Post Graduation and the Economy

Dear All,

Hello, I am currently a senior at Parsons School of Design and am graduating this upcoming May. As things are with the current economic situation, I was wondering what other people are doing to get by in the design field while in a recession? Has anyone joined or considered partaking in collaboration efforts with other designers and/or companies? How much does the environment or social networking and innovation been a consideration in the jobs you choose?

This question is really open to anyone in the design field but I bring up the urgency of it as I am graduating soon, and the economy can seem pretty bleak at times. Any feedback is encouraged as I am curious as to what other people have in mind.

That’s about your best option, try to connect with other students, form a virtual “firm” and take on competitions and speculative projects to keep honing your skills. You may all have to move home or serve coffee to keep afloat, you’re going to be on your own if you don’t.

A previous employer told me that you can see if a firm wouldn’t mind you volunteering your time for a certain period of time.(6 weeks or so) After that time if they really enjoy you and see that you are a hard worker, then they might hire you. If anything, it is good experience.

that’s a good alternative, but make it for at least 3-4 months. hard to really learn/contribute much in less time.
corporate HR rules might keep you out of the free worker category, but more established freelancers might jump at the chance.

I’m also interested in how people are dealing with life after graduation in the economic situation we’re experiencing. Is it a good idea to just stay in school or actually attempt to break into the workforce?



This is a really great idea. Create your own internship. If anything you might come away with not only experience, you’ll get contacts & hopefully a permanent position. A very close family friend graduated at the top of her class in Computer Science at the worst time. She managed to wrangle an internship when they were scarce and far between. She was able to really integrate herself into the office by taking projects and running with them… she received a great offer.

Good luck!

I got out in Dec. I’m still looking, I got a job at a local place (local to my Parents house), running the graphic design side of a MRDD workshop. I also have to do all printer work but oh well. Main causes for this are: in the this economy if anyone will pay you to do something, you should probably do it, I need money, and last but not least, it’s easier to get a job if you have one.

What is, more specifically, the exact idea and purpose of a “virtual firm”? This seems almost like a homework assignment to keep ones skills polished while waiting out the crisis. I feel as though odd-end jobs are almost the only solution for those about to graduate and need to keep up with their daily lives.

I think it depends on your current situation, but if your rather at a stable situation- I’d say freelancing or gaining more knowledge through internships or unpaid jobs is better. Whatever you do, going back to graduate school is not the best choice because you are wasting more money…

It is difficult, as a majority of companies have placed hiring freezes. Freelance is a great option for designers…but simply rethinking your current finances is a start. Save money wherever you can! This year def is not an apt upgrade time!

Grad school was always an option for me. However, it was also a sidetrack until October. After seeing the unemployment rate drop along with the stock market, I started sending out applications.

There are still some job openings out there. But dont get too attached!

Hmm, thanks for all the posts so far, what definitely seems to be key from all of this is definitely the need to not have attachment and flow with something. While the consequences or the end outcome may not be what you currently desire, this time of permeability in the working field, regardless what your trade is is something to consider when out there trying to sell yourself or snag a job.

I have also read somewhere the other day that due to the major shifting in the economy there is in many ways a change and restructuring to the jobs that exist today, which brings to a point about how creating internships or pitching your own jobs/working multiple ones is a sign of that. Jobs that once existed and are now gone will either be revived, be replaced by something new or integrated into entirely new kinds of industry.