Video and captions by Nathan Mattise
The months leading up to graduating from college are terrifying. Not only do you deal with all of the emotional weight of leaving behind what essentially is home and the closest friends you’ve had to this age, but the dreaded unemployment lurks around the corner. It seems foolish to think you’ll be graduating with job in hand these days unless you settle for an internship, do some type of fellowship or happen to be involved in the hyper-structured business cycle of student-to-new-employee.
I’m preparing to move on from graduate school this time around… and it might even be worse. Admittedly there’s quite a bit less emotional stress (most of your good friends from undergrad are settled in their first jobs, your relationships won’t be dramatically impact since not everyone is having the same experience) but the pressure for employment is much greater. Simply having a job isn’t going to satisfy anyone this time around. You need the right job. That could be speaking in terms of location, finances, company merit, type of work or most likely all of the above.
A Syracuse University degree (and probably one from any major institution) promises a lot. I only hope the positions I’ve seen open up around here translate as well as this skillset supposedly will. For the other Master’s candidates in communication related fields out there, check out a few of these local job opportunities that seem ideal (*if you want to stay local that is):
Web Producer – Syracuse.com
One of the first sentences in this position description asks for someone who can help, “identify, create and grow online communities.” If you’re into communications around Syracuse, “social media savvy” shouldn’t be a job requirement that spooks you. Sure, you’ll need some basic coding experience to handle anything funky as a web producer, but experience with content management systems and social media platforms are becoming more and more lucrative ways into the traditional media companies we comm. grads drool over. I like to think we embrace it more than most here in CNY, but that simply makes us great candidates for similar web production/manager positions across the country.
Media companies are slowly moving away from the hiring freezes that demonized stories of job hunting during our undergraduate days. Unfortunately that doesn’t mean the plethora of jobs we desire are totally available yet. One of the quietly robust job markets for people with communications experience is colleges and universities (check out HigherEdJobs.com and search things like “editor,” “writer” or “communications”). Here are just two examples of this. VP for Public Relations is a traditional communications related field since it requires knowledge and experience in traditional mass medias, but here you see “knowledge of evolving public relations and web communication tactics and applications” creep into the description again as well as some macro planning skills to push large and holistic initiatives (think the “Project P” hoopla of Fall 2010).
Director of Communications for Student Affairs is a slightly different beast. The non-media arms of colleges are seeking media skills nowadays too. While there are traditional things involved (i.e. assisting overall campus PR when it’s related to your division, handling media inquiries regarding student life on campus), dealing with student affairs driven media positions on campus requires taking your skills and applying them in new ways. Video production helps create a student video about housing reservations or web/social media savvy leads to helping individual departments or buildings start their own accounts. The good things about colleges just keep coming: they need media help, they’re virtually everywhere in the company and they aren’t going away soon (hooray for job security!).
Senior Editor – Ithaca University
Finally, the ideal… a perfect union between a media role and a college/university setting. Most universities have entities like Syracuse University Magazine to keep alumni (a.k.a. potential donor bases) informed and impressed with life on campus. These entities are beginning to increase their online presence in order to reduce the printing and shipping costs associated with producing 30+ page magazines for 100,000s of alumni. A university media entity (whether something like this or working with students to help produce one like The NewsHouse) gives you an opportunity to put your own journalism/communications skills toward content production while having the ability to get involved with other unique university opportunities (i.e. mentoring young communications professionals, helping to produce content for other departments). If the mainstream fame and recognition every writer dreams of doesn’t find me, I can see this as a very realistic landing place. Not to mention, a university job comes with university benefits, which usually means free classes, which after your Master’s can mean…
(Links today from SUJobOpps, HigherEdJobs.com, Syracuse.com and TheNewsHouse.com)