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I see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I will be graduating in May, and as much as I will miss UGA and Athens, I am ready to take the next step.  As a Management student, I watched last year as many of my older peers failed to find jobs that they were excited about.  We all know how tough the economy was, and in my opinion, last year was the worst year to graduate.  Witnessing this, I have made it a goal of mine to “cast a wide net.”  I’ve looked into options that I may not have considered in the past.  My focus is to get my feet wet, work for a company that will train me well, make a little money, and learn a lot.  Luckily, I have been able to do this.  I started my process with 7 companies (most of which I found at the Career Fair).  As happy as am I to have options, this entire process has tested my flexibility and patience.

Flexibility

Much to my dismay, most jobs (~99%, I would say) are not located in Athens.  In fact, none of my potential employers are even headquartered in Atlanta.  It is has been incredibly valuable to realize that I have got to be flexible and travel to the job.  Since this process has started, I’ve been to Miami, Nashville, Lawrenceville, and Duluth.  While these trips are nice, they have definitely tested my ability to balance work, school, and this full time job of trying to find a full time job.  For example, I was emailed an invitation to interview in Miami on a Wednesday.  My flight would be in 6 days.  The story repeats itself with the other companies.  Whether it is an interview or a site visit, you must be willing to drop everything and work around the employer’s schedule.  They set the dates, times, and places assuming that you’ll be there, and the crazy thing is, you will be there.  You have to be.  After all, I might stress about missing a class, but ultimately, college is about preparing you for a career.  In my experience, professors believe that missing class for a job interview is a reasonable excuse.

Remember that every time you interact with an employer, you are making an impression upon him or her.  Being flexible and working on their schedule may not get you the job, but it will give the employer the perception that you are easy going and want the position.  Recruiters have so much going on; any time you have the chance to decrease their stress by agreeing to the times they set, the better.

Patience

Between writing each sentence for this post, I am refreshing my inbox because, supposedly, I should be hearing from 3 employers “any day.”  I have been in this state of any-day-ness for about a month now.  After completing the final interviews with each of these employers, I was told that I should know by Thanksgiving.  “We want you to have your offer so that you can bring it home during the break and talk about it with your parents.”  It sounded like an ideal situation.  On Wednesday, the night before Thanksgiving, I had an email from each of the employers.  My heart started racing, and when I opened each, they all looked pretty similar to:

Hi Gordon,
Hope you have fun plans over Thanksgiving break. We are still in the process of making hiring decisions. We are very excited to go out with offers soon and will keep you updated! Please let us know if you have any questions.
From our family to yours, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!!

Patience.  It has been a pretty important lesson as I watch those around me get their offers or acceptances to MCG or UGA Law.  There is an incredible level of excitement in the air, and I hope that yours and mine come soon.  Whenever you are trying to find that first job, the best thing that you can practice on a daily basis is to keep an open mind and an open calendar.

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