Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


Advertisement
Email Newsletter

Sign up to receive our email newsletter in your inbox.



Advertisement

Advertisement
Misdemeanor charges dropped against NU faculty for activity during pro-Palestinian encampment
City Council approves $2 million grant application to renovate Hilda’s Place, talks Evanston Dog Beach accessibility access
City Council expands guaranteed income program, exempts athletic fields from leaf blower ordinance
Body recovered in Lake Michigan, EPD examining identity of body
Evanston’s ‘Seeds of Change’ theme inspires unity at Fourth of July parade
Lawsuit against Pritzker School of Law alleges its hiring process discriminates against white men
Evanston Fire concludes recovery search and rescue efforts for missing swimmer after ‘exhausting’ all resources
Advertisement
Perry: A little humility goes a long way

Brew, Hou, Leung, Pandey: On being scared to tweet and the pressure to market yourself as a student journalist

June 4, 2024

Haner: A love letter to the multimedia room

June 4, 2024

Independent review of athletics department released, puts forth key recommendations

Northwestern hosts groundbreaking ceremony at Ryan Field construction site

June 25, 2024

Derrick Gragg appointed as Northwestern’s vice president for athletic strategy, search for new athletic director begins

June 13, 2024

Advertisement

The secret (and short) lives of cicadas on campus

NU Declassified: Prof. Barbara Butts teaches leadership through stage management

Everything Evanston: Behind the boba in downtown Evanston

Career services office adapts to changing job market

Like many college students, Weinberg sophomore Victor Shao didn’t spend his 2010 summer soaking up rays next to a pool. In fact, he did almost the exact opposite. The economics and math double major was an intern at the Risk Management Department of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

The Northbrook, Ill., native did a fair amount of “somewhat brainless work” such as answering phones and updating databases, Shao said. His pay? Meager. And he had to wake up at 6:30 a.m. each day for a 45-minute Metra commute to the office.

Shao is one of many students gaining real-world experience at an early age with University resources.

Nearly 1,500 freshmen registered with CareerCat, University Career Services’ online database, during the 2009-2010 academic year, according to UCS Executive Director Dr. Lonnie Dunlap. It was a 58 percent increase from the previous year. Likewise, the number of sophomores on CareerCat grew by 45 percent during the same period.

“That’s so important to us – that students learn about us early,” Dunlap said. “Students who use us earlier are twice as likely to be employed by graduation.”

As the job market remains fragile, both employers and universities are placing more emphasis on students getting a head start in the workforce. UCS plays a major role in this effort at NU, with increased outreach toward students and a focus on the self-marketing tools to make them appealing candidates for jobs and internships.

UCS offered more than 6,000 appointments in 2009-2010 according to Dunlap, a 13 percent increase compared to the previous year. Internships have become a greater focus of higher education since she arrived at UCS in 2002, she added.

“In the last five years, it has exploded,” Dunlap said. “It’s a lot more than experiential learning. It’s how to put that experiential learning in the personal story of your own career development.”

In addition to organizing job fairs, editing resumes and teaching students how to write cover letters, UCS has augmented its program to match the changes in the job market.

Dianne Siekmann, associate director for employer relations, said employers expect students to be more specialized than in years past.

“Not everybody is the same,” Siekmann said. “Ideally, we’re working in a partnership.… It really should be like we’re walking with you on the path.”

For students, this path is growing longer than ever before. Interns are not only younger than in past years, but are also going through more in-depth application processes.

“In the last three years, it has really changed in terms of the preparation that they put into their search,” Dunlap said. “The research on the employer is hugely important.”

While UCS works with other universities and research institutions to remain current on what employers look for, Dunlap said the emphasis will remain on self-marketing in the future.

“It’s on the top of the list,” she said.

[email protected]

Activate Search
Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
Career services office adapts to changing job market