Life After the Diploma: The Reality of the Job Life After Graduation, Part Two

The March 24th Paw Print issue featured the first part of “Life After the Diploma,” where Pace Alums Jonathon Lentine and Ali Asif ’07 and current Pace seniors Claristela Cuduco and Ardijana Gojani expressed their views on their post-college activities and whether the University and the Cooperative Education (Co-op) and Career Services have influenced their lives or not – during and after their time in Pace.

The Executive Director of the Cooperative Education and Career Services, Jody Queen-Hubert, shared a similar statement made by Gojani in regards to the current economic situation and how it is also the student’s responsibility to maintain a job position, not just the university.

“In this highly competitive job market, students need to be particularly assertive, aggressive and really proactive and not take an attitude of “Oh well, I’ll just sit back,’” said Hubert. “To any student utilizing our program, it’s really important that they continue to stay in touch with their counselor, to stay on their counselors mind.”

“The reality is,” in regards of alumni obtaining a fulltime job, “that for the class of 2009, this is the highest unemployment [rate] in 26 years. The class of 2009 has had just the plain bad luck of entering in the job force in the worst job market in the past 26 years.”

Hubert stated that if students are not assertive and does not “touch base” with Career Services once a week and ask “’Hi, any feedback on this internship? Any way you can reach out for me? I’m really interested in this particular internship, have you got any tips for me to maybe find if there are any Pace alums who are working there that I can possibly reach out to?” […] the student who will come forward and stays in touch with us [then] maybe the student will be more successful than the student who takes a more relaxed approach.”

According to Hubert, “It’s really important to gain as much experience while you’re in this school as much as possible, to build your resume and your connections,” which is something Asif didn’t fulfill.

In regards to students who seem to put some type of blame on Career Services for not getting their desired job or internship, Hubert notes that [Career Services] are only one function.

“We are one way for students to find internships here at Pace.”

Her suggestion to Pace students is “try to do an internship during the academic year, not during the summer because the summer internships are the most competitive. Not only are Pace students competing for a summer internships but all of the students living in the New York City area and those who go to school in Michigan, Buffalo,  Providence and Boston who come back to New York to compete for the same internships.”

Co-op and Career Services has surveyed students from the class of 2009 via print mailings, emails, and phone follow ups, according to Hubert, “We have been able to collect data of 66 percent of the class and the statistics are based on what the students tell us at that moment, so if they had a job in May, that’s what we’re taking.”

“We reached them multiple times and asked questions on what they were doing, what position they had, what job title, what industry, what the job function was” along with what their salary was.

Of the 1,012 students surveyed, 68 percent of their information was recorded, which according to Hubert is the average return rate. In fact, the Class of 2009 survey saw a 42 percent increase of alumni responses compared to the previous year.

Of the 68 percent, 71 percent are employed or are attending graduate school full time.

“Can we get a student a job and exactly what they want? No,” said Hubert. “But we need to and want to get the message out there that [students] need to keep in touch with us and keep working with us, and say ‘Hi Jody, I’m still out here, I’m still looking, keep an eye out for me, where can I meet you again and work some more on this’”.

The Executive Director of Co-op and Career Services says that meeting once with a counselor for 45 minutes isn’t going to insure that a student will be successful in getting a job.

“But Pace students are very successful, depending again on the students major, and the job market’s demands. It’s a supply and demand equation so students in certain majors are more employable than students in other majors.”

The topic of certain majors getting better treatment was one of the statements previously mentioned by Asif, and Hubert declared that certain majors do have a better advantage than others.

“So who are the most employable?” said Hubert. “In terms of majors at Pace: computer science, business, and accounting.”

“100 percent of the survey [responders] that were in the BBA and MBA combined degree program in [the Lubin School of Business] had employment. The computer science majors and business majors are highly successful in finding a job.”

Hubert went on to state the different majors that obtained a job from the 2009 class: “68 percent of marketing undergrad majors had jobs; public accounting at 83 percent or were going to grad school; [and] education students at 71 percent.”

In regards to Asif’s and Lentine’s major of political science, 78 percent of the class of 2009, “Which is 31 out of 40; four of them were postponing their job search, 11 were going to grad school, and 21 were employed.”

Hubert responded to Asif’s claim that students are entering graduate school simply because they couldn’t find a job.

“Going to grad school is not a bad idea, it is a good option as you will be increasing on getting marketable skills and continuing to tapping the resources of the university,” which can include further opportunities at an internship, research projects and faculty.

“Grad school is a resume builder,” added Hubert.

“I’m not saying students should go to graduate school, but I’m saying many [students] do and there are some benefits to not entering the job market in a downturn economy and in two years from now, the job market may be a whole lot better.”

Hubert does want to lend a hand to the students who are currently seeking employment and wants them to set an appointment with her.

“I would very much like to assistant them. Any student, who has a concern with the services they are getting here, should seek me out.”

Just as Gojani thought of her post-Pace choices early on during her time in the University, students should follow the same route and have a few options prepared once you leave Pace. Call Co-op and Career Services and arrange a time to prepare your resume and interview skills along with any other questions in regards to finding an internship by calling (914)-773-3415 or by visiting Gannett House

Published in April 2010 for The Paw Print.