Written By Monica Page

Graduation is the time when you finally put your money where your mouth is. All these years of slaving around in the library and using every last cent of UPrint to finally get that research paper turned in on time leads to this. College is about the experiences, but above all it is about learning the skills to succeed in the future job market. Parents do not send their kids to college for them to just party; that is a by-product, but not the ultimate goal. When it comes to obtaining a job, the “golden prospect” is having it secured and in the bag before graduation. It is about having the chance to sign all the paper work, obtain the start date and relax to the best of your abilities before you shake Shalala’s hand and walk off the stage into your future. So what better way to explain obtaining a post-grad job early than to use movies that were released before you (and maybe even your parents) were born?

Stanley Kowalski: You know what luck is? Luck is believing you’re lucky, that’s all… To hold a front position in this rat-race, you’ve got to believe you are lucky. (A Streetcar Named Desire, 1951)

When it comes to talking about students who are able to obtain jobs before they graduate, it can be easy to consider them lucky, but it is so much more than that. Luck is more than catching a Hail Mary pass in football or making it to the shuttle right before it leaves. Luck is lining up everything you have done in your life to a point where, when you least expect it, everything comes together. Luck is not waiting until some glorious moment is beamed down to you from the heavens, but rather just existing in a moment in time where everything is going right. If you believe you are unlucky and fated to work in a minimum wage job, living on a pull-out futon in your mother’s basement for the rest of your life, you will probably end up that way. If you believe that waiting a couple of days, weeks or months for everything to come together, it will.

Philip Marlowe: I know he was a good man at whatever he did. No one was more pleased than I when I heard you had taken him on as your… whatever he was. (The Big Sleep, 1946)

The resume stands as a way to show employers who you are and what you are capable of before they meet you in person. It is the sum total of all the relevant experience you obtained in college from jobs to internships. It is very common for a recent college graduate to have a resume filled with multiple internship positions that have no connection to what they have finally decided to do with their life. The purpose of internships is to discover what you really want to do with your life, not to have a decision already set in stone. Additionally, you may not have had a clear position in the company, but rather just bounced around to whatever department you were needed, having a multitude of experiences for each position. When it comes time to apply to companies and get your life together, focus on shaping your resume and experience in way that makes you come off as a proper fit for the position. Small changes such as switching verbs to ones that are used a lot in the field can easily make a resume seem more attractive to specific positions.

Gilda: [to Johnny] You haven’t been around lately. I thought maybe you were an amnesia victim or something. (Gilda, 1946)

The development of social media in the 21st century has barred people from claiming they forgot about someone. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other services all provide people a way to constantly keep in contact with others. The ancient Rolodex has now been moved online as we can easily go through all our connections to see who may be able to help us. As a basic lesson in formality, just e-mailing someone out of the blue makes you look bad and can easily be linked with using someone just for his or her connections. If you meet someone, whether as part of a job/internship or a basic networking event, that looks as though they may be beneficial in helping with you future career prospects, keep in touch with them. Make a good impression and demonstrate that you are valuable as a way to indirectly encourage them to keep you in mind when future opportunities arise.

Brick Pollitt: What is the victory of a cat on a hot tin roof?
Margaret “Maggie” Pollitt: Just staying on it I guess, long as she can. (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, 1958)

It can be easy to resign yourself to a less than glamorous position based on feedback from the current job market. Resigning yourself and taking a temporary position are two different things. Everyone needs to be able to support him or herself and if the “job of your dreams” is not available, you still need to pay off student loans and put food on the table. The interim “dead period” may be similar to traversing through Dante’s Inferno, but when you survive you will not only have money saved in the bank but also more experience to include on your resume. It should also be a noted that taking an interim position does not mean working in the first position you find, but rather using a little thought in trying to find something half-way decent.

Although having a job upon graduation is a marvelous, marvelous thing it is not an impossible feat. It is also not a requirement to be considered employable. Having a job before graduation allows you the freedom to have a little time for yourself to get your life together and take a breather before you enter the real world. If you are able to get a job before graduation, you go Glen Coco. If not, the apocalypse isn’t around the corner you still have time. Or at least enough time until the next Rapture date is announced… then you’re screwed.