Thursday, September 30, 2010

Managing Your Money

During college years many people settle for Top Ramen, Mac N Cheese or left over pizza for breakfast as part of the college student norm. However, once you graduate and find a job, you will have to manage a paycheck.

The more money you have, the more responsibilities will come. The link below will provide you with 100 rules on how to manage your money in these areas: how to pay off debt or loans, lifestyle, budgeting, investing, bills, finding deals and how to keep your credit in shape.

100 Essential Money Rules for Life After College

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

College Degrees: Cost vs. Benefit

On Sept. 21, the College Board published a study that found people with bachelor's degrees, on average, earn about 66 percent more than those with a high school diploma during their lifetime, and about 42 percent more than those with an associate degree.

Taking into consideration the difficulties facing 1) state and federal governments, 2) colleges and universities, and 3) students and their families in trying to balance budgets and help students continue higher education, the report illustrates some of the economic and non-economic gains resulting from higher education -- health outcomes, community involvement, and other life patterns -- according to a WSU Today article.

Find helpful graphs and read the full article here.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

International Job Opportunities

College graduates should not rule out international opportunities when looking for a job. Searching the international job market can yield effective results. Jobs in the international market tend to be more temporary, but a lot of employers offer decent pay and a secure opportunity. Experiencing another culture could be beneficial, and it might give an edge over the competition in today's struggling economy.
Here is an opportunity in Lima, Peru for college graduates with copy editing, writing, and communication backgrounds.

Monday, September 27, 2010

New Journalism Jobs (Audio)

Below is a podcast explaining a few new jobs on the market for a journalism graduate.

Obama Urges Students to Stay Informed, Vote

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden spoke at universities around the Midwest on Monday, pitching to young voters the importance of staying politically active and voting in midterm elections.

He said the midterm elections might not be as exciting as the 2008 presidential race, but that it is still a "big choice. That has big consequences. ..."

"Back in 2008, a lot of young people got involved in my campaign because they... generally felt that we needed to bring about fundamental changes in how we operate," Obama said.

He said due to the financial crisis and constant argument in Washington, he understands why we are thinking "things haven't changed as much as we would have liked or as quickly as we would have liked -- even though the health care bill got passed, financial regulatory bill got passed, and we brought an end to our combat mission in Iraq. Still it seems as if a lot of the old politics is still operating in Washington."

His response is that all change is a slow progression, and that these elections are crucial in determining what that will look like.

Read the full Huffington Host story here.

Ask the Experts: College Debt and First Jobs

According to one CNN statistic, only 20 percent of college graduates land jobs immediately after graduation opposed to the 50 percent that did in 2007. So how are new grads, loaded down with debt and newly entering into the workforce, going to get jobs in this economy?  Here's what Debbie Edwards, senior associate director of the Center for Advising and Career Development, and Chio Flores, director of Financial Aid, had to say:

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Top 10 Cities for College Grads

If you’re moving back home or you’re venturing across the country to a new city, you’re going to be looking for a place to live when you start your first full-time job. After research, and created a list of the top cities for new grads, factoring in entry-level job openings and cost for a one-bedroom apartment.

Top 10 best cities with the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment:

1. Philadelphia $962
2. Boston $1,343
3. New York $1,520
4. Phoenix $741
5. Chicago $1,029
6. Dallas/Fort Worth $755
7. Los Angeles $1,435
8. Houston $778
9. Detroit $699
10. Atlanta $773

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Journalism Schools Offer Credit for Work in Partnership with AOL's Patch Media

In an arrangement called PatchU, AOL's Patch Media said its editors will also provide a graduate level education to students from 13 journalism schools who will work for the company in exchange for college credits, according to a USA Today article.

Until AOL unveiled this partnership today, Patch was simply "a provocative new business that sells ads on websites filled with hyper-local news."

Now it also will be a vessel for aspiring journalists to learn how to "pitch and write stories, cover local events, shoot and edit photos and videos, integrate content with social media and produce stories online using Patch's leading content management system."

Patch said its sites offer news to more than 500 neighborhoods in 20 states, claiming this will make it the nation's largest hirer of full-time journalists this year, according to the article.

Although WSU does not a participate in this particular program, it is important for Murrow College students to continue to network and utilize WSU's own occupational partnerships. Again, check out COUGlink, or peruse Patch's job listings here.

Recent College Graduate: Hard Work Pays Off

Recent college graduate Bradley Dempsey struggled to land a permanent journalism job after his local newspaper hired him fresh out of college as a reporter and laid him off two months later due to budget cuts.

Instead of sulking, however, he decided to write an article about it for The Columbia Daily Tribune.

Dempsey said despite the fact that he has been stocking shelves and bagging groceries for IGA two years after earning a degree in communication, he is undeterred in his goal "to work as hard as I can, as long as I can, until my shift is complete. I can’t outsmart everyone I encounter, but with the right effort, I can outwork them. Though I do not want to stock shelves the rest of my life, I believe I will achieve better in the near future."

This mindset he dubbed the "Stock Boy Mentality," meaning "take stock in hard work paying off" in all arenas of life. He said long shifts, low pay and thankless work does not necessarily constitute wasted time for a college graduate. After all, income is income, it is an opportunity to pick up useful knowledge and occupational skills, and society does not owe you anything just because you decided to go to college, said Dempsey.

"The worst thing a person can get is a sense of entitlement," Dempsey said. "When I lost my job at the newspaper, I thought I was entitled to be a journalist again and deserved every position in journalism I applied for. In fact, I thought I deserved a job for every position I applied for, journalism or not. ... This was entirely the wrong idea. ... Some people would say, for the past two years, I wasted my education and my hard work, but I see the opposite."

To discover his hard-learned life lessons, read the full article here.

Tips to Perfect your Resume

So much stock is put into the resume. From the time you are a senior in high school, your professors drill into your head the importance of constructing a record of your experiences. A resume is a future employer's first impression of you as a future employee. These tips from the New York Daily News are designed to help you construct a resume worthy of landing your future job.

Job recruiter Brad Karsh,knows what it takes to truly stand out to an employer. These nine tips will help give you the edge you need to defeat the competition.
1. Show, don’t tell. “Ninety-nine out of 100 people write what I call a job-description resume versus an accomplishment resume,” Karsh says. “I already know what a salesperson does. I want to know what you did.” Rather than writing, “I worked with clients selling products,” illustrate your role with examples like, “I sold the first product to Harlem Hospital.”

2. Update your resume regularly. “People will say, I don’t remember how many awards I won, and that’s a shame,” Karsh says. “They’re missing some important information because they haven’t updated their resume in 10 years.” Tweak your resume every six months. You don’t have to rewrite the whole thing. Just pick four or five of your best accomplishments and add them in.

3. Mind the length.
“It’s ideal to have a one-page resume, but if you’ve been working for 10 years and have enough good stuff to put on two pages, that’s fine. But never more than two pages.” A student’s resume, on the other hand, should never run longer than a page, since you haven’t done much yet.

4. Support everything you say.
“A pet peeve of mine that people do all the time is they will fill the resume with what I call self-ascribed attributes,” Karsh says, “like, I’m a hard worker. Well, would you write that you were a lazy worker?” Back up your claims with strong examples. “I have great communications skills, having delivered more than 60 presentations to audiences as large as 1,000 people,” sends the message better than, “I’m a good communicator.”

5. Edit your extracurriculars.
“If you sit on the board of the American Cancer Society, or play a big community service role, then it’s a great idea to throw that on,” Karsh says. “But I wouldn’t have 17 bullet points.” List just a couple of items, especially those where you play a leadership role or help benefit the community.

6. Ditch the personal bio.
“Believe it or not, I see that a lot of people put their marital status, height, weight, age and Social Security number on their résumé,” Karsh says. “That has nothing to do with the job.” This is just going to make the job recruiter extremely uncomfortable, as companies can get into serious legal trouble if it appears they’ve discriminated against an applicant based on age or appearance.

7. Tailor the resume to the job.
“What a lot of people do is go on-line, see 50 jobs, and click apply, apply, apply, and that doesn’t work,” Karsh says. You want the recruiter reading your résumé to start nodding their head as soon as they pick it up. So if the job calls for someone who can do sales, move any of your sales-related bullet points to the top of the list. “Reading the job description and tailoring your achievements is how you can stand out in this sea of hundreds and sometimes thousands of candidates.”

8. Typos are inexcusable.
“The resume is supposed to be you at your best, and if you can’t be typo-free on a single sheet of paper or two, what will you be like when you’re working?” Karsh asks. “Typos read as careless.” The recruiter is sifting through thousands of resumes to hire one person. Don’t give them an excuse to toss yours aside!

9. Remain relevant. Sometimes more experienced job seekers add six or more bullet points from a job or internship they had 10 years ago. “At this point, nobody cares that you helped launch the Commodore 64 computer,” Karsh says. Focus your resume on what is most relevant now, and touch upon past successes briefly. “These things [like your college internship] need to
start fading off your resume over time.”

Read more:

WSU Makes Top 25 in Recruiter Picks

State universities have become a favorite of companies recruiting new hires, according to a Wall Street Journal survey of top corporate recruiters whose companies last year hired 43,000 new college graduates. On Sept. 13, a survey asking companies to rank schools that produce the best-qualified graduates overall and by major ranked WSU No. 25 in the nation.

While recruiters reported large student bodies, opportunities for partnership and corporate budget constraints as key factors in this new revelation, they also said "graduates of top public universities are often among the most prepared and well-rounded academically, and companies have found they fit well into their corporate cultures and, over time, have the best track record in their firms."

It is important to explore university-company partnerships for student internship and job opportunities.

In the Journal article, for example, the head of General Electric Co.'s recruiting efforts said upwards of 80 percent of GE's new-graduate hires come from its summer internship pool of 2,200 from about 40 key U.S. schools—many of them state schools.

Other companies reported liking certain schools so much they set up offices nearby, as universities and companies often strike research collaborations that include student participation. These partnerships also allow companies get an early look at promising students and boost brand awareness among talented students.

WSU's Center for Advising and Career Development utilizes its partnerships with leading companies to provide an on-campus interview program, career fair and COUGlink, a website where students can access career event and workshop information, post their resume for prospective employers and peruse internship and job postings.

Read the Journal article here. See the listing of the top 25 universities here.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Consider the Cost of Living

Students at Washington State Universities Edward R. Murrow College of Communication know they will get a job after they graduate. Whether they go into advertising, broadcast news, journalism, or public relations,there will be a demand for such skills in every city in America.

However, the allure of the big city is hard to ignore. We see the major media outlets nestled in a bed of skyscrapers and we think, "That's where I should be."

But is it? Would we really make more money, have better careers, and make a more prominent name for ourselves if we lived in Seattle as opposed to Spokane?

My advise to you is this - Consider the cost of living.

This website - - offers a variety of essential resources such as a salary calculator, city reports, school reports, moving companies, and more that provide detailed and accurate information to help you make educated moving decisions after you graduate.

One such tool is the cost of living calculator. Let me give you a little preview.

1. Advertising:

- The national average expected salary for a typical Advertising Coordinator in the United States is $50,139.
- The median expected salary for a typical Advertising Coordinator in Pullman, WA is $48,126.
- In Spokane, WA the median salary for the same position is $50,610.
- In Seattle, WA the same job makes $56,356.

Let's say you decide to move to Spokane right after you graduate, but when you find out you could make an extra 6 grand a year in Seattle, you consider another move.

Cost of living:

- The cost of living in Seattle, WA is 25.8% higher than in Spokane, WA. Therefore, you would have to earn a salary of $60,552 to maintain your current standard of living.
- Moving to Seattle from Spokane will cost you $6,962 in net change in disposable income.

2. Broadcast news

- The median expected salary for a typical Media Planner in the United States is $48,460.
- The median salary for the same job in Spokane is $48,915.
- In Seattle, WA the median salary is $54,469.

Cost of living:

- The cost of living in Seattle, WA is 25.8% higher than in Spokane, WA. Therefore, you would have to earn a salary of $60,972 to maintain your current standard of living.
- Moving to Seattle from Spokane will cost you $7,010 in net change in disposable income.

3. Journalism

- The median expected salary for a typical Reporter I in the United States is $31,371.
- In Spokane, WA the salary only increases a little, with $31,666.
- In Seattle the median expected salary for a typical Reporter is $35,261.

Cost of living:

- The cost of living in Seattle, WA is 25.8% higher than in Spokane, WA. Therefore, you would have to earn a salary of $39,471 to maintain your current standard of living.
- Moving to Seattle from Spokane will cost you $4,538 in net disposable income.

4. Public Relations

- The median expected salary for a typical Public Relations Specialist I in the United States is $44,882.
- The median expected salary for a typical Public Relations Specialist I in Spokane, WA is $45,304.
- The median expected salary for a typical Public Relations Specialist I in Seattle, WA is $50,448.

Cost of living:

- The cost of living in Seattle, WA is 25.8% higher than in Spokane, WA. Therefore, you would have to earn a salary of $56,470 to maintain your current standard of living.
- Moving from Spokane to Seattle would cost you $6,492 in net change in disposable income.

Based on these results, the average net income loss for any job in the field of communication is $6,250.50 if you moved from Spokane to Seattle. This is a small difference from one city to a bigger city. Imagine how much larger that number could be if you moved to New York or LA?

You can go to the website to calculate what the cost of living would be like in most big cities in the United States.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Changing Face of Journalism: 6 New Jobs That Are Shaking Things Up

As society evolves, so does the modern journalist. In an age of media overload, Facebook updates, ever-changing iPhone Apps and constant Tweeting, traditional journalists are being forced to think outside the box.

The following new careers were brought to our attention by, a website created by journalists interested in educating future generations on using interactive media to strengthen their careers.

1. The Mobile Maven

Social media is a rapidly growing phenomenon - one that journalists should be encouraged to embrace. One aspect of social media that is getting a lot of hype is the idea of mobile media. Most social media sites (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc...) have an option to link your news feed to your cell phone. This would allow the subscriber to receive up-to-date information on their phones wherever they go. asked three organizations that already utilize mobile jobs what the people in these positions actually do.

"Above all, the mobile gurus at the Orlando Sentinel, CNN and serve as evangelists for the rapidly growing platform, making sure their peers are aware of the opportunities and challenges mobile presents and that mobile audiences possess different wants and needs than their print and Web counterparts.

More specific duties reported by the three outlets included monitoring and responding to metrics, ensuring social media efforts play nicely with mobile, researching app revenue models, crafting breaking news plans and serving as a liaison between the newsroom and marketing, sales and advertising departments."

2. The Multimedia Reporter

Journalists need to be a master of all trades. With constantly changing job descriptions and a generation of tech-savvy graduates flocking to the news rooms, a modern journalist has to take on more than ever before.

Modern reporters , above all else, be proficient in several multimedia tools. This includes insight and knowledge regarding how to connect to more readers.

3. The Jack or Jill of All Trades

Patch, the AOL-owned network of "hyperlocal sites" is one of the top companies changing the face of journalism. Hiring more aggressivley than any othedr news brand, this organization is built to adapt.

Journalists working for this company are expected to embrace the following:

"Work-from-home (or, maybe more likely, work-from-coffee shop) local editors receive a salary (reportedly around $40K), benefits, a freelancer budget and equipment including a laptop, smart phone, camera and police scanner. Finding and writing stories, taking photographs, shooting video, recruiting freelancers, editing freelancers' work, making sure freelancers get paid and interacting with the audience on social media and in the community, local editors take care of almost everything else that goes into covering a small community (Patch targets localities of 70,000 persons or fewer)."

While this may sound over whelming, it is providing a new generation of writers an opportunity to stretch their wings and make a name for themselves. Young, entrepreneurial journalists are jumping at the chance to re-define their profession in their own unique way.

4. The Online Content Guru

Audience engagement and multimedia operation are not just job qualifications for reporters - editors and web producers are also making rapid changes to their resumes.

"One example is this post for an online content editor for Gazette Communications in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The position involves many of the duties you’d expect to see in an editorial leadership role, but we think one key difference is the opening line:

This position is responsible for developing content, maintaining the voice and being the champion for and associated major social media accounts like Twitter and Facebook.

Here, you see not only the focus on social media, and thus audience engagement, but also attention being paid to the organization’s brand. Branding has become so important these days because your brand exists in a sea of many, and everyone wants a way to stand out."

5. The Online Engagement Specialist

Non-journalistic organizations are seeking to encorporate journalists into their field. More and more often, companies, nonprofits, and other organizations are creating a network of information based less on traditional media. These organizations are focusing more on the new media capabilities of modern journalists to spread the word about their company. This means more jobs for journalists who are willing to work in a non-traditional, public-relations style environment.

"One example is this posting from for an online engagement associate for the nonprofit, Green for All. The job posting says:

The ideal candidate is an Internet savvy professional, experienced with new and social media, email outreach, online advocacy and fundraising, online-to-offline mobilization strategies, and creating innovate campaigns to grow our online community and presence.

You may see this as a traditional public relations/marketing position, but like always, journalists can be a great fit in these positions because of their skill-sets. Plus, if you find a company or nonprofit that matches what you value, all the better."

6. The Journalist/Programmer

"The rise of journalist/programmers has been well documented. Masters of both database structure and story structure, journalist/programmers use their hybrid skillset to spot stories experts in only one area would miss and to tell them in ways more accessible and engaging than a stand-alone table or article.

Such workers, Mashable wrote earlier this year, "are bringing unprecedented value to both major and startup news organizations." Texas State University in San Marcos assistant professor Cindy Royal explored the professional subclass in detail in a case study of The New York Times Interactive News Technology department. How this new breed of journalist moves outlets away from mere multimedia pieces and toward truly interactive ones is among the topics her paper explores.

Precisely what a journalist/programmer does varies widely depending on the needs and resources of the organization. Some might focus exclusively on PHP, others exclusively on Flash. More likely, though, employees, as we've seen in the other jobs in this post, are generalists within their specialty."

To read the article, go to


Welcome to Life After Murrow College, a group blog focusing on what to do (or not to do) after you graduate from Washington State University's Edward R. Murrow College of Communication.

As the name implies, we will be discussing jobs within the field of communication. This includes traditional jobs (journalism, public relations, advertisement, etc...) and up-and-coming jobs that many people may not be familiar with.

In addition to jobs we will be talking about location - where to live and why - based on a variety of factors. We will examine cost of living, job availability, and other vital components to bring you an array of practical information that is current and accurate.

Of course, with any job market it is important recognize and decipher the politics that contribute to the factors listed above (cost of living, job availability, etc...) Without boring you to tears, we are committed to bringing you up to speed on the basic local, state, and federal government plans and initiatives that directly affect you.

We hope you enjoy our blog, and be sure to stay posted for updates!