A billboard of one man looking for freelance work is far-fetched enough -- but one of a creative writing major seeking employment in this slumping economy is downright laughable, right? Right. At least that's how Seth Boyle, a senior at Carnegie Mellon University, feels about the current job market.
Each year, the art department at CMU puts up a series of billboards showcasing the artwork of its students. Though not an art student, Boyle submitted his idea as a joke between himself and a professor this year. On April 1, Boyle's billboard was put up, reading, "Seth Boyle: Creative Writing Major Looking For Work," along with a picture of Seth and his actual phone number. Boyle says the billboard drew its inspiration from the sandwich boards of the Great Depression, where men would literally wear their resumes on their backs in a desperate effort to find work.
Since April Fool's Day, he has received some calls, though fewer than he expected. Boyle will not readily forget one conversation in particular. "I got one call about somebody offering me a job in the male porn industry, but that wasn't quite what I was looking for," he says. But the lack of calls says something quite serious about the current situation many graduating seniors are finding themselves in. Boyle says he believes graduating majors of all types of art -- English, creative writing, studio art, and more -- will soon be thrown into a situation worse than what they foresaw when they chose their career path. Despite the billboard being a joke, says Boyle, "It would be great to get a job through this billboard. I'm a senior, and it would be nice to have a job for this summer and for next semester when I graduate." But as for right now, Seth is doing the only thing he can -- laughing about it.