Hiatt programs offer innovation in job-hunting
Just In Time Job Fair and Practice Interview Days boost student skills
The United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate fell from 7.7 percent in February to 7.6 percent in March, the lowest in four years, but fewer than 90,000 jobs were added, causing economists to question the health of the job market.
With less than two months remaining in the semester, it also prompted students to ask, “What does this mean for me?”
“We know this can be an anxious time for students. It is only natural to be concerned about their job prospects, so we encourage them to be creative and resourceful about their search and guide them through that process,” said Joseph Du Pont, dean of the Hiatt Career Center. “At the same time, we know that we have seen an increase in the number of employers reaching out to us to hire Brandeis students this year.”
The Class of 2012 echoed that sentiment in its First Destination Survey. According to the survey, 95 percent of the Class of 2012 was employed, attending graduate school or engaged in other meaningful activities within six months of graduation.
The recent Just In Time Job and Internship Fair and Practice Interview Days are examples of innovative ways in which the Hiatt Career Center is supplementing traditional career development activities to help the Class of 2013 do just as well – or better.
On April 9, Hiatt and other career centers at Brandeis co-sponsored the Just In Time event, which was attended by over 60 employers and more than 500 students, and culminated in “on the spot” interviews immediately after the fair.
The evolving nature of job searching goes well beyond changing the nature of traditional career fairs. In addition to working directly with employers, Hiatt is collaborating with alumni, friends of Brandeis, regional alumni clubs and parents to identify opportunities for students and prepare them for the job market.
“The world of recruiting is changing,” said Du Pont, “and students, the university, and our career centers need to embrace these changes to serve the career needs of our students”.
Some of these changes will require major shifts in how career centers engage with employers through technology. Others can be simpler, but just as effective. For example, in the days immediately prior to the career fair, alumni and employers came back to campus to help students improve their interview skills and better articulate their interests and experience in a low-pressure environment at Practice Interview Days.
Anna Kaufman ’10, Small Business Center Consultant in the Rotational Leadership Development Program at Sun Life Financial, was one of the alums who returned to campus to help students prepare.
“It is talent and passion that will set students apart. [As students] there is this desire to really feel involved and be engaged, and be a part of the community… I think that’s a huge differentiator that sets Brandeis students apart,” Kaufman said.
Etta Lappin Davis ’73, principal at Etsky Consulting, also returned to campus to help students. “There is a higher level of optimism that allows us to feel like we’re through the worst of [the economic downturn] now,” she said, “but the practice interview days allow me to help students be more prepared in this market.”
“I found my practice interview very helpful,” said Health: Science, Society and Policy Program (HSSP) senior Liyinzi Zhou. “I now know my weaknesses and strengths, and how to improve for a real interview.”
“I’m really excited about what Hiatt’s doing for me as a student,” said Sydney Applebaum, senior psychology and English major, who attended the Just In Time Job and Internship Fair. “I feel more confident in speaking with employers and to follow-up on these opportunities.”
“As a university and career center, it is part of our mission to help students develop skills that will help them succeed professionally, and in life,” said Du Pont.
Visit the Hiatt Career Center to learn more about how to help engage students and alumni. Brandeis provides free career services for life to alumni; please contact Hiatt to schedule an appointment with an alumni career counselor.