A top-notch education is just the beginning of what Syracuse University offers its students
by denise owen harrigan
chool of Management accounting major Karl Halteman '99 doesn't have a degree yet, but he boasts a 3.86 GPA and a resume packed with professional experience. From freshman year forward, he piled up internships: with Carrier Corporation in Syracuse, AT&T in Madrid, and Vanstar in Iselin, New Jersey. Last semester he coordinated all local business internships for the Syracuse University Internship Programand lined up his own summer post with a Big Six accounting firm. "I'm getting a good idea of how what we learn in the classroom plays out in the real world," says Halteman, who suspects he's probably leading the pack of his fellow job candidates"but not by much." When resume building in the nineties, you have to start early and progress steadily.
Zeroing in on a career used to be the last great challenge of senior year. Today it's a pressing issue even for first-year students, accelerated by job market pressures and the cost-consciousness of students and their parents. "With the high cost of higher education, students and parents ask tougher questions about the marketability of an SU degree," acknowledges Barry L. Wells, vice president for Student Affairs and dean of Student Relations. "We're giving this expectation of gainful employment the same serious attention as students' intellectual and personal growth. It's central to the University's vision of becoming the nation's leading student-centered research university."
In 1997, a task force took a hard look at SU's considerable network of career services. "There were more services than many of us were aware ofsome central, and some located within the schools and colleges," explains Susan J. Crockett, dean of the College for Human Development and task force chair. "One of our challenges is not to duplicate services, and another is to help students understand where each service fits into different stages of career development."
The Center for Career Services (CCS), for instance, has a staff of 10 and serves the needs of the entire student body by bringing in recruiters, listing jobs, scheduling interviews, counseling students, and teaching the etiquette of the job huntsuch as providing pointers on resume writing, interviewing, and networking. CCS's corporate-like offices in the Schine Student Center are loaded with the latest technological tools, including software that speeds student resumes to employers via the Internet.
On the other hand, Career Exploration Services in The College of Arts and Sciences has a cozier feel and a different goal; it helps students address preliminary questions such as: "What would I love to study?" and "How can I turn what I love to do into something the world needs?" "With many of our Arts and Sciences students, everything is still wide open," observes Deb Coquillon, the college's career services director. "That's the challenge hereand the opportunity."