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Group collaborates with Career Center to support ND

Maddie Daly | Thursday, November 15, 2012

Three guest speakers from the Career Center came to Wednesday’s Senate meeting to follow up with the group’s previous conversations about how to improve the center’s services for students of all majors.

Associate vice president of Student Affairs Lee Svete began the conversation by specifically discussing freshmen and the Career Center.

“We have a new responsibility in working with first-year students,” Svete said.  “It’s not easy to get the attention of first-years, but we want to get on early ground with them.”    

Associate director of the Career Center Laura Flynn works directly with science and engineering majors and emphasized the importance of networking.

“We have the career fairs, two in the fall and one in January,” Flynn said. “Networking face-to-face with the companies is key. About 80 percent of jobs and internships are found through networking. In preparation for the career fair, we certainly do all the resume-writing workshops, interview preparation and networking prep.”

She directly addressed a specific concern brought up by the senators in their previous discussion that the Career Center does not do enough for non-business students.

“I know I work with the science students and many of them feel they don’t have the resources available for the science students that they have for the business majors, and Arts and Letters students feel the same way,” Flynn said. “That’s certainly not true. It’s just very easy for businesses from Chicago to come here and recruit, so on the outside it seems like it’s only for the business students.  Many pharmaceutical companies are based on the west and east coast, so it’s expensive for them to come.”

Flynn also emphasized the importance of externships and job shadowing programs.

“Last year several Film, Television and Theatre students were able to travel to Los Angeles to network, Arts and Letters students went to Chicago to work with business companies and science students went to Cincinnati and worked for GE,” Flynn said.  “We are for all students, and we want to help all of you get jobs and internships.”

Svete discussed the important connection between student government and the Career Center, acknowledging that this year the two groups have been especially in touch.

“We love getting your feedback on how to help us get engaged with more students, serve them effectively and continue to set the bar so high,” Svete said. “It was the student government who helped us give access to all students to the network of hundreds of alumni across the country. We follow every single graduate until they say they don’t need any help, up until three years after graduation. And that’s one-on-one advising.”

Assistant director of the Career Center Kevin Monahan works specifically with business and alumni career programs but spoke on the discrepancy between services for business students and those for Arts and Letters students.

“Our two most recent staff members are specifically for Arts and Letters students wishing to get into the business world,” Monahan said. “The number of students seeking jobs six months after graduation is equal for Mendoza and the College of Arts and Letters, and it’s a small number.”

Members of the Senate offered up further suggestions for the Career Center including more advertising and a de-formalization of the process of making an appointment with a counselor there.  

Student body vice president Katie Rose then asked senators how the group can assist victims of Superstorm Sandy.

“Usually the student government gets involved whenever there is a major national disaster,” Rose said.  “For Hurricane Sandy we are letting some of the groups on campus who are really passionate about it take over, but we are still going to be there to make sure that all of the funds collected are centralized and distributed. That being said, we are looking for charities for the money to go to.”

Morrissey Manor senator Billy McMahon suggested the American Red Cross as well as a group called Occupy Sandy, a grassroots effort located in the New York area. Similarly, Veronica Guerrero from Walsh Hall talked about a blog titled Humans of New York that transformed from a documentary on the life of New Yorkers to an effort to raise money.