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Welcome to the 'Real World" Class of 2013

Welcome to the 'Real World" Class of 2013

Time to find out what happens when people stop being polite, and start getting real: The Real World

If MTV’s iconic show about a bunch of twenty-somethings thrown together and living in the ‘real world’ was really true to life – there would be a lot more boring scenes spent updating resumes and shopping for business casual clothes, than wild nights at the bar.

By the end of the month, most of this year’s undergraduate class of 2013 will have officially been released into the ‘real world,’ and as someone who also falls into the Millennial demographic, I know most of the advice these graduates are getting essentially amounts to – “life’s tough, get a helmet.” According to Forbes, here are a few reasons why that helmet might not be such a bad idea:

  • “Only 39% [of 2010-2012 graduates] say they had a job lined up when they graduated, though 68% report that they are now working full time. Sixteen percent have part-time jobs and 7% say they aren’t working at all. At least that’s a lower rate than the national employment rate of 7.6%.”
  • “Among 2011/2012 graduates, 72% had internships while they were in school, but only 42% say those internships led to jobs.”
  • “Only 16% of [2013] graduating seniors say they have a job waiting for them. Many 2013 grads, 34%, say they are willing to take the first job they are offered.”

Millennials on the job hunt are probably on the receiving end of a lot of generic, vague and impersonal advice, and I know Fusionites can do better than that. I’ve asked them to share some of the best advice they have for new graduates, or the best advice ever given to them, and here’s what they said. This is a wise bunch, so listen up.

“Build your professional network and reputation. Most jobs come through referrals.”

David Worthington

“The best advice I was given was to set realistic goals based on capabilities and work on improving weaknesses.  In short know yourself so you can do a good job of selling yourself.”

Vladimir Spencer

“If you’ve always been curious about a particular job field, don’t be afraid to apply to a position even when you don’t have direct work experience. Your cover letter is the perfect place to showcase your interest in the field, and what you can bring to the table using the skill set you already have. Genuine enthusiasm and a willingness to learn are oftentimes much more valued by employers than someone who is experienced but dispassionate – those two qualities will take you far at a workplace, during the interview and beyond.”

Gabby Cox

“When you do land that interview, try to gain a sense of the workplace culture and how they treat entry-level employees. Is everyone you meet with enthusiastic talking to a potential new team member, or do they just look burnt out or exhausted? The best jobs in the industry I’ve had are the ones where people were passionate about what they did, not just looking for the best paycheck. “

– Allie Tedone

“The best piece of advice I can give this year’s graduating class is to keep an open mind! Most people’s career paths don’t follow what was mapped out during graduation. Future grads should also take advantage of this time to not only explore different industries they’d want to ultimately have a career in, but also explore different types of office environments they thrive in the most.”

-Annie Pham

“Always be on the lookout for cool networking events. MeetUp.com and Skillshare have helped me to go to some awesome events and meet face-to-face with industry people I never would have met otherwise. Sounds basic, but sign up to be on mailing lists for things that interest you and actually open up the emails! Go to events, even if it’s by yourself. Put yourself out there!”

-Michelle Suconick

“Discover what you are good at early and do a lot of it – also don’t be afraid to take risks and try new things.  The market pays a premium for people with hard skills, for example, those related to numbers and tech.  If you are in marketing or PR, the big data explosion presents opportunities to master analytics and other tech that’s involved with marketing; it has been said that the CMO’s tech budget will surpass the CIO’s.”

Bob Geller

“The best piece of advice I can give to this year’s graduating class is to never stop learning.  I’d emphasize that the key to success in today’s rapidly changing business world is really listening and learning.  There is so much out there, but if you want to be a leader of the pack and innovate, its critical for you to read, listen and absorb new information.  Get a subscription to Fast Company, read WIRED, follow key influencers on Twitter, watch TED Talks.  The information that you can glean from these practices can help you become a highly coveted asset to any company.  Keep your finger on the pulse, it will keep the pulse of your career beating strongly.”

Victoria Yarnish

“Although it is 2014 and business operates at lightning speeds, don’t forget to stop and pay attention to the details.  It may sound old school, but if you are interviewing, do your homework on every company you apply to, every person you are interviewing with.  Customize your cover letters, write genuine thank you emails.  Understand the company’s needs and challenges and make a case for what YOU will bring to them.  In a day and age where the talent pool is full of millennials with a sense of entitlement, sweating the small stuff will help you stand out…”

-Asif Husain

“Make an impression – while engaging in conversation, ask about opportunities, challenges, the industry and competition and tie one or all of these items back to some of your experiences. Being able to present your experiences in a way that is relatable to the product/company will leave a lasting impression when you conduct your follow up.”

-Sara Preto

I also asked our graduating intern Nicole to reflect on this important transition in her life…

“As a journalism student, I’ve always been told to be proactive with my writing—writing for the school newspaper and saving clips because they’d be essential in applying for jobs at publications. In general, I’ve learned how important it is to get internships and start early so that I know exactly what I’m getting myself into once I graduate. After all, everyone starts somewhere. I think I can leave St. John’s keeping in mind how important it’ll be for me to create and build relationships with the appropriate connections, and then maintain them.”

-Nicole Santos

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