Promising MSU seniors feel their heads begin to droop as they scribble quickly, copying down every word mumbled by the professor pacing the lecture hall. Half asleep or hyped up on coffee at the crack of noon, they can think about nothing more than the spring weather just around the corner. Yet for these students, spring doesn’t mean shorts and playing Frisbee or the beginning of baseball season; rather, it’s set to the tune of Pomp and Circumstance.
As graduation is a mere three months away, leaving campus and beginning a new phase in life can be exciting and scary. There’s a hope that all seniors will leave MSU with a job offer and begin working as early as May, but the reality of such an optimistic economy is grim. In fact, there is a general fear that, despite being capable and enthusiastic young men and women, a majority of these seniors may not find jobs at all.
[stat3] Just from October to December 2004, the unemployment rate in Michigan rose 0.7 percent. We have one of the highest unemployment rates in the United States, second only to Washington, D.C. These numbers appear even worse when compared to the nationwide drop of unemployment by 0.1 percent in the same time period.
However, seniors need not despair – just yet. They still have three months before “unemployed” is stamped on their foreheads and they once again move back home to leech off their parents. But as the now seemingly dreadful event of graduation approaches, MSU steps up as the maestro conducting its seniors to success and advancement.
In fact, it’s even safe to say that MSU has always been there for its seniors and even underclassmen when it comes to career and post-graduate decisions. On Dec. 9, 1943, with Professor Tom King serving as its first director, MSU’s Placement Services (currently known as Career Services and Placement (CSP), after several name changes) opened its doors for the first time.
This MSU service and office is appropriately located in the Student Services Building. Providing a large variety of resources not only for seniors, but also for underclassman looking for summer employment as well, CSP has created opportunities for all majors. SpartanTRAK, prominent job fairs, career advising, academic-decision courses, Lear Center resumé-writing workshops and interviewing tip sessions are only a few of CSP’s most essential and popular student services. CSP aids each college, effectively preparing its seniors to enter the job market.
MSU’s nationally acclaimed Study Abroad and internship programs also provide students a chance to build their resumés in ways unavailable to many other colleges, giving MSU graduates a leg up in the employment market.
Beyond what the university offers its students, the country’s job market, contrary to common thought, seems to look encouraging this upcoming year. MSU’s 34th annual Recruiting Trends survey, conducted by the Collegiate Employment Research Institute (a branch of CSP) and headed by Dr. Phil Gardner of the Placement Institute, states that the 2005 hiring outlook for college graduates is on the rise.
[stat] Companies looking for students with business, accounting, marketing and biological/physical science majors have the strongest increase in hiring compared to last year. And hiring should increase about 20 percent across the board, due to the market’s apprehension and therefore lack of development over the past four years. The mid-Atlantic and southeastern states are currently the strongest hiring sectors- hence, graduates should not hesitate to step outside the Midwest when looking for their first job.
Even within the state of Michigan, the problem of a rising unemployment rate is being undertaken in ways outlined by Gov. Jennifer Granholm in the State of the State address. New bond policies being implemented this year will expand Michigan’s labor force and hiring capacity.
As long as seniors take advantage of the resources offered at MSU and are flexible about job opportunities and locations, the chances for employment are high, despite Michigan’s inflating unemployment rate.
For once, L.A., we aren’t complaining and we’re commending MSU for providing us with opportunity; you should be thrilled. We only hope you keep up such high standards throughout your years as our president.
And so our seniors will march to the tune of Pomp and Circumstance toward their new careers, because contrary to popular belief, MSU does prepare the seniors willing to seek help.
Outlook N. Couraging

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