A recent article written by Erinn Cain ’08, a staff writer for Messenger Post newspapers in Canandaigua, N.Y., focused on the job expectations of current graduates. Cain spoke with Chris Swan ’13 about his post-graduation plans.
She notes, “Swan – a double-major in economics and political science – has had a job lined up since last August as a sales and trading analyst at the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Stamford, Conn., office after completing an internship there last summer.”
“It was exposure to find out if I was good for this, and if I was a good fit for the employer,” Swan is quoted about the internship.
Brandi Ferrara, director of the Salisbury Center for Career Services and Professional Development, was also included in the article, advising students to start planning their career paths early.
“Definitely, the job market is not what it used to be,” she is quoted. “It takes more time and effort to be put into the job search. … It used to be that a degree was enough to open doors after graduation.”
The article continues, “Planning begins in students’ first year with career assessments, she said, and continues through to their senior year with networking events, job shadowing and mock interviews.”
Networking, Ferrara added, is often key in landing a job after graduation. Hobart and William Smith has a network of more than 5,000 parents and alumni, she said.”
Kathryn Pawlak ’12 also secured a position prior to graduation. According to the article, “She will be working with Deborah Pilla, a member of the Colleges’ board of trustees, in her office, Park Avenue Pediatric Dentistry, in New York City. Pawlak met Pilla early on in her college career and has since shadowed her during her breaks.”
Having a plan before graduation was a relief, Pawlak said.”
The full article follows.
College graduates jumping into the job market
Erinn Cain • staff writer •May 16, 2013
Dorothy Rodriguez knew that finding a job after graduation wouldn’t be easy – so she decided to get a head start on the competition.
The student in Finger Lakes Community College’s nursing program will receive her degree Saturday along with more than 60 graduates of the program. Unlike most of her peers, Rodriguez completed her program early by taking a course over the summer.
“It was actually a nice advantage,” she said. “I finished the program in March. My classmates finished last week. … It was worth it because I could obviously look for a job before June.”
After completing her studies a couple months early, Rodriguez passed her state boards last month and will cross the stage Saturday, days after beginning a position as a registered nurse at Newark-Wayne Community Hospital.
She said that her job search was about more than getting a paycheck – it was about finding a good fit for her talents and interests, where she could build her career and leave work every day feeling satisfied.
“It’s a whole different game after school,” Rodriguez said. “You study all the time and pass all the tests. Now, the hard part comes.”
Students across the country are graduating this month and jumping into the job pool.
According to a recent survey, their expectations about landing a job of their choice may be unrealistically high.
The Accenture 2013 College Graduate Employment Survey polled 1,010 students who will be graduating from college in 2013 and 1,005 people who graduated from college in 2011 and 2012.
Sixty-four percent of pending 2013 college graduates expect to be employed full-time in their field of study, compared with 53 percent of 2011 and 2012 graduates who are currently working in their field of study full-time.
When 2011 and 2012 graduates who are not employed in their field of study were asked why, 45 percent said it was taking too long to find a job, and 32 percent said there were not enough job openings in their field.
Locally, the ability to find a job depends largely on the graduate’s field of study, said Brian Young, director of Finger Lakes Works/Ontario County Workforce Development. Jobs in health care and STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – fields are among those in demand.
“It’s very competitive right now in the labor market,” Young said. “I do think that, locally, the economy is doing well. … Hopefully, they do the research when they are young before jumping into the field.”
Young added that college graduates have to contend with job seekers who already have degrees, but have been unemployed or underemployed, which means they are working in jobs for which they are over-qualified.
“There are a lot of people looking,” he said. “College graduates have to compete with people with experience.”
Internships, Young said, often lead to job offers after graduation.
For Chris Swan, a graduating senior at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, his internship did just that.
Swan – a double-major in economics and political science – has had a job lined up since last August as a sales and trading analyst at the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Stamford, Conn., office after completing an internship there last summer.
The internship was like a “10-week interview,” said Swan, adding that he knew since his first year in college that he wanted to pursue a career in finance.
“It was exposure to find out if I was good for this, and if I was a good fit for the employer,” he said.
Brandi Ferrara, director of the Salisbury Center for Career Services and Professional Development at Hobart and William Smith, said that students need to start early in planning their career path in order to be prepared to enter the job market when they graduate.
“Definitely, the job market is not what it used to be,” she said. “It takes more time and effort to be put into the job search. … It used to be that a degree was enough to open doors after graduation.”
Planning begins in students’ first year with career assessments, she said, and continues through to their senior year with networking events, job shadowing and mock interviews.
Networking, Ferrara added, is often key in landing a job after graduation. Hobart and William Smith has a network of more than 5,000 parents and alumni, she said.
Networking played an important role for Hobart and William Smith graduating senior Kathryn Pawlak in getting a job offer. Pawlak has secured a position with Deborah Pilla, a member of the colleges’ board of trustees, in her office, Park Avenue Pediatric Dentistry, in New York City. Pawlak met Pilla early on in her college career and has since shadowed her during her breaks.
Having a plan before graduation was a relief, Pawlak said.
“It was very stressful the past year,” she said. “I had friends who had internships this (past) summer and were given a job. … In between undergrad and grad school, it’s very difficult to find something.”
Choosing the next step
For many college graduates, entering the job market helps them recognize that they may need further education to reach their career goals – or, at times, that they don’t need to go back to school after all, Ferrara said.
About 60 percent of Hobart and William Smith graduates pursue graduate or professional degrees within five years of graduation, a figure that has stayed consistent over the years, she said.
According to the Accenture survey, 42 percent of 2011 and 2012 graduates expect they will need to pursue a graduate-level degree to further their career, compared to only 18 percent of 2013 pending graduates.
Pawlak, whose dream is to become an oral surgeon, said she intends to go to dental school in a couple years. But first, she will be getting some experience in the field. In addition to her position in the dental office, Pawlak will also intern at the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey.
“I hope the internship this summer will turn into something more permanent,” Pawlak said.
Ferrara said that getting some experience on the job can help graduates make a final decision about whether to go back to school.
“It’s sort of a reality check once you get out and see what it’s all about,” she said. “The first job is a stepping stone. Sometimes you pay your dues; sometimes you further develop your skills and move on. Sometimes finding that next step may be challenging.”
Ferrara said being flexible and adaptable will take graduates far as they begin their careers.
“The job market is changing so much,” she said. “Jobs are always changing shape. Being ready to take on more and always being willing to learn is something that will serve them best in their careers.”
Finger Lakes Community College
An estimated 972 students will receive degrees from Finger Lakes Community College during commencement on Saturday. The ceremony will begin with the processional at 1:45 p.m. at the Constellation Brands Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center on the main campus at 3325 Marvin Sands Drive in Hopewell.
The commencement speaker will be 1989 FLCC alumnus Michael J. Miller, chief marketing officer for the New Hampshire-based Rensesys Corp. He has served on FLCC’s Alumni Association Executive Council and Scholarship Selection Committee and was a board member and treasurer for the FLCC Foundation.
Commencement will be preceded by the Nursing Advancement Ceremony at 9:30 a.m., which recognizes the advancement of the freshmen to the sophomore level and the sophomores to the graduate level. The FLCC Nursing Department anticipates 64 graduates this year.
The full commencement ceremony may be viewed on Finger Lakes Television (FLTV), channel 12 on Time Warner Cable, at 4 p.m. May 30 and at 2 p.m. June 6, 13 and 20.
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Commencement will take place at 10 a.m. Sunday, May 19, on the Hobart Quad on campus, 300 Pulteney St., Geneva.
James Carville, a well-known political commentator and leader in the revitalization of post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans, will deliver the commencement address.
An estimated 203 Hobart students and 288 William Smith students will receive degrees during commencement, in addition to an estimated eight students in the Master of Arts in Teaching program.
If you go: “Why I Love the Finger Lakes” Career Expo
WHAT “Why I Love the Finger Lakes” Career Expo, co-sponsored by Finger Lakes Community College Career Services and the Finger Lakes Workforce Investment Board
WHEN Thursday, May 23, from 1 to 4 p.m.
WHERE Finger Lakes Community College, 3325 Marvin Sands Drive, Hopewell
DETAILS The event, which is free and open to the public, will be an opportunity to connect with more than 40 employers in the Finger Lakes region. There will be employer booths, interviews, workshops and a keynote address by Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy.
OPTIONAL REGISTRATION Available at http://bit.ly/10oonZ4.
FOR MORE INFORMATION Call (585) 789-3131, email Dinah Brennan at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit fingerlakesworks.com