Senior Job Club Helps Students Map Their Futures
Senior Job Club Helps Students Map Their Futures

by John A. Lahtinen
Communications and Public Affairs Writer/Editor

Jifeng Liu ’13, a math major, said the Senior Job Club hosted by the Career Development Center (CDC) has been invaluable to him as a forum for mapping out his future, as well as learning more about job searching and interviewing techniques.

“There are so many resources out there,” said Liu, who will enter Columbia University this fall to pursue a master’s degree in actuarial science. “I think students should definitely join. You will learn about tons of job and fellowship postings and get to know about the CDC and its staff.”

Jifeng Liu ’13

The club meets six times per semester and was introduced last fall by Arleen Anderson, director of employer relations and internships in the CDC, as a way to answer students’ questions about job searching. The focus is to make the club student-directed, with CDC staff acting as facilitators and information sources.

Anderson tabbed Dina Wulinsky, a career development advisor in the CDC, to help with the club because of Wulinsky’s background in career counseling and assessment.

“She asked me to co-facilitate the sessions with her since assessment is often a vital piece when starting a job search and exploring career paths,” Wulinsky said. “We wanted to provide a safe, open environment for discussion since many students have the same concerns.”

The discussion topics most requested by students during meetings include resume and cover letter writing, salary negotiation and evaluating benefits, interviewing tips, networking, career fair preparation and conducting an effective job search.

Wulinsky said a typical job search can take anywhere from four to eight months. Seniors need to not only plan early but also understand the importance of using a multifaceted approach to job searching.

“Many students solely focus their attention on online searching through aggregate job search websites such as Monster, CareerBuilder and Indeed,” Wulinsky said. “While this can be useful to a degree, we want students to understand that multiple methods should be implemented in a job search. Strategies such as networking and targeting organizations of interest should also be used continuously throughout the process.”

Leah Persaud ’13 (left), a double major in biochemistry and biology with a minor in chemistry, first learned about the Senior Job Club through CDC emails.

“I liked the fact that it was driven by our questions and we chose what topics we wanted to focus on,” said Persaud, who is interested in biochemical and pharmacological research and would eventually like to earn a Ph.D. and contribute to cancer research. “I was able to ask specific questions relating to my job searches, which other formalized presentations may not offer.”

Persaud feels it is important for other seniors to get involved with the job club because many are just not aware of all the resources available to them.

“There are lots of other ways to network, find jobs, and improve your resume,” said Persaud, who is currently pursuing entry-level positions at biochemistry research laboratories. “The fact that the club is informal makes it easier to ask questions that relate to your own career.”

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