“Are you hiring new grads?”

“Are you hiring new grads?”

Every day for the past five days, I received an email in my school inbox telling me to go to the career fair and be prepared. I heard some chatter about updating resumes for the past three days. Last night, I spent about an hour reworking my old “professional” resume back into a student one.

Dressed in belted slacks, button down shirt tucked in, feet freezing in a pair of heels, I was ready. Excited to schmooze and sell myself – my new nurse-self. I knew to not get that excited though, this was more like “practice” than finding a job since most of the exhibitors were from the Baltimore/DC area. So with that in mind, I walked into the career fair. It was flattering to see so many institutions there; hospitals, schools, and the military were interested in JHU nurses. Overall I had a good time, fun even, but I am a business grad, business card swapping and small talk were daily activities before nursing.

The main concern many of the students have is in finding a job after graduation, nasty little rumors about no one wanting new grads get around. So naturally, I overheard (and said) this:

“Are you hiring new grads?”

And to everyone’s relief all of the recruiters (that I spoke to at least) replied “yes.”

Small talk and self-promoting continued, but you’d be surprised who was doing the promoting. No – not the students, it was the exhibitors! They were telling us how great their hospital/school/company was and how wonderful the benefits were. Several recruiters refused resumes and told us to email them in March. Reflecting back on it with a couple of friends, the recruiters were not looking to hire anyone because they didn’t know what their need will be July next year. We keep hearing about a nursing shortage but it doesn’t seem like it anymore. The fabulous days of landing a job pre-graduation and having all your tuition “forgiven” by a hospital are gone. That deal is now a mythical creature that maybe only a handful of students can find and attain.  I heard the students were a little disappointed being told time and again to check back later. Our efforts weren’t in vain though, we got some practice talking to recruiters, we have an updated resume, and a dozen pens, some chapstick, notepads, and reusable bags – you know, the important things.

Despite the lack of immediate connecting, it was entertaining to listen about how innovative/rapid-growing/(insert carefully chosen vague marketing term here) every institution was. One recruiter almost got me to move to Minnesota.

“We will provide tuition assistance if you choose to continue and get a Master’s… our wide-coverage medical plan is only $14 a month… if you’re relocating, we will fly you and your husband and pay for your hotel, meals, and transportation for four days so you can look at houses in...” the recruiter sold her company very well (with the details potential employees want to know).

I almost took out my phone and called Eric to let him know we we’re moving to –

“Minnesota” the recruiter said. My ear-to-ear smile waned. I saw Jacksonville, Florida as a location on the banner, and hoped there was a similar plan for that, but the recruiter wasn’t sure. Her amazing proposition was only guaranteed in Minnesota.

How can I leave the Florida? Where at the end of November I can be doing  this:


The Miami International Book Fair. I’m not sure what character in the kid’s section I’m high-fiving but note the tank top and flip flops donned. Sure beats bundling up right now and hugging a space heater.


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