With graduation in a few weeks, many East Carolina University students are about to enter the workforce.
Associate Director of Career Services Jim Kuras said there are services both in person and online in order for students to be able to meet with a career counselor. Students are encouraged to make appointments through Handshake, he said.
Students can still use Handshake and other services provided by Career Services after they graduate, Kuras said. Alumni are encouraged to come to the Career Fair held in the Greenville Convention Center and the Career Services office, he said.
If Alumni don’t live locally they can still communicate with career services through electronic and online systems, Kuras said.
Kuras said Career Services always recommends that students apply for jobs sooner rather than later but understand students are really busy.
Employers are looking for candidates four to six months out from graduation, Kuras said. He said employers will wait for a candidate to graduate if they are the right candidate for the job.
“So I would say the moment they decide they’re looking for employment is the right time (to start applying for jobs),” Kuras said.
On a weekly basis, students should receive emails from their career counselors, Kuras said. Students receive emails from the counselors about how to schedule appointments, what employers are coming to campus, and career-related events students may want to go to, he said.
Career Services has drop-in hours between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday where students can meet with someone for about 15 minutes to go over one to two career-related activities, Kuras said. If students want to talk about their career plans, students are recommended to schedule an appointment with their counselor through Handshake, he said.
Kuras said he wants to make sure students understand that Career Services is here to meet students where they are and work to move forward.
There are currently no statistics on how many ECU students graduate with a job or internship lined but Kuras said across the country 80% of students have opportunities at graduation or within six months of graduation and ECU students are apart of that.
Adam Denney, Associate Director of Employer Relations said that Alumni can stay connected to ECU through ECUConnect. This program is a collaboration between Career Services and the Alumni Association.
“ECUConnect is essentially a Facebook, a LinkedIn page dedicated to East Carolina University students and alumni,” Denney said. “So that’s another great tool students want to be aware of as they go into the workforce but also as alumni reconnecting back with students here at the university for mentorship opportunities, employment opportunities and things like that.”
Career Services is trying to inform students that Career Services can be used the entire time a student is at ECU, Denney said. There are part-time job fairs and career fairs hosted by Career Services, he said.
At the last career fair there were 130 employers who were hiring for internships and full time employment, Denney said. Internships also allow students to find out what their interests are, he said.
Career Services will be hosting an Engineering Career fair on Feb. 20, 2020 and an Education Career Fair on Mar. 18, 2020, Denney said. He said he wants students to be aware of these dates because they are quickly approaching.
Denney said students should begin coming to Career Services and speaking with their Career liaisons prior to these career fairs beginning in January.
“From an employer’s perspective, the employers that I connect with, they are more likely to hire students who have completed an internship,” Denney said. “So that the idea of completing an internship at that basic level is extremely important as students start to think about the next part of their career.”
There are many variables to how long it takes a candidate to find a job, Denney said. He said it depends on industry, engagement, and job opportunities.
There are not currently any statistics on how many ECU students obtain jobs from career fairs but Career Services is working on finding out those statistics, he said.
Denney said he can’t give a number on how long the job search takes because there are many variables but interacting with Career Services does prepare students for the interview and job search process.
“I think we can say this without any reservation that we have found that students that are engaged with our office, that are utilizing our resources and attending our events are more likely to obtain interview and job opportunities,” Denney said.
Senior finance major, Rushil Patel said he is graduating in December and has had two internships and one internship that turned into a job while at ECU. He said he has connected through LinkedIn with potential employers and emailed them from their business card.
Patel said he has used the services provided through ECU Career Services such as Handshake, resume help, and job fairs.
Completing internships gave Patel the most amount of professional experience that he feels prepared him for the workforce, he said.
“Well, the one (internship) that I had here in Greenville, the first one that I got, I found that through Career Services and the second one I found through the job fair they had here at the College of Business so I guess through Career Services,” Patel said.
He said he is looking for jobs right now. He said he is using websites such as Indeed, Redhat and Handshake. He said he is talking to family members that have connections in the finance field which he is planning to go into.