Employer and Career Center Quotes

Following are quotes from employers and career center directors for your use in building your news story:

"The current workforce has come to accept that layoffs and hiring freezes are part of the general economic cycle. For recent college grads, this could mean they work for 5 years before getting their first great job. There is no guarantee that a good education locks-up a good job."
- Scott Sprague, Staffing Manager, STMicroelectronics

"I think the last five years gave college students the misperception that it was their right to receive $50,000+ salary upon graduation. Obviously, the economy has shown that this short phenomenon was unrealistic."
- Pete Visco, Recruiting Specialist, First Investors

"The good news is that even while the demand for new/recent college graduates is down, salaries have remained consistent and, in many cases, even increased. I believe this demonstrates that their value remains high even in periods of weaker demand. I hope that employers are dealing with their salary compression problems now, because once the job market picks up, the pent up demand will likely create great competition and the resulting salary increases will be difficult to manage."
- J. Carl Goodman, Principal, The ISAAC Network

"You could say that now more than ever, with the baby boomer's aging and social security in limbo, an industry that is growing and will not suffer too much from a down economy is the employee benefits business. All companies need benefits, since the government is not able to meet the needs of most employees. It is a career that is often overlooked and most people end up in it by chance. Pen-Cal is a great place to start that career."
- Terry O'Prey Jr., General Manager, Executive Benefits Services, Pen-Cal

"While many organizations are in layoff mode, we are moving forward with plans to open new stores across the United States. We are having a record breaking year, and we are looking to hire top-notch, entry-level talent. We will continue to hire entry-level Manager Trainees throughout this year, and we will continue to hire entry-level talent indefinitely. While many companies are stagnant or downsizing, we feel it is our obligation to help kick start this economy and find our next generation of Managers to lead us into the future."
- Greg Pond, National Recruiter, 84 Lumber Co.

"The percent of full-time hires is considerably lower than usual as of June 2002. Considering the fact that unemployment is 6.0% nationally, I believe that recent college graduates should understand that timing is critical. If possible, they should consider alternative plans that will allow them to 'wait out' the conditions of the current employment marketplace. For example, a number of INROADS graduating seniors have accepted temporary positions--in some cases with their sponsoring company--with the anticipation that they may be able to secure a full-time position when conditions improve. I encourage all new graduates who are currently unemployed to assume that their situations will improve in the long-run and to take short-term measures to reach their goals."
- Pamela Phifer Watson, Managing Director, INROADS/Central New Jersey

"It's painful to read that just over 50% of college grads of the Class of 2002 have been able to get jobs after graduation. This is mainly due to the economic recession and the unfortunate events of 9/11. But there is no need to lose heart as the U.S. economy is bound to rebound very shortly. Hiring managers would likely first be recruiting new grads because they are available as a less expensive workforce, are full of enthusiasm and are most malleable. I always prefer to hire fresh grads for our company's projects whenever the situation permits."
- Rajan Singhal, Director, Recruiting Placement, Hi-Tec Systems, Inc.

"Members of the class of 2002, who entered college in September 1998 in a booming economy and a generally peaceful world, have just graduated into a jittery reality. Their senior year was defined by the events of September 11, war in Afghanistan, the explosive situation in the Middle East, and the worst job market since the early nineties. All this contributed to students' feelings of anxiety, procrastination, uncertainty and even fear. With full-time and part-time graduate enrollments up and the entry-level job market way down, I am actually surprised and encouraged to hear that 52% of recent graduates have jobs. Nationally, colleges have reported on average 40% declines in campus interviews and job postings this year, and hence the 52% job placement rate actually beats expectations. My concern is with the lack of quality and the short-term prospects of the jobs that students have secured. I suspect that there are more part-time, temporary and clerical jobs in the mix this year than in previous years."
- Dr. Richard White, Director, Career Services, Rutgers University-New Brunswick

"This was, to say the least, a challenging year emotionally and logistically for most college grads. Emotional residue associated with events of 9-11 and the economic recession left many drained by the time commencement arrived. But, the resilience of these young men and women was personified by most. Instead of manifesting what some call 'the ostrich syndrome,' sticking their heads in the sand during times of perceived danger, more and more students became active job seekers. Our data indicates that while fewer students had jobs as of commencement, more had started their job search campaigns by this date that does, by definition mark 'a beginning.' So, while they might be a bit more frustrated in past years and require some more nurturing during summer and early fall, oUR students, now 'recent alumni' are ready for success. In fact, we just held off-campus 'If UR Still Looking' events in Boston, NY and DC. The glass is not half empty. It is, in reality, half full and many creative and wonderful candidates thirst for the challenges of rewarding employment. They will soon find the appropriate beverages to fill these metaphorical glasses and toast to success!"
- Burt Nadler, Assistant Dean, Director - Career Center, University of Rochester

"In parallel with national trends, our graduates are experiencing significant challenges relative to their employment opportunities. The continuing decline of employment opportunities for this year's college graduates, precipitated by 9-11, the chaotic economy and enhanced competition in the global marketplace and work force requires that graduates become totally vested in a systematic proactive job search strategy utilizing the myriad resources of their respective Career Services offices. Additionally, this significant competitiveness in employment opportunities emphasizes that all students, beginning as freshmen, develop an early and continuing relationship with Career Services offices to receive professional assistance with developing a well-defined and comprehensive mosaic of attributes for 'the total package' that employers are expecting and requiring for today's workforce."
- Jerry Lee Westbrook, Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Career Services, Southeast Missouri State University

"In a recent informal survey of our graduates, we found that a lot more than usual were exploring graduate school. We believe this is tied to the tighter job market. While the job market is tough in a number of areas, we found that our education, accounting and nursing majors are faring very well this year."
- Ken Zurich, Director of Career Development, William Paterson University

"Although recruiting for full time jobs was down by a lot, recruiting and hiring for internships was at least the same as last year and in some cases greater. We are not sure what this means but are hopeful that it may bring more hires in the future."
- Patricia Imbimbo, Director, Career Development Center, Baruch College

"With the significant drops in employment in consulting, financial services, and manufacturing sectors this year we saw significant cutbacks and a reluctance on the part of companies to even commit seriously to next year at present. Motivated students who prepare for the job search in a timely and studious manner, however, continue to find and secure meaningful employment--sometimes after graduation, but in a number of cases securing the offer during their final semester. This is particularly true of students from smaller and not as highly ranked schools. There is no substitute for research, persistence, and networking especially in this market."
- Mr. Kim Knight, Director of Career Services, Claremont Graduate University

"The Class of 2002 is facing a more challenging job market than new grads have seen in many years. The competition of the tight job market, the dynamics of the hiring process and the rising expectations of employers greatly support the emphasis on undergraduates beginning earlier in their academic experience to build their resumes, hone their skills and develop expertise in the job search process. Our program of career services builds upon this developmental approach and places a strong emphasis on gaining work-related experiences throughout college."
- Joan M. Blewitt, Director, Career Planning and Placement, King's College

"With the slow economic recovery, we are finding here in the Mississippi Delta that college graduates from our regional university are also having a difficult time finding jobs unless they are willing to relocate. We have had numerous plant closings and hiring freezes. We have 100 percent placement of teachers and nurses."
- Vicki Fioranelli, Director Career Services Placement, Delta State University

"This year I have heard more surprise and frustration from graduates all over the West Coast than in previous years, after they have worked hard to do well in their academic programs, written solid resumes, and hear nothing after numerous attempts. The positive I have found has been with my psychology students, who have joined me in attending professional development conferences this spring. They integrate networking for internships and entry positions when they are among people in their specific areas of interest, and these students are getting jobs this year. Most recently I took two students with me to a gerontology conference in San Francisco, and both of them gained from the conference experience academically and in their job search. I strongly encourage students to join professional organizations with student memberships, and begin attending conferences to learn and make connections for jobs."
- Cynthia FitzGerald, Director of Educational Support Services, Bethany College

"I think our 2002 graduates had several issues to face as they left the security of a college campus and entered the 'real' world. The graduates did not have the sense of urgency in regards to their career search as in years past. Not only did they face a more competitive job market in 2002, but the reality of the changed world that lay before them. September 11th lead many of our graduates to a time of reflection, career refocus, and a yearning to be close to family."
- Teresa Alewel, Director, Career Services, Central Missouri State University

"Experience, experience, experience. If students were to spend one afternoon with any alumni, they would quickly realize that they are being taught and will share basically the same skills of those who graduated before them. Where the difference is, however, is that those who are successful got out of the classroom and met others in the industry--they networked. By taking advantage of internships, part-time jobs (in their field) during the break, being proactive with the faculty, and socializing with other students, not only are they accumulating the right stuff to put on their resume, they are building bridges that connect them with those who may be able to hire them--or have leads on who is hiring. Finding any job is easy, finding the right job takes preparation. I have found that the students who have combined their education with experience, are not only more confident in what they're doing they are the most successful at it."
- Dave Oehldrich, Director of Career and Student Services, Brooks Institute of Photography

"Caltech students are still finding employment at about the same rate that they did in prior years. The main downturn is that fewer employers have recruited, so students may have fewer offers from traditional firms. But Caltech students are such a hot commodity in the job market overall, that unemployment is not a problem like it might be for students from liberal arts colleges that are not as elite. Caltech students are still getting into the top grad schools at about the same rate as they always have. Over the last 5 years there is basically little fluctuation in percentage of our students going to grad school (+/-55%), full time jobs (+/-35%), travel/research, and still deciding about future plans (+/- 10%). The trends have been very consistent over the last 5 years, even though companies participating in on-campus interviewing, career days, etc. were significantly lower this year than last--about 40% due to 9-11 and DotComs tanking."
- Jerry Houser, Director, Career Development Center, California Institute of Technology

"Universities must do a better job at teaching students to be more proactive in their job searches. We must empower college students with the knowledge that they can, in fact, pursue their chosen careers regardless of market conditions. We also need to encourage parents, significant others and well meaning, second-removed relatives to 'back off' from their needs to make decisions for the Millenials."
- Sandra Stacy, Director, Career Planning Placement, University of Wisconsin-Platteville

"Some prestigious schools like Williams College that depended highly on service industries are the ones which are hit hard in this economy. Since l980's our students were lured by the two years jobs in consulting and investment banking which were attractive not only because of the high salaries but also because of its duration. After two to three years they could pursue further studies. Our efforts in trying to have diversity in on campus recruiting went in vain because students would not even look at other businesses. In 1990's yet another trend of e.coms and the software companies took over. All these fields were the ones that were hit the most during this bad economy. Williams had one of the strongest recruiting programs with over 80 industries coming on campus and this year half of these industries cancelled out. Now we are trying hard to research and counsel students on other opportunities in other fields."
- Fatma Kassamali, Director, Career Counseling, Williams College

"The students remain very naive as to what is happening in the 'real' world. Whether it's a summer internship or a full-time position desired, they are still not getting into the campus career center until mid-spring, when they should start their search in September. The early bird truly does get the worm, even when the worms are greatly limited in number."
- Robert Stanelle, Director, Career Center, Black Hills State University, Spearfish, SD

"There are jobs out there! Take a job in something or anything that is even close to your career goals--then work at developing the skills that will get you your next job. Students who participate in Work Based Learning (Cooperative Education) have a leg up on the entry level career ladder. They are already seasoned workers and can contribute to the bottom line faster than other new graduates--so my advice to any college student is to get experience through your college's Work Based Learning program and get ahead of the rest."
- Elaine Burns, Career Services Center, College of San Mateo

"In light of the recent events in the U.S., it's been quite challenging for college students and grads to obtain internships and entry level employment but even more difficult this year for persons with a disability and for those with a disability international status."
- Gregory Ellis, Director, Career Center, Gallaudet University

"At a time when many New Yorkers are desperately searching for jobs and new career opportunities, the graduate level student, particularly those in public administration and higher education administration have somewhat of an advantage. The advantage is having the where-with-all to have pursued degrees in fields that are looking for people, and in fields that could make a positive difference and have a positive impact on our urban communities. The opportunities available in the public and nonprofit sectors seem more abundant. As well, in the next 3-5 years, 30%-50% of the labor force in both the Federal and NY State government will be eligible for retirement, resulting in an active outreach effort over the next several years for new government employees. Higher Education is also an area that is cited for continued expansion and sustainability in hiring practices. The Master's level student in these areas of interest are in an excellent position to compete in an ever increasing competitive job market. The posture of many graduating students at the School of Public Affairs, now more than ever, is to doggedly and seriously use every resource available in their job search including the Career Services Office, and their personal/professional network in order to compete. Graduate student entry-level positions are at a different level compared to the undergraduate student. The opportunities to work in the public and nonprofit sector's along with the master's degree and experience, has allowed many students to have that competitive edge where their leadership and creativity are needed and welcomed."
- Elyse Mendel, Career Services Director, Baruch College School of Public Affairs

"It is true that the number of students who secured jobs upon graduating was down this year, but there are opportunities to be found. The students who are employed and will continue to find positions in this economy are those that are focused and industrious. On our campus, we have seen that of this select group, the students who received offers availed of our services. Whether seniors secured a position through us or simply developed essential skills to seek gainful employment, their success punctuates how critical Career Centers are as part of a comprehensive, sophisticated job search strategy."
- Valerie Savior, Coordinator of Internships and Employer Relations, Occidental College

"In this challenging job market we have encouraged our students to pursue post-graduation internships. This type of position can provide good work experience and could lead to a full time job offer."
- Kathy Day, Director, Career Services, Saint Louis University

"Forgotten in the news about the recession is the reality of student behavior and human psychology. For many liberal arts majors (and business majors) the 'leaving school' experience is a kind of culture shock. They have spent 16 years developing a cherished identity as a 'student,' and are somewhat stunned by the loss of this identity and feel an initial strangeness with the identity of 'professional' or 'producer.' They need a brief transitional period of 2-4 months to 'de-compress' from school to full time work. Many know this and are not looking for a job at graduation. They want one within 6 months of graduation. Even in past recessions, almost all college students were in a good job within six months. A good job is defined by having positive perceptions that the job is offering them excellent to good to pretty good professional development. There may or may not have been a recesion nationwide, but there has been a job recession in the northeast, particularly in industries popular with finance majors and liberal arts majors. Financial services, advertising, public relations, publishing. But health care and universities are hiring. Most insurance firms are hiring, for administration as well as sales. Human services are hiring. Schools are hiring. Science positions are available. Volunteer programs are attracting more candidates; they offer a chance to contribute, take time out from the recession and gain valuable experience, including experience in the arts as well as in education and human services. Some people, through smart job searching, have secured positions in communications and financial services. More temporary to permanent positions exist in general. Ironically, entry hiring in Rhode Island is better this year than it normally is. Entry opportunities in New York and Boston are down significally at this point (and all year)."
- John McGrath, Director, Career Services, Providence College

"We have found that if the student serves an internship his/her Jr and/or Sr. year(s), his chances for getting hired immediately out of college are much stonger. We have evidenced that here on our campus. Thus, we encourage and in some majors require our students to serve advanced practicums and/or internships while still in college."
- Linda Wiggins, Guidance and Career Officer, Clearwater Christian College

"True, the job market is tougher right now for just about any job seeker. If individuals want to work they will need to be flexible and even courageous in accepting the truth about our national, and even our international workforce changes. My advice to the entry level job seekers whom I assist is to develop a keen understanding of their 'cross-over skills' that will enable them to become more immediately employed, but not to give up on new opportunities as they arise, in which they will be able to utilize their recent primary functional training. In other words--keep eyes opened, ears tuned in, and resume always prepared to make the necessary advances to conquer unemployment. If underemployed, do not forget the required loyalty to their present employer. And by all means, they should not leave their present job unless they are sure about being selected for a new position; and hopefully, the new company or business has staying power in the marketplace. To avoid a mismatch with an employer, job seekers should research each business to obtain such information as revenue strength, employment trends, comparative value of products and services to those of other businesses, general history, management style, and profit earnings--all of which will allow the job seeker to compile and rank the employers. I have found that such a process to 'stay on top of things' not only provides the necessary information to make appropriate employment decisions, but also boosts the confidence of the job seeker knowing that he or she is working to the best of their ability--working smart, as well as hard to gain the competitive market strength and recognition by potential employers."
- Darrell E.F. Whitsell, Career Planning Specialist, Tarrant County College, Southeast Campus, Arlington, TX

"I am seeing the job market opening up more than it was since Sept. 2001, however it is still slow. I tell students graduates to take a job, even entry level just to get their foot in the door. There's a lot of competition out there right now with new college grads people who have been downsized."
- Carol Sonnenfeld, Director Career Placement, North Metro Technical College, Acworth, GA

"In our December 2001 group, 60% of our graduates had employment at the time of graduation. Our April 2002 group was 46%. Info Tech grads now take 3-6 months to find employment in their field and lag behind the other majors. We have 2 types of "new" graduates. Those who are truly entry level (education and little or no work experience in their field) and those with work experience in their field with a new Associate degree. Those with the work experience with the degree not only have or find better employment right away but also have significantly higher salary levels. All of our students are required to complete and Internship. Close to 50% of the students end up employed by the internship site."
- Kathy Bornheimer, Director of Career Services, Bryant Stratton College, Milwaukee, WI

"At the community college level, we are seeing many different situations with regard to student employment. Our students' experiences vary according to their majors. The primary reason for this is of course the economy. Naturally students majoring in CIS are having a much more difficult time finding employment. We are advising them to develop a diverse set of skills to meet employers' needs on several levels. At the other end of the spectrum, our Allied Health students are in great demand and have multiple employers to choose from. Our location does tend to provide a buffer from the economic woes of the rest of the state, but many students are taking a bit longer to find work. They are facing greater competition from students of four-year colleges, who have additional experience and education. As a result, we are encouraging them to pursue internships in their Sophomore year. This has been a very successful resource for them; internships have a 70% rate of conversion to permanent positions."
- Camie Foster Corley, Director, Career Planning, Sacramento City College

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