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Danika Heatherly, 21

Sun., May 23, 2010

Danika Heatherly  (Jesse Tinsley)
Danika Heatherly (Jesse Tinsley)

Twenty-one-year old Danika Heatherly, a Whitworth University grad with majors in journalism and marketing, says she’ll take any good job.

The day that happens, “I’ll throw my bed in my truck and leave, at the drop of a hat.”

If she had a choice, she’d find a marketing job with a Spokane-area company or nonprofit organization.

As a second choice, she’d jump at any job offer where she could do print or broadcast journalism covering sports, she said.

This past year Heatherly had a paid internship at Greater Spokane Inc., the region’s chamber of commerce. She also did phone work for The Spokesman-Review sports desk.

Her networking connections led her to an interview last week for a part-time job with a Spokane startup, Inland Northwest Coalition, which promotes business-friendly candidates for local political office.

Heatherly also plans to apply for a full-time job next week in the Visalia, Calif., visitors and convention bureau.

If those leads don’t pan out, Heatherly may take an unpaid internship with GSI this summer. That stint, if she takes it, will be her third unpaid internship in four years.

In this economy she’s just one of many graduates making the same choice to work for a few months without pay. The logic is that an internship, even if unpaid, amounts to an extended job interview.

Her parents want her to move back home to Visalia. “But they know I want to stay here,” Heatherly said.

But liberal arts graduates in Spokane – in communications, education, sociology, history and psychology – are the most likely to be underemployed if they remain in this area, labor analysts say.

“I’d go pretty far for a job,” Heatherly said. “I seriously looked at applying for a PR job in Hong Kong.”

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