Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Life in the Downturn

Name: Guillermo Portillo
Hometown: San Jose, CA
How has the economic downturn affected you: I'm not sure exactly to what extent the economic crisis has affected me. I've asked my parents how they are doing financially, and they continue to tell me that things are rough right now, but the conversation always ends there. Our situation has never been the best, so it worries me not knowing how much the crisis is affecting us. Other than that, it hasn't had a great effect on my day-to-day life, although there is more pressure to find a job and begin saving money for the near future. I've been more conscious about how I spend money and I've had to think ahead more than I normally would. Mostly I feel that there is something hanging over my head, and it's not a good feeling to have at all.

Life in the Downturn

Name: Meredith Watkins
Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona
How has the economic downturn affected you: I'm really lucky in that it hasn't personally affected me too much because my family has been lucky and is still in a stable financial situation. But, it has made me concerned about finding a job after graduation. Realizing that I will have to try to find work in this economy is daunting. 

No money, but no more school either

Name: Cecile Nguyen
Hometown: San Jose, Calif.
Graduation date: June 2009
Effect of the economic downturn: It made me a little more nervous about once I graduate. I know there won't be as good a job market as I'd want there to be. A lot of my friends are going into grad school to get away from this and I'm thinking that's not a bad idea. I don't know if I can handle school for two more years. I stopped school last year.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Life in the Downturn

Name: Jessica Rice
Hometown: Woodinville, Washington
How has the economic downturn affected you: I've started trying to buy gas only once a month and I go out of my way to Costco, where it's 20 cents cheaper. I've also become more aware of my electricity and water use habits. For example, I turn off the shower when I shave my legs. I've also decided to go to grad school after college, instead of trying to find a job right away. The current economic crisis is an incentive to bring to all of our minds the necessity of being cognizant of what we spend, not only financially but also in the price tag at the expense of Mother Earth. 

Life in the Downturn

Name: Stephanie Wessels

Hometown: Los Gatos, CA

How has the economic downturn affected you: I'm now more conscious of how I'm spending money, as well as how I'm saving it. But I'm not sure if this is a direct effect of the economy or simply because this is the first time that I am living by myself, away from the Santa Clara campus. 

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Why Graduate?

When I talk to older students on the verge of graduation from college, or even those who have recently graduated, it seems the only advice I get from these people are to stay in school as long as possible. The real world sucks, and given the current state of the economy, there is no hurry to be looking for a professional job. So it gets me thinking, why try and push through all these classes in four years just to get screwed in the real world. I have seriously thought spending an extra year or so in college, that is until I look at the type of debt I would be left with.

On average, students will be graduating with an average of $20,000 in debt, which will ultimately establish that oh so important "credit history".

As a student at Santa Clara University, where tuition alone costs about $45,000, debt is something that I am going to have live with. So much for the dream of staying safe in college for an additional year.

Student Debt Today

Not only to current college students have to deal with finding a job in the crashed economy but also, student bear the burden of paying of student debt.

The Seattle Times recently featured a piece revealing the financial stress among students and lenders in these tough economic times. According to the article, while a large number of student loan lenders have completely stopped handing out loans, the firms that continue to distribute loans have become highly selective in picking students, according to Sally Mae, one of the nations largest student loan lender. Even the federally backed loans are becoming harder to get in this economy.

Both student's and the jobs of lenders are feeling the pressure in this economy, hopefully a new bailout plan will promote lenders enough to once again support students in pursing their education.

If you too are feeling the burden of paying off student loans visit this website which features helpful tips.

In Student Loan Debt? Write a Couple Best Selling Books

Mary is currently a junior at Santa Clara University and majoring in Religious Studies. When asked about student debt she quickly responds with an, "Oh yeah."

When pressed about how much she actually was in debt and how much she expected to be in debt at graduation, she suggests that it is definitely a moderate amount but wasn't up for revealing just how much.

She also feels that the United States could do more for students that seek to further their education. She remembers how President-Elect Obama said that helping out through community service could land you up to $4,000 towards an education. Now that he is President, Mary hopes Obama will make good on his promise and sooner rather than later seeing as she has only a year and a half left until graduation.

In 2008, Michelle Obama told the Associated Press that Barack Obama's book sales paid both of their student loans.

Luckily for students, the Obamas say, "We are not so far away from life that we don't understand and get it."
The payments on President Obama's student loan debt were more than their monthly mortgage.

Unfortunately for Mary and other students, writing two best selling books to pay off their debt isn't the easiest thing to do.


There might still be some hope, the recent stimulus plan includes billions for colleges and students.

Colleges Are Supposed to Help Students Right?

It is no secret that with the growing financial woes of the nation, college students are taking a huge hit with debt and student loans. If you have been to a college sporting event recently, you may have noticed a bank or credit card company offering free merchandise at a table or tent. The merchandise is usually a t-shirt or mug with your favorite team's logo on it. As we all know, nothing comes for free though. These marketing ploys are trying to get students to sign up for credit cards.
Obviously credit card debt is the last thing a college student needs on top of loans. You may find it an evil ploy of credit card companies, but hold on. Maybe there is more than one source of this injustice. As it turns out many universities hold contracts with these credit card companies. In most cases, the more students that sign up for a credit card, the more money the university receives. In some cases, the school receives more money if the student carries a balance on these cards. So not only do schools allow these credit card companies permission to advertise on campus, but schools themselves often push students to get credit cards as well. I thought universities were supposed to educate their students, not double cross them. But I guess we can't forget, it's not personal, it's just business.
Be warned next time you are at a college sporting event and see advertising for free merchandise. Remember that nothing is free, especially in this economy.

Kenny Curry

My Deepest Thoughts on Debt

To be honest, debt scares me. I am very fortunate to be in a situation where my parents are paying for my college education, but I plan to go to some form of graduate school. I am thinking about applying to Santa Clara's law school. With higher education comes higher levels of debt. And with the economy the way it is, I am honestly nervous that I am going to be paying six figures until I am six feet under!

I think about the high amount of debt that I am destined to have to pay, and then I also realize that I will need to buy a car sometime, pay rent, buy food, support a social life so I don't go crazy, etc, all while paying off student loans. But, it is a part of life I suppose.

It is very helpful to remind myself of a few things though. Although I will have to pay back a large amount of money, taking out these loans guarantees opportunities that will open many doors for me in the future. I will learn many new things, meet new people, go new places, and have new, crazy thoughts. The loans may be a lot of money, but missing out on these opportunities would be a tragedy.

Debt in College

Students on average have from 12,000 to 16,000 dollars in debt when they graduate from college. An article on Nextstudent.com gives a way to avoid college debt through preparation. The idea is to set one's self situation up in a way that you will not have to deal with any debt by taking the necessary precautions such as taking advanced placement classes, applying for scholarships, concentrating on getting good grades and staying involved. Even though one can do all of these things, it doesn't ensure that one will not have debt. I think that debt and college just go and hand these days, unless you have enough money to afford to pay full tuition. I say everyone should go to college and not let debt stand in the way of the experience and opportunity that going to college will provide.

Freeing Yourself from Student Debt

Students are graduating with thousands of dollars in debt. There are many different views on student loans. Some students will not take any loans at all and some will utilize over $100,000 to go to their dream school. Debt is a pandemic among students. Debt can damper the excitement of graduation and create fear about an uncertain financial future. Jean Chatzky, a financial editor for 'Today', gives a few simple tips on handling student debt.

1. Consolidate
2. Consider Your Potential
3. Prioritize
4. Don't Delay Life

For a more detailed account of Chatzky's debt solutions check out the article at msnbc on student debt.

My Thoughts on Debt

As a junior at Santa Clara University, debt is a common worry among many students. With tuition as $45,000 each year, many families are forced to take out loans in order to pay for their children’s education. I have several friends who have to pay for their own college education, which leaves them in debt for many years after graduation. Luckily, I do not have to worry about the struggles to afford my college education. Although it is very expensive to afford SCU, my Aunt left a college fund for all of her nieces and nephews after she died. Luckily, all of my college is paid for and I will not have to get a job any time soon, so I can focus on volleyball and my classes.

In this economy, college graduates in debt are struggling. Many companies have had hiring freezes or are laying young employees off in order to save money. These graduates are struggling to pay off their student loans that they took out to pay for college because getting a well paying job is difficult with our economic crisis in America. According to an article “Out of the Hole of College Debt”, Undergraduate students leave school with an average of $20,000 in debt, and average graduate borrowers owe $45,000. Even before the recent credit crisis, worrying began over the rising number of student loans, which now top 5 million.

In February of 2007, the House of Representatives passed the College Opportunity and Affordability Act. This Act is an opportunity for $2,000 of loan forgiveness per year. With today's college tuition, $2,000 isn't going to get anyone through a year of college, but it is a first step to alleviate the debt crisis that young students face.

Unfortunately, I am forced to start thinking about my future at a young age. I have reconsidered graduate school because of how expensive it is, and I have started applying for summer internships. I figure if I work at a company in college, maybe they will secure me a job once I graduate and I will not have to worry about being jobless with a crappy economy. Although my college tuition is paid for, I constantly feel the need to save as much money as possible by changing my lifestyle drastically. I can no longer spend money in frivolous things, but have to focus on saving for my future so I can have the luxury to go back to school and continue my education.

One of the Lucky Ones

As of right now I am one of the lucky few students who seems to be out of debt. My parents have been paying for my college tuition thus far, although with the recent stock market plunge, I am not sure what the future will hold. I am planning on continuing to apply for scholarships and hope that the economy can right itself before I am out there looking for a job.

If I do end up acquiring some debt before I finish my schooling, I would not at all be surprised. My parents have been saving money since I was born, and I am receiving a small portion of academic scholarship from the school, but Santa Clara still costs $45,000 a year. I am trying to work a little bit when I can in order to pay for my own basic things outside of school, like laundry, food, social activities. I don't have a car at school and probably won't bring one down next year either to save money on gas and insurance.

Also If i end up getting debt, I would probably be screwed, because I have no idea what I want to do, but as of now I'm very involved in journalism and there is no money there. I was really good at math and science in high school, I might have made a mistake!

Here's an article from USA Today about college students in debt.

*'Students suffocate under tens of thousands in loans'

Profiles in Debt

Name: Eric
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Year: Senior - 2009
Debt: $15,000
Deep Thoughts on Debt: "I'm not really worried about it because I already have a job. It's like $15,000 but it's not as bad as a lot of other people's debt. I think that it was definitely worth it because I couldn't go to SCU without it. It's all as a result of student loans but it was more than worth it. It's definitely like an investment because it's going to pay itself 25 times over."

Profiles In Debt

Name: Ben Williams

Major: Accounting and Finance

Year: 2011

Debt: $35,000

Deep Thoughts on Debt: "I owe my mom like $500. I have it, I just haven't paid her yet. But the rest of my debt is student loans. I want to go to graduate school at some point, but after graduation I want to get a job and pay my debt off before I do so. I am a R.A. on campus to help reduce the damage and next quarter I am looking to get another job on campus."

Kenny Curry

Profiles in Debt

Name: Kevin Rowe

Major: Computer Engineering

Year: 2011

Hometown: Sacramento, CA

Estimated Debt at Graduation: $15,000

Deep Thoughts on Debt: " Due to my debt that I will leave school with, I feel like I am going to be emotionally stressed because I will be worried about my future. I feel like I need to work harder now so that I can get a good job and put these years behind me and enjoy my professional life. I just feel bad for the family I will have if I still have this debt after I graduate."

Profiles in Debt

Name: James Vu

Major: Philosophy

Year: Just Graduated

Debt: $10,000 (Will increase if he goes to graduate school)

Deep Thoughts on Debt: "I'm going to be working, but I'm enjoying the six month grace period. I am probably going to defer [the loan] because I'm going to law school if they accept me. I do have some backup plans. I just took the POST, the law enforcement exam, and I did pretty well. If they take me, they pay for your training and it's a pretty good salary."

Profiles In Debt

Name: Ali Reimer

Major: History and Communication

Year: 2011

Debt: $8,000

Deep Thoughts on Debt: "I love this school and I am okay with going into a bit of debt for a great education. When I graduate I will hopefully be able to get a good job with the help of my degree earned here at Santa Clara. However, right now I don't know what I want to do after graduation, so I don't know how I want to use that degree exactly. But I'm sure it will all work out in the end."

Kenny Curry

Profiles in Debt

Name: Mike Rameriez

Major: Accounting


Hometown: San Jose, CA

Estimated Debt at Graduation: $30,000

Deep Thoughts on Debt: "Ya it will affect me. I will have to be on a budget after college. I know I will also have to be more frugal for sure. It is worth the experience I am having and thanks to loans I am able to have more freedom in college. I would do it over again and I wouldn't let debt hold me back."

Profiles in Debt

Name: Nick Arb

Major: Marketing

Year: 2010

Debt: $50,000 and Rising

Deep thoughts on debt: "I have to start paying back six months after I graduate, so I need to find a job and live within my means and not necessarily put a whole lot away. Just pay off the debt as soon as possible. I'm applying for internships this summer and I'm going for the same position as grad students, so I know when I graduate, with or without an MBA I'm going to be going against people with better degrees and more qualifications. I'd like to (pay it off) within 15 years of graduation, hopefully less. The sooner the better. I know there will be something out there. It might not necessarily be your dream job, but you gotta get paid."

Life After College: Jobless and in Debt

As a Junior English major attending Santa Clara University where the tutition tops $45,000 each year, thinking about life after college can be pretty scary. Finding a job in a tight economy where no one is hiring, just keeps the large amount of debt that I am already in keep piling up. On top of it all, figuring out what I job I want to do, let alone the realities of actually being able to get that job is overwhelming. The nice thing about this internet age is that there are websites out there to help give job ideas for English majors. With the current state of the economy, it might be more worthwhile to volunteer for a couple years, or go on to grad school so that I will be even more qualified for jobs when they do become available in a couple years. At Santa Clara University, there are many seminars and guest speakers invited by the Career Center to help gradutating seniors figure out their best option. Colleges everywhere are doing similar things to help ease the fears of seniors in finding jobs. The resources are out there to help, we just need to take advantage of them and think outside the box. The first focus should be on finding a job, then take care of the debt later. It also helps to plan ahead. Start looking now so that you are desperately rushed in a year or so when you realize that graduation is a few weeks away and you have no idea what you are going to do.

So whether I decide to volunteer for the Peace Corp. until the economy gets better or further my education until the economy gets a little better and jobs open up, now is the time to figure that out. I think my best option now in the current economic state is to find gossip on celebrities and become the next Perez Hilton.

My Deep Thoughts on Debt

I am very grateful to have parents who support me in whatever I choose to do. They are paying for my tuition at Santa Clara University, as well as my brother's at the University of Oregon. I babysit a few times a week and make good spending money, but my parents are paying for pretty much everything. I know that after graduation I will do what I can to pay them back for the loans they have taken out.

Debt is a word I try not to use. I have an internship with Target this summer and I hope to work there after graduation. I am lucky to have a job lined up while many are suffering in these tough economic times. I didn't realize that going to a private university would cost my parents so much. After freshman year, I moved off campus to save some money. I have a slight problem with saving money, so I'm trying to work on that. I had to open a savings account and I force myself to put in $10 a week, its all about making little changes.

Right now I don't feel too worried about the future, but after reading this article about other college students and recent grads, I'm a little nervous about paying off the loans. I was planning on moving back to San Francisco to live in an apartment, but we'll see if my budget allows me to do that.

Profiles in Debt

Name: Bridget Flanagan

Major: Business

Year: 2011

Debt: $80,000

Deep Thoughts on Debt: "I haven't even thought about it. My dad kind of handles that. I feel like its going to take a long time to pay off, though. After college, I am going to open my own business, like a chain of boutiques. But that will be hard too - I need to find money for that! I'm pretty set with what I want to do and I'm not going to let anything stop me."

Profiles in Debt

Name: George Padilla

Major: Communication

Year: 2009

Debt: $25,000

Deep Thoughts on Debt: "I am not nervous I have been in financial difficulty before and worked it out. These are lower interest rates that ecru interest slower than a credit card or something. Working in the future will take care of it. It doesn't keep me up at night."

Debty Downer

Now, more than ever, I have had to budget my spending. Constantly I find myself stressed out about paying off my recent purchases. I still have debt on my credit card from while I was in Spain studying abroad! The exchange rate in Europe snuck up on me and I ended up spending way more than I had planned. It was difficult to decipher between necessities and wants because we were pretty much on a four month vacation. I sure am paying for it now though!

I would to make purchases daily without thinking too much about what I was buying or how much I was actually spending. Now I have had to get a job, on top of my busy class schedule. I waitress weekend nights at a new restaurant called Reposado. Although I enjoy work, it is cutting into my social life since I work all weekend. I guess that's what I get for spending so recklessly in Europe!

My credit card seems to be the least of my worries though, student loans linger and worry me when I actually stop to think about how much I owe. I do not seem to be alone in this problem, as college tuition is rising so are the costs of student loans. Students are buried in Debt and worried because the job industry is so dry. Very few companies are hiring because of the economic downturn, so soon to be graduating college students are going to have a difficult time getting out of debt.

Buried in Debt

Debt is awful, but I feel like everyone in college has it. Honestly though right now as a junior in college I'm not too worried about it. Most of my personal debt worries are about my credit card. it's far to easy to slide the card when I have to cash to back it up.

I'm operating under the assumption that my parents will handle my college debt which I think they will. My dad didn't go to college and my mom's parents paid for hers so they don't want me to graduate college with the burden of debt on my shoulders. I have taken out students loans at a low interest so those will have to be paid back eventually, but in this economy right now it's going to be hard to set away money to pay for loans. I guess I'm pretty lucky that my parents have offered to pay for it all because I know a few people who just graduated from Santa Clara and are buried in debt.

I think the government should help us pay for college and more than in the form of scholarships and grants. In a perfect world everyone who gets into college would get a check to help them pay for the cost of tuiton, books, housing, and all the other expenses that are part of the college experience. One of my housemates was raised in Sweden and the government there helps all their students pay for college expenses. For instance my housemates uses that money to pay for her rent. Granted, Sweden is much smaller than the U.S., but I think it could work here. I guess it's a little hopeless in this economy right?

kaitlin novell

Profiles in Debt

Name: Gregory Kaplow

Major: Business


Hometown: Santa Clara

Debt at Graduation: roughly $50,000

Deep Thoughts on Debt: " I know I am going to have to work to feed my family. I just don't wanna be flippin patties. I am one of the founders of Sigma Chi and that will increase my debt and experienc in college. Debt is totally worth my education and oppurtunity."

Profiles in Debt

Name: Nick Satterfield
Major: Civil Engineering
Year: Freshman
Debt: 2,000 a year
Deep Thoughts on Debt: "I have a student loan for 2,000 a year and it is going to come out to between 8,000 and 10,000 by the time I graduate it. It's not that bad but I don't really think it is worth it compared to how much it costs. To me, it makes more sense to just pay it now but my mom wants me to have it the way it is. My mom is trying to push me a little bit so that I pay for some of school. I also have financial aid which helps. I'm under the impression that it is guaranteed. Hopefully that's true; I don't know."

Profiles in Debt

Name: Kristin Tappan

Major: Psychology

Year: 2011

Debt: $20,000

Deep thoughts on debt: "Originally my plan was to just pay it off after I graduated because I was allowed to postpone paying off the loan until six months after I'm done with college all together. But my dada actually cosigned the loan and he doesn't like that the rate is a variable rate. He doesn't want to risk it, so he's just going to pay it off in the next three months. But I will have like $60,000 to pay off when I graduate from Santa Clara. Which in theory I guess isn't that bad, because my goal was to stay under a hundred."

Name: Bridget
Year: 2011
Major: Accounting
Debt: $80,000
Deep thoughts on Debt: "I know most people are in debt right now and its a serious problem but I don't want to think about it right now. I don't have a job, and after school I want to open my own retail business and I know it takes a lot of money to open your own business and in a crisis like this retail businesses are the first to go. It's so scary."

Vito Saccheri

Profiles in Debt

Name: Cary Chein

Year: 2010

Major: Law Student

Debt: $40,000 in student loans

Deep Thoughts on Debt: Chein plans to pay off his debt by scoring a job in a law firm in patent law post graduation. Despite his plans, he is a little concerned about finding a job in law student in this economy.

Profiles in Debt

Name: Lauren Tokheim

Major: Accounting

Year: 2011

Debt: "I don't know, I have my parents' credit card so I owe them"

Deep Thoughts on Debt: "I'm in debt with my parents. I owe them for everything I've borrowed, which is all spending money. I have to pay them back for my sorority dues, but I don't owe them for tuition and books. I plan on setting money aside from my paychecks. After graduation I want to work for an accounting firm in a big city, but I don't know where yet."

Profiles in Debt

Name: Yung Nitloz- "It's my stage name."

Year: Sophomore at Berkley High

Debt: "Don't have any."

Deep Thoughts on Debt: "I don't borrow money. It gets you in trouble to borrow money... So I save all my money and I'm careful about what I spend."

Profiles in Debt

Name: Bridget O'Hara

Major: Undeclared

Year: 2012

Hometown: San Jose, CA

Debt at Graduation: about $25,000

Deep Thoughts on Debt: "I am in trouble in the future. It seems like after I graduate I am going to be working for a few years just to pay off college loans instead of making money for my own personal enjoyment. So no fun money for me. It's hard to enjoy school because I know in the future the graduate school is going to be a b****"

NBA Feeling Recession, Too

There has been a lot of talk lately about our rising unemployment rate, stimulus packages, and an overall decrease of capital with the recession in full effect. However, this has mainly been talked about in respect to the common American people who can't afford to keep their houses or need to give up old habits just to save some money. While this is all true the recession has also begun to hit professional sports and most notably the NBA.

NBA teams have had trouble making payroll so the NBA has done their best to bail them out. On February 26, 2009 the NBA borrowed $175 million dollars for 15 teams so they could meet their operating costs. This has also begun to spill over to on the court issues with player personnel. For example, the New Orleans Hornets finished 1 game out of first place in the Western Conference last season but just attempted to dump one of their starters for salary cap relief. The Sacramento Kings traded their second and third best players for cap relief in the same deal and earlier this week traded a 2nd round draft pick for cash and a player whom they will undoubtedly waive.

Moreover, teams like the Pacers are reportedly $150 million in debt. Amounts they see as fixable through cutting back on their personnel spending.

What is even more interesting is that the most sought after player at the trade deadline has not been Amare Stoudemire, Chris Bosh, or Carlos Boozer. It has been Raef LaFrentz who has played 66 games combined in the last two seasons to average around 2 ppg, 40$ from the field, and under 75% from the line. His only attractive quality is as an asset, due to his $12+ mill expiring contract. The NBA has started to become solely a business which can only hurt the league.

When teams refuse to improve their team because they would rather have a large/expiring contract giving them financial relief, there will be fewer and fewer good teams. The talent becomes dispersed throughout the NBA and playoff chases like last year in the West will not be possible. Teams like the Suns have sold away their future in hopes of getting financial flexibility in the present which makes the league less competitive. Something like this was done about 40 years in major league baseball where a manager literally tried to sell his players to other teams to make a profit. The trades were vetoed by the league because the manager who was selling them did not get any real value back for his players. The NBA has to take this stance and not let teams sell their first round picks (Suns with Rondo etc.) or trade away future picks (Kings 2nd round pick for cash trade) solely to keep their finances straight.

Whatever is done, it must result in the NBA becoming less of a business and more of a sport again.

Profiles in Debt

Name: Jill Carleton
Major: Accounting
Year: 2009
Debt: 19,000
Deep Thoughts on Debt: "I have debt, but when I get a job a plan to put away a portion of my salary to pay it back. I'm obviously going to have pay it back over a long time since it's so much money."
Kaitlin Novell

Profiles in Debt

Name: Diana Slaught

Major: Management

Year of Graduation: 2011

Estimated Debt: No Idea

Deep Thoughts on Debt: "If I did have debt, I really wouldn't want to think about it. I have summer jobs and spend my money pretty quickly, but my parents take care of our financial situation."

Profiles in Debt

Name: Morgan Doherty

Major: Communication

Year of Grad: 2011

Estimated Debt: $30,000

Deep Thoughts on Debt: "It's going to be hard for me to pay it all back especially because of the way the economy will be after I graduate."

Profiles in Bebt

Profiles in Debt

Name: Sol Tran

Major: Finance

Year: 2011

Debt: $0

Deep Thoughts on Debt: "My parents luckily pay for my tuition. I spent $600 yesterday and I only had $600 in the bank. So right now I am at $0. I hope to get a paycheck soon. But you got to spend the money."

Profiles in Debt

Name: Julie Gibson

Major: Chemistry and Psychology

Year: 2012

Debt: $150,000 of student loans

Deep Thoughts on Debt: "I plan to work for the government so they will pay my debt."
Future Plans: Gibson endeavors to become a forensic scientist

Profiles in Debt

Name: Ashley Pane

Major: Political Science

Year of Graduation: 2011

Estimates Debt: No Debt

Deep Thought os Debt: "If I were in debt, it would suck. I don't have a job because I don't have time for a job because I am an athlete, so I would not be able to pay it off."

Profiles in Debt

Name: Erin Deane

Major: English

Year: 2010

Debt: "Whatever is on my credit card bill!"

Deep Thoughts on Debt: "When I graduate I think things will get better. I will have a job, so I will be getting money that way. Somehow I'll save half my paycheck and use that money to pay off whatever I spend."

Profiles in Debt

Name: Lauren Anselmo

Major: Communication

Year of Grad: 2011

Estimated Debt: "My grandparents pay for my college so I am not in debt"

Deep Thoughts on Debt: "If I was in debt, I don't know how I would pay in because I play a sport and don't have time to get a job"

Profiles in Debt

Name: Nick
Major: Business
Year: 2010
Debt: "I don't really know."
Deep Thoughts on Debt: "I'm just trying to stay focused on school and getting my stuff done. You know, I just want to finish up school and find a job and start paying my loans back for school."

Profiles in Debt

Name: Annie Freiburghouse
Major: English
Year: 2010
Debt: "I have no idea. I just know it's alot"
Deep Thoughts on Debt: " I know I have a lot of debt because my parents took out student loans to pay for me to go here, but I don't know how much it is. I know that I will have to pay it back eventually, but I'm not thinking about it to much right now. I have enough to worry about without thinking of the thousands of dollars I'm supposed to pay back. I think I need to worry about getting a job first."
Kaitlin Novell

Profiles in Debt

Name: Joanna Savio

Major: Anthropolgy, Sociology

Year: 2010

Debt: "Right now I owe myself like $500"

Deep Thoughts on Debt: "I'm pretty much in debt to myself. I plan on taking a year off after school to work at a museum back in Hawaii. I'll get a SCUBA license and pay off my loans with that, so I'm a little worried but I know I can pay it off."

Profiles in Debt

Name: Adilene Nuñez
Major: Political Science/Spanish
Year: 2011
Debt: $10,000
Deep Thoughts on Debt: "It will be an interesting process to pay it off. I plan on going to grad school right out of college so the total can only get bigger. Especially in this economy, it will be hard to pay it all off"

Profiles in Debt

Name: Luis Orea
Major: Civil Engineering
Year: 2011
Debt: $20,000-$25,000
Deep Thoughts on Debt: "Hopefully this won't affect me because I'm hoping to get a stable job right out of college so that I will be able to pay off my loans on time."

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Life in the Downturn

Name: Dean Martin
Hometown: Las Vegas
How has the economic downturn affected you: I've had to cut back on cigarettes and turtlenecks. It's a scary time. I hope things get better soon because I'm really worried. I've never seen things this bad.

Help (Not) Wanted

Name: Daniel Sumpter
Major: Math and Economics
Hometown: San Jose, CA
Job Interviews: 3
Job Offers: 1
Dream Job: No Clue.
How Worried Are You?: Not at all.
Career Advice: Apply early in Fall quarter, don't wait on it.

Help (Not) Wanted

Name: Brigitte Pentecost
Major: English
Hometown: Honolulu, HI
Job Interviews: 0
Job Offers: 0
Dream Job: High-end party planner or world-famous journalist
How Worried Are You?: Not too worried. I think I have grad school all lined up. If not, I'll take a year off and revisit my options for further education.
Career Advice: Throw caution to the wind, and go for what you love. If that means being a musician, move to L.A. and audition band members. If it means becoming a vicious shark of a lawyer, take the LSAT and start applying to law schools. Nothing is beyond reach when you truly want it.

How can your college help you find a job?


Just read this interesting article in The New York Times about how college career services office are helping their students find jobs in the recession.

I couldn't find any information on Santa Clara's Career Center website, but they have been sending out e-mail with tips on how to succeed in a tough economy.

Is it time for SCU to do more? How could they help?

Off to the Interview I Go...

So, an update on my job seeking efforts: As I mentioned, I received the coveted "call back" for a position I applied for in Chicago. After a couple phone interviews, they expressed interest in interviewing me at their office, and off I was to the Windy City... Because this was only my second time to the city, I was quite nervous, to say the least. After a day of traveling, I finally checked into my hotel at 7:30PM (my plane was supposed to leave from San Jose at 6:40AM if that gives you an idea of my day...) This being my first occasion as a solo, "business" traveler - and starving - I walked across the street to the John Hancock building, which sits on a Cheesecake Factory. Because my food was going to take a while, and it was 12 degrees outside, I did what all businessmen do in the movies - I went and got a beer at the bar! I chatted up the bartender to get the 411 on Chicago and, lo and behold, he's from Oakland. Figures. Finished playing businessman dress-up, I headed back to my room, devoured the food, and prepared for my interview by doing research and looking over some sample questions. Here's a good list from JobSearch.com of questions to be prepared for:

Job Interview Questions About You

  • What is your greatest weakness?
  • What is your greatest strength?
  • How would you describe the pace at which you work?
  • How do you handle stress and pressure?
  • What motivates you?
  • What do you find are the most difficult decisions to make?
  • If the people who know you were asked why you should be hired, what would they say?
  • Do you prefer to work independently or on a team?
  • Give some examples of teamwork.
  • What type of work environment do you prefer?
  • How do you evaluate success?
  • Describe a difficult work situation / project and how you overcame it.
  • Describe a time when your workload was heavy and how you handled it.
So how did the interview go? More details to follow...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Help (Not) Wanted

Name: Mike Brown
Major: English
Hometown: Chico, CA
Job Interviews: 0
Job Offers: 0
Dream Job: ESPN Anchor
How Worried Are You?: Not too worried
Career Advice: Find a unique way to separate yourself from the pack and create your own luck.

Help (Not) Wanted

Name: Sarah A. Kurobe
Major: Communication
Hometown: Tokyo, Japan
Job Interviews: 0
Job Offers: 0
Dream Job: Having my own cooking show.
How Worried Are You: Not too worried...
Career Advice: Do something you love; don't do it for the money.

It's Not Time to Press the Panic Button

It's time to calm down, folks. Yes, the San Jose Sharks just returned from a less than perfect road trip, returning with a three game losing streak and only one win. Yes, Boston has overtaken them with a five point lead in the league standings. Yes, goalie Evgeni Nabokov is not exhibiting his best form to date. These facts are depressing, but certainly not debilitating, as many "fans" seem to think. What makes me sad is not our local hockey team's suddenly average play, but the accompanying poor attitudes toward the Sharks that I have observed around campus. Of course it's more fun when to be a fan when the Sharks are stellar, but part of being a true "fin- atic" is supporting a team through both the highs AND the lows. Instead of getting riled up over the missed saves and blocked shots that have tended to define the last string of games, let's focus on the positive: The Sharks are still second in the league, first in the Western Conference and first in the Pacific Division. They are heading into a three game home stand at the Tank against teams that they should be able to systematically annihilate. Finally, they still have three games in hand against the league-leading Bruins.

So let's not despair, Sharks fans. The play exhibited in the last few games should only have been expected in an 82-game season.  So please, take a deep breath  and remove your hand from the panic button. We're going to be just fine.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Profiles in Debt

Name: Mariana Pappageorge
Major: Communication
Year: 2010
Debt: $0
Deep Thought on Debt: "People focus on going to a good school where they believe they will gain a good education in order to get a top notch job. Once they graduate, they are in so much debt and they are more worried about paying off those debts instead of following their career goals."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Some Things Never Change

My dad has a habit of telling stories over and over again. And then one more time. One such story is how my dad found his first job.

Both of my parents attended San Jose State and graduated in 1984. It was a year of economic downturn, and while my mom had a nice job lined up teaching pre-school, my dad, armed with a mechanical engineering degree, had sent out resume after resume with no avail. My mom still talks about laying them all out on their apartment floor and licking the envelopes - ah, the prehistoric days before e-mail.

Anyway, days were ticking down before graduation and my dad was convinced that all of his hard work was only going to earn him a position as a french fry roaster, and he had already filled out an application to Togos.

However, lo and behold, the next day he received three offers.

Now, what does this have to do with me 24 years later?

Well, as I'm graduating in exactly a month, I too am applying for jobs. Let me rephrase that - have been applying for jobs and, surprise surprise, to no avail.

However, just as I was considering picking up an application to Togos for my own, I got a call for my "dream job"... in Chicago.

More details to follow...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Help (Not) Wanted

Name:Ryan Rosendin
Major: History
Hometown: Saratoga, CA
Job Interviews:0
Job Offers:0, going to Law School
Dream Job: Lawyer
How Worried Are You? Not Worried
Career Advice: "Work hard and your dreams will come true." 'Be happy with what you ever do."

Help (Not) Wanted

Name: Steve Scordelis
Major: History
Hometown: Saratoga, CA
Job Interviews: 2
Jobs Offered: 1, but he is going to go to Law School
Dream Job: Lawyer
How Worried Are You: Not really
Career Advice: "If you have a dream, pursue it."

Help (Not) Wanted

Name: Lauren Johnson
Major: History and Classics
Hometown: San Carlos, CA
Job Interviews: 3 interviews in the near future with Google, Yahoo and Amazon.
Job Offers: Not yet.
Dream Job: I'd like to feel around in different areas and then set that goal.
How Worried Are You: Not very. I already have a job with a paralegal firm that I can keep until I find something better.
Career Advice: Don't get stuck in a job you hate. Look for a job that will keep you motivated and striving for advancement. Motivation is key in performing your job well.

Help (Not) Wanted

Name: Nutty Professor
Major: Chemistry
Hometown: Las Vegas
Job Interviews: 2
Job Offers: 0
Dream Job: Stand Up Comedian
How Worried Are You?: Extremely (keep this succinct)
Career Advice: Look, I don't have a job, what advice could I offer? I guess just to not give up and don't get discouraged.