With articles like this from The New York Times telling graduates that their diploma may not hold as much weight in the job force as it used to, it is no wonder that Sallyann Price was anxious about her post-graduate life. The unemployment rate for graduates in the class of 2012 was sitting right around 8.5 percent, and those graduates who landed full-time jobs were making about 4.6 percent less than several years prior.
“I just kept reading articles in The New York Times about why the class of 2012 was screwed,” says Price, who graduated from Loyola in May 2012 with a degree in English and international studies.
While the job forecast was grim, Price landed a paid editorial internship at The Rotarian, the monthly magazine produced by Rotary International in Evanston.
“My parents were concerned with the idea of it being an ‘internship,'” says Price, but their worries were appeased when she was offered the opportunity to stay on board to work full-time for the magazine as a contributing editor.
Price says she is so humbled and grateful to have this opportunity, and she has a couple of pointers for anybody else who is starting to think of life after graduation.
“Make time for professional development in school.”
“You can’t just go to class. You have to have an internship and a job,” says Price who worked two jobs during school and interned at newspapers during the summers.
Price worked her way up the ranks of the Loyola Phoenix. She first was hired as a web editor, and then became an assistant editor of the Diversions section. Her senior year, Price was hired as the managing editor of the entire paper. She says her time with the paper gave her a higher level of responsibility and understanding of the inner workings of putting together a newspaper.
“Writing for the paper is one thing, but working on the staff and editing is the only way you can get high-level experience,” she says. “Even just the responsibility. [It is a] paper that comes out every week that people have to sit in a room and produce.”
Additionally, she held a position in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts’s box office, which she says helped her become more specialized in media, another skill that she has been able to transfer and incorporate into her work now.
“Keep your expectations in check.”
“Don’t quit and move to a different job if you don’t land your dream job,” advises Price. “Get your chops where you can get them.”
When Price applied for the internship position at The Rotarian, she did so without any assumptions of being offered a job. However, her work showed her readiness for full-time work, and she took on the position. While looking for jobs after graduation appears daunting, Price says that there are still positions out there.
“We are coming of age in a media landscape where there are not a lot of jobs,” she says. “But there is still a lot of vibrant work to be done, especially in a city like Chicago.”