Career Help from Rollins
A downturn in the job market means an upturn for the career services office at Rollins, which has been steadily expanding its services for alumni. Ray Rogers, director of career services, has seen an increase in inquiries in the last two years. “I think alumni have felt the recession pretty hard,” he said. “At least weekly I’ll get an e-mail from an alum who has lost his job and wants to know what advice we can give.”
The answer is plenty. Although the career services office devotes much of its time to helping undergraduates get started on a career path, it’s equally committed to working with alumni of all ages. In order to serve alumni far from campus, Rogers and his staff have developed the following online offerings:
Through this universal job-posting system, Rollins students and alumni can peruse local and national listings for full- and part-time jobs as well as on-campus recruiting visits. Jobs for Tars serves as a portal for access to other online resources, so signing up is an important first step in using all of the career office’s cyber-offerings.
Alumni in far-flung professions and places volunteer as resources for students and alumni looking to gain career experience in a given field. For example, an alumnus interested in publishing in New York City can search for and contact an alum in that profession and area.
Online practice interviewing
Thanks to a system called InterviewStream, alums can sit at their computers and use their webcams to perform online practice interviews. A recruiter appears onscreen and asks questions (culled from 1,200 possibilities); the interviewee’s responses are recorded on camera. The interview can be saved and flagged for Rollins career services to critique, and it can be sent to other alumni in the field for feedback.
Business listings for major cities from Boston to Miami to Seattle help job seekers learn about potential employers and positions within major industries in that area.
For users who want to learn more about a given profession, online listings provide details such as where such jobs are most likely to be found, what training is required, and the salary range.
Information on how to write a successful résumé appears on the Rollins career services website; many alumni e-mail their résumés to the office’s staff, who then respond with a critique.
Of course, online isn’t the only way to use the career services office. A lot of work is done by phone, particularly one-on-one career counseling. For alumni considering graduate school, staff stand ready to provide guidance in evaluating programs, prepping for admission exams, writing personal statements, and getting letters of recommendation.
Disc jockey Sarah Weishampel ’03 knows how helpful the office can be. She called in January ’09 after losing her job at XM Radio after its merger with Sirius. Rogers gave her advice on writing cover letters, networking, and preparing for interviews. She applied for 25 jobs and landed an interview at a family-owned Pennsylvania radio station. “Ray gave me moral support during the job search. When I walked into that interview, I felt confident.” Weishampel got the job.
For anyone who has lost her or his job, Rogers has clear advice: “Take a few days and figure out logically what your next step is, instead of having an emotional reaction. Then, rather than applying for every job out there generically, apply very specifically for the few that you think are realistic.”
Obviously, another good piece of advice is to get in touch with the career services office. “Alumni who come back often say, ‘Why didn’t I do this when I was here?’” Rogers said. “I wish I had a dollar for every time I hear that.”
To learn more about the Rollins College Office of Career Services, visit rollins.edu/careerservices.
Both the Holt and Crummer Schools offer similar career services.
Hamilton Holt School: rollins.edu/holt/careerservices
Crummer Graduate School of Business: rollins.edu/crummer/career-development