20something profile: Emily
Posted by David
I am Emily Ascani, a 2012 Temple University graduate with a degree in Strategic Communication and a concentration in Public Relations.
After graduating, I was intent on getting any kind of public relations position I could get my hands on in the Philadelphia area. Well, after a summer internship, hundreds of job applications and second interviews that never panned out…I was back at my parents’ house in the Lehigh Valley.
While this is not a terrible option, I was very discouraged facing the realization that most college grads don’t get a job right after graduation. I thought I had done everything I should have and more during my time at Temple and was confused as to why I couldn’t even secure an administrative assistant position off of Craigslist.
Five long months of unemployment passed, and on a whim I decided to apply for a social media position with an educational agency. I didn’t think my interview went well, but to my surprise they called me back for a second interview and then again to offer me the position! Even after working for a few weeks, it is still surreal to me how I fell into a position that I didn’t even intend on finishing the application for.
Happily employed, I think back on my job search struggle and notice how much my feelings have changed about my career goals. Throughout my senior year I pictured myself living in the city after graduation with my fabulous public relations job, but fate brought me back home to work in an industry I wouldn’t have thought to pursue otherwise.
With the state of the economy, one of my professors during school told me that my success in college should not be measured by whether I get a job offer before graduation. I may have disregarded this wise piece of advice at the time, but today, even when you are involved in several organizations with leadership positions and have tons of internship experience on your résumé, it does NOT guarantee you a job.
You need to find a way to set yourself apart from the hundreds, even thousands, of other job applicants that all have the same credentials and degree as yourself. Also, there is no shame in looking for internships after graduation if your budget allows. It could even lead to a full-time position if something opens up and you prove yourself to be the one for the job.
As for the future, I hope to develop my position in education through social media, eventually getting my Masters in either Communications or Educational Technology.