Jobs increasing source of anxiety for grads

By John Doe

Apprehension among college seniors and graduates is on the rise, according to USA Today.

“What I find most fearsome is finding a job in my field,” Eugene Shin, a senior studying communication, said. “I am more relying on loans than anything else to get by … and school loans are notorious for being rather high.”

Shin said he might be pushed to work out of state or even internationally, which scares him because he said he would prefer to stay in Michigan where his friends are.

Adding to the pressure of an ailing economy, Shin will not receive his diploma until April, although he will walk in December. Oakland University cited the reason as a “computer error,” according to Shin.

“Now any place I apply to for a job, they have to go consult OU just to verify if I can be hired as a B.A. student,” he said.

Shin is currently working as an intern at Community Christian Church in Sterling Heights. His job duties, which include scheduling people, making resources for learning songs available and administrative work, fall under the realm of communication, but Shin said he still worries.

Despite living at his mother’s house in Rochester Hills rent- and bill-free, Shin relies on his student loans not just for his education, but also for food, gas and taking care of the house.

“Almost every moment I think about it,” Shin said. “It’s really more of a concern of how with this economy will I be able to pay back these loans and live debt-free for the most part.”

He is dubious about the tuition increase.

“What I see are seemingly useless additions,” he said, referencing the TV wall in the food court and the construction on the entrance of the Oakland Center.

With the debate coming, he said he wants the GOP candidates to focus on instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in students.

Another student, Andrew Olexa, graduated from OU’s journalism department over a year ago. He had been unsuccessful in his job search until a few months ago in an unrelated field: tech support.

“I wish I would have tried to establish better relationship with my professors,” Olexa said. “I definitely wish that I had gotten a few email addresses and established a few friendships.”

Olexa expressed the need for experience beyond the semester-long internship required of all journalism majors at OU. He said he wishes he had written for The Oakland Post or completed a second internship.

“The companies are saying that they want graduates who can do a little bit of everything,” said Garry Gilbert, the director of  the journalism department.  “It’s no longer enough to just be a really good writer.  They want people who can write a good story, but can also tell a good story through a microphone and then shoot and edit digital video.”

After a year of receiving no phone calls from journalism job leads, Olexa took a position at H&R Block.

“I’m just going to focus on my new job right now, but when work slows down, I’ll be looking at other journalism jobs,” he said. “I had to take what I can get, but I don’t want to give up on my dream just yet.”