Fordham Offers Resources for Graduating Seniors

Students Have Mixed Feelings on Effectiveness of Services

By Anndrew Vacca

Contributing Writer

Entering the workforce is a daunting task for many seniors, and it is one that is approaching quickly. With a little over a month until graduation, the clock is ticking for students who are trying to find a job. According to many, the transition from college to the workforce can be a tumultuous one. So what can seniors do to stay ahead of the game? According to Fordham’s Career Services, students have numerous tools at their disposal to make an impact on employers. But to some students, Fordham’s assistance is just not useful.

According to Karen Casingal, assistant director of Career Services, the office is working hard to connect students with employers. In April alone, the office is holding at least 11 workshops aimed at putting students in a better position for finding a job.

“We organize workshops, which range from resume building to interview prepping,” she said. “We run career panels… we even do one- on-one with students.”

When asked if enough students are taking advantage of the services available, Casingal said that turnout for Career Services’ workshops “could be better.”

“We see, at the most, 30 students at an event,” said Casingal.  “Given the size of the senior class, the attendance could be much higher. We send out emails. We pass on flyers through faculty. We are in direct contact with clubs and student leadership.”

The office even manages one-on-one appointments with students, with each counselor seeing “about 10 to 15 students a day,” and “more as graduation approaches.”

In addition to Career Services’ work, student organizations also get involved in making the transition into the workforce easier. The Senior Week committee held a “Classroom To Cubicle” workshop on April 1.

Victor Quesada, FCLC ’08, was in charge of setting up the event. “We wanted to erase any vagueness seniors had about getting and keeping their job—regarding etiquette, acquiring mentors, dress code, etc.”  Quesada said.

The event featured members of the Career Services office who were on hand to answer questions. Quesada assured that “all questions were answered with value, and I’m assured that each senior that attended got something out of the experience.”

Some in attendance did not feel the same way.  While the workshop was, according to Jenny Chandler, FCLC ’08, “helpful in some ways, it did not address how to actually get hired.”

Elena Guberman, FCLC ’08, shared Chandler’s sentiments. “We wish that it would’ve spoken about how to get a job rather than how to figure out problems when you’re there,” said Guberman about the workshop.

While the number of seniors in attendance for the transitions workshop was described by Quesada as a “nice amount,” the overall utilization of services offered by Fordham is low.

Jennifer Vasques, FCLC ’09, also helped organize the event and described turnout as typical. “As all [FCLC] events, it was not that well-attended.” This typical lack of interest in available aid troubles the office of Career Services.

“There’s not enough students taking advantage of what’s available. We’d love to see more,” said Casingal.

Magdalena Kalata, FCLC ’08, described what it’s like for a senior about to enter the workforce. “Career Services sends out weekly emails, but since most of these feature internships rather than jobs, they are pretty much useless for seniors who need an actual paying job.”

Kalata added that the real help comes from “professors who notify students of prospective job opportunities in a specific field,” as well as from other students. “I got my current internship thanks to another student and now have a job with them lined up for the summer, so definitely don’t burn your bridges,” Kalata said about what has been most helpful.

Career Services regularly holds events in which major employers come to Fordham to connect with students who are interested in applying.

On April 18, Turner Broadcasting, one of the many companies who participate in these events, will be at Fordham.  Further, the office has a list of upcoming workshops and lectures that are designed to aid in the job search.

What’s the worst thing a senior can do?  “Wait until after graduation to interview,” stated Casingal. “Our office is here. It should be utilized.”