SM East alum documents generation who experienced ‘Lost Graduation’ after financial crisis

SM East graduate David Vranicar came out of Regis University in spring 2008 with a head full of steam — but no delusions that he was likely to land some high-pay, low-work job.

2004 SM East grad David Vranicar.

“I spent the spring and summer of 2008 sending writing samples and job applications to newspapers and websites all over the country,” he said. “Landing the type of job I was applying for would have meant a $25,000 salary and a ton of work, but that was fine with me. I didn’t feel entitled to anything more than that and I was eager to cut to my teeth anyplace I could.”

But in hind site, Vranicar says, those ambitions — and the ambitions of tens of thousands of others who graduated with him on the precipice of the economic crisis — were likely thwarted before they even really began.

Vranicar documents his stalled career launch and search to find meaningful ways to keep himself occupied in a new e-book available on Amazon entitled “The Lost Graduation: Stepping off campus and into a crisis.”

“A lot of brilliant people have explored various facets of the recession — who caused the collapse, how the banks got so toxic, how short-sellers got rich and so on,” Branicar said. “But no one had really explained in detail what it was like for college graduates my age to inherit this mess. That’s what I tried to do.”

After moving back in with his parents for several months and taking the same hourly job he held at the Johnson County Library in high school, Vranicar left to teach English in Jinan, China. There, he applied to graduate schools, and was accepted to Northwestern University’s graduate journalism program. But the $84,000 price tag and flimsy journalism job prospects were too risky. Eventually, Vranicar enrolled in a graduate program a Aarhus University in Denmark, which offered him a full scholarship and a monthly stipend (all of which, he says, was financed by the Danish government).

Now living in Germany with his girlfriend, Vranicar said he’s still optimistic about his future, even if, like so many others, his big post-college plans haven’t materialized.

“It’s not necessarily a happy story, but it is a hopeful story,” he says of his book. ” think people in my situation have been steeled against the worst and are going to find ways to manage — be it going to China or scoring scholarships from Denmark or writing books.”