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College seniors relying on backup plans



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Student Douglas Woodward looks over his resume while perusing careerbuilder.com, which allows him to make himself known to potential employers and search for jobs of interest. Emily Burwen. (click for larger version)
April 21, 2010
For many graduating college seniors, the fear of not finding work in a tough job market has them mapping out alternative plans as they continue to send out resumes and search job sites.

Janelle Bonvouloir, a communications major at Plymouth State University, plans to send out resumes everywhere and hope for the best.

"I have to try and do that before graduating so hopefully I will get something lined up," said Bonvouloir. "It is just too overwhelming to deal with right now with classes and my internship and preparations for graduation as well. It's very hard to find a balance and get my work done and also plan for my future at the same time."

Bonvouloir is currently a communications intern at the American Red Cross and said she is enjoying the experience very much. As an intern, she writes news releases, updates Web sites, keeps events posted, uses social media sites such as Facebook and helps with event planning. She says she would love to pursue a career similar to this after graduation, but that there are currently no positions available.

In the meantime, there are volunteer opportunities available that Bonvouloir may pursue to keep her foot in the door. If she doesn't find a job come graduation, she plans to keep her summer job at Kohl's until something else comes along that utilizes her degree.

Douglas Woodward, a PSU marketing major, has been using various job search engine sites such as Indeed.com and Monster.com as well as networking sites such as LinkedIn, and personal references too. He has been job searching for the past three weeks and looking for entry level sales positions. He said that he wants a marketing or advertising job that would make use of his degree but that most of these jobs require at least five or more years of experience.

"Sales is a foot in the door opportunity which hopefully later on will lead to a marketing job," said Woodward.

He is currently searching for jobs in the technology industry primarily in the Boston and Andover, Mass., areas because he hasn't had any luck in NH.

Woodward plans to keep his part time job at Radio Shack and may potentially go fulltime if need be until he finds something else.

PSU communications major Kaitlin Hall is looking for a job involving writing or broadcasting, possibly for sports. She recently did an internship at WMUR in Manchester and would like to do something along those lines where she attended various sporting events, did research and helped with editing.

Hall plans to continue on with her current summer job if she does not land a job by graduation. She also plans to talk to her advisor, the head chair of communications, and is planning a visit to the Global Education Office, which offers guidance to graduating seniors.

Ruth DeCotis, associate director of the Global Education Office, said due to the tough job market she has seen more students than usual seek out help from career services this year than in recent years, with 71 more students contacting the center this year than last, for a total so far of 172.

Sarah Stafford, a biology major at University of New England, said she has been applying to random jobs that she's not totally interested in because that's all that is available.

"Ideally I would love to work in the forensics lab for the State of NH, but they aren't hiring right now, so any lab job would be good," said Stafford.

Mike Kashtan, a PSU communications major, wants to be a sports writer. He is experiencing end-of-the-year graduating stress as well, partly because of his gig as editor-in-chief for the Clock, PSU's newspaper.

"With the Clock still running it is hard to pick out 20 or so places to apply for I'm struggling to put out a 60 page paper and that along with fixing up my resume, it is tough," said Kashtan.

Kastan has been applying to various newspaper positions and plans to stop by the Global Education Office for some guidance also.

Emily Bryant is one student who knows where she will be after graduation. The Anchorage, Alaska, native plans to return home after PSU and work at a local hospital there.

"I recently got a call from my previous internship where I was the Communications and Marketing Department intern for a hospital, and they want me to come back," she said.

Bryant will be doing press releases, editing and marketing projects. Although this may not be her dream job, she plans to take it for the meantime until something else comes along.

DeCotis pointed out that while the job market remains tight, the Northeast is one of the few areas where hiring trends are becoming more positive. Industries and sectors hiring in the region include health care, social services, government and sciences and technology.

Garnett Hill
Garnett Hill
Salmon Press
Salmon
Martin Lord Osman
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