Showing posts with label news. Show all posts
Showing posts with label news. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ignore The Economy, College Grads

College grads, time to black out the negative news


“Half of college grads have jobs that don’t require diplomas,” “Half of all grads have moved back in with their parents,” “College grads face bleak job prospects” – okay, we get it. Times are tough, there’s no doubt about that at all. But how does it help you to keep reading day by day individual horror stories of struggling college grads?

The real thing is, as a college graduate, if you have a job now, you can still sympathize with those who are struggling – you probably went through that rough patch at one point in your life to get that very first job. There’s nothing wrong with being able to reminisce and relate.

Unfortunately, if you are a college graduate who does not have a job yet, you have to start questioning the effects of reading such dreadful stories on the regular. I’m not staying stick your head in the sand and ignore reality, because unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 4 years you probably know the job market isn’t that great now. The point is that you should really start to ignore – yes, ignore - the horrific headlines regarding what college graduates are going through right now. I mean it.

If you are willing to move to another city or state to land a job, then by all means do pay attention to the unemployment rates. If you have no intention of ever doing this then don’t concern yourself with places you don’t live in, whether better or worse.

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

“All I Got From College Was A Piece Of Paper” - Wrong

4 Things College Has Given You That You Forgot


Do you know where you hung that diploma that you got from college? Good. If not, find out, because it sure as hell cost you a lot of moolah (and countless hours studying) to obtain. The question remains, however, what else has college really given you except for that piece of paper? Give yourself a high five (try it with only one hand, if you can), because there’s plenty to be proud of, I say:

1. Organization

Balancing your studies, social life, family, extra-curricular activities/social clubs, a job, or anything else all at once while you’re young and still learning everything you can in this roller coaster ride we call life proves you developed organizational skills. Nothing gives you a better sense of organization than going through college. As you grew, matured, and learned from your mistakes, you learned to become more organized and as a result, more productive.

2. Discipline 

There’s two ways to study in college: you either pull a lot of last-minute all-nighters or study at a nice, regular pace. If you were the all-nighter type who completely blacked out all distractions once they finally crammed their nose into their textbook, that’s discipline. If you were the student who liked to study at a regular pace (say, every other day), and divided your work accordingly, that’s called discipline as well. Lack of discipline would have your GPA drop faster than the speed of gravity. Okay, no more academic jokes – promise.

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

15 Toughest Interview Questions (and Answers!)

Good interview questions, better answers


1. Why do you want to work in this industry?

Bad answer:
“I love to shop. Even as a kid, I spent hours flipping through catalogues.”

Don’t just say you like it. Anyone can do that. Focus instead on your history with that particular industry, and if you can, tell a success story.

Good answer:
“I’ve always loved shopping, but my interest in retail marketing really started when I worked at a neighborhood boutique. I knew our clothes were amazing, but that we weren’t marketing them properly. So I worked with management to come up with a marketing strategy that increased our sales by 25% in a year. It was great to be able to contribute positively to an industry I feel so passionate about, and to help promote a product I really believed in.”

2. Tell us about yourself.

Bad answer:
“I graduated four years ago from the University of Michigan, with a Bachelor’s in Biology – but I decided that wasn’t the right path for me. So I switched gears and got my first job, working in sales for a startup. Then I went on to work in marketing for a law firm. After that, I took a few months off to travel. Finally, I came back and worked in marketing again. And now, here I am, looking for a more challenging marketing role.”

Instead of giving a chronological work history, focus on your strengths and how they pertain to the role. If possible, illustrate with examples.

Good answer:
“I’m really energetic, and a great communicator. Working in sales for two years helped me build confidence, and taught me the importance of customer loyalty. I’ve also got a track record of success. In my last role, I launched a company newsletter, which helped us build on our existing relationships and create new ones. Because of this, we ended up seeing a revenue increase of 10% over two years. I’m also really interested in how companies can use web tools to better market themselves, and would be committed to building on your existing platform.”

3. What do you think of your previous boss?

Bad answer:
“He was completely incompetent, and a nightmare to work with, which is why I’ve moved on”

Remember: if you get the job, the person interviewing you will some day be your previous boss. The last thing they want is to hire someone who they know is going to badmouth them some day. Instead of trashing your former employer, stay positive, and focus on what you learned from him (no matter how awful he really was).

Good answer:
“My last boss taught me the importance of time management – he didn’t pull any punches, and was extremely deadline-driven. His no-nonsense attitude pushed me to work harder, and to meet deadlines I never even thought were possible.”

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

8 New Techniques to Land a Job

A better job search, a better chance


If you're in the middle of a job search, there will no doubt be moments when you feel frustrated and fatigued. Despite submitting countless applications, your phone might not ring. You may interview for a job and never hear back from the company. Or you could be offered the position you sought, only to learn the compensation is much lower than you expected. Without question, pounding the proverbial pavement requires perseverance, patience and a positive outlook. The following are tips for enhancing your search and coping with the job-hunt blues.

1. Set goals.

When you're between jobs, you may miss the feeling of accomplishment derived from completing tasks and meeting objectives on a regular basis. Make up your own "to-do" list by setting daily or weekly targets for your job search. Give yourself firm deadlines and stick to them. Write notes, like "Send a tailored cover letter and résumé to XYZ Corp. by end of day" or "Thoroughly research 10 new companies in the next week." Meeting specific goals will boost your morale and add momentum to your search.

2. Find the right targets.

You could save time (and avoid frustration) by narrowing your focus. For example, instead of faxing a generic résumé to every company that is advertising an open position, develop targeted materials and send them to a small list of firms that are most appealing to you.

3. Seek expert assistance.

If you're sending scores of targeted résumés and cover letters and still aren't being called for interviews, contact a staffing or recruitment firm and ask for suggestions on how to improve your application materials. Staffing professionals can provide you with invaluable tips and feedback. It's their job to stay current on market conditions and hiring trends. They also can help you locate temporary positions that will allow you to keep working and earn money while you continue searching for full-time employment.

4. Get to work.

It's often said that getting a job is a job in itself. Take a 9-to-5 approach to your employment search. Be disciplined for a solid eight hours each day regardless of the time of year. A common misconception is that hiring grinds to a halt during the summer months and around the holidays due to vacation schedules. The truth, however, is that good companies are always looking for good people.

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

The 5 College Degrees Employers Want In 2012

The job market for new grads, analyzed

Story by


Nationally, employers are looking for critical thinkers as they increasingly hire recent college graduates. Take a look at the top degrees in demand right now and get a feel for what your competitors are looking for.

Hiring trends for 2012

According to a new survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), business, engineering and computer science degrees are in the highest demand for employers looking to hire college graduates in 2012.

NACE reported in February a 10 percent increase in companies’ intent to hire interns this summer (mostly paid) and that employers plan to hire 9.5 percent more college graduates in 2012 than they did in 2011. Most companies plan to recruit mostly later this yer, likely during the fall semester. Additionally, the non-profit reports that starting salaries for graduates is up 3.5 percent this year.

Top five degrees this year

According to the report, below are the top five most in demand college degrees this year:

1. Business Administration

According to the Job Outlook survey, employers prefer candidates who have problem solving and leadership skills, which could potentially be acquired or honed through a business program.

Whether you want to work for a big or small business, studying business administration is a good way to prepare yourself.

2. Engineering

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the future looks bright for engineering graduates, with engineering jobs as a whole expected to climb 11 percent through 2018.

Sought after skills such as problem solving and analysis also contributes to wide range or careers.

3. Computer and Information Sciences

Computers have revolutionized the business world. Graduates tech-savvy skills are appealing to many employers, according to the Job Outlook survey.

As technology keeps advancing, employers look for workers with the latest and greatest computer skills.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

To all the Universities, thank you

To all the Universities out there who have referred their students to us, wrote about us, or just linked to us, we thank you. Having your support means the world to us.

Ball State University
Baruch College
Becker College
Boston University
Brandeis University
Brock University
Clark College
College of Charleston
Colorado State University
Concordia University
Cornell University
Davenport University
Davis College in Johnson City NY
Denison University
Eastern Washington University
ESADE Business & Law School
Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising
Guilford Technical Community College
Henderson State University
Indiana Tech
James Cook University
Kent State University
Lafayette College
Lock Haven University
Macalester College
Manhattanville College
Massachusetts Maritime Academy
Messiah College
Middlebury Career Services
Middlesex Community College
Milwaukee School of Engineering
Montclair State University
North Dakota State University
Northeastern University
Northland College
Philadelphia University
Radford University
Raritan Valley Community College
Rutgers University
Saint Louis University Madrid
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
Skagit Valley College
Spring Hill College
St. Cloud State University
St. Norbert College
Sullivan University
Tarleton State University
The Illinois Institute of Art - Chicago
The Washington Center
Trinity University
University of Alabama at Birgmingham
University of California, Los Angeles
University of Georgia
University of Houstoin
University of Houston
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of Melbourne
University of Miami
University of Oregon
University of Tennessee Knoxville
University of Texas Arlington
University of Toronto
University of Vermont
University of West Georgia
University of Wisconsin - Superior
Valdosta State University
Virginia Commonwealth University
Watkins College of Art, Design & Film
Xavier University

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Friday, October 19, 2012

College Seniors Speak Out - are schools helpful for job hunting?

New grads weight in on how much Universities have helped


New Grad Life recently traveled to a few Universities in San Diego. We picked the most interesting responses and want to share them with you. Due to the nature of the questions most students asked to for us to leave their last names out and schools they were affiliated with. Read on to see what College seniors are thinking!

NGL: “Let’s talk about the various services your University offers. What do you think about the career fairs?”

Ashley: “Useless….I mean it’s usually a bunch of companies that have all these entry-level sales positions. Then there’s like, agencies; the police, highway patrol, sometimes I really don’t get what they’re doing here. I think it’s even worse for our University – it makes our school look bad, you know?”
Omar: “A lot of the job fairs I’ve been to on campus are great. I’m not saying I got a job offer or anything on the spot, of course not, but I did get a few contacts and leads. You just need to weed out those ones that are not useful to you.”
Sonia: “I think it depends on what school you go to, because better schools have better companies who visit. I’ve been to a few other career fairs, and some were worse, some were better.”

NGL: “What about career centers? Are they a helpful resource for students you think?”

Ashley: “I think the career advisors are helpful, but as far as the resources go, they just tell you what to do and not how to do it. You go in, and it's like you have hundreds of binders with articles, books, job listings around you. There's no direction - and besides I can get all this info on the Internet so I don't get the big deal.”
Omar: “They definitely need more hands-on tools like workshops. Their web sites have hundreds of links to great career resources but they are more often than not generic in their advice. Maybe they should better pick such links and make sure they are referencing to the best career articles they possibly can.”
Sonia: “Career centers don’t have a good rep usually, you know. Students don’t believe they can really help – but people don’t get they’re not there to place you in a job, that’s what a staffing agency is for. They are there to help guide you through possible careers and improve your skills."

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

A New Grad's Journey Into the ‘Real World’

Post-graduation life explained by a new grad

This post was reprinted with permission from

As my December college graduation approached, my excitement about what was to come increased, as did my worries of finding employment post-graduation. Reading countless stories on job-hunting nightmares during a recession, not only from recent college graduates but also from seasoned and qualified candidates, was enough to put knots in my stomach.

I spent my last year of college immersed in my course work and tried to gain as much public relations experience from interning as possible, which, lets face it, is not easy. These days most internships consist of doing all the tedious work no one else wants or has the time to do. During my numerous newspaper and coffee runs, I couldn’t help but wonder how prepared I was to go out into the “real world” and compete with overqualified candidates for a position. Sure, I completed three internships during my college years, but does juggling six Starbucks drinks back to the office qualify as a resume-worthy skill?

I did all I could to stand out from the intern pack. I volunteered for every task presented, stayed late to help finish reports and made it a habit to ask my supervisors if they needed help with anything if it was a slow day at the office. Throughout all three internships I made many contacts but quickly realized it was all up to me to secure a post-graduation job.

A couple of months before graduation I began to scroll through job posts on various sites almost daily. I did not want to miss a single opportunity to send out my resume. Public relations in Miami is a rather small community, so genuine and serious job posts were scarce.

Early November, I came across a job post for a bilingual account coordinator position at Newman PR. It sounded like the perfect position for a recent college graduate so I immediately knew competition for it would be big. I stayed up that night to write a cover letter and sent it out with my resume. My hopes diminished after a couple weeks passed and I had not heard back.

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Monday, July 16, 2012

How often do you update your resume?

How often do you update your resume?

Vote below and be sure to comment as well!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

College Grads Lack Skills for Workplace?

Job seekers entering the real world without real skills?

Reprinted with permission of

Grueling end-of-course tests, stressful finals and pomp and circumstance are over for this year's 3 million high school graduates across the country.

About 70 percent will go on to a two- or four-year college, while 30 percent will go directly into the job market. Many high school graduates who go to college also will hold a job. But does a high school diploma or proficiency on exams mean that graduates have the skills to succeed in the workplace?

A recent study by ACT, the renowned education testing and research organization, found that while school curriculum and tests are driven by state standards, those standards are not rigorous enough to ensure that students are ready for college or the work force. Furthermore, a study by a consortium of experts concluded that the future U.S. work force is woefully ill-prepared for the demands of the workplace.

The survey of more than 400 employers across the U.S. concluded that high school (and college) graduates need skills in the following areas to succeed in the workplace:

• Professional/work ethic
• Critical thinking/ problem solving
• Oral and written communication
• Team work/ collaboration

Yet, 70 percent of employers rated new entrants into the work force with high school diplomas as deficient in professional/work ethics as well as critical-thinking and problem-solving abilities. An astounding 81 percent of employers reported high school graduates deficient in written communication. Overall, more than 40 percent of the employers rated recent high school graduates as deficient in overall preparation for entry-level jobs.

Consequently, while proficiency in basic skills such as reading, writing and arithmetic is fundamental and should be attained prior to high school graduation, and while obtaining a diploma is certainly laudable, a diploma nonetheless does not guarantee success in the workplace. Far from it. In addition to knowing how to read, write and calculate, a high school student must possess the ability to apply those basic skills and knowledge to the real work environment.

The consortium study suggests that all stakeholders (business, educators and community members) should consider methods of enhancing workplace skills. Internships, summer jobs, work-study programs, job shadowing, mentoring, on-the-job training and other educational approaches that include real-world experiences or community involvement, provide opportunities for students to acquire basic knowledge and skills, while cultivating applied skills.

Indeed, the workplace is changing and demands a higher level of skill than ever before. The global economy and our national social and economic future depend on our ability to increase the percentage of students who are not only equipped with basic skills but who are equipped with the ability to parlay those skills into successful and productive work experiences.

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Thursday, March 29, 2012

May College Grads Will See More Job Openings

Fresh grads see fresh positions

Reprinted with permission from .


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - Employers are telling area colleges they will be hiring more graduates after May graduation. The majority of the jobs available are in the northeast Indiana region.

Career Services Directors at both Ivy Tech and Trine University said Monday the number of jobs available is up, compared to recent years.

"The employers are saying I’m ready to hire now," Sheila Biggs, the career services director at Ivy Tech Northeast, said, who added employers are now hiring due to more confidence in the economy. "When they couldn’t bring them on, it wasn’t because they didn’t have positions, they just didn’t have the ability to pay for someone to come on."

Ivy Tech is expected to have more than 1,000 graduates in May. The majority of which will come from the fields of business, industrial technology, and nursing.

"I've seen a 20 percent increase in the number of students being placed with employers after graduation," Biggs said.

Biggs said the skilled fields have the largest increase in the job openings.

"Manufacturing was going away," Biggs said, "but with those people retiring, people are now needed to replace those people, and those jobs are well paying."

Biggs added most job openings directed at the two-year school are paying what the students would hope or expect to earn.

Internships are a part of what students at Ivy Tech and Trine use to get that full-time position.

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Friday, February 3, 2012

Obama Says College Costs Must Be Cut

College debt is getting unreal

This article was reprinted with permission from

In just over half an hour, President Barack Obama laid out aspects of his plan to make higher education more affordable while speaking to 3,000 students at the University of Michigan Jan. 27.

For those perseverant enough to get tickets, the wait was worth it.

“I didn’t think I’d get a chance to do this again,” said U-M mechanical engineering student Kyle Taylor, who stood 10 hours in line overnight outside the Student Union for tickets to see the president speak.

Deleise Cole Wilson, a recent college graduate, had the same mindset.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime for me,” she said.

She said she wanted to hear Obama’s plan for dealing with student debt, but just to get the chance to see the president, whom she voted for in the 2008 election and plans to do so again in the upcoming election, was enough.

“He could sing, he could talk, he could do whatever,” she said. “He has a free pass with me.”

Before the speech, Sen.Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, stressed the importance of higher education and the need for a federal plan to address its rising costs.

“We can’t have students coming out of college owing more on their tuition debt than if they bought a house,” she said. “We’ve got to continue to focus on bringing down the cost of college.”

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Campus Career Centers Struggling

Why it's tough to be a campus carer center today


It doesn’t take much looking around online to see colleges and their career centers are taking some heat right now. Just last week, marketing guru and thought-leader, Seth Godin, wrote this intense blog post about the ‘coming melt-down of higher education.’

Not to mention, there are some sobering job search statistics students (and their tuition-paying parents) are only now coming to realize.

FACT: College & University Customers Aren’t Happy

Many schools are being heavily criticized for turning out students both in debt and unprepared to build their careers. Interestingly, a survey we conducted over the last year showed a clear disconnect between students and their campus career centers (FYI – Attend the webinar listed below to get access to the survey data). Moreover, I regularly hear from students who feel their college’s career center isn’t effective. I’ve even had one graduate tell me she will never, ever give any money to her alma mater, an Ivy League school, because she feels she over-paid for her degree. With this growing sentiment, colleges (and more importantly, their career center staff) will face increased resentment and criticism. To sum it up, the customers of the college and university system aren’t too happy – and they are forming an angry mob.

Uninformed = Misguided Blame

Unfortunately, to a certain degree, the blame is getting placed on the wrong party. Many people don’t realize campus career centers work on tight budgets and lean staffs. For some, hosting job fairs and charging employers to attend was their largest stream of income. Now, thanks to the recession, this source has weakened, resulting in a dramatic decrease in available funds for up-to-date tools and resources that could help their students. And, let’s not forget all those unemployed alumni who are now banging on their doors too. In short, campus career centers have more people to help, and less money to do it.

QUESTION: How do you fight back when:

• Your image is tarnished.
• Your clients are in desperate need of help.
• You don’t have the funds to fix it.

Like any business short on money and resources, I believe campus career centers can identify and leverage their unique currency to upgrade their offerings and stature. In fact, I predict the colleges and universities who see this as an opportunity will actually be able to take advantage of the situation.

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Thursday, October 27, 2011

College Grads Facing Tough Choices

Job seekers that need to work even harder

Reprinted with permission from


As the Class of 2011 graduates from college and joins the ranks of millions of other Americans desperate for work, there are several things to keep in mind for these latest members of the Austerity Generation.

The term, which implies a severe reduction in the standards of living affecting a generation of people, was last widely used during the Great Depression. The often bare and meager existence many young Americans suffered under during the 1930s shaped them and the "stability-at-all-costs" society they would later build in the 1950s.

While the situation currently is nowhere near as dire as it was in the 1930s, the collapse of the job sector, home foreclosures and creeping inflation of basic necessities are throwing many in their 20s for a loop. Promised freedom, prosperity and security as children by Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Bush Senior and Bill Clinton, many of us have now grown jaded and cynical as young adults when these false promises unraveled under Presidents George Bush Junior and Barack Obama.

The post-9/11 easy credit bubble fueled our fantasies of a bigger home, a newer car and a stable middle-class career, while simultaneously popping them as the scheme came undone in 2008.

We have stability now, but in the guise of the same nonimproving numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics in unemployment and inflation we have had for over a year now. With several more bubbles – college tuition, government bonds and even the American dollar itself – to come down the pike, the time to wait for change has passed us. To borrow a phrase from Mahatma Gandhi, "we must be the change we wish to see in the world."

Many current and former West Virginia University students are adapting to the changing situation instead of letting it change them. Chris Liddle was formerly one of the Class of 2011 at WVU, but in a situation becoming more and more common, has had to delay graduation and transfer back home to a local college because of financial difficulties.

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Not so fast, aspiring nurses

Nursing school students encounter unexpected difficulty in finding work after graduation.

Armine Khudanyan left college in 2009 ready for a career in nursing. But despite hearing for years about a nursing shortage, what she and her fellow Cal State Los Angeles nursing graduates found was a bunch of closed doors.

"In my graduating class there were 10 of us," said Khudanyan, 30, a native of Armenia who lives in Glendale. "Right out of school only three of us were able to get jobs. A lot of hospitals were not hiring, especially new grads."

Through a Verdugo Workforce Investment Board program funded by federal stimulus money, Khudanyan landed a job she loves in the emergency room at Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Center.

The workforce board pays half the costs for hospitals to train new nurses, said Don Nakamoto, labor market specialist for the agency. The board has spent roughly $250,000 to subsidize the salaries of about 40 nurses during their 12- to 16-week training periods at Glendale Memorial, Glendale Adventist Medical Center, Providence St. Joseph Medical Center and Verdugo Hills Hospital.

Kristin Anderson, senior health care recruiter at Glendale Memorial, said the hospital has added 10 nurses to its nursing corps of about 400 through the program.

In recent years, hospitals have been hard-pressed to pay training expenses, and many have turned to temps or launched national and even international nurse recruiting efforts, Nakamoto said.

"The public perception is that there is a nursing shortage and anyone who comes out of school has multiple job offers," Nakamoto said. But a few years ago, "bottlenecks started developing. It was happening throughout the country."

Paul Celuch, vice president of human resources at Verdugo Hills Hospital, said the high cost of training nurses have contributed to the bottleneck.

Decisions by many experienced nurses to extend their working careers because of the recession's impact on retirement accounts or their spouses' jobs has also kept the job market tight, he added.

Mike Dacumos, 25, said he was surprised at what h
appened after he earned his nursing degree last year.

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Impact of High Unemployment on Young Americans

Job prospects analyzed

This post was written by Tom Pauken and was reprinted with permission from


National unemployment in November rose to 9.8 percent. With national unemployment hovering in the 10 percent range, an increasing number of analysts, pundits and economists are asking whether these high rates of unemployment in the U.S. are here to stay. As grim as the overall national numbers are, the situation is even worse for young Americans.

Unemployment among teenagers is at 24.6 percent, nearly double what it was 10 years ago. For those 19 to 24-years-old, unemployment is 15.6 percent compared with 6.8 percent in 2000. Even college graduates are finding it hard to land jobs. Unemployment for those with bachelor’s degrees rose in November to a 30-year high of 5.1 percent.

Prospects are not getting brighter for recent college grads, many of whom are burdened with tens of thousands of dollars of debt upon finishing school. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, a new survey from the Collegiate Employment Research Institute shows that only 43 percent of employers who hired college graduates from the class of 2010 are certain they will do so again for this year’s graduates. Another Journal story noted that the percentage of business-school graduates receiving job offers is slightly improved from last year but still far below what it was just a few years ago. The director of career services for Pepperdine University's business school was quoted as saying that hiring is “dramatically down from 2007 and 2008 ... nowhere near where we were in the past.”

Graduates used to leave school and enter the workforce by taking entry-level positions that were ample, thanks primarily to a vibrant private sector. Those jobs placed them on a steady career path that gave them opportunities for advancement and professional development. But these entry-level positions have begun to disappear as private businesses have drastically scaled back their hiring of new employees. While small businesses create a majority of new jobs, they are hiring far less now than they have in the past. Privately held firms with fewer than 500 employees have added an average of 35,000 net jobs a month in 2010 compared to 143,000 in 2006 and 79,000 in 2007. Fewer jobs being created in the private sector means less in the way of employment opportunities for young Americans.

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Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Fourth of July!


Whether you're barbecuing outside or spending some time with family and friends, we at New Grad Life wish you a very happy Fourth Of July!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Job Market Looking Up For Grads

College grads stepping into a better economy

Reprinted with permission from


In between finishing her marketing classes before graduation, Dana Mullins is getting a feel for her new job as marketing director at Polk's Meat Co.

Mullins, 22, will graduate May 13 with a bachelor's degree in marketing from the University of Southern Mississippi. After this, she will step into her role on a full-time basis.

Mullins joins graduates across the nation in entering a better job market than last year's graduates.

According to a report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, Mullins and her 2011 classmates should be able to find a job.

Employers plan to hire 19.3 percent more recent graduates this year, the report said. The association surveyed 174 schools from February through April.

Eric Williams, who will graduate May 14 from William Carey University with a master's degree in forensics science, has a different story. The Magee native already has a bachelor's degree in biology and said the job search has been a bit daunting.

He said he received a book from Student Support Services that helped him along and gave him tips but he still hasn't heard from potential employers.

"I'm confident I will find a job," he said. "Now it's about who you know and the economy has the jobs slim. With my major, it's hard to find a job."

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Monday, May 16, 2011

College Grad Stays Positive And Makes A Difference

An ambitious young job seeker

Reprinted with permission from


STARKVILLE, Miss.--Some recent college graduates may be shaken by the national economy, but Ali Borazjani of Starkville isn't one of them.

Borazjani, who received a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering last weekend, was among some 2,400 spring graduates of Mississippi State.

Borazjani has many reasons to feel optimistic about the future. In February, he became chief scientific officer of Innometrix, a biomedical device company he created with Benjamin C. "Ben" Weed, a biomedical engineering doctoral student at the university. Weed, of Huntsville, Ala., serves as the company's chief operations officer.

As part of their business, Borazjani has filed paperwork related to a patent pending on a medical device to help women predict the onset of pelvic organ prolapse, a disease with symptoms including incontinence. Additionally, the two are working with a nonprofit start-up organization, Global Solutions in Reproductive Health Care, to help provide medical supplies to South African hospitals and medical clinics.

A Starkville High School graduate, Borazjani will be juggling all these projects as he begins study this fall at the Cleveland (Ohio) Clinic, one of the nation's top hospitals. Along with the entrepreneurial ventures, he plans to complete a doctorate and also become a physician.

Asked about thoughts on his future career, the young researcher and businessman had no hesitation in expressing optimism for the field of biomedical engineering.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Student Loans: Parents signing on for them?

Students get financial reinforcements


Many families are making plans to pack up the belongings of their recent high-school graduates and move them off to college. The experience of life on campus is exciting and provides many opportunities for growth.

But if listening to the sobering stories of the 2010 graduates from universities across the country are any indication of what’s ahead, parents as well as the students would do well to seriously consider exactly what they’re getting into. Research tells us that the job market for graduates is not promising, except for those in a few selected areas of study.

Signing on the line for student loans is not difficult. The terms of the loan may be explained but the official-sounding language can be confusing to the student and to the parent. This is actually the best time to really think through what would happen if things didn’t work out as planned.

It is a fact that close to half of the students enrolled in college do not graduate. What’s more concerning is that often the parents have co-signed for loans covering college expenses with the ‘understanding’ that the student will be responsible for repayment once they graduate.

If that doesn’t happen, parents may be shocked to learn that they indeed will be the ones re-paying that loan. Defaults have a serious impact on the parent’s credit scores.

It is not unusual for parents to have several student loans to repay for more than one child. These loans may come due at a point in their lives when it’s going to be extremely difficult for them as they’re trying to save for their own retirements.

Four-year and six-year degree programs are no longer a guarantee of a job. In fact, geographical location, competition from other candidates and a sour economy means graduates are faced with few prospects for employment. It’s disheartening when they realize that those loans, so easy to sign for, are now coming due.

Recently, Minnesota Public Radio posed the question to listeners: would you go deeply into debt for a college education? Noting that graduates from Minnesota colleges and universities in 2008 carried an average student debt of more than $25,000, they asked for honest feedback.

Some of the responses from recent graduates: “I am sitting on $50,000 in debt from undergraduate and graduate studies. I have 18 months left on my program. My debt will be somewhere near $65,000.” Another response: “I borrowed $250,000 in student loans on the way to my doctorate at St. Thomas;” “I am on a 25-year repayment plan. I will be free of my student loans when I am 52 years old.”

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