FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 28, 2009
Office of College Communications
WENHAM, MA-Kendra Spotts is graduating from Gordon College on May 16, 2009, without a job. Spotts isn’t panicking though because the College’s Career Services has provided her the help she needs with traditional resources as well as a new search engine that is unique in many ways.
Looking to equip seniors in similar situations as Spotts, Pam Lazarakis, director of Career Services, and her department recently launched a new search engine that makes the job search easier. The new site--http://gordon.experience.com--allows students to create a profile, upload their resume and cover letter and explore more than 800,000 job opportunities from 100,000+ employers nation-wide.
Many colleges offer similar sites but Gordon’s is unique in one specific way: students can connect with Gordon alumni in the professions they hope to enter and communicate with a professional who shares a Gordon experience. Alumni also create profiles and serve as online mentors for students looking for advice and jobs in their career areas. Since the start of 2009, almost 250 alumni have joined as mentors through the help of the Gordon Alumni Board and the Alumni and Parent Relations Office.
“The mentoring feature within the new program allows students to connect with Gordon alumni for professional advice and networking that may open doors to employment,” Lazarakis says. “Because of the economy, I expect the job search will take more time and effort than in past years for some students, but this resource can help make the process easier.”
Kent Seibert, associate professor of economics and business at Gordon, agrees, and sees the new mentoring program as a valuable resource for graduating seniors. With several years experience in human resource management in retailing (T.J. Maxx) and commercial banking (The Central Bancorporation), Seibert knows that graduating seniors will need additional help.
“Most of the best jobs are still found through networking, online and off line. In networking, the issue is not who you know, but who they know,” Seibert says. “If you want to work in a hospital, there's a good chance your hair stylist or dentist or mentor knows someone who works in that hospital. The key is to connect with someone on the inside.”
Because alumni have gone through the same process, Lazarakis said Career Services decided to team up with Gordon’s Alumni Board and the Alumni and Parent Relations Office and offer creative solutions for students entering the workforce during these hard economic times. The unique features in the new search engine and program reinforce the importance of networking with those in specific fields.
“The new program will make for better internal structures for students to connect regularly with alumni working in their specific careers of interest,” Lazarakis says.
Seibert also suggests graduates need to be willing to start at the bottom and consider working without pay if they can live at home and afford to. “If this is the case, workers should treat their work seriously and do their very best. If they do, it's likely their employer will move them up sooner rather than later,” he says.
Even with resources like the new alumni program, Seibert reminds graduates to be patient in working toward their employment goals. “Your first job doesn’t have to be the perfect job. Any job is a good first job,” Seibert says. “The only mistake is to take more than a couple months off after school and not work at all.”
Seibert believes that in spite of a discouraging job market, new graduates are less expensive to hire and more flexible than experienced workers, so it is possible for graduates to find jobs right after college. Such perspective can give seniors like Spotts an edge in today’s economy, especially as they take advantage of programs like the alumni network. With strong connections, tenacity and patience, Seibert says, graduates can succeed in their search.
“Gordon College’s new online program, in addition to traditional career resources, provides the help our students need to achieve their goals after college,” Lazarakis says. “Just because the market seems bad, it doesn’t mean that our students won’t find work with these kind of resources available to them. Our alumni are employed all over the world after all.”
For more information or to set up an interview, contact College Communications at 978.867.4752.