UCF grads give advice on obtaining jobs in career fields

Jasmyne Sippio (left) teaches one of her students how to make a bowl using pottery clay during a class at Super Awesome Cool Pottery on Feb. 5. Sippio graduated from UCF in spring 2018 with a bachelor's degree in studio art.

The main goal of many college students is to find a job in their respective career fields after graduation.

However, research suggests that some college graduates find it difficult to find these jobs after graduating.

A report by the Strada Institute for Future of Work and Burning Glass Technologies, a company that analyzes the career market, showed that more than 40 percent of college graduates obtain jobs that do not require a degree.

“The long-term impact of graduates with newly minted bachelor’s degrees taking a first job beneath their education and skill level is downright grim,” the report said.

The report also states that a graduate’s first job can either be a pathway to other successful careers or put them in a "roadblock," subjecting them to underemployment. Students who can secure a job in their respective career field after graduation will have no problem in having a productive employment experience in the job market.

“Those who have a first job appropriate to their background almost never fall into underemployment,” the report said.

To some students, it may seem hard to upcoming and recent graduates to find employment in their respective fields. However, recent UCF graduates gave several pieces of advice in regard to working on finding employment.

Jasmyne Sippio, a UCF spring 2018 graduate with her bachelor's degree in studio art, said that she networked in order to ensure her a job in her field. Sippio works as a pottery teacher at Super Awesome Cool Pottery, a company that teaches adults and children how to make pottery.

“I networked to meet people who held the same position as me,” she said.

Sippio also advised that volunteering can help college students land a job in their field after college.

“Volunteer or physically go to places where you would have an interest in working,” Sippio said.

One resource UCF students nearing graduation can use to aid in finding careers related to their degree field is the UCF Career Services Office located in the Career Services and Experiential Learning building on campus.

“UCF Career Services contributes to the university’s goal of offering high quality undergraduate and graduate education and student development by providing centralized, comprehensive and coordinated career development, experiential learning and employer relations programs,” according to its website.

Breeah McCray graduated from UCF in the summer of 2016 with her bachelor's degree in political science and a minor in legal studies. McCray works as a case analyst for the law firm Morgan & Morgan.

McCray said that while she started working on her career early in her freshman and sophomore years of college, she began working with UCF to obtain an internship in her field at the start of her junior year.

“I went through UCF internships and found one related to my field of interest and started working for the firm the next semester,” McCray said.

She says that upon entering her senior year at UCF, she started seeing that having leadership roles in clubs related to her field would help her become "a more well-rounded candidate for employment."

“I became a board member of two international law organizations that are well known in the legal field,” McCray said. “One might have been enough but again, I wanted to stick out as a candidate, so I had to go the extra mile.”

Career Services also offers a few resources and opportunities to help students obtain jobs in their career fields including its major resource for jobs and internships, Handshake.

“Through a free Handshake account, students and alumni can search and apply for part- and full-time jobs, upload resumes, research employers, RSVP for workshops, learn about other career events and schedule an on-campus interview,” the website states.

Fall 2016 alumna Brianna Pollard, who obtained her bachelor's degree in advertising-public relations from UCF, suggested that students struggling to find jobs in their career fields post-graduation should create their own businesses. She works as a junior copywriter for Push Button Productions.

“Use the skills you’ve learned in your field and market yourself," Pollard said. "We don’t teach entrepreneurship enough.”

Pollard urged current students and soon-to-be graduates to network, meet people and most importantly, believe that they can get the job.

“It’s all about who you know,” she said. “Follow up with leads, be persistent and never give up on yourself.”

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