August 18, 2019 | 74° F

Nearly half of students say Rutgers' Career Services contributed to post-graduation success


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Photo by Rutgers.edu |

 Larissa Keller, associate director for Recruiting Programs, said University Career Services tries to work with employers that coincide with the career interests of students. There are nearly 20,000 employer contacts within Handshake, their app. 


Though job hunting is going digital with growing use of online applications and apps like LinkedIn, members from University Career Services (UCS) cite the benefits of their services, especially the semesterly career fair. 

William Jones, senior director of UCS, said that nearly half of all undergraduates said that UCS had contributed to their post-graduation success. Despite this, there are some students who neglect to attend any of their events, such as Nathaniel Vele, a School of Arts and Sciences first-year.

“I haven’t been to any of the events they hold. It seems like a waste of time, especially for a first-year student like myself,” Vele said.

Jones said students who do not attend these events, including Vele, are missing out on “serious benefits” that UCS offers, such as networking, more exclusive employment and interning opportunities.

“Our Rutgers Handshake platform has had more than 50,000 employment opportunities posted this year alone, including nearly 13,000 internship opportunities of which 82% are paid,” he said. 

Even for first-years, Jones said that 86% of them had accessed exploration resources, showing that the service can help everyone, even people who do not currently have goals for full-time employment. 

Larissa Keller, associate director for Recruiting Programs, shares Jones’s sentiments. She said students could greatly benefit from accessing the program's list of nearly 20,000 employers, which is organized to coincide with students’ career interests. 

Keller also detailed the process that UCS goes through to attract employers that match up well with student interests, such as seeking opportunities in established "career clusters."

“A growing list of nearly 20,000 employer contacts within Handshake is comprised of those who have sought out a connection with Rutgers—New Brunswick and many we have targeted based on students’ career interests,” Keller said. “UCS works hard to attract new employers and retain those with which we have already established relationships. Our staff seeks to fill gaps in both job and internship opportunities based on established career clusters.”

Most notable is the two-day employment fair held every fall and spring semester, which generates significant attention from both employers and students. Keller said employers that participate seek a wide variety of skills and abilities from their potential employees, providing ample choices for students across different fields and majors.

"The two-day Spring Career and Internship Mega Fair last February maxed-out with 147 registered organizations seeking candidates for both technical and non-technical roles, 110 groups looking strictly to fill non-technical openings and 84 organizations desiring those with a technical background and skill set,” she said.

Besides the fair, Rutgers Career Services provides more than 100 employer networking and information sessions a year, Jones said. Some services include career exploration nights, networking sessions and information sessions.

Still, some students are not impressed with the service.

“I don’t think Career Services helps with much. I can’t imagine anyone getting anything out of that. Personally, I don’t use it at all,” Vele said. “If you’re unemployable, you’re unemployable. How can career services help with that? They can’t.”

Rutgers Career Services tries to establish positive relationships with their employer contacts, Keller said. This provides a favorable view of the University among employment circles, and keeps them coming back after initial contact.

“There is always the goal of elevating employers’ levels of engagement by leaving them with a positive impression of Rutgers, even if they revisit the University as a recruiting option long after initial contact,” Keller said.

Jones emphasized UCS’ ability to provide employment opportunities for students, saying that the group boasts a near 50% success rate in aiding graduates in finding employment.

“Overall, nearly 1 out of every 2 undergraduate respondents to our post-graduation survey report that campus recruiting services contributed to their post-graduation success,” Jones said.


Jake McGowan

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