From a young age, we fantasize about being adults—living on our own, making our own money and not having to listen to nagging parents. In high school, we began counting down the days until graduation, and college is no different. But some students find out that the real world is much harder than they expected.
Tony Benson graduated from the University of West Georgia in the summer of 2014 with a B.S. in Mass Communications. Benson increased his popularity on campus when he started selling wings and fries to students for five dollars (Tony B’s Wings). He has used this same ambition and drive to start his future post-West Georgia.
“Yes, I have a job, but it’s not my dream job. I just have to network and keep working hard,” said Benson. “I honestly feel that it is all about who you know.”
Though Benson has a job, there are several college graduates unemployed or forced to work jobs that do not require a degree. In an article published in early 2014 by PRWeb, 83% of 2014 graduates do not have a job lined up post-graduation. It also states that about 73% of students are actively looking for a job.
“What caught me off guard was how hard it was to find a job, but I put a little blame on myself,” said Benson.
In order for students to successfully acquire the career they want, they may need to have years of experience. This is why students are urged to begin searching for internships in order to obtain as much experience as possible.
“The hardest part about applying is that a lot of jobs want you to have experience and you are applying against others who may have a much stronger résumé and much more experience than you,” said Benson.
Benson suggests that college advisors should do more when preparing students for their future and not just assisting with registration. He also suggests that students visit Career Services to assist them in their search.
“Students need to visit their Career Services center at their college. It is a vital tool into finding a career and networking,” said Benson.
Another struggle graduates face is their living situation. Many grads move back in with their parents because they do not have substantial funds. Others have roommates until they are financially able to live on their own.
“I moved back in with my dad after graduation to save money,” Benson said. “I’ll be getting an apartment with my brother soon. He just graduated from college as well.”
Some suggestions for preparing for life after graduation include: looking for careers several months prior to graduation, saving as much money as possible while obtaining your degree and practicing your interview skills by using online resources and counseling opportunities offered at UWG.