The job you got out of college...

  1. I'm just graduating college in a couple of weeks and I'm nervous. I'm an art student and have been an illustrator my whole life but am going more towards graphic design and have had internships. But I'm not good, apparently. I got a freelance opportunity from a previous internship and showed him my stuff today (only a few things since the last couple of months) and it was like I was horrible. I didn't know I was that bad? Another place I showed that I interviewed at liked some things I actually brought in today. Maybe I just need a second opinion!

    Anyone do something other than what they went to college for? I don't see myself being a millionaire doing either graphic design or illustration. So maybe I should go into something else that is related to being creative that my college BFA would help me to get into?

    Anyone end up doing something like this-- doing something similar and maybe it progressed into something bigger?

    My issue with this is I have this feeling of having wasted my time... like if I'm not going straight into what I am going for it's like a feeling of being a failure for me =\
  2. My first job out of college when I moved to a new Chicago was an internship at a social networking site (like Facebook, Myspace, etc.).
  3. You can always apply to an investment bank - I met an investment banker who was an art major at Goldman Sachs!

    My best friend is at RISD doing the same thing you did. She tells me all the the time that she's worried that she won't be able to get a job in her field. She told me that she would go to grad school if that were to happen.

    I think you should get a second opinion. Good Luck!
  4. Investment banking -- especially at a place like Goldman Sachs -- is incredibly difficult to get into. This is the very first time I have ever heard "You can always go into investment banking" as if it's an easy default to fall back on. Sure, you get paid $120,000 a year but remember that you will be working 100 - 120 hours a week: this is not an exaggeration. Investment banks rarely hire art majors-- the person m8875 met was definitely a bizarre exception. Investment banks also rarely hire anyone who did not intern with them that previous summer: 90% of a first year analyst class is made up of former interns. 99.99% of the time, you will not get an interview at an investment bank unless you got it through an occasion they came to recruit at your ivy league campus. Not to mention that this hiring season is OVER -- plus, banks like UBS have actually FROZEN first-year hirings. They are not doing so hot these days: even Goldman Sach's Alpha hedge fund is biting the dust.

    I 100% apologize if the above comes off as somehow condescending but that is NOT how I mean it because investment banking is not an especially glamorous or fantastic career for everyone. I really do not think it sounds like you care to be an investment banker (I certainly don't!). Please don't waste your time with them unless you're hell-bent on making a lot of money and doing very little else. I'm actually extremely alarmed when people recommend investment banking to someone who (a) has no math or econ background (b) has not demonstrated the desire to work 100 hours a week (c) has not interned at a bank. I really just don't want to see you end up frustrated with the process.

    Your graphic design skills could definitely come in handy on the creative side of an ad agency or PR firm: and yes, you can make very big bucks in advertising. I suggest looking into firms like Oglivy, Ruder Finn, Mediavest, Ketchum, Starcom, etc. There is actually a lot of money to be made at big firms.

    Sorry, once again, I apologize to anyone who might be offended by my statement of investment banks as I understand them... Adore, I hope you find what is right for you.
  5. I just graduated in May and was lucky enough to score an internship at a marketing company and they hired me on full time in July. My job is awesome...but just like you I was really nervous too. Good news is that the job market for college grads is really great, no worries I am sure you will find a job. Make sure it is something you really love though, there is nothing worse than going to a job you really cannot stand!

  6. ITA with IntlSet on this advice. Advertising, PR or interactive media agencies are great employment options for your graphic design skills to use immediately and continue to learn and develop them on the job. You may also think about looking into jobs at your college in their external relations office. Keep in mind you'll be entering at an entry-level and may not have a role to use your skills at first. You may be like an apprentice, doing small tasks, like editing and modifying layout, while building your skills and also "proving" yourself and your skills to your supervisors.

    I also agree I-banking is a highly competitive industry that typically recruits college students from top universities who have demonstrated performance in analytical coursework (finance, accounting, even engineering). You didn't mention if this fits you.

    Does your college have a career center? You could talk with a counselor and utilize their online and in-office resources. I also googled graphic design careers and found this site, which seems useful:

    Other options with your degree could be with museums (anything from curation to public relations/marketing), art education or art therapy (though you might need more study), or even companies that rent art to corporations, public building spaces, etc. (I know someone in Chicago who started her own company doing this and she's doing quite well for herself).

    What will best help you develop your career is experience...sometimes people's careers can veer away from their college degrees, and that's OK too.

    Good luck! :flowers:
  7. look at any and every major company in your area... banking companies.. insurance companies.... newspapers....ANYTHING! almost every company has a design department! don't limit yourself to design companies or marketing companies, of course they're going to choose the best of the best. it does get slightly frustrating.. i applied for probably about 5 graphic design jobs right out of college and got nothing but rejection letters... not even interviews! you just have to be patient and you'll end up somewhere :smile:

    I graduated with a degree in graphic design and my first full time job was with a company called Sticks, Inc. (not for promotional reasons, just to show the work they do) and i was a painter for a little over a year. it wasn't in my specific career area but still doing something that i loved. i then moved on because i knew a friend that was the 'boss' at a company and they needed a graphic designer. i'm still on the low end pay scale of a graphic designer so i also have a part time job, but it's not that bad.

    just stay patient and keep up with it and eventually you'll find something :smile:

    oh and in the mean time, promote your services to friends and family! probably about once a year i end up doing wedding invitations for friends and family. i don't make a killing because i give a REALLY good deal but it keeps me up to date with my graphic design skills. if you hear that someone needs something designed... offer to do it for cheap!
  8. Wow! I seriously was just kidding when I said that she could think about ibanking, which is why I put the exclamation point and rambled on about my friend at RISD, without ever mentioning that I told my friend to become an ibanker. Maybe I should put an "lol" next time. I also said "you can always APPLY" not get into! I was merely putting it out there to ease her and to show that if she really wants to and put her mind into it, it is possible to get a job at the opposite spectrum as investment banking. Besides, I talked to GS recruiter and she said that there are many people recruited who have non-related majors such as philosophy, history, etc, etc. All the recruiters / company presentations on campus have said that you don't necessarily have to be a math/econ/finance/engineering majors to go into ibanking because you go into intesive trainings anyway upon employment. They're wrong right? (P.S. it is not to say that all ibanker wannabees should become history/philosophy/etc majors).

    With that said, I honestly don't think it's as impossible as you portray it to be for people w/o analytical backgrounds to go into ibanking. I can think of many examples of people who don't have the backgrounds but got in. One off the top of my head is one of my female friends at my ivy league college who got a trading gig through UBS's special recruitement solely for English/Literature majors!
  9. It didn't and still doesn't sound like you were kidding but it's hardly necessary to get into a debate over who has more knowledge about the banking world. I already feel too intimate with that industry for comfort. However, I think it's a problem to give incorrect information.

    UBS does not have special recruitment "solely for English or Literature majors." This does not exist. While there are liberal arts majors who go into ibanking, they are much fewer and farther between. It's true one can undergo intensive training upon being hired, the very point of hiring a former intern is so the bank doesn't have to train anybody: the training was already done that summer. As I said, this is why 90% to 99.9% (in the case of GS) of a first year class are former interns. Furthermore, as you probably know, UBS is not even hiring this year except in operations: those who accepted offers, particularly in sales and trading, were moved to operations or else they left in hopes of finding other employment. This is a very bad year for anyone to be applying to an investment bank, especially since the hiring season is over: Bear Stearns is about to go under, bonuses are sacked, quants are getting fired left and right, and entire first-year class hirings are being frozen at certain firms.

    I would be deeply shocked if your female friend was actually a trader, first of all, because female traders are so few and far between that I can count the ones at UBS on one hand. Maybe she is in sales and trading: on the sales side. I assume she works in the NYC office? I have many friends at UBS there: if she is a female trader, they will undoubtedly know her, as probably will I. You should PM me her name, since it's a very small world and I was quite literally just dining with UBS folks in Manhattan two weekends ago. It was pretty funny, a MD in sales and trading was joking that he knew all the bouncers in New York and wanted to prove it by going to a club with the people who work under him.

    I'm wary of people who speak too authoritatively about finance (since the last person that comes to mind who did so was Bee...Bee). There are a lot of people here (myself included) who take advice given on the forum seriously, and therefore, the advice given should at least be legitimate.
  10. i can't say anything about i-banking (although i wholeheartedly believe in intlset's knowledge on the subject...and can i call you by your first name on the forum? i always forget if you like to keep that private...), but i CAN comment about getting a degree in a field in which you might not work once you've graduated.

    i'm a magazine journalism major at one of the best (top 3, if not #1) journalism schools in the country. i declared during my application process in high school, and i never looked back. it crossed my mind to change it once in a while, but the thought never lingered for more than a moment or two. i love to write, i love current events, and i have an innate desire to be heard.

    fast forward 4 years. i'll graduate in may, but i will not work in journalism. i have not had any journalism internships. i did not desire to have any, and still do not. although i'm a very talented writer (if i do say so myself! ha!), i'm not psychologically suited for that industry, it turns out. the things i want in life are not the things that journalism can provide for me. i don't know where i'll work, but i'm a smart girl with marketable talent, a good work ethic, lots of experience working with people. so i don't worry about it much. my college offers a pretty comprehensive service to help match students up with companies (of ALL types) looking for entry-level, well-educated candidates. yours probably does the same, you might want to look in to that. instead of just looking in the category that your major fits, though, branch out and look for jobs that sound FUN. the just start applying. someone will bite :smile:

    i don't feel like i've wasted my time, though, and neither should you! we've both learned valuable skills that are marketable in the job industry, even if we don't go into the obvious career paths for them. plus, college is about a lot more than what you major in!
  11. YOU CAN CALL ME ANNIE! No secret there. :heart: Annie + Amanda = Annmanda.

    Seriously, the degree one gets in undergrad barely matters unless you're intent on doing something super pragmatic like engineering space rockets. Amanda is so right that a good work ethic, talent and experience will get you farther than any one particular major (again, unless you want to do something hyper pragmatic).

    Take a look into the firms I mentioned. I think Mediavest and its affiliate companies are especially awesome. If you're uninterested in the creative side, you can always go to the business side of the house, and definitely have an advantage over everyone else because you'll be able to understand the "creatives" as well. So often these two sides are in opposition. You will get the best of both worlds.

    I'm in marketing, by the way... in case you can't tell!
  12. Yes my friend just received a job in equities trading at UBS Tokyo.

    It's funny how you "assume" she works in the NYC office. Why would she? Most UBS traders work in the Connecticut trading floor (biggest one in the world I think) or at least that was what the UBS people told me when I interned with them. Or wait, they must be wrong too!

    I'm currently facebooking her regarding the program that she used. Let me ask you this: Do you go to my school? How can you immediately refute such things without verifying the information first?

    Also, I read in Business Week that GS actually only takes about 70% of their interns for full time. But I'm sure they're wrong too! or maybe 20-29.99% difference is not statistically significant? Ok, I should also stop being a Statistics major.

    How can you say that what I said are completely wrong? I deduced that you are not in ibanking so how can you label yourself as some all-knowing power. I know what happened with Bee...Bee but all the things I've said are based on company's presentations, talking to the recruiters, or reading from Business Week or WSJ so I don't think it's in your position to immediately label me as a liar. I've verified some of the infos that you've written regarding this with people I know who are also in the field and some of them are actually too exaggerated so I'm glad that I did that because if I were to listen to all of your advice, I would stop going to company's presentation, reading related articles, statistics, and most importantly, quit pursuing what I really want to do!

    Dear Mods: Sorry for letting this get out of topic! I honestly hate talking like this especially to someone older!
  13. First of all, let me say that I understand how you're feeling completely! I graduated in May and am currently completing my second post-college internship (I'll be done in May), but I'm already stressed about finding a job!

    I was an Advertising and PR major. I kind of bounced around in college concerning what I wanted to do with my major, but finally decided to pursue more of the communications and public relations route.

    Anyhow, I'd considered graphic design for awhile (before deciding that I was not cut out for it!) and, from my experience/observations/conversations with graphic designers, it seems like what constitutes "good" work is very subjective.

    Example: One of the advertising/design instructors at my university owns a leading advertising/branding agency where many students at my school compete for internships. I've looked at the agency's work online (in addition to viewing the work of several of the interns at the agency who were classmates) and, honestly, I don't think the work is everything they crack it up to be, but that's just my opinion. He's an extremely tough instructor (students have left the classroom crying after presentations/critiques), and while he undoubtedly knows a lot about design, I think he only views design from his perspective: creative director of a hip, contemporary, abstract agency (and with a certain amount of arrogance, but then again, that's a creative director for you!)

    Another example: I interned in the marketing department of a large non-profit arts organization this summer. My friend, the graphic design intern, had to create the brochure for the education department to advertise the 2008 intern program. Her designs tended to be more abstract, and the education department hated what she created. They wanted something cleaner and, in my friend's opinion, "boring."

    So I guess my point is that you're right in seeking second opinions. Different agencies/companies/businesses have varying design styles, so don't start doubting yourself based upon one person's opinion.

    I think looking into working in-house with a company is an excellent idea. It might also be a good idea to look into working for a large and well-funded non-profit organization.

    Good luck with your job search! You'll find the right fit eventually :smile:
  14. This is a great idea! The first one that came to mind was the Chicago Children's Museum. They are probably hiring right now, actually, since they are undergoing a relocation and rebuilding process. They're the only children's museum to receive a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and are located in the fabulous Windy City: a great place to live in your 20s (if you're looking to relocate -- I give the Chicago pitch to everyone).
  15. It is not even remotely close to the biggest trading floor in the world. Like, not even a blimp on the radar in terms of trading floors. Heard of the Chicago Board of Trade? Chicago Board of Options Exchange? Chicago Mercantile Exchange? ICE in Atlanta?

    I am not kidding, if you interned for UBS in the NYC office, I probably know you. How weird would that be! It would be really funny. Small world, I'm tellin' ya!