Every Friday, we choose an alum who has been making headlines—for better or for worse.
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Nicholas Rastenis ’08Dra: Poster child for a work-starved generation.

Nearly four years after leaving the Yale School of Drama, Nick Rastenis is working in pictures. But not the Hollywood kind, or even the indie kind: he’s a photo supervisor at a CVS drugstore in his native Chicago, making $9 an hour with no benefits. As of this week, he is also a poster child of sorts—featured in a Washington Times article about high rates of unemployment and underemployment among Americans in their 20s and early 30s.

Rastenis studied set design at the drama school; his master’s degree is pending while he finishes his thesis, which he hopes to do by May. “I’ve been trying to get myself in a situation where I can pay the bills and dedicate the proper time” to the thesis, he says in a phone interview.

Describing his “bizarre progression of jobs”—full-time work at a design firm, which then replaced him with someone who would work for less; a lucrative contract job that ended when the clients fell on hard times; an internship that didn’t turn into a real job because “they found another kid that was willing to work for $10 an hour”—Rastenis says the Washington Times article has not, so far, landed him any job offers.

But, he says, &ldlquo;a couple of people have given me advice as to how I can better network.” And he’s trying to be positive: “I have to be humble, and I have to not be bitter.”


Filed under human resources
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