For one graduate, a job-hunting nightmare

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

A number of recent graduates have expressed concern that the local job market has been significantly affected by the January 25 popular uprising and the international economic downturn.

They say they face increased obstacles in finding good jobs because Egypt has been going through a period of stagnation, with fewer jobs to be found due to political instability.

Some say they have been forced to settle in the wrong job because they just don't have any other options.

Students send their CV's to many employers and after a long while they are invited to several interviews. But these have been eye-openers; some students find the interviews to be difficult and excessive.

"In the interviews I attended I was asked about my work experience mostly even though I had just graduated," said Norihan El Masry, a Business Marketing graduate.

"I found that my major didn't help me a lot as they seemed more interested in having me work in sales rather than marketing," she said.

Eventually El Masry was offered a job at a prestigious multinational company in Egypt. But from the first day on the job, she discovered she had been misled; she was again shafted into a sales job.

"It is depressing for a graduate student to have spent four years in a professional university, paid such high tuition fees only to end up in the wrong job with a very low salary," she told The Caravan.

She said she was only told of her remuneration two months into the job. She quit.

A few weeks later, she found another job with another multinational group. But a few months into that job, she discovered that her job title was intern. Upper management refused to sign a full-time contract with her saying she lacked experience as a fresh graduate.

El Masry is considering jobs abroad.

The Caravan asked a number of graduating seniors about their prospects after graduation.

Some said they are considering "waiting it out" and remaining in Egypt until the situation stabilizes. But most remain pessimistic citing little to no profit for most companies operating in the country. Some companies have been liquidating assets and downsizing.

Word-of-mouth horror stories about job interviews and other challenges have affected some graduating seniors.

Some of these students say that they would try hunting for jobs that are not necessarily related to their major because they just want to work.