The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

 Post grad panic: No need for nerves 

 Post grad panic: No need for nerves 

Ask any current senior about their post-graduation plans and they will either explain how they’re still looking, launch into an explanation of how they have already found a job or give a look of terror. 

Seniors finding themselves in a state of wondering what comes next have no need to fear: campus resources are innumerable, and there are plenty of others in the same position. 

The Center for Career Exploration, housed in Kagin and led by Jen Guyer-Wood, Executive Director of Career Exploration, is ready to help inform students about the current job market and navigate the transition post graduation. 

“The hiring for new grads is going to go down about 1.9%”, Guyer- Wood said. “But that is really good and really stable. Because […] in 2022, there was a huge spike of 31.6%. And so we haven’t even evened out to pre COVID levels.” 

This data isn’t coming out of nowhere. According to a report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, which Macalester belongs to, following the pandemic when there was no hiring, there was an extreme spike of hiring and now the rates of hiring are returning to a normal level similar to that of pre- COVID-19. 

Within the Midwest the hiring rate has grown by 10%, meaning those looking to stay close to the Twin Cities may have an easier time finding a job.

Reflecting both the questioning path and the already accounted for path, the class of 2024 is seeing a wide range of experiences and stages within the hiring process.

Zoe Scheuerman ’24 has applied to many different programs and internships, all of which would take her abroad. Leaning on her German, international studies and English majors, most opportunities would take her outside of the U.S following graduation.

“I applied for Fulbright Austria,” Scheuerman said. “And a program called CBYX, which is the Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange, where you take classes in Germany for a semester and they help place you in an internship for the second semester.”

Many students are working towards longer term career goals with their immediate plans after Mac. Will Tandy ’24, a creative writing major with minors in German and linguistics, also applied for CBYX and more short-term jobs, with an ultimate plan of graduate school and translation work.

“I have also applied for CBYX, I was named an alternate and then they reached out to me on Friday, so I have an interview,” Tandy said. “I want to go into translation editing for books and video games. And so, I had to try to translate that to the German translation market, which is very technical writing.”

Environmental Studies Major Emma Squires ’24 hopes to stay in the Twin Cities and get a job working with local water systems. She has sent in various applications for positions and is currently in the process of interviewing and attending info sessions.

“This stuff I’ve applied for so far is hydrology positions, which is a little bit more geology than I thought I was going to do,” Squires said. “I’ve also been looking at doing water quality work, maybe working with a Watershed District, water monitoring.”

On the complete other end of the spectrum, Mahmoud Majdi ’24, economics major and math minor, has had a position lined up since the beginning of senior year. Over the summer before the school year started, he interned with an economic analytical company in Boston, Analysis Group, and received a return offer for after graduation.

“[My experience] combined the interest and economic research with something that’s really applicable in real life […] we deal with real cases and real companies and real people, instead of doing a lot of research from your desk,” Majdi said. “I didn’t realize that if you did well, they gave you a return offer for the following summer, […] That was the perfect plan for me.”

As an international student, Majdi emphasized that while job hunting abroad can come with its own set of hurdles, such as visa troubles, it’s still doable.

“There are companies like Analysis Group out there who do value international students and those who do their best to help them, so […] keep looking [and] don’t lose hope,” Majdi said.

On campus, there is a support network for all students to help with the job search, including an extensive list of services from Career Exploration that Guyer-Wood hopes more students will take advantage of.

“More than 60% [of students] use our services overall, which is really pretty good,” Guyer-Wood said. “We’d like to increase that so every single student uses our services. ”

Guyer-Wood highlighted a wide range of opportunities, such as MacExplore trips to New York and Washington, D.C., a host of career advising staff waiting to talk with students, resume reviews and interview preparation: the list goes on.

Majdi used services from Career Exploration many times over the years. He went to D.C. last spring break, used their services for interview preparation and even received compensation for an unpaid internship in Morocco through the Macalester Summer Internship Grant (MSIG).

“That internship was with a nonprofit called Moroccan Center for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship, where I did some research,” Majdi said. “After that internship, it became very clear to me that I want to specifically do empirical economic research.”

Majdi hopes to build on his experience from MSIG and eventually go on to complete a PhD. 60% of Macalester students, according to Guyer-Wood, go on to grad school within five years of graduating from Mac.

Reflecting this number, all those interviewed highlighted that they wanted to continue on to grad school in a few years but first want to gain practical experience before they continue their education.

“Eventually I want to go to grad school, but I want to take some time off to get some short-term work experience with things that I’m interested in,” Scheuerman said. “And also to get out of the US for a little bit.”

When asked, both Guyer-Wood and Majdi emphasized the connections and support the Macalester alumni network provides, which any student can access through Mac Connect.

“Macalester alumni are amazing,” Guyer-Wood said. “The more connections and conversations that you have, the more likely you’re going to succeed and land that job that you really want after you graduate.”

The most important thing to keep in mind through the process, according to Squires, is to remember that the first job you get post-graduation isn’t the final job you’ll ever have, it’s merely a launching point.

“Approach your first job after college not as your dream job, but just a stepping stone on the path forward,” Squires said. “Something you can do for a little bit, and it doesn’t have to be the perfect job. It just has to be a job.”

 

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About the Contributor
Justine Ballard, Features Editor
Justine Ballard '25 (she/they) is an international studies/media and cultural studies double major with and English minor (almost) from Washington DC-ish. In her free time, she plays with and Mac Pep Band and plays/watches a lot of DnD while working on her cross-stitch, their COVID hobby that she has stuck with to this day.

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