Recent graduates find ways to overcome difficult job market

Many recent St. Thomas graduates have endured the stress of searching for employment. But for some graduated seniors, the anxiety has finally subsided after being hired for a new job.

Senior Dan Fettig, who applied for at least 25 jobs, was able to find a summer position working for Youthworks in Washington DC. Although the job does not relate to his major, he remains positive.

“I just had to find something and hopefully another job will come out of it. I’m optimistic that if I’m flexible and go with it, then it will lead to something else,” Fettig said via e-mail.

Along with flexibility and optimism, another important skill for job hunters is persistence – something senior Bill Bergmann knows about. After asking around and setting up multiple coffee dates, Bergmann was hired as an executive team leader for Target in-stores.

“Ask people,” he said. “Just ask everyone you know if they can talk to people, that’s what I did. I was sitting in the back of a car and someone was like ‘Hey, do you want to look into this job?’ and I was like, ‘Sure, why not?'”

Senior Britteny Tegels always planned for a year of service between her years of education. She was hired by AmeriCorps for a year-long program working in the Minneapolis public school system.

Even with this new oppurtunity, Tegels still plans to work part-time for 3M and will continue her education in the fall of 2011 at the University of Minnesota, when she will begin working on her masters of public health courses.

Tegels believes her strong background in volunteering and tutoring students helped her get the AmeriCorps position. She also said it’s never too late to start working toward that final job.

“I would say for sophomores and juniors to start applying for jobs at places where you could see yourself in the future,” Tegels said via e-mail. “One of the biggest advantages when you graduate is if you have a few years interning at a company, they are much more likely to want to hire you on after you’ve completed college. The biggest thing for seniors is not to give up if you haven’t found a job yet, because things will work out how they’re supposed to so just live up all the free time you’ll have for a while.”

Meg Tvrdik can be reached at