Posted: Monday Jun 23, 2014
June 23, 2014
Saint Vincent College Career Center reports that 95 percent of the class of 2013’s graduating respondents are already a success, a figure that is consistent with other recent classes.
“We are very excited about what last year’s graduates have achieved in just one year,” commented Courtney Baum, director of the Saint Vincent College Career Center, “and we are especially pleased because our statistics represent follow-up tracking of 94 percent of the members of the class. While other colleges and universities report high rates of job or graduate school placement, sometimes that represents only a small percentage of the class that responded to their survey. Saint Vincent is committed to trying to contact every single graduate to find out what they are doing.
The Saint Vincent Career Center has a clear definition of what it takes to be successful. “Success means that the student is working, going to school or doing something productive in a field related to their major or their area of interest after graduation,” Baum explained. “We distinguish those who are productively employed in their field of study from those who accept employment unrelated to their field of study, which we categorize as ‘still seeking employment’. The purpose of a Saint Vincent degree is to advance in a career and our goal is to work with students to help them reach their goals.”
“We know that only 5 percent of grads are still seeking employment or graduate school a year after they complete their degree. Typically, we are unable to reach about 5-10 percent for various reasons, despite our best efforts,” she said.
There were a total of 350 graduates in the Saint Vincent class of 2013 and Baum and her staff made contact with 327 of them. “That’s one of the highest response rates we’ve ever had,” she noted. “We use multiple methods for reaching the grads including email and phone surveys, Facebook, LinkedIn, and also through faculty, administrators and coaches, and even Google and other Internet searches.”
Saint Vincent 2013 grads who chose professional schools enrolled at some of the top colleges and universities in the country including Johns Hopkins University, Jesuit Volunteer Corps, Carnegie Mellon, West Virginia University, University of Pittsburgh, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, American Music and Dramatic Academy, Jefferson Medical College and others. Students also began employment with major corporations including Mylan, GNC, Department of Defense, U.S. Navy, Accenture Federal Services, BNY Mellon, Bayer, UPMC, PeaceCorps, First Commonwealth, Kennametal, 84 Lumber, Heinz and the Walt Disney Company.
Of the 327 respondents from the class of 2013, 220 (67 percent) are employed, 64 (20 percent) are in graduate school, 11 (3.5 percent) are in medical or professional health schools, 10 (3 percent) are seeking additional degrees or certification and six (1.5 percent) are engaged in community service or have joined the military.
Baum advised prospective students and their parents to consider a college or university’s success rate when deciding which college to attend. “I would say that if you are able to have success within a year after you graduate from Saint Vincent College, it is most likely because you made connections while you were a student. You took action and did internships to make yourself marketable. But, the reality is that there are some students who work really hard and still have difficulty landing a job for various reasons. However, enhancing yourself while you are a student, working with the Career Center to improve interviewing skills and being open to new opportunities in new geographic areas are all important. There are no guarantees, but we know the path to success, and we encourage students to seek every opportunity to meet and network with people in their field and beyond.”
Saint Vincent offers career advising to prospective students, current students and to its alumni for life. “We encourage all of our students to take advantage of our services,” Baum concluded. “At Saint Vincent we work with each student on an individual basis to make sure that we are meeting their needs. If we cannot help someone, we will find another person who will. Our goal is to give students the personal and professional skills to be able to approach an employer, to be able to apply for an internship, job or graduate school successfully, to write an appropriate cover letter, to gain confidence and to know how to dress professionally. We want students to begin the process of learning all of these skills in their freshman year and to continue for four years, so they can apply it in all aspects of their current and future professional development.”
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