8 months out, no job... I guess my Ivy League Master's Degree was a waste of money

8 months out, no job... I guess my Ivy League Master's Degree was a waste of money

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This is a discussion on 8 months out, no job... I guess my Ivy League Master's Degree was a waste of money within the Education & Career Talk forums, part of the Topics of Interest category; Well, this is going to be steam-of-consciousness style because I don't really know what I'm looking for, maybe just to ...

  1. #1

    8 months out, no job... I guess my Ivy League Master's Degree was a waste of money

    Well, this is going to be steam-of-consciousness style because I don't really know what I'm looking for, maybe just to rant, or maybe just to figure out if there's something wrong with me.

    Yes, it's been 8 months since I graduated from an Ivy League school with my Master's degree in Biomedical Engineering. I've submitted over 50 applications and networked with over 20 people in the field. I even attended a career fair in the city where I'd like to relocate. I've worked with recruiters in my field and gotten employee referrals. I've read several books and articles on resumes, cover letters, and interviews. So far, I've gotten 7 interviews, but nothing has come through.

    I try to remember the common stock phrases everyone keeps telling me: "Well, it IS a bad economy right now." "Something will come through sooner or later." "Don't give up!" But I don't know how much longer I can take this.

    I've applied to jobs that require a Bachelor's degree with no experience - I was told that I was overqualified and would be "bored". I've applied to jobs that require a Bachelor's degree with ~3 years of experience, hoping my Master's degree can compensate - I was "warned" that there were several other candidates with more experience. I've applied to jobs that require a Master's degree with no experience - no word from those. I think my Master's degree might actually be hurting and not helping.

    What am I doing wrong? Is there something wrong with me? I feel myself sliding further and further into depression each day. My 9 side wants to think on the positive side and be optimistic, but my 1 side is telling me how pathetic I am and my 3 side is suffering from the feeling of inadequacy. Not to mention my Self-Preservation side which is screaming and crying in protest.

    If anyone has any insights, I would love to hear them. Thanks for reading.
    Jennywocky, Alaya, timeless and 25 others thanked this post.



  2. #2

    How much monies did you waste, out of curiosity?

    Sorry you gut sucked into the fold.

    You know how much monies the subprime debacle was up for as it burst?

    1.3T

    You know how much monies student loan debt is currently valued?

    ~1T and rising ~50billion each month

    Glad I figured out the ponzi-scheme a decade ago and decided to simply live my 20's as a 21st century community bum, trading various skills for the bare essentials.

    What should you do? Continue, else move on. I'd try to land whatever you can for the time being, but still pursue your field of study for a while yet.

  3. #3

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmicsense View Post
    How much monies did you waste, out of curiosity?
    Around $45,000. And there are no grants or scholarships for grad school. :/

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmicsense View Post
    Sorry you gut sucked into the fold.

    You know how much monies the subprime debacle was up for as it burst?

    1.3T

    You know how much monies student loan debt is currently valued?

    ~1T and rising ~50billion each month

    Glad I figured out the ponzi-scheme a decade ago and decided to simply live my 20's as a 21st century community bum, trading various skills for the bare essentials.

    What should you do? Continue, else move on. I'd try to land whatever you can for the time being, but still pursue your field of study for a while yet.
    I'm glad you've found a way around this. I'm unsure how I would do even in your situation being a self-preservation dom... money + housing + health means the world to me. But you're right, I think I just need to get started in something, even if it's only vaguely related to my field of study.

    Thanks for your input!
    Out0fAmmo thanked this post.

  4. #4

    That's crazy... It might be the area you're living in? Some places desire a certain employee more so than others.
    pageofadiary, mastermind23 and MBTI Enthusiast thanked this post.

  5. #5

    I am really surprised it's that hard to find a biomedical engineering job. Have you considered moving to a city where most of the biomedical engineering work is (not sure where that is, Boston?) Or have you considered just searching for other types of engineering fields, if biomedical has very few job openings.

    Did you get offered those Bachelor's positions? Or did the employers turn you down without giving you the option to be bored? How about the Master's with experience positions, are there available options there? I think if you think you can enjoy a position, and there is room to grow over time, there is no wrong choices at this moment. Just give it a try for a year or two. I personally have never been given any tasks that I actually know how to do at the start; I have always had to work my butt off on every single new assignment because I always have to learn new things. So I guess I am saying don't pay too much attention to all the warnings and stuff. Only you know what you can handle, and you won't know until you try. Also, once you have a job, it will be easier to find the next one.
    MBTI Enthusiast thanked this post.

  6. #6

    I'm kind of at a loss... and I'm so sorry you're struggling with finding work. I've been out of work a few times, and job-hunting for me is a tedious business, and kind of scary if one is unemployed at the time. I also empathize with the futility one can feel sometimes of just never being "quite right" for the position they're hiring for, and there is no good way to tailor yourself.

    My only two suggestions right this moment is (1) make a list of other cities you are willing to consider and then search there as well. Right now, you don't have contacts or job experience. you might have to postpone getting a job in your #1 spot and just try a number of locations, then maybe transferring back to the location you really would like to be in.

    The other of course is (2) continued networking. It honestly is about who you know, many positions are internal ones or filled by networking. You do have a decent number of networked partners right now, but you just might as well keep making connections and building the list of people you know. There's no real way around it, unfortunately.

  7. #7

    I'm sorry, MBTI Enthusiast...

    Don't know - maybe like, if you tried somewhere else, like some of the posters in here have mentioned? Like, maybe in somewhere obscure (the places you wouldn't think to look at, for example, Barrow, AK) there may be a job? If you could get something there maybe you could make things work out?

    Other than that do you have any communities you're a part of? Like an alumni association, a yoga class, a pottery making class, or anything? Maybe having to know people from different walks of life (ie not necessarily within the field) would help you to come up with places you could work in by way of tips / referrals?

    What other similar things can you do with that degree? Like, maybe there's work in the government sector for Biomedical Engineering and you could try that way?

    Either way I hope you manage to find something soon...
    MBTI Enthusiast thanked this post.

  8. #8

    so, ENTP who did a stint as an outplacement consultant once upon a time........

    Number one. Network.

    You have only talked to 7 people in the field? Not many.
    Have you talked to your fellow students? Stated you are looking for the right position? Ask students you went to school wtih.

    7 interviews, no job means you are saying something in the interview throwing them off.

    the "easy" way to find jobs is network. You will have a friend or acquaintenace who will hear of a job before it is posted. They will ask you for a resume.

    Before you send them a resume, dig out of them what the job is about. Ask them as much specifics as you can.

    HR people are generally not real good at technical, so in your cover letter (email) to your friend, with your resume attached, say something like this:
    Make it so the friend can forward the email along with no personal comments in it, so it is EASY for your friend to forward.

    Hey Jenn,

    Thanks for the information about the possible job opening. I know you can't talk about it, but you did mention the company name. I did some research on the company, and I think my skills in the following areas might be applicable.

    (short bullet items to catch the HR person's eye so they forward it on)

    Thank you for forwarding this on - I really appreciate it.

    -Name


    Resumes are to get phone interviews.
    Phone interviews are to get personal interviews.
    Personal interviews are to get job offers.
    job offers are to get jobs.

    Sell yourself!
    Kitagawa Megumi, ForsakenMe, sriracha and 5 others thanked this post.

  9. #9

    The best thing I can suggest is that you forget about the city you wanted. Look everywhere you would consider living. More places, more opportunities. Also, being unemployed looks bad. This may make no sense, but employers want to hire people who already have jobs, not people who have been unemployed for more then a few weeks.

    Get a job. Any job, but always keep searching. Not only will working keep your depression from getting any worse, but it will also help with searching. They will see you are employed, that you actually work. It's tough, I know, but nothing is impossible. I know you will get the job you desire. :)
    refugee, sriracha, MBTI Enthusiast and 1 others thanked this post.

  10. #10

    Quote Originally Posted by MBTI Enthusiast
    Yes, it's been 8 months since I graduated from an Ivy League school with my Master's degree in Biomedical Engineering. I've submitted over 50 applications and networked with over 20 people in the field.
    It's not you. I saw a Mike Huckabee show about recent college grads and jobs last year and one guy had sent out 200 resumes and only heard back from 2 employers; he didn't even get an interview.

    You are aware that Obamacare imposed a tax on medical devices and several of these medical device companies like Medtronic in California decided to layoff 500 workers in 2012 and another 500 workers in 2013. This means you are competing with many thousands of laid-off, experienced workers for jobs that aren't there right now. Good luck.

    You should probably try to find work in another field and even think of moving to a business friendly state like Texas or North Dakota. Better yet, think of starting your own business; maybe catering or photography or match-making.
    sriracha, Out0fAmmo and MBTI Enthusiast thanked this post.


     
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