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Conference Launches Student Careers

As the job search begins to roll around for upperclassmen, the Boston College Career Center and Office of Residential Life are holding a revamped career conference called Launch. Launch is only open to juniors and seniors, and will take place on Oct. 14 from 10:15 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.

In past years, the Career Center hosted a conference called Jumpstart Your Job Search, which was held in January for seniors. The conference was moved to October because now, after consulting firms moved their recruitment season to the fall, students are beginning their job and internship searches earlier in the year. It was also opened to juniors in order to be more inclusive of students at all points of their career search, said Amy DiGiovine, assistant director of the Career Engagement Team.

“We want students to understand that while everyone’s journey is unique there are some common issues we all have to tackle,” DiGiovine said in an email. “Our goal, with the help of many partners across campus, is to help students with career-related reflection, exploration, and preparation so they can achieve their goals.”

Launch will include an address by a keynote speaker, Pili Montilla, BC ’00; the choice of three career-centered workshops; and advice from a range of alumni and recruiters.

Montilla created, produces, and hosts the show VidaLexus presenta: Té Para Tres con Pili Montilla. Montilla has received an Emmy for her work as a TV host, producer, content creator, and taste maker. In the past, she has worked for E! Latino, MTV, LATV, MundoFox, Telemundo, and Univision.

“[Montilla] has had to overcome challenges and create her own opportunities, while seeking guidance and support from others,” DiGiovine said. “She represents what we emphasize to students—we want to empower them with the knowledge, tools, and skills to lead a purpose-driven life as they define it.”

“We want all students who attend the conference to leave empowered with concrete action steps to reach their individual goals whether those relate to internships, post-graduate jobs, or graduate school.”

—Amy DiGiovine, assistant director of the Career Engagement Team

After the keynote address, students will break off into small seminars, where they will have the opportunity to speak directly with experts and recruiters. The first round of seminars will focus on networking, resume building, and mentorship. Students will also have the opportunity to learn the best ways to use the Career Center website and utilize the University’s resources.

The second round of seminars will focus on what values are important to students in looking for a job, how to negotiate and analyze job offers, and whether grad school is an appropriate option for certain career paths.

Students then will have a lunch break, during which they can attend a panel composed of five recent BC graduates. The graduates come from a variety of majors, from environmental geoscience to communication. Some of their current employers include MIT, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Education First, and Accenture. The alumni will share advice on hiring timelines, using a liberal arts degree in the corporate world, and how to transition from a college student into a young professional.

Launch will then hold the final round of seminars, in which students will learn how to stand out in the corporate world and use hiring timelines to structure a job search. There will also be a panel with recruiters from companies including Deloitte Consulting, Peace Corps, Stables, E&J Gallo Winery, and General Electric.

The conference will end with a group activity called “What’s Next?”, in which students will define their next two or three steps in the job search. The exercise is meant to leave students empowered and ready to take on the corporate world.

The conference is open to 180 students, but most of the spots have already been filled. Because of the limited space, the Career Center is going to repeat some of the workshops throughout the fall.

The Career Center and the Office of Residential Life began planning the conference during the summer. They started by collecting feedback from Residential Life staff, Career Center staff, faculty members, and students. The groups also looked at student data from the Jumpstart Your Job Search conference and career readiness assessments.

“We want all students who attend the conference to leave empowered with concrete action steps to reach their individual goals whether those relate to internships, post-graduate jobs, or graduate school,” DiGiovine said. “We also want all students to gain a better understanding of industry hiring timelines. We expect students to gain their own unique takeaways depending on which sessions they pick.”

Featured Image by Kemeng Fan / Heights Senior Staff

September 29, 2016