October 9, 2012

Life after (my) graduation

So, it's been over a month or so since I have received my diploma blablabla.. I hope you are curious what I have been doing ever since. Well, there is a good and bad side to this. Let's start with the bad, so I can end this post on a more positive note.

It has been quite hard for me to find a job. And with job I mean a full time job where you earn around 1500 euros or more. Not the students type of part time jobs. That, I can easily find. I have been rejected in the past 3 months about 30+ times, where I had 3 job interviews included. It is hard! The most common reason I got was: "You do not have enough working experience in this business", "We have found a better candidate who has evr so slightly more (working) experience", and the list goes on and on. The worst excuse I have ever had was for my accent. Now, I am Surinamese and my accent is really not that bad. But they wanted to have someone who can speak Dutch without an accent. Seriously, this is ridiculous. Among all Dutch people, some do not have an accent?! It was for a customer service function, which I kind of understood their perspective. Still, I found this utmost discrimination. As polite and tolerable as I always am, I kindly denied them and wish them good luck in finding a suitable candidate. This was really the downfall where I saw myself drowning in. And of course adding up all the rejections and no mater how many times I change my letters, it seemed automatically that I would get a "no".

Then there was a sparkling light: WCN. Just like the quote: After rain comes sunshine (Na regen komt zonneschijn). It is a job agency (uitzendbureau) that negotiate Schiphol jobs. I was already regisered in other job agencies, so I took a shot at this one as well. Why not? I thought. But then this agency offered me more... trainings and short study courses. I am now finishing a basic course as Airway/Export expedient and am considering to take a level higher as junior customs consultant.
Who knew, that I, who studied TMA, gained my bachelor diploma for an economic study, would gone in this "customs" (douane) direction? Till today I am still shocked how unplanned things can make drastic changes in your life. Am I satisfied with it? YES! Do I want to specialize in "customs"? YES! Did the TMA course contrbuted to this? No =(  !!

It's shocking right?! So I feel like the whole TMA study has meant nothing actually to my probably (prospected) job. Of course I enjoyed the whole international part and dissertation project. But the first 2 and a half years felt like a waste. I do not remember all the theory I have learned back then. Usually that is what the teachers/professors tell you during your students years: "You have to study, you will need it for your future job". It is true though, but not for students who has not yet figured it out what they want to be or do in the future. And I do not want to put TMA on a blacklist. It has given me opportunities in many ways. But because I, back then,  did not know what I want to do or be, it was a big waste.

Now I do know and feel satisfied in what I am studying and the direction I am heading to. But gosh.. it's a bit late don't you think? Hahahaha.. Anyways, my point of this post was actually that HES/HvA should pay more attention to "finding a job that suits you" for all their students. I had these tests when I was in high school, but that was more in order for you to choose the right HBO study course after high school.
Then once you entered the study course, they are left alone on their own to figure out their future. Some students can manage, others don't. And just for those who don't, I think there should be an medium where those students can turn to. The earlier they discover who they want to be, the harder they will study and do their best to achieve their diploma and enter the workforce to sell their talent.