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Greetings from Gonzaga’s Career Center & GAMP

Just this last week the Career Center & GAMP held their usual……

Tuesday-Drop-In-Hour and First-Thursday-of-the-Month-Drop-In-Resumania (with free pizza!)

On days like these, “it’s all hands on deck!” Along with trained student leaders, the 12 member staff of this department is ready to greet students from every major, juggle career development questions, review a cover letter or résumé, or even locate an internship.

But then again, most days are pretty similar! Students often drop in or arrive for a scheduled appointment in order to begin creating “The Life-After-Graduation Plan!”  Occasionally procrastination delivers very concerned and bewildered seniors….but increasingly we see how deliberate and intentional students have grown in their career goals. More and more students are making resolute strides during each of their college years to realize their aspirations.  So,

Where is your son or daughter on the Career Plan Continuum?  How can each get the best return on investment in their education? Have you wondered what your role is now, or how to support their efforts to someday be fully employed in the career of their dreams?

Fortunately, a great team of people surround students on the Gonzaga campus. Together, faculty and staff are investing in an educational experience that teaches students in every discipline how to apply their knowledge, skills and training. In a number of majors, classroom scholarship is being formally and informally extended into the workplace. Here, students have the opportunity to gain relevant, meaningful experience.

Experiential Education comes in many shapes and sizes, with a variety of goals and outcomes, and offers vastly different learning environments. Sometimes the focus is practical as in an apprenticeship or leadership training; other times an internship may conduct research or be project driven. Internships are both paid and unpaid, in all geographic regions, and occur throughout the year. What is common to all is the chance to apply knowledge, acquire skills and discover possibilities. The results are reflected in the students. They demonstrate readiness for their chosen profession by honing professional skills in the workplace.

Gonzaga students are seeking internships at increasing rates. In certain majors, internships are even part of the curriculum requirement. Though not all internships earn academic credit, students still believe they make a difference in training and employability. Employers do too. In a recent publication by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), students indicate, “a school with an active internship program is an increasing factor in college selection, and employers….

  • rank internship experiences as one of the top 5 skills necessary for permanent employment
  • rate internship programs as their most effective method to recruit new college graduates
  • report that they convert an average of 90% of their interns to full time employees”

 “As the job market continues to improve, employers look first within their internship programs for entry-level college hires.”

Employers find interns by targeting schools by academic major, experience at the school, and the quality of the programs offered. Recruiters make their best finds at career fairs and on-campus information sessions, and through faculty contacts.

According to results of NACE’s 2012 Internship & Co-op Survey, the overall average conversion rate for interns stands at 58.6 percent—the highest recorded by NACE since it first began tracking that measure in 2001—climbing from 57.7 in 2011, and 53.3 in 2010.

One further NACE study found that,

  • paid internships correlate to better job-search success for college students
  • paid interns were more likely to get a job offer, have a job in hand by the time they graduate, and receive a higher starting  salary than their peers who took part in an unpaid internship or no internship at all.

This information informs us right here on the Gonzaga campus. It adds to our knowledge and tool box on how to best prepare students and direct them to quality internships. It also supports the importance of the internship discussion taking place across disciplines. Gonzaga is indeed, growing its internship program.

So back to the questions….

What does this mean for your Gonzaga student, and how can you be involved?

Take the Careers 101 course for parents! You can find the full article on this link. http://bit.ly/GUparents.  Look for other helpful tips on the Career Center website. Here are a few highlights for the parents of:

First Year Students:  Support your child’s exploration of new areas of study and interests; affirm what you know to be areas of their skill and ability; support their responsible involvement in campus activities.

Second Year Students:  Suggest your child talk to faculty and career advisors about potential options in their major; steer your child to sources of information. The Gonzaga Career Center & GAMP has many resources.

Third Year Students:  Encourage your child to frequent available resources on campus that explore experiential education.  An internships or job-shadow can be a valuable asset in broadening career field interests as well as narrowing the focus.

For Graduating Students:  Suggest that your senior frequent the career center throughout their senior year and attend training workshops and networking events. Gonzaga offers a wonderful opportunity for this through the Trek programs. Encourage readiness with résumés and cover letters.

The Gonzaga Career Center & GAMP Office is open all year long.  Our staff is equipped to guide in all aspects of career development, and certainly assist in the search for internships. We invite you to take a look at our website for more information. www.gonzaga.edu/careercenter.

Our doors are open, so be sure to stop by when you are on campus!

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