Photos by Kathy F. Atkinson, UD Athletics and courtesy of Adelle Shealy and Grace Zhang
May 27, 2022
UD graduates find a strong job market awaiting them
When Adelle Shealy, a food science major at the University of Delaware, started her job search in December 2021, her goal was pretty simple: find a job.
She didn’t have a strict timeline in mind — she was ready to keep looking towards the summer of 2022 — nor did she think her first job after college would be her dream job. So it came as a surprise when, in early May, she received three job offers in her inbox, which she was said to have been happy with, she said.
Thanks to a strong job market that offered her several offers, Shealy was able to choose the opportunity that most interested her and that best matched her interests. In June, Shealy, who is a vegetarian and passionate about food sustainability, will begin working as a science assistant at MycoTechnology, an Aurora, Colorado-based startup that uses fermentation technology and mushroom mycelium to create new food products.
While senior graduates can benefit from the strength of the job market, Elton said it’s still important for students to get internships, research opportunities and other hands-on experience during their college years. He also stressed the importance of approaching the job search prepared — perfecting resumes, writing cover letters and practicing interview skills, to name a few examples.
Shealy applied for nearly 50 jobs before receiving three offers. She said she wrote cover letters for the roles she was most interested in, and those were the roles she received interviews for.
“For seniors who are just starting the job search or are in a place where you’re actively looking, go in with confidence, but also be prepared,” Elton said. “Being confident means understanding what’s important to you at work, the problems you want to solve, and the skills you want to use. This will go a long way in connecting you to the right opportunities. And remember that the University is there to support you in these efforts.
In such a strong market, job seekers are looking for more than just an offer with a good salary. Many students are also looking for flexibility.
After spending the majority of their college experience in a pandemic, the Class of 2022 also places a premium on connection, company culture, and gaining some of the social experiences they had to give up in college. according to a survey conducted by the LaSalle Network, a recruitment firm.
Grace Zhang, a senior triple major in finance, management information systems, and marketing, received seven internship offers in the summer of 2021. Ultimately, she chose the internship — at Amazon Web Services — which offered a model hybrid instead of being fully remote. At the end of the summer, the tech giant offered him a full-time position as a business analyst with a flexible start time. Zhang will start at the end of August in order to take some time off to travel and relax after four years of constant school and work.
Zhang said she was grateful to receive a full-time offer even before the start of her senior year.
“Personally, I never liked the recruitment process. I think it’s very stressful,” she said. “I really felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. I didn’t have to worry about it. I could just focus on finishing my last year of school and doing my better.
Tommy Beeby, a finance student and member of the men’s lacrosse team, received three full-time job offers. Being part of a team is important to him, so he chose the role where he felt that connection – a job as a Senior Customer Service Associate at JP Morgan Chase which he found through the network. UD men’s lacrosse alumni.
“Being on the lacrosse team taught me things like mental toughness, time management and the ability to build relationships,” he said. “I think the most important thing is hard work day after day after day. There’s never a day when you can just relax – you have to be on your best game every day. It also made me realize that I wanted to be part of a team atmosphere, because I’ve always been part of the sport. I feel like I thrive in a team atmosphere, so I also wanted to seek that kind of experience in the professional world.
R. Lynn Sydnor-Epps, Director of Professional Relations and Experiences, said while the job market is certainly strong now, UD students have been successful even during the toughest times.
“We haven’t lacked opportunities, resources and connections here, so it’s really important for students to be aware of that,” she said. “It’s true that it’s a great environment now for them, but even in the ups and downs, there have always been opportunities for UD students.”