The job hunt is on for class of 2012


The search for jobs is a yearly ritual at Macalester. The Career Development Center (CDC) compiles statistics on students’ post-graduation plans each year. In 2011, 42% of students reported having secured a job two weeks before graduation; 48% were still looking. Now, the class of 2012 is seeking work of its own. Seniors this year face some of the same challenges as previous classes. “I think [Mac students] are very busy [between] academics, athletics, and internships,” said Mary Emanuelson, Assistant Director of the CDC. “They’re pulled in a lot of different directions, and many don’t have the time to put into the job search.” Nevertheless, some students have already secured a job. “I’m basically working in the mergers and acquisitions division of CitiGroup, which is investment banking” said Ajwad Imran ’12, an economics major. Imran interned with CitiGroup in London last summer, which lead to his job opportunity. He stressed the limits of the CDC, which seeks to assist students in the search for employment. “The CDC gives you a general overview,” Imran said. “But banking is a different ballgame. It needs to be catered to a particular style, [and] you need to have a lot of finance streaming out of your resume. The CDC can only help you to a certain extent.” “The CDC can be a great resource if you take the initiative, [but] there are so many students looking to take advantage of their services that you really need to go and make the first effort,” said Owen Truesdell ’11, an alum who graduated without work but now serves as the political director of a congressional campaign. “Folks like Denise Ward and John Mountain and the other staff members can be invaluable resources in terms of pointing you in new directions and helping you hone your resumes and interview abilities.” Representatives of the CDC touted several new projects this semester. These include providing more evening programming, organizing trips to potential workplaces like Minnesota Public Radio’s offices and increasing the number of opportunities to network with alumni. Still, there is always room for improvement. “Sure, there are other ways we can help,” Emanuelson said. “We are always open to new ideas.” Imran noted that several of his friends had good experiences with the CDC. Among them was Ana Svoren ’12, an economics major seeking work in the health care industry. “It’s up to you what you make of what they have,” said Svoren, who worked for the CDC last year. “They can’t give you the job themselves.” For her part, Svoren has not yet found a job. “I’m planning to go to grad school, but I am taking a year off and looking to do research stuff,” she said. Svoren attended the Minnesota Private Colleges Job and Internship Fair on February 21. 65 Mac students registered for the event, which was held at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Hundreds of employers maintained a presence at the job fair, accepting resumes from and offering interviews to students. “It was really good just talking to people,” Svoren said of the event. “My mistake was that I really hadn’t written people or looked at stuff earlier than the night before.” Some believe that early preparation can be critical in the search for work. “You [should] know by the end of your sophomore year what you are going to do after graduation,” Imran said. “Because once you have that goal in mind, you can start moving towards it, and by the time junior year comes you are well-armed and going all out gunning for it.” Others stressed remaining flexible. “Not having a job at graduation was 80% liberating and 20% terrifying,” Truesdell said. “Having a plan while being open to unexpected opportunities is key to keeping your spirits up.” Networking can be critical. Imran secured his initial internship with CitiGroup by leveraging connections with employees at the company who graduated from his own high school or were Mac alumni. “The number one thing you can do is network,” Truesdell said. “Everyone says that, but with so many people looking for jobs these days, finding a way to get your resume to stand out is going to really help in any job search. Scheduling informational interviews, attending networking sessions, and tapping your personal networks are all good ways of improving your chances of finding a job.”