To all those seniors who are currently freaking out as they see their friends landing jobs with investment banks and consulting firms, I have some very simple advice: stop.

Yes, it’s true that next year you may not be able to afford the $600 Gucci loafers that you’ve always dreamed of wearing around the office or a cramped, overpriced New York City apartment, but I assure you that hope remains. To those of you who have chosen to go this route, I wish you all the best and hope that the market will be a friendlier place in the future than it is now.

Many of you are probably thinking that when you graduate, your only debt will be your student loans. But think back to the first time you donned that black robe when you arrived on Georgetown’s campus and heard University President John J. DeGioia’s speech on how few people in the world are provided with the opportunity to go to college – or any school for that matter. Attending Georgetown is indeed a privilege, not just due to the opportunities you have while you are here but because of the doors that having a Georgetown degree will ultimately open for you later in life.

Going to Georgetown is, however, not only a privilege but a responsibility as well. It is your duty to better yourself and the world around you. Having a Georgetown degree means that when you talk, people listen, which means that you have the opportunity to give a voice to those who may not have one.

Six months ago, I walked across the stage at graduation and was forced from the protective womb of Georgetown into a world that had not offered me a job, salary or healthcare. I had always assumed that if I were rejected from every job position that I had applied to, I would simply jump on the bandwagon of whatever presidential candidate I found most appealing. Unfortunately, after the job market failed to show me any love, I was rudely awakened to the realization that jobs on the presidential campaign trail are not exactly easy to come by and are especially coveted when the country happens to be engaged in two simultaneous wars.

While I had yet to find an institution that found my resume quite as impressive as I did, I knew that I was interested in foreign policy and was determined to take any job in the field I could find, and that was still enough motivation for me. I decided to contact a professor of mine for some career advice in the hope that he knew of someone willing to hire me. He did not. What he could offer me, however, was an internship in the homeland security program at the think tank at which he was a fellow. After recovering from the shock that a Georgetown professor’s salary was not large enough for him to simply kick back and rest on the laurels of his graduate degree, I eagerly accepted the unpaid position.

Through a great deal of hard work, sleepless nights and a winning smile, I am today a paid research assistant in the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, with a healthcare plan and all – and this is for someone who graduated without any job prospects whatsoever. You may be asking yourself what doing defense analysis has to do with changing the world. In response, I would challenge anyone to tell me that the world has not undergone a dramatic change over the past few years due to U.S. military interventions.

Making the most out of your future is more important than scrambling to find a job just because your graduation date is drawing near. It is now our responsibility to correct the mistakes of the past and ensure that in the end, the changes we have made are for the better. We cannot always guarantee that the decisions we make in our careers will ultimately turn out for the best; we can, however, take pride in those actions if they are driven by a desire to serve others.

I wish you all the best in your postgraduate lives. Hoya Saxa!

Jeremy White graduated from the College in 2007.

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