The Career Center: Far More Than Just The Accounting Center
There are many secrets contained within the walls of Yeshiva University. These can range from the best teachers to take to how the Café manages to be so expensive to the latest happenings on the twelfth floor of Belfer. However, there is one department in our university which is dutifully working on telling its secret. All they need is for the students to listen. The invaluable Career Center is far more than just the “Accounting Center” or “Finance Center”, as some proclaim it to be. Rather, the secret is that their opportunities and resources stretch well beyond those industries, including many industries which may be of interest to a Y.C. student. In an effort to let the secret out, I recently spoke with the Career Center’s Executive Director Marc Goldman, Director of Employer and Alumni Relations Susan Bauer, and Director of Counseling and Programming Christopher Thunberg.
Etan Neiman: Can you please describe what career opportunities, other than those found in the accounting and finance industries, students can find at the Career Center? What YU majors do those opportunities tend to relate to?
Career Center: It’s important to note at the outset that one’s major doesn’t necessarily dictate one’s career opportunities; while some highly technical fields (such as Accounting or Engineering) have strict pre-requirements for entry, many employers are simply seeking talented candidates from all majors. That said, we have thousands of job and internship opportunities that come through our office in dozens of fields and specializations; in contrast to what might be the general perception of our office, a large number of opportunities in Social Services, Technology, Healthcare, Marketing, Education, Jewish Community, Fashion and more are posted through our on-line job board, YU CareerLink. In fact, we estimate that the finance and accounting opportunities account for only 12% to 15% of those that students have access to through our office.
EN: What job fairs and other general resources for these opportunities are offered by the Career Center?
CC: The primary fair for these opportunities is our Spring Career Fair, which is open to all industries and draws employers from a wide cross-section of fields. Typically, about 50 employers attend, making it the Career Center’s largest fair. In addition, we host dozens of speaker panels, presentations, networking events, and opportunities for students to learn from and connect with employers and alumni in a broad range of fields. Specifically, some tentative upcoming events and panels include a Real Estate Forum on December 1, Technology Employer Panel on December 6, Non-Profit Fair on December 7, and Marketing Networking Event in February. To support students interested in computer science and tech related fields, we recently hosted a Google Information Session on November 2 and Bloomberg Tech Talk on November 3.
As far as general career resources, we have a database of YU alumni and employer contacts called YU InfoLink, which enables students to seek out professionals in target fields for advice and guidance in their career paths after meeting with a Career Center counselor. We also provide access to informational databases and libraries (such as the Vault Campus Online, Uniworld Online, and Wall Street Oasis) that offer robust career and industry guides which can be very helpful in understanding the career opportunities available to YU students. These can all be accessed through our webpage and YU CareerLink.
EN: Are there On-Campus Recruiting (OCR) opportunities in fields other than accounting and finance, or is it primarily focused on those industries?
CC: While OCR may be one of the more visible forms of employer engagement at the Career Center, it is not the one through which the majority of students ultimately obtain their jobs and internships. OCR Interviewing is a very specific form of employer engagement, and one that is not practiced by all industries, such as firms which hire on an as-needed basis. However, those many firms which choose to meet students through attending our previously discussed career fairs or networking events are really exercising other forms of recruiting on campus. Moreover, we emphasize to students the importance of reviewing and applying for the hundreds of opportunities available on YU CareerLink at any one time. On our end, we are continually building our network of employers and engaging them, so they have opportunities to connect with and ultimately hire YU students.
EN: Are there requirements to participate in the resources the Career Center offers for the non-accounting and finance fields, similar to the accounting and finance requirements?
CC: There are some basic requirements; for instance, we require students who wish to attend any of our career fairs to come in business attire and present a resume in order to gain admittance. Beyond that, for our panels, networking events, and speaker programs, we mainly ask that students come to the session in a timely manner and RSVP when that is indicated as a requirement. On a job-specific basis, some employers require GPA minimums, but the Career Center does not have grade requirements of its own for students to participate in the various forms of recruiting.
EN: Why do you feel that there is a perception among YU students that the Career Center is tailored only for accounting and finance students?
CC: It is likely that the “high visibility” nature of the employer activities for those fields leads to a perception that “that’s all the center does”. To help continue to expand the Career Center’s variety of offerings, we are administering a survey in mid-November to gauge student interest in all areas of industry and fields of study. The results of the study will enable the Career Center to develop student-driven opportunities other than those which typically align with a certain major.
To close, we strongly encourage students to look closely at our semester calendar and program of activities to see the diversity of fields that students can connect with and always encourage students to come in and meet with our staff to come up with their own tailored career plan!