A six-figure salary upon graduation is ideal to some, but students who have attained the opportunity already said the job did not come easy, hard work and determination are two key factors.
When looking for a job, graduates this year can look forward to an employer that is willing to pay more, according to a 2008 quarterly report released by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. With an increase in salaries and competition in college, some students at FAMU are taking advantage of job opportunities that pay more than six-figures.
Fifth-year finance major, Darien Moses, 23, from Boynton Beach, FL is currently a Senior Financial Analyst for the cosmetic branch of Fortune 500 Proctor & Gamble Co. in Baltimore, MD. Moses said preparation helped him secure the job.
“My past experiences helped me get the technical skills,” Moses said, “Before every interview, I always think about the type of questions that they (interviewers) are going to ask and highlight abilities related to the specific job I’m applying for.”
As a member of the Alpha Xi Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and a former Electoral Commissioner, Moses said that each opportunity has shaped him into a well-rounded candidate for the job.
Employers want people whom are “multi-talented” and “excel at what they are doing,” Moses said.
Preparing for life after college, Moses has maintained at 3.5 GPA and above each semester and acquired three internships.
With an aggressive and fast-paced atmosphere, Moses said his internship allowed him to “think quickly and articulate well.”
The “internships taught me a lot of skills that are transferable into the job I am doing,” Moses said.
Balancing school and community service eventually paid off, according to Salina Allen, a six-year Pharm D candidate from Fort Lauderdale.
“I tried to keep myself involved…it kept more grounded,” Allen said.
With more than 600 hours of community service, Allen founded a youth step team called Lady’s of Unity, which practices at Jack McLean Community service and participated in events with community development organization, Project Home.
“I know how to speak to people, handle business and get things done,” Allen said as a result of service dedicated.
Offered jobs with drug stores CVS Pharmacy drug store, Coral Springs Medical Center and more, Allen has secured her former internship, Walgreens drug store where she will make more than one hundred thousand dollars a year.
Allen said that salary is not dependent upon the field a person is in, but the passion.
“You can graduate with a sociology degree and still have the determination and drive,” Allen said.
The opportunities a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) lets a student shine amongst other competitors, Moses said.
“At HBCUs, we develop the mind and person rather than just the mind,” Moses said, “HBCU students are poised, eager and knowledgeable…[they] are sharper on their interview.”
The salary difference amongst students when they graduate is sometimes determinant upon the degree, Moses said.
College of Pharmacy and School of Business of Industry students “are being compensated relative to the degrees that they have attained,” Moses said, “Pharmacy students graduating are doctors…any other person getting their doctorate should start off with the right compensation.”
Isabelle Elie, 22, a senior graphic design major from Haiti said that experience and time determines the salary.
“I can make six-figures within my field but it depends on the experience, position and company,” Elie said, “Some people after undergrad go to grad school and then make six-figures within my field.”
Elie said that when some SBI and pharmacy students graduate with a six-figure salary, “it would make sense because they graduate with a higher degree.”
Whether a graduate will have a salary of six-figures or not, the job market this year is competitive.
To see salary statistics, please log on to www.naceweb.org and www.bls.gov.