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Sciences fill Career Expo

By Jennifer Shen     9/13/12 7:00pm

 

This Tuesday's Career Expo marked the biggest career fair Rice has ever had, featuring 110 companies com- pared to 87 last fall.

However, only 8.3 percent of companies in the Career Expo brochure list themselves as hiring humanities or social science majors, even including those companies hiring for all majors, according to data from the brochure. Associate Director for Employer Relations Jessica Campbell said this is part- ly because many employers who will recruit non-engineers cannot forecast their hiring needs for the spring in the fall. In addition, some companies, such as smaller companies or nonprofits, may not have the time or resources to come on campus.



Nicole van den Heuvel, Director of the Center for Career Development, said Rice faces limitations because there are not enough interview rooms and interested students for all employers out there.

Because Rice currently has more job postings than students, Rice's connection with a company may be hurt if not enough students apply for its positions or go to the company's information session, according to van den Heuvel.

"One of the most common things I get from employers is that they don't have enough students applying for [their] positions," Campbell said. "[And] we really are crammed for space."

Blackbaud representative Bret Pettichord said this is the company's first time recruiting at Rice. Blackbaud is a software company that provides services to nonprofits.

"We mostly recruit at UT, [but] we [also] came to Rice this time to diversify our university program," Pettichord said.

YES Prep Public Schools representative Amanda Nicolo said YES Prep hired about a dozen Rice students last year and that YES Prep is happy to continue its longstanding relationship with Rice.

"[Rice students] make excellent teachers," Nicolo said.

In order to diversify Rice's career options, Campbell said CCD actively works to bring in more underrepresented companies by lowering their registration fee for the Career Expo, among other things.

"For example, the Houston Chronicle [wasn't] able to come because they don't have the staff to come right out," Campbell said. "But we told them... we're willing to work with companies in underrepresented industries."

Heuvel said she encourages students to talk to recruiters even though their majors are not explicitly listed on the recruiting list. Campbell added the importance of articulating the student's skills and how these skills fit into the employers' needs.

"What students don't realize is [...] there are a lot of positions [in a big company] outside of what's listed," Campbell said.

According to Campbell, it is very important for liberal arts students to understand that their job searches will not be as linear as those of engineers and will require more creativity and initiative.

Heuvel said one of the career services that would be helpful to humanities and social sciences majors is the Mentor Network, a database of volunteer mentors. By networking with these mentors, students can explore possible career developments in line with their majors.

Other services include job postings on RICE link and Vault. Vault can be accessed via OWL- Space and RICElink can be accessed through the CCD's website.

Martel College junior Abby Downing-Beaver said she did not go to the Career Expo this year.

"I find that [the Career Expo] is geared towards engineers and pre-med majors and not towards humanities and social sciences majors," Downing-Beaver, a linguistics and English double major, said.

Jones College junior Ruby Gee went to the Career Expo looking for an internship and was overall satisfied.

"Most of the booths were not applicable to me, but there were a few booths that actually spoke to English majors [and] were excited to have me," Gee said.

Mechanical engineering major and Will Rice College senior Jeffrey Lee said the Career Expo was helpful.

"I really like the venue of [Tudor Fieldhouse]. It seems like there was just enough space," Lee said. "I was able to talk to most of the companies I wanted to, but the lines for some of the bigger companies were pretty long."

Wiess College senior Henry Gorman said al- though he did not go to the Career Expo, he went to many information sessions organized by CCD.

"[I have talked to] Deloitte, BCG [and] Accenture," Gorman, a mathematics and history double major, said. "Generally, people are pretty helpful."



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