Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

The Final Exam: Landing A Job After Georgetown

This is the second story in a three-part series on alumni journeys beyond the Hilltop.

As this year’s seniors gather references, polish resumes and hit the pavement in search of a career, their predecessors’ stories are a testament to the uphill battle ahead.


For Ben Zeidler (COL ’09), nailing down post-graduation plans was no easy task. During his senior year job search, Zeidler sent out nearly 100 applications, received five interviews and was offered two jobs.

“You can put in all the time in the world in building a solid resume and making yourself marketable, but in this job market, you still have to get lucky,” he said.

Knowing how much was up to chance made the search nerve-wracking for Zeidler, who wasn’t offered employment until about one month before graduation.

“I had the job locked down in April, but for a month there I was very nervous that I wouldn’t find anything. All of my financial friends knew what they were doing long before,” he said. Zeidler now works for Forrester Research, a search company in New York.

Not all students are so fortunate. According to the Career Education Center’s senior survey of the class of 2010, 29.7 percent of seniors had not found a job by graduation.

“Trying to find a job was like adding another class to my schedule,” said Noelle Trogone (COL ’11), who wasn’t offered her current position in the Patient Services Department at New York Downtown Hospital until late June.

Unlike Ziedler, Trogone did not send resumes to dozens of employers. She applied for 15 jobs between fall 2010 and spring 2011, saying that it was much easier to focus on her search during the summer.

But for a small percentage of students, this extra time is not enough. By the time that last year’s survey was completed in November 2010, 8 percent of graduates still identified themselves as “seeking employment.”

The majority of these students were graduates of the College and the School of Foreign Service, who hold unemployment rates of 9 percent and 10 percent, respectively. By comparison, the McDonough School of Business had a lower rate of 7 percent. The School of Nursing and Health studies boasted the lowest unemployment rate of 4 percent.

According to Trogone, this data may be a reflection of the kind of degrees that these schools grant.

“A lot of our degrees from the College are really broad. Perhaps employers like degrees more focused on a career path, like finance or other business school degrees,” she said.


Joe Brown (COL ’11), now a social policy analyst for Mathematica Policy Research, also found himself questioning aspects of his Georgetown education in light of the job application process.

Brown’s search lasted nearly three months and involved approximately 400 different applications. He was invited for 15 interviews and four final-round interviews, eventually receiving two offers.

“The job search was tough for a while. I was a little disappointed in myself and kept thinking of the things I should’ve done differently to make myself more marketable,” he said.

The search made Brown question whether Georgetown had prepared him to be a viable candidate in the current job market.

“The market seems to be looking for tangible skills that employers can use to place people into the specific, limited roles that are available,” he said. “Georgetown does a remarkable job training students to critically think, but … a liberal arts background doesn’t necessarily translate into those tangible skills.”


For students like Brown who are struggling to maneuver the complexities of the job market, the Career Education Center is often advertised as a vital resource.

According to the center’s executive director, Mike Schaub, the organization offers students a variety of services, including databases for finding full-time positions and internships and access to an extensive alumni network.

At the center, students can also participate in mock interviews and listen to presentations from a variety of firms, companies and government agencies that visit campus. In addition, students have the ability to meet with career counselors or access general tips online.

But some students feel that the Career Center didn’t go far enough to reach out to struggling seniors.

“Georgetown didn’t do a fantastic job helping me find a job. The services were definitely there, but I feel like they didn’t reach out to students,” Ziedler said.

For Brown, the center was too focused on providing information about specific kinds of jobs.

“Georgetown was very good about bringing in corporations, but not as good about bringing in a variety of industries that I could pursue,” he said.

The senior survey did not include statistics on how many students landed positions through the career center, a fact that Schaub attributed to the difficulty of defining exactly what role the center plays in helping students find employment.

“The Career Center plays a role in students’ job searches in a variety of ‘direct’ (e.g., job postings, networking events, job fairs, on-campus interviews) and ‘indirect’ (e.g., job search workshops, interview preparation, resume reviews, career counseling) ways,” he wrote in an email.

Though Trogone credited the career center with helping her to obtain several interviews during her search, both of her final offers came without any input from the center.

“The thing that helped me the most in this process was my own personal network. Both job offers I received came from my own personal network,” she said.

But for Andrew Brewster (COL ’11), the career center’s resources proved invaluable in helping him to secure his position at Audax Private Equity, an investment company based in Boston and New York.

“There was a lot that I didn’t take advantage of, but there was a huge push to get kids to come in and after I did come in, the job search process was very quick,” he said.


Despite the ups and downs of the job search, recent graduates say that the Georgetown name did a lot to improve their chances.

“Georgetown has a fantastic relationship with many of the investment banks,” Brewster said, noting the university’s role in helping him land his job.

Trogone agreed, crediting Georgetown’s reputation and extensive alumni network as appealing to employers.

“[Potential employers] were impressed by my Georgetown diploma,” she said. “Personal [connections] made a big difference too. For example, one of my interviewers’ sister was a Georgetown grad.”

Brewster offered words of encouragement to current seniors worrying about their life beyond the gates.

“[The job search] was a very stressful time, but in the end I landed a great job,” he said.

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