Life after college has begun early

For the past several weeks, I have been applying for jobs like crazy, like most seniors getting ready to work in life after college. Mostly I have been looking for public relations jobs in sports (I know as a journalism major, I am crossing over to the dark side) because I feel I will be doing something I enjoy while still advancing my career. I’ve been scouring several employment Web sites that many people use and others that are more specialized in different areas.

Because I was looking for a specific job in a competitive sports field, I found that I was not getting that many responses and it was likely because of many factors not limited to my work experience, graduating from college and other qualifications. Quickly I was beginning to feel that there is no hope out there and maybe it would take a while to find a position that was ideal for me and the hiring party.

So I decided to broaden my search and look for more entry level positions. Luckily I finally got a call from a company in Whittier after applying to the job through careerbuilder.com. The call came out of nowhere and I have to admit I thought I faired little chance in landing the job since they were looking for someone to fill the position soon. Still the human resources representative was able to schedule me an interview with her to see how I would fit in with them.

Surprisingly I came into the interview pretty calm and controlled. I was confident that I could do the job but I would have to ask to work part-time until I graduated. First I had to take a few writing tests that quizzed my knowledge of copy editing and writing basic press releases. After answering her questions pretty handily, I knew I had left an impression on her and I was invited for a second interview with the general manager.

I have to admit that I came into the second interview a little more nervous. The general manager had the hiring power and I knew it would be a matter of being able to adjust to my schedule and giving the impression that I would be willing to get the job done. As I sat in my car extremely early for my interview, I called a close friend to get my mind off things and enter worry-free.

The interview ended up going pretty well and three days later, I was officially offered the position. We were able to finalize my salary and schedule details to end with something that was fair to everyone. Last Tuesday was my first day and so far things have been going pretty smoothly but that’s not enough time to make a fair assessment yet. Still I anticipate that I am there for a reason and I think it should be a good working relationship. I do feel very lucky right now because of the stress relief.

In the end, I guess I have a few suggestions to the rest of my fellow seniors looking for jobs. When I was looking for jobs, I never really lost hope. I always had a positive attitude. We will soon be university graduates which still puts us ahead of many others applying for the same jobs. So keep that in mind. Next is to look for broader jobs and not as specific to the field you generally want to work. Essentially my plan is to gain experience with this company and hope it can translate into a more lucrative, advanced position later in my career.

Finally, do not limit yourself to where you apply or how much you apply. I know a lot of us are looking for that ideal job but look at different Web sites and places. I never thought a site like careerbuilder could be the ticket to landing a job but that just proves anything works nowadays. It might just take a little confidence, luck, a bit of broadening and searching on unlikely places to find a job that fits the profile. So far, so good I have to say.

Galo Pesantes, a senior journalism major, is editor in chief of the Campus Times. He can be reached by e-mail at gpesantes@ulv.edu.

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