What’s Next? – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

What’s Next?

In the senior’s summer search for a career, many end up in the HWS Career Institute.

While recent graduates who are heading to graduate school this fall are likely all set – having applied and received acceptance letters this spring, some graduates who plan to begin their careers right away may still wonder what they are going to be doing at summer’s end. It is for this group that the HWS Employment Institute was created as a service of the Salisbury Center for Career Services. 

“The Colleges want to give everything we can to our students. We want to offer something that helps our students and graduates, ” says Senior Associate Director of the Center Brandi Ferrara.

The Institute employs various techniques to properly prepare participating students with the skills to complete a successful job search, not only this time, but throughout their life. “It’s for graduates who didn’t have time during the school year, or who were intimidated by the job market. It’s to give them a chance at face time with our staff,” explains Ferrara.

Among the strategies employed is the use of the many online resources to which HWS subscribes for career searches. During the program, students will be given projects to complete which will require use of those online resources. Projects include finding their ideal careers, ideal salaries and learning what is reasonable and what skills employers are looking for that give the students an edge. There is even a workshop on writing “thank you” letters. “Thank you letters seal the deal,” says Ferrara. “Personal, hand-written letters, on nice paper, with neat handwriting, can really make the difference, and get you the job.”

There is also a very personal aspect of the program. Students get private, personal “face time” during mock interviews and meetings with Career Services staff to discuss concerns or questions about their job search.

“Students like career counseling to be on a personal level” said Ferrara. “We want to give them the opportunity to get that.” This is true even for those who cannot attend in person. Career Services staff is putting together webinars, seminars that are on the web, which will give almost the same experience to students. “We still hope that students come to the Institute, but want to help them in any way we can,” adds Ferrara.

Right now the Institute only focuses on recently graduated seniors, but may expand in the future to include rising seniors who are interested. However, according to Ferrara “right now we have not had the interest from rising seniors we have had from recent graduates.”

The Employment Institute takes place on June 8 and 9, as well as June 18 and 19 and July 16 and 17. For more information, contact the Salisbury Center for Career Services at 315-781-3514 or cso@hws.edu.

The photo above is of Jacqui Sands’09 working with Career Development staff.