I love being a graduate student. For one, I am lucky to have the opportunity to go to the University of Southern California. This school is incredible. Having come here from a more run-down school in Oregon, the campus blows my mind on a regular basis. There are statues of about every important person in history, beautiful architecture, and wonderful green landscape that is an escape from the surrounding city. In my classes I get the opportunity to have incredible instructors. One of my professors is the Vice President of Programming at MGM studios, another is a Vice President for XBOX, and a guest speaker I had recently is the Promotional Manager for Fox. There is no other school where I would have the opportunity to meet and interact with real trailblazers in the entertainment industry.
Despite the advantages I get from school, I still find myself getting stressed about the future. The job market seems so bleak for young people that it’s hard to not get discouraged at times. When I moved to California, I knew I needed to get an internship right away. I applied to many different places hoping to get my leg in the door at a public relations company. After about a month of applications, I finally got called for an interview at Dolce & Gabbana’s PR office. I never thought I would end up working in fashion, but it was a great opportunity I couldn’t pass up. Flash-forward to now, I have been working at this internship for seven months. Like many internships, it is unpaid. I have loved the experience at D&G, but I thought I would apply other places for the summer in order to be well rounded when I graduate. Also, being paid would be a nice touch.
So far I have applied to countless paid internships with no call back. Despite my work experience, the school I go to, and my references. However, this is not exactly an anomaly. Countless students are taking internships, even after they graduate, in place of real jobs because they can’t get hired. Imagine, graduating with your bachelor’s degree, or even your master’s degree, and working somewhere for little-to-no pay. I fear that if I don’t find an internship this summer then I will fall behind the people I will compete against come graduation time. The problem is people who have already graduated are filling these internship spots. The market is so tough that they decide to take a little pay over none, simply because it’s the lesser evil. These graduates in internship positions are forced into a loop of internships that don’t always turn into full-time jobs. I have heard countless stories from people who have internship experience but still cannot get hired at companies. Does that sound depressing, or what??
For being part of the generation known for laziness, all I see around me are my peers working their butts off for very little reward. It does give me hope for the future, because I know how many young, talented, and educated people are out there. However, even the most beautiful flower needs light to blossom, and similarly, my generation needs opportunity if the world wants to see us shine.