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Get a job!

Graduating students find their niche

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  • Story by Nancy Moen
  • Photos by Shane Epping
  • Published: May 24, 2012
Chris Jay Whitsitt

Jay Whitsitt, a computer science major in the College of Engineering, used resources such as HireMizzouTigers.com and the Engineering Career Office to land an internship and a job with Hallmark Company. Mizzou offers job-placement services through nine specialized offices.

You graduate, you get a job. It’s a pretty normal cycle of university life. And for Mizzou students, including former students, there’s plenty of help finding work.

The MU Career Center and eight specialized career services offices connect students to businesses planning to hire.

“If students are engaged with the services we offer, they’ll do better in their job searches,” says Amanda Nell, senior student services coordinator of the Career Center.

Specialists at the center offer helpful resources and one-on-one consultations. They provide training in the arts of interviewing, résumé writing, business communication and even dining etiquette.

Among the most-requested services are résumé reviews and help with job leads. The Center offers 25 print and online publications for job searches.

How technology helps

MU’s Schools and colleges see robust recruitment of graduating students through traditional means, but the addition of social-media options adds a new connectivity.

“Job hunting has changed a lot since I was in high school,” says Jay Whitsitt, an engineering senior in computer science.

Whitsitt refers to the help sessions students receive on using HireMizzouTigers.com, where they can display their career-search information and résumés online.

“You can see who’s looking at you. You can see what day they looked at you and what job ops that company is looking for. It’s really interesting,” he says.

HireMizzouTigers is available to students of all majors and disciplines — and to alumni for life.  By May, nearly 9,462 job announcements had been posted on HireMizzouTigers for the academic year.

HireMizzouTigers averages 392 student logins and 56 employer logins daily. Employers can post job listings, review résumés and schedule on-campus interviews to find the best applicants for their positions. The site’s employer directory — a list of employers who have recruited on campus — is a go-to guide for students.

Finishing school 

Marc Canellas

Résumé reviews, career fairs, panel discussions and even businesswear-clad mannequins have helped mechanical-engineering student Marc Canellas prepare to enter the job market — right after he's earned a doctorate in aerospace engineering.

Mechanical-engineering senior Marc Canellas sees the benefits of career services. Canellas worked with Meredith Shaw, director of engineering career and professional development. Shaw maintains an alumni network to give students contacts in their fields, and every year she plans two large career fairs that attract employers nationally. 

“She gets students jobs. She’s one of my favorite people,” says Canellas, who thinks panel discussions and résumé reviews with company representatives are especially valuable in job searches. 

Canellas also appreciates a new offering at the college — mannequins dressed in business-formal and business-casual attire. The display shows students what to wear to make a good first impression during interviews.

“We engineering students aren’t exactly known as the cutting edge of fashion,” he says.

Despite the available jobs, Canellas is heading to graduate school for a doctoral degree in aerospace engineering. He isn’t worried about finding a job when he finishes.

Internships as career starters

Whitsitt appreciates the workshops offered by the Engineering Career Office, especially the one on being effective at a career fair by developing a “30-second elevator speech on what you’ve done and what you can do.”

Whitsitt learned to sell himself and found his new position — with Hallmark Company in Kansas City — through an internship with the company.

“An internship is like a three-month interview for a full-time position because companies look at interns as future hires. I learned I liked Hallmark and wanted a full-time position with them,” he says.

At Hallmark, Whitsitt will do IT coding and application that will change the display of elements on the backs of greeting cards. 

Senior Laura Gier found her job through an internship and with help from the Professional Development Program in the Trulaske College of Business

After receiving offers from nine of the 10 businesses she applied to for internships, Gier chose Macy’s summer 2011 internship working with a management mentor at the company’s West County store in St. Louis.

Thanks to the experience, Gier had a job offer in place even before her senior year started. She’ll start her career in St. Louis with executive-management training for a year before transferring to her permanent location.

“We students are all coming out educated, and we need a job. The businesses are looking for young, energetic employees, so it’s a good connection,” she says about interning.

Putting tigers on their team

Amanda Nell

Amanda Nell, senior student services coordinator at the MU Career Center, says Web-based networking among students, alumni and employers makes for a quick and easy hiring process.

Company recruiters return year after year to hire Mizzou graduates. The business college hosts two career fairs annually for more than 2,000 students seeking jobs and internships. The spring 2012 career fair attracted job recruiters from more than 110 businesses.

The Boeing Company has maintained a long-standing relationship with the college. "We continue to be impressed each year with the maturity and professionalism of the students and have a proven track record of hiring students who deliver value to Boeing. We strive for a relationship that is mutually beneficial to Boeing and Mizzou," says Scott Snyder, senior finance manager of Boeing.

In the Missouri School of Journalism, anecdotal comments from recruiters indicate they would prefer to hire only from MU because they don’t need to look elsewhere, says Professor Suzette Heiman, who indicates hiring is stronger this year than in recent years.  

The school’s 2012 Strategic Communication Career Fair broke records for the numbers of recruiters and students attending. More than 275 students registered for the daylong opportunity to visit with 34 companies.

Beth Ward, a senior vice president and central region recruiter at Fleishman-Hillard, attended the annual event for the third time in February.

“The first year, I was blown away. Each year I come expecting to meet the best and the brightest, and I am never disappointed,” she says.

Post a job; find a job

And networking with the Mizzou family doesn’t stop with commencement.

The Mizzou Alumni Association is partnering with the MU Career Center to encourage recruiters to use MizzouNet, a LinkedIn community for alumni seeking positions or considering different career paths.

With 15,000 alumni using the service, MizzouNet helps MAA members establish business contacts. All members are alumni or others invited to join the private community. 

“It’s so quick and easy for an employer to post a job, much easier than posting a formal job announcement. It’s a powerful tool,” Nell says.

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Last updated: June 19, 2012