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College Seniors Leaving Jobs to Search for Employment

Bright Hall explores the far-reaching effects of the financial crisis on the youth and campuses of America. Click here for the full series.

In an e-mail to fellow student workers in a university office, my colleague penned a letter which was at once both sad and terrifically ironic.

"I'm having a much harder time finding a full-time job after graduation than I anticipated," my friend, a senior majoring in print journalism, wrote.

"Unfortunately, I am going to have to cut back on my hours ... in order to dedicate more time to the job search," she said, asking if anyone could pick up her Friday shift for the rest of the semester.

The mood among campus seniors hinges on whether one has plans for after graduation. With final exams approaching and graduation ceremonies only a few weeks away, a sense of anxiety is increasingly apparent -- and it's not just the print journalism majors who are struggling.

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College Grads Look to Public Service as Option

Megan Baker

Posted:  Mar 9th 2009 8:40PM

Filed Under: Politics, The Economy, Recession on Campus, Microtrends on Campus

When Barack Obama was running for president he urged young people to consider community service when making post graduation plans. An article in USA Today shows that many college graduates (myself included) have taken him up on that advice.

With a combination of a poor job market and a desire to do something good for the country, college graduates are turning to programs such as AmeriCorps, Peace Corps and Teach for America rather than scoping out the job listings in Craig's List.

According to the USA Today article, online applications are coming in three times faster than a year ago at AmeriCorps and Peace Corps applications have gone up by 16%. And why not? The stimulus package includes $200 million to support these government-funded service programs in hopes of expanding the scope that these programs offer to Americans in need.

I was recently accepted into City Year, which is an AmeriCorps program that focuses on tutoring and mentoring children in schools. Myself and 40 other young people from all across the country will relocate to San Jose, California without knowing anybody or having a place to live (we really need to work on that one...) to take a year and make a difference as the City Year motto says.

But it's not just young people getting into the spirit of service. There is legislation in the works that may offer incentives to Americans for rolling up their sleeves and helping out others.

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2009 College Grads: We're the Lucky Ones

Joshua Sharp

Posted:  Mar 9th 2009 10:26AM

Filed Under: USC, The Economy, Recession on Campus

Bright Hall explores the far-reaching effects of the financial crisis on the youth and campuses of America. Click here for the full series.

Popular opinion suggests that the collegiate Class of 2009 picked the wrong year to enter the job market. My classmates and I joke that we are the luckiest graduates in recent history, happening to chance upon the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

But optimism has its benefits, and there are a few rays of hope which have been mostly overlooked in mainstream coverage of the economic crisis. (Full disclosure: As a graduating senior, it's hard for me to be objective on this.)

1. We have a unique skill set. Our understanding of emerging technologies and new media networks is a terrific advantage compounded by a lack of reliance on traditional industry formulas. From public relations to online publishing, many companies are looking for innovative new ways to attract attention, retain customers and improve revenue models.

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2009 College Graduates are F*!$

I'm not going to sugar coat this for you college seniors out there, this is not a great time for us to be graduating. The U.S. economy is steadily getting worse and the job market seems to be shrinking along with it. But we can't sit around feeling sorry for ourselves; it's time to get proactive. We didn't go to college to go back home to our crappy summer jobs, now did we?

To get myself pointed in the right direction, I headed to the one place I should have gone to a long time college career center. I met with the Director of Career Services, Betsy McDermott to get some advice on what we as college seniors should be doing to crack into a seemingly impossible job market.

The only problem is, a lot of us still don't know what we want to do (or can do) with our majors.

"You'd be amazed at how many seniors still don't know what they want to do at this point," McDermott said. "I definitely think students should sit down and have a talk with a career counselor to figure out what it is you want to do. It helps put the focus somewhere."

Here are some of the highlights of the discussion I had with Betsy:

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College Seniors Facing Tough Decisions

Bright Hall explores the far-reaching effects of the financial crisis on the youth and campuses of America. Click here for the full series.

A line of 50 students, dressed in business attire and clutching thin binders with carefully-prepared résumés, wove beyond the line of tiny booths at USC's annual career fair Thursday and stretched onto an adjacent cement walkway.

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University Stops Accepting Applications... Three Weeks Early

Joshua Sharp

Posted:  Jan 17th 2009 4:08AM

Filed Under: Small Campus, Big Story, USC, News, Local, Recession on Campus

Budget constraints in California have caused Fresno State University to close its freshman application period -- three weeks earlier than the posted deadline. Per the NYT:

"The first I heard of it was an e-mail yesterday morning, when we got back from vacation," said Ron Howard, a college counselor at Redwood High School in Visalia, Calif., where about a quarter of the senior class applies to Fresno State. ...

"... [W]e hustled, hustled, hustled to get kids to file," said Diana Rodriguez, a counselor at Sunnyside High School in Fresno. "I really feel that if we'd known this Jan. 9 thing was coming, we could have saved more souls of kids who are falling through the cracks, but our district was on break until the 12th, and we had no idea this final slam-bang deadline was coming."

Vivian Franco, director of admissions at Fresno State, defends the unwelcome surprise by citing a disclaimer on the university's website that the application date was subject to change. She says most applicants submit by the priority deadline of Nov. 30.

But Franco's casual and dismissive comments completely disregard what her university means for thousands of young adults in California's Central Valley, where I lived for all of my life before attending college.

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With New Semester Underway, Bad News for Student Newspapers

Continuing a trend of dour news for media outlets around the country, a growing number of student papers are cutting issues, cutting staff salaries and pushing more content online.

This week alone, the Georgia Southern University student paper, the George-Anne, and the University of Minnesota student newspaper, the Minnesota Daily, announced plans for serious changes moving into second semester. At Georgia Southern University, the cuts are primarily being attributed to a desire to restructure the paper; The George Anne, which has seen dropping grades and staff counts, eventually plans to resume publication five days a week when that is again sustainable.

The Minnesota Daily, however, attributes its cuts directly to the economy and the fact that the paper's revenues were headed 30 to 35 percent below budget for the year if no changes were made.

Full Article »

Roller Coaster in Latest Bailout Plan

Joshua Sharp

Posted:  Jan 3rd 2009 4:46PM

Filed Under: USC, The Economy, Recession on Campus

Like most folks, my financial situation isn't looking too pretty right about now. I'll soon be looking for a job to help tackle that student loan debt, and Obama is warning me that unemployment could hit 10%.

But not to worry! Like five Democratic governors, my solution to budgetary shortfalls is to ask the federal government to loan me some more Monopoly money (as if the feds have any less debt than the rest of us; more than $10 trillion last time I checked). Even some newspapers have a chance at a bailout, if one Connecticut lawmaker has his way.

In light of this ill-advised pork spending spree, I'd like to request my own personal bailout. But don't worry, it's for the sake of the economy:

Full Article »

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