By Sarah Carlson, Arts Editor
Students who want an advantage when beginning their job search should look no farther than CareerLink, an online job-search tool sponsored by the Office of Career and Academic Development.
Students who have signed up with CareerLink can access information regarding on-campus employer interviews and search for opportunities related to their major and chosen career field. Students without a CareerLink account, however, have to rely on word-of-mouth to hear of interviewing opportunities, said Bradon Tharp, employer relations specialist for OCAD.
Including alumni from the past two or three years, 2,331 students are signed up with CareerLink, and about 760 are students in the College of Business Administration. Many of the companies interviewing on campus are in the business field, but non-business majors shouldn’t feel they can’t apply for the interviews, or that CareerLink and OCAD have nothing to offer to them, Tharp said.
“Historically, unfortunately, most of the on-campus interviews have been geared toward students in the College of Business,” Tharp said, “but that’s something we’re trying to change.”
Tharp said OCAD is working with various departments outside of COBA, talking with professors and learning what types of businesses students in their fields would be interested in interviewing with and trying to bring those businesses to campus. Tharp said she encourages students to contact the office and let them know what companies they’d be interested in interviewing with.
Finding interviews on CareerLink is a simple process: after searching for interviews from the site’s main tool bar, students can click a “sign up” button and will be notified several weeks prior to the interview date, if they have been selected by the employer to interview. The employer selects most students who sign up for an interview, Tharp said, unless the employer is on a tight schedule.
Students can also connect with alumni on CareerLink, an advantage that other job search Web sites, such as Monster.com, don’t have. All professionals on CareerLink are connected with the university, whether they’re alumni or have children enrolled, which means they’re more accessible and willing to talk with students, Tharp said.
“It’s not so much of a cold-call situation,” she said.
Despite efforts from its staff, many students are unaware of OCAD.
“I feel like we’ve tried everything,” Tharp said. “Some students don’t know our office exists or know we can help.”
Located in the lower level of McKinzie Hall, OCAD has a program called Popcorn and Possibilities every Wednesday at 1:30 p.m., a time designated for students to walk in without an appointment and ask questions about job searches, resume writing and finding an internship.
“If you want a job when you graduate,” Tharp said, “then you’re missing out if you’re not on CareerLink.”