Seniors dive into the applicant pool head first as they continue their search for post-graduation jobs. With the various Career Service tools Miami University has to offer, many have already found what they’re looking for; others fear they’ll sink.
With less than a semester left, senior mass communications major Taylor Janszen said the topic of discussion is employment.
“A lot of kids in my class, in my major, a lot of those people are starting to talk about getting jobs and just every other person will probably bring it up,” Janszen said. “Everybody seems a little worried about it.”
Though graduation draws near for seniors, junior Catherine Page said the job search begins even before students realize it. According to Page, it wasn’t until taking a summer art class at Miami, after switching majors several times, that she figured out what she wanted to do with her future.
“Once I took that class it was like the crack that let the light in,” Page said. “A lot of decisions and internships, trying to plan for my future became much more clear for me. Once you find out what you want to do you’re more inclined to go out and explore.”
Interim Director of Career Services Mike Goldman said the labor market for college graduates is improving. According to a survey conducted by the Office of Institutional Research, 54 percent of Miami’s 2012 graduates had received at least one job offer by the time they left college.
Goldman also said he’d like to remind students that current numbers are in their favor.
“According to the Department of Labor, there are about four and a half million advertised but unfilled jobs in the United States today …” Goldman said. “We also know that the hidden labor market is nearly as large as the market of posted jobs, so there’s millions of other jobs that will only become available to students through networking.”
Goldman reassured those who have yet to find employment.
“For students who are having a difficult time finding internships or full time employment, I would first tell them not to be discouraged,” Goldman said. “There are multiple resources available to them within the Miami community, and we’re eager to help them.”
Such recourses include but are not limited to career advisors, career fairs and Miami Career Link, a website in which employers can post available positions and students can submit resumes.
“We just need to connect each student with the appropriate job search strategy based on their major using their resume, LinkedIn profiles and their interviewing skills that we can teach them,” Goldman said. “We’re very confident that they will be very well received by employers.”
A number of students experienced relief after finding full-time employment and internships at the fall Career Fair.
Senior business economics major Ricky Duffield was one such student. According to him, the career fairs hosted by Miami offer valuable experience to even those who don’t find positions at the events.
“I would definitely recommend going there because that’s a great way to get exposed to a lot of things,” Duffield said. “Even if you’re not interested in some of the jobs there, I’d urge you to still apply because you’ll get interview experience; that’s the most important thing.”
Along with the fall opportunity, Miami provides a Spring Internship and Career Expo (Spring ICE), and this year’s event is right around the corner. According to Goldman, 180 employers will gather Feb. 13 in Millet Hall for the opportunity to see what Miami students have to offer.
“No matter what your strategy is, you need to gain experience speaking to employers, presenting your resume, addressing appropriately and learning how to network,” Goldman said. “The fair is a wonderful training ground for that.”
Though the fair will mainly cater to business and engineering majors, Goldman encouraged all students to attend.
“What we hear often from non-business and engineering students is that career fair is not organized for them,” Goldman said. “They shouldn’t feel discouraged because, depending on your major, companies recruit very differently. Just because there isn’t a company at the fair that’s recruiting for your major doesn’t mean there aren’t hundreds if not thousands of jobs available for you-you just require a different strategy.”
Janszen said he plans to attend despite the lack of focus on mass communication majors.
“Last career fair I started looking for jobs, and ever since [I’m] just doing a little bit here and there, just applying and fixing up my resume in the meantime,” Janszen said. “I just went to a training [for Spring ICE].”
Though they’re all at different stages of the job search process, Janszen, Duffield and Page agreed that Miami and Career Services has provided the tools they need to get them going in the right direction.
“The best connections you can get are from your school, especially Miami,” Page said. “I’ll be looking around definitely before graduation for internships to have that experience under my belt before I graduate.”
Goldman said he’d like all students to understand that though it can be a difficult time, they are not in it alone.
“We want to encourage every student, no matter what their year is, to use career services to the fullest,” Goldman said. “No one needs to manage a job search by themselves.”