Should You Rely on Your Campus’ Career Services?

Many colleges provide career service resources to help students with obtaining internships, getting into a co-op agreement (basically paid internship), or even nabbing their first job. Unfortunately, some colleges or universities do a better job at helping students out with this than others. For instance, my experience with career services involved me wandering around campus until I finally found the small office where all they had you do was fill out an application and hope that something came up. This is the wrong way to do it.

A survey was done, which Money Watch wrote an article on, that showed that while many parents were highly involved in their child’s admission process, less than half of them helped their child with finding their first job. Many of those surveyed had no clue as to how to find them a job and just assumed that their campus’ career services center would do that for them. In order to avoid falling into false assumptions, the surveyor suggested that students and parents should ask the campus’ career services these questions:

1. How is the career services center funded, and what does it spend per student?
2. Is that an increase or decrease from previous years?
3. What programs does it offer?
4. How will these programs help my child find his/her first professional job?
5. How does the career service center engage students?
6. Who works directly with students?
7. Will there be a professional or a student peer to offer guidance throughout the process?
8. What value does the school place on internships?
9. How does it assist students in finding meaningful internships?
10. What is the school’s job placement record?
11. Are students graduating with job offers and, if so, in which fields and careers?
12. What support does the school offer to liberal arts and humanities students or those without a well-defined career path?

Something else you could do to is just not rely on career services at all. Now you may still want to take advantage of their resources, whatever little they may have, but you should never go as far as put your full dependence on them to find the job you want. Try searching for opportunities yourself, looking around for places that fall within your career field and find out who’s hiring interns. Meet the managers in person, get your foot in the door, do some networking, build up a repertoire, and before you know it, you’ll have started your career before you even finish college.