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#160: Candy Spencer — Employers, take a chance on recent grads

I’m unemployed, frustrated and trying to stay positive. I graduated from St. Francis Xavier University in 2007 with a B.Sc in Nutrition. I did well in my classes but learned I did not want to be a Dietician. I decided I wanted to be a Community Nutritionist so I went on to do a Master’s in Public Health Nutrition. My ideal job would be working in a community centre or a food bank on programs that address food security.

I moved to Toronto in 2011 and applied to many jobs in my field with no success. Everyone seemed to want experience that I did not have as a recent graduate. Frustrated, I gave up the search completely while I worked in restaurants and played in a band. Now I live in Montreal and have spent the past 3 and a half months applying to any job even remotely related to what I spent 5 and a half years studying. Unfortunately I’m not having any luck here either. I even have an offer from the Quebec government to pay half of my salary on behalf of anyone that hires me just so I can gain experience! If that’s not incentive to hire me, I don’t know what is.

It’s a little ironic that I went to university so I could learn how to help people who don’t have enough food to eat and now I’m very close to needing help myself. I just want to work somewhere that promotes the health of the population. At this point in my life I’m willing to dedicate all of my time to my work. I’m young, I don’t have kids and I’m ready to start a career. I really don’t think it should be this hard.

What I’m doing now

Applying to jobs, volunteering, and doing university courses online (for free) to stay current in my field.

My recommendations for employers, career centres and schools

Employers should be willing to take a chance on recent grads. We’re eager, willing to learn and won’t expect to be paid much. What we lack in experience we make up for with enthusiasm. As well, hiring a recent grad can help keep your organization fresh and up to date.

My advice for students and recent grads

For prospective students, I would say don’t go to university unless you’re sure there will be a job for you afterwards. If I could do it again I’d probably go into Nursing or Social Work. As for recent grads I guess I’d say don’t give up, something has to happen eventually right?

This #StudentVoice belongs to:

Candy Spencer
Master’s in Public Health Nutrition
University of Queensland

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