After graduating from BYU-Hawaii, alumni said getting a job required applying for multiple positions and using connections.
Joe Tanner, an international communications alumnus who graduated in 2014, explained his experience after graduating “realizing I had exactly no clue what I wanted to do.
“I had an internship during my senior year of school and they said there would be a job waiting for me once I graduated, which I was really excited for. But when I graduated, the company took a hit and couldn’t hire me.”
Elise Kemp, a biology alumna from 2015, said, “My experience finding a job was not super difficult after graduation. I applied for over 50 jobs and took every interview I was offered. It gave me great interviewing experience and also helped me filter through what I would actually be interested in pursuing in the healthcare field.
“The difficulty was that many jobs say they need five years of experience; however, many places allow you to substitute education for the experience and will give you a shot.”
Marc Winchell, a finance alumnus from 2011, said he started working at Turtle Bay Resort part time while he was a student at BYUH. He now works for the resort fulltime. “I managed to get a job there starting as an intern and later was offered a job”.
Winchell said he took an entrepreneurial approach during school and started his own hiking business that allowed him to make the initial connection with Turtle Bay.
Blake Baxter, a 2011 business marketing alumnus, said, “Moving back home to California after graduation, times were still hard as many businesses were still emerging from the Recession.
“I had to humble myself and settle for a job bussing tables at a bar so I could pay my bills while I submitted my resume and applied for a career-related job. It took four months of bussing tables, but I finally got an offer as a project manager at a tech startup with a salary.”
Baxter said, “We imagine graduating and receiving the dream job that is enjoyable, pays well, and is totally flexible, with plenty of vacation days to go surfing and lay out at the beach, but this is not always the case.”
The advice Tanner gave to students trying to plan for their futures was: “I wish I utilized Career Services at school so that I could sharpen my resume and hone my job search. My best advice is don’t stress. Reach out to anyone and everyone.”
Tanner said he agrees with the saying: “It’s not what you know but who you know.”
“Connections are everything,” he added. “Get to know new people and start to make connections that could possibly lead to something in the future.”
Kemp agreed with Tanner and said, “A lot of where you go and how you get there is about who you know. My suggestion is to ask everyone you know if they hear about entry level positions and apply, apply, apply. Jobs are posted every day, all day, and hundreds of people apply.
“If you just apply for 10 jobs, you could be one of five hundred applicants, depending on the popularity of the company. You may think you deserve something that pays more, has more responsibilities, etc., but you have to put in your time and find your way.”
A Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University report shows that 8.4 million of the 11.6 million jobs created after the Great Recession went to those with at least a bachelor’s degree, and another 3 million went to those with associate’s degrees or some college education–over 98 percent of the jobs went to those with some form of college education or degree.