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May 12, 2016
Graduates around the country are receiving diplomas and sending out résumés. An article this week described how job prospects differ greatly depending on whether you graduated from college or high school — or not at all. We asked some recent graduates to share their job-hunting experiences with us.
These are some of their stories:
‘I’ve had at least 40 interviews of varying types.’
NATALIE AUGUSTINE, 21.
Graduated from Penn State
Since I’m taking a more untraditional route for a psychology degree and going into business rather than on to graduate school, I’ve been in the process of searching for a job using online job boards and recruiting firms since last December. It’s been quite a long journey. I’ve had at least 40 interviews of varying types (from phone to Skype to in person), but hopefully all my hard work will pay off soon! I’m looking to start a job within human resources in the next few months, preferably in New York City.
‘I can’t even begin to explain the amount of weight that’s been lifted off my shoulders.’
CAMMI CLEMENT, 18, Piqua, Ohio.
Graduating from Upper Valley Career Center’s HVAC/R program
My job search was a bit different than a lot of other high school students’. I didn’t have to do a lot of searching. In fact, the employers came to me. I was offered a job shadow for Emerson Climate Technologies based in Sidney, Ohio. After touring the facility for the day, I was given the opportunity to be an apprentice. I jumped on that offer as quick as I could. My first day was June 1, 2015. I mostly worked with the older employees so that I could get a feel of how the equipment ran and operated. Not too long after that, I was able to maintain, modify and tear down compressors all on my own.
After almost a year of working at Emerson, I was offered a full-time position as a buildup technician after high school. Not only was I offered a full-time position, but they also offered to reimburse me for my college tuition. I can’t even begin to explain the amount of weight that’s been lifted off my shoulders. I’ve always wondered how I was going to be able to pay for my college years, not to mention the amount of debt that would be staring me on the face. It is such a relief that I won’t have to worry about what most 18-year-olds coming out of high school do, and for that I am grateful. Now I will be able to work full time while I attend school during the evening.
‘I didn’t know I was being interviewed.’
JULIAN GILYARD, 22, New York.
Graduating from Wake Forest University
One of the truest statements is that there is no template to get a job out of college. At the beginning of junior year, I began to have an interest in finance. At my school, the business school, which I am not a part of, is separate from the school of arts and sciences. Through the grapevine, I heard that U.N.C. was holding a breakfast with UBS in Chapel Hill to meet with students, so I woke up at 4 a.m. and drove to Chapel Hill to meet with members of UBS. There I incidentally met UBS strategist Dylan Stamer. At the time, he basically taught me everything I knew about finance in 45 minutes. Following our encounter, he told me if I was ever in N.Y.C. to stop by the office.
Like an eager student, three weeks later, I tagged along with the finance club to their “Wake on Wall Street” trip and flew up to N.Y.C. When we stopped by UBS, Dylan greeted me and took me to the trading floor. From there, he asked me to step into a room and told me that people were going to meet me. For the next five hours, I sat down working on puzzlers, finance topics and math problems. My perception was that I was just meeting people; I didn’t know I was being interviewed. By the end of the last conversation, I was offered an internship position for my junior year summer. After interning for UBS in the summer of my junior year, I was offered a full-time position in N.Y.C. to start upon graduation.
‘I had no work experience, didn’t have my high school diploma.’
JUNAID ABDUL KADER, 23, Staten Island, N.Y.
Graduated with G.E.D.
I started looking for my first job when I was 18 years old. I had trouble finding a job since I had no work experience, didn’t have my high school diploma, and I was extremely shy and lacked self-esteem. When looking for a G.E.D. program online, I found Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow. I joined the program and it helped me prepare for the G.E.D. test, develop customer service and public speaking skills, and build my self-confidence. Through the program I got my G.E.D. and an internship at Burberry, and they ended up hiring me full time, which is how I got my first job. From that job, I ended up doing customer service for airlines at J.F.K. I currently work for Aircraft Service International Group and am stationed at Etihad Airways, where I greet and check in passengers and help passengers board their flights at the gate.
‘For me the job process was much smoother than I expected.’
MUQADDAS IBRAHIM, 22, Portland, Ore.
Graduating from Wake Forest University
My family immigrated from Afghanistan in 2002. For me the job process was much smoother than I expected. I attended the annual career fair at Wake Forest and had the opportunity to speak to companies I was interested in. Later that day, I was contacted by Dish Network and Abercrombie & Fitch recruiters. By mid-October, I had completed multiple in-person, phone and Skype interviews. I was flown to both headquarters for final in-person interviews with upper management. In November, I was given offers from both companies, but I chose to take the business analyst position with Abercrombie because of its reputable training program and it aligned with my career goals and interests. I’ll be starting on June 27 in Columbus, Ohio.
‘Nobody would ever consider hiring me before.’
EDUARDO EVANGELISTA, 24, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Graduated with G.E.D.
“I didn’t finish high school and started looking for a job when I was 19 years old. I asked at all the businesses in my neighborhood if they were hiring, but nobody would give me a job. A friend told me that if I had trouble finding a job I should go to Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow, and they would help me find a job and get my G.E.D. Through the program I got my G.E.D., and they also taught me how to prepare for an interview, dress well and be on time for work. Having a G.E.D. definitely made the job search easier since nobody would ever consider hiring me before I got that. After I got my G.E.D., Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow helped me get my first job at Citarella supermarket and then helped me find my current job at Sims Municipal Recycling, where I work as a quality control specialist.”