CWS Senior Survey reveals high employment rates for Class of 2012
Published: Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 15:09
A recent survey from Wellesley’s Center for Work and Service (CWS) revealed that Wellesley’s class of 2012 fared better in terms of employment prospects than this year’s average college graduate. The survey notes that of the 69 percent of seniors who reported intentions to work immediately after graduation, 54 percent either found a job or received a job offer before graduation. Meanwhile, the National Association of Colleges and Employers reported that only 44 percent of 2012 graduates across the country were able to secure employment prior to graduation.
CWS Executive Director Joanne Murray attributes Wellesley’s relative success in the job market to the College’s strong alumnae support system, as well as student preparation throughout their college careers.
“When students access the alumnae network, the answer is always, ‘Yes, I’ll help you. What do you need? Let me give you good advice about how to enter this field, let me tell you who I know, who’s hiring. How can I help you?’” Murray said. “I think the other part of it is that students have these incredibly important internships early on that make them employable. And when we think about internships, we don’t just think about off-the-shelf internships. We really try to structure remarkable learning experiences that differentiate students from others in the workforce.”
The top employers for Wellesley’s class of 2012 include Teach for America, which hired eight Wellesley graduates, Bank of America (four), Capital One (three), the MIT Lincoln Laboratory (two) and Wellesley College (two).
Students reported entering a variety of fields, though the largest proportion (25.1 percent) entered business. Other top fields for 2012 graduates include science and technology (14.2 percent), education (13.7 percent) and, finally, communications, media and arts (12.3 percent).
Most of the top employers were active in recruitment at the College. Eighty-two companies interviewed students on-campus throughout the 2011-2012 academic year, and 72 organizations and companies participated in the fall job fair, The Fair, at the College.
However, on-campus recruitment was not responsible for all student employment.
The Parent Program, which encourages parents to inform the CWS of job openings available to students, is just one measure the CWS has taken recently to bring more jobs to students. Technology updates have also contributed to student job searches, and the administration is hopeful that it will continue to improve the services the Center is able to provide. By registering with the CWS, students can now be informed via e-mail of job openings in their specific fields of interest.
“If you post in those profiles that you’re interested in a particular job […] our system is configured so that you will get those job postings,” said Tryon.
Stephanie Tatum ’12, who now works at Sun Life Financial in Boston, claims that the CWS can play an important role for seniors seeking employment.
“Working through CWS definitely is an all-inclusive process, and the schools who do come for on-campus interviews through the CWS are very enthusiastic to meet Wellesley women, and think they make great employees within their companies,” Tatum said. “I think, especially based on my own experience, the connections you make at Wellesley are instrumental in the job-hunting process… People at Wellesley almost always want to help you.”
As part of its increased effort to help students, the CWS also plans to strengthen its social media presence by playing a more active role on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin, in addition to launching its new website and blog. Through these changes, the Center plans to maintain its goal of helping each Wellesley student through her individual job search process.
“Every single counselor we have here can work individually with students to customize the job search to her needs… It’s not going to be possible for every company and every job to be represented here, but we can show you how to find a job in every one of those fields, and how to connect in every on of those fields,” Tryon stated.
In addition to its efforts to connect students to jobs, the CWS also focuses on preparing students for interviews and the general application process. It recently hosted a job search boot camp and, later this month, will host alumnae from a variety of fields to conduct mock interviews with seniors on campus.
Still, Tatum emphasized that the Center could improve these preparation techniques, especially for students seeking finance or business-related jobs.
“Wellesley should offer some of their own case prep workshops for students. I think that is the biggest disadvantage for many applicants in their first interviews,” Tatum said. “We may not be as prepared for the analytics of a case interview if we have never experienced that before.”
While a majority of 2012 graduates did enter the workforce, a significant portion also chose to attend graduate school. Most students reported that they eventually would pursue a master’s degree (62.7 percent). The top graduate schools for the class of 2012 thus far include Columbia University (five), Boston University (four) and Harvard University (four). Still, immediate employment following graduation seemed to be the more popular option for Wellesley’s class of 2012.
“People are not choosing, in the same numbers, to go to graduate or professional school immediately. It’s too soon to know if that’s a trend or just an anomaly,” said Murray, who also emphasized that she does not expect Wellesley’s long-term graduate school figures (80 percent of graduates pursue a further degree within 10 years of leaving the College) to be affected.