Meredith Whipple ’03 never figured she would use her religious studies major for a job. Instead, she took advantage of Undergraduate Career Services’ on-campus interview program and landed a job with Bain and Company in Boston. She began training this month.
Whipple is among the 37 percent of the class of 2003 working in the corporate sector, and part of the 7 or 8 percent in consulting, according to estimates by Director of Undergraduate Career Services Philip Jones. Although statistics are not yet available on the destinations of recent alumni, Jones said that, at least anecdotally, the class of 2003 appears to be doing well despite the struggling economy.
Overall, Jones estimated that approximately 25 to 28 percent work for nonprofits and 25 to 27 percent began graduate or professional school this fall. The number of recent graduates enrolling in law school — about 9 or 10 percent this year — continues to creep up toward the number in medical school, which stands at about 10 to 11 percent, Jones said.
Of those in the corporate and nonprofit sectors, about 10 percent are working in education, while about 9 percent work in finance and about 7 to 8 percent work in consulting, Jones said. Nonprofits, such as government and social services — excluding education — account for about 18 percent of students, and businesses other than consulting and finance employ about another 18 to 22 percent of graduates. These “other businesses” include journalism, advertising, publishing and the import-export business.
Whipple said she is not making long-term career plans yet, since she does not know whether she will “fall in love with” consulting or not.
She decided to indulge in what she called a more fun interest over the summer: she attended pastry school in London, and said she discovered it is something she really loves. She said she will probably consider a job in a food-related industry in the future.
Jones said many students become apprehensive that they must give up other interests by committing to a job in one field after graduating.
Rebecca Honig ’03, an English major, said she was undecided about her plans after college. Through a Yale professor, she found out about an unpaid internship at a documentary production company called Incite. After a full-time employee left, Honig gained a paying job. Recently, she also began an unpaid internship with MTV.
Like more and more alumni, Honig said she would consider attending graduate school only after working for a few years.
“Occasionally I’ll miss the idea of school — I was just talking to my friend who’s starting med school,” she said. “On the other hand, it’s really nice to come home and not have to do schoolwork. I’m enjoying being in the working world.”
Jones said working abroad after graduation has become increasingly popular, and about 3 to 4 percent of the class of 2003 lives outside the United States. But interested students are often deterred from pursuing jobs abroad because of the difficulty of obtaining visas, Jones said.
Darrell Hartman ’03 said in an e-mail that he decided his senior year he wanted to go abroad after graduation. After applying for several teaching jobs, he accepted a position as a teaching fellow at Athens College. He began working last Thursday.
“There’s no rule that says you must go straight to New York after graduating,” he said.
Fasil Amdetsion ’03 also said in an e-mail that he is excited about living abroad. On Monday he began working at the United Nations Development Program in Ethiopia. As part of a Parker Howland Fellowship, Amdetsion will work with the UNDP for three months before moving on to do research on issues related to ethnicity and democratization.