By Allison Sass

There is no question that Google is one of the most succesful corporations out there today. I mean, when your company name becomes a verb, you know you've hit it big. An excellent book for recent grads is Googled by Ken Auletta. This book give you an inside look into what has made Google the great success it is today.

Googled: The End of the World As We Know It

Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page are quirky underdogs that dropped out of their Masters programs to pursue their dreams... it's definitely an inspirational story for any recent grad struggling with their life decisions.

What I enjoyed most about reading Google is how the founders consistently focused on user experience over all else. They truly value each and every Googler and I've definitely tried to incorporate their emphasis on customer experience in my new job.

Do you have any post suggestions for recent graduations? Leave us a comment!

Mad Men Job Tips

By Shikole Struber

Don Draper is not only a sexy business man, but he has perfected his art. There is a lot to learn from him career wise. More so than the suits and corporate hair, his work ethic is spot on with how to get ahead today.

  1. You are at work to work. You are not being paid to make friends. When at work, how about focusing on your job?

  2. Keep your mouth shut. Knowledge is power. The more you know the better. The more you share the less it matters. Keep those office secrets under wraps until you can use them.

  3. Dress the part. Under dressing can be embarrassing. Over dressing makes you look pretentious. Showing up at work in the same outfit you wore to the bar last night encourages people not to take you seriously.

  4. Respect what you do. What do you think about the guy in the cubicle next to you who thinks his job is a joke? Exactly. Don't be like him.

One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer

By Shikole Struber

All through college there was one motto when it came to drinking. Well, one that is still relevant. It's not alcoholism if you're still in college. Well folks, you're no longer in college. Now what is it called when you slam back 12 shots in a night?

We've all been binge drinking for years. And thought noting of it. But now that I'm out of college I'm noticing a lot more 24 and 25 year olds who go out and get shitty every night, then go to work still drunk or massively hungover. I might not thought anything of my drinking habits before, but now I see these people and know I don't want to be doing this still when I'm that age. I mean, maybe on a weekend once in a while, but blacking out 3 times a week at that age is pathetic. And is also likely alcoholism.

Now that we have graduated we are going to be judged for our drinking habits too. Curb them a little bit. There's nothing wrong with going out and having a good time, but is it really necessary to black out and pee yourself in your sleep on a friend's couch? I didn't think so. Be smart about it. You never know when you might see a co-worker while out, or meet someone who could potentially get you a job. Being able to hold your liquor is a great skill, having someone hold your hair back over the toilet is less attractive for the job market.

Weekend Dilemma

By Shikole Struber

1:37 am - Crawl into bed. Glass of water next to you, and a trash can just in case.

5:13 am - Get up to pee. Crawl back into bed.

8:42 am - Look at your phone. Try to make out what it says. 8 anything is too early. Roll over.

10:07  am - A neighbor is mowing the lawn. So much for sleeping late.

When do you get up on the weekends? It's great to have the option of lounging in bed. I've missed my bed a lot lately. But there's nothing to actually wake up for. It doesn't matter if I get up at 10 am or 1 pm or if i just stay in bed all day. I'm not as ambitious as Jack Johnson to make banana pancakes. And I'm not always hungover enough to just sleep.

Today, somehow, I had motivation to get up. Likely because I decided to be lame last night and recharge myself instead of depleting my body further. It's amazing the world that exists before post grads decide t wake up. I can see my childless neighbors doing yard work. (Luckily our landlords are in charge of that.) I can see some neighbors who do have kids walking to the community pool. It's only 10 am. I'm not the morning kind of person, but these people make me feel like I've already wasted most of my day.

So how do you handle waking up on the weekends?

Whistle While You Work

By Allison Sass is a free internet radio website that allows you to create your own personalized radio stations based on genre, artist, or song title. It's perfect to listen to during the workday (with headphones of course so you don't disturb co-workers.. unless you all agree on a station). Best of all... it's free!

Each pandora “station” features music that is similar to your artist or song request. If the station isn’t what you had imagined, you’re free to skip a portion of the songs, or create a new station, while saving your first one for later.

Pandora was created as a music genome project by a group of individuals who wanted to develop the most comprehensive of analysis of music to date. Pandora has such accurate stations because these individuals have taken the time to analyze thousands of songs for similar musical qualities-just to provide listeners with the best “musical universe” possible- all for you to enjoy!

So stream on my friends, and spice up your workday with some tunes!

Kindergarten Changed Your Life

By Shikole Struber

There has been a study done tying how effective a kindergarten teacher is to how successful a person is later in life. There has been a recent controversy in Washington, DC especially about how effective teachers are. They are being fired if their students' performance isn't improving.

This study shows that children who had an effective teacher in kindrgarten were more likely to go to college.

It also showed that these same children were earning more money after college.

And you thought nap time and learning to share was unimportant. It looks like some of us learned something in kindergarten after all. Sadly we cannot go back to those times of cookies and crayons, but think about what kindergarten taught you at your next job interview.

Potato Salad 3: Ginger

Ginger is all the craze these days. And for good reason. It makes so many things taste better! Try this recipe for a refreshing ginger potato salad.


  • 6 large potatoes

  • ~3/4 cup mayo

  • 2-3 hard boiled eggs

  • salt

  • 2 Tbs ginger

Boil the potatoes until soft. (10-15 minutes. Use a fork to test) Cube the potatoes and place in a large bowl. Cube the egg as well. Add all ingredients and mix thoroghly. If using fresh ginger make sure you shred/grind it. You may need more or less mayo depending on personal preference.

What to Avoid While Unemployed

By Shikole Struber

Being unemployed means you have a lot of free time. Which can be very useful. But can also be dangerous. Here are some things you should avoid while unemployed.

  • Shopping. You don't have a paycheck coming in. Unless it's for food or a necessary item for an interview, just don't do it.

  • Going to the movies. This might seem like a good idea, but thats $8-$12 down the drain every time. It's a lot cheaper to rent a movie. Or go on hulu. Or get netflix.

  • Starting new subscritions. They add up quickly. A year's worth of Cosmo might only be $20, and netflix might only be $6 a month, but that's $26 you could've used for dinner, or buying more toilet paper because you are out...again.   

  • Getting that $4 Starbucks every day. I understand caffeine addiction. I have it. But it saves so much money to make coffee at home. You can add flavored creamer or those sugar free flavor syrups just like at Starbucks.

  • Ordering takeout or eating out. Pizza and sushi and chinese and burgers cost way more when you go out. It sucks because so many social gatherings are held around food. But maybe you and your friends can take turns cooking instead and save some money.

Can you think of anything else to avoid when unemployed?

Top 10 Places for Young People to Move


By Shikole Struber

After graduation you are free to move almost anywhere you like. You aren't tied down to anything yet. You can relocate for a job. Or you can relocate just to relocate. Kiplinger has a great list of the best places for a recent grad to relocate to.

New York City is on this list, which was peculiar to me considering the high rents the city has. The article does make a point to say that places like Brooklyn and Queens are the places most recent grads should focus on.

Austin, TX is also on the list because it has the fourth lowest jobless rate in the country.

Portland, OR and Washington, DC also made the list. Glad I picked a good city for young people!

Mouse Hunt

By Allison Sass

Monday morning, as I woke up bright an early for work, I found myself in a cheery mood. I had forced myself to get 8 hours of sleep the night before, and was excited for the week to come.

This was minutes before I walked into my bathroom and found a small dead mouse lying in the middle of the floor. Day officially ruined.

As recent grads, it's likely that our living spaces are either cramped, old, or both. Cheaper rent in an older house means more money to spend on food... it also means that you are at a greater risk to inherit any mice that have already taken up residence in your new place.

At first, I was horrified. My apartment mates and I are clean, and my apartment is also pretty well maintained. I'm careful to avoid leaving open food containers around, and try to clean up after myself when cooking. Yet, here is a dead mouse blocking me from my morning shower that I now have to dispose of.

Thankfully, knock on wood, our apartment has only been graced by this one mouse since last winter. In case you find yourself in a similar predicament, here's how to deal with the little mousey friends that plague so many post grad's lives.

Peppermint oil- Drip pure peppermint oil (not extract) around the perimiter of your apartment walls and near cooking appliances. Mice can't stand the smell and will run from it.

Traps- Okay, so mice are a little cute. It's sad to kill them, but if you don't, they will multiply. Buy some snap traps, sticky traps, or have a heart traps, and place them against the wall where you last saw a mouse. Cuteness or Infestation... it's your call.

Clean up- Clean your closet floors as much as possible.. clothing and papers make perfect nests for mice.

Cat- Not always practical, but if you have a family cat nearby or a friend's cat to borrow, it might be time for a kitty sleepover.

Any horrifying mice experiences/ tips that you would like to share? Leave us a comment!

Tips on how to Find a Job Online

There are 5 major mistakes job seekers make when looking for a job online. There are plenty of websites out there to help with the process, but you can still screw it up.

Try these sites:

And for more specific jobs you can try sites catered to your field. There's for those in journalism, there for people looking for technology and computer jobs. For law enforcement try

10 Worst Jobs in America

The 10 worst jobs in the United States are brutal. You might be unemployed but check these out before complaining too much. Sometimes being unemployed actually looks like a better option.

7 Things to Do While Unemployed

By Shikole Struber

It's been 3 months and you are still unemployed. Now what? Twiddle your thumbs?

  • Start a blog/write a book/column

  • Travel (if you can afford it, or talk your parents into paying, now is the best time!)

  • Create things! I have a good friend who just started to make bracelets and sell them online.

  • Volunteer. If you can't find paid work it will look really good on a resume if you are doing some good while being discouraged in the job market.

  • Read. For fun. I know, it's a foreign concept but get going on that list that's been building up.

  • Excersie. While this is a foreign concept to me personally, I've talked to a few friends who are passing the time with yoga classes and the like. Zumba is another big excercise class craze.

  • Cook new things. It's cheaper to cook at home than it is to get takeout or even to go out. Try to make some tapas or try out that new cake recipe.

What are you doing to pass the time while unemployed?

Follow Us On Twitter!

The Real Post Grad now has a twitter acount! Follow us at for daily advice on post grad life!

How much do you miss college?

[polldaddy poll=3531648]

Potato Salad 2: Dill

Antoher varaition of the classic potato salad includes adding dill weed. Feeds 3-4 people.


  • 6 large potatoes

  • ~3/4 cup mayo

  • salt

  • 2 stalks of celery

  • 2 Tbs dill

Boil the potatoes until soft. (10-15 minutes. Use a fork to test) Cube the potatoes and place in a large bowl. Cut the celery into small pieces and add to the bowl. If using fresh dill make sure yu chop it before adding. You may need more or less mayo depending on personal preference. Add salt to taste.

Potato Salad 1: Cilantro

Potato salad is a summer staple and an absolutely amazing dish that has many variations. This one uses cilantro as the basic flavoring ingredient. Feeds 3-4 people.


  • 6 Large potatoes

  • ~ 3/4 cup of mayo

  • 1/4 onion, chopped

  • salt

  • 3 Tbs chopped cilantro

Boil the potatos until soft. (about 10-15 minutes. Test by stabbing with a fork) Cut the potatoes into cubes and put in a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until evenly coated with mayo. You may need more or less mayo depending on personal preference.

This dish also keeps in the frig for about a week if you want to make a bigger batch.

Cheeseburger Macaroni

No, not the Hamburger Helper kind. The real deal. Feeds 3-4 people.


  • 1 box Velveta (or cheap store brand equivilant) Macaroni and Cheese

  • 1lb ground turkey or beef

  • 2-3 tablespoons ketchup\

Cook macaroni as instructed on the box. While the pasta is cooking cook the meat in a seperate pan until done. When both parts of the dish are fully cooked, combine in a large pot with the packet of cheese. Add the ketchup and stir thoroughly.

Voila! An entire cheeseburger meal that is also easy on the wallet and reheats very well.

Check out the MTV show Hired!

By Allison Sass

When you think of MTV reality shows you probably think of shows like The Real World, The Jersey Shore, or The Hills that are entertaining, sure, but not exactly providing us with practical knowledge to improve our lives.

The new MTV reality show Hired shatters reality show stereotypes as it follows big name businesses throughout the application process. Prospective employees learn the ins and outs of the interview process and viewers gain insight into what companies are looking for in employees.

I definitely gained a few helpful interview tips from watching the series. Take a look for yourselves on, all of the Hired episodes can be streamed free on the website!

Lonely Tylenol

[caption id="attachment_129" align="alignleft" width="117" caption="By Dave Coverly"][/caption]

By Shikole Struber

Not only is this a palindrome, but it reflects how you feel after graduation when you realize most of your friends have moved back home thanks to the economy. Almost everyone's lease was up in May. And now, not only are they leaving, but you are expected to help them pack up and go. Your list of friends to call up to join you for a drink has been shrunk to a mere third of the size it was a couple weeks ago. No one is available to go get dinner. You can't find someone willing to sit through the newest installment of your favorite movie series. There's not even anyone to eat all of the food you bake when procrastinating doing laundry.

Should you make new friends? Make due with the ones who stayed in town? Jump on the bandwagon and move home as well?

I decided to make due with the ones that stayed, and try to get the ones that left me back to visit as often as possible. Visits can be amazing. A break from the redundancy of working full time, or the aggrivation of the job hunt.

What approach would you take?

Post Grad Date Nights

By Allison Sass

When college relationships continue past graduation, you and your boyfriend/girlfriend will likely find that your relationship dynamic changes greatly. It's no longer possible to spend the day hanging in the dorm, "studying" together, or watching movie marathons until 2 am on a Wednesday. Now that you have a full time job, or are full time on the job hunt, time spent with your significant other is more valuable and limited than ever.

Although the term often seems reserved for middle aged couples who spend one night away from their children a week, "date night" is a great way to ensure that you and your special someone have time for each other. Here are some date night ideas that won't break the bank!

Share Some Appetizers- Sharing cuts down on costs and means you can both sample a few things from the menu!

Rest By The Water- Water is relaxing. Find some near your home (lake, pond, river, ocean), spread out a blanket, and rest together. Bonus points if you watch the sunset.

Cook Together- We all need to eat, right? Tryout a new recipe together or bake something sweet. Cake mix and icing cost under five dollars combined.

Massage- Hand massage, face massage, shoulder massage. Ease out each others tension after a long day. Try out this great muscle mend cream from Burts Bees and you will feel stress-free in no time!

How long did it take you to find a job?

[polldaddy poll=3507318]

Wine and Cheese

By Shikole Struber

Let's face it, after working 8-9 hours, plus the hour or so of communting, you're tired at night. But your friends still want to hang out, and drink, and blow off some steam. The thought of sitting in a bar though, with all those people and the noise and spending that hard earned money makes you want to vomit. Instead you would much rather relax with your friends in a quiet environment.

Enter the Wine and Cheese Party.

You can plan this party either around the wine or the cheese, whichever happens to be more important. Or you can have each guest bring a complete pairing. For a list of acceptable pairings you can visit

Some of the stand out combinations include:

  • White Ziffendel and cream cheese.

  • Reisling paired with gouda

  • Chardonay with mild cheddar

  • Cabernet Sauvignon with US brie

Is it ever OK to correct your boss?

No one is perfect. Bosses included. But can you tell them that? What if it's hurting the busiess or causing inefficiency?

What if you boss has a habit of wanting you to call people for him at the end of the day. At 5pm. When most offices close. You've tried to politely explain that you could not speak with the person he wanted and had to leave a voicemail because the office is closed. His response is to try calling again in 10 minutes.

What if you make all the edits that your boss requested and resubmit for approval, only for him to correct his own edits? Then you have to go back and undo everything you've just done. It's a waste of time.

Is it appropriate to point out these small things that are easily fixed? How should you go about doing it? And what if they don'y care? There's enough insecurity when starting a job, you shouldn't have to worry about correcting your boss on top of it.

IDEAS to follow up on

- happy hour

- job search

- what to do when you finally find a job

- finding a place to live

- finding roomates

- what do you do when all your friends move away?

- what is this thing called free time?

- what do you mean i have to focus for 8 hours a day?

- How to deal when your college guy moves back home

- How to pack a lunch you actually want to eat

Walk After Work

By Allison Sass

Unless you've scored a job as a park ranger, it's likely that you're sitting in an office chair for most of the work day. Walking is a great way to relieve new job stress and is enjoyable for those of all different fitness levels. I guarantee it will feel great to stretch those legs and inhale some fresh air!

While I've always preferred jogging, I recently started walking due to a heat wave that made running in 95+ degree weather unbearable. I moved to the Park Ave area of Rochester, NY just a month ago and found that by taking the time to walk around my new neighborhood, I've learned to appreciate my surroundings.

Before heading out for a walk I always make sure  my ipod has a few great playlists ready to go and that I've got a bottle of water in hand.  The next time 5pm rolls around, get outside and enjoy the sunshine!

Amp up your Lunch

By Shikole Struber

It's hard to pack lunches for work that are original after a while. Sandwiches easily become blah, salads are ordinary and for some reason there just isn't enough leftover pasta for the next day. So spice up lunch hour (on the cheap of course)

  • Add avacado. Works for sandwhiches and salads. Simple and makes it more intersting.

  • Add a different kind of cheese. Instead of boring old American or Provalone on a sandwhich try munster, or mozzerella. And in a salad add some feta. Cheese can also spice up a pasta dish. Some shredded cheddar will make the marinara a lot less boring.

  • Mix and Match. Instead of JUST a sandwich maybe pack some potato salad as a side. Or bring some baguette to have with your salad.

  • Condiments. Condiments can change the whole tone of a meal. Put BBQ sauce on your turkey instead of plain old mayo and mustard. Try a new salad dressing instead of the tried and true ranch. Ditch the Marinara sauce for some alfredo.

  • Hot and Cold. Bring something to warm up and a cold dish to eat. The variety of temperature will make the meal more interesting for your taste buds.

Decorate Your Space... Work Space That Is....

By Allison Sass

So, you finally landed your first full time position!

8:50 am: You walk up to the front desk at your company smiling ear to ear and explain that it's your first day on the job.

8:58 am Your boss takes you on a tour of the office space and you gush inwardly about how this is now YOUR office.

9:01 am: You wave to your new co-workers and flash that "first day" excited grin.

9:05 am: You are shown to your workspace where you will be spending 8 hours of your day Mon.-Fri. Whether it's a desk, cubicle, part of a table- you are ecstatic because it's YOURS.

9:25 am: The excitement wears off as you realize that you actually have to do work at this gray, bland, workspace you've been provided.

Don't fret- here's a few easy ways to personalize your workspace into your own inspiration station.

Colored Post-It Notes

It may seem childish, but color has a way of inspiring focus and making our days a little bit brighter. Jot down your ideas and daily tasks on your favorite color post-it and add a few bursts of color to your workspace!

A Plant

According to Planet spider plants, jade plants, and peace lilies are "un-killable" office plants that can add some green to your workspace.

Personalized Files

Daunting reports may seem more bearable when presented in a personalized file folder. While these files are colorful and fun, they are likely best used around your desk only. When presenting an idea to your supervisor utilize a more traditional file color.

Computer Background

If your new job requires you to spend lots of time in front of the computer screen, make it a screen you like looking at! Most computers offer free personalized options for backgrounds- so take advantage!

You want me to do WHAT?!

By Shikole Struber

My company has several high profile clients. I legally cannot name them, but many are, or were, part of the Federal Government here in DC. One such client called in the other day asking about why his phone and internet bill was so high this month. I told him I'd call the company and get it all straightened out.

I had never had to deal with one of our high profile clients before. That was typically left up to more experienced, seasoned tech people in the office. Why would they have the Executive Assistant explain how to back up the very important servers that host very important documents for very important people when someone who actually knows what a server is could do that?

So I called the phone and internet company with what seemed like a simple question: Why did so-and-so's bill go from $360 a month to close to $1000. The answer I recieved was priceless.

"Well so-and-so's previous contract with us gave him the Federal Government rates. Considering he no longer works for the Federal Government he no longer qualifies for those rates."

Imagine having to relay that message back to the client.

Landing the Interview

By Allison Sass

There are countless websites dedicated to job posting out there today. My advice? Use them only as a reference for what jobs are available. In today's economy, recent grads are going up against professionals that have been in the working world for years. To put it bluntly, emailing a resume with your internship information, GPA, and extra curricular activities will likely get you nowhere.

In order to get noticed by a company you wish to work for, you have to stand out. Write a killer cover letter, pick up the telephone, or better yet, go into the office and meet with someone face to face. Even if you only get as far as the receptionist, your resume will be at the top of the pile of applicants (ask the receptionist to make a note that you stopped in).

Take my advice, it may take some time and a few disappointments, but pounding the pavement and putting yourself out there will eventually work- I'm living proof :).

A Walk down the Aisle

By Shikole Struber

It all starts when you're told to order a cap and gown. First there's excitement. It's almost over. You did it. No more homework. Then there's trepidation. There's still so much to do before you're actually done. Is there enough time? Then there's panic. Can you handle the real world? You don't have a job yet. You haven't technically passed all your finals yet.

As the date of graduation lurks closer and closer you go through waves of these emotions, in varying degrees.

Excitement is at it's peak on Friday and Saturday night. Celebrations occur.

Trepidation surfaces as you try to articulate those final thoughts of your collegiate career.

And panic sets is as EVERY person you come into contact with asks what your plans are for after graduation. And you have no answer...

Patience and Perseverence

By Shikole Struber

Landing a job is not about sending out applications. Or interviewing. It's about having patience with the process and persevering through it.

My best friend in college was a year ahead of me. The only advice she had to share that last semester was to not wait until graduation to find a job. She didn't want me to end up signed into a five year contract like she was because she got desperate.

So i started searching in February. To no avail. I was sending out an average of 5 application a week and getting no responses. In March I stopped for a bit to focus on midterms. In April I stepped it up to 5 applications a day. I got an interview or two, but nothing came of it.

When May rolled around, and graduation was a mere 9 days away I started to panic. I had been searching for months. Diligently. I redid my resume 3 times to amp up the content. I wrote several killer cover letters. I researched each and every organization I was applying to so I could contribute in an interview. And nothing happened. After 3 months.

Finally I decided I was going to apply to everything, not just my dream jobs. I stopped looking for interesting jobs in my field and started looking for ANYTHING. Some of my friends said that I was selling out, but those friends didn't have $12.73 in their bank account and rent due in 3 weeks.

One day the Friday before graduation I saw a post on my school's website. It was titled "About to graduate and need a job?" It's like it was speaking to me. I clicked on the post and continued to read.

Are you good at multitasking? YES

Can you thrive in a fast paced environment? YES

Are you organized? YES. Well, no, but I can be.

I applied for the job. Had a phone interview the Monday after graduation. In person interview that Thursday. I was offered a second interview on the spot. I began working full time for The Solutions Group, an IT consulting firm, 2 weeks after graduation. After searching for 3.5 months.

Keep in mind I have a degree in Political Science...but a job is a job.