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Welcome to the Workforce

news3Recent college graduate uses social media to ramp up local job opportunities for his peers

When the words “college” and “graduation” come up together in a conversation, they are invariably followed by the word “job.” This is understandable, but also daunting for many recent grads, particularly in light of ongoing unemployment trends and financial uncertainties left over from the all-too-recent Great Recession.

As the most recent batch of UC Santa Cruz graduates hang up their caps and gowns and get that diploma framed, they may be wondering, “Well, what am I going to do with this?”

This is where Kabir Sehgal comes in. The UCSC alumnus hopes to provide an answer to that conundrum with Slug Jobs, a Facebook group he created about three months ago.

The concept behind Slug Jobs is simple: members of the group may post and share any information they have relating to finding a job in Santa Cruz, whether it be notice of a business that is hiring or posting a resume in the hopes of getting noticed or having it peer edited.

“When I graduated, all anyone was talking about was just figuring out how to get a job,” says Sehgal, who graduated in June and now works for Google as a product quality associate. “I was noticing that very few people actually knew what to do with their degree now that they had it. I am always looking for ways to help out my alma mater, and so I came up with Slug Jobs.”

Slug Jobs, which now boasts more than 4,300 subscribers, offers more than just information about local employment.

Although helping new UCSC graduates was the original inspiration for the Slug Jobs project, Sehgal sees is as a local solution that could serve as a model for addressing a national quandary.

“One of the things that I noticed about students that stuck with me was the amount of students who were in college just to have a chance at a decent paying career,” says Sehgal. “The thought process of current students is, ‘I need to go to college to get a job, I need a job to make money. I need to make lots of money so I can pay off my education.’”

“A bachelor’s degree isn’t worth as much as it used to be, and this is my way of combating that,” he adds.

Slug Jobs has begun to attract imitators, with the somewhat younger Spartan Jobs helping the alumni of San Jose State University find jobs in and around the Bay Area.

Sehgal is also putting the Slug Jobs model to use with his new company, Fieldstudy.net. Through the website, Sehgal plans to “create a new curriculum for students to allow them to take internships while in college for course credit toward their major.” Like Slug Jobs, the goal is to make the transition from college to the workforce a bit easier. 

“I'm doing this because there is a gap between learning in school and graduation,” he says. “[This gap] is the application of skills in the 'real world.’”

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