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April 08, 1988 - Image 22

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-04-08
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Graduation is three
weeks away, and
you have no idea
what you're going to
do after college.
You've got. ..

good reason to be nervous about their futures after they leave
the University. "15 years ago there were more jobs that re-
quired a college education than college graduates," she said.
."Today it's more competitive. I worry about it for them.
Sometimes the pressure of the job market can immobilize
As an indication of the increased pressure, May said that
use of the center has tripled in past years. Five years ago the
office saw mostly seniors in their last semester. "Today we
see incoming freshmen and their parents," she said.
According to May, the senior flood at the office usually
occurs after winter break - after most parents are likely to
ask about their children's graduation plans. "It's not unusual
to find people sitting on the floor in January and February.
Use of the office has grown. There's a lot of anxiety in the
residence halls and where you live - it's real," she said.
But office traffic isn't the only thing that has changed,
May said. "The way we look about what we do has changed
a lot," she said. May said 15 years ago college offices such
as the CPP saw themselves as brokers. She said students
would walk in and have the office literally place them in a
job. "We made the decisions for students." Now CPP is seen
as a job-finding resource.
One of the its most prominent job-finding programs is
on-campus recruitment. Students register with the office to
meet with representatives from corporations and agencies
who schedule appointments with the University to interview
perspective employees. "Three years ago 700-800 students
went through (the program)," May said. "Now there's 2,000
(a year), and they register in the Fall."
"There are a lot of jobs out there for t'he person that pre-
pares themselves," she said. "The key isn't the job market
but the amount of responsibility a person's willing to take
in their job search."
According to May, the costs for the visiting companies
are very high. In 1984, she said recruiting corporations spent
an average of $4369 per hire. As a result, most of these vis-
iting companies are large institutions - retail and invest-
ment firms, school districts, and government agencies.
lthough the Bureau of Labor Statistics' last report
predicted that there would be 15 percent more
college graduates than available jobs through 1995,
some within the department have recently taken a
more optimistic position. Every two years the BLS lists
projections in its Occupational Outlook Quarterly. While in'
1986 there was a surplus of roughly 200,000 college

'It's been real safe, you've been with
friends and are preparing the next step. The
anxiety comes when you realize the next
step is just around the corner. The
immediacy is frightening.'
- A volunteer at 76-GUIDE
" graduates, officials now expect to say in their 1988 edition
that this number has fallen to 100,000.
"The gap between supply and demand is narrowing,
which makes sense in a rapid growth of occupations which
require a college degree," said Chester Levine, a supervisory
economist at BLS. Levine feels the outlook for college
graduates is on the upswing.
"Getting a degree from this school does mean something
in the outside world," said Judith Chapman. "It's very help-
ful in terms of the job market."
While students are cramming into the CPP during the
early winter months, many of them are also rushing to the
local copy shops to prepare their resumes. A further sign
that typewriters are a thing of the past, Macintosh-styled,
laser-printed resumes are a must-have for an employment-
seeking graduate.
Kinko's is one shop familiar with this demand. "As the
year progresses they tend to be much more nervous about
their future," said Nathan Allen, Macintosh coordinator at
the Liberty Street branch. Allen said the pre-professional
students tend to start the rush early in the fall term in time
for November interviews, while by April and May he sees
"mostly LS&A students." He also estimated that Kinko's
makes between 2,000 and 3,000 resumes a year.
But the CPP and copy shops aren't the only places stu-
dents anxious to prepare for their futures go. East Quad's
Alternative Career Center also feels the flux of job-seeking
students. "I think students are too money conscious more
than job conscious," said Center coordinator Phillis Engel-
bert. "It's only natural for people to want to find a means to
support themselves."
"The kind of people who come to us are looking for
something to do once they get out of school that they'll feel
good doing," Engelbert said. "They have the same concerns
of finding a job and putting their college education to use -
but they don't see themselves fitting into the corporate
America job structure."

Located in East Quad, t
dents two days a week and o
ture, and resource books to
careers in fields ranging fror
ternative learning. Office hot
the success of the annual Altu
A t the University'
Engineering, appli
students are headc
programs in both c
more popular with student
national reputation of the p
year, a U.S. News and W
Business and Engineering
spectively, in the country.
Joe White, associate dea
the main way the school's ur
is in terms of the number ol
Last year's entering class of
cants. Ten years earlier, the s
for 250 spots. Students, one
interest in business.
"There are two reasons w
White explained. "One is l
about jobs. They feel the Bi
them get a job. Also, 400
yearly to interview our stude
path to the job market.
"Second, I think it's rec
school itself - in terms of f
- has gone up in the 1980s
According to White, the a
last year was $24,700 - w
average reported by the Cer
18-24 year-olds with four y
aren't nervous," said White.
they take it very seriously, t
spend a lot of time on it."
One can see a similar pat
Last year the program receiv
a class of over 800 first-yea
received only 2,400 applicati


By Beth Fertig

njoy it now because these are the best
years of your life." The average college
student hears this phrase at least once a
term from a parent or concerned family
member. The weight of these words alone can be difficult for
some to grasp. Coupled with the harsh realities that will
surface upon graduation, it is no wonder that many students
are anxious about leaving their "best years" behind.
While college graduation itself marks a major turning
point bound to cause anxieties, the '80s have brought
students some unusual worries of their own. According to
studies conducted by The Job Market for College Graduates,
the nation's number of college graduates increases by almost
one million each year. This enormous growth in the number
of people receiving degrees, which now accounts for almost
30 percent of the young adult population, has led the Bureau
of Labor Statistics to estimate that through the '90s, possi-
bly 15 percent more college graduates will be seeking jobs
than there will be suitable openings.
If these are the "best years," one can only wonder what
will follow.
Doreen Murasky, a clinical social worker at the Univer-
sity's Counseling Services Office, has heard the "best years"
cliche many times. "I think it's a very provocative state-
ment," she said. "I've heard it with many students because
sometimes college isn't. If they are left believing this, it
leaves them at a loss to what the future will bring."
She also said movies like The Big Chill reinforce the
Fertig is a former Daily arts editor and current staffer

notion that college years "are glorious and the rest of your
life doesn't compare to it."
"It's a very harmful notion," she said. "The pressure it
puts on'students to have a good time is tremendous... Not
only are you sorting out your own identity and developing
competency in relationships, academic life, just a sense of
autonomy - it's a very stressful time of your life."
In her years with Counseling Services, Mursasky has
talked to many seniors troubled by leaving college. Al-
though she said the problems vary, many of them are
precipitated by the fears of graduation.
"This is the first time for many students that they don't
know what they're going to be doing in the fall," she said.
"Sometimes it's students who have applied to graduate
schools and don't know if they got in, or students who are
worried about getting a job, or financial decisions. They
don't know if they can support themselves.
"There's a loss that their college y ii. t them -
their undergraduate years - and that they are moving beyond
their peer network into something unknown.
At 76-GUIDE, the University's peer counseling hotline,
volunteers receive calls from nervous seniors. "Calls in
general are concerns of having been with friends and having
enjoyed this environment," said Kate, a graduate student who
preferred to withhold her full name. "It's been real safe,
you've been with friends and are preparing the next step. The
anxiety comes when you realize the next step is just around
the corner. The immediacy is frightening."
Kate said 76-GUIDE usually receives the soon-to-be-

graduate phone calls after spring break. She said she tries to
help the students by getting them to identify their problems
and to think of goals.
"It's a big change, even going to graduate school," said
Judith Chapman, an administrative assistant in LSA Aca-
demic Counseling. She said most students who use the of-
fice are worried about fulfilling distribution requirements.
"Most of the anxiety we see is to make sure they've not
goofed up somehow... They worry near the end if all the re-
quirements are in order," she said.
However, Chapman also feels students as a whole have
become extremely career conscious. "They're very anxious
to get out and get jobs," she said. "Our whole student popu-
lation, not just here, reflects the politics of the country.
Students are more conservative, more job conscious. We've
probably swung from one continuum to another.
"To a large extent this society as a whole and their fami-
lies want them to get a degree to get good jobs."
ob-hunting pressure is definitely the order of the
day at the University's Career Planning and
Placement Office. With shelves stacked full of
how-to-get-a-job books and graduate school
pamphlets, the office offers students a wealth of information
to help them in their search for their life after college. Other
services include resume counseling, seminars, and on-
campus recruitment opportunities which allow students to
meet representatives from some of the country's largest
Deborah Orr May, director of CPP, feels students have


Three atnxious seniors await interviews wiith prospective employers at the Career Planning and Placement Office.

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