Career Development Center aims to improve recruiting

One of the most stressful aspects of the spring semester for students at the University of San Diego is hunting for the perfect internship or job for the summer or after graduation. The process can be daunting and overwhelming and is dreaded by many students.

Because of students’ anxiety surrounding the job hunt, the Career Development Center at USD tries to aid students in the process.

The center puts on resume workshops, allows seniors free access to a LinkedIn premium account, and offers interviewing practice. Perhaps the most important event of the semester is the career fair, when dozens of companies flock to campus hoping to recruit USD’s finest to join their workforce.

While the career fair can be an excellent resource, there seems to be one notable problem: some industries and their respective majors are underrepresented.

Senior Blair Butler, a sociology major, has never attended a school career fair.

“I’ve been warned by enough people to know better than to expect to find jobs through the Career [Development] Center,” Butler said. “I know that there are more jobs available in certain fields, and the Career Center has to play to their strengths, but if you label it a career fair for all majors, I expect for there to be some diversity. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case.”

Senior Claire DeMarco noted that she believes it is hardly worth it to attend these events.

“To be honest, I’ve gone to the career fair for the past two years since I transferred, and there really aren’t companies available for communication or English majors specifically, with the exception of maybe one or two [public relations] firms,” DeMarco said. “There are always the same insurance, business, sales and marketing companies, but I haven’t seen any writing-based newspaper or journalism jobs represented. Communication [studies] is one of the largest majors at USD, so I wish that there would be more of an emphasis to give students the same opportunities.”

Robin Darmon, the Director of the Career Development Center, explained that they are working to resolve this problem.

In the past, there was only one person in charge of the corporate relations program, and, in that case, there were mostly companies that had an existing relationship with the school that approached the university and were present at career fairs. Now, there are more staff dedicated to making new connections, and working to bring desirable companies to campus.

Additionally, the career center is utilizing a gap analysis program to try and equalize the industries represented at events on campus.

Robin also noted that the Career Development Center loves when students come to them and suggest companies they would like to work with. Then, the Career Development Center is able to work toward bringing these companies to campus. It is also important to note that certain companies, including Google and Tesla, do not travel to campuses as part of their recruitment strategies.

Lastly, Darmon encouraged students to use the career center to their advantage.

“We love [the students,] as much as your parents love you, and we want to help,” Darmon said.

Senior Christine Keane, an engineering major, indicated that the Career Development Center presents many opportunities to help engineers land a job.

“We have our own career guidance counselor in Loma Hall available [around the clock],” Keane said. “She sends all the engineers links to new job openings each week. The Career Development Center also constantly puts together panels of engineering companies, so we can hear their experience and network. I don’t know how other majors are, so I don’t know if it’s different, but that’s our experience.”

The Career Development Center has taken notice of some of these discrepancies, and has implemented personalized career counselors for business majors in Olin Hall, and for the College of Arts and Sciences in Serra Hall.

While some students are still frustrated by the disproportionate representation at career fairs,  it’s best to not get completely discouraged. Instead, take advantage of other services the Career Development Center offers, like Torero Treks, Torerolink, and career counseling. In the meantime, the Career Development Center is working to close this gap and make sure all industries are well-represented at networking events.

By Dani DeVries, Opinion Editor 

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