As the year winds down, the RWU Class of 2016 faces the daunting task of preparing for everything that post-graduate life has to offer. While student debt may be higher than ever, there is some good news for those who are entering the workforce: according to a survey from CareerBuilder, 67 percent of employers say they plan to hire recent college graduates this year, and 27 percent of those employers plan to pay these recent graduates salaries of $50,000 or more.
Still, the process of finding a career can be daunting, especially for those who have not secured a job yet—but for RWU students and alumni, the Center for Career and Professional Development is here to help.
Stephen Cantine, Associate Dean of the Center for Career and Professional Development (formally called the Career Center), works very closely with students and alumni in various processes of the job search. The Center offers everything from help with writing cover letters and resumes to setting up LinkedIn profiles and interviews.
Students of every class can benefit from these services; junior Claudia Giustino received help in the past with polishing her cover letter and was provided a room to have an interview in. Another student, now a senior, received a large amount of help preparing for her Delta Sigma Pi interview during her freshman year. Other students have received help preparing for interviews and getting in contact with graduate schools.
According to the official Career Center survey from last year, 85 percent of the 2015 graduating class either had a full-time job lined up or was enrolled in graduate school for the coming semester.
According to Cantine, there are seven main attributes that surveyed employers feel make a graduate ready to be hired. These seven attributes are: career management, oral/written communication skills, professionalism/work ethic, teamwork/collaboration, leadership, critical thinking/problem solving, and information technology application. Cantine feels that many of these skills are developed in the classroom, but others are taught in more professional settings such as internships and workshops.
Cantine stressed the importance of internships in preparing for a full-time job. Not only do many majors require at least one, Catine said, but studies have shown that employers are much more likely to hire recent graduates with internship experience–especially paid internships. These can be hard to find, but the benefits of finding such a position are real.
Another important factor that helps students find jobs for after graduation is timeliness. Cantine recommends that students begin their job search at least six months before graduation, although there are many resources available long before that to help students feel more prepared. While the end of senior year is a very trying and busy time, spreading out the career search process can really help make it less stressful, Cantine said.
Even for seniors who are graduating in a couple weeks, it is never too late to head to the Career Center for help—even if you are not sure what you want to be doing, they can help counsel you and point you in the right direction.