Seniors begin the search for post-graduation jobs

By Jared Hornsby
On February 25, 2014

With a little over two months left before graduation, UNH seniors have started to search for that real-world paycheck. Or at least they should be searching. According to UNH's associate director of Career Support and Employer Outreach, Krystal Hicks, being proactive is key.  

 "The most successful aspect of a job search are the pieces you do before you're actually searching for a job," Hicks said.

Hicks works at the University Advising and Career Center in Hood House, and helping students find employment is her job.  

However, she cautions that landing one's dream job comes down to more than just having a stellar GPA.

 "Seventy-five percent of the jobs we get in life are through people we know," Hicks said. 

Networking with alumni is a major piece of the puzzle, and the ways in which students connect are changing. Hicks said that and LinkedIn are the most important online tools available to students. Much like Facebook, the websites allow users to build a profile and connect with employers and employees from all over the world, and the sites aggregate job listings by region and industry. 

Senior Maureen Raubach, a neuroscience major, recently had an interview with Brigham and Women's Hospital. She attributes her success in securing the interview to the fact that there is an alumnus working at the institution who specifically targets current undergraduates for future jobs.

"With any job, really, it's all about connections, but especially in the science field," Raubach said. "You have to know someone or be the best of the best." 

Hicks holds periodical LinkedIn 101 seminars, and said that they are the most popular workshops that she holds. The goal is to teach students how to properly utilize services such as LinkedIn and, in order to go above and beyond simply creating a profile. 

Senior health management major Erika Carano said that, although an adequate level of experience is required for a lot of jobs in her field, "the proper search engines can be really helpful."

Fellow senior Maggie Bruen, also in the health management department, is looking to travel abroad after graduation, but she credits her professors and networking in helping her land an internship last summer at Frisbie Memorial Hospital in Rochester.

Wildcat Careers, available directly from the Career Services website, is another useful job directory. The site allows for students to view jobs and internships posted solely for current UNH students.

 "We have hundreds of jobs and internships, with zero applicants," Hicks said.

Currently, there are approximately 1,179 employers actively posting on Wildcat Careers and over 600 job listings. 

Although Career Services provides ample tools for current undergraduates, it can be difficult to monitor where UNH graduates end up in the years following their time in Durham, Hicks said. The university requires spring semester seniors to fill out a commencement survey, which can provide the university with an idea of tentative plans. However, this survey only became a requirement in 2013, meaning that there is not much data regarding post-grad jobs prior to 2013. 

A one-year follow-up is now issued to each class to compare job placement results; this began in 2012.

"We're at the mercy of these students to fill out the survey," Hicks said, regarding the difficulty of tracking results. 

With graduation looming, seniors are pinning down plans. Whether this means traveling or settling into a first job, UNH Career Services is a viable source for help along the way.  

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