Thoughts on Graduation

Six years ago, even four or five years ago, I received numerous interview requests from media representatives in the days leading up to graduation. They wanted me to discuss what they believed was a dismal job market for graduates. Of course it wasn’t so dismal for Penn graduates. Even then, people were getting jobs, perhaps not dream jobs, perhaps they had to work harder to receive an offer, but they got jobs nonetheless.

Fast forward to 2015. I did not receive one interview request to discuss the job prospects of new graduates. Not only are Penn graduates getting jobs, but the overall employment picture has improved markedly. The national unemployment rate is 5.4%, a level that some economists might even characterize as full employment. Our graduates have had a banner year. More will be starting their careers at one of their “top choice” employers; graduate school admissions are impressive as well.

The class of 2015 is fortunate to be graduating into a growing economy, and with the skills that employers value. Experience shows that Penn graduates make the most of their opportunities, and those of us in Career Services have great confidence that today’s graduates will do just that.

Class of 2015: the road may be bumpy. You may not move in a linear fashion from one known, well-trod step to the next. The important thing is that you will be learning more about yourself, and about the work you really want to do, or not to do. These past years at Penn have been a time of tremendous growth for you. You are not the same person you were at matriculation. Nor will you be the same person four years from now. Take advantage of your Penn education, take care of yourselves, and don’t be afraid to take a risk. If you can’t take one now, when can you?

On behalf of everyone here at Career Services, congratulations!

Author: Patricia Rose

Patricia Rose is the Director of Career Services at the University of Pennsylvania.