When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get to Career Services

With the economy in rough shape the Career Services team has had to rethink their strategies in preparing students for a shrinking job market. Lanna Hagge, director of Career Services, says, “Now we focus on getting students to expand their job search efforts and begin earlier to plan for jobs or graduate school entry.” Hagge notes, given the economy, that there were some interesting responses to the Senior Salute survey this year, answered by 68 percent of seniors:

  • 20 percent intended to go to graduate school in fall 2003—compared to 15 percent in fall 2002

  • 38 percent secured an entry-level job by April—compared to 19 percent of class of '02. (The number of job leads decreased slightly this year, but students were more responsive to opportunities to interview, network, and submit resumes.)

  • 31 percent had a summer job lined up by April—compared to 10 percent of those in 2002.

Hagge also highlights the great cooperation between Career Services and Development/Alumni Office in producing a record number of events involving alumni connecting with students through panel discussions and presentations, networking events, and practice interviews. The number of alumni presentations more than doubled last year, with 142 alums participating and 948 students attending. One important series of events involved alumni who graduated during times with tough job markets, who emphasized the need to accept early job offers and to apply for a wider array of options.  Presenting alums included Barbara Scudder, first vice president UBS Financial Services, Inc. Elizabeth Elting, president and CEO of Transperfect Translations, Michael Loberg, CEO of Nitro-Med, Danny Meyer owner of New York City’s Blue Smoke, Gramercy Tavern, and Union Square restaurants, and Tom Chappell, of Tom’s of Maine.

And, always willing to innovate, Career Services developed the new “TC Career Mail” system—an electronic career newsletter to students’ families for whom Career Services has email addresses  “Career mail was received with great enthusiasm,” notes Hagge, “It gave parents a way to easily contact Career Services with questions—and to nudge their son or daughter about opportunities they read about!”  She adds that the newsletters often elicit job postings from parents in companies that are hiring. 


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