News / Student Life

How Hunter Students Can Prepare Themselves for Life After Graduation

On the wall of a bathroom stall in the fifth floor girls’ bathroom reads a message: Absolutely devastated. I’m graduating and feel like a failure. 

Notes exchanged on the bathroom stall wall on the North Building fifth floor girls’ bathroom. (Top) Absolutely devastated. I’m graduating and feel like a failure. (Left) I know just how you feel. Everyday I wake up in pain and agony just wondering what the hell I’m going to do. (Right) Same… Did I make a mistake choosing passion over practicality? Maybe I was too stubborn.

Alongside it, someone else agrees: Same… Did I make a mistake choosing passion over practicality? Maybe I was too stubborn. 

This sentiment goes beyond girls’ bathroom stalls; it even goes beyond Hunter itself. College students across the United States don’t feel prepared for life after graduation. According to a LendEDU survey of over 7,000 American college students, 36 percent of seniors did not feel prepared for their careers.

While this issue isn’t unique to Hunter, the school is taking measures to combat the unease students may feel. 

Shayne Bernstein Lazar, the associate director of Career Development Services at Hunter, says that the Career Center provides an abundance of resources to job-seeking students who visit the office.

“We have individualized counseling to fit each students’ needs, resume help, mock interviews and we bring employers to campus to network with students prior to graduating,” she said. 

Bernstein says it’s not about whether or not Hunter has the resources, but if students take the opportunity to tap into them. “The students who are focused and motivated do not have a hard time.” 

But the Career Center is looking to do more. Bernstein says that the office is continuing to develop programs that will be relevant to the future of the workplace. 

“It’s one thing to get the job, but we want them to be successful throughout their time there,” she said. “Things like understanding AI in the workplace, understanding [Applicant Tracking Systems], these are what future employers are looking for.” 

Yashika Parwath is a senior graduating in the fall of 2023 with a bachelor’s in media studies. She says that the media program at Hunter has provided her with lots of valuable hands-on experience, but students need to work for it. 

“Students need to push themselves, the resources won’t just come to you,” she said. “We have to be the ones to approach professors and ask them what employers are looking for.” 

Parwath is not alone. From speaking with students outside of Hunter, it has become a common sentiment that students need to put in a little more effort than their counterparts at other schools to get the results they’re looking for.

Parwath says that, although Hunter has done a lot in terms of hands-on experience in the classroom, she’d like to see more outside of class. 

“I’d like more workshops and guest speakers,” she said. “As media students living in New York, I think something like a trip to a production set organized by the school would be very valuable to us.” 

To students like Parwath, Hunter can be supportive in some areas and lacking in others. 

But they’ve also helped those who have left campus.

Jillian daSilva graduated in the spring of 2023 with a bachelor’s in dietetics from Hunter’s nutrition program. She says the program did a lot to prepare her for life after graduation, but with caveats. 

“When it comes to dietetics, since the program was small, there was a lot of one-on-one support,” she said. “If it’s something you want to do in the long run, there are lots of avenues you can take.” 

DaSilva says that, although there is a lot of support once you get into the program, there isn’t much before you do. 

“To gain access to the resources you need to get ahead after graduation, you really need to struggle through the process of getting into the program,” she said. 

It’s worth noting that daSilva is not currently working in the field of nutrition, but as a freelance tattoo artist — but she says that Hunter has helped her in finding what she truly wants to do, regardless of her major. 

“My primary focus was nutrition but I also did a lot of art-oriented classes and I was also a religion minor,” she said. “I had access to a lot of great role models who encouraged me to get creative with my career and not feel limited by my major.” 

DaSilva says her career is untraditional, but nevertheless feels supported by her time at Hunter. Through Hunter, she obtained a job teaching nutrition, and it made her realize what she liked and didn’t like about a career in nutrition. 

“Part of the reason I was able to make the right decision for my career were the outlets I was given by the nutrition program,” she said. 

In short, the resources at Hunter are there — students just need to take the initiative and tap into them. 

Handshake, obtained by Hunter in July of this year, is an online job search platform that curates job postings based on how the applicants fills out their profile. And the Career Center is available to any student at Hunter, full or part time, in any major. 

In a city as competitive as New York, settling into life after graduation may seem like an impossible task — but with motivation, diligence, and a little help from Hunter, it can be within a student’s reach.


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