Wanted: A Creative Job

I have a theory that the seniors who most dread graduation are the ones who will be leaving without a job. At Boston College, it’s more than likely that these are the ones who are majoring in something kind of creative.

When the Career Center sent out a jaunty email reminding us that graduation is only months away, it also highlighted the fact that the over 100 employers tabling at the Career Fair will be looking for new recruits in all majors. That’s all well and good, but I, a senior who is admittedly in desperate need of a job after graduation, am far from qualified for the majority of them. Around 50 of the 128 employers currently listed as attending the career fair focus specifically on finance. These range from huge names like Barclay’s and Liberty Mutual to Belvedere Trading in Chicago and Point72, a firm whose sole purpose is to manage the assets of its founder.

The next biggest industry represented is technology, although many of these companies relate back to business software in some way. There are a few marketing and public relations businesses and some health care, volunteer, and teaching gigs up for grabs as well. In terms of media jobs—not public relations, marketing, or communications firms, which are completely different—two employers will be represented. One is NESN, the New England Sports Network, and the other is a foundation geared toward getting more minority students into the media industry internships. There are no arts-related employers attending.

The news business is tricky in terms of finding a job, and I use it as my main example here because it’s the one with which I have the most experience. It’s one of the few somewhat creative jobs that usually requires someone to employ you, unlike becoming a novelist or filmmaker, but that also doesn’t fit into a neat box. As a result, the Career Center seems to disregard it entirely. While it’s true that proportionally speaking, few BC grads probably want jobs in journalism or other creative-type jobs, the fact that over half of the careers represented at the fair relate to either finance or technology is absurd. A marketing- or public relations-focused student can easily find a firm to join, but an English major interested in publishing? Not a chance.

BC does attempt to remedy this problem, but it does so in a rather sloppy way.The Communications and Marketing job fair looks promising and is sponsored by BC, but it takes place downtown at Suffolk Law School on a Wednesday evening. A motivated student would have no problem going off campus, but it’s highly unlikely that such a student would want to skip the writing or journalism class he or she is probably taking in the evening—when the majority of writing courses are held. The same issue arises with BC’s Career Night For the Arts. It features job opportunities and advice for writers of all stripes, filmmakers, and artists. But it’s happening from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., smack in the middle of those pesky, once-a-week classes. If these were held at the same time as the “regular” career fair, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., more of the target audience would actually be able to attend.

The Career Center does many things well. When I brought in my resume, it was critiqued and polished to perfection. Its interview prep sessions and cover letter workshops are equally spectacular, and I routinely recommend those services. But when I wanted information on where to find an internship, I wasn’t directed to specific companies or even to alums who might be able to help me. My answer was EagleLink and Google. The emails I get telling me about info sessions and networking opportunities are always packed with more CSOM-style employers, and because I’m hoping to enter a field in which whom you know is almost as important as how well you write, a networking session would be immensely helpful.

If the Career Center is truly going to help prepare BC students for their careers, then it needs to acknowledge those of us who don’t want to deal with numbers and wires. Our search should be just as supported as that of any CSOM student.

Featured Image by AP Exchange

September 14, 2014

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