Soon-to-be graduates embark on job quest

As commencement quickly approaches, members of the class of 2007 will be one step closer to fulfilling their career aspirations in today’s competitive labor market. This year, employers plan to hire 17 percent more graduates

As commencement quickly approaches, members of the class of 2007 will be one step closer to fulfilling their career aspirations in today’s competitive labor market. This year, employers plan to hire 17 percent more graduates from the class of 2007 than the class of 2006, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

“The Temple News” will track the progress
of three graduating seniors from the class of 2007 as they transition into the workforce, capturing their successes and hardships while searching for employment.

Bernard Mason

“Everyone needs that platform at least one time to prove themselves. The key is: How am I going to get that platform?” asked Bernard Mason, a broadcast journalism major.

The 22-year-old said securing his ideal career in journalism is the platform for him to showcase his strengths and abilities.In the summer of 2001, the Manhattan, N.Y., native was enticed by the journalism field after he was awarded a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund scholarship.

“At that particular time I fell in love with print journalism. And I knew that no matter what form of journalism I wanted to do, that was the field I wanted to be in,” Mason said.

He said the profession has made him well-rounded by allowing him to learn a bit of every subject. Mason said he sees himself working in Washington, D.C., as a White House correspondent. The projected employment rate of correspondents is expected to grow slower than average through 2014, according to the latest occupational outlook handbook by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The slow growth rate is a direct result of industry consolidation, introduction of new technology and competition from other media outlets. Despite these figures, Mason said he remains confident that his success as an undergraduate and aspiring journalist
will capture the attention of a potential employer.

“My main goal is journalism. I have a passion for news. The thing you can be most successful at is what you have a passion for. No matter how hard that obstacle may be to achieve, that’s what you should strive for,” Mason said.

Victoria Barbadoro

Since the early years of her childhood, Victoria Barbadoro of Cinnaminson, N.J., has always envisioned herself designing houses and buildings.

“[Architecture] is my real love,” the art history major said, “but I got really interested in art history during an art history class I had taken as an elective.”

Barbadoro transferred to Temple from Burlington County College, where she earned an associate degree.Following an internship with Vitetta, a multi-discipline architectural and engineering corporation, Barbadoro said she became interested in pursuing a career in art.

“I want to get into gallery sales, maybe eventually one day own my own gallery,” she said.Barbadoro found that the transition from college to the career world is a difficult adjustment.

“With art history, I don’t know where to start,” she said. “My next goal is to put my resume up on job hunt searches and see who bites back.”Unsure of what the future holds, Barbadoro does not know where her career search will lead her.

“I knew from the get-go it was going to be hard. I didn’t know how hard, and now I’m at the end,” Barbadoro said.

But the future may be bright for the art history major, as the projected employment outlook for artists and related workers is expected to grow about as quickly as the average for all occupations through 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor statistics. Still, competition for jobs in the art industry is expected to rise. The number of qualified workers exceeds the number of available openings. In 2004, artists and related workers held approximately 208,000 jobs. Sixty-three percent of those workers were self-employed.

Barbadoro said her plan to enter the art industry in the future is still questionable.

“You get caught up in the present and you don’t even think about the future. Now, it’s like, I graduate in six weeks and I have no idea what I’m going to do,” she said, adding that she knows the road to success is not easy.

“My heart’s into it and I’ve put so much effort into it that I’m not going to give up. I’ll find something somewhere.
I’ll find my niche.”

Mecca Lewis

Using her flair for fashion, 21-year-old Mecca Lewis plans to incorporate her passion for urban yet classy trends into a reputable career.

“I would like to own a boutique,” the marketing major said. “Once I’m established, that could be my primary thing to do.” The difficulty of finding a suitable career after graduation has led Lewis to think of graduate school. Like many undergraduates, Lewis considers graduate school to be an opportunity that would allow her to advance to the highest ranks in her profession.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics not only listed marketing professionals as highly coveted prospects among employers,
but also noted that employers prefer a bachelor’s or master’s degree for marketing management positions.

“I’m still young, so I wanted to keep going [to school], because once I stop and get into having a salary or having a 9 to 5, then I’ll be so busy that I won’t go back,” Lewis said.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, post-baccalaureate enrollment is projected to increase by 19 percent between 2004 and 2015.

Lewis said she is optimistic that her decision to attend graduate school while searching for her ideal career will be highly beneficial.

“I’m a firm believer in doing what makes you feel happy,” she said. “I refuse to be in a situation where I’m miserable.”

While awaiting responses from graduate schools, Lewis said she will not sacrifice her expectations.

“Your sanity is so much more important than any amount of money. I want to do something I love and if I am interested in it I’m going to pursue it,” Lewis said.

Brittany Diggs can be reached at

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