The road to graduation is paved in networking and interviewing


by Jessica McDonald

The job search is on for Simpson seniors. Whether students are graduating in December or May, job searching has become part of their normal routine.

“With the economy the way it is, the sooner students start looking for a job the better,” said counseling and career services career specialist, Kate Burrell.

The current situation of the market makes this early start more important than ever.

“I believe there are jobs out there,” said Burrell. “Job searching has to be more of an active process than in past years.”

According to Burrell, government jobs have been up post Sept. 11. Accounting and non-profit jobs have been up as well.

There is no specific structure to finding a job. Burrell suggests that juniors and seniors start forming their resumes and getting internships. At the beginning of a student’s senior year, they should have some interviewing options.

Senior accounting major, Tiffany Wimberly already has a job lined up after graduation. She accepted a job with Ernst & Young, an accounting firm in Des Moines.

“I knew I had to start early in order to find a job,” said Wimberly.

Wimberly found the job through Simpson’s Counseling and Career Services.

“I applied for seven jobs and I ended up with my first choice job,” said Wimberly. Some students aren’t as fortunate as Wimberly in their job search.

December graduate, Kortney Nichols, is still on her search for a job.

“I’m not stressing too much,” said Nichols, who is majoring in corporate communications and has a minor in management. “I know that I will eventually find something.”

The career fair at Simpson helped Nichols apply for a job at Sears Corporation.

Senior journalism major, Phillip Nicolino, is also still looking for a job when he graduates in May.

“There’s nothing I can set up now for a journalism job because I can’t go fulltime,” said Nicolino.

He says he isn’t too concerned with the job search.

“I know I can always fall back on my minors [math and management],” said Nicolino.

Nicolino has interviewed with ING and Wells Fargo.

Another option for seniors who are struggling to find a job is to use the Iowa Private College Career Consortium. The IPCCC is a recruiting service sponsored by 21 Iowa private colleges. IPCCC was put in to effect in 1984 so private college graduates would have the same opportunities as state school graduates. Students are able to meet with employers in various fields. Through IPCCC, Simpson is able to hold interview days on campus with several companies and also hold career fairs. Nicolino has used IPCCC and hopes some of his interviews will turn into jobs.

Networking is also a very important aspect of the job search procedure. “Networking is a four-year process,” said Burrell. “You begin to make contacts your freshman year and you need to maintain them and hopefully they will lead to a job opportunity.”

“Eighty percent of all jobs are not advertised,” said Burrell. “That’s why the contacts you make are so important; you could be missing out on an opportunity.”

Involvement in campus clubs and organizations are good ways to make contacts. Nichols also interviewed with the Integer Group. She got the interview through a contact she made with her involvement in the Public Relations Student Society of America.

“Don’t underestimate the contacts you make,” said Nichols.

Internships are very valuable as well. They allow you to gain hands on experience and networking opportunities.

“Students should find an internship at a place where they can see themselves working,” said Wimberly.

Burrell encourages all students to make an appointment with Counseling and Career Services no matter what year they are.

“It’s never to early to get started,” said Burrell.