Another academic year has ended and Mobile has produced a fresh crop of thousands of college graduates. They may join millions of twenty-somethings nationwide looking to land even a part-time job in their area of study, but many of Mobile’s grads haven’t found it as difficult as may be portrayed.
Mobile native J.T. Crabtree accepted a part-time job with the University of South Alabama Athletics Department upon graduating in May.
“I was still in school and Pat Greenwood of (South’s) athletic department emailed me and asked me to call him. We started talking and he offered me the job two days later,” Crabtree said.
Crabtree completed his bachelor’s degree at USA majoring in communication and will begin working in the fall. “Right now I am hired on for football and I’m hoping that after football season I’ll be hired to work all the other sports,” he said. “I am totally comfortable staying here in Mobile. For years I have always said I wanted to work with USA’s Athletics Department and it just worked out really well that when I graduated they started their own broadcasting division…”
Not everyone is being offered a job as quickly as Crabtree, though. Dothan native Amanda Haynes moved to Mobile in order to complete her dream of a nurse’s degree and begin working in the pediatric floor of a local Mobile hospital.
“I completed my clinicals at USA Medical Center in the children’s hospital in December of 2012, but when I got done there wasn’t a job for me.”
Haynes spent the next five months applying to every hospital in Mobile, only to be told she didn’t have enough experience or to hear no response at all.
“Even though they knew I was a brand new graduate they still wanted the experience that I didn’t have. I had to move back home to get the required experience.
“I never wanted to leave Mobile in the first place so I had been applying for jobs in Mobile the entire year and a half in Dothan,” Haynes said. “I actually applied for my job at Springhill Medical in October, but they didn’t have an opening until April … I was in Dothan that whole time until they (Springhill) had a position available for me.”
Haynes now works on the pediatric floor at Springhill Medical Center and thanks her nearly two years of work experience in her hometown for the opportunity. She plans to stay in Mobile for many more years and continue working at Springhill.
Local teacher Andy Ryan was placed in Mobile by the University of Notre Dame two years ago.
“I received my bachelors at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English writing and rhetoric. My senior year I applied to the Master’s of Education program at the University of Notre Dame,” he said. “The master’s program is what actually brought me to Mobile. You sign up for the program and you have to agree at the same time to teach at the school they assign you.”
After completing his required two years at Little Flower Catholic School this past May, Ryan accepted a teaching job back in his hometown of Austin.
“I had already decided to go back to Austin, but it didn’t necessarily seem like the right fit the more I thought about it,” Ryan said. “I ended up having to call back and regrettably tell them that I wouldn’t be able to accept their teaching job this year.”
Despite the pay difference in Austin and Mobile that brought Ryan to laughter, he simply explains that he stayed in Mobile because of the small town feel and connections made.
“I feel like there’s just a lot that Little Flower has to offer and so does this town. Especially coming from big cities, I really just like the feel of Mobile,” Ryan said. “This is a real family-friendly kind of place and I like that about it.”
Ryan is currently the Director of Communication at Little Flower Catholic School and is working on the new Spanish curriculum. He hopes to stay in Mobile for at least a couple more years while working on his doctorate degree.
While Alabama has an alarmingly high unemployment rate of 6.8 percent according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Mobile County seems to have a grasp on the eager college grads looking for employment.
Mississippi resident Hannah Adkins, also graduated from USA in December 2013 with a bachelors degree in Fine Arts.
“One question people asked toward the end of college was, ‘Well, what are you going to do with an art degree?’ They usually followed that with a smirk,” Adkins said. “I chose this degree because I wanted to do something different with my life.”
Adkins’ goal upon graduation was not to necessarily stay in Mobile, but to definitely continue her passion for art somewhere by working in an art museum or teaching.
“But the closer I got to graduation those jobs started to seem like they would be a boring nine-to-five job,” she said. “I wanted a job where I would have a little freedom and would do something different everyday.”
Due to the lack of variety art seemed to offer in careers, Adkins decided to look elsewhere.
“I believe because of my faithfulness to God he set plans into motion that gave me my first job as a personal assistant to two real estate agents in Mississippi just one month after I graduated,” Adkins said. “That assistant job lead me to pursue a career in real estate, which is my dream job,” Adkins said. “Its a job where I will do something different everyday.”