CCD must cater to majors outside of engineering
Published: Friday, September 14, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 14, 2012 03:09
It is not unusual that the Center for Career Development’s yearly Career Expo features predominatly engineering and consulting-based options, but the CCD should explore alternative ways to bring a more diverse set of opportunities to students. More non-science majors could be catered to by thinking outside of the expo box.
The lack of companies recruiting social science or humanities majors is glaring. Many companies need writers or researchers, from public relations firms to newspapers to museums, and students deserve to be exposed to the variety of options available to them beyond simply matriculating into a graduate program. Houston has plenty of local publications: Companies that need PR representatives and other kinds of writers, and the CCD should take advantage of that.
It is understandable that many of these companies are small and might not have the staff to send to Rice’s expo during work hours, but the CCD could consider expanding the expo to a week-long career awareness week. Companies could be invited to come for a shorter amount of time for open info sessions that target specific majors throughout the week. This technique could also be used for smaller or start-up companies could appeal to a variety of science majors but that just cannot afford the staff or the fee to come to the expo. Rice should be trying to appeal to young, motivated companies that need creative students with “unconventional wisdom.”
Additionally, hosting smaller sessions for individual companies could also increase consciousness for businesses outside the Houston area. The expo had some out-of-town companies represented, but by expanding opportunities throughout the whole week and weekend, businesses from other metropolitan Texas areas (and even other regions) could attend at higher rates. If this isn’t possible, using online video chat to give students opportunities to connect could be viable.
In the same vein, even if companies cannot physically come to Rice, it would still be useful for students to get connected with workers in the field. It would be great to create a bank of people who would be happy to chat with students about their field by reaching out to recent alumni with great jobs, especially at young or alternative businesses.
The CCD could also expand career possibilities by encouraging professors to give talks about their experiences in fields outside academia. Individual departments could host forums for professors, individuals that professors might be connected with, and even students who have held interesting internships to speak about their jobs. Having a variety of outlets for students to discover what kind of work they are qualified for would be helpful for upper- and underclassmen alike.
The CCD’s Career Expo does not need to be as exclusive as it traditionally has been. Expanding its focus by bringing in companies that represent a variety of sectors throughout a career awareness week would allow more students to benefit. The expo is a great way for some majors to make the connections they need for great jobs and internships; now the CCD needs to get creative about connecting the rest.
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