As seniors prepare to leave Kalamazoo College, they are a bit puzzled by the idea of going on to “bigger and better things,” as all of them are unemployed as of June 12.
Peter LaChapelle K’17, who will be graduating with a major in philosophy, a minor in history, and a theater arts concentration, has been rejected from over fifteen companies.
When asked if he believed he was employable, he began listing off some of his skills.
“I’m very good at arguing abstract ideas, and talking about important happenings before the 1800s, and I always get the last word in Facebook debates,” LaChapelle said.
Aside from these skills, LaChapelle has also had five unpaid internships with different organizations.
“I took out the trash, got people coffee, and watched business meetings. How much more prepared can I get?” LaChapelle said.
Director of the Center for Career and Professional Development, Joan Hawxhurst, was shocked when she received the results of the next destination survey.
“We’ve never had a class result like this,” she said. “I couldn’t believe it when I saw it!”
To mitigate this, Kalamazoo College is opening up employment on campus to provide graduating seniors with minimum-wage income next year.
“We are making space in Creative Dining so that students can work in the Richardson Room, the cafeteria, and the Book Club. This way, we can bump the percentage to about 16 percent. That’ll give us time to come up with a better plan.”
However, working in the cafeteria is not the only way students are navigating unemployment. Ashley Moore K’17, has decided to avoid the job market all together and go to graduate school at the University of Michigan.
“Frankly, I don’t know if I even want to keep studying chemistry, but at least now I can avoid rejection letters!” she said. “It gives me a few extra years to stop the existential dread from setting in.”
While most students are concerned about unemployment, Josh Nelson K’16 is excited about his work next year.
“I’ve got a job lined up at the local record store, and I’m gonna be crashing at my parents’ house for at least a year,” Nelson said. “Who knows, maybe I’ll make the stay more permanent.”