Grads take different routes to their first jobs

Graduating from post-secondary is an overwhelming time in every student’s life, especially those who are about to take on the weight of his or her student loans.

Jake Braben, a 24-year-old graduate from the SAIT Architectural Technologies program, said he hasn’t been able to find a job in his field.

“I feel lucky to have even found an unpaid internship at this point,” he said.

Braben says he hopes his internship in the estimating department at Stuart Olson will turn into a full-time position in the future.

The SAIT School of Construction has an employment rate of 87 per cent.

Rosalyn Richardson is a 2015 graduate from the University of Calgary Economics program.

“I couldn’t find a job for the life of me,” she said.

“I graduated right around the time our economy really flopped, and I felt lucky to even have my serving position at Earls.”

Richardson worked at Earls for five years, through her entire U of C program.

“It wasn’t until the fall of last year that I was finally able to find somewhat of a position related to my field.”

“It’s been discouraging to say the least,” said Richardson, who now works in sales for Pepsi Canada.

The University of Calgary has an overall employment rate of 77 per cent.

Avery Swail, who graduated with a diploma from the Journalism program at SAIT in April, 2017, has moved to Victoria to pursue her Communications degree through her final year of school at Royal Roads University.

SAIT’s School of Information and Communications Technologies has an employment rate of 67 per cent.

“I worked for a non-profit organization called Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Calgary, where I mainly used my social media, writing, and my photography skills,” said Swail.

“It was good for me to do, as I don’t think I will ever dive back into charity work,” she said.

Swail spoke highly of her two-year program and the experience she had at SAIT.

“The program has opened up a lot of doors for me, but because I am in school, I have had to turn a lot of opportunity down.

“Nowadays, companies want a more technical employee, so having the skills of Adobe Creative Suite, while also being able to write and take photos is exactly what they want,” she said.

Kyle Scott graduated in the spring of 2017 with a degree in design from Alberta College of Art and Design.

“When we are students, we don’t really have time to make a game plan or strategize our moves efficiently upon graduation.

“I don’t think that you necessarily have to have a plan because opportunities come at the most unexpected times,” said Scott.

“I still don’t know what my plan is because I don’t know what my options are yet.”

Scott says he’d like to work at an advertising agency, as a creative designer.

“At least working somewhere like that would be a way to get my foot in the door, feel it out for a year or two, and see what happens from there.”

ACAD does not publicize its employment rates on the official website.

Katherine McLay graduated in the spring of 2017 with a business degree from Western University.

“I really didn’t have a plan, which was stressful because I didn’t know what I wanted to do for my career, and I didn’t see myself going into sales,” she said.

“I applied to a few different positions in Toronto as I’m from Ontario, but when I applied to a position in Calgary I didn’t really know its potential.”

McLay now works in Calgary as a pharmaceutical representative for cardiovascular and urology at Pfizer.

“When I was offered this position, I was relieved and excited to start the job in a new city, but nervous to go into a job where I didn’t know a lot about the products.

“I knew I had a lot of work to do in order to get myself going,” McLay said.

She said working for Pfizer has been amazing, and that she is exceeding all of her goals and expectations.

“I even won a trip to Hawaii this May for excelling in my position.”

Western University has an employment rate of 100 per cent for medicine and its related programs.

About Alexa Warren and Natalie Galarnyk 1 Article
As writing and communications majors in the journalism program at SAIT, Alexa Warren and Natalie Galarnyk worked as reporters for The Press during the 2017-18 academic year.

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