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Letter to the Editor: The truth about employment after Calvin

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Dear Editor and current Calvin students,

Getting employed after college may not be what you think. As a December graduate, I immediately began applying for jobs in Grand Rapids. Although I never had an internship, I thought a business degree with a concentration in entrepreneurship was sufficient to land an exciting job. However, It seemed like every company wanted at least two years work experience. Shouldn’t my college education and summer employment be enough?

The Hard Truth:
A college degree alone is insufficient for getting those “trendy” dream jobs.
Some degree-holders are in higher demand, and therefore more valuable than others.
Just because you’re a college graduate doesn’t mean you’re worth $30, $20, or even $15 per hour.

I’m not trying to devalue anyone’s education or telling you to settle for less. I’m trying to be realistic about what it means to be overqualified and under-experienced in the current job market. Few of us will land our dream jobs right out of college.
For those of you who are not finished with your time at Calvin, my advice is to do some research about the career that interests you. Find out what qualifications and experience potential employers are looking for.
For soon-to-be graduates, be realistic. Your first job may not be very exciting, but will likely be a stepping stone for future employment opportunities. Don’t be ashamed to take an entry-level position. Your degree paired with relevant work experience is significantly more valuable than either of those alone.
I’m proud of the accomplishment and opportunity to graduate from the #1 Regional College in the Midwest, but when I receive my diploma in the mail, it will likely find its home in a manila folder until I can hang it in the office of my dream job.

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