Pre-Career Fair Apathy?

by John on September 19, 2010

I was recently discussing the current state of the economy and jobs with a client. They have a great operation here in South Florida where as a company; they offer multiple careers paths in some really cool areas. Marketing, finance, sales, distribution, six sigma etc., all stuff that when I look at the company from a recruiter’s perspective, I even get excited about what they’re offering as entry roles for students.

But the crux of our discussion wasn’t about how awesome they are (trust me, they are) but about how they’ve started to notice the trend of apathy actually creep into the ranks of students who are attending the college career fairs. When that came up in our conversation, I was floored. I had nothing.

I can totally understand apathy with current job seekers and especially in such a challenging environment like the one here in Miami. However, this is a company that is ready and willing to hire and has a great training program. Why would recent graduates feel so apathetic?

This is going to bother me for a few weeks. I’m really curious if we’ll see this behavior exhibited on our campus. However, its prime recruiting season on campuses all across the state. Look for more to come on this topic.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

akaBruno September 20, 2010 at 1:24 pm


Could you go into more detail about the apathy? Why do you see them as apathetic? Why does the company see them as apathetic? What behaviors are they encountering?

Perhaps the troubled experience of their peers that are one or two classes ahead of them, and may have had difficulty finding work over the past couple years, have really tempered their expectations about finding work.


John September 21, 2010 at 10:36 am

Professor Matt,

Absolutely! Thanks for the thought provoking questions. Maybe this is just a one time phenomenon or possibly a systemic issue on multiple campuses. More to come!


Roby Gonzalez September 22, 2010 at 10:11 am


As a graduating senior this fall, I wanted to note that my generation is entering the job market in one of the worst financial downturns of the 21st Century. Many have seen our family members and loved ones loose their employment or see a reduction in their take-home pay.

In addition, we are constantly bombarded by media and social conversations of how fragile the economy is. Our generation is seeing first hand that we can not depend on others, including private industry for our livelihoods. We are constantly hearing how bad the labor market is, how social security won’t exist for us, and the increased taxes we will have to pay to reduce current deficits.

In my opinion, private industries want their cake and eat it too; they want talented, dedicated colleagues who give their best effort, but also want the ability to lay them off with limited social responsibilities.

Submit to a background check, urine analysis, credit report check, and numerous interviews to slave away 50 out of 52 weeks a year in a corporate office suite does not motivate my peers. The human resources departments have come to be a department that limits legal backlash for the corporation instead of promoting talent. Personal career development, educational benefits, mentoring programs, and flex-work schedules are some of the goodies that spark interest but companies are lacking due to more concentration on competitive labor costs.

Increased graduate school enrollment rates, military recruitment, and record youth unemployment rates in America demonstrate that our generation will have to do something differently than our parents. Unable to rely on a secure job and an appreciating home investment, we are challenged to find a new road.

Roby Gonzalez
Florida International University

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