Seniors Seek Job Help From the Career Center

With only 26 days left until graduation, the Manhattan College Center for Career Development is in a flurry of activity, working to assist graduates-to-be.

Sharon D’Amelia, associate director of the center, has been working with the college for three years trying to help students enter the professional world upon leaving the college. For D’Amelia, the process for students, from preparing “resume/cover letter review (to) mock interviews” should start before they might think.

For the class of 2014, “about 45 percent reported using our office” to help them get their jobs, D’Amelia said. These numbers are only growing.

While the statistic on how many students from the graduating class of 2015 have utilized the center is still being gathered, many students have secured jobs with the center’s resources.

One of these students is Caitlin Kempinski.

In May, Kempinski will be starting as an account executive at LAK Public Relations in Manhattan.

“It is a corporate public relations firm with clients all over the world, but it’s still a really small office so I am able to learn a lot,” Kempinski said. “I currently intern for them so it should be an easy transition.”

Despite having found the internship through a friend who graduated last year, Kempinski sought out the center for extra guidance.

“I always go to Sharon D’Amelia for resume help,” Kempinksi said. “I always wanted my resume to stand out but not in a crazy way so I would always run things by her before sending it out.”

Kempinski interviewed in January for the internship position.

“At that time they told me that they really wanted someone full time, but based on my previous internship experience they would consider hiring me as an intern and if all went well, offer me a full time position upon graduation,” she said. “They ended up offering me the position by the end of February.”

“I think that [the center] is a valuable resource for students if they use it wisely,” she said. “They offer so many different programs and one-on-one resume help and cover letter writing and career counseling. I used the tools that I thought would best serve me, one of which being the resume help.”

Patrick Metcalf, another senior, shares a similar success story, this time on a job he landed in the engineering field. This summer he will begin his job as a logistics coordinator for ExxonMobil in Houston, TX.

“In this position I will be scheduling when certain petrochemicals will be imported and exported throughout a circuit of plants,” Metcalf said.

Metcalf heard about the job from the emails that the Career Development Center sends out every few days.

“ExxonMobil has been coming to campus since my sophomore year, spring 2013, and that is where I really became interested in the job,” Metcalf said. “The center helped me set up my on-campus interview time and location. Meghan Makarczuk, of the Career Development Center, also really helped me with some of the questions she thought that they would ask me.”

He then detailed the process he went through in order to get the job. It included meeting with recruiters on campus and attending an on-site interview in Fairfax, VA.

“In early October, I went to Fairfax for two days of interviews and meals. For the full day I was there, I had about five one-hour interviews,” Metcalf said. “About four weeks later, I received a job offer.”

“[The career development center] helped me a lot to prepare for my interviews and allowed me to understand what to expect,” Metcalf said.

While these success stories are certainly different, D’Amelia said that sticking to certain guidelines can help students secure a job.

“Students are encouraged to start their job search preparation early so that when they are ready to apply to positions they are well prepared,” she said.

When a student should start to apply also depends on the industry they’re looking to get a job in. D’Amelia said that large organizations with competitive training programs, banking, consulting and accounting tend to recruit early. She said smaller companies with no training programs and industries such as human resources, broadcast, advertising, public relations, social media, the arts and publishing will recruit later in the year.

The college website maintains that the “Center for Career Development (CCD) assists students in identifying, clarifying and achieving their career goals.” The Center offers many services to students, including access to a job and internship posting board called Japserlink, career counselors available for students to meet when they need guidance in their career planning, career fairs and on-campus recruitment programs, a mentor program to students interested in making connections, a list of available internships, the Suit Up program, and even mock interview sessions to have students gain more communication skills necessary for finding a job.

Within the mentor program, members are provided with “opportunities for Manhattan College students to gain insight into their intended careers by being paired with professionals,” according to the college website. As a part of the service, “students grow personally and professionally as they learn about specific employment options and job responsibilities.”

The program calls for mentors to share professional knowledge with their mentees so that they might learn from their previously gained knowledge.

The Suit Up program makes suits available for rent or for purchase for a lower price for low-income students, both graduate and undergraduate, who are in need of business attire for an upcoming event like a career fair or for an interview.

“Students should take advantage of all resources available to them when applying for jobs,” D’Amelia said.