Posted by The Editorial Board
As graduation draws closer, most seniors will tell you that finding a job is first and foremost on their list of concerns. Indeed, many students are still scurrying for the summer job or internship.. With the cost of college at an all-time high and the economy only recently beginning to pick back up, graduation looms large as a deadline for finding productive employment. During this time, the common narrative amongst seniors in the midst of the job search reacts negatively to the Career Development Center, a college resource meant to serve this very purpose. Students often voice frustrations with the scope of the CDC's knowledge and ability to help them find a job. However, this Editorial Board views the CDC more favorably and believes that, if utilized actively and exhaustively, the CDC has the tools to help students secure jobs and internships.
The Career Development Center offers a variety of resources, designed to aid students throughout their four years at the College. The CDC's main resources are its staff, available for career counseling appointments, the team of student Career Coaches, available in the CDC and the Library for office hours for resume and cover letter help, and the online resource My CDC where students can search a variety of databases for internships, jobs and alumni connections.
The CDC awards the Susan Hirsch Schwartz grants of up to $100 for students to put towards clothing, travel and other expenses associated with the job search. The CDC also provides a comprehensive timeline for students to manage and set up their career aspirations over the course of four years. Finally, the Center hosts a number of events throughout the year, from networking events in major cities (Boston or New York City) to Career Jam, a job and networking event, on campus.
This collection of services makes the CDC an incredible resource. It provides outlets for individualized material review, networking opportunities, job searches and funding for these opportunities. The CDC has covered all the bases necessary for a successful job search, and this Editorial Board holds that it is the student's job to take advantage of these resources to their full extent. Merely meeting with a Career Coach to look over your resume, or compiling a list of alumni contacts is not enough. Applying to five jobs gives you no guarantee of getting one. The job-seeking process is exhausting and must be exhaustive. There is always more to be done, on the part of both the student and the CDC. The CDC can and should continue to expand its services, but students should utilize existing services fully before beginning to blame their unemployment on the failure of Skidmore's career services.
It is in this College's best interest to have as many of its graduates employed as possible. Employed graduates are an excellent source of advertising for the College, are likely to provide job opportunities to current students, and are more likely to have the financial resources and the inclinations to donate to the College later on. The CDC is actively working to improve and respond to student needs. Under the new leadership of Kim Crabbe, the CDC has already adopted several new databases. Plans are in progress to adapt the business model of the center to make closer ties to other offices on campus. But the CDC can only do so much -- ultimately, the responsibility falls to the student .
This is a stressful time, but students should step up to the plate and take advantage of everything the CDC has to offer. Utilization of Career Services is not equivalent to the guarantee of employment, but it will provide a leg up. And for those students fortunate to not yet be at this milestone, the prudent initiative would be to stop by and familiarize yourself with these resources so that you are prepared for life beyond Skidmore, whenever that moment may be.