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Opinion: The poor graduates

School leavers are inundated with options upon leaving high school: Get a job, get an apprenticeship, go to university, or don’t.

For those that choose the path of university, the next three to four years are full of hard work, excitement for the future, and hope for a career at the end of their journey.

But is it really that easy?

Recent advertising graduate Ashton Young says the media industry especially, is a hard one to hold a job in.

“The advertising industry, and even the media industry as a whole, is incredibly hard to break into,” says Young.

Not only do graduates find it hard to get these jobs and keep them, Young says it’s even harder to find a paying employer.

“A common method used by employers is to hire graduates as interns, paying them peanuts for three to four months then replacing them with new interns before any further obligations are necessary,” he says.

So what is the point of doing the hard yards at university with no reward?

After being ‘employed’ and ‘let go’ from three different jobs, two of which were with no pay and the other with barely enough to survive on, Young says he started to doubt whether he should stick with his career choice.

“It was then that I sat back and started to reconsider my options. I was unemployed and eating into my savings. I considered leaving the industry, getting work in something easier to land,” he said.

But after all of his hard work and having such a passion for advertising, Young persevered and decided to try one last time to fulfill his lifelong career dreams.

“I identified an agency where I wanted to work at, and I did everything to get in their doors, In January they offered me a full-time job, with an average salary. I was over the moon,” he adds.

Cracking into the industry is tough, but if its something you really want you can have it. With a fair amount determination and staying power, that’s for sure.

Samantha Worthington
Samantha is an aspiring broadcast journalist who loves to write, talk and most importantly, eat. Born and raised in Auckland, NZ.
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