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Teaching in a tough job market

"Union is unique in that the program has a one-year student teaching position," said McDermott, 27, a recent graduate from the college's education program. "It prepared me more than I can explain for my first couple of days here at Saratoga."

Kayla Ryan, 26, another recent education graduate said she went to the college "hands down" for the internship program they provided.

"I felt like it gave me much more experience than a 12-week student teacher placement," said Ryan, a biology teacher for Fayetteville-Manlius High School.

Palia Adolf also credited the internship program with preparing her for the workforce. She spent her internship at Troy High School and was happy to get the experience to work in an urban school because she thought it better prepared her.

"Just to say that they offer a full-year internship, I went into teaching know what it's like till the last day," said Adolf, 22, a social studies teacher at Oceanside High School in Long Island. "When you are there for the semester, it is completely different than if you are there for a full year."

Allen said the college gets notice of job openings before they are publicized, and most students receive multiple job offers.

Adolf said she sent out many applications and initially only heard back from Oceanside, but that was the only interview she really needed.

"That was my first and last interview ever," said Adolf. "Two people that worked there went to Union Graduate College me coming from that program made me look good right off the bat."

When faced with a tough job market, determination and passion might play a big role in landing the position desired.

Adolf said everyone told her there was no way she would get a job as a social studies teacher, but that is exactly what she did.

"My advice would be that if you believe you can do it, then you can," said Adolf. "You have to be dedicated and believe in yourself."

Ryan said being a teacher just seemed like the perfect fit for her.

"I love science and I love people and I love being able to basically discuss ideas with people," said Ryan. "I feel like I'm a life-long learner " that is kind of what I've seen myself as. I get to learn something new every day from the students.""

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