A stuttering new grad tries to find a job

I’m sure I can think of a few more college stories over the next few months, but for now, let me move onto the next phase.

During the latter half of my senior year, I started searching for a job. I understood that I wasn’t going to graduate school — so obviously I needed a job.

I had gone to a nice large public university with plenty of job-searching resources. Did I know about this? Probably in the back of my mind. Did I use any of them? Of course not. That would involve going to an office in some building somewhere and … talking to someone.

A bunch of my engineering friends at the time had done co-ops. They had worked somewhere for a summer or a semester, and presumably that company would give them an offer of employment. Since I was busy at the paper — and being its editor — I didn’t do that. I considered it, but then thought it would mess up my chances of being editor. Nevermind that I was an engineering major and not a journalism major.

The other issue was that well, I was a new graduate. And I had no engineering experience. The only thing I could put on my resume was a lame senior project that I had to do for a class. I say it was lame because well, it didn’t really work. My partner and I worked on it alongside some people in the biomedical engineering department. But they didn’t seem to care much for it. And nobody cared if it worked. So we mostly just sat around and did nothing. During the presentation for the project, I stuttered like crazy alongside my partner. But none of the engineering students present seemed to care — you’re an engineer, of course you’re nervous going up in front of people!

Anyway, by now it was 2001, so the Internet was pretty helpful in searching and applying for jobs. So I did. And didn’t hear back from anybody. Of course. Because what does job searching actually entail? Networking. And what does that involve? Meeting people. And talking to them. And following up with phone calls. You see the problem.

The university also hosted job fairs. I did print up my lame one-page resume and go to these. Did I talk to any career counselor about what the hell to do at these things? No, of course not. I remember very well going to a job fair with my resume, going up to a company, and handing it to the lady standing there. I might have said hi. She just sort of took it, and … it was weird and awkward. That’s how I approached my job search in college. It was a little rough.

That summer I graduated (still with no job) and moved back in with my parents. The search continued.

%d bloggers like this: