Students pursue jobs after graduation


Johnathan Zeringue/The Lion’s Roar

Kim Readlinger, career counselor for the Office of Career Services, talks to students about the importance of being prepared for post-graduation opportunities. Students, alumni and professors may find that getting into the job market takes hard work.

Finding a job after earning a college degree can require patience and preparation.

Victor Betancourt, a senior art major, found it is necessary for graduates to weigh all their options before choosing the job that is the best fit for them.

“I did an internship in New Orleans, and I was offered a position,” said Betancourt. “But right now, I’m actually looking for a job just to see what’s out there before I accept it. I don’t want to take the first thing that comes to me and feel undervalued.”

Dr. Marc Settembrino, an assistant professor of sociology, experienced trouble while applying for jobs as he finished his doctorate at the University of Central Florida.

In his search, Settembrino applied to 70 out-of-state jobs.

“A lot of people would ask me, ‘Why don’t you just get a job here in your home town?’” shared Settembrino. “And I was like, ‘Well, for what I want to do, that’s not available for me to do that here.’ The advice I give to students often is instead of settling for any job to be closer to home, students should go out and find the job they want.”

Jennifer Whisenhunt, an alumna and an academic advisor for the Center of Student Excellence, shared how the Office of Career Services helped pave the way for her first full-time position with a master’s degree in communication.

“When I graduated, I started putting in resumes everywhere as I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do with communication just yet,” explained Whisenhunt. “I started looking on Southeastern’s career site that was called e-recruiting, which I think is now called LionHire through our career services office. I saw a posting for an organization called Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities, and I applied for the administrative coordinator position.”

Whisenhunt went back to school in order to receive a second master’s degree in counseling and made interpersonal connections that helped her earn her dream job.

“I had originally applied for my current position as academic advisor several years ago but did not meet the criteria the job required,” discussed Whisenhunt. “When I saw the job reposted, I immediately called my supervisor and knew I had to go for it. Getting the job was easier for me because of the built-in internship component of the master’s program. Southeastern has become more involved with incorporating internships at both the master’s and bachelor’s level curricula.”

One option after the undergraduate years is to obtain a graduate assistant’s position in order to further their education.

“I worked with admissions for a couple of years, so I knew about the graduate assistant’s job as it became available,” shared Austin Rogers, a senior management and marketing major. “With that, I started doing the interview process and filled out the application. It was one of the ideal jobs that I really wanted when I became an orientation leader in 2015.”

Kenneth Ridgedell, director for the Office of Career Services, expressed that students should aim to appeal to their future employer by being well-rounded and ready for options that may open up after graduation.

Ridgedell said, “The ideal student is someone who comes into college as a freshman and sophomore and realizes that in order for me to prepare myself for getting an internship or eventually a job after graduation, I need to be thinking about what can I add to my resume and what skills do I have to offer. My advice is to get started early and take advantage of the four years and expand your repertoire of activities and experiences.”