On the Job Front

Chase Quinn
Asked about facing a tough job market, Chase Quinn, a Boston University senior, has a quick response: “I’m going to law school.”

Quinn grew up in Wilmington, Del., and is now double-majoring in English literature and political science.

His choice is not the result of last-minute panic.

“I think everyone is concerned about getting a job in some kind of way,” he said, “but going to law school will better prepare me for whatever field that I choose.”

Alyssa Mompoint
As a junior, Alyssa Mompoint is not too worried — yet.

With an unusual double major — health science and French — she said she “thinks” she will be all right.

“I’m not too worried too much,” she says, fumbling with her iPod as she raced to class. “I think I will have a lot of options.”

But just in case, the San Jose, Calif., native said, “I probably will end up going to grad school and getting a master’s degree in public health. It’s too competitive without one.”

Anaisha Brathwaite
Anaisha Brathwaite has narrowed her career choices to one specific line of work — speech pathology.

The native New Yorker said she needs at least a master’s degree to work in the specialized field, but doesn’t mind that requirement at all.

“I’m interested in helping people with communications difficulties,” the B.U. senior said. “It’s a field that is on the rise, so I think with a master’s degree, I’ll be in pretty good position to get a job.”

Casey Mita
No one needs to tell freshman Casey Mita about the job market. She already knows.

“I’m having a hard time trying to find a part-time job now,” she said.

The difficulty of finding work has prompted Mita to at least think about changing her major from psychology to hospitality, or perhaps trying to study a combination of both.

“Just the fact that no one is hiring now is a probably a sign that its going to get worse in the future,” she said.

Lauren Estrella
To her credit, sophomore Lauren Estrella is at least honest about her situation.

Faced with mounting student loans for her undergraduate degree — and the prospects of law school tuition in the future — Estrella said she has little choice but to continue borrowing what she described as “insane amounts of money.”

The competition is just that tough.

“I take a look around this campus — and this isn’t even one of the Ivies,” she said, “and there are incredibly talented people here. There’s one student who has already started a fashion line and there are other kids have gone across the world and, like, ‘saved lives.’”
As far as she is concerned, that sort of competition leaves her little choice but to “get out there and compete.”

The American studies major said her choice is law school — and then, it’s off to corporate America.

“That’s the only place where I can make the kind of money that I will need to pay back all of these bills,” she said.

Raul Fernandez
Raul Fernandez knows a thing or two about the real world.

He graduated eight years ago from the Boston University College of Communication and has been working ever since.

Unfortunately, his entry into the field of public relations was forced when the once frothy dot-com bubble was just starting to pop.

“Let’s see,” he said. “During one round of layoffs, I was promoted. During another layoff, I lost my job.”

Looking back, Fernandez said he enjoyed his days in the high-tech industry, but has now found working on college campuses — first at Northeastern, now at his alma mater — equally rewarding.

“There’s so many things that all students can do to become more competitive in the job market — even freshmen,” Fernandez said before explaining that potential employers are looking for employees that have shown some capacity for leadership.

“My advice is to find those sorts of things, like mentoring other students or trying to work as a resident assistant — anything that shows taking responsibility for your future,” he said. “Employers want to see an ability to take initiative.”

Fernandez is now assistant director of B.U.’s Howard Thurman Center for Race, Culture and Ethnicity.