Rejected? Make Your Own Success.

Last year, my peers — still in college at the time — asked me why I wasn’t going straight from undergraduate to graduate school.  I wrote this response, explaining that MBA candidates need to have at least a few years of real-world work experience under their belt before applying to business school.

It’s that time of year again — graduation is on the horizon.  I’m watching my peers as they try to find their own paths in the real world.  Many of them planned to go straight to graduate school.  However, this year, like last year, graduate school applications are higher than normal.  Acceptance rates are down.  A lot of qualified candidates aren’t securing places at the schools they thought they would attend.

The alternative, finding a job, isn’t easy either.  This article from the Wall Street Journal calls the outlook for new college graduates “grim.”  For would-be-workers between 16 and 29, the unemployment rate in March was 15.2%.  That’s the highest it’s been since 1948, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

However, there are a few bright spots for college grads.   For those between 20 and 24 with undergraduate degrees, the unemployment rate was 7.2% in March, down from 7.6% a year earlier.  This is “below the 21.9% jobless rate for those in the same age group with high-school degrees only.”

Slight improvement, to be sure.  But just like last year, prospects aren’t looking that great.

What are students planning to do after graduation?  “We are seeing more students coming into the office talking about what we call the ‘gap-year opportunities,’ ” Rebecca Sparrow, director of Cornell University’s career services, told the Wall Street Journal.  Recruiting at Cornell is down slightly this year. Sparrow will often direct students to look at programs such as AmeriCorps and Teach for America.

If you’ve been rejected to a graduate school, you’re in good company.  Warren Buffet, Ted Turner, and Tom Brokaw were also rejected from top-tier colleges; obviously, they didn’t throw in the towel.

Truly successful people make their own success.  This is a chance to make your own opportunity.  Besides, “Had Jobs and Dell been given a great opportunity, there would be a lot more Jobs and Dells.”

And, if you’re a new graduate and want to move to Sacramento, HP is hiring.

Graduating this year?  What are your plans?  Want to write about it?  Post below or send me an e-mail if you want to be featured on the blog.

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