Part 3: We all have to work at some point

Sandra Parada

My life after graduation was supposed to involve moving to New York City, working for a popular fashion magazine and running around in Christian Louboutin pumps. Instead, thanks to the economic situation of this country, my life following graduation will be focused more in Pasadena, Calif., working for a production company and walking around in Steve Maddens.

Rewinding back the past five years of my college career, my entire emphasis was on journalism. Before my college training in journalistic writing, I idealized my future career in this field with all the glamour and perks of working for a high-fashion magazine. In my head I was Anne Hathaway in the movie ‘The Devil Wears Prada,’ and I didn’t care about being bullied around by a heartless editor just as long as I had the bragging rights to say I work for a magazine in New York City.

Fast-forward to where I am at now and my first job title out of college will be clearance coordinator at Mike Mathis Productions in Pasadena. The job description doesn’t feature anything I had envisioned my first post-college job to consist of, such as reporting about a runway show during fashion week. ‘ ‘ ‘

It may not be the fantasy I concocted for my first real-world job to be like, but at least I am able to say I have a job.

The national unemployment rate for people ages 20 to 24 was 12.9 percent in February, up from 9 percent a year ago and higher than the overall unemployment rate of 8.1 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Great way to give those in their 20s hope, right?

The job I will be have after graduation stemmed from an internship which I obtained through my parents’ tenants. Yes, I got a job because of my parents’ hookups, but these days knowing someone who knows someone is a smart means for a person to go through to have a possibly decent first job.

However, don’t think because someone got me the internship, it was a free ride to a future with the company. My one-year anniversary with the internship will be in August and I had to prove myself as a hard-working, dedicated person to my current bosses in order to convert this internship into a real take-me-seriously job.

Though I do believe my ability to get this position was a mixture of luck and persistence on my part to keep my bosses content with my work. I consider myself one of the fortunate future graduates that right after graduating has a job lined up, even if it might not be what I always wanted to do.

According to the Quarterlife Crisis Web site, ‘the average number of jobs a person has in his 20s has jumped to 8.6 jobs between the ages of 18 and 32.’ This for me means that after I build a legit reputation with this company, I can move forward to better job opportunities in the future.

For my generation, it is hard to come to the realization that we have to settle for certain opportunities. The motto that we can be and do anything we wanted was embedded in our minds when we were growing up. Now that we are grown, there aren’t enough job openings for college graduates to keep believing that.

I was hesitant at first to take this internship because it had nothing to do with my vision of what I wanted to do with my life, but if I didn’t take the opportunity, I would be in the same statistical pool as many of my college peers.

What we need to realize is we have to take every opportunity that comes our way whether or not it’s a part of our life plan, because you never know if it can propel you to a better situation until you become a part of it.

I know I was lucky to be networked into this position through a family link. So far what I have been fortunate enough to grasp is an amazing learning experience, a future job after graduation and a chance to make myself more marketable to my future employmers at a magazine in New York City.