Being a senior in college just means you’re academically eligible to not take classes anymore and be given a piece of paper that says you’re somewhat qualified to work in some capacity in the professional world. I made it to that point in three years, others may take five or even more. And that’s OK. Because at the end of the day every senior, whether you are 20 or 65, now has to make that next step.
I had my first official job interview today. Rather, I had my first scheduled first official job interview today that my interviewer forgot about and had to reschedule. So the takeaway from that is that I am capable of remembering dates and times.
The job is nothing special; it’s a glorified volunteer position canvassing neighborhoods to lobby congressmen to pass environmental-friendly laws. But, it’s a job nonetheless. A job related in some way to my hopeful career path as an environmental lawyer.
A job I feel wholly unqualified for, sans my ability to remember appointments.
I am an international studies major, and a double minor in oceanography and history of art, essentially the quintessential liberal arts student. I can spout off random information about the “Golden Age” of Dutch art, or the speed of a wave or political uprisings in sub-Saharan Africa. Without making this my CV, I have tried to steer the classes I take to be oriented to human right and environmental policy.
But the reality is I will never feel qualified to be an adult in an adult job when I graduate. And that’s fine. From the numerous sitcoms and romantic comedies I have extensively researched for the sole purpose of this statement. Almost every adult feels that way too. And that helps me to have the confidence to apply to these positions and to try to convince a recruitment manager that despite my lack of experience and qualifications for the job, I am a safe investment.
If nothing else, at least I can say I am an experienced and skilled verbal and written communicator, #RushTheMichiganDaily.
Despite my less-than-stellar positive outlook on my post-graduation plans, I still have confidence. And that’s important. How can you sell yourself and your skills to someone without believing that you are capable for the job you are applying for?
It sounds hard, I know. Confidence is hard to achieve especially when we are bombarded daily with reminders of how lackluster we are as people between social media and advertising and just comparing ourselves to peers. But confidence is plausible to achieve. You, we and I are capable young adults who are graduating from the best public university in the world. That counts for something.
As senior year goes on, I’m finding how irrelevant feeling inadequate for a job is. You are adequate, you are able, you are as much of a good applicant as the next unqualified inexperienced college graduate. With that being said, don’t study English as an undergrad and expect to be employed as a computer analyst for JP Morgan with a starting salary of $80,000.
How to apply to jobs:
1. Apply to as many jobs as you feel comfortable with.
2. Shed a tear for every hour spent on writing cover letters.
3. Learn to hate cover letters with a fiery passion.
4. DO NOT REUSE COVER LETTERS, you will inevitably fail and use the wrong cover letter for the wrong company.
5. You will not get hired if you do this.
6. I know this.
7. Remember, you will eventually get hired.
8. Eat lots of food; getting rejected will make you hungry.
9. Talk to others about your acceptances and rejections; talking it out will always destress you to some extent.
10. Blast “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor.
11. Because believe it or not, you will survive and make it in the adult world.