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It’s that time of the year again, Graduation Time!, for many college seniors. So let me start by extending my congratulations to the Class of 2012 for all their dedication and hard work. However, as many (all) of you should know, the economy is still very rough and job prospects remain bleak

Quote:
Half of young college graduates [are] either jobless or underemployed in positions that don’t fully utilize their skills and knowledge.
You may be ready to embark on the next stage of your life, but for many, what’s the next step?  

Well, the obvious answer is that you should never give up on your dream career so keep plugging those resumes and cover letters to potential employers.  In this economic climate though, it may take awhile before you get your first offer so what should you do in the meantime? 

Suggestions that some people have given include:

1. Move back home -  Paying monthly rent for an apartment or house can be a big expense so many 'experts' advise graduates to move back home with their parents.

Unless you're strapped financially or live in close proximity to where you went to school, I might actually advise against this.  As a Class of 2011 graduate myself, I moved back home and have been unable to find a full - time job.  If you live close to/at school, you can access the college's career services center much more easily along with its resources and you're more cognizant of networking opportunities. Plus, if your friends also stayed in the college area, you can hang out with them and this may help alleviate the symptoms of uncertainty and anxiety, common to the unemployed college graduate.

2. Defer loan repayments - If you have federal student loans, you don't have to start repaying until six months after you finish school.  If you're unemployed, you may qualify to defer repayment for up to 3 years.  For more info, go to studentaid.ed.gov.

3. Get Insurance - Once you graduate, you typically have 30 days before your student health plan expires.  Because of the Affordable Care Act, young adults can now stay on their parent's health plan until age 26.  If your parent's don't have group policy coverage, consider buying individual health insurance to get low premiums while you're still young and healthy.

To those employed/unemployed out there, what other advice (career, life, etc.) would you give to prospective young monkeys?

Comments (19)

  • BTbanker's picture

    I bet 90+% of those kids didn't have practical majors, high GPAs, internships, good connections, or motive to find a good job like many on WSO do. So many people just set themselves up for failure or mediocrity for the rest of their lives because they try to get by in school with the bare minimum requirements. I understand that having fun in school is important, but studying your ass off to get a 3.8 is equally, if not more, important.

  • BlackHat's picture

    Here's an alternative suggestion for you:

    I hate victims who respect their executioners

  • Gate_Crasher's picture

    I bet most of these kids have a lot of motivation and great majors but due to the crappy economy they are unable to find jobs.

  • In reply to Gate_Crasher
    BTbanker's picture

    Gate_Crasher wrote:
    I bet most of these kids have a lot of motivation and great majors but due to the crappy economy they are unable to find jobs.

    You need to wake up. People will blame anything on a bad economy.

  • In reply to BTbanker
    blackjack21's picture

    Connor wrote:
    I bet 90+% of those kids didn't have practical majors, high GPAs, internships, good connections, or motive to find a good job like many on WSO do. So many people just set themselves up for failure or mediocrity for the rest of their lives because they try to get by in school with the bare minimum requirements. I understand that having fun in school is important, but studying your ass off to get a 3.8 is equally, if not more, important.

    Exactly. Profiles of unemployed graduates always includes those who were Creative Writing, English, or some other BS major. And these kids did like 0-1 internships. I'm not totally blaming them because this economy is straight up brutal, but many of them just think that getting a degree will land them a job, or they start looking in the middle of senior year. It's scary to think what's going to happen to those kids at non-targets who party, take no initiative, and are just looking to have a good time.

  • In reply to BlackHat
    Johnny Ringo's picture

    BlackHat wrote:
    Here's an alternative suggestion for you:

    Is this from the New Batman movie?

    Eventus stultorum magister.

  • In reply to Johnny Ringo
    BlackHat's picture

    Johnny Ringo wrote:
    BlackHat wrote:
    Here's an alternative suggestion for you:

    Is this from the New Batman movie?

    I'm really upset if you're serious

    I hate victims who respect their executioners

  • In reply to BlackHat
    seabird's picture

    BlackHat wrote:
    Johnny Ringo wrote:
    BlackHat wrote:
    Here's an alternative suggestion for you:

    Is this from the New Batman movie?

    I'm really upset if you're serious

    You going to see Dark Knight Rises opening night?

    “...all truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

    - Schopenhauer

  • DaCarez's picture

    Agree that the stat includes creative writing majors, but was talking with some people last week, it's been a rough year even for Stanford MBAs, so it's definitely more macro-driven...

  • SlikRick's picture

    Class of 2012 here. According to my Career Center, "everyone who wants to have a job has a job." This is obviously an exaggeration, but in my circle of friends, all but one student who maintained a high GPA, had 2-3 internships, and was motivated throughout the school year has landed at least an average offer. I'm not saying that everyone who wanted IB or AM got IB or AM, but they have careers that either set them up to network and lateral in time, or just have sweet careers in general (TV reporter in Israel, joke-writer for Jay Leno, etc). I should also mention that I went to a complete Non-Target.

    Hard-work, persistence, and networking early will definitely pay off!

  • SlikRick's picture

    Also, some tips for student loans:

    1. The Obama Administration has a killer consolidation plan that expires on July 31st, 2012. You need at least one federal loan (subsidized, unsubsidized, PLUS, etc) and one private loan (CitiBank, Great Lakes, etc). The plan enables you to consolidate your debt, giving you one payment, and it knocks off .25% - .5% off your private loan. In addition, the government already has all of your student debt information on file, so the form shouldn't take you more than 10-15 minutes to complete.

    2. If you have a good relationship with your parents, consolidate your debt through them. Let them use existing home equity on their house and swap out your debt. This will reduce your interest rates by at least 2% (4.5% in my case), the debt can be refinanced, and if absolutely necessary, can be discharged in bankruptcy. You pay your parents each month, so its no cost to them, so long as you can make payments. Once again, for students who have good relationships with their parents.

    3. Deferring debt if you don't have to is A HUGE MISTAKE. Your loans accrue interest every day. The loan company loves to defer debt, it just puts you in a bigger and bigger hole, and if you keep relying on this strategy, the daily interest will make paying off the debt very difficult. Avoid if possible and overpay your payment every month if possible.

  • MonkeyWrench's picture

    ^^ Totally agree with number 3.

    The people who did 3+ internships, got involved in meaningful/relevant ec's, and had a pretty good GPA should get some type of gig. I was a 2011 grad and most of my friends and I got offers (even the one English major) because we networked our asses off or leveraged internships into FT. Granted, I am not in my dream job yet, but I'm still thankful that I'm making/saving money.

    The only thing I'd add is if possible to try to work in a lower cost of living city for a little while if you aren't doing what you want to be doing anyways. It will help you save money quicker, and that way if you want to quit a year or so down the road and spend all your time networking/pursuing other offers you at least will have a larger cushion.

    "Who am I? I'm the guy that does his job. You must be the other guy."

  • nmartell's picture

    Recent alums, keep reading your WSO daily. One of the highlights I've gotten out of reading the articles over the past few months for instance was a few fellow monkeys highlighting a financial news site called MarketSnacks.com. It's clear, short and interesting daily market news that looks perfect for college students/recent grads. Their week in review yesterday looked awesome (tossed the link below). Nice find, monkeys.

    http://marketsnacks.com/2012/06/03/the-best-damn-w...

  • In reply to seabird
    Johnny Ringo's picture

    seabird wrote:
    BlackHat wrote:
    Johnny Ringo wrote:
    BlackHat wrote:
    Here's an alternative suggestion for you:

    Is this from the New Batman movie?

    I'm really upset if you're serious

    You going to see Dark Knight Rises opening night?

    im lost

    Eventus stultorum magister.

  • In The Flesh's picture

    Title pretty much sums up the state of the world right now.

    Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

  • In reply to BTbanker
    Gate_Crasher's picture

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