Monday, August 24, 2009

I found this on the Business Week made me feel better about my post-grad predicament. My many close friends who are in the same boat, this article is for you :)

Don't Be A Snob When It Comes To A Job

Posted by: Lindsey Gerdes on July 07

The Sunday Styles section of the New York Times had an articletitled “Say Hello to Underachieving” about the many undergrads and recent grads who are unable to get an internship or entry-level position this summer and are sitting around the house or are instead, gasp, taking part-time, rather unglamorous positions.

The article brings up some very salient points about the challenges, and frustrations, of looking for work in a really tough economy (for instance, the difficulties of moving back in with the parents if you can’t find a job. Trust me, I know about that one from experience.)

I do want to stress that those students who have found other sources of income, like Erin McAuliffe, a Bowdoin student featured in the article who is working in an amusement park this summer, have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. As a matter of fact, they might even have an advantage over many peers, including those who found more “acceptable” white-collar internships that are unpaid and include a lot of coffee carrying.

I recently wrote about the lack of internships out there and suggested other options, stressing that there's absolutely nothing wrong with flipping hamburgers, working retail, or lifeguarding for a summer if that golden internship opportunity doesn't pan out (or doesn't pay and you can't afford not to work.)

First of all, in many instances you can learn extremely valuable pointers about customer service by working in a service industry--not to mention get a whole new appreciation of how challenging this work can be. I worked retail one summer, saved some money, and learned a lot; it wasn't great--the store manager was pretty awful and it was very depressing to work in a "hip" clothing store that didn't even make garments to fit a size 10 woman--but it was a valuable experience, and to be honest, I probably could have used more of them before starting in my chosen field. It toughened me up and forced me to learn how to deal with all different personality types--as well as demanding customers.

The NYT, however, notes the permanent damage getting off to a slow start can do to a career:

There may be reason for concern. Students who enter the job market during a recession can see their wages lag behind comparable students who graduated in better times for as long as 15 years, according to a recent study by Lisa B. Kahn, an economist at the Yale School of Management.

But I can say this. I too graduated into a downturn in 2003 and many of us didn't come out with jobs. (As a matter of fact, we wore placards spelling out U-N-E-M-P-L-O-Y-E-D to our school's annual "wacky walk" tradition before commencement.)

Two of my friends, for instance, both with Stanford degrees and impressive GPAs, couldn't find work and temporarily settled for part-time positions at Anthropologie instead. And I can honestly tell you five years later that both of them are doing great and this less-than-traditional start to their careers didn't hold them back in the slightest.

They got some good experience instead of sitting on their hands--and even had a Hilary Duff sighting in the process. So all hope is not lost, Class of 2009. Just try not to sit around watching the 'tube if you can help it.

Phantom Phantasmic Fun :)

Most of you reading this probably know that I am a die-hard Phantom of the Opera fan. My first exposure was with the movie when it first came out in theaters. It was love at first sight for me. Fine male specimens who can also sing mixed with Andrew Lloyd Webber genius...I was done-for :) As a lover of the movie, I naturally have wanted to see the Broadway version for awhile. So when a most beloved friend gave me a ticket to go to the show in the cities I was BLOWN AWAY! It was an incredible evening. I had an excuse to wear my new blck dress I got on sale and spend more than five minutes on my hair :) The drive up was filled with classic 90s hits from the Backstreet Boys to Britney Spears. The company was the best (as you can see from the above photo), even though someone had to leave just a few days before :( . As for the show itself, the Phantom was beyond words. I can't get enough of his deep strong manly voice. Our seats were amazing and hearing the live orchestra and singing was a once-in a lifetime experience. TOTALLY AWESOME! One of my favorite things was seeing the different sets. At one point the audience was actually "backstage" looking at Christine bowing after her "Think of Me number". Very cool :) #9.... CHECK!