Dec 102010
 
Authors: Vashti Batjargal

CSU students are finding their own way to the American dream. For some, it may mean maneuvering through an unyielding job market; for others like Mark Spring, it’s creating opportunity when they hit a dead end.

Before his spring graduation in 2009, Spring, a restaurant and resort management major, submitted hundreds of resumes to positions across the nation.

His two serious job considerations came to a halt when one of the companies cut off all contact and the second company cited economic difficulties for pulling positions.

Upon graduation, Spring decided to keep his college job at the Embassy Suites and continue his job search. Shortly after accepting a managerial position and quitting his job, the company went under.

“It’s been a tough job market since 2008, but with that said, I think students are being smart,” said Ann Malen, director of the Career Center at CSU. “If they’ve got jobs now, they’re sticking with them.”

Malen and Renee Welch, assistant director of the Career Center, said students should learn to tailor their resume to each specific job they apply for.

“Searching for a job can feel like a job,” Welch said. “But with persistence I’ve seen students land their dream opportunity.”

After two weeks of job-hunting with no success, Spring switched gears and relentlessly pursued entrepreneurship.

“For three weeks I worked on my business plan –– 14 hours a day, everyday,” Spring said, before he presented it to potential investors.

Family friends of Spring agreed to financially back his idea for Taps Sports Bar in the 6,392 square foot old Sportscasters location off Boardwalk Street and College Avenue.

“It’s Taps Sport Bar because we’re going to have 40 beers on tap. It will span 144 inches, which is going to take up most of a wall,” Spring said. “One of my concepts is that I’m always going to have something new, something rotating.”

Spring has $500,000 to cover renovations plus six months of operational costs and wages for 40 employees.

“It’s not a corporate facility; if I want a beer or want to add something to the menu, I can change it tomorrow,” Spring said. “There is a lot more freedom to give the customers what they want.”

Graduating horticulture major Kyle Mitchell is not anxious about the job market. He plans to walk this semester and finish his internship requirement for his major next semester.

“I’m going to be a ski-bum for a little while,” Mitchell said. “I’m hoping that my internship will lead to a really good job.”

Mitchell plans to work at a winery in Willamette Valley in Oregon.

“I would be nervous if I was a communication major or business major just because of the sheer number of students coming out with those degrees,” Mitchell said.

Staff writer Vashti Batjargal can be reached at collegian.com.

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