China / Society

Graduates seek dream in budget hotel

By Ma Chi ( Updated: 2015-06-19 18:04
Graduates seek dream in budget hotel

Young tenants at the Xiezhi Hotel often grab take-out food for a simple dinner. [Photo/China Youth Daily]

"I don't want to give up. But everything just becomes so hard," He Wenjie said after another day without receiving a job offer.

The post-1990s young woman graduated from college two years ago and worked for a chain restaurant before she started preparing for the postgraduate entrance exam. She dreamed of securing a job more suited to her higher educational background.

But she failed the test. Afraid to sit the exam again and with her savings becoming less and less, she walked into the Xiezhi Hotel in Hangzhou. There she could spend 28 yuan ($4.50) a night for a bed and think about her future.

He Wenjie is one of the graduates who lived in the hotel in the hope of seeking a good life in the city known "as beautiful as heaven".

Opened in 2008, the Xiezhi, which literally means "looking for a job together" has provided cheap lodging and employment services to more than 30,000 tenants, most of them fresh college graduates.

With graduation around the corner, many young graduates who have not landed a job have checked into the small hotel with more than 200 beds. At the Xiezhi, located in a business district in downtown Hangzhou, a typical room accommodates six to 12 people and costs on average about 30 yuan a night.

That's where He decided to make a final effort before going back to her hometown.

After failing the postgraduate entrance exam, He sought a job related to her major, metrology, but was often rejected due to a lack of work experience. One company wanted to recruit her, but the salary was "only 2,000 yuan, too meager to make a living", she said.

He's employment woe is complicated because she is facing fiercer competition, with a record high 7.5 million college graduates entering the job market this year. That figure stood at slightly higher than 1 million in 2001.

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