,000 to $45,000.
Turner, as well as other seniors, sought out help from the Career Services Center to compile her resume and find organizations that she would be interested in. Career Services, she said, gave her a detailed list of Web sites that would connect her to different Jewish organizations. They directed her to a Web site which administered a quiz that provided her with a list of possible careers, salaries and time commitments to help narrow down the process.
Jessica Dunn is one of many seniors pursuing careers outside of New England. Dunn is graduating as a public relations major with a minor in political science. She is looking at job opportunities in Seattle, Wash. “I have been contacting people my friends know in the PR business and businesses headquartered in Seattle, filling out online applications and e-mailing agencies,” Dunn said. “I also researched the agencies online in the area to figure out which agencies I liked and which I did not like.”
She also noted meeting with an employee from Career Services who reviewed her resume before sending it out to the agencies in Seattle. However, she isn’t too concerned about her uncertain future. “I do not have a job after graduation, but I am not worried. I have been working hard and am sure I will find a job eventually,” Dunn said. “I figure you have you’re whole life to work. So if I don’t have a job right away, it is okay because one will come soon.”
A large portion of the seniors, however, are continuing their education by going to graduate school. Connor O’Brien, for example, an interactive digital design major, is applying to graduate school and looking for graduate assistantships to gain more working experience. Even though he is going to graduate school, O’Brien noted that Career Services was still helpful in the application process and finding graduate schools that fit his academic and geographical preferences.
Tara Tashjian, a sociology major from New Jersey, is currently continuing with school for another two years to pursue a career in education, preferably as a school counselor or guidance counselor. She noted that Career Services was great. They wrote her recommendations and helped her write her admissions essay.
Melnick, however, says that he’s not quite ready yet to accept so many responsibilities. “For now I feel secure not having a job because I’ll look for one later. I’m young, I want see if I can do things I really want to do before I get too old,” Melnick said. “Being 21 and having a 45 hour a week job seems unnecessary for me at this point.”