"The problem is you, not whether you have a Cal degree or Chico state diploma; you're just kind of throwing yourself out there for whatever jobs that's available and I think that might have rubbed off on interviewers and people you have come in contact with i.e. they see that you don't have focus in what you want to do and really just want the job for the sake of having a job. But again, this is just my guess because I don't know anything about you but to me, just based off of your post alone, you're just looking for someone/something to blame. So you think your life would have been better if you partied harder at a less rigorous school? How does that change anything in the grand scheme of things? By having a split second more of memories that you think you were "happy" rubbing thighs with slutty girls? Yes, I guess that makes life so much better and more bearable.
Again, I don't know anything about you but you need to change your outlook if you want things to change. "
Wow, I thought went to UC Berkeley, the place of free speech, pursuing your passions, enjoymentsand individuality of pursuits not a puritan value school like Utah State or Penn State. Also, I should mention I find it funny how you have the need to criticize someone elses enjoyment, desires and pursuits and believe that someone else has a problem for living the life THEY NOT YOU, what to choose. Yes, my life would have been a lot better if I chose to have tons of memories rubbing up
Also, how do you know how I've come across in interviews, you don't. As I've said I've been particularly focused on finding a job in marketing, IT, or Human Resources with a mix of the two, have focused on particular companies and even utilized career center resources to be where I am at now and all I can reflect on at my time at Cal is a few weak friendships with awful people who after graduation weren't as close as I thought we were even though we spent a great deal of time together, and the work/professional skills/experiences I gained which I thought would land me a job akin to those listed on the Career Center website.
So, YES I WOULD BE HAPPIER AND MORE CONTENT IN MY CURRENT ECONOMIC POSITION IF I HAD THE MEMORIES OF FUN CONSTANT PARTIES AND RANDOM SEX RATHER THAN STUDYING IN THE LIBRARY UNTIL 2AM EVERYDAY PERFECTING ACADEMIC PAPERS AND DOING POLICY WORK/CONSULTING FOR NON-PROFITS.
Good middle class jobs are hard to find nowadays. And a college degree from an elite school isn't the guaranteed ticket to a middle class job anymore. Yes, you should have filed that change of major form from sociology to computer science if you wanted the diploma to become a guaranteed ticket to the middle class. But you would have spent even more time studying rather than partying in CS. Without the right major, you'll have to work very hard like everyone else to get one of the increasingly scarce middle class jobs.
Times are frakking hard. When I graduated from Cal, there were three guys working each garbage truck making a middle class living. Today, there is only one guy who does everything from driving to moving the garbage cans around. In the 1980s, an auto mechanic worked in the middle class with hourly pay. Today, he is paid by the job instead of by the hour, which has effectively lowered his hourly rate to minimum wage levels. Lots of IT guys who did not keep up with technology changes have become unemployable. In Detroit, it takes far fewer people to build a car. Much of the work is being done by robots and machines. Same thing in the central valley with agriculture. Middle class jobs are hard to get. Many are salivating at $11/hr jobs as a lube tech. That's how bad it is.
Honestly, I don't find my degree from Cal to be very helpful in gaining employment since it is not in EECS. But if you're able to work hard to graduate with an amazing education, you can work hard to get skills that employers want. For example, lots of liberal arts majors were smart enough to pick up IT skills along the way to get into middle class IT jobs. That's what I did. At the interview, make it sound like you're the expert in xyz skill even if you're not. Don't ever sell yourself short my admitting that you could be a bit better in xyz. It's more than good enough. Don't give them reasons to doubt it. Tell them you're an expert with a straight face.
OP's problem is that OP didn't consider how s/he would bring value to a company. We have a long list of random activities but nothing indicates how this person would be useful to a company. Also, 3.68 in sociology is not very impressive.
OP is unlucky to have graduated in the worst economy of the last 70 years. OP should get back to school ASAP with a focus on developing skills that are valuable to companies. I would take classes on statistics or anything else related to big data.
Wow, I thought went to UC Berkeley, the place of free speech, pursuing your passions, enjoymentsand individuality of pursuits not a puritan value school like Utah State or Penn State.
In a free speech society, o0racle would be free to criticize you as well... That being said, o0racle is not being very constructive.
I think it's not very useful to dwell on the past. All of us, even the EECS major making six figures, have regrets and things that would have made our life better and more enjoyable if we had done them. I, for example, wish I was more open to different experiences in high school, but whatever.
So we should really be focusing on your options for the future, not your nonexistent options for the past (unless you invent a time machine).
Have you considered law school? (the market is not so great right now, but in three years when you graduate things will probably be better)
Have you considered a master's in some other professional field?
If those options are off the table...
This is constructive criticism, not anything personal, but in my opinion, some of your past work experience doesn't exactly strike me as particularly "unique" or "valuable." Things like: department assistant who filed expense reports, summer aquatic manager, substitute teacher, temp worker at law firm. Unfortunately, what people are saying about a 3.68 in sociology is not too far off the mark. I think you should start considering (if you haven't already started considering) unpaid or paid internships where there is a clear path for you to grow and "climb the ladder" into full-time positions and beyond. Unfortunately, temp work and teaching don't really qualify. Yes, you might take a pay cut, but you have to take a longer-term view of things.
The same applies for cold-contacting people at firms you want to work for. Cold-contact these people and ask about getting a job. You'd be surprised at how much people are impressed by initiative. Don't let them decline. Offer to work as an intern, etc... I know someone who didn't just cold-contact people, but he literally walked into the office without an appointment and had the initiative to leave his resume and ask about getting a position (this was an advertising agency in NY), and he eventually got a position there. I would never have the courage/initiative to do this (and I don't expect you to have this), but this is just an example of how far initiative can take you.
Whatever you do, don't go to law school (unless you end up at a T14...). The market is already over saturated with lawyers. Don't make that mistake and end up in the exact same position w/ no job and huge student loans.
First, thank you for all of the replies, and advice which I would like to clairify and seek more info for future endeavors. What should someone be successful in, in order for employers to make him/her valuable, i.e. accounting? consulting? marketing?
Also, none of the replies takes into account the information I posted from the Cal Career Center which indicates graduates with a Sociology degree were able to land marketing, administrative and human resource position. So, basically I am asking what differentiates them from me-as far as skills/knowledge since I was in classes with those people and believed if anything I was as if not more competent than them.
Finally, the networking advice is appreciated and I have tried the coldcalling and resume handing approach and will continue to do so.
"OP's problem is that OP didn't consider how s/he would bring value to a company. We have a long list of random activities but nothing indicates how this person would be useful to a company. Also, 3.68 in sociology is not very impressive."
-I listed those accomplishment, but have and will quantify them. In a leadership position in on0campus department organization I increased regular membership by 30%.
Interning at the lawfirm I increased donations to the company by 20% from the previous year.
-When I completed my internship with Head Start I was able to accurately portray where potential growth sites, using data and statistics, would be and where they should consider opening new ones in the future.
-When I completed the temp assignment with the law school, I handled administrative tasks over a three month period with 99% accuracy ensuring efficiency and saving time and resources.
So, if those types of accomplishments don't demonstrate value, please tell me what does?
Hmm. Maybe it's your soft skills? How are you at interviewing? Do you come off as awkward? Soft skills are just as important as hard skills. You should look into Dale Carnegie's book "How to Win Friends and Influence People". I'm just starting it and it comes highly recommended.
GPA is "low" in the sense that OP is excluded from top grad schools and employers, but regardless OP should still be able to land something. To OP: Don't give up. You'll get something eventually.
Do keep in mind that the Cal network is not as effective because of how many people are in that network. The numbers essentially dilute the effectiveness of alumni support...just my $0.02.
@FasterWords: To be blunt, those accomplishments, even though you've quantified them, are extremely cookie-cutter generic and don't stand out at all. You had a leadership position in an organization where you increased membership - this hardly matters, especially since it has been 2 years since you graduated (it's better than nothing, I will concede). Doing a temp assignment with 99% accuracy is also cookie cutter administrative tasks.
That's why most of my suggestions are aimed towards making you stand out. Consider further education. Consider taking jobs that don't pay as well or are actually unpaid, only if the jobs/internships are at brand-name firms, you get your foot in the door in a role that has high potential for career growth, or you otherwise are involved in "high-level" tasks with lots of exposure to things that are not generic administrative work.
Berkeley needs to give up its "access for everyone" rhetoric and get smart. Admit fewer students, make sure those students are happy and are placed well, and generate a stronger alumni connection that will pay dividends for the long haul.
Thanks for your advice, I was told those were the type of accomplishments to go for from the career center and I know people who I graduated with "cookie cutter" accomplishments and were still able to get something as The Banker akin to what I am looking for.
However, I appreciate your advice and intend to follow it. However, what would you consider "high level" tasks with lots of exposure and what exactly is non-generic administrative work in your opinion?
Also, the reply button is functional for this site.
Last edited by FasterWords; 11-16-2012 at 08:27 PM.
Reason: Reply, button not working.