WHAT awaits the Thomasian graduate at this time of global economic crisis?

The prospects of employment may be bleak but graduates like Rhovee Vistan of Engineering are banking on their skills, optimism, and a bit of good luck to land jobs here or abroad.

Vistan, 21, will take the board exams in April. While other members of his batch will wait until November, the Chemical Engineering major knows that time is of the essence, especially if he wants to get ahead of other graduates.

In fact, he has begun applying for jobs online while reviewing for the exams.

“With the recession, a lot of us have become uncertain. Our batch is just unfortunate to graduate in the middle of the crisis,” Vistan tells the Varsitarian.

Hearing news reports about the recession alarmed him since massive layoffs by major companies could narrow down his chances of employment. But for Vistan, one should just come up with the right strategies before graduation and always find something productive to do.

“All that we can do is hope for job opportunities. But for the time being, let us not allow ourselves to be idle,” he says.

Marketing major Corazon Cristy Lim has another thing in mind. Getting good grades, attending job-oriented seminars, and listening to the pieces of advice on how to ace an interview are just some of the things she believes will help her pull through after her graduation.

“We should not settle for anything less because the corporate world has no place for the average. We should really strive to be on the top,” Lim says.

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Artists too

It has been said that only those who take a stride in the medical, financial and technical fields will survive the cutthroat competition of the corporate world. But what about those who delve in the arts?

Fine Arts student Maritoni Pizarro says that although the recession can be disturbing, an art savvy like her can still survive the financial jungle by “sharpening her tools” and establishing connections among patrons who buy her paintings in college.

“Once you have proven to your clients how good you are even before you graduate, they might just recommend you to someone they know. You can start from there,” says the Painting major, who also plans to jazz up her career by studying more about computer graphics after graduation.

Arts and Letters students Joanna Parungao and Renz Franchesca Estacio are just as confident. They are convinced they will find their place amid the crisis despite the small demand for Literature graduates.

“Our training enables us to be critical of things and research savvy. There are still jobs waiting for us,” Estacio says.

Taking up a masteral degree after graduation is the path Literature majors usually take. Parungao and Estacio believe having a post-graduate degree is “a big advantage because it will show that you are really dedicated and devoted to what you are doing,” Estacio says.

But for now, the two plan to settle for part-time jobs to gain experience and sustain their post-graduate studies in the future.

Parungao is looking into online teaching since “non-English speaking foreigners are eager to learn the language” and that the profession is also becoming popular nowadays.

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Estacio still has no job yet in mind though, but she plans to build her career by beefing up her portfolio and joining various writing competitions.

Competent Thomasians

Recession or no recession, the graduating students believe that Thomasian competency will get them through life.

“As Thomasians, we are fully equipped with all the skills needed to be globally competent people,” says Vistan, who has bade farewell to his nine-year stay in UST where he also took his high school education.

Parungao is also confident that the University trained her well for the knowledge-centralized competition. She believes that presenting oneself as competent, creative and willing to work will pave the way for more opportunities.

Pizarro considers the challenge ahead as merely a state of mind. The crisis should not be a loophole to tuck in pessimism because there are still many ways to earn money for a living such as applying in call centers or even by just putting up a small business.

“We just need to be practical and start being thrifty on things we do not really need,” she says.

Estacio agrees. “We just have to deal with it.” Sarah Jane P. Pauyo

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