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Students search for careers

Jill Barwick | Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Once again, the time of year when Saint Mary’s College seniors begin to apply for the job of their dreams has come around on the calendar. The employment search is well underway, and seniors and faculty know full well the process is a job in itself.

Senior Hilary Ferguson said she knows experience in her preferred field of communications will enhance her chances of employment, adding that her minor in Advertising and Public Relations will broaden her choices.

“I have had two internships over the past year, including one this semester as a marketing intern at Quality Dining, Inc.,” Ferguson said. “I am not planning on going to graduate school. However, I am still deciding where I am planning on settling down after graduation.”

Senior Lauren Carroll said she recognizes the value of having internships throughout her collegiate career. Carroll worked for the United States Food and Drug Administration this past summer.

“My internship allowed me to see the duties of a public relations specialist on a day-to-day basis and further understand the field I plan to go into,” Carroll said. “I was able to gain experience in the public relations field and had the opportunity to learn from an outstanding public relations specialist.”

In addition to internships, Saint Mary’s students can turn to on-campus resources in their search for employment.

Stacie Jeffirs, the director of the Career Crossings Office (CCO), said she works with students, mainly seniors, who have questions or worries or would just like to talk about the job market. She said personal communication is crucial in searching for employment.

“Networking is very important when searching for jobs. The CCO uses the Alumnae Resource Network to help students connect with Saint Mary’s grads for the next steps after graduation,” Jeffirs said. “We also highly encourage using LinkedIn and Go BELLES to give an advantage to our students currently seeking jobs.”

Jeffirs said CCO provides interview preparation as well as mock interviews for students who have gotten the call from a potential employer. Career assessments are provided at the office to help students make sure they know what field they want to enter into.

Additionally, Jeffirs said the CCO has Senior Disorientation every semester to incorporate two topics it feels will enhance students’ post-graduation view. This semester the topics are titled, “Finding your spiritual path after graduation,” and “Living a healthy lifestyle.”

The office also helps students prepare for the Career Fair coming up next week. Jeffirs said she recommends seniors take a proactive approach in their search for employment.

“If seniors need assistance, coming into the office sooner rather than later will greatly benefit them in the long run,” she said. “Seniors should understand that job searching is a process which includes different elements and pieces.”

Ferguson said the CCO has been very helpful in her internship searches in the past.

“They provided me with a lot of resources that I would not have had access to otherwise and assisted me with my resume [and] applications,” she said.

Jeffirs said although searching for a job can be daunting, students should not be afraid of the process.

“Being able to adapt and always having a backup plan, or two, is a solid way to approach the job hunt,” she said. “It is not as scary as people think.”