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Career Development gathers grad employment statistics

Each year, the Career Development Center requests graduating seniors to fill out a survey which asks questions about their plans after graduation.

The survey serves as a resource for multiple things, including letting the university know which students have jobs and which do not, data for when the university is looking for more grants.

It also helps provide information for prospective students and their parents, the accreditation process for many of the programs and degrees at JBU and lastly the US News Report information which is published each year, according to director of Career Development, Chris Confer

“Our job is to seek out the seniors who graduate and follow up with them until they find their first job,” Confer said. “We will keep following up, emailing and calling to make sure that you guys do get your first job after graduation.”

Confer noted that the Career Development Center will continue to help students with resume writing, mock interviews, job searches and job placement even into alumni years. According to Confer, this is one of the greatest benefits of being a JBU student.

The Career Development Center typically hears back from about 83 percent of graduates each year. Confer stated that at the Spring 2013 commencement, about 48 percent of the students surveyed had jobs when they graduated.

“I’d like to see that in the upper 50 percent pretty soon down the road,” Confer said. “We do another survey six months down the road, and then we keep following up with who we have not heard back from in November.”

According to Confer, the Career Development Center heard back from 84 percent of the initial respondents this past year. 98 percent of those who replied said that they were either employed or were going on to graduate school. 80 percent of students were employed in jobs that were either related, or highly related to what they studied in school.

Although the Career Development Center does as much as possible to gain a large response from graduates, there is still room for improvement in the response area.

“I would love for everyone to respond back to us,” Confer said. “At commencement, we get a lot of students to respond and fill things out. Of those who do follow up with us, you have to work really hard to get them to continue to respond back and I would love to see 100 percent.”

Confer also said he would like to see more students report their salaries, so the Career Development Center is able to see if students are receiving better jobs or getting more job offers.

Shantelle McHone,University graduate who currently works as the Graduate Assistant for the College of Business, used the Career Development Center when she was a student here at JBU.

“I met with Chris a few times to talk through my resume and to work on internship possibilities,” McHone said.

She also said that the Career Development Center has seemed to be very helpful and interested in making sure that university graduates find jobs once they leave the classroom.

McHone worked for eight months as an administrative assistant at a Montessori school in Fayetteville, Ark. before coming to the University. She now focuses on working with students enrolled in strategic management, as well as analyzing data and processing things for the College of Business.

Although she did not need to use the Career Development Center to find a job, McHone feels as if it is helpful for people who use the opportunity.

Career Development assistants continue follow up with graduates in the fall.

“I’ve recognized in the past that May and June are months where students are in the transition phase,” Confer said. “A lot of them find great jobs on their own, which is really great, but August is when we really pick up again, then all the way through the fall semester, Career Development assistants pick up a group of students who either haven’t responded back or who do not have a job reported. We give them opportunities for us to pick the pieces up and really give them a chance to help them and get their name out there.”