Let’s be honest, while the economy has recovered from the depths of the so-called Great Recession, finding a job can still be tough for many graduates. Many employers aren’t hiring in huge numbers and many graduates find themselves struggling to land that dream job, or any decent paying job at all. There are a variety of fellowships and similar programs for recent graduates, however.
The best known of any such program is probably the Peace Corps. The Peace Corps was established back in 1961 as a way to promote the United States and its values. People of all ages, including many of the recent graduates, are sent to emerging nations where they can work on a variety of public service projects. The Peace Corps covers all costs and gives people who complete the program a $7,425 dollar readjustment stipend.
Another great option is AmeriCorps, which is similar to the Peace Corps but focuses on community building within the United States. If you’re not yearning to travel overseas and would rather stay closer to home, AmeriCorps is a great option. Many recent graduates join the “Volunteers In Service To America” (VISTA) program, which focuses on capacity building. While each experience is unique, VISTAs normally get experience in program management and other high value areas.
Finally, if you’re of the more intellectual sort, you should consider a Fulbright research grant. This grant will pay you to travel and live overseas in a country of your choice. While overseas, you will conduct research according to an outline you provided during the application process. This might mean a close study of ancient local art forms and their influence on modern art or numerous other things. The Fulbright organization also sponsors other grants for teaching English and other things.
The best part about these programs isn’t necessarily the financial benefits they will provide. Admittedly, the pay isn’t all that great when compared to a regular job, but the experience you gain could open doors to more lucrative careers. In today’s tough job market, such experience can be invaluable. And why slave away at an internship when you can see the world or serve your nation?