Generation WTF*

The Class of 2009 Shares What Comes Next When Everything's Gone Bust

You come to Boston, Collegetown U.S.A. at the peak of the boom. You graduate this month as everything’s gone bust.¬†What does it feel like, to be a member of the cursed class of ’09? It feels like this.


Aarthi Ramarathnam | MIT / Biology |Baltimore, MD

“I knew I didn‚Äôt want to go straight into med school. I interned for Lehman Brothers last summer and had a job offer, but two weeks into my senior year Lehman collapsed, so I applied to consulting firms and ended up at McKinsey. I feel very lucky because it‚Äôs been tough for my friends. A lot still don‚Äôt have offers, and they all deserve them.”


Nathan Kuchar | Berklee College of Music / Contemporary Writing and Production |Sydney, Australia

“I got engaged a few months ago, and am getting married in August. Right now, my parents are helping me out financially. They think I’m ridiculous for getting married, but I’d rather do the job-searching stuff with a partner. It’s two people trying to find work instead of one person trying to support him–or herself. She wants to work in urban education. For me, Starbucks is always an option. I hear they have good insurance. ¬∂ I know what I want to do‚ÄĒgo into the jingle business for TV and radio‚ÄĒbut I feel like I am not going to be the one to decide. I’m going to have to be at the right place at the right time. The musician’s life is not going to be ¬†grand. You have to work your way up. The economy is just another hurdle.”


Alexandra Karadimas | Boston University / Public Relations | New Milford, CT

“Every Monday, I’ll apply to at least eight jobs. When I have an interview, I don’t even like to tell my friends, because I don’t want to feel like I’m rubbing it in. Recently, I’ve emailed connections that I’ve made through internships and found that they no longer work there, that they’ve been laid off.”


Julianna Morrall | Boston College / Political Science | Southborough, MA

“I’m taking an unpaid position at a non-profit in Newport for the summer. They’re providing housing, and I won’t have a car down there. In terms of living and food, I’m going to get another job waitressing or nannying. If the economy was different, it would’ve required more thought on my part. This is what I want to do, but it would have been tough to turn down a job offering $40K to make zero, you know?”


Obi Mybaro | Wellesley College / Spanish & Italian | Cleveland, OH

“Graduation plan? My parent’s couch. When I talk to them, they’re like ‘What are you going to do?!’ And I’m live, relax and trust my survival instincts. It’ll be okay.”


Justin Wohlstadter | Harvard University / Government | Dallas, TX

“I actually feel much worse for the students that graduated two years ago, when the market was good. They had cushy jobs and now they either don’t have those jobs or are getting half the paycheck. They had the expectations. Our class at least had six months of knowing what it would be like out there.”


Jenna Lashley | Emerson College / Marketing | Bronx, NY

“I’m kind of in limbo right now. Last summer, I had a great internship at Men’s Vogue, and I was planning on working there, but then the magazine folded. I’ve spent so much of my life building my credentials to be an amazing job candidate, and now the only response I hear is, ‘Your resume is great, we just don’t have any openings.’ So yeah, it sucks.¬†¬∂ There’s nothing that I would have done differently. I just wish I’d been born in a different time.”


Alex Allen | Northeastern University / Finance & Business Management | Portsmouth, RI

“At Northeastern, it’s like ‘whatever.’ ¬†Everybody understands that if they don’t get a good job now they’ll probably get one later, so people are doing other things in the meantime. After graduation, I’ve planned a trip to Argentina and Brazil. When I get back, my focus is going to be on securing a financial or consulting job, but if that doesn’t work out…I used to bartend. I might look back into that.”


Jimmy Buck | Boston University / Business Administration | Coatesville, PA

“The plan is to move to Sydney, Australia, and study communications at the University of Technology there. When I tell people that they say, ‘That’s so great–you’re showing so much initiative!’ But at the same time, I feel like this is my escape. I can’t get a job, so I’m going to go to school in another country.”


Anjali Nirman | Tufts / Sociology | Nakayuna, NY

“Im going to London to study fine art for a year. So between that and sociology I’ll be about as unemployable as you get. But it’s an incredible relief that I can delay this one more year. I work in careers services, and every day I answer the phone to alums who’ve lost their jobs and are now in the market. How can I ¬†tell a senior, ‘Yeah, compete with these highly qualified, experienced alums who are looking for the exact same jobs as you?”


Katie Bonnney | Simmons College / Nursing | Auburn, ME

“I’m hoping I’ll get a nursing job in Boston. If not, I’m most likely moving back to Maine–not my top choice. I’ve applied for multiple positions in the area including at the bigger hospitals: MGH, Brigham & Women’s. I’m interning at Beth Israel, but they’ve closed their hiring program for new graduates because they really want nurses with experiences. A lot of girls I know are applying down south. That’s where they need nurses‚ÄĒeverywhere but here. I only know of one nursing student in our class who’s gotten a job so far. ¬∂ It’s frustrating that I came to school in Boston and now I’m not able to get a job after spending as much as I did on my tuition. The education I’ve gotten at Simmons has been unbelievable, and I couldn’t replace any of the experiences I’ve had in Boston. But the cost‚ÄĒI should have maybe gone to a state school or university where I wouldn’t be paying as much in loans.”


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