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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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And you disliked that 8 a.m. stats class
By Christina Rexrode, Times Staff Writer
Published April 15, 2007
Remember when the Segway was invented? The manufacturer trumpeted it as the Next Big Thing, saying that those electric scooters would turn personal transportation on its head.
College graduation is kind of like a Segway - sounds cool, lots of hype, years of anticipation. And then when it gets here, it's kind of a letdown. That's because you've got to roll up your sleeves and go find a "real" job.
A thousand "world-is-your-oyster" speeches won't magically turn your stack of resumes into a steady paycheck. So here's what you need to know:
- Sell yourself. Since you can't really hawk your experience, sell your potential instead. Steve McMahan, in his first interview out of college, told his interviewer, "You're right, I don't have sales experience. But everything I've ever done, I've been successful at." He made sure the interviewer knew about his accomplishments outside the sales arena - in school, sports and community projects. He's now the chief sales officer of staffing agency Kforce in Tampa.
- Network, network, network. Your neighbors, professors, friends and family members are all potential resources. Lots of soon-to-be graduates "don't have their elevator speech put together," said Amanda Osmera, who teaches career development at DeVry University in Tampa.
Get to work on that, guys.
"A lot of students find success just by opening up to someone about what they want to do," Osmera continued.
- Keep an open mind. A biology degree doesn't confine you to a laboratory. "Ask people at interviews, 'This is what I want to do, how do I get there?' " said Osmera, who studied psychology but got her first human resources job with the help of a temp agency.
- Be realistic. You (or your parents) probably dropped loads of cash to pay for four years of classes. That doesn't mean you'll pull in six figures at your first job. You might even have to accept an internship before getting a permanent job.
- Know yourself. On the other hand, don't jump the gun and take just any job, or accept a job offer solely because of pay or the prestige of a company's name. Make a list of what you're looking for as far as responsibilities, location, pay and work environment. "It's already a huge, stressful transition," said Heather Galler, CEO of JobKite in Land O'Lakes. "It will only get worse if you take the wrong job."