Post-Grad Thoughts: Internships

For many, the undergrad to post-grad bridge is paved with internships – jobs that are acquired while either still in school or recently after graduating in order to “learn the ropes” of a certain field, to be primed and prepped to hopefully (fingers crossed) be hired as a real life, big kid employee in your field of interest.

But, for most students and recent grads, the elusive internship is synonymous with one hated, threatening, real pain in the ass of a word.


Many of us living the broke post-grad life find ourselves asking, “Why?” and companies everywhere frequently respond with the promise of, “invaluable learning opportunities.” And, honestly, for a while I was willing to buy that. I thought, “if that’s what it’ll take to get a job in the field I want, then I’ll do it, I’ll make it work.” And while I still am willing to do just about anything to build a future for myself that I want, my attitude towards unpaid internships and the companies who offer them is changing.

See, here’s the thing, internships are immensely valuable. Even if you’re just making coffee for the higher-ups, there really are great opportunities and exposure to be had. My  question is, opportunity for who? Let’s think about this logically: You’ve just graduated college, you’re reasonably talented, with high hopes of getting a good job. The problem? You a) want to work in a field that requires years of experience, and b) have a somewhat substantial amount of money owed from paying for college. Now, you find yourself out in the real world, without financial aid money to rely upon for groceries and rent, loan payments coming in, and no job. What are you going to do? Take the unpaid internship? Or get a regular full time job so you can afford to, I don’t know, live?

Yes, internships can frequently prove to be “invaluable learning opportunities,” but they are learning opportunities that only those who are already financially privileged can afford. It’s a little sad to think about, isn’t it? Where’s the upward mobility? Where’s the chance to make something of ourselves? When is the cost of living going to stop getting in the way?

This blog post was inspired by this commentary seen on tumblr:

What do you think about unpaid internships? Have you ever had to sacrifice career goals for financial ones?

I’m 3 for 40: Post-Grad Math

According to my Yahoo sent box (no, I don’t use Google. Our mighty overlord has not yet completely engulfed my life), I have sent my resume out to 40 different employers – employers who are hiring, might I add – and in that time have received a total of 3 interviews.  And from said interviews, I have received a total of zero job offers. Let’s break that down, shall we?

40 divided by 3 equals 13. 33333, or 13 and 1/3. That means that for every 13 to 14 resumes I send out, I will get 1 interview.

3 divided by 40 equals .075. As a percent, this number becomes 7.5%. This means that my percentage of success at getting an interview is 7.5%, or if we’re feeling particularly pessimistic, my percentage of success at not getting an interview is 92.5%.

Out of 3, interviews, I’ve gotten zero job offers, which makes my success rate 0% and my sadness rate 100%.

According to a peer of mine who graduated last year with a similar major and gpa, I can expect to spend 9 months searching for a job before I actually get one. I have been searching for 2 months.

This means that I can expect to spend the next 7 months job searching. It also means that I am roughly 28.6% through my post-grad unemployment, with 71.4% of my time left to go.

In short, the message from today’s math lesson is this:

No matter how smart and worthy I think I am, I am not the exception. I’m in post-grad purgatory. Better buckle up, kiddos.

Also, my grasp of basic math is tentative at best.

A Word of Warning

Let me share some wisdom with you, a piece of invaluable information. It is a well-guarded secret, an unwritten law. It is a singular truth, an unalterable course, a nugget which those who posses it are forbidden from sharing. I’ve come here to break my solemn vow, to say the one thing you’re not supposed to say, and what no one else will. And it is this:

When the time comes time to graduate college, don’t f***ing do it.

Because, good people, the truth of it is… Post-grad life blows. It blows harder than my pride cares to admit.

And I’m here, stuck in the throws of it. I crossed the stage, I moved my tassel. And so now, as a word of warning, I’m going to share with you the gravity of this act. I’m going to share it all.