Class of 2018: Charting a Career Path

Students attend a Career Fair in Gampel Pavilion. (Ryan Glista/UConn Photo)
Students attend a Career Fair in Gampel Pavilion. (Ryan Glista/UConn Photo)

Note: Graduating seniors may not be able to predict what the future holds. But, a group of  talented, highly accomplished alums recently did just that. 

“The Future of (Almost) Everything” offers insight into the fields graduates are entering. The article appeared in UConn Magazine, an alumni publication that they will soon begin to receive. #HuskyForever

 

Campus tradition dictates there are many places on the Storrs campus a student should visit early in a UConn education. The typical list includes the Husky statue, Dairy Bar, the UConn Bookstore and Gampel Pavilion.

Add to that list the Center for Career Development.

“We want to get students in here early and have them do their first resume as soon as possible,” says Jim Lowe, assistant vice provost and executive director of the Center. “That first resume can be used by them as a road map for future plans. It allows them to see where their gaps are.”

Located in the Wilbur Cross Building, the Center offers a wide variety of services to students. The raw numbers are amazing – nearly 10,000 students attend career development presentations annually, and more than 7,000, one-on-one counseling sessions. Additionally, career fairs attract more than 750 employers and 7,000 students each year.

Future prospects

Some jobs that exist now won’t be around in five years, and there will be jobs in five years that we know nothing about now. — Jim Lowe

Lowe and his staff are bullish on the job prospects for this year’s graduates. Jobs in nursing, insurance, manufacturing, education, computer science, and accounting are leading the way in today’s economy, he says.

Employers such as Hartford Healthcare, Cigna, Target, Enterprise, Synchrony Financial, Travelers, FactSet, The Hartford, Aetna, United Technologies, Hubble, General Dynamics/Electric Boat, Deloitte, PwC, and Teach for America represent the type of organizations that are hiring UConn graduates.

There’s no need to fret for those who don’t have a job-specific major, according to Lowe. Companies are looking for people who can work in a team environment, have creative thinking abilities, and are problem solvers – traits that are universal to liberal arts students.

Lowe cites a recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education which noted that the pay gap for liberal arts majors, as opposed to their professional school peers, equals out over time at the eight-year mark.

In all, 86 percent of UConn graduates fit into four categories at the six-month post-graduation mark: employed, continuing education, military service, and participating in social service. Critical for the state of Connecticut, 76 percent of UConn graduates who attended high school in the Nutmeg State are now employed in-state.

Recognized for their work by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, Lowe and his staff have a Corporate Advisory Council with representatives from more than 20 companies who assist in keeping the Center up to date on the latest trends in the market.

“It’s an interesting time in the job market, as some jobs that exist now won’t be around in five years,” says Lowe, “and there will be jobs in five years that we know nothing about now.”

While engagement numbers for the Center are impressive, many students point to its personal touch as its best feature.

“Students can really build relationships with the counselors,” says Kassra Farahbakhshian ’18 (CLAS), an honors student majoring in economics from Encino, California. “They have taught me to use all the contacts that I have. They have taught me to put things in my resume that employers are looking for, rather than what I think people want to know about me.”

Kassra Farahbakhshian ’18 (CLAS) talks about his experiences with the Center for Career Development.

Students say the staff also help them delve into what they want out of their life.

“The counselors create a space to figure out what you can do, not just what you think you can do,” says Elizabeth Charash ’18 (CLAS), a history and pre-law major.

Elizabeth Charash ’18 (CLAS) talks about her experiences with the Center for Career Development.

Senior Joseph Greenwald ’18 (BUS), a marketing major, says the practice interviews are “super-helpful”: “They put it on video and send it to you. It can be hilarious to watch and see your blunders, but it’s very helpful.”

Joseph Greenwald ’18 (BUS) talks about his experiences with the Center for Career Development.

“If I was talking to a freshman, I would tell them to go to the Center right away,” says Brianna Bellavia ’18 (CLAS), a psychology major who started at UConn Stamford and has changed majors several times. “They ask you questions about your future that you didn’t even realize you had the answers to.”

Brianna Bellavia ’18 (CLAS) talks about her experiences with the Center for Career Development.