Editor’s note: Check out the first post from our newest guest blogger, recent college grad Samantha Hyde!
When I graduated college in the spring of 2009, I was confident I would get a job quickly; probably not my dream job, but at least a job. I was prepared to work nights and weekends, make coffee runs and answer phones all while barely making enough money to pay the rent. I had prepared myself in college for the job search. I was definitely a go-getter. At my first magazine club meeting, I went up to the president, introduced myself, and said, “You’re going to be seeing a lot of me around here.” I got great internships, took great classes and won awards. I was ready.
But here I am, more than a year later, living at my parents’ house and still haven’t even been asked for an interview. The only feedback I’ve been able to get from employers? “Just be patient. It’s a tough economy.” Well, I’m tired of being patient. I’m ready to recreate that go-getter attitude from college.
Since I haven’t been able to find a job near where I live, I decided it is time to move where there are more job opportunities: New York City. I’ve always dreamt of moving to the Big Apple, but financially, it has never been a real possibility. My senior year, Jane Chesnutt, then Editor-In-Chief of Woman’s Day magazine, spoke for a small group of students. She told us, “I would never look at a resume if I knew they didn’t live in New York City.” Her words were always in the back of my head.
My family thinks I’m crazy. After all, they see how many bills come in the mail. My magazine faculty advisor also warned me against moving, recounting stories of past students not making it and not being happy. But, I’m convinced if I don’t move, I won’t get a job.
After doing some online research, including the advice page of ed2010.com, a professional magazine group headquartered in the city, many success stories include something to the effect of, “I decided it was time to just pack up my bags and go…”
I also talked with Marie Claire’s Editorial Assistant Anna Maltby. She was fortunate to find a job immediately after graduation at a magazine where she previously interned. “It would be great if you could just snag a job from afar based on your achievements, but the reality is that if a magazine can’t call you and ask you to come in for an interview later that day, they’re just going to go with the next person on the list who can,” she told me.
I got similar feedback from a deputy art director at a national men’s magazine. Like me, she didn’t want to move without a job, so she got a job at a smaller city magazine, and when she (and her portfolio) was ready, she started setting up informal interviews. I am not opposed to that route, but I haven’t had any luck on the local level. I’m trying to increase my odds, but does that justify going broke?
My conclusion, whatever my decision, I need to commit 100 percent to finding a job. No more will I be submitting an online application and wait for three days for no answer. My time will now consists of networking, informational interviews, networking, revamping my website and portfolio, and did I mention networking? I can’t put it off any more. It is time to move out of my parent’s house!
Samantha Hyde graduated from the University of Texas in 2009. During her time spent in Austin, she interned and contributed to Austin Monthly, Texas Parks & Wildlife and Texas Highways magazine. She served as president of the magazine club and editor-in-chief of a college magazine, burntORANGE. Her issue, “How to be a Longhorn,” won second place in general excellence at the 2009 AEJMC awards.