Posted December 10, 2012 Atlanta, GA
As commencement approaches, another group of students faces the rite of passage of landing their first full-time jobs.
Thankfully, and with the help of people such as Career Services Director Ralph Mobley, new Tech alumni are getting jobs despite a challenging economy. The job market for graduating students has improved during the past two years and, though he doesn’t claim to be clairvoyant, Mobley believes it will do so for a third year.
Data from Georgia Tech’s Office of Assessment shows that in spring 2012, 67.2 percent of students were employed (and nearly 77 percent had offers) at the time of commencement – up from 63.4 percent in 2011. The percentage from 2012 nearly matched that of the most recent pre-recession high of 2007, when 69.5 percent of students graduated with a job.
“Overall, one can assume engineering and technology will remain strong, but even in those areas, dips and downslides happen,” Mobley said.
What gives Mobley the confidence that 2013 will be an even stronger year? More students have secured interviews and taken offers earlier this year than last.
Austin Harvey, who graduates in December with a degree in biomedical engineering and a job with Abbott Laboratories, is one such student. He found Career Services’ Optimal Interview helpful in his search. This resource lets students record and replay their responses to potential interview questions.
“Not only does it assist in grooming your confidence in responding to common interview questions, but it gives you ample opportunity to record responses to your own set of questions to better structure an approach in specific situational interviews,” he said.
Knowing about the prospective company helps as well. “Simply researching what a company offers and familiarizing yourself with why they believe in what they do – and more specifically how that translates back to you – can be a deciding factor in their understanding of your interest,” Harvey added.
Davina Morrow graduates in May with a degree in chemical and biomolecular engineering and will move to Houston to work for BP. For Morrow, CareerBuzz and the annual Career Fair were integral to landing her job.
“I made sure to apply to all the jobs I was interested in before the Career Fair, because most companies had application deadlines the week of the fair and even had interviews beginning the day after,” she said. Though it’s a crowded environment, Morrow advised students to attend the fair, talk with companies and leave resumes behind.
“Face-to-face interaction is extremely important, and they may even sign you up for an interview on the spot,” she said.
CareerBuzz is an online starting point, but Mobley encourages students to take advantage of the many other Career Services resources, such as career counseling and advisement. Career Services is located in the Bill Moore Student Success Center near Tech Tower.