Career Center should provide more resources for wider variety of students
Washington University prides itself on its career center and the career services it provides for its students. The prestigious jobs its students are offered every year, the clout those students hold in the working world, and the substantial alumni network that we have are all indicators that a lot of things are going well.
Yet, we still feel that Washington University’s career services can do better. For instance, it seems that the majority of organizations that come to the Career Fair are focused in the fields of either business or engineering. Certainly, there are exceptions—transitional programs like Teach For America and other non-profit organizations—but when a significant portion of our community will be receiving degrees in something without an immediately “practical” application, we feel that it is important to provide these individuals with a more substantial amount of opportunities.
For a university of our size and standing, the Career Fair should better reflect the diversity of degrees in our undergraduate population. At the moment, all it seems to be doing is setting up a framework that ultimately holds those students back. With visiting companies being mostly looking for people with a business or engineering background, many Arts & Sciences students found themselves unsure of whether to attend: should they go just for the sake of going? Or skip the fair because they weren’t interested in the companies, and the companies weren’t interested in them.
Nonetheless, visits to the Career Center can be fruitful. The resources and advice they provide are solid, but it is disheartening to visit and come away empty handed or with little idea of what to pursue. The Career Link search engine fits in with this—a significant portion of the internships and job opportunities offered lay in the business and engineering sectors, making it seem a lot harder to look for something that’s geared for people with, say, an Anthropology or a French major. Most of us won’t love our first jobs, or stick with them for our entire adult lives, but the Career Center should still do all it can to help students find something that in line with their passions.
At this point, it’s up to Wash. U. students to use more resources than the Career Center to look for job and internship opportunities. This should be an expectation of all students, regardless, as it’s not on the Career Center to find jobs for students. But the Career Center should be there to help those students, all of those students, to look for and find options.
We hope that the Career Center will continue to build networks and create opportunities for students with majors of less practical application, and help them to find jobs that fit. This would not only benefit the students themselves, but the Career Center as well; it will help us build our alumni networks, demonstrate the diversity of Washington University’s graduates and help them improve in how they serve our community.