Last week, I visited my best friend who just began her new young-adult-post-Cornell life. We’ve been friends for almost four years, and I’ve never seen her as happy as she was last weekend. She and the other friends I had spent months stressed out about their post-Cornell careers, and they are all really settling into their new lives. I remember just a few months ago when they too were scrambling to find jobs, get fellowships and apply to graduate schools.
The nervousness! The intrigue! The walking into wrong classrooms! The first day of school is often exciting — the academic world rushing to welcome you in all of its charming geekiness.
But F all that optimistic noise: today also ushers in a whole year of hard work and late nights. Which is why lately I’ve started to think more and more seriously about time travel and astronauts.
Even in the midst of the current economic crisis, few students wandered in and out of Willard Straight Hall’s Memorial Room where CampusLife hosted a job fair yesterday for on-campus employment opportunities for the current spring, summer and fall semesters. Representatives from several different departments, such as information systems and Cornell dining, waited for employment-seeking students behind tables with information, applications, business cards, free pens and cookies.
When asked if the economy has affected on-campus jobs, Melanie Ciotoli, CampusLife human resources manager, said that “there has not necessarily been a cut back on employment positions” overall and continued by saying that each department seeks different needs at different times.
As spring semester gets under way, the worries of most Cornell seniors are no longer whether the bump on their crotch is an ingrown hair or a herpes sore, but where — and even if — they will work once they graduate. Conversations with students across majors have confirmed that the state of the economy has profoundly affected their prospects. With layoffs of qualified workers at an all time high — inexperienced labor, regardless of if it is Ivy educated, is not what employers seek.