Graduates utilize on-campus services to attain careers

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Minh Mac | Collegian Julia Sickle, a junior in BA pre-professional, talks to Natacha Buchanan, a senior advisor for F&PA Human Resources working for Phillips 66, about her resume.

During college, many students may begin to wonder what kind of job is in store for them after they walk across the stage in Bramlage Coliseum, but students should be reassured that their degrees won’t go to waste. K-State offers many services throughout campus that can help students find the perfect career post graduation.

Career and Employment Services is the main collaborator within K-State that is helpful for students to look to when looking for jobs and internships. CES offers career advising in which their faculty will help students find jobs, develop their resume and interview skills, and many other career related activities.

“We do three key things,” said. Kerri Keller, director of CES. “We coach and advise students in their professional development. We host a number of events to connect students to employers and we provide online resources if students can’t make it to these events.”

According to Keller, recent statistics show that of the 2011-2012 graduates, about 92 percent found jobs or had applied to graduate school. Statistics for the 2012 and 2013 graduates have not yet been finalized, but Keller said this is very comparable to other regent schools.

“This number is very consistent year after year,” Keller said. “We’re doing pretty well and the strength of numbers of employers that come to recruit K-State students show just how in-demand our students are.”

One example is the All-University Career Fair, held Tuesday and Wednesday. According to Keller, nearly 300 employers attended. On the first day, around 2,500 students met with employers and made connections with them. Collectively, around 3,000 or 4,000 students visited the Career Fair. According to Keller, around 500 employers came to campus last year to recruit or interview students.

CES also sponsors events like Walk-in Wednesdays, where students can have their resumes looked at by professionals.

“That’s been very popular since we started it and we’ve seen an increase in numbers,” Keller said.

According to Keller, around 160 students came just last week to have their resumes critiqued and looked over in preparation for the Career Fair.

Each college within the university was given the opportunity to participate in the All-University Career Fair. However, each college does other things outside of career fairs to encourage their students to get jobs within their field.

Logan Britton, senior in agricultural economics, said he thinks that the College
of Agriculture is doing the right thing when it comes finding jobs for their
students.

“At the College of Agriculture, we really push
internships,” Britton said. “We try to give back our students to people in the
industry.”

Alison Wheatley, assistant dean in the College of Arts and Sciences, said that the College of Arts and Sciences works directly with CES to track where their students are professionally and their successes.

“We
work with Career and Employment Services to get the trends and
individual departments follow their graduates very closely,” Wheatley
said. “I think in our college, it’s department by department.”

Wheatley also said she thought that the career fair is important for students because it allows them to
become more flexible, especially coming from the College of Arts and
Sciences.

“The skills that students learn in terms of analysis and communication skills and so on, really translate well into the kinds of skills that employers are looking for,” Wheatley said. “We find that again and again.”

Support and advisement can still continue for students who have just graduated. Within a year of graduating, all CES services are still available, according to Keller. However, after that year, all services are through the Alumni Association who works with CES to help graduates, even those who have graduated years prior.

“With our partnership, we can provide life long support for our graduates,” Keller said.

Students can find more information about the various services CES provides by visiting their website and activating their CES account for free. Here, they can upload their resumes and cover letters.

“Sometimes, we’ve had employers seek out K-State students to fill their positions,” Keller said.

Other services include mock interviews, which will start in the following week, as well as providing students a conference room to meet with an employer in person or through a video conference call.

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