The Career Planning Center occasionally falls victim to rumors about what exactly the office can do for students and it’s time to set the record straight. A career center at a fellow Jesuit school, University of Loyola Maryland, has identified a few myths that are associated with career centers and we’d like to debunk some of these as well.
1. Most of the services are for seniors or business majors.
As Peter Griffin would say, this one really grinds our gears! The Career Planning Center has many services that any student can use, regardless of their major and year. At Fairfield, each career counselor works directly with one of the four schools and colleges (Arts & Sciences, Engineering, Nursing, and Business) to help ensure the entire staff is aware of the unique needs of all types of majors. Furthermore, think of each year as having a career development goal building on the previous years:
- First Year – Discover Yourself and Explore Options
- Sophomore Year – Start Formulating Career Plans
- Junior Year – Acquire Experience
- Senior Year – Transition to the Real World
Review our services and suggested timeline.
2. The Career Center places people in jobs.
Remember the old adage, “Give a person a fish and they’ll eat for today. Teach a person to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime”? The same concept applies with finding a job in the sense that the staff at the Career Planning Center wants you to learn how to do an effective job search so you’ll be able to do them throughout your entire life. The trends in career development show that most people change jobs about 10 times in their career, so there is an extremely good chance that your first job search will not be your last!
3. Good companies don’t come to campus.
The Career Center’s brings a wide range of companies to campus interested in recruiting students for full-time and internship opportunities. Keep in mind that for smaller or even out-of-state organizations, on-campus recruiting may not be worthwhile due to having too few available positions or because of the distance needed to travel to campus. Also, some of the companies that are extremely popular don’t necessarily need to come to campus because they know students will find them. Meet with one of our career counselors to discover ways to identify any of these types of employers and their “hidden” opportunities.
Visit Experience to find out which companies are posting opportunities and which are coming to campus to recruit, or conduct a corporate presentation or information session.
4. The jobs available through Experience or at the Career Fair are only for business majors.
While a number of companies seek business majors, there are many employers who seek and hire liberal arts and science majors. It’s also true that some companies have positions requiring specialized knowledge and skills, such as engineering and accounting. But others, especially when it comes to entry-level positions, are more interested in applicants who can communicate effectively, work well on teams, and can carefully illustrate how their skills and experiences align with the employer’s needs – a perfect fit for many liberal arts majors.
There is a separate Nursing Career Fair where local hospitals come to campus to recruit our nursing students. If you are a nursing student interested in working outside of the local area or at a very competitive hospital, please come to the Career Planning Center early and often so we can help you with your job search process.
5. The Career Center cannot help me apply to graduate school or to a post-graduate service program.
Career counselors are here to help you with every aspect of applying to graduate school, including program research, the application process, interviewing, and help with your personal statement. The same applies for post-graduate service and in that instance we work closely with the staff in Campus Ministry to make sure you are aware of a variety of opportunities.
6. The services are no longer available after I graduate.
We are happy to work with all Fairfield alumni at any stage of their career and our services are provided to alumni at no cost. Go Stags!
7. There are no internships for freshmen and sophomores.
While some internships are geared towards juniors and seniors, due to the knowledge and skills acquired in their advanced courses, many employers are interested in hiring freshmen and sophomore interns. The staff at the Career Center has numerous tips and resources to share when it comes to the internship search process that can apply to students at any stage of their college career.
Hopefully, we’ve debunked some of the myths you might have heard and we invite you to come to the Kelley Center to experience the services we provide for yourself. You can make an appointment by calling 203-254-4081 or come to drop-in hours Tuesday-Friday from 1:30-4:00pm. Let the truth set you free!
Meredith Marquez, Associate Director