By Catie Ruschak
For those of us who are seniors, it feels like crunch time. After spring break, we are a month of classes and a finals week away from graduating. What do we do when that happens? What if we don’t have a job? Do we stay in Champaign for the summer, live out our leases and work the part-time gig we’ve been doing since sophomore year? Or do we move back home with mom and dad? We’re technically real people after May 12. So what next?
A few seniors are lucky enough to have received offers from their summer internships. Others may have been too scared to even apply anywhere yet. But for the majority of us, the past couple months have consisted of sitting in on every recruiting sessions AAF offers, adding everyone we meet on LinkedIn, and giving out resumes at Career Fairs.
The problem I’m experiencing (and hearing from most of my peers) is that most agencies are hiring on an as-needed basis. Which means there could be an opening as of tomorrow- but they’ll want to have it filled by next week. Most recruiters have said they will look at the resumes for May grads in later April. Which leaves a lot of seniors playing the waiting game.
The other common scenario is the summer internship program. Agencies such as TRIS3CT and Leo Burnett offer summer internships for graduating seniors, with the intention of hiring their best interns when all is said and done. While these are great opportunities, the fact that a full-time position is not guaranteed at the end can be both stressful and overwhelming.
Fortunately, all hope is not lost. After speaking with some former AAF members at AdVasion and Interface next week, I feel better about my prospects. Everyone I spoke with was happy where they ended up, and they assured me that the whole “get a full-time job by May” thing was hardly the norm. Many former students did summer internships and landed the full-time position by fall, and some spent their summer applying to more agencies, interviewing, and then received an offer.
So here’s my advice to my fellow seniors: just relax. Take it one day at a time, and enjoy the next 60 days until commencement. And if you may hear me freaking out about interviews, please- remind me to follow my own advice.