Over the last few months, I have felt very discouraged about the job opportunities I have as a recent graduate. I graduated a little over a year ago and it seems like everywhere I look, people have expectations that someone freshly out of college cannot reach. Those expectations may vary. Family members may expect you to get a job right after you graduate or to immediately get a job above entry level. Employers may expect you to have the skills and at least five years of experience, which is very hard to have as a recent graduate. For that reason, I reached out to Mateo Rosales, a Full Sail University graduate and one of the smartest people I know, to ask him about his experience and his feelings about life after university.
Photo by Lara Rosales
How long ago did you graduate?
Mateo: I graduated almost three months ago on May 10th, 2019.
How is life as a graduate different from life as a student?
M: So far, being a graduate has been very uneventful as I am applying for jobs and exploring different opportunities for my career path going forward. But both my experience as a college student and a recent graduate have been very hectic and fast-paced as I completed my bachelor’s degree within less than two years. However, both experiences have been very exciting and at the same time stressful.
What were your expectations as a graduate? Are they becoming a reality?
M: I was not very sure what to expect after graduation, but I think, unconsciously, at least, I thought that the whole process would be much more fast-paced and “direct." I think I expected to be able to see a much more specific path after graduation. And the reality has been much more abstract where a lot of the opportunities that I have sought out have not transformed into anything. My academic career prepared me for how difficult it would be to get a career in the industry and yet I expected to see results sooner after graduation than I actually have.
How is your job search going and how do you feel about it?
M: My job search has been pretty uneventful and stressful, so far. It has not resulted in any of the opportunities that I was expecting and wishing for right way. And it has been challenging and disheartening at times to see the requirements and expectations of most entry level opportunities which are unrealistic for all recent college graduates I know. However, the few interactions with professionals in the field that I have encountered have taught me that I need to be patient and persevere.
Do you feel your teachers prepared you for the after-university life?
M: I do feel that my teachers always tried to prepare me for the reality of the first few years after graduation. They were able to calm my nerves when re-telling their own professional experiences in the industry. They have also been very open to helping me out beyond graduation by answering any questions I might have and helping me connect with professionals in my area of interest.
What advice would you give to someone who is about to graduate or is in the same situation as you?
M: My main advice would be the same I have been hearing for the last three months since I graduated and even long before then, which would be to be patient and proactive in your search for any opportunities. One thing that I have realized while searching for career opportunities is that the more persistent and active I am, the better results I encounter. Finally, I would also say that sometimes being polite and kind goes a long way.
Photo by Joseph Chan on Unsplash
Like Mateo, so many of us are struggling to find the job we thought we would have or even a job that comes close to what university prepared us for. Applying online, or even reading the requirements, can be very discouraging. Nevertheless, if I have learned something from seeing Mateo’s job hunt, it is to never give up, and apply to everything you see that fits your profile. So, if you are in the same situation we are, polish your resume and apply to every position you have ever dreamed of having .