Monday, October 17, 2011

NOW HIRING...Maybe?!

By Ifeanyi Onwumah


There should be no one (not even my 11 year old brother) that doesn’t know about the dire economic situation and the employment situation or rather lack thereof, in the country. This situation is especially bothersome to a college student or better yet, a soon-to-be graduating college student. It should rub them the wrong way that after four or more years of challenging work that was meant to prepare you for the “real world” that you actually can’t make it in the real world? Not because of any inadequacy of your own, but because there are no jobs. Of course there are many factors surrounding one’s eligibility as a suitable job candidate, but if there aren’t any jobs, none of that really matters. Thankfully the situation isn’t such that there aren’t ANY jobs, it’s just that there are far FEWER jobs and competition is stiffer than it has ever been in the last 50 or more years.

It’s incredibly frustrating to know that after all the effort you put in at school; you’ll have nothing to show for it in the form of a job. No one’s asking for a guaranteed job opportunity after graduating just something to look forward to and the knowledge that the last four years haven’t been a complete waste of time. The economic uncertainty is making employers VERY tentative about hiring new employees and experience is becoming a lot more important to employers. What level of job availability should a current undergrad expect to meet after they toss their caps in the air and walk out of the Shannon Center with their degrees? The news seems to suggest not much.

This isn’t to say that there aren’t things that can be done to make you more presentable to employers in such a market. SXU is wonderful in this aspect because it has a lot of programs and activities that prepare you for the “real world”…whatever that is! There are several job fairs that are hosted on any one of SXU’s campuses (the next one is on March 2, 2012) that really give you an idea of what the job market is really like and what employers are looking for in current employees. If you are not comfortable in public places, you can always make an appointment with the career services office and sit down one-on-one with a counselor and ask every possible question you have regarding the workforce. They also help bring you in touch with alumni that can be of assistance to you in your job search.

Another enticing fact about SXU is that most of our professors have worked in their respective fields and are usually more than willing to give career advice to those who ask for it. None of these things are guaranteed to get you a job but they are all definitely steps in the right direction especially in these uncertain times. Besides if all else fails, there’s always graduate school!

Ifeanyi Onwumah is a senior double-majoring in Philosophy and Computer Studies. He is a commuter student from South Holland, IL. Ifeanyi’s goal is to attend Law School after he graduates from SXU.

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