Advice for new college students

Tonya graduated college in 2012, double majoring in Journalism and Mass Communication and International Studies. She also has a Certificate in Peace and Conflict Studies.She currently works as a marketing manager for a nationwide company and writes under the alias TK at and

Towards the end of every college senior’s year, senioritis starts to fade, replaced by Real World Panic. Most college students are not lucky enough to graduate with a job in hand. Sure, they might have a good thing going at a local restaurant or grocery store, but rarely will that cover the cost of living expenses and student loans. The world only has six months of mercy, something the loan companies refer to as student loan deferment.

There is only one cure for Real World Panic. These six months are a frantic period of time for recently graduated college students who must find a quality job. Chance are, they will not find their dream job right away, but that is reality. A dream job is in the future; right now, seniors must/have to run with their degrees and make a living for themselves. Here are the steps to get there:

DO NOT Apply for every Job in the World
Most recently graduated college students have the luxury of mobility. They have the ability to move across the country or across the world, if that is what it takes to find the right job. Applying for everything under the sun might sound like a great way to get hired before student loan deferment ends, but it actually has the opposite effect.

The job a college graduate wants may not be a job that wants them. Sometimes, a few more career steps are needed to get there. If every ounce of a job seeker’s effort is put in to apply for that one type of job, not only will they not be hired, they will miss out on many great opportunities.

DO Apply for every Job in Specific Areas
One of the most effective ways to find a job is to narrow the search down to a few key areas. Pick two or three major cities and focus on finding jobs in that area. With the list of job opportunities limited, applying for everything possible makes more sense. A good job seeker will devote most of their attention to the jobs they really want. When those run dry, they will start applying for anything else in those areas they have any chance of qualifying for.

Applying for jobs outside the specific industry a college student wants to work in can seem risky and, for a few industries, it might not be recommended. The hard truth of student loan deferment is that the banks do not care. For many, what is needed upon graduation is a good paying job, any good paying job. A journalism student might find themselves in marketing. An engineer might find a gig teaching community college classes. Accepting a job does not mean a job seeker must stop looking. All it means is that, once student loan deferment ends, they will be ready and able to make their payments.

DO NOT Avoid Internships
Internships can be a huge step for any career right after college. Some companies use internships as a sort of test run and hire their interns after a period of time. At the very least, having an internship adds more experience, teaches more skills and shows a willingness to work hard.

DO Avoid Non-Paid Internships
A few industries commonly require unpaid internships as a way to break into the business. For most college graduates out there, this is not the case. The whole goal here is to have a job that pays the loans once student loan deferment ends. Job seekers are dreamers, with many ideas of what they want to out of their career. All those ideas a good and worth chasing, but an income is what matters right now. Six months is merciful, but not generous. College graduates do not have time to waste on a job or internship that won’t pay.

Following these guidelines will give job seekers the best chance possible at being hired before deferment ends. The sooner a good paying job is gained, the sooner student loans will get paid off.

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