Networking is the number one thing that seniors should be doing right now, said Director of the Career Development Center Brian O’Driscoll.
In O’Driscoll’s many years at Pacific, he said about 30 to 40 percent of students go on to graduate school, about 10 to 20 percent plan to go within a year and the rest are mostly job searching.
Although seniors are often on a tight schedule and busy with classes, part-time jobs and senior projects, the CDC offers a variety of events and programs specifically for seniors. O’Driscoll and the rest of the staff at the CDC are passionate about helping students with anything related to job searching, careers, resumes, graduate school applications and to mock interviews, which O’Driscoll said is especially helpful for seniors at this time.
Even though all of these events are available, according to the CDC, not many students are attending.
“We know there’s a zillion things going on,” said O’Driscoll. “Students are so scheduled.”
With that in mind, the CDC has scheduled another Portland Networking Breakfast on May 23, a repeat of the Feb. 8event.
The May 23 event will hopefully help with this issue. The Portland Networking Breakfast will be held at the Multnomah Athletic Club in Portland. The event brings alumni to students with the purpose of trading information. It helps facilitate connections that may be useful in career searching and also helps students get advice from people in the job they may want to be in.
Another event coming up that may be useful to seniors is the First Avenue Career & Grad School Fair which will be held at the Chiles Center at the University of Portland. As of right now, there are about 50 employers and 50 graduate schools signed up to attend and O’Driscoll expects these numbers to get bigger since registration is open through February.
This event is unique from the other networking events because the central focus is full-time jobs. Nine colleges in the area collaborate to put the fair on and alumni from all nine attend to network and share their experiences. Students are encouraged to register ahead of time. If students register through the CDC, the $10 fee is waived.
The third big event for seniors is Speed Networking in the MPR. Two training sessions will be held at two different dates before the actual event to get students comfortable with talking to different people.
Something O’Driscoll urges not just seniors, but all students, is to start searching and networking now. Networking and working up to ones’ career little by little is easier than waiting until the last minute to start the job search.
The most difficult thing for students, O’Driscoll said, is if they don’t know how to look for jobs. Relying on published opportunities is not always best and the CDC has information on many of these opportunities and ways to network with people one may not be able to find on their own.
“Networking is the way to career bliss,” said O’Driscoll.
After graduation, seniors may think they are on their own, but the CDC is always available to help.
“We are happy to interact via email or phone,” said O’Driscoll.