It’s true that most of the general requirement courses you are forced to take in college are such a load of you-know-what. Intro level literature, cultural anthropology, a bogus computer class—whatever they were, the majority of them wasted your time.
At Hunter, you are required to take two of your lame-ass intro classes at a “focused” level, i.e. 200 and up. I had already taken Sociology 101 and was looking for a course that would satisfy one of the other ridiculous requirements at the same time. I ended up taking Soc 307: Sociology of Migration. Needless to say, I was not exactly psyched about my selection. The class is (still) taught by Nancy Foner, a professor who is beyond über-informed about the topic of groups migrating to New York City. Long story short, the class turned out to be kick-ass and I actually learned about groups you never do in elementary/high school (read: not the first wave of immigration).
Not only was Soc 307 informative and interesting enough to keep me awake at 9:00 a.m., it is coming in handy during my job search. When the Koreans first came to New York, like many other groups before and after them, they struggled to find work and didn’t exactly find the land of dreams they had heard of. Instead of returning home or giving up, Koreans made work and a job market for themselves and their families—nail salons. It was a great idea, preying on exactly what ads discovered years ago: consumer insecurity. (A more recent example of this would be teeth whitening products.) Women (and later on, some men) would now think that in order to feel better about their appearance or look acceptable in the workplace and at the beach, their nails and toenails had to be in tip-top shape. And so the nail salon was born and the Koreans had plenty of jobs to fill.
In this climate, many of us are struggling to find work. Let history teach us a little career lesson: If you can’t find work, make your own. Find a market not being covered and cover it. Take advantage of freelance work since staffers are getting cut everyday. Make your own brand and sell yourself as the only person for the job. It’s not easy and it takes some hard work, but it can be done. If full-time, benefit-filled jobs aren’t coming your way, be smart and seek out/explore other options while others just give up and fall behind the eight ball.
P.S. I really do need a manicure…