It’s your senior year of college, or perhaps you’re about to finish a graduate degree. You’re one step closer to earning well-deserved paychecks at your first post-school job. But you’re not sure what your next steps should be. Maybe you don’t know what you want to do or where to apply. Maybe you’re concerned about taking a job that could derail a career trajectory you’ve dreamed of. Or maybe you realized during college that you’re actually interested in work that isn’t related to the field you’re earning your degree in. What do you do now? First things first, don’t panic!
I’ve always loved history and museums more than the average kid. School field trips to the Smithsonian were more than just a chance to get out of classes for me; they were a chance to learn and explore my passions in a fun and interesting way.
I thought that my fascination with museums would be a side interest, a hobby, and nothing more, until this summer when I joined Andrea, T4C’s Chief Java Junkie, during her interview this summer with the chief curator of the International Spy Museum, Dr. Alexis Albion.
While the journalistic craft can appear narrow with its heavy focus on writing and producing for the print or broadcast news media, there’s no question that as a college major it helps equip students with a diverse skill set that carries weight in countless careers. As a soon-to-be graduate of the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism who realizes traditional, hard news journalism isn’t for me, I used to find it difficult to imagine realistic and alternative career paths.
While job prospects for today’s college graduates have improved in the last decade, since the Great Recession of 2008, securing a job out of college remains a challenge for many graduating seniors, like me. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), the nation’s full-time employment rate for recent graduates hovers around 58%. That means 2/3rd of us remain unemployed or under-employed. To address this problem, and provide graduating college seniors with additional caffeinated career advice, Time4Coffee held its first ‘Caffeinated Career Mini-Summit’ on April 17th at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Around 60 students gathered in Knight Hall’s Eaton Theater with standing room only. The summit offered real talk, helpful career hacks and open mic Q & A with 10 seasoned professionals in various fields. The 90-minute event featured two panels, moderated by Chief Java Junkie Andrea Koppel. The first panel was entitled: “Why Entry-Level Jobs Don’t Suck & How To Crush Yours When You Land It”.
If you’re a graduating senior who’s overwhelmed by the job application process, worried about your career prospects or unsure what field is right for you, breathe — you have time to figure it out. Sure, outside of extracurriculars and other internship or job opportunities, we’ve spent the vast majority of our lives in the classroom. And when graduation day comes, we’ll no longer wait for a bell to signal the end of our days. Then, we’ll be expected to enter unfamiliar territory and navigate the waters of adult life on our own. Trust me, I know what I'm talking about. I, too, will be walking on stage to get my diploma, in just a few weeks, as a May 2019 graduate of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland. And, as of right now, I don't know what I'm going to be doing post-graduation.
For aspiring writers and news aficionados, breaking into the field of journalism can look and feel like a formidable feat. If this sentiment applies to you, you’re not alone. The barriers to entry in the journalism profession dissuade many students and young professionals from following a traditional news career trajectory.But, with the world of journalism ever-evolving, we can take solace in good news: you don’t have to major in journalism to become a journalist. In fact, as several of the more than a dozen journalists interviewed on Time4Coffee have shared, your experiences outside of the classroom, through extracurricular activities and internships, can also equip you with sufficient knowledge, skills and tools to break into this competitive field.Spencer Bokat-Lindell, associate editor at Axios, an information news outlet founded by a team of Politico employees in 2016, is a journalist whose career quest proves that there’s no black-and-white way to kickstart a career in journalism. As it turns out, Spencer had an early interest in journalism, but only as an extracurricular activity, when he wrote for his hometown publication Montclair Magazine in high school and went on to serve as managing editor for Yale’s The New Journal.Spencer graduated in 2017 from Yale University, where he initially declared a major in chemistry and later switched to French. With a slew of diverse interests, Spencer dipped his toes into many fields, including spending the summer after his freshman year as a prep cook for fine-dining restaurant Colicchio & Sons, he shared in Time4Coffe episode #34.
By Abigail Tausig, GWU, junior As a junior in college sleep is at the bottom of my to-do list. The sleep patterns of most of my peers and I at George Washington University in D.C., consist of late nights out or in the library, followed by early mornings at various classes, internships, and jobs. The read more>>>
Last summer, I was exactly where you are right now — scavenging the Internet to find any sort of advice as to how to make my transition into my first year of college less stressful. I had heard a bunch of advice from older friends and family, but I really wanted to know the few read more>>>
When I was in high school, I applied to 2 colleges I REALLY liked. I ultimately chose to apply early decision to one of them, and I was accepted. When I came home after my first semester in college, all I could think about was getting back to school. At that point, I believed I read more>>>
Maybe it’s the story-teller in me, or maybe it’s the 10 year old still inside me who made a website to save polar bears screaming to get out again, but sitting in that interview room with Raj Kumar, the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Devex, made me want to stop everything I’m doing and just …save read more>>>
STRESS. Everyone has experienced it and nobody likes it. In fact, 20% of teenage males and 30% of teenage females have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder– that’s over 6 million Americans (National Institute of Mental Health). Sometimes it feels as though we can’t control the tasks piling up on our to-do list, whether it read more>>>
I don’t know about you but college brought on a whole different kind of stress than I was ever prepared for. Finals week felt like running a marathon 5 times in a row and every other minute was spent struggling between the question of studying, eating, socializing, or sleeping. Having picked up in mid-September 2017 read more>>>
Growing up, people are exposed to a variety of “normal” jobs/careers; everyone’s heard of doctors, lawyers and teachers. But, what about those jobs that just don’t get enough publicity? Like a professional iceberg mover or a dog food taste tester… Here’s a list — in no particular order– of the Top 5 Most Random Professions: read more>>>
Have you ever thought how much easier your life would be if you were a superhero? I know I have. Think of all the great superhero powers there are! Flight, invisibility, extraordinary strength and one of my favorites, the ability to breath underwater like Aquaman. Unfortunately, it’s not realistic for humans to be superheroes but read more>>>
2) Refusal of the Call: Often when the call is first received, the future heroine initially refuses to respond. This may be from a sense of duty or obligation, fear, insecurity, a sense of inadequacy, or any of a range of reasons that work to hold the person in her is or her current circumstances. read more>>>
6) The Ordeal: The critical moment in every story and a major source of magic in heroic myth. According to Christopher Vogler (2007), “The hero stands in the deepest chamber of the inmost cave and faces a direct confrontation with her greatest fear. No matter what the hero came for, it’s Death that now stares read more>>>