Economic downturn could affect post-college job searches

Hannah Baker

Hannah BakerNews Editor

The typical plan of an incoming freshman is to get into a good school, choose a major, do well in classes, graduate and then land the job of a lifetime. However, sometimes things do not always go as planned. Several students make it through the first few steps, but once they reach the last step have trouble, and find unemployment waiting for them instead.

Several recent graduates of SDSU have not had the happy ending to their college experience that they might have hoped for.

“I have been going through the application and interview processes for a few months now and just haven’t had any luck so far,” said a 2010 graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in human development.

Another recent graduate, Kari Schmidt, who acquired her degree in consumer affairs, has also faced similar challenges when finding a job after she moved to Denver, Colo.

“I am not currently working anywhere, but I have had a handful of job interviews that seem to be moving in the right direction,” Schmidt said.

Although she had not hoped to be in this position, Schmidt said she was not surprised by it.

“Due to our current economic climate I knew I might face some issues when it came to finding a job, Schmidt said. “I didn’t really understand how severe the job hunt was until I moved to Denver. I have been told in recent interviews that they are looking at hundreds of applicants for one position. I keep working on ways in which I can differentiate myself from other applicants.”

Although some students may be having trouble finding a job, the overall trend of employment in South Dakota looks promising. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, as of June 2010 South Dakota has an unemployment rate of 4.3 percent. This is better than most surrounding states. Minnesota has a rate of 6.8 percent; Nebraska, 5 percent; Wyoming, 6.5 percent and Colorado, 8.3 percent. North Dakota was the only surrounding state with a lower rate of 4.1 percent.

Mary Jo Manning, advertising major from Beresford graduating this December, said she is taking extra precautions before graduation to prepare for any worst-case scenarios.

“I have been checking out jobs online and looking at different ads in the newspaper to get ready for graduation,” Manning said. “If I don’t have a job lined up by the time I graduate I’m looking at doing an internship even though I’ll already be graduated. Lots of employers look at how much experience you have and that would give me an edge.”

As advice, Schmidt said two words: job experience.

“I worked throughout my whole college career as well as experienced a great internship my senior year. In all of my interviewing experience I have been asked 40 questions about my work experience against every 1 question about my education. There are great job opportunities in Brookings for college students, and my advice would be to find a job that complements your chosen career path and gain experience.”

#1.1641238:1284695530.jpg:Unemployment Rate Graph:Unemployment Rate Graph:Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics