By Patrick Davis
Can you imagine working really hard to get good grades in college and then working for minimum wage? Do you know that many recent college graduates are unemployed or underemployed? According to a CNN Money article from May 2013, “41 percent of college graduates from the last two years are stuck in jobs that don’t require a degree.” Fitchburg State University’s Career Services Center can help you avoid being part of that statistic.
According to Erin Kelleher, director of Career Services, approximately 70 percent of undergraduates, 35 percent of graduate students and 15 percent of alumni utilize career services. “I would like to see more students using the center,” Kelleher said, adding, “Students should connect with Career Services in their freshmen year.”
“My best tip for students is to do a self-assessment to figure out what they like and dislike,” Kelleher said. “This self-assessment will help students choose a major and eventually a career.” She reports the biggest mistake freshmen students make is quickly deciding on a major just because their friends have a major. “I think students feel they have to choose a major freshmen year and don’t give themselves enough time to explore.” Kelleher said. She also stressed the importance of internships stating, “I think every student should do an internship. You get experience and are more marketable.” Kelleher noted that employers look for good grades, extracurricular activities, and student involvement at the school.
Career Services offers an online job posting and recruitment service called College Central. Kelleher believes every student should register with College Central. She reports, “Currently there are more jobs than students registered.” Students need to register and create an account before they can use the service. Once registered, they can search jobs posted exclusively for Fitchburg State University students or they can search the national job or internship boards. The site allows students to build a resume and/or a portfolio that can be uploaded for potential employers to view. Students receive emails about services and programs and have access to announcements about upcoming career events and career advice documents, podcasts, videos and articles. College Central also provides a mentoring network that permits students to search profiles of people who work in their field of interest and contact them online.
The Career Services Center provides career guidance/counseling and assistance with the transition from school to work. Counselors are available to assist students with job search strategies and job seeking skills. Information about on campus recruiters and career fairs are posted on the career center’s website. The site contains links that provide information about the job search, effective interviewing, cover letters, building a resume, requesting references, interviewing and portfolios. There are also internet links that provide resources for the job search, career exploration and graduate school. Career Services is located on the third floor of the Hammond Building in room 318. It is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The Career Services Center provides students with valuable information and guidance for building their future. Students should familiarize themselves with the services and begin using them sooner rather than later. Don’t become part of the jobless college graduate statistic. Check out the Career Services Center today.