University of Jamestown director of career services and experiential education discusses post-graduation
When do students start planning and applying for post-graduation jobs?
It really varies. Some start the semester before graduation, and others begin the last eight weeks before graduation. Others have a job offer from an internship.
University of Jamestown hosts a fall Career & Internship Fair on campus, and the Career Center provides transportation to and from the North Dakota State University Fall and Spring Career Fairs in Fargo to encourage students to start networking early.
What are students’ top concerns about entering the workforce?
Some students are concerned that their skills may not match positions that are currently open or get discouraged when they search for positions, and the position turns out to require three to five years’ experience.
At University of Jamestown, we encourage students to participate in internships and volunteer activities as early as their freshman year, so they can start gaining that experience to be more prepared.
How does the university work with employers to make sure students' training meets employers' needs?
We’re in the process of developing a UJ Career Center Advisory Board that will meet each fall to make sure we are responsive to the current trends and needs in industries in the region.
This board will consist of representatives from employers in the region’s manufacturing, health care, technology and financial sectors. If you’re an employers who’d like to be a part of this board, please contact me.
In addition, I am involved in the Chamber of Commerce (Ambassador) and Community Health Partnership groups, and I serve on several boards that keep me in touch with employers in these industries as well.
The Career Center also is a resource for academic departments to facilitate the connection between industry and the university. We share employer internship feedback with the departments, which use it for their curriculum development.
What are the most important factors or perks students want in a workplace?
Students are looking for benefits and flexibility in their career. Companies that offer a work/life balance are attractive to students. Students also look for companies that have advancement opportunities that are defined.
When it comes to making good hires, what traits set successful companies apart?
Companies that intentionally develop their company culture and invest in their workforce find those to be successful corporate traits. Innovation and the use of technology are also perceived as successful characteristics.
In addition, workplaces that give back to their community or make a difference in their community win students’ admiration and respect.