Eleven Temple graduates met with current students yesterday in Gladfelter Hall to discuss “the good, the bad and the ugly” of life after graduating with a sociology degree.
The alumni were split into two panels: the first panel featured six alumni that graduated within the last two years; the second panel had graduates spanning from 2006 to 2010. Each panelist talked about their current and past jobs and shared their advice for current sociology majors.
Panelist Ryan McCreary, class of 2011, hasn’t worked in a job related to his degree. Starting at Prudential as a case manager, he has stayed in the financial field since graduating. Currently, McCreary is a service representative for Vanguard.
“My job consists of talking to customers about accounts and managing accounts. I spend most of my day on the phone,” said McCreary.
Diane Isser, who graduated Spring 2012, said she has had little luck finding a job within the sociology field. Isser is currently a barista at Euphoria and Bean Exchange.
“I regret not making an effort to figure out what I wanted to do while still working on my bachelor’s [degree],” said Isser.
Isser said she hopes to find a job that both suits her and coordinates with her degree in the near future.
Skills such as communication, writing or networking, proved to be vital for many of the panelists. Lillian Wehbe, a 2012 alumna, urged current students to focus on these skills while still being in school.
“Being able to analyze, think critically and understand is important when getting a job,” said Wehbe. “A sociology degree is great, but it is the small, extra things that help in getting a job.”
Multiple panelists agreed with Wehbe about honing in on transferrable skills, such as 2006 alumna Rachel Ham.
Ham started working for the Department of Veteran Affairs four years ago, processing pension claims for veterans. Ham said most government jobs will give new hires training, so it is important to show off the skills you already have.
“Employers are looking for an ability to learn,” said Ham.
Mary Stricker, professor and undergraduate advisor said sociology majors should expect to be financially unstable for a period of time after graduating.
“Recent grads are seeing that they are making as much as the starter pay the second panel was getting five years [ago] because of inflation,” Stricker said.
Although the stress and experiences of a first job may be difficult burden to bear, panelist Carly Inuazzi offered advice to current sociology majors when looking for jobs.
“Everyone is looking out for themselves, so advocate yourself and don’t afraid to be pushy,” said Ianuzzi.
Bria Topper can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.