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Bethlehem, Pa., September 28, 2009—The tough economy and growing unemployment is making it harder for young people to find jobs. Moravian College is piloting a program this fall to help its students better position themselves for the competitive work environment. The Career Connections Program is designed to help students make better educated career decisions relating to majors, job functions, and industries. It will provide sophomores and juniors the opportunity to connect with a professional and gain experience working within organizations in their area of interest— thus helping them to make educated decisions when pursuing future employment.
Career Connections aims to increase students’ success when making the transition from College life to the workplace—while they are still in school. “It’s important for students to begin building a professional network before they graduate,” said Amy Saul, director of career services at Moravian. “This new program will benefit students by providing realistic first-hand information on occupations, skills, and responsibilities, which will better prepare them for internships and full-time positions. By providing an increased understanding of the employment trends, salaries, and advancement in specified fields, students will be more able to position themselves for success in the workplace.”
Advisors who mentor students are an important part of the program. “Students are matched to advisors based upon their academic interests and the correlation of the advisor’s profession,” Saul explained. “Advisors will be contacted by the Career Center to confirm opportunity in early October. Students will then meet advisors at one of two on-campus events this fall and participate in an externship at the advisor’s place of business.”
During the pilot program this year, faculty members have been nominating students to participate. “To date, 48 students have been nominated and 38 registered for the program,” Saul noted. “Their areas of interest range from music composition for films to forensic accounting.” The Career Center is working in partnership with Dr. Kathy Thomforde (wife of Moravian President Christopher Thomforde), who is reaching out to potential advisors some of who are alumni. Students will shadow the advisors at their workplaces during the winter break.
In addition to the new program, the College is conducting a number of initiatives and events to help prepare students for life after Moravian. During September, the Career Center already has held a number of events including an on-campus recruiting Career “Hound” Information session, lunch and learn sessions with East Penn Manufacturing Co, a resume writing marathon, internship success meeting, and a Business Leader Spotlight with a Wachovia Bank executive.
Students can take advantage of a number of upcoming events including a mock interview day, when students participate in interviews with industry professionals and get valuable feedback. Those considering graduate school can take Kaplan practice entrance exams later this October. The Peace Corps is coming to campus on October 21 for an information session about their program and opportunities for college graduates. During homecoming weekend, students can hear from a number of distinguished alumni working in a variety of fields during the Alumni Career Panel on October 24.
A Lunch & Learn event featuring Moravian College Alumnus John Quinones ’92, vice president of recruitment for Major League Baseball will be held on October 27. Quinones will share his story of success and valuable advice to students interested in the business side of sports. Another Lunch & Learn will be held with representatives from MARS Snackfood, Hackettstown, N.J. in November. MARS has hired a number of alumni from the class of 2007-2009 and will be on campus to begin the next round of recruiting. They are also participating in mock interview day and will attend the career networking event.
Those interested in careers in the arts can attend a Visual Arts Panel & Connection Reception on November 11 and hear from alumni working in the fields of art therapy, studio art, and art education. Similarly, Careers with a Social Impact: Public, Private & Non-Profit will be held for students to meet key representatives from large and small organizations that hire in the area of sustainability. The fall programming concludes with an Alumni Career Networking Event on November 10 where students can meet with alumni in various occupations that help them plan their career paths.
Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college. Visit the Web site at www.moravian.edu.