Archive for Thursday, December 10, 2009

December graduates face a job market with few prospects

Tonika Jones, left, and Chipmpe Mpondela from Western Illinois University listen to Renee Rodriguez Batman from the University of Nebraska on Friday during the Big 12 Career Fair at the Kansas University Union. Students are facing an extraordinarily tight job market this year.

Tonika Jones, left, and Chipmpe Mpondela from Western Illinois University listen to Renee Rodriguez Batman from the University of Nebraska on Friday during the Big 12 Career Fair at the Kansas University Union. Students are facing an extraordinarily tight job market this year.

December 10, 2009


Lucas Kempke went to Kansas University in mid-2008 to escape the gloomy economy.


Today, like many other KU winter grads, he’s preparing to graduate without any immediate job prospects.

“I thought I’d hide out in grad school to let the economy turn around,” Kempke said, adding he never predicted he’d be facing this job market, with 10 percent unemployment rates.

Now, he’s blasting resumes to anyone who will listen, while using Web networks like LinkedIn and other KU alumni tools to help him find any kind of job.

He’s willing to go about anywhere; he’s looked at Kansas City, Denver, Dallas, Washington, New York, among others.

Kempke said he only knows of one fellow MBA graduate who has work lined up — and he took a pay cut from his job before entering school.

“It’s a little crazy out there, but I think I’ll be OK,” he said, planning to work his way through the next few months doing odds and ends and temporary work. “I think, worst case scenario, I’ll steal a job from an undergrad.”

One of those undergrads graduating this winter is Michael Stock, who earned his political science degree in three and a half years.

Looking for a job in federal or state government, Stock is fresh off an internship with Kansas Attorney General Steve Six’s office.

He’ll be headed to Europe soon for a six-month internship with the U.S. Embassy in Vienna, but is still furiously applying for jobs in Kansas City, Chicago and other places.

“I’ve been working on my resume and my stump speech,” he said, adding that he feels a nice healthy dose of “uncertainty and nervousness” about the future.

Those sentiments are shared by others graduating this winter, he said.

Xavier Loya, a four-and-a-half year senior from Kansas City, Kan., is graduating with a journalism degree with a strategic communications emphasis.

He has a job that pays the rent — working at Advance Auto Parts on Sixth Street — but he’s still looking for that job that uses his academic skills.

Loya said he’s lined up two internships but, despite attending career fairs, hasn’t had any bites from the full-time job market. He’d like to work close to home, but realizes that may not be possible.

“There’s a million other Jayhawks in Kansas City with this degree,” he said. “I think if I got a job offer, I’d be willing to work just about anywhere.”

He remains enthusiastic about graduating, however.

“I’ve worked for 20-some-odd years to get here, and it’s finally here,” he said, saying he can’t wait to earn more money.

More money, he said, means being able to appreciate the finer things in life, like better groceries.

“I want to buy the quality meats,” he said. “I want to be able to afford the nice stuff.”


devobrun 8 years ago

Michael Stock, Xavier Loya, hang in there. You'll be successful. Lucas Kempke, I'm sorry.

Strategic communications and political science are potentially lucrative endeavors. Business, passe. International propaganda, now there is a view from the top. Classy, urbane, multicultural, multilingual, style and fashion. Talk a good game. Look good. Be in with the "In" crowd. Go where the "in" crowd goes.

Alternative energy, meetings in Florence, Bali. Find the crowd folks.

The rest is not important. OK, M. Stock, you do have an opportunity, but don't tell anybody that you majored in business. That makes you a shark, with no other purpose than ripping poor folks off.

If your grades are good and you demonstrate intelligence, you can still parlay your degree into a non-profit job.

Not much pay, but looks good on the resume. Move away from finance, marketing, sales, management. Become magnanimous. Look sensitive and caring and intelligent. Way more important then actually being intelligent.

In fact, being creative is touchy nowadays. You can't really be creative. You have to have a new angle on the old collective. You must be positive and supportive. Love all, and stick it to your enemies, the capitalists. The more clever you are in sticking it to capitalists, the higher you will make it in the modern world.

mom_of_three 8 years ago

I think you got it backwards, nimrod

Boston_Corbett 8 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

workingmom 8 years ago

Lucas Kempke is a master of karate and a friend to all. Hire him immediately.

JHawker 8 years ago

Knowing the character that is Lukas Kempke, I am assured he will be successful in finding a great job in the near future. Congratulations December Graduates!

Aguilar 8 years ago

"Marion (Marion Lynn) says… Uh, graduates………………. …..the Internet is for making money. All you need is a decent connection and a box."

Marion, not everyone is made of the moral fabric that can make them a spammer.

Ricky_Vaughn 8 years ago

Sounds similar to my situation this time last year...welcome to the real world kids!

George_Braziller 8 years ago

You have it a bit backward. The ability to spend more money on "better groceries" doesn't equal "being able to appreciate the finer things in life." I walked away from a well-paying job with incredible benefits because the job had sucked me dry and the money wasn't worth it any more.

The best things in life aren't things.

"More money, he said, means being able to appreciate the finer things in life, like better groceries."

MyName 8 years ago

I'm sorry, but you would have to know what he's got now before you can make judgements on his life choices. Believe me, landing that first job, even though it wasn't more than 21K / yr was still awesome because I no longer had to live off of tuna and ramen.

George_Braziller 8 years ago

I lived on tuna, Ramen, rice and beans, cheese and saltine crackers for years. I had nothing. Ever been REALLY hungry? Try eating catsup on some crackers for dinner because that's all you have.

The $50k job didn't mean anything other than I could afford name brand green beans and take friends out to dinner once in a while and pick up the entire tab.

Being able to buy a better cut of meat isn't the road to happiness.

Boston_Corbett 8 years ago

Interesting, the nine-fingered Wyandotte know-it-all is now censoring other peoples posts.

What a great First amendment dude he is.

He is un-masked for the censor he is.

And after all the trash he throws on us, continually.

I will repeat my point worded for the gentle readers differently.

It is ironic that an individual suggests employment prospects for college graduates are rosey because of "access to the internet" when that same individual uses these same boards revealing the nature of his "internet marketing," and has such a distinguished public record of being so successful in business himself.

(Now Mr. Kealing and others. I dare you to explain to me how this post could possibly violate your TOS)

Boston_Corbett 8 years ago

Watch it Agular. I pointed out the very same point and some dude from Wyandotte County had my post removed.

Of course with him, there are two sets of rules.

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