Shoshana Abrebaya and Julia Hodak grew up as childhood friends in Hollywood, Florida. Since their families were close, they often saw each others’ personal milestones. But, when they went to college, they followed their own paths.
Hodak, 22, decided to stay close to home to be near her family, specializing in writing in rhetoric as an English major at Florida International University. Abrebaya, 22, on the other hand attended the University of Central Florida to pursue a degree in Business Administration.
While at UCF, Abrebaya found the transition to be difficult because of the move from a small circle to a large campus. She wanted to make connections because she thought relationships would lead to successful career after college. But, she wasn’t able to build a foundation for herself in Orlando
Upon graduation in Spring 2023, Abrebaya moved back home to Hollywood, a move as difficult as it was leaving.
“I was both physically and mentally exhausted,” said Abrebaya. “I felt like I wasn’t leaving anything behind and moving forward to being an adult and making big decisions.”
Around two weeks post-graduation, Abrebaya was offered a job as a political campaign manager for the Miami Beach commissioner candidate Marcella Novela.
“I didn’t have a job lined up after college,” Abrebaya said. “I was grateful for the connection my family was able to provide me with and help me get to the position I’m in today. Life will throw you a million obstacles. It’s up to us to be challenged and deal with them.”
For Hodak, staying close to home was a much different experience. While at FIU, she became involved with the writing center and developed a small network of coworkers and friends she could call a second family.
Using these connections she made in college, Hodak stayed on as a staff member post-graduation. While creating positive relationships led to pushing past the difficult transition of life after college, Hodak states there is more to be desired.
“FIU was my safety net,” Hodak said. “The comfort and familiarity with my job eased my transition to life after graduation.”
But, she said she wouldn’t feel challenged if she stayed there long term.
“I’m on the edge of a ledge, too comfortable to jump off,” she said.
College graduates have to find alternatives to enter their preferred field of study as employment rates for recent graduates drop, according to the data from Statista.com.
There are two job openings for every unemployed American, according to Business.com. Yet nearly 90% of more than 300 online job applications submitted by recent graduates didn’t get any responses from employers.
The current job market has proven that competition for employment is extremely high, and even those overqualified for a position may not even land an interview. According to Resumebuilder.com, less than half of recent graduates have been able to secure full-time employment in relation to their major of study.
Many graduates today use knowledge and skills outside their field of study to gain an advantage over the market and prove multifaceted. One out of every five graduates are working in jobs that aren’t related to their major of study.
Hodak said she plans on using her interpretive literature skills to become an editor in humanities. Although it can be hard to find a job after graduation, if graduates are comfortable in their field and communicate with professionals, they can prepare themselves for the next opportunity.