My name is Monique and I’m an unemployed Ivy League graduate.
When you’re done laughing at me (and the disrespectful amount of debt I’m in), I’ll tell you the story of how I ended up this way and how I’m responding to my current reality.
Let’s go back to my final semester of college…
I was in the process of applying for a one-year educational fellowship in Boston and things were looking very positive. The program was through a network of charter schools that spanned kindergarten through 12th grade. The specific group of students I would’ve been tutoring/mentoring were rising 5th graders in a pilot program to implement technology use into their learning. This was a seemingly perfect position for me, as I had recently recognized my desire to pursue a career in educational media and technology. It’s the perfect mix of my two main passions: Cognitive Development and Media.
Fully cognizant of the fact that a fellowship stipend ≠ a job paycheck, I decided to find a paid summer internship in order to help leverage the minuscule income I’d be bringing in during my fellowship year. So, I applied to, interviewed for, and received an offer to work as a (very handsomely paid) Summer Assistant at an educational technology company until the end of August, right when the fellowship was to begin. Considering how quickly everything happened and the fact that this internship was completely relevant to my career path of choice, I do not doubt that there was some divine intervention occurring. Shortly after I accepted the internship offer, I received an offer for the fellowship. Perfect, right?!
Around the time that I began at my summer internship, my older sister began chemotherapy for lymphoma. It was the first time I’d ever seen her so weak and vulnerable and scared. It was difficult. I realized then just how necessary it was for me to be there for her while she was being treated. As much as I wanted to move away from home and begin my career/adult life in Boston this Fall, my first adult decision was to turn down the fellowship offer to remain close to home during my first year post-grad, in order to support my sister; And I don’t regret it one bit.
My lovely internship ended on the last day of August and, unfortunately, didn’t lead to full-time employment. In the ensuing week-and-a-half, I’ve rested and begun applying for positions. I had an in-person interview on Monday with an organization I’d love to work for and I’m waiting to hear back from them. It’s a bit nerve-wracking to be out of work and a little scary, after 16 years of formal education where I always knew exactly what my next step would be, to have literally no idea what the future holds for me. But y’know what? It’s kind of exhilarating, too.
* = Okay with that until November, when my grace period ends and I have to begin repaying my loans.