College Students Are Not Ready For Career World

Jacqueline Flores/ Contributing Writer

FIU has done a phenomenal job at helping students obtain internship and career opportunities at every corner for every major. It’s possible that this exact environment is what makes a student unprepared for the reality of what it means to be career-ready. Life outside University will rarely ever have an opportunity knocking on our doors. 

Weekly emails are sent with new internship and career fairs that occur nearly every month virtually and in person. The Career Center is always readily available to provide resume help with practice interviews, along with workshops for navigating job sites and preparing for that first step in career life. FIU even uses Handshake, an online job and internship search engine exclusive for FIU students and alumni. Other resources such as professors and advisors are always there for their students.

 It’s no wonder that one would feel ready for the career world. With fast-paced classes that help us consume information in only 16 weeks (sometimes half of that) and hearing back for our grades and internship applications within weeks, it can be daunting to wait months for a job you might not even hear back from. Even if we fail a class or don’t get the internship, we still at least hear back. A luxury we have taken for granted in the university world. 

The reality of finding a career, specifically in the field that you want, is much more difficult than it seems. Even students that don’t take advantage of any of the resources available at FIU end up having this mindset that an opportunity will always be available when they are ready.

Job searching is a marathon and you’re now in competition with college graduates across the country with experience already.  Sometimes we even graduate realizing too late that we got the wrong degrees for the jobs we really want. 

“I thought I was prepared,” said Ariel Maldonado who is an FIU alumnus of 2019 that came back to study for a second bachelor’s in Psychology. “I had my resume page done like the Career Center taught me and did my applications. But after a year, I got nothing. I thought, damn.” His first degree in Communications only got Ariel entry-level marketing jobs, or in other words, a fancy way of saying being a sales representative. “I felt out of control. Now I have a goal and want to do things right this time after knowing what it’s really like to find a career I’ll enjoy.” 

I myself am a student who returned to FIU after graduating back in April of this year. I kept telling myself I would start job hunting in January but procrastinated until the day of graduation. My bachelor is in Political Science and I thought I could get any political job and be content with it. I was wrong. Not only did I dislike every single position I applied for, but I also never got a call back except for the occasional rejection email. My resume was a mess by using a fancy format that the ATS, applicant tracking system, could not pick up any keywords from it. The summer was spent in turmoil and anxiety feeling like a failure in how unprepared I really was in resume writing and knowing what I want.  

I realized way later I wanted to be a writer, perhaps even an editor one day, as a career. My political science degree does not help much so I returned for a degree in English, fixed my resume to be a writer, and now I have hopeful callbacks from editorial assistant jobs. I don’t regret my first degree, as it can still open some doors for me in the political world with the background knowledge to be a political writer. But if I could go back and start off as a freshman in English, I would, and prepare myself better beginning in sophomore year. 

It’s easy to enjoy the college environment and feel involved when we start our college careers. Students are constantly on the move going from class to club meetings, events, gym and then the part-time job at the end of the day. When we graduate, we are halted at an immediate stop by an outside force and we think, “Now what?” Be productive. Think seriously about what happens after graduation and learn what it means to job search a year before, not the semester of. Grab any opportunity possible and milk it in your resume, even if it is an internship that only lasts one day. Research the job title you want in the future and begin planning what skills you need to

apply to the right internships and entry-level positions to climb the social ladder. 

Photo by on Unsplash


The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community

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