Region, qualifications limit post-graduation chances

The word senior never seemed more daunting.

Three years ago, I thought freshman year would never come to an end but instead last forever. I hardly survived freshman year and the thought of going through three more seemed like an unlikely dream.

This is not a goodbye column, however. It’s more of a panic one.

One question people asked me when I was a freshman and continue to ask me now that I am a senior is “What are you going to do after you graduate?” and I always find it hard to answer with the answer most people my age give – I don’t know. And the fact remains, I don’t.

Unfortunately, as the days of my last semester at Gannon slip by (and I know they’re not too many), the question seems to beg more of an answer than “I don’t know” with every passing day.

Everyone I have talked to in the U.S. tells me I should either go into grad school in the U.S. straight after graduation, or try and find a job here. Everyone I talk to back home in Jordan tells me to come back home and figure out from there.

Going into grad school, however, isn’t somewhere in my near future. I would like to get a feel for what it’s like to have a job before I decide what my continuing studies are going to be. As far as the other options are concerned, I know that a big part of me does want to go home. But another part also knows that my chances of finding a job at home are very slim, with a slimmer chance of improvement.

Which leaves me looking for a job – anywhere. It’s not like I can afford to be picky, anyway.

However, being in the market for a job in the communications industry makes me wonder if the communications industry is in the market for an employee like me.

I can include many qualifications on my resume that might get someone’s attention – but I am sure someone will notice the many more skills that I failed to mention.

While my education at Gannon University has provided me with many necessary tangible skills, and many more that are not as easily measured and stated, it has also left some gaps I had hoped it would fill.

Looking at job descriptions and qualifications for jobs in the communications industry made me realize how much I need to add to my knowledge, especially in such a rapidly changing profession. Some skills, it seems like, I am going to have to teach to myself if I want to have a shot at being considered for a job.

That is not necessarily a bad thing, as every discipline of higher education requires some sort of self-learning. But I do hope future generations are more exposed than I was. Perhaps then, post-graduation plans will seem a bit less blurry.