Bull Dogs Sniff For Work After Graduation

May 24, 2009 11:55:08 AM PDT
Fresno state graduates are celebrating Saturday night but as the party winds down many will face the harsh reality of unemployment.Now is the time the celebration starts for Fresno State's 98th graduating class. Over 9,000 people filled the Save Mart center Saturday morning. Parents proudly cheered on their graduate's accomplishment.

But many of these 5,000 plus future leaders face a new challenge, finding a job.

"It's really scary," said graduate Aliyah Baig.

Audrey Martinez: "Hopefully I'll just get lucky".

And Armando Gutierrez said: "its nerve racking."

Especially when looking for work in the Central Valley. All six counties have an unemployment rate above 11%. Merced has the highest at 18.3%.

"Would I say it's been the worst it's ever been? Not necessarily. But yes it has affected [students]," said university career service director Rita Bocchinfuso-Cohen.

Bocchinfuso-Cohen helps students build their resume, search for jobs and network.

Graduate Armando Gutierrez knows how valuable networking is. He just got a job with the San Jose Sharks hockey team. "A family member actually got me in to them but it was just experience and knowledge of what I do," he said.

This is perhaps one of the most memorable days for many of these college graduates but what most of them will not forget is that only 1 in 5 has a job headed out into the real world.

"It's really hard juggling, trying to find a job especially with everything going on," said Baig.

Martinez said: "I'll try to find a part time job and if not then I'll try the job search full time."

Bocchinfuso-Cohen said employees desire experience. With that in mind she said taking on internships and fellowships gives job seekers an edge.

"It makes it a whole lot easier and makes you more competitive for a position," said the career service director.

And maybe then, once these grads find a job, they can say 'I did it', again.

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