CMC Career Services Addresses Job Market

Diana Seder, Interim Director of Career Services, sent the following cheerful message to Juniors and Seniors this morning:

September 2008 has been a time of unprecedented economic uncertainty in the financial markets as well as the job market.  In the midst of this distress we want to reassure students that your CMC education, in addition to your tenacity and creativity, is an excellent insurance policy against such circumstances.  Our recruiting program is strong this year (see CSC calendar) and our employers continue to express significant interest in recruiting CMC students.

“Deloitte is very pleased with the quality of talent that we meet and recruit through the Career Services Center at the Claremont Colleges.  The leadership skills and academic experience of the candidates have made Claremont a top undergraduate recruiting destination for our company”. - Deloitte

“We continue to be extremely impressed with the professionalism, preparedness and intelligence of the students in the CMC Community. We look forward to our next visit in October.”  Western Asset Management Company

Naturally, in light of the current situation, CSC staff members are being asked regularly—What do I do about my job search? Our response is:

Don’t Panic: In any emergency, panicking helps no one and might cause greater damage.  Allow yourself to think clearly.

Review the fundamentals: The fundamentals of career management don’t change with the market.  An excellent resume, a well-crafted cover letter, solid interviewing skills and impeccable follow up will always work to your benefit in any job market.

Be strategic, NETWORK:  Understand that a large part of the job market is hidden.  Success in finding work lies in who you know; get out, shake hands, meet people.  For students this would include attending information sessions and industry nights, identifying alumni in your field of interest and talking with them (informational interviewing).  Talk with faculty, talk with your parents.  Join professional organizations.

Think broadly. Extend your geographic boundaries—consider looking at opportunities in cities across the nation or abroad.  Some areas have been hit harder than others, so relocate (or locate) in an area with greater opportunity.  Consider different sectors of the economy—healthcare, non-profit, government, for example.  And, within sectors, look beyond the most popular companies to the lesser-known, smaller organizations.  Some of the benefits of working for the smaller, boutique firms are greater levels of responsibility and breadth of experience which can translate into superior opportunities in the future.

Re-evaluate your skills: There are many jobs that might be right for you—don’t just stick with one.  A major in economics can lead to positions in any industry not just the financial markets.  From entertainment to transportation to government and every sector in between, the skills you hone through your academic work here at CMC are applicable. Reassess your skills and interests and expand the scope of your search to include many job titles.

Consider graduate school: If graduate school was in your future, now may be the time to take that leap.  This might be an excellent time to strengthen your academic qualifications while allowing the economy and the job market to calm down.  In addition, consider National Fellowships, Scholarships and Post-baccalaureate awards.  These are highly competitive, prestigious awards for college student, graduate schools and post-graduate research.

Utilize the Career Services Center NOW:  Register on CMConnect.  This is the 7-C, on-line recruiting program which provides access to jobs (both full-time and internships), resume collects, and the 7-C calendar (which includes all resume deadlines, workshops, employer information sessions, events, graduate school panels, etc.).  Through CMConnect, you can work on your job search from the comfort of your dorm room.  Or, come in and talk with us about your interests.  We counsel students of all majors.  We offer assessment testing and interpretation to help you determine your skills and interests.  Our office is staffed 9 – 5 with student Career Consultants who are trained to critique resumes and cover letters—no need to make an appointment.

So, what are you waiting for? Get going. Be tenacious. Be creative. There is a direct correlation between the effort you put into your job search and your ultimate success in finding employment—the harder you work the more success you will see.  The reverse is also true.  If you don’t get out and market yourself, you might be very disappointed in May.

Diana D. Seder

Interim Director

Career Services Center

Claremont McKenna College

(909) 607-7785

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