By: Yoni Mayer  | 

Maximizing Their Grant: Advice for the Career Center

The most underrepresented deficiency in the YU college experience is not the size of the campus. It is not the cafeteria food, the dorm rooms or the curriculum. It isn’t that it’s paradoxical in being too religious and also not religious enough, too progressive and not progressive enough, or the proper mixture of Torah Umadda yet also an institution that misses the mark.

Those may be the common complaints we hear in campus discourse, but they are not the main shortcoming of Yeshiva University.

The underrecognized issue, the omission I feel most palpably right now, is the lack of on-campus recruiting.

My internship application process is currently underway (and feels like it might never end). Part of the process is networking; reaching out to people on LinkedIn, connecting with alumni and asking friends about their summer plans. I usually ask how they ended up in their job, and, although it isn’t always the answer, I’ve heard an overwhelming amount of “on-campus recruiter,” Referring to people who are sent to college campuses to present their companies, attract students to working positions and recruit.

Of course, this isn’t the only way students get jobs; however, it presents a huge leg up and an opportunity to get a foot in the door. And that’s what on-campus recruiting is. It isn’t the assurance of post-graduate hiring but rather a first encounter with recruiters. Since these would be the first people to see your online resume anyway, getting to first meet them in person and make an impression is a huge advantage.

I admit this is a fault of the companies themselves. In recent years, dozens of YU alumni have shuffled through the ranks of various companies. The companies should take note of this and start sending representatives to recruit. It is ultimately their decision where they choose to send their on-campus recruitment team.

However, a 2017 study of the factors that companies consider for sending on-campus recruiters found that the reputation of the school, personal relationships with faculty/career services and influence of alumni at the company are three of the main criteria companies prioritize in their decision.

YU has made known that they have risen the ranks of the national college ranking and YU alumni have risen to prominent positions in top global companies. This leaves personal relationships with career services as the main avenue through which Yeshiva University could be targeted for on-campus recruiting. 

It is here that I shunt the blame to YU. Last year, YU received a sizable donation to its career center, upgrading its resources and changing its name to the Shevet Glaubach Center for Career Strategy and Professional Development. On top of that, YU has recently announced that its $613 million dollar fundraising program is underway and that it has already raised over one-third of its target amount.

It’s not dishonest to say that the lynchpin of a college’s responsibilities is to improve students’ lives and careers after college, rather than just the four years spent on campus. College can, and should, have amazing extracurriculars, sports teams, clubs and opportunities. However, at the end of the day, college is a blip in our lives. The greater portion of our years are spent in the workforce and the first foray into that workforce, the introduction to life after college, is at college itself. It therefore lies in the college’s hands to best prepare us for and introduce us to that workforce; this is one of the main goals of a college.

Yes, I know that YU already has impressive success regarding student career placement post-college with 93% of graduates securing a role in either the workplace or a master’s program. I don’t believe that success is all in the numbers nor should it be chalked up to the career center. The YU student body is a well-connected, networking-minded and generally motivated group and would be forging their way with or without the career center. It is the career center’s role to make the career search easier and more accessible. YU MVP, YU’s student-alumni business network, is a commendable initiative and provides an invaluable connection between YU students who are seeking advice and alumni who can provide answers. However, the career search must extend beyond the boundaries of Yeshiva University and its former students. Recruiters provide an invaluable service; they help students personally interact with people at the companies they’re interested in, ask questions about the workplace, network, and understand which career they’re truly fit for (before sending out dozens of applications to places they might not be compatible with.)

YU should be using the career center grant to attract on-campus recruiters. They should be publicizing the Yeshiva University name and forging relationships with recruiters at major companies. They should be organizing career fairs that play host to companies of interest for the student body’s diverse career trajectories. Recruiters visiting campus would be the most direct and tangible proof of the career center’s efforts to set students up with internships and jobs.

YU students will forever be divided on core YU debates; it’s the nature of the diverse student body and of the questioning, college-aged mind. There will be actions YU takes which we don’t agree with and opportunities YU doesn’t provide which we’ll plead on deaf ears for. However, YU students can agree that college is not the be-all, end-all of life. There’s an inevitable life after college that, like it or not, has been our focus from our earliest days as freshmen and sophomores. Colleges need to help in any way they can to make the transition into the real world as seamless as possible. If they do, their students will thank them for the opportunities, and ultimately, corporations will thank them for the wealth of talent and boundless creativity they’ve shared with the world at large.

Photo Caption: The Shevet Glaubach Center for Career Strategy and Professional Development

Photo Credit: The Commentator