The news for Haworth College of Business graduates is good. Very good. Ninety-three percent of college of business graduates have landed at their first destination—employment, graduate school or military service—within three months of graduation. Job satisfaction among new graduates in their first jobs is also high—with the graduates of most majors boasting job satisfaction rates above 95 percent.
Helping Business Broncos to these successful outcomes is the staff of the Charles and Lynn Zhang Career Center.
And this has been an extremely busy year for the center and its staff. “Students have a world of possibilities open to them when they begin their college careers. It is our job to help them explore those possibilities and through that exploration gain insight into their long-term career goals and plan accordingly,” says Geralyn Heystek, director of the Zhang Career Center.
To that end, the career center added two new events to the dozens of events that it holds each year—Major Match-Up, a peer-to-peer event for first and second year students who are still exploring majors and careers, and Internship Panel, also a peer-to-peer event, for students wanting to understand “all things internship” such as how to get a position, what types of work students may encounter, benefits of having an internship and level of compensation. “We find that the peer-to-peer approach works well,” says Heystek. “Students like hearing directly from other students about their experiences, and the students who present get the chance to practice their presentation skills.”
Programs like the career center’s Business Externship Program, a structured experiential learning opportunity, give students the opportunities to “try on” potential careers by observing professionals and interacting with them. Student participation in the program was up 35 percent, and an increase in employer participation resulted in a 65 percent increase in available externships for students. “It is never too early to start branding yourself with employers,” says Heystek. “Employers are looking for those who stand out early among their peers.”
What else are employers looking for? According to Heystek, employers are seeking critical thinking skills, including time and task management; the ability to analyze data; communication skills; creativity; and a track record of following through. Students can develop these skills in classroom projects and extracurricular activities. And Heystek adds that there is a lot that students can do during the recruiting process to demonstrate these skills. “Writing clear resumes and cover letters, developing good answers to behavioral interview questions and deeply researching employers, are just some ways that students can find that ideal position.”
“The job offer, whether for an internship or a full-time position, is one of the most critical and exciting times in a young person’s career,” says Heystek. “Our staff is passionate about helping students find their passion and helping employers find the talent that their organizations need.”
THE CAREER CENTER, BY THE NUMBERS, 2014-2015
93 % - The percentage of students actively engaged within 3 months of graduation.
14,183 - The attendance at developmental events sponsored by the Zhang Career Center.
77 - The number of presentations on career topics delivered in college business courses.
18% - The increase in employer participation in Business Career Day.
1,277 - The number of interviews conducted.
100% - The students satisfaction rate with career advising appointments.