Career Center adds new initiatives

Finding a job after graduation may prove to be difficult for the class of 2010, but the GW Career Center is launching new initiatives to help seniors navigate the tight market.

About 7 percent fewer seniors will receive jobs than did the class of 2009, according to a report published by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. In addition, the unemployment rate for Americans with a bachelor’s degree and higher has risen to 4.7 percent, according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor.

The Career Center, however, is looking to help GW grads beat these statistics by launching a new career research room, walk-in counseling, an “employer-in-residence” program and more.

Students who take advantage of the employer-in-residence program will meet individually with job recruiters for résumé critiques and mock interviews. Representatives from the Peace Corps, the CIA and Teach for America have committed to participating in these sessions, the Career Center said in a newsletter.

The newly renovated career resource room will allow students to walk in for résumé consultation and employment and career development advising at any time.

“This is an educational program (not a recruitment program) designed to educate students on the employer perspective of the career development process,” University spokeswoman Michelle Sherrard said in an e-mail. “Students and alumni will gain valuable feedback and insights from recruiters interested in contributing to their success.”

According to the Career Center, there are currently 91 positions available in the on-campus recruiting system, compared to more than 130 last fall, but Career Center Executive Director Marva Gumbs Jennings said she expects that number to rise as the year continues.

“The Washington D.C. market doesn’t fit into the averages. There really is no comparison, and the market here is better,” Gumbs Jennings said.

The Career Center expects about 80 employers will be at the fall Career Fair Sept. 23. Last year 143 employers attended the Career Fair in the Smith Center, but it may be difficult to compare this year’s and last year’s numbers because of the space limitations of the Marvin Center ballrooms.

All attendees of the fall Career Fair will have the opportunity to enter to win a $500 student scholarship. The scholarship will be given in lieu of giving employers a gift for attending the fair.

The Career Center is also hosting industry expos for the first time this year in the communications, international affairs, engineering, and education and counseling fields.

Julie LeSuer, assistant director of employer partnerships, said many employers are attending the industry expos instead of the Career Fair.

On-campus recruiting begins Monday, and the fall recruiting season has been extended to Dec. 15.

“Our goal is to expose students to employers through site visits, expos, employers-in-residence program,” Gumbs Jennings said. “There is a mixture of formal and informal events, which are beneficial for students to understand what’s out there and network.”

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