Akshay Dave writes for The Wall Street Journal’s Hire Education student blog
In rough economic times, it has become difficult for many seniors to find jobs. Akshay Dave, a senior majoring in computer science and business administration, will be chronicling his search for a career in a blog on the website of The Wall Street Journal. The blog, called Hire Education, attempts to chronicle the experiences of college seniors as they look for work in a tough job market. Every year, the blog features a different set of college seniors from across the country who relay their year-long search careers.
“One day over the summer, I came across the blog [on the Wall Street Journal website] and realized that the seniors on there were graduating in 2010,” said Dave. “So I e-mailed the person in charge and expressed my interest in writing for the blog. It was certainly proactive, but it did not really require an immense amount of effort.”
Dave will join with students from the University of Virginia, George Washington University, Bates College, New York University, the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, and other universities to chronicle the current job search. Dave is searching for a career that involves both of his majors and has an “international flair.” Other writers will address their experiences finding careers in fields that include nursing, consulting, and public relations.
According to Dave, the reason he is contributing is to make sure that students who will be in his current position in the future will know how difficult the search is and how best to handle it. The fact that an applicant like Dave is having trouble finding a job is a sign of how difficult it currently is to break into the job market. Dave will be receiving degrees from the School of Computer Science and the Tepper School of Business, nationally ranked first and ninth, respectively, according to U.S. News & World Report at www.usnews.com.
Aside from working in the classroom, Dave is no stranger to the career-seeking resources at Carnegie Mellon. “I think the Career Center has been very useful. Counselors like Kevin Collins have also provided invaluable advice and guidance,” he said. However, he also believes that these resources could be strengthened.
“The career fairs are not as useful as I had hoped, but the problem is that employers come to CMU looking for technical people instead of inter-disciplinary people, which is supposed to be our selling point.” Looking back on his first year, Dave realized how different he thought the career search would be.
“When I came in as a freshman, it was really easy for the seniors to get jobs. The market was booming and firms were hiring like crazy. As students that were juniors [or] seniors during the recession, we have certainly had to scale back expectations.”
Seeing Dave and other seniors struggle in the job market, many current first-years have grasped how difficult the transition after graduation will be. “I think it’s really cool that someone from Carnegie Mellon is writing in The Wall Street Journal,” said Eric Telmer, a first-year mechanical engineering major, “but it’s kind of scary that he’s writing about how hard it’s going to be to get a job. We all think that, if we can just do well here, a job will find us. This shows it’s really not that easy.”
In the process of finding a career and finishing up the last year of school, it’s possible to forget that Carnegie Mellon will become a thing of the past.
“Graduation?” Dave said. “I haven’t even thought about it. Honestly, it is really far away. I am sure I will miss Carnegie Mellon. But it is one of those things that grow on you only once you have left. I really missed my high school during the first few months of college. And I am sure I will realize how much I miss Carnegie Mellon in late 2011.”