Forty percent of Stanford students obtain their post-graduation jobs through friends, alumni, faculty and family, according to Career Development Center (CDC) Director Lance Choy, which he said demonstrates the prevalence of traditional networking strategies in the job search.
The CDC plans to survey seniors during dead week to determine how many have secured jobs and how many are still searching for positions. Choy, however, predicted that while some members of the senior class have jobs lined up, more members of the senior class will find jobs in the months after leaving Stanford. Expressing optimism about an improved employment market, he cited in particular the increased number of job listings on the CDC site over the past two years.
The National Association of Colleges and Employers’ recent Student Survey reinforces Choy’s assessment. According to the association’s research, about 26 percent of 2012 college graduates have a job lined up, compared to 24 percent last year.
“Seniors can use CDC services up to 12 months after graduation,” Choy wrote in an email to The Daily. “They can make appointments with career counselors to review resumes, practice interviewing skills and learn various tips and strategies on how to find jobs. New alumni can use CDC job postings and attend career fairs. They are no longer eligible for Cardinal Recruiting (on-campus recruiting) once they graduate.”
Choy explained that the job-search field is currently changing due to the increased use of social networking websites.
“More and more employers are using LinkedIn, a social networking tool, to find candidates,” Choy wrote. “There are a number of efforts to use Facebook to find jobs, but that seems to be an on-going developmental effort.”
However, traditional networking can still be critical for those seeking employment, Choy added.
Andy Nguyen ’12 will be working at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the Gene Regulation and Development Section of The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) after graduation. He took a more service-oriented approach to his job search.
“I got some e-mails from the CDC that were helpful, but my interests are in public service, so I received more assistance from the Haas Center,” Nguyen said. “I chose the NIH because the position is very learning- and training-oriented.”
Mia Shaw ’12 had a similar experience regarding her search for job opportunities post-graduation, and even though she did not find her position directly through the CDC, she still made use of some of the center’s services. Shaw is a human biology major with a focus in adolescent health and development. Next year, she will teach middle school science in the Las Vegas Valley with Teach for America.
“I think the CDC is a valuable resource, one that I did not utilize enough during my time here at Stanford,” Shaw said. “They have helped me with reconstructing my resume, and I have enjoyed attending some of the panels and presentations they have held. Honestly, I probably would have used them more if I did not physically have to walk to the CDC building as often or if they had more job opportunities in the humanities.”
The Stanford Alumni Association’s Alumni Career Services program also offers resources to recent graduates.
“The CDC provides free counseling to students and alums one year out,” said Manager of Alumni Services Fedra Pouideh. “We then provide a list of career coaches available across the nation for those interested in additional services. Members of the Stanford Alumni Association receive a free coaching session.”