Grown Up and Moving Home: Asking for perfection

It’s no secret that getting a college degree today does not necessarily equal getting a job. Some are saying college job recruiters are asking for too much.

“Everything needs to be perfect,” said Emily Taylor, a senior at St. Mary’s College. “The resume has to be perfect and you have to present yourself perfectly because it is so competitive. They have such a big population to choose from -- you know that there are other 200 applicants and they are going to pick 7 people.”

And that recruiting is up, according to some counselors.

“We’re seeing on average somewhere between 5, 10 percent increase in college recruiting,” said Stacie Jeffirs, director of the Career Crossing Office at St. Mary's College.

But to students like senior Carolina Tapia, sometimes it doesn't feel like it.

“It’s definitely frustrating because I know myself that based on what the companies are offering me I am able to do that,” Tapia said. “I am able to cover any position.”

But Carolina has the added stress of finding a company to sponsor her employment. She came to the U.S. from Peru five years ago, seeking opportunities.

“I know maybe in the past before the recession companies were more willing to do that -- they were more willing to sponsor international students for certain kinds of positions,” she said. “For us as international students, it just gets more difficult and more frustrating.”

Carolina is looking for a job in the finance sector and she has a great resume. Unfortunately, that doesn’t rule out the possibility that she could be returning to Peru for work.

“You have to go back home and that's the case for a lot of students -- a lot of my friends,” she said. “And that's something I have thought about so many times too because I know if I don't find anything here, if I graduate and no company is willing to sponsor me, I will have to go back home. I will be living with my parents.”

Where she'll start at square one -- after five years in the US. Carolina still has plenty of time for interviews and she works regularly with the Career Crossings Office, which has been a great resource.

But she also admits that moving back home is not as shameful as it used to be.

“Definitely this time it's more acceptable,” she said. “It's still kind of taboo you know – it’s still kind of a little embarrassing. Especially in my case -- I don't really wish this was the case for me.”

Career counseling offices like the one at St. Mary’s have helped students and alumni through the recovery, with the hopes that the job market will soon return to pre-recession levels.

“We are fresh out of college and we are just wanting to get experience or apply whatever we learned here,” Tapia said. “It’s just a matter of getting through those years and getting what you can and hopefully the market will improve.

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