Essay by alumnus David Tran ('09, criminal justice and criminology)
From the Office of Career Services newsletter
I graduated in May of 2009 with a Bachelors of Science degree in criminal justice and criminology. During my last semester, I started my career search with appointments at Career Services regarding things like writing my resume. It was during this time that the economy was really turning for the worse, so I was worried about finding work after graduation even though I had job experience and a 3.7 GPA. Graduation came and went, as did the summer and fall semester.
By Christmas of 2009, I had sent out over 40 resumes and filled out more than 60 applications with various agencies and companies simply looking for an entry-level job. Following up with each agency and company was the hardest part. Employers told me that they were getting so many applications and resumes that they didn't know where to start and that I would get a call if I was chosen for an interview.
Finally, as the end of January came around I started getting call-backs from jobs I had applied to three months before. I interviewed with five agencies and companies over the course of 10 days. Out of the five agencies and companies that interviewed me, three offered me a position. I decided to accept the offer that was related to my field of study. The company that I currently work for had over 400 applicants, 20 resumes were chosen, a panel interviewed 10 applicants, three were interviewed for "fit," and I was offered the job ... conditionally. The entire time line from resume submission to securing the job was 65 days. The prep work and applying to the jobs took approximately 11 months.
I'll admit now that my planning was insufficient for finding a career by graduation because the steps I took in my last semester were steps I should have taken earlier. If there was any advice I could offer my fellow grads and soon-to-be grads it's this:
1. Start now and work on it every day
2. Prepare to be rejected
3. Don't give up!
4. Be yourself
5. Be patient