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CCD survey reveals post-undergrad plans

By Christine Jeon     2/1/12 6:00pm

New survey data released by the Center for Career Development indicated that just over half of graduating students seeking employment have received offers, but CCD Director Nicole Van Den Heuvel said that the data was limited by the 23 percent response rate to the survey.

"It's normal that many students are still looking," Van Den Heuvel said. "Hiring happens all the way up through graduation."

CCD's Spring 2012 Career and Internship Expo, held Wednesday and Thursday, was divided so that Wednesday featured employers seeking mostly engineering and technical employees whereas Thursday featured employers seeking primarily non-technical employees.

"The business environment is very strong," Van Den Heuvel said.

CCD Associate Director for Employer Relations Jessica Campbell said that while she is aware of the negative perception some students have of CCD, she said the center has made a number of changes since she and Van Den Heuvel arrived in summer 2011.

"We would ask students to engage with us," Campbell said. "It's a misconception that you're going to walk in our doors and walk out with a job, but if you work with us, we can help you."

Campbell said that students can make appointments to have their resumes reviewed by CCD's counselors or come by Huff House during the week between 12 and 1 p.m. to have their resumes looked over as walk-ins.

Hanszen College junior Henry Hancock, a history and philosophy double major, said that he thought there were a limited number of opportunities available to him.

"I've looked around some on RICELink and I really feel like they don't have a lot of offerings that appeal to me as a humanities major," Hancock said. "I don't necessarily feel qualified for what the companies are asking for."

However, CCD Assessment Specialist Louma Ghandour said that the number of opportunities in each industry is based on market demand for that sector. When considering the number of organizations in each industry, the landscape is less uniform, with nonprofit, educational and human resources ranking in the top 10, she said.

"Organizations recruiting students are fairly diverse, but the number of positions each of these organizations seeks varies greatly by market demand," Ghandour, a psychology graduate student, said.

McMurtry College senior Erin Walsh, a chemical and biomolecular engineering major, said she received an offer from a major oil company in Houston.

"I didn't see myself going into the energy industry as a freshman, but I think that's because I didn't know a lot about it," Walsh said. "It was definitely a plus that there were a lot of opportunities in the energy industries — having the exposure and being able to talk with people who worked there was very beneficial."

Campbell said that job searching is different for humanities majors from job searching for technical and engineering majors.

"For humanities, you're given a skill set that will lead to any number of jobs," Campbell said. "I think some students may not understand that as much because it's not as linear - they have to do a little more exploring on the front end to figure out where they want to go."

Seth Brown contributed to this article.

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