Eight seniors have accepted full-time job offers so far this year, according to the Career Planning Center (CPC) that they have found positions for after graduation. Each of these students will be joining companies at which they had previously interned. For the rest of the nearly 500 members of the senior class, the job hunt continues.
The fall months are busy at the CPC, with application deadlines in many sectors approaching, and corporate recruiting in full swing. Employer Relations Coordinator Sean Sullivan does not anticipate a lull until Thanksgiving Break, around the time that students who receive job offers early in the semester are expected to respond.
In the last ten days, 262 members of the Class of 2013 met with advisors from the CPC. Meetings with seniors represented 78 percent of all advising meetings held during this period.
On September 2, the CPC held a mandatory meeting with the senior class to kick off its “Steps for Recruiting Readiness” program. As part of the program, seniors were required to meet with advisors to review their resume and cover letter, sign the “Agreement for Professional Behavior,” designed to ensure that students venturing beyond the pines will well represent the College, and attend the “How to Explore & Land Your Dream Job” networking workshop.
“For seniors, it’s almost mandatory to work with the CPC,” said Will Fantini ’13, who is searching for a position in finance for next spring. “You don’t want kids sending out resumes and cover letters that [do not] properly reflect Bowdoin.”
Kyle White ’13 is looking for a job in education, and said the CPC stresses “the importance of networking and getting in contact with different Bowdoin alumni that are in the field you’re in.”
This fall the CPC made a concerted effort to include more postings with employers that are connected in some way to the College. Director of the Career Planning Center Timothy Diehl says this program helps “insure every Bowdoin student is well positioned to market themselves to a potential employer.”
The CPC has received 299 applications from 123 students since the start of the school year via eBear, its online jobs database. However, this does not necessarily represent every application sent out by a Bowdoin student, as some employers prefer directly submitted applications.
Last week, the Center held the first of many on-campus recruiting sessions with corporations including Bain & Company, Fidelity and Deloitte Consulting. Sullivan describes recruiting as a “cyclical” process, with many finance and consulting positions available each fall.
These corporations tend to have a predictable number of positions open every fall, and the hiring process is more standardized than in other fields. As a result, they accept similar numbers of students each year.
Recruiters from other industries are more likely to visit campus in January or February when they have a “better understanding of what they need come summer,” said Sullivan.
In preparation for the start of on-campus recruiting interviews on October 1, the CPC has been running mock interview sessions for students. In order to create an authentic experience, local retired professionals—rather than the CPC—held 12 mock interviews over the last two weeks.
Though the job search process can be filled with uncertainty, White and Fantini reported confidence in being able to find jobs.
“Bowdoin does a good job of connecting students to potential employers and the alumni network is strong,” said Fantini.
Many of the positions currently soliciting applications are competitive, and Diehl hopes that seniors will not be discouraged by rejection early on in their job search.
“Resilience and tenacity are required in most fields and the job search process is the first place [students] experience that in a new way,” he said.
For underclassmen looking to get ahead, Diehl advises students to spend their summers “doing something that they are passionate about and want to gain experience in.”
He said this is an essential part of determining where students’ interests lie.
“Even if you find you have a summer internship that you hate, it’s better to know that you don’t want to do something than never having tried it,” Diehl said.