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Graduated a Year Ago and Still Unemployed

umdclassof80umdclassof80 Registered User Posts: 372 Member
edited September 2012 in Parents Forum
Most of us on CC expect that our kids will graduate from college and go on to find a successful career. But what about the ones who don’t? I wanted to share the story of two young adults who graduated a year ago and are still unemployed. Both mothers are very frustrated because they had high expectations for their children. Yet, I feel that in some way, they may have contributed to this situation.

Grad A received a degree in biology from MIT. She is the daughter of a relative. She received a full need-based scholarship to MIT so does not have any student debt. When most of the students at MIT had summer internships, she chose to return home and do nothing each summer. On one occasion, I remember hearing her brag at a party that when she graduated she was going to make “big money” because she was an MIT graduate. Grad A has NEVER worked (not in high school nor in college). Since her graduation last May, she has not been able to find a job in her field that pays much more than minimum wage (even with a degree from MIT). She has refused to even consider working in retail or waiting tables. She does not want to go to grad school. So, according to her mother, she sits at home with no plans for the future.

Grad B received a degree in veterinary medicine a year ago. She is extremely bright. She is the daughter of a friend of mine. After 8 years in college, she has racked up over $150K in student debt. Her student loans are now in deferment. Like Grad A, she has NEVER worked with the exception of a high school job that only lasted 2 days. She walked off the job because she didn’t like the way a customer treated her. She graduated a year ago, but has not been able to find a vet job that pays a salary that she feels she deserves. So, like Grad A, she sits at home with no plans for the future.

The one thing that both of these unemployed graduates have in common is the fact that they have NEVER been employed. They didn’t work in high school or during the summers while they were in college. Neither one participated in a college internship. Both of these young adults were brought up in households where the parents did not expect them to work. They seem to have a sense of entitlement to a high-paying job right out of college with no work experience. So instead of starting out with an entry-level position, they choose to not work at all.

Any thoughts?
Post edited by umdclassof80 on
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Replies to: Graduated a Year Ago and Still Unemployed

  • PolarBearVsSharkPolarBearVsShark Registered User Posts: 599 Member
    I wouldn't worry too much about them. Finishing MIT is like getting blown out of a cannon. Takes a while to recoup. As for the vet, she's already degreed. Once either of these two get re-motivated, it'll be business as usual.
  • ConsolationConsolation Registered User Posts: 22,582 Senior Member
    Well, my S never worked in HS. We live in a small town with virtually no jobs, and no public transportation. He has, however, worked in college, since we give him no spending money at all. It has definitely been good for him, although he has never taken the typical retail or food service job. (He did temp one summer, and really did not like it, since he ended up working in a factory. At least he learned why one does not want to end up having to take that kind of job! :) ) He also did an internship in college. Now that he's graduating, he has actually been handed a summer TA job at a language program in France, for which he did not even apply. Life is tough. :rolleyes:

    He has certainly been a slow starter when it comes to employment, and would rather do without money than do drudge work. It did worry me, but he seems to be willing and/or able to find work that actually interests him, and seems to have finally gotten off the dime when it comes to being proactive about his future. At least he is better than the girls you describe...
  • limabeanslimabeans Registered User Posts: 4,753 Senior Member
    Colleges should require all students to work with their Career Services as part of their graduation requirements. It certainly is harder to find a job after graduation without an internship or any sort of employment record. At the same time, I know it IS hard to find a job. My 2010 graduate is still home and working only P/T.

    I also think many jobs listed on these job sites are bogus, but that's just me feeling cynical. It used to be the norm that when I graduated in the 1970s, I started working at some retail store until something "real" came along. I think now, with so many job sites, kids get to thinking they should stay busy just filling job applications. But that's a time sponge and zaps the energy required to find something in-between.
  • sunmachinesunmachine Registered User Posts: 824 Member
    As Colbert once said, nothing looks worse on a resume than nothing.
  • menloparkmommenloparkmom Registered User Posts: 12,533 Senior Member
    ""Neither one participated in a college internship. "
    that was their BIG mistake, imho.
  • collegealum314collegealum314 Registered User Posts: 6,768 Senior Member
    ""Neither one participated in a college internship. "
    that was their BIG mistake, imho.
    I agree with Menloparkmom here.

    As for not "working" and being entitled in high school, well that time was probably spent working for free (research, community service), taking classes, and/or doing non-academic ECs which are needed to get into college. I would hardly call not working in high school a "sign of entitlement."
  • calmomcalmom Registered User Posts: 19,842 Senior Member
    Sounds to me like an attitude problem. Both grads are willfully unemployed.

    My d. worked so many jobs in college that I lost count. It was something like 19 at the beginning of senior year, but then I think she worked about 6 different part time jobs during the course of the year.

    With computers and the internet, kids these days can and do tailor their resumes to the jobs they apply for.

    But there's more to being employed than just getting hired -- it's also a matter of hanging on to the job.

    One more note: at age 20, my son announced that he was going to "take time off" from college & arranged a leave of absence from school. In June of that year, I sat him down and told him that college started in September. I told him he was welcome to live at home all summer, but come September, he could no longer live at home unless he was employed or in school. If he opted to attend school locally (such as via a university extension program), I would pay. He slept on the couch for the rest of the month and halfway into July ... then he went out and got a job. Four months later he had moved out of my house, into his own apartment.

    A big part of the problem of adult college graduates who are living at home without jobs is parents who allow them to make that choice. I'm not talking about the many who choose to live at home while working, in order to save on the cost of housing. My kids would certainly be welcome to live with me, any time, if they are employed. But sitting at home doing nothing is not an option.
  • umdclassof80umdclassof80 Registered User Posts: 372 Member
    menloparkmom --

    The MIT Grad said that MIT expected him to participate in summer internships, but he always seemed to come up with some excuse why he couldn't. "I don't have a car." "I couldn't find anything that I liked."
  • BCEagle91BCEagle91 Registered User Posts: 22,762 Senior Member
    Son had three internships and great stats but it still took a while to get a job. He just kept trying. I know other kids from good schools and bad that took a while to find work - but the main thing is that they didn't give up. They had internships or previous work experience too.

    An undergrad bio degree is a tough one, even from MIT. A friend's wife has an Ivy Phd and it took her a year to get a part-time contract job that paid about $17/hour with no benefits.
  • calmomcalmom Registered User Posts: 19,842 Senior Member
    At the same time, I know it IS hard to find a job. My 2010 graduate is still home and working only P/T.
    Yes, it is, but those individuals need to be working on finding a job.

    The OP didn't report on the far more common situation of being under employed. If, for example, the veterinary grad was unable to find paying work but had found an internship or a volunteer position at the local animal shelter -- you could chalk it up to the bad economy. Your kid is working, albeit part-time -- presumably continuing to look for full time employment.

    It takes work to find work. It's possible that the OP isn't aware of the full story with the individuals she describes, but at least by her account it doesn't sound like either of the young women has ever really tried to find a job.
  • Walker1194Walker1194 Registered User Posts: 1,005 Senior Member
    You take whatever job you can. That's always been true. I took a job as a govt purchasing agent when I graduated from college with my BFA. Why? Because it was a full time job and my husband was in med school. It wasn't a dream job but I learned things. I moved on within the year.

    My point is many kids today have expectations that are unrealistic to say the least. They also have hovering parents that cater to them. Stop holding your kids hands. Cut the umbilical cord and do it before college!!
  • calmomcalmom Registered User Posts: 19,842 Senior Member
    Post #1:
    Grad A received a degree in biology from MIT. She is the daughter of a relative. She received a full need-based scholarship to MIT so does not have any student debt. When most of the students at MIT had summer internships, she chose to return home and do nothing each summer

    Post #9:
    The MIT Grad said that MIT expected him to participate in summer internships, but he always seemed to come up with some excuse why he couldn't. "I don't have a car." "I couldn't find anything that I liked."

    Ah, a clue to the problem! It is probably hard to find a job while in the process of sex reassignment surgery.
  • gouf78gouf78 Registered User Posts: 6,872 Senior Member
    Sounds like an attitude problem more than a lack of work experience. Attitude counts for more than experience with most employers. An employer can teach the job to a talented graduate but probably wouldn't bother with someone who feels entitled to a job.
  • PolarBearVsSharkPolarBearVsShark Registered User Posts: 599 Member
    I might as well share this story: I had a college frat brother who was in an MIT branch. After graduation, he essentially called his parents to say he was he was going to take a break. He bought a $300 one way plane ticket to England and once he got there he wandered Europe on foot with a backpack, for a year. He tried to enter the Soviet Union, was arrested for a week or so, and got dumped back out in Poland. He circumvented the USSR going south through Turkey and eventually made it to Goa which I think is in India or Sri Lanka. To get "college out of his system" because he felt so burned out, and probably to check out the babes. During his great expedition, he would call me every two or three months at strange hours of the night to say "Hi".

    Sometimes people need time to reorganize their brain because there is so much stuff, and it has been put off for years. So -- it's not so much an unemployment as it is a restaging for the next strategic assault.
  • parentOfJuniorparentOfJunior Registered User Posts: 84 Junior Member
    Just curious... Grad B "graduated a year ago, but has not been able to find a vet job that pays a salary that she feels she deserves." Do you know if she was able to find vet jobs, but the salary was not up to her expectations, or she was unable to find any vet job at all (as a veterinarian, not as a technician)?
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