Taking the first career planning steps

We’ve found a majority of today’s college students want to pursue successful careers but find difficulty taking the first step. Whether it’s not knowing that a career center exists on their campus or even how to utilize it, attending career fairs, or even knowing the basics of interfacing with potential employers, many students find uncertainty when thinking about life after college.

One of the primary reasons FMG created a careers program was to help students pave an informed, directed, and connected pathway towards career launches. Targeted specifically to members of Greek-letter organizations, we’ve even noticed hesitancy from students to join our career network. However, those who’ve joined and maximized their experience within our career network have found success in utilizing the resources, job openings, and mentoring platform.

Like the organizations with whom we collaborate…primarily Greek Life offices and campus career centers…we’re evaluating ways of motivating students to take the first step towards career planning. Then, once registered in our career network, leveraging it to maximize the resources, interface with employers, and schedule interviews.

Using data from surveys to help justify our analysis and guide our strategic moves, we find conflicting information. According to our open survey to undergraduate fraternity and sorority members across the United States, 86.2% claim that they’re ready to begin preparing for their careers.

What’s concerning and conflicting, however, are stats derived from campus career center staffers. According to a recent study conducted by NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers), the second greatest factor preventing the success of career centers is getting students to actually use the career centers. The top factor was the number of available career center staff.

When looking into the reasons students aren’t utilizing career centers, the NACE study revealed the following:
Lack of student motivation   –   47.2%
Demand on student’s time   –   36.3%
Lack of awareness of career center   –   18.0%
Lack of support from faculty   –   9.1%

This data confirms that our collaborators are in the same boat as we are…as we’re challenged with inviting students to participate and encouraging their active engagement. Fortunately, the FMG careers program is designed to address issues and challenges proactively using a variety of approaches which may not be offered at most schools. This helps maintain an innovative direction, while providing the means to be actively engaged with students and employers.

Today’s job market is a competitive marketplace full of talented job-seekers with varying levels of experience. Our goal is to guide student leaders in the right direction, by offering the tools and connections necessary to position them in a very appealing manner to prospective employers. Motivated students will find success; others may be left behind or may not secure ideal jobs or internships. We do what we can to help students take the right steps toward successful career planning.