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Job after college.

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Job after college.

Postby Howie » Tue Aug 07, 2007 4:21 pm

Hey guys. I just graduated from college in the Summer. Pretty good college, pretty good gpa. Economics major here in California. Right now i live in LA. I hope to work in finance or project management, if not now, then eventually.

Ive been traveling since graduation but now is that time where i need to settle down and get a real job. How do you guys suggest (from experience :-) ) going about this process? Did you guys use online job sites like monster, etc, or go about with a different approach?

ps - i wish being being a professional fantasy baseball player was a real job. :,-(
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Re: Job after college.

Postby great gretzky » Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:53 pm

the "right" approach is EVERY approach. I find Monster to be not so hot. But i would seriously watch stuff like Craigslist, SF chronicle, Careerbuilder and such. I'd also make a list of places you think you would like to work, and try to get informational interviews, hit up their web site etc. You can contact headhunters, they are prominent in your field. My GF is looking now, and I have looked twice in the past year and half, (one out of necessity-- I moved form NY to DC, once because I hated the job I had to take), and the one thing you need to know is, that it only takes one person or ad or whatever to lead to something, so don't summarily dismiss anything. you can always so "not interested" if they call. You can't so "not interested" to things you never hear about. Investigate if you can still use your school's career center, see if you can temp/volunteer in the interim--this is a good way to add to a resume while you "wait." Usually, the people who would have you also understand that you are going to take interviews. Temp agencies usually have a contingency for this, mine did (I used one when I moved down to DC). I wouldn't discount them. Project Management is a gold mine right now, and I have kind of tangentially gotten involved with it for the web. Although, the way I did it is switch from the for profit, to the non-profit world, just to get those skills. Since I worked for a prestigious publication in the past, I feel it can mitigate a nonprofit, as I will gain those skills. Granted, nonprofits do not pay that well (relatively), but their benefits in terms of time off are sick, and there should be plenty in SF. So if you want to take a hit and really get into project management, that may be a route (even though I would personally hold out for a bit if possible and try for profit--just bear in mind, for profit has more risk, so less likelihood of hiring you.) Depending on your school, schools work, grades, and skills, you might have to go for program/project assistant or something like that too. My ultimate advice would be that you can move up fast, and that 10 years from now, you might not even be using your degree, you may have picked up another skill set that entices you more. think about it, you are in schools for 4 years, 120 credit hours, of which your major might be 40-50. you will be in your career type job for way more than that in 10 years time. I'm amazed at how much my skills have changed and goals have changed (not totally, but the focus). I'd focus on getting exposure in your field, and getting something that interests you, and not focus so much on initial prestige, but on something that is going to domino for you.

EXample, do you know how many "assistants to the publisher" get SWEET jobs in New York? It's not total fiction, like Devil Wears Prada would leave you to believe. The contacts you get, and exposure you get are a major investment. People who take them know their lives will stink ofr a year or so, but then, its golden.

One other piece of advice: This sounds like "aiming low" but IN GENERAL new grads seem to not understand their real worth, and the types of positions they will really get. It sounds obnoxious, but now that I am more in the middle level of things, I can see how inappropriate I was in thinking what I could do or couldn't do. There is some hard to peg seasoning. That being said, in your field, if you are good, you can climb fast, especially with the attitudes some of the younger generations have. While X and Y and beyond will HAVE to be placated, and that day is coming soon, there are still some holdouts. Affect a can do attitude, don;t balk at boring stuff, and it will serve you well. Everyone has boring stuff, trust me.

Anyway, take it or leave it, that's just what I've learned in my 8 years since graduating, working in internet publishing, and seeing various collegaues in ny and dc.
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Re: Job after college.

Postby The Artful Dodger » Wed Aug 08, 2007 12:37 am

I think the best way of trying to get a job on your own is by going through a headhunter, though it's best applied for candidates who have a few good years of experience and basically recruiters can feel comfortable hyping them up. Sometimes, I get bamboozled with such calls from recruiters for operational accountants and their persistence can get annoying, but they do put in a good word for you. If you have solid internship experience, this could expedite the process in finding a job or at least getting your foot through the door.

Of course, connections with family and friends can take you a long way, but can only get you so far. For example, I had an uncle who worked for Disney as an accountant at the studio and because he knew the people in HR fairly well to some degree, I got an interview quickly. Although they liked me, I was placed on a waiting list for so long, and eventually they decided to hire internally. The job market, especially in L.A., can be extremely competitive with all the talent out there and it can be tough to stand out, even if you know people who know people.

Taking a nice vacation in between graduating school and actually going on the prowl for a job is a good idea, but you swallow the risk of having to catch up. By this I mean, there's a strong urge to look for a job in February and not May/June by the time you graduate. Companies tend to go through something like a fraternity rush where they pay attention to placing grads with entry-level jobs at around that time. This allows them to go through more extensive interview processes, where they don't have to feel rushed into hiring, as opposed to some mid-level and senior positions. If by chance you remain unemployed for a couple of more months, the trickier it is to find a job especially when the time you spend is idle time. So, during the time you're still waiting for a full-time job, it's best to go find some volunteer work, which will bolster your skills if you find the right work and displays your skills. This will help your cause dramatically in nailing that job.

I think in the end, it helps to be a little picky. Sure, you can't be picky to the point you won't do this job because it's going to be this and that, but it pays to be persistent in what you want to do; you just have to brace yourself for a lot of hard times. There were a couple of jobs which I thought were death trap oddjobs that I hated and walked away from in a matter of days, to fulfill a short-term goal of acquiring Internet startup experience. Sure enough, I applied for a Web 2.0 viral video site, and I got in, but it was a lot of hard work to get there.

Like gretzky said, sometimes you don't do what you studied in school for or what you intend to do in the future. I had studied computer science and although I also majored in business, I didn't think I'd find myself working in finance, but sure enough, here I am and am the director at my current company...and it only had taken me 10 months. :-b Normally, climbing the ladder and rising to power takes a longer time than this, but if you're willing to learn and work very hard, and with a little bit of luck, you can get there fast...but most importantly, it's never how fast you move up, but how much your retain on the job. Best of luck to you. ;-D
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Re: Job after college.

Postby Howie » Wed Aug 08, 2007 12:37 pm

Thanks guys, that was really great advice.

I have one more question. When you talk about volunteering, etc, in the interim, do you mean like having a job as a teller just to get any experience, or something in the field of PM?
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Re: Job after college.

Postby great gretzky » Wed Aug 08, 2007 12:54 pm

I'd try to volunteer either in the field you want to be in, or maybe an unrelated field, but with transferable skills. For example, I have no desire to really be in the non-profit world the rest of my life, BUT I got a job that will help me learn some project management skills that will transfer over. Otherwise, I might have been SOL trying to get them in the for-profit world.
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Re: Job after college.

Postby The Artful Dodger » Wed Aug 08, 2007 1:18 pm

I'd echo what gretzky said. I think you should find volunteer experience that illustrates your skills. You probably won't get that working as say, a bank teller, even though it probably meets your needs if you have to earn some quick money. The thing is it can be tricky to find an employer that will hire someone willing to volunteer their services to manage a project per se, to a lesser extent, maybe because of possible legal ramifications with the terms of employment...which is why college internships are the way to go to get your foot in the door.

However, there are a few organizations who are willing to accommodate for post-graduate internships though. I had a friend in college who majored in political science and he interned at the Washington Center in D.C. I'm not quite sure if he was a few units short of graduating, but he was allowed to walk at graduation.
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Re: Job after college.

Postby Howie » Wed Aug 08, 2007 2:01 pm

The Artful Dodger wrote:I'd echo what gretzky said. I think you should find volunteer experience that illustrates your skills. You probably won't get that working as say, a bank teller, even though it probably meets your needs if you have to earn some quick money. The thing is it can be tricky to find an employer that will hire someone willing to volunteer their services to manage a project per se, to a lesser extent, maybe because of possible legal ramifications with the terms of employment...which is why college internships are the way to go to get your foot in the door.

However, there are a few organizations who are willing to accommodate for post-graduate internships though. I had a friend in college who majored in political science and he interned at the Washington Center in D.C. I'm not quite sure if he was a few units short of graduating, but he was allowed to walk at graduation.


Unfortunately it is probably too late for me to get an internship because i have already graduated. I am also interested in banking so thats why i may take the teller job, just to get my foot in the door that way and hopefully move up quickly since i already have that degree .

I just feel like its kind of a waste of college to accept a job that doesnt require college, but since i have little experience, i have to start somewhere, right?
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Re: Job after college.

Postby The Artful Dodger » Wed Aug 08, 2007 2:32 pm

Howie wrote:
The Artful Dodger wrote:I'd echo what gretzky said. I think you should find volunteer experience that illustrates your skills. You probably won't get that working as say, a bank teller, even though it probably meets your needs if you have to earn some quick money. The thing is it can be tricky to find an employer that will hire someone willing to volunteer their services to manage a project per se, to a lesser extent, maybe because of possible legal ramifications with the terms of employment...which is why college internships are the way to go to get your foot in the door.

However, there are a few organizations who are willing to accommodate for post-graduate internships though. I had a friend in college who majored in political science and he interned at the Washington Center in D.C. I'm not quite sure if he was a few units short of graduating, but he was allowed to walk at graduation.


Unfortunately it is probably too late for me to get an internship because i have already graduated. I am also interested in banking so thats why i may take the teller job, just to get my foot in the door that way and hopefully move up quickly since i already have that degree .

I just feel like its kind of a waste of college to accept a job that doesnt require college, but since i have little experience, i have to start somewhere, right?


Exactly why I said it was tricky to find such volunteer work to the point you might have to take a bank teller job. I know someone dating my cousin that started the same way and eventually became the branch manager in a couple of years because of his college degree.

I'd also try throwing your resume at established firms that are big enough to have a few entry-level openings here and there. Basically, your Disneys, your GE's, and your Yahoos and Googles. You can look through them on Monster or on their site's job boards. I almost had taken a job at Yahoo and Google a few months after I graduated from college. ;-D
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Re: Job after college.

Postby CheeseBeger » Wed Aug 08, 2007 5:52 pm

Howie wrote:Unfortunately it is probably too late for me to get an internship because i have already graduated. I am also interested in banking so thats why i may take the teller job, just to get my foot in the door that way and hopefully move up quickly since i already have that degree .


Not necessarily. You could possbily still find a paid internship even though you just graduated, and that could provide the foot in the door you want.

It would be better than being a teller, thats for sure.
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