My career advisor doesn't like to waste his time with people like I...

<p>A few months ago I decided to seek the counsel of a career advisor at my alma mater. I met with a middle-aged man, well-spoken, very good manners, very enthusiastic, very full of energy, etc. He told me that my GPA wouldn't disqualify me from a job at a major company. He asked me about the extracurriculars I had done in college. Trying to appear as meek as I possibly could, I told him that I hadn't participated in any extracurricular activity as an undergraduate.</p>

<p>After he heard my answer, his demeanor did a complete 180, shifted gears and became abrasive and borderline hostile. He asked me some questions which I felt were irrelevant to the discussion, such as how I had gotten accepted to the school given that I wasn't the type of person who liked to do extracurricular activities. Before I had a chance to articulate a response, he retracted his question murmuring that what I had done in high school was irrelevant to my present situation. My guess is that he reasoned I had been accepted to the university thanks to affirmative action, and there was nothing he could do to unaccept me.</p>

<p>The discussion continued, and I asked him if there was a time of the year when it was relatively easier for a person to find a job. He had a very sharp response: "no, the students at this school are not like you, they don't start searching for a job after they graduate, they start searching for a job before they graduate." I didn't say anything, but silently contemplated the absurdity of his observation.</p>

<p>A few moments later I asked him if he thought it would be a good idea for me to sign up for additional college courses relevant to the type of job I'm looking for. He told me it was a good idea, and suggested that I sign up for a few courses at the local community college. I see nothing wrong with community college courses, but given that I live in a major metropolitan area full of well-known colleges and universities, most of which offer evening courses, I felt there was an implied message in his answer.</p>

<p>The icing on the cake came towards the end of the interview, when I asked him if he believed it was a good idea for me to apply for a job with a government agency known for hiring a lot of math majors. He put his hand on his chin and told me in a serious tone of voice "no offense, but you need to be very intelligent to work at that place." Clearly, he was either unimpressed by my 3.5 GPA/honors from our top40 school or felt that my academic credentials did not compensate for whatever interpersonal skill he felt I was missing.</p>

<p>I'm not sure how the discussion ended, but I left the career advisor's office with a bitter taste in my mouth. From my point of view, it looked like he didn't enjoy our meeting, either.</p>

<p>So what do you guys think? Do you guys feel that my career advisor treated me fairly? Do you guys believe there is something I could have done differently besides rewinding time and forcing myself to overcome my social anxiety issues that led me to choose not to do extracurricular activities as an undergraduate?</p>

<p>You AGAIN... you posted essentially the exact same post a while back and here you go again. Everytime you post about your sorry situation everyone essentially tells you the same thing (that it's not the 'system' or your school that's broken, but that you just need to get your act together and get on with it) yet every time you seemingly refuse to take that advice and continue posting threads about your sorry situation. Seriously, give it up and just get on with it.</p>

<p>Why are you going to him asking him about every decision you might or might not make? Why don't you just read the criteria for the job you want, decide whether or not you personally meet the requirements, then make a decision from there? You don't have to walk into his office every time you have to make a decision. Why didn't you look for a job before you graduated? You don't even attend the college anymore but are still using their resources for things you should have done when you were still a student there.</p>

<p>You want my honest opinion, though? Stop whining about how this career counselor was unfair to you. We've already heard this story like 3 times, and nobody is empathizing with your situation, sorry.</p>

<p>i think this is some sick joke. a while back, someone under a different name posted the EXACT SAME FIRST 2 PARAGRAPHS! i don't know what kind of prank you're playing, but you're really wasting people's time by reading your excessive posts. go become a hermit if you want then.</p>

people like I


<p>Bad time to get technical here, but uh, I think you suffer from hypercorrection. I subscribe a healthy daily dose of Language Log. :)</p>

<p>As an 18-year-old, Moire, I can't really speak from experience -- (I don't get why you say "top 40 school" all the time -- can't you actually say what your school is?) but I do think you should drop some of the "victim mentality" you have. YOU HAVE A MATH MAJOR -- you need to be creative and inspired on what you do with it. Degree qualifications are only half of your job possibilities, you see. What are you into, anyway?</p>

<p>The poster, Moire, keeps posting the same story over and over again</p>



<p>That's what I do, but back then pretty much every single person who was aware of my situation at the time told me at least twice to go back to my school to see a career advisor.</p>

You don't have to walk into his office every time you have to make a decision. Why didn't you look for a job before you graduated?


<p>Because I didn't know what I wanted to do for a living.</p>

You don't even attend the college anymore but are still using their resources for things you should have done when you were still a student there.


<p>I did use their resources when I was a student. I went to the career center a bunch of times, but met with other career advisors who were marginally more civil than the last career advisor I met.</p>



<p>Judging by your screen name, I'm guessing you are a math major yourself.</p>

<p>I don't get what you mean by being creative and inspired on what I want do with it my degree in math. I don't get it. Creative and inspired how? Like, using my creativity and inspiration to figure out which jobs I should apply to? I don't know what those jobs are. I only know that I like applied math. Any suggestions?</p>

<p>To everyone else: if you don't like my threads please don't read them.</p>

<p>Well, I'm not at school yet, so I can only anticipate -- but actually no I'm not going to be a math major though I love math. Personally, I think a math major is great -- but only it serves you best only when you go on to graduate school. Maybe an employer will be willing to pay for your graduate tuition (maybe if you want to go into teaching for a while?) </p>

<p>But you see, you need to assert a bit more control over your life! A career counselor doesn't search for jobs for you -- he/she however has resources (contacts, networks, etc.) that you might not. Network with friends -- what are your classmates doing?</p>

<p>You've in the past drawn a distinction between proficiency in language and proficiency in mathematics -- this to me is superficial. How do I plan to apply math? As an 18-year-old I don't know what jobs I want to go into in either, but I have an idea of the fields: you can apply Fourier transforms to waveform and spectrograph analysis, analysing sound, and ultimately human phonetic production. There's the correlation between waveform and psycholinguistic perception. There's the fundamental theorem of information theory to explore, and how grammar may serve as an organic equivalent of a cyclic redundancy check to secure an unreliable communication medium (speech). This paper (<a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;) detailing an evolutionary model of the development of a language in a protolinguistic society -- using the initial condition of assigning five speech sounds to five objects shared by a small population in a group of 100 -- has advanced mathematics that will take me time to decipher. Oh, don't forget the game</a> of life. </p>

<p>Of course you must forgive my naive enthusiasm; maybe something occurs in those four years that demoralises you, crushes your visions and dreams, and makes you more cynical, etc. </p>

<p>You are into applied math! But surely you must see your skills apply everywhere! What are you fascinated by?</p>

<p>See, what fascinated me about Galois was his multidisciplinary nature -- fighter for the restoration of the French republic, revolutionary, lover and genius mathematician -- and he died at the age of 20 in a duel for his girlfriend's honour! ;) </p>

<p>Don't be dejected. Move on. Take a look at what your friends are doing -- not that you should follow the crowd, but they'll give you some ideas.</p>

<p>I read a post recently on CC talking about how very difficult it is to find a job with a pure math degree. Ditto for physics. </p>

<p>I have warned my kids to get applied degrees in any technical field as a result. </p>

<p>Sorry for your trouble.</p>

<p>Pure degrees by themselves (as I see them) are good for graduate/professional schools. However, I suspect half of the job search with them (alone) is how you brand yourself anyway. Show an employer a lot of enthusiasm and vision on how you want to use your degree, and she might just be tempted to hire you! </p>

<p>Even with an engineering degree, jobs aren't going to walk up to you. (Though what I dislike about civil engineering actually, is that it seems that your job is already so cut out for you -- there's no adventure involved. ;))</p>

<p>He was probably irritated with you because after all your time as an undergraduate student you did not do any extracurricular activities or volunteer work (?) related to your major, which are essential to help you gain experience and have an idea of what you want to do for your future. Yet you went to him asking for answers to help decide your future when you should have done a lot more on your part. If you had at least done some extra-curricular activities and volunteer work it would have shown that you have attempted to find out what you want to do with yourself, but because you didn't, he probably got the impression that you are a slacker and pathetic, and I can understand why he became frustrated with you, no offense. </p>

<p>Social anxiety is not an excuse because if you don't try to over come it, you will never grow. If this is still a problem for you, I strongly recommend you to seek therapy which your school likely offers for cheap or no cost for students. Believe me, I know that social anxiety is not easy, but there comes a point when one has to grow and overcome. </p>

<p>It's not like your situation is beyond help, you just need to do more on your part and figure some things out on your own.</p>

<p>Yes, you got a 3.5. But you didn't do anything else for four years, apparently (no activities or internships, right?) so it's honestly not that impressive - or at least it's much less impressive than your numerous peers who can pull a 3.5+ while being active members of their community and college. What do you have to show for your college years beyond a decent GPA?</p>

<p>You can't really use social anxiety as an excuse if you never did anything to get over it. Employers are looking for people with people skills and leadership skills. I would find a way to get some leadership experience ASAP.</p>

<p>So you did not do a co-op or internship? I understand that you did not know what you wanted to do for a living, but internships and co-ops are great for finding out what you like to do.
I suggest going online to any of the job search sites, that should give you plenty ideas what you can do with a math major.</p>



<p>That's a good point, but you are making it sound like I spent all of my free time working towards that 3.5 GPA, which is not the case. I spent the time my friends spent doing extracurricular activities either procrastinating or locked up in my dorm room trying to sleep off my anxiety and depression. Since we are making comparisons, I guess we could also argue that unless my peers also had mental problems, their 3.5 GPAs are nowhere near as impressive as mine. The fact that I managed to do well in school in spite of being mentally ill and having a "slacker attitude" ought to say something about my capacity.</p>

You can't really use social anxiety as an excuse if you never did anything to get over it. Employers are looking for people with people skills and leadership skills. I would find a way to get some leadership experience ASAP.


<p>I'm not looking for a managerial position and my personality type has never been like that of a leader, so I simply don't care about leadership skills. People skills, on the other hand, are something that I could work on, for the sake of passing job interviews and not getting fired from my jobs.</p>

<p>Moire - I don't think that anyone here is trying to argue that you had/have problems that are difficult to overcome, and given a difficult situation, you did really well academically. But you really need to change your attitude to get anywhere in the professional world -- managerial position or otherwise.</p>

<p>You say "The fact that I managed to do well in school in spite of being mentally ill and having a 'slacker attitude' ought to say something about my capacity" and in true, blunt honesty, you're either entirely wrong, or completely correct in a way that you don't want to be. You're admitting to having a slacker attitude, which has to be among the traits most loathed by people who will be hiring you. If you had that attitude in college, which clearly you did even if there are some extenuating factors which can "explain" it, what makes a future employer confident in believing that trait -- which isn't an easy one to kick -- won't continue in the workplace. Similarly, you prove that GPAs are an often tricky measurement of a college experience, since they don't factor in extenuating circumstances. But you have to word your situation well -- using phrases like "mental problems" won't get you anywhere, that'll freak out any prospective employer. Get help, talk to someone, then if a GPA conversation ever arises in interviews (or a "Why weren't you involved?" which might be more likely), think of something to say tactfully about having had a lot to deal with, but then you took all the necessary steps to overcome it. That survivor mentality is an impressive one. </p>

<p>You simply don't care about leadership skills since you're not interested in managerial positions? Try again. Leadership skills are important, and highly desired, in any position across any profession, even if you now can sit here and say you don't care about managerial positions (and if that's the case, what do you really aspire to be and accomplish? Employers want to see some passion). What job, even for some crappy entry level job, wants a kid who is just a "follower"?You "could work on" people skills -- no, you absolutely need to. Not just for the sake of passing job interviews and not getting fired, but maybe, just maybe, with improved people skills, problems like social anxiety can get a little easier to overcome.</p>

<p>I'm sorry if I'm blunt, and I'm sorry if I'm rude and over the top, but it's the truth. I'm sorry you went through a difficult patch in college -- I for one applaud you for completing it successfully. But lots of kids suffer from depression and anxiety, and manage not only to get the help they need, but to create a situation for themselves in which they can thrive. And unfortunately, I don't think you did. It wasn't your career counselor's fault for being so abrasive, but if you went to him after graduation with a pretty solid gpa and no extracurrics/internship experiences/etc, it's almost a slap in his face. I'll admit, very often college career counselors aren't the most helpful people, especially not if you're not taking all the steps on your end to find careers, drop resumes and network yourself... if you're not doing that, there's nothing they can do, and maybe he just reacted due to your sense of entitlement that he should help a student who has done nothing to help himself after his graduation date.</p>

<p>Moire: half of what I think the problem is not so much as your math major qualifications as how you're marketing yourself to employers. You're into applied math -- but go find a passion in which you can (well) apply your existing skillset to.</p>

<p>As I see it (admittedly as someone who's yet to search beyond minimum wage jobs) it's not about pulling up and searching for a criteria, "math degree required". </p>

<p>If anything I think you need to go back to school again to make full use of your math degree. NEVERTHELESS, there are a lot of jobs you can apply with a math major. Now, if you had a bit of integration with an applied field (computer technology -- e.g. the linear algebra present in 3D world design for computer games, or constructing statistical and calculus-based models for physical phenomena) it would have been good -- but all is not lost. You could also just enter a college (who cares if it's a community college, just take the bloody course) to complement your resume with applied courses, so you can declare, "yes, I can integrate my theoretical math [vision] to applied problems [action]." </p>

<p>As I see it, if you already have a bachelor's and are <em>desiring</em> to find applied courses where theoretical math is heavily used, a lot of the "better schools" in your area would be willing to accept you. On one hand, you can go into graduate-level school in fields that require lots of theoretical math -- and you don't have to seek a graduate-level math degree, just something that applies your bachelor's. You could also seek bachelor-level courses to effectively make up for the lack of a minor or second major...</p>

<p>Regain your morale, and resume the battle. People all the time complain about getting a job but it seems to me half the battle is how you apply your major. Personally I think even if you had an engineering degree, you might still have the same issue. Math majors, IIRC, are full of theoretical math good for problem-solving. There are a lot of ways to apply your qualifications if you know how!</p>

<p>Screw the fact that you don't know what you want to do for your life. You're unlikely to find such a company on your first job. Heck, if you end up working in 3 different fields for the next 5 years, I wouldn't be too worried (it's the typical career path of budding graduate -- speaking from what I perceive, of course) and it would actually consolidate a multidisciplinary experience as well as give you a concrete idea of what you really want to do.</p>

<p>What are you working right now? Remember you don't hit your prime wage until you're like 35-45. If you find the job fantastically boring, I would change jobs, but in the mean time there are <em>applied skills</em> you can take from the job.</p>

<p>Market yourself. If you made yourself invaluable to your employer with vision and foresight, you could probably even ask for a raise. Well, maybe that's not possible with your current job, but as I see it employers are willing to accept math degrees for many fields -- they just want to see graduates who show in an interview that they're impassioned enough to learn how to use the theoretical math they've learnt to a field or a problem they're interested in.</p>

<p>That's just take on it. Honestly, you ought to stop moping. If you're not already entering each interview with enthusiasm, I suggest working on your self-presentation too. I haven't even entered college yet, so I can hardly be qualified to advise you, but think of how then well-equipped a college counselor would be if you only you had displayed a little more passion! (It can be even something as abstract as, "Man, I don't know what I want to do, but I've always found NP-complete problems a little interesting...")</p>

<p>So your advisor snubbed you. Accept that he was a jerk (if he was truly being a jerk) and move on -- or maybe you're afraid that some of his words are true? Don't make them true. Have you exhausted your friends' networks? I know it sounds cheesy, but have you mined for ideas or opportunities on facebook?</p>

<p>Out there, I bet there's an employer who's searching for a bright young individual to help him create a suitable model for traffic (if your future employer is a city planner), goods flow (if your future employer is a worldwide shipper) or load expectations for a data network. Something like that, you see. Heck, if you get really useful he/she might want to send you off to graduate school to be even more productive. But that employer won't take a mope!</p>

<p>Moire, you have had a few thoughtful responses here but I would suggest you post on the parents forum for more. Your several posts asking for advice from your peers have not been all that fruitful because they are still in college and don't have the experience to give the advice you are seeking.</p>

<p>" I spent the time my friends spent doing extracurricular activities either procrastinating or locked up in my dorm room trying to sleep off my anxiety and depression. "</p>

<p>But, did you seek therapy and medicinal help for your depression? Have you ever gotten help for your depression? That's what people do who have medical problems and want to overcome them.</p>

<p>Being depressed in college isn't enough reason for you to have done no ECs or worked any jobs. I was depressed in college, slept a lot, but still managed to do ECs, jobs, and an internship. </p>

<p>"I'm not looking for a managerial position and my personality type has never been like that of a leader, so I simply don't care about leadership skills. "</p>

<p>It will be very difficult to get any kind of professional job if you have no leadership skills or interest in acquiring them. Virtually all professional jobs require some kind of leadership skills, and you also are expected to advance on the job, which usually requires supervising some people. </p>

<p>Someone with no leadership skills or interest is going to have a hard time getting a professional job in any field.</p>

<p>I think the reason that you repeatedly have had discussions with advisors who lack patience with you is because of your own behavior, particularly your slacker way of doing things which includes being very passive and expecting that the advisor is somehow going to give you exactly what you want.</p>

<p>If you want a job, yet apparently haven't ever worked, you will have to start at the very bottom, which may mean being a store clerk or something similar. Even though you were a math major, it probably will be hard to find a starting job in your field because you have no experience. When it comes to hiring college grads for permanent jobs, companies want to hire students who've had internships, which are the way that students demonstrate that they have the professionalism -- including leadership skills -- to be worth hiring for permanent jobs that include benefits.</p>

<p>Another way to build your resume would be to get jobs through a temporary employment agency that hires people for office jobs. Any job that you get could help you eventually get a permanent job. This particularly will be true if you do more than just sit and wait to be told what to do. Employers want staff who do more than punch a clock.</p>

<p>One last thing: I find it offensive that on another thread, you are blaming affirmative action for your sorry situation. There is no evidence that less qualified minorities are taking jobs that you deserve. There's every evidence that you are not being hired because of your lack of job experience combined with your passivity and tendency to blame others for your problems. You come across as a whiner and complainer on these boards, and how you describe people's reactions to you in real life indicates they are irritated because they also view you as someone who is irritating. Instead of blaming others, you'd be better off changing your own behavior and -- if you are depressed -- getting the mental health help that you need.</p>

<p>Also, you have posted asking people to advise you on what jobs you might get that you might like. Considering the tight job market and you're a college grad who has never worked, you need to be open to obtaining and doing well any place where you can be hired -- whether or not you like that job.</p>

<p>Instead of spamming on CC variations of the same question, you'd be better off hiring a professional who can advise you in your job search and career options.</p>



<p>I've actually thought about doing that. If it costs me a few thousand dollars, it doesn't matter because it might very well turn out to be a good investment. Do you know where I can find such professionals?</p>