News, On Campus

For MCAS Students, Career Center Options Beyond Finance

A month into the academic year, the Career Center has hosted several events to give students a chance to explore, network, and begin the job search process. The Careerfest kicked off the 2017-18 recruiting season and was visited by over 800 students. This fall’s Career & Internship Fair featured 142 companies and organizations and attracted over 1,900 students. The Career Center breaks down these companies into 9 clusters. The two largest clusters were Business Services, Consulting, Management with 24 companies, and Financial Services, Accounting, Real Estate with 41 companies, and they accounted for 45.8 percent of the total.

The perceived focus on certain types of businesses at this year’s Career Fair is largely based on recruiting timelines, the Career Center said. The selection process for companies represented at the Fall Career & Internship Fair happens in two ways: Companies can request to appear on campus or the Career Center reaches out to invite them.

Educating students about recruiting cycles is one of associate vice president of Student Affairs and head of the Career Center Joseph Du Pont’s primary goals. The business and finance sectors have earlier timelines, and for many students not interested in these areas, this accelerated push can lead to feeling that they are behind the curve.

The Career Center directs many of its resources to focus on the current recruiting cycle, and the timelines vary by industry. The goal is to make sure interested students get opportunities in their desired industry, which, at the start of the year, tends to be business and finance.

“The question for us is to make sure those students get those opportunities, and then as recruiting cycles for other industries become available, then we cater to those,” Du Pont said.

For the past two years, the Career Center has also been working with the English and communication departments to put on a Marketing, Writing and Communications night, and a similar event is planned for the spring.  

“I actually just went into the Career Center for the first time this year and I didn’t find it super helpful,”said Amelia Orlando, MCAS ’19 and a communication major. “I went in hoping to get some sense of direction because I have no idea what kinds of jobs I should even be looking for.”

Orlando said that the career counselor showed her EagleLink, which she already uses, and gave limited advice.

“I didn’t feel like I left my meeting with a better sense of what I should be doing,” Orlando said. “It was pretty much me blabbing to fill the silence.”

Sean Flahive, MCAS ’19, however, said that the Career Center does a good job in working with English majors.

“I took one-credit class last year that was co-led by the English department and Career Center and focused on finding jobs that would be a good fit for English majors,” he said. “Choosing a career as an English major, and undergraduate in general, can be challenging, and I think that the career center and English department are working to address that.”

Du Pont said he also works to make sure the Career Center is inviting employers to campus that match the changing preferences on campus. The Career Center has noticed a decline in law school applications and an increase of interest in the technology sector.

“We are constantly looking at students’ interests, because those evolve overtime,” Du Pont said.

The Career Center groups employers into nine clusters, ranging from government and law to healthcare to nonprofits and education.

“The clusters we focus on, that’s a reaction to what students have told us, and we want to be attuned to that,” said Lisa White, associate director of employer engagement.

Careerfest, in its second year, functions as an introduction to the services the Center offers, according to Du Pont. Careerfest caters to students from all schools and majors, allowing them to see what kinds of services the Center offers to students.

“Careerfest is more like a career-carnival, it’s more to showcase our office and dispel that very rumor,” Du Pont said. “It’s more about that we’re here for everyone.”

The Career Center has several opportunities for MCAS students over the course of the year.

One of these opportunities is “Launch: the Career Week for Juniors and Seniors,” which will take place from Oct. 16 to 21. Launch will feature a variety of events and activities to help students practice their interview skills and discuss vocational discernment.

The Career Center will also host the STEM Career and Internship Fair on Oct. 25, with resume and networking opportunities leading up to the workshop.

On Nov. 8, the Career Center will accompany interested students to the annual Communications Fair, which will be held this year at Emmanuel and is in concert with other Boston area schools, including Boston University, Emerson, and Suffolk.

Over Winter Break, students are encouraged to consider the Job Shadow Program, which allows students to experience a day-in-the-life of a professional in their field of interest.

The Endeavor Program is exclusively for sophomores in MCAS. The program helps them connect the skills imparted through their liberal arts education to career interests.

Funding for summer internships is also available through the Eagle Fellowship, which gives students the chance to explore interests and careers through positions that would otherwise be unpaid, helping ease financial burdens.  

“The education is our biggest challenge,” Du Pont said. “We have to fight against this perception that this event (the fall career fair) is not just for certain students.”

Featured Image by Amelie Trieu / Heights Editor

October 1, 2017