Grads’ options extend abroad

While many graduates are looking for employment or internships after college, they may be unaware of one overseas option

When one door of job opportunity is closed, alternative windows may be opened, and for graduating Fresno State seniors that could be the case.

According to a poll by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), employers have increased hiring activity to 96.4 percent from January’s activity of 86.4 percent.

Along with the increase in hiring, there was also a slight increase of recruiting activity by employers.

“One reason for that appears to be their commitment to recruit for their internship programs this year, even if they forgo or reduce their full-time college hiring,” said Marilyn Mackes, the NACE executive director.

Although the poll suggested a high potential for students to be hired, the poll reported the potential to receive an internship is more promising.
Monica Baisdon, a 2007 Fresno State graduate, felt that effect.

Baisdon walked away with her bachelor’s degree in criminology, in the area of victimology, along with also holding an internship at the Marjaree Mason Center.

An opportunity to work for the city of Fresno as a crime scene technician arose, and Baisdon took the opportunity to apply for it. Along with her were 200 other applicants. There were three openings and Baisdon passed the test for the job with a high score, but she was not chosen.

“I haven’t really tried anything else because, like I said, the demands for a lot of the stuff in my field isn’t there,” Baisdon said.

Rita Bocchinfuso-Cohen, the Career Services director, said for graduating seniors, there are other job options that may or may not be in the field that they majored in.

“There are fellowships for people who already have gotten their degree,” Bocchinfuso-Cohen said. “They might think of doing Peace Corps or one of the other service organizations.”

Bocchinfuso-Cohen said internships could benefit in several ways.

“That’s a way to get some experience, many times related to your major,” Bocchinfuso-Cohen said. “You might be able to get credit or some ability to pay back some student loans.”

There are many internship opportunities out there for students, along with fellowships and even the possibility of attending graduate school for a higher degree.

But, are there even more options other than that?

Kristin Starkweather, a theater arts major with a minor in Japanese, planned on taking a slightly different approach on her career path after graduation.

“Originally I thought about getting my credentials, and teaching high school theater,” Starkweather said. “But since going to Japan, I’ve kind of changed my route. I want to teach English in Japan.”

Starkweather had applied to Amity, a Japanese company that operated private English schools. She applied online at the company’s Web site for a position as an English teacher for one of the schools.

She was invited to an interview in Los Angeles, one of three cities where Amity held interviews.

If Starkweather’s plan worked out, she would be transported pass the U.S. border, across the Pacific Ocean and to a foreign country.

Although being in a foreign country and interacting with the people there may seem intimidating, this was not the case for Starkweather.

“I feel really confident with my choice of action,” Starkweather said. “It is scary because you don’t want to offend them, and you don’t know something that they do that might offend you, but it is something that just has to happen.”

Teaching English is one of several job options that students have when considering what career paths they want to pursue. There are also many other types of jobs available in foreign countries.

As for students who found themselves with job offers following graduation, Bocchinfuso-Cohen said, “You definitely want to keep your enthusiasm and what you project out to be positive and be enthusiastic. They want to hire people who are excited about the opportunities they have to offer.”

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