Economy falls, but recent grads excel

Rachel Polchek

The economy is in poor condition and the job market is tough, but recent Kent State graduates have still been able to land jobs.

WHAT THIS MEANS TO YOU Yesterday we ran a piece explaining how hard it will be for graduates to find jobs. Here are some examples that might lift your spirits.

Alumna Kate Early graduated in May 2008 and is currently working as a loss prevention specialist for Lowe’s. A loss prevention specialist helps to minimize losses within the company.

“Be open-minded. You’re going to have to start at the bottom and work your way up,” Early said. “Find a job that will get you in the door.”

Early’s job search lasted only a couple months. She landed her position with Lowe’s at Kent State’s career fair.

“I think the career fair is one of the best things Kent puts on,” she said. “Build up your resume and network – know people who know people who can help you.”

Alumna Amanda Vasil interned at Akhia Public Relations in Hudson for a full year while finishing her senior year at Kent State. She was hired as an account executive in May 2008 when she graduated.

“Don’t underestimate the power of an internship,” Vasil said. “They get to see what you’re made of. Internships are a great way to prove yourself.”

Recent graduates shouldn’t overlook post-graduation internships, she said.

“It was exciting,” Vasil said. “It was a nice progression. It felt natural to take the full-time position.”

Vasil said to get involved with professional organizations and clubs to increase your chances of landing a job by meeting more people.

“Networking is the best way to get a job,” she said.

These alumnae say they consider themselves to be lucky because their job search was fairly short and painless.

“It’s a hard time to be in the labor market; there are not a lot of jobs, and there are a lot of people out there,” said assistant economics professor Lockwood Reynolds, who specializes in labor economics. “The good news is (the economy) is not getting increasingly worse.”

In an economy like the current one, there’s not one special thing job searchers can do to stand out – except something wrong, Reynolds said.

“Check and re-check résumés and cover letters,” he said. “A mistake could stand out and be the difference.”

Many recent graduates are going to graduate school as an alternate option, Reynolds said.

“This isn’t a bad idea,” he said. “It increases your job opportunity and pay. It also delays when you’re going out and looking for a job.”

Economists are saying the economy will begin getting better during the latter half of this year, Reynolds said.

“The unemployment rate is high. Those who are unemployed need to find jobs before anyone notices the economy is getting better,” he said.

Reynolds’ best piece of advice for recent graduates who are job – searching is this: “Get started early because it’s going to take time. Get your résumé out there, and plan ahead.”

Contact alumni relations and ROTC reporter Rachel Polchek at [email protected].