Within the first hour of her morning, Megan Cummings said the thought of finding a job crosses her mind at least five times.
Cummings, a senior communication studies major, said she is burdened by the reality that it is time to secure employment for post-grad life. For her and other seniors, time as a student is running out as graduation approaches.
A May 2013 study by Georgetown University reported that during the nation’s recovery from the recession in 2010 and 2011, the unemployment rate for college graduates was 4.6 percent to 4.7 percent. However, recent college graduates, those with a bachelor’s degree between the ages of 22- and 27-years-old, have the greatest risk of unemployment, depending on their major.
The job market is more challenging to enter now than it was before the recession of 2001 because of the fragility of the economy. This is causing many recent college graduates to either take low-paying jobs for which they are overqualified or to be unemployed completely, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Although the unemployment rate for recent college graduates is relatively high, a college degree is still valuable to those who are pursuing a career, as reported by the bank, which is the largest and most active of the U.S.’s central banking system.
Cummings said she is fairly certain that she will be returning to her hometown of Thousand Oaks, Calif. after graduation to work for Sage Publications, an independent publishing company, where she has interned the past three summers. Yet she said she is still worried about the uncertainty of the future.
“It is a constant stress because, even though I do have something lined up, you never know what could happen,” Cummings said. “I really don’t want to be jobless.”
Aaron Perez, career relations specialist for recruitment at the Career Development Center (CDC), works to help students network with potential employers. Perez said it’s never too early to start looking for jobs.
“As a freshman, I know that four years seems like a long time away to be considering what your career is going to be,” Perez said. “But I think you should always be networking, always be looking for different opportunities and try out a lot of different things.”
Perez said there is no exact date for students to start applying for jobs.
“(Students) obviously should not wait until graduation date to start looking,” Perez said. “So the sooner they start looking, the better.”
The CDC, located in Argyros Forum 303, offers many different services to students such as Panther Connect (Chapman’s online job portal, which lists thousands of employment opportunities), short walk-in meetings for quick questions about resumes or interviews, scheduled appointments for mock interviews and other events on campus for students to network with potential employers.
Jobs through connections
Michelle Lanthier graduated with a degree in television and broadcast journalism in January and plans to walk at the commencement ceremony May 24.
Lanthier began working in Los Angeles as a studio page for Paramount Pictures in February, where she gives tours to the general public, works special events and screenings and assists with audience coordination for TV shows that film on the lot.
Shortly after starting the process of applying for jobs at the beginning of January, Lanthier said she was introduced to the open position at Paramount Pictures after reaching out to a friend who also graduated from Chapman.
“She was also in the program [at Paramount Pictures] and after submitting my resume to her boss, I was scheduled for an interview less than a day later, and was offered the job within a week,” Lanthier said.
Before being offered her current position, Lanthier said she contacted every person she had crossed paths with within the industry and her previous three internships.
“Whether it was an intern coordinator, another intern I worked with, or even an assistant I met in passing, I sent out at least 100 emails,” Lanthier said. “I wanted to get the word out there that I was searching for a job.”
Jobs with no experience
Students benefit from having previous experience in their desired field through the connections they make with other people in the industry, but experience isn’t always necessary, Perez said.
“Everybody has to start somewhere, whether that job be as a hostess or a server,” he said. “All those skills that you develop while doing that job are important and can be transferred over to another job.”
It is important to have characteristics such as showing up to work every day, being responsible, multitasking and working well in a team, Perez said. He said students can gain these traits anywhere, from working at an internship to being in a club on campus.
Brandon Potter, a ’13 graduate in accounting and business, said he had no internship experience before being hired as a staff accountant for a certified public accountant (CPA) firm called Lance, Soll, & Lunghard (LSL) CPAs in July.
“I had no accounting-based internships to open up a pathway to a full-time job, therefore I did as many recruiting events the Accounting Society [on campus] had to offer as I could,” Potter said. “I went to all the speaker engagement events held in Beckman, I went to individual office tours and charity events for different companies, I did mock interviews and resume workshops and, most importantly, I went to the annual meet the firms event.”
Potter said he attended a speaker engagement event in Beckman that had minimal attendance because the CPA firm was not well-known. The event turned out to be for the firm where Potter said he is now beginning his career.
“No matter how small the firm is or unknown a firm is, go to their event,” Potter said.
Potter also said when interviewing for potential jobs, it’s not always about the grades, but about how interviewees present themselves and interact with interviewers.
“I was very personable and genuine with my interviewers. I didn’t BS them nor fluff my interview with accounting experiences I had none of,” Potter said. “I just told them who I was, what I’ve done and how my non-accounting experiences best suited me for the job.”
Perez said students seeking employment have to try and stay positive, focused and determined.
“I know that sometimes it can be depressing if you get a rejection letter or you don’t have a good interview, but a positive attitude goes a long way,” Perez said.
In the midst of job applications, Lanthier said students should still take the time to enjoy their senior year.
“We all get stressed about securing jobs, but with that fancy college degree, a job will come,” Lanthier said. “College only happens once, and you can worry about finding a job after Chapman is all said and done.”
Meanwhile, Lanthier said that students can still be open to making business connections wherever they go.
“Keep meeting as many people as you can, at Chapman and otherwise,” Lanthier said. “You have no idea who will help you when you least expect it.”
A few more photos from last weekend’s Preview Day. Thanks for sharing @AlexaAbadee
Dreaded college admission test will debut in 2016 with less tricky vocabulary, focus on achievement.
Chapman University food science students competed in the regional College Bowl competition this past Saturday at Cal State LA, and won! The schools competing were Utah State, Brigham Young University, Cal Poly Pomona, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and Cal State LA, and Chapman University.
The Chapman team will now compete against 7 other regional winners from all over the country at the National Institute of Food Technologies (IFT) conference in New Orleans in June. The Chapman College Bowl Team includes Jessica Hallstrom (team captain), Erin Young, Tara Okuma, Jessica Sambuco, Brendan Wong, Crystal Lin. Dr. Lilian Were is the team advisor.
“The students were fantastic as you can see from the scores, and the only round that was close was the 7th round,” commented Dr. Were.
Chapman food science students have represented our region six out of eight times at the national competition since 2007. The only 2 years we didn’t were 2012 and 2008 when BYU represented our region. Below is a table illustrating this history.
2014 Competition in New Orleans, LA: Chapman University will represent our region in the national competition this June in New Orleans, LA
2013 Competition in Chicago, IL: Chapman University was our region’s represenative and came in 3rd place behind Cornell University and UC-Davis
2012 Competition in Las Vegas, NV: Brigham Young University (BYU) was our region’s representative and winner of the national competition.
2011 Competition in New Orleans, LA: Chapman University represented our region and came in 2nd place in the national competition, after Ohio State University
2010 Competition in Chicago, IL: Chapman University represented our region in the national competition, but was beat out by University of Georgia.
2009 Competition in Anaheim, CA: Chapman University represented our region in the national compeition while North Carolina State University took home first place.
2008 Competition in New Orleans, CA: Brigham Young University (BYU) was our region’s representative, but the national competition was won by Ohio State University
2007 Competition in Chicago, IL: Chapman University represented our region in the national competition. University of Arkansas took home first place with Chapman designated as the runner-ups.
The competition is a jeopardy style food knowledge competition and brief description is “Since 1985, the IFT Student Association College Bowl Competition has tested the knowledge of student teams from across the United States in the areas of food science and technology, history of foods and food processing, food law, and general IFT/food-related trivia.”
The College Bowl is designed to facilitate interaction among students from different universities, stimulate the students’ desire to accumulate and retain knowledge, and provide a forum for students to engage in friendly competition. Teams for IFT Student Chapters in eight geographical areas of the Student Association compete in area competitions prior to the IFT Annual Meeting. The winning teams from the eight areas then compete in a final competition at the Annual Meeting.
All finalists receive a $1000 travel grant. The national champion earns a $1000 award, and the runner-up a $750 award. (http://www.ift.org/community/students/competitions/college-bowl.aspx)
A few shots from this past week’s 16th Annual Asian Pacific Islander festivities in the Chapman piazza.
Traditional fan dance performed at yesterday’s 16th Annual Asian Pacific Islander celebration held in Chapman’s piazza.
Pros and cons of being a commuter student with no car
My name is Neil and I’m the social media assistant in the Office of Admissions. I’m currently a junior studying computer information systems. I’ve been going to Chapman for the last three years, while commuting from Anaheim just down the street from Disneyland. The catch is - I’ve been doing so without a car. At first my primary mode of transportation was taking the bus, but as I made more commuter friends I was able to meet people whose drives to school included passing my house, and like the rest of Chapman they were kind enough to help me by carpooling.
At first it may seem like a bad situation to be in, having to depend on other people and working your schedules around their’s which could result in circumstances such as restrictive work hours or coming home later than preferred.
However, at the end of the day I’ve learned to look at the positives - I have friends that are willing to take me home and to school, this convenience has given more time than I would have had if I had to bus or bike. The things I’ve grown accustom to doing while waiting for my carpool buddies to leave campus include:
- Studying in the library
- Attending meetings for clubs I normally would have not joined
- Participating in on-campus activities
- Eating in the dining hall, thanks to the purchase of a commuter meal plan, a decision I have yet to regret
My grandson is about to chose which college he will enter in the fall. Recently I attended a gathering of his college bound friends and their parents. I listened while everyone talked excitedly about their visits to various campuses.
Most of the students, children of well-educated parents, had done their due diligence on various universities and colleges, including campus visits. But I sensed, as an academic with 51 teaching years, that none had asked this question, “To what extent will my son or daughter be well equipped with critical thinking (CT) skills if graduated from this institution?”
There is extensive empirical documentation to prove that colleges and universities, even the elite ones, are not doing a good job in equipping graduates with these skills. *
According to Clarence B Sheffield, Eugene H. Fram Chair in Applied Critical Thinking at RIT: **
A steady stream of research shows that it (critical thinking) is one of the aptitudes, skills, or abilities most highly sought by employers, and that it is seriously deficient in most college graduates. … Critical thinking has also been identified as the top priority in the Quality Enhancement Plans of numerous academic institutions. … Critical thinking remains notoriously difficult to define, however, and its assessment is equally challenging. There is no consensus regarding the appropriate means of assessment, as well as which specific learning outcomes to target. Derek Bok has recently argued “… methods of assessment that are even minimally adequate for comparative purposes currently exist for only a few forms of learning, mostly skills such as writing and critical thinking.” (Higher Education in America, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013, p. 212)
Parents, College Visits and Critical Thinking
College visits are not the place for college bound prospective students to try to review CT teaching venues at a school. Both prior to and during the visit, I recommend that parents conduct due diligence on the extent to which critical thinking is utilized as a teaching tool. A college course or two in logic, critical thinking or moral philosophy during the undergraduate years will not provide the skills needed for 21st century.
• Before or at the visit, ask for samples of course outlines and examination questions for course topics you know well. If your applicant is planning to study a similar field, you are fortunate. If not, ask about courses with which you are familiar, do a CT analysis of the information. Then use the findings as surrogates to estimate the level of CT emphasis at the school.
• In these documents, look for evidence of the types of analytical rigor and/or creativity challenging the students. Obviously don’t be impressed by the volume of descriptive work being required. For example, a two page well documented assignment requires more CT than a 20 page descriptive paper abstracting the content located on the Internet. Critical thinking can even be useful with traditional multiple-choice examinations, if the student is required to briefly substantiate why her/h choice is correct. Teamwork is widely used today but the process should only be CT qualified if all team members have clearly demonstrate the CT contributions they have made. Case studies, also widely used, need to be carefully documented. In the arts, seek samples of student work or creative efforts and talk with them about how their mentors promote creativity.
• Ask faculty with whom you interact about their use of CT in their courses. Ask the same of current students and graduates. Make certain that advanced courses encourage developing critical thinking skills. Sometimes CT teaching approaches are limited to the liberal arts curriculum. An advanced course, say statistics, that only allows students to plug data into a system or formula does not qualify.
• Bottom Line: If the due diligence sampling during and/or before the visit does not show robust use of CT, gently suggest a visit to another institution. Don’t let her/h join the multitudes that graduate college without sufficient CT skills.
*For example, see: Richard Arum & Josipa Roksa, “Academically Adrift —Limited learning on college campuses,” The University of Chicago Press, 2011. I understand this will become a longitudinal study with a book following the students in the 2011 study after they have graduated . To be published Fall 2014.
** “The Assessment of Critical Thinking Challenges, Opportunities, Risks and Rewards,” Assessment Network of New York, Combined Proceedings, April 2014, Rochester Institute of Technology.
Q:What banks are in walking distance of Chapman?
There are Bank of America and SchoolSfirst Credit Union ATMs on campus. Within walking distance you will find these banks: Wells Fargo (that has a Starbucks inside), a U.S. Bank and a Citizens Business Bank