Category Archives: Graduation

CAREERS: Grads can search

Recent college graduates entering the job market can face a variety of challenges, especially with a recovering economy.

Graduates can use any edge they can get when tackling today’s job market. And the World Wide Web has quite a few good places to pick up some useful job-hunt tips.

Here is a sampling:

Campus Explorer:

• Breaks down the job search into a planning timeline that begins six months before graduation. Site:


• Provides articles on a variety of job search subjects for new graduates. Site:

Spotlights nine steps in developing a strategy for a first-job hunt. Site:

Quintessential Careers:

Offers job search advice for recent graduates. Site:

Lays out job search strategies for employment after college, including tips on succeeding in that first job. Site:

— By Chuck Myers, McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Share or Die: Voices of the Get Lost Generation in the Age of Crisis

By Nicole Gennarelli

Why should students and recent college graduates read Share or Die: Voices of the Get Lost Generation in the Age of Crisis? Because it is written specifically for young adults by recent graduates who can relate to their experiences.

According to the website, “Share or Die is an anthology with stories by an astonishing variety of recent graduates and twenty-something experimenters who are finding (and sharing) their own answers to negotiating the new economic order. It contains 25 articles with hands-on, practical advice about career, relationships, travel, education, housing, and volunteering.”

Don’t forget to visit & read more information about the book’s editor Neal Gorenflo, co-editor Malcom Harris & all the different authors who contributed to the book.

Interested? Check out some of these excerpts from the book!

Post-College Flow Chart of Misery & Pain by Jenna Brager

flow chart pain-500x692

Interview with Malcom Harris, co-editor of Share or Die: Voices of the Get Lost Generation in the Age of Crisis

  • Why do you think this book is so influential and helpful for recent college grads and twenty-somethings?

I think there’s a lack of writing by and for young people about their lives that isn’t also trying to sell them something. If our readers identify with the book, that’s partly because it’s written almost entirely by people facing the same life conditions as they are.

  • Why did you enjoy being an editor & author for this book?

A great thing about the process was getting to work with so many great young writers and artists. Some of them were friends in advance, but a lot of them weren’t. Doing a collection means searching out some voices people haven’t heard before, and that was a lot of the fun.

  • What do you think the greatest message in this book is to the Generation Y population?

It’s right there in the title: Share or Die! What I hope people take away from the book is that what feel like individual problems are often times social problems, especially with this generation that’s been pathologized, entitled, etc. And social problems only have social solutions.

  • Why do you think this book is something the Generation Y population needs at this time in society?

I’m not sure if society needs the book necessarily, but I think we’ve got to pay attention to some of the ideas in it. We’re up against the hard bounds of resource crisis, and if we don’t find ways to share what we’ve got, there’s going to be even more unnecessary misery.

  • Would you have found a book like this helpful when you were a recent college graduate?

I’m sure I could have used it!

  • How do you think the different stories by different authors help contribute to the diversity of the book?

The goal is for every reader to connect with at least one portion of the book. The more ways we can find to reach out to people and show them that they’re part of larger social patterns, the more people will find the book useful.

Grades are not the only thing that matters

By Anne Dudley

PR Daily re-released an article by Becky Johns from May that reminds students that their GPA is not the only thing that matters.

As a student, we know that our GPA is important for reasons we all understand very well.

But, it’s easy to forget about the other things that employers will look for when graduation rolls around. Skills and experience will certainly come into play when employers choose the most qualified applicant.

If I had to choose the two best takeaways from this article, they’d have to be:

  1. LEARN
  2. APPLY

Learning is easy, but we take it for granted every day. College is the time to learn as much as you can. Learn about yourself (time-management, personal skills and how you prefer to learn) and learn about your work (build presentation skills, increase your writing ability and gain professional experience).

Applying is the more difficult, but much more important part. Apply your skills to build a portfolio that showcases what you are capable of accomplishing for a company. Apply your talent and increased confidence from all that you have learned to build your network and make connections to professionals.

It is so easy to get caught up in a semester full of projects, papers and exams. But keep in mind, it is the people who are building meaningful relationships and improving their personal portfolio that will stand out, not the ones with the most A’s. 

Anne Dudley is a second-year master’s student of public relations and graduate assistant in the Dean’s Office of the College of Communication and Information.

PRSSA Kent’s “How to Handle Difficult Personalities”

By Anne Dudley

PRSSA Kent hosted Ben Brugler and Brandi Neloms at their Nov. 16 meeting on “How to Handle Different Personalities” in Franklin Hall.

Ben Brugler is the vice president at Akhia, a full-service public relations and marketing communications agency and an alumnus of Kent State’s public relations program. Brandi Neloms is also an alumna, and a marketing and sales support manager at Digital Color International.

The pair discussed their experience with handling an array of personality traits as coworkers, account service managers, team members and supervisors.

Some key takeaways:

1. “You can never over-communicate” – Ben B. Always make sure you are on the same page as your coworkers and clients. Ask for clarification and understanding in a sincere and respectful way.

2.  Deal with conflict immediatelyDisagreements will happen with coworkers, especially when people are passionate about their work and/or their stance. When work is over, be sure to leave the conflict at door.

“When you walk out of the door, make sure you’re on the same page. As coworkers you will be spending so much time together. You will have to learn to work together. Don’t leave things left unsaid.” – Ben B. In the end, you and your coworkers must be on the same team and be able to support and defend each other.

3.  Follow the Golden Rule – As easy as kindergarten. Treat others how you want to be treated.

4.  Be honest, authentic and consistent – Choose your words carefully based on your objectives in conversations. It is not always necessary to tell a colleague everything on your mind regarding a project. Also, consider the consistency of your actions. If you are known to always tell someone where you stand, be sure to always do that. Be deliberate in your approach. Do not be unpredictable or wavering in how you deal with situations or conflicts as it could mislead people.

5.  “There is no little thing” when it comes to building relationships – Ben B. Remember the little things about your colleagues and clients. Birthdays. Favorite restaurants or movies. Hobbies. Find meaningful ways to connect with people, even if they seem small.

Show an interest in people Brandi N. Maybe you’re the youngest one in the office or one of the only males or females. Make genuine attempts to get to know your coworkers. An understanding of their perspective and background may help you get along. 

6.  Manage expectations – Try to understand the pressures your clients may be under. How does your work fit into their business objectives, their plan and even their day-to-day life? What is their industry like? What kind of expertise or experience do they have?

7.  Say “I’m sorry” and “thank you”- Ben recalled Amber Naslund’s presentation at the YouToo Social Media Conference in April 2011. Working with clients requires a practitioner to build relationships and a mutual understanding of objectives and intentions. Always try to be understanding of what client goals, deadlines, supervisors, etc.

8.  “Be a sponge” – Brandi N.  Absorb everything you can for the first six months. Brandi’s analogy not only illustrates how to be respectful in a new position, but also why it is so greatly important to learn as much as you can. Consider the appropriateness of your words and actions as a new hire and the expertise and experience your colleagues may have that you do not. 

Anne Dudley is a second-year master’s student of public relations and graduate assistant in the Dean’s Office of the College of Communication and Information.

Networking in Six Easy Steps

By Jayne Fenton

Often students will ignore emails urging them to attend an event for the college. Sure, it’s easy to not attend an event if you won’t receive credit or a grade for it. But are you considering the draw backs to not attending a FREE event? As often as students discuss the cost of tuition, and room and board, one would think students would jump all over the opportunity to learn something for free.

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from the Center of Student Involvement and the Alumni Association regarding a free event titled “Networking in a Flash.” The email boasted an opportunity to help prepare panicking seniors in regards to lack of networking skills. I was intrigued by the thought of networking with actual Kent State alumni. The email explained in order to attend the networking opportunity you must attend an orientation night, where you will receive FREE business cards. I thought to myself “Even if the event is a bust, at least I get some business cards out of it.” I signed up for orientation and filled out the form for my business cards. Networking in a Flash here I come!

Orientation night came around, and I arrived 45 minutes early to the Williamson Alumni Center. I had a chance to speak with the organizer of the event, Carrie Circosta, Assistant Director of Student and Recent Graduates Programs. Circosta explained to me that the event received such a high amount of interest they had to turn away students who wanted to participate. I asked Circosta what the goal of the orientation was this evening. She mentioned the following items:

  • Help change the student’s attitude about networking
  • Alumni care for the university, good opportunity for them to give back
  • Teach students how to set goals with social networking

I was anxious to begin. We were provided a folder full of useful documents regarding networking. In a document adapted from Grand Valley State, networking summed up in six obtainable goals.

  1. Define your networking goals.
  2. Devise your compelling message.
  3. Identify who you are.
  4. Identify your personal networking style.
  5. Keep a record of your networking activities.
  6. Follow up graciously.

I found this to be the most helpful in explaining networking. The orientation on networking assured me I could network professionally, even with social media, such as LinkedIn.

 I urge every senior to go out of their comfort zone and approach someone who you look up to. Anyone can lead to your chance at landing a job.

Jayne is a senior interpersonal communication major and marketing assistant for the College of Communication and Information this fall.

Why Summer Classes?

By Britany Ruby

Summer, the best time of year right? Filled with vacations, tanning and pure relaxation. At least that’s how it goes for everyone but me. While I would’ve loved to spend my summer taking road trips with my friends. I decided to put on my big girl pants and spend my summer in Kent taking classes. And although Kent seems barren this summer, I know that I’m not the only student spending their summer in school.

Many students are on Kent’s main campus, regional campuses, and even at home taking various classes for many reasons. The most common reason students take summer classes is to get ahead in their major. One summer of taking classes could allow a student to graduate a whole semester early. Another reason is to boost their GPA, for example I am taking a special topics course this summer that will definitely boost my GPA. A lot of students also take summer classes at their home community colleges or Kent regional campuses to save money. In some cases taking one of your Kent Core classes at another university can be almost $500 cheaper than taking them at Kent’s main campus.

While there are a lot of positives in taking summer classes there are also a few negative aspects. The obvious one is giving up at least a part of your summer. The classes that are offered during the summer are sometimes more intense than they are in normal semesters because of the shorter time span. There is also the financial aid issue, where you may have to pay out of pocket for a class at another campus.

Whether you were looking into taking classes already or this post sparked your interest, take a look into taking summer classes. Compare the positives and negatives of spending your summer in school. Who knows, maybe you’ll decide that taking summer classes will benefit you in the long run.

Britany is a senior applied communication studies major and a practicum student for the College of Communication and Information.

What will you do after graduation?

What do you plan on doing after graduation? Seniors that are graduating this summer are starting to figure this out. Some are applying for graduate school and others are applying for jobs. Some are trying to relocate and others are ready to pack up and go home. Two seniors from the College of Communication and Information have started to get their lives on track for after graduation on May 7th.

Rachel Wall is a senior interpersonal communications major from Westfield, New Jersey. Rachel plans on going home for a few weeks before coming back to Kent to finish a few classes to graduate in August. In the meantime, Rachel is exploring her options in the culinary arts field by visiting local culinary schools. She wants to attend culinary school and is looking to get out of Ohio as soon as she can. Rachel says she is leaving Ohio because, “For one I’m not from here. I hate that most of the year is consumed by winter. I want to experience other parts of the United States, broaden my horizons.” In an ideal world Rachel would be a restaurant manager outside Ohio. When asked what scares her most about the months after graduation Rachel had only one concern, switching locations. She knows starting new in a strange place and “growing up” can be a task in itself, but doing it alone is so much harder. Even with her fears Rachel stays positive. She did it once before when she came to Kent State University and has faith she can do it again.

Another senior from Lakewood, Ohio has a different plan for after graduation in May. Charlotte Van Duzee is an applied communications major with an art history minor. Charlotte is looking for work around the Kent area until her apartment lease ends in August. She hopes to find any type of work for the few months she will still be around. Ideally, in August, Charlotte plans to move to either Colorado or Portland although she is willing to stay if she is offered a full-time position in Ohio. Relocation is not a problem for Charlotte. When asked why she wanted to leave Ohio, Charlotte said, “Because I am sick of the weather, the economy and I’m ready to start fresh.” So far Charlotte has edited her resumes and applied for jobs in and out of state. Her ideal job would be to become an art history professor in Portland, Chicago, or Colorado. Charlotte is still looking for her first breakthrough into the professional world but will not let the bad economy and weather stop her from achieving her goals. When asked what her biggest fears about the months after graduation, Charlotte replied, “Finding a decent job and being able to pay my loans back.” Money is always an issue for new graduates and not everyone is lucky enough to get a job right out of college.

As for me, I am an applied communications major from North Royalton, Ohio. After graduation I have received a temporary position at Playhouse Square, in Cleveland as the Assistant Director of Outdoor Events. I begin the Monday after graduation and work until mid September. Planning events is only one of the many things I would like to do in my professional career. I am not thinking about graduate school for at least a few more years. Hopefully I can find a job where I will get paid to go back to school. I currently am still looking for jobs for after September by applying online through I have also expanded my LinkedIn connections and hope to find a position I will enjoy. My biggest fear about the months after graduation is being able to support myself. Like Charlotte, I want to be able to make all the payments I need and still be able to eat. I do not mind relocating and plan to move in with a friend in Cuyahoga Falls until I find a permanent position.

For those who have not yet received a job and are concerned about loans, AmeriCorps is a great way to gain experience and have your loans managed. AmeriCorps offers 75,000 opportunities for adults to serve with local and national nonprofit groups. It involves services that make a community safer, give children a second chance, or help preserve the environment. This program has helped many college graduates focus their careers into fields they had never thought of before.

Graduation is a time for celebration, so set aside your fears and enjoy the fact that your life is just beginning.

AmeriCorps website for more information:


Julie Battaglia is a senior applied communication studies major and practicum student in the Dean’s Office of the College of Communication and Information.