Monday, February 23, 2009

Postpartum Collegian

Maria Ventura

As I sit here at my desk in my cramped bedroom, I still have not come to realize that my days as a collegian are over. I have been fresh out of college for no more than a month and already I have been given stern lectures, like demands from my parents to find a job other than Target:

"You need to act like an adult, not a college student."

"Your priorities are not straight."

"You have a degree, now go use it."

Not only that, but now I have to pay rent and to let go of my life at CSULB. I made life-long friends and joined some amazing student organizations as a student. I never realized that it would be so difficult for me to transition out of college. I understand where my parents are coming from in a way. Yes, I do have to transition from being a student to an adult and enter the realm of the real world, but I also feel that once I have left school, the friends I made will no longer be there. Maybe it’s all in my head. Who knows.

I never thought that looking for a job would be difficult. I have an idea what I want to do for a career but I decided not to pursue grad school right away and am left finding a job unrelated to my degree in sociology. Sometimes I wonder why I didn’t major in business management or marketing because maybe then I would be better qualified for jobs. I feel that having a Liberal Arts degree limits me to jobs that I am not eligible for. A variety of jobs require 2-3 years of office experience and in some cases, a certification of typing speed? My typing is inadequate. It’s a Catch-22: how am I supposed to get an entry-level job in an office if I don’t have experience?
During the first week that I spent looking for jobs, I was completely unmotivated; I didn’t want to look. I had the stubborn and naïve mentality that a job would just fall on my plate. Well, another week passed, I got motivated and checked out some openings for social workers at some hospitals. I found that a bachelor’s degree in sociology did not make me eligible for the positions. On a given day, I spent about five hours on the computer searching for jobs. Damn.

Then I realized that if I want to find a job, then I need outside resources. I decided to go to the Career Development Center on campus. The counselors there were helpful and their Beach Link job search-engine helped me find a list of potential jobs. Here’s a word of advice to those seniors who plan to go straight to work after graduation: plan ahead at least six months, create a resumé, and practice writing cover letters. Take advantage of the Career Development Center at Brotman Hall. There are a variety of helpful tools to assist a student searching for a job, from mock interviews to scheduled on-site interviews with campus-sponsored companies like Target. They also have workshops that show students how to write resumés and search for fellowships and scholarships. Alumni are granted one full year of free services.

With luck, I was finally called in for an interview at a vocational nursing school. At first I thought "How can I work here? This school is unknown to most people." It was tiny and family-run. The first interview went great and I was called in for a second interview; I have yet to be notified if I have the admissions representative job. I was just happy that I had an interview after two weeks of searching.

The following day I was called for another interview at a life insurance company located by the Long Beach Airport. Supposedly the employer found my resumé on It sounded like a good opportunity and I thought I would probably make bank. I went to the interview and it was going rather well until the interviewer asked if I owned a car. He said I would need a car because I would be visiting clients at their homes. Well, there went another great opportunity down the drain.

Now I am back at square one and hoping that any replies are nearby and that it will not require a driver’s license. I know I need one, I mean, it’s long overdue. I have been practicing but need to let go of that fear of driving or I’ll never get it, hold back my career and limit myself from great opportunities.

This might be the most challenging year of my life.

No comments: