JACKSON, Tenn. – May 27, 2004 – The list of things to do for graduating seniors is daunting and endless—study for final exams, write last minute papers, order invitations, fit for a cap and gown, do senior audits…Add find a job in the current tight job market to this long list, and it is no wonder seniors are at the point of either suffering a nervous breakdown or pulling out their hair.
Fortunately, Career Services at Union University is there to help with writing resumes, conducting mock interviews, and introducing students to representatives from various companies. Director of Career Services Jacque Taylor and Reneé Jones, assistant director, have been responsible for bringing companies like Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Enterprise, Wells Fargo, Primerica and Modern Woodmen of American to Union’s campus to conduct interviews with students. Additionally they have worked with companies around the region on virtual recruitment by fax and email. Employers like The Pictsweet Company, Jackson Energy Authority, the State of Tennessee, and Union Planters have utilized this service.
Taylor and Jones began the process by sending out marketing cards to various companies who then called to schedule a day to interview students on campus. New employers also call and request resumes of available students or ask to do open interviews.
“As the companies get to know who we are, they start to call us and ask us to schedule interviews,” Taylor said. “This year we have had a lot of companies to call us because we hosted the Job Market, our consortium career fair, this spring on March 11th.”
Southwest Community Services Agency is one company that has worked with Career Services with good results.
“I have always had an excellent relationship with Jacque Taylor and know she always sends us the best candidates,” said Vicki Burton, Director of Human Resources at Southwest. “We currently have several Union graduates as employees and they have been well-trained, with excellent potential.”
Many students are not prepared for the difficult and long process that is required to find a good job. Most companies do at least three interviews and some of them do as many as five before selecting the final candidate.
“When students are just trying to graduate, it can be difficult to put that much effort into getting a job,” said Taylor.
Jason Hance, graduating English major, credits Careers Services with his new job at Ceco Door International. He interviewed with Ceco when they came to campus in February and went in for two more interviews before being offered a position.
“Career Services and Jacque really helped in getting my job and in providing contact information,” said Hance. “Doing the mock interview helped me out and after that, the real interview was easy.”
Taylor said that ultimately, whether a student is hired depends on what they are willing to work for and to put into the hiring process.
“It is really how well prepared a student is,” she said. “It takes time, but it is worth it when he or she lands a job.”
by Mariann Martin, 2005