Entry Level in a 5+Years Experience World

With nothing but a meager semester standing between me and the career world, I can often be found browsing websites for job postings. While I could more easily define my greatest trouble as an inability to settle on what exactly I want to do, another major hurdle is the constant reminder that most companies are looking for experienced workers who have been in the field for “5+ years.” For this reason, I’ve resorted to searching for internships at these same companies, but they staunchly insist that to apply for an internship one must be a student. So what am I expected to do? I’ve clearly already lowered my expectations by willingly looking for jobs without pay (i.e. almost all internships ever), what more can I do?

In many ways, I regret not having taken more advantage of the internship opportunities while I was in school. And yet, my situation impeded me from every actually being able to pursue these opportunities. Both monetary and scholastic responsibilities prohibited me from the chances of the more glorious internships. In the summers, I had to work a paying job in order to help fund my education. Nor could I afford to take those distinguished out-of-state internships that would have required me to find some sort of housing. I’ve often thought about pursuing an internship in NYC, but there were too many hurdles in my way while I was still in school. During the semester, my internship opportunities were limited due to commuting difficulties and class scheduling. Now I’m most available to accept a position, unrestrained by school, location, and money. But now, companies are unwilling to accept me, despite an eager attitude and more than flexible schedule. Unless I’m applying for undergraduate credit, the answer is ‘no way,’ right off the bat.

(As a sidenote, I will admit to a bit of personal hesitance in pursuing more exotic–for a lack of a better word– internships during my college career. Now, however, I feel that I have not only grown into myself, but I am more willing to take risks in order to achieve dreams.)

Some companies, however, are more fostering for us just-out-of-school-graduates. For example, NBC’s celebrated Page Program is an incredible opportunity (and down-right good idea). The 12 weeks spent in this program help acclimate the eager participants to the industry. They are rotated throughout departments in order to get a full experience and a better understanding of what they themselves would like to pursue. It’s a perfect idea and, despite being heavily labor intensive for very little pay, a simply incredibly opportunity. I will honestly profess that being a part of the NBC Page Program would be a LITERAL dream come true (yes, I’ve had dreams about it). Sounds good, right? So what’s the catch? Well, due to the notorious nature of this program and its benefits (who wouldn’t want to opportunity to get a foot in the door at NBC), the chances of being accepted to this program are less likely than those of being accepted to Harvard.

I’m perfectly well aware that I will never, in any lifetime, be accepted to Harvard. I’m a diligent and hardworking student, with grades that properly reflect my work ethic. However, I am not a genius. I know this, and that’s fine. So, if I’m not getting into an Ivy League anytime soon, what are my chances at the NBC Page Program? Clearly this opportunity isn’t completely dependent upon an IQ test. I hope, though it may take few (times a thousand) applications, that I can at some point prove my worth to NBC. The Page Program would be priceless experience that I won’t give up on.

So, in the meantime, I’ll continue to troll the sites, searching for jobs that inevitably turn me down due to a lack of experience. To them I say– Take a chance. How am I to get experience, if you won’t simply take a chance.

Of course, I’m not above blog begging. So feel free to shoot out any ideas for media/PR/comm opportunities. I’m wide open.

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On entering “the real world.”

Warning: This post will feature no tidbits of knowledge, pretty pictures, or catchy words.

I’m taking this time to write more of a personal post. This upcoming week I begin the last semester of my college career. While I find it hard to believe that four (amazing) years will have come and gone, I find it even harder to grasp the idea of being a part of what I have dubbed “the real world.”

Having an older brother, I remember two years ago when I saw him go through the same experiences as I am now facing. He graduated, we all cried, it was an emotional time. I couldn’t believe he had reached that point. I couldn’t believe that my childhood playmate, the kid who used to make me laugh as well as cry, the one who always knew how to set up the coolest Lego creations– he was graduating. I think it was around that time that I first realized that it wouldn’t be long until I found myself in that same position. And here it comes.

I’m almost 22, I’m about to graduate from college…now what?

As of yet, I don’t have a job. I’m a public relations major (um, seen the website?–duh) and I’ve absolutely loved the work that I’ve been able to do in that field. I’m a media enthusiast in general, and would love to combine my interest in film and television with my love for public relations.

The logical next step is the job search, an intimidating practice that I’ve attempted a multitude of times. From Monster.com to Indeed.com, to my university’s private job listings, the process is always lackluster and disappointing. The problem is finding an entry-level job in the first place. Most listings are looking for professionals with “min. 5 yrs exp.”

Why should an employer take a gamble on hiring a newbie, fresh out of school, who they will undoubtedly need to coach on the basics (no matter what experience the student may have had)? With today’s economic climate, convincing an employer of your worth is harder than ever. Jobs are scarce and the competition is fierce. It’s like a jungle out there (please ignore the corny phrasing).

But I will enter this final semester with my head held high. And come graduation? Well, there will be tears (plenty of them), but I promise to also look excitedly toward the next big adventure in my life, even if it means I’m entering “the real world.”