Heart of the Matter

Andy Chan's Blog for Parents, Mentors and Teachers

Opportunity Knocks

We are approaching the mid-point of the semester and I am happy to report that employers have been actively engaged in a variety of recruiting activities at Wake Forest. In the past week, over eleven organizations have met with students on campus, including General Electric, Deloitte, Peace Corps and IBM, among others. During the fall semester, many organizations begin the process of recruiting and hiring students for full-time positions. In the spring semester, many more organizations will hire students for summer internships. We expect to have over eighty employers on-campus this fall to conduct on-campus interviews and attend our three career and graduate school fairs. Organizations have begun hosting information sessions to educate students about a broad variety of opportunities.

The Peace Corps recruiter will make four visits to campus this fall to speak with students of all majors and classes.

All majors and classes

Fall semester is the ideal time for students of any class year to speak with career fair attendees and attend employer information sessions to explore career fields and better understand the recruiting process. Employers have been impressed with the many first year and sophomore students they have met. They know that the earlier students gather information on careers and organizations, the more time they have to determine what most interests them, and the more prepared they will be when it is time to interview for internships or full time positions.  Almost all of the employers consistently ask our office to tell students that they are interested in speaking with and recruiting students of any major.

A first year student reviews application materials for a Big Brothers Big Sisters opportunity.

Employer information sessions

Employers who conduct on-campus interviews work hard to capture the attention of Wake Forest students. Dozens of employers conduct fall semester open information sessions to promote their career field, organization, and open positions. Often, alumni representatives come back to campus to share candid insights and provide additional information beyond what is available on organization websites. By receiving tips for navigating the employment and interview process, students are better prepared for the application process and for potential interviews.  The dates and times of all information sessions are readily available through the student DeaconSource career management system.

Students receive advice about Wipro’s interview process from a WF alumni representative.

Off-campus recruiting

Many organizations seeking Wake Forest student talent are not able to come on campus to recruit students. Instead, they opt to post positions directly to students using our DeaconSource job and internship board.  During the fall semester, we typically post thirty jobs and internship opportunities each week. Most positions are listed for a two week span, so it’s important to check the board frequently and apply right away or you might miss an attractive opportunity. Eighty-six jobs and internships were current and available for student review on October 2.

The Importance of Networking

Most students (and their parents) mistakenly think that most opportunities are available through on campus recruiting or from the DeaconSource job board.  In fact, the majority of jobs secured by students come through networking in the hidden job market. Our networking section on the Career and Professional Development website can serve as an excellent instructional resource for you and your student. Using LinkedIn and the WF Career Connectors Group (it’s all explained on this web page) will allow your student to get in touch with friendly Wake Forest connections.

If you are a parent or alum, join the LinkedIn WF Career Connectors Group today so that you can help current WF students learn about your career area or introduce them to others in your professional network or organization. Although ‘opportunity knocks’ this fall, it will continue year-round so be ready to help students at any time.

Students should take advantage of these active opportunities to learn about careers and apply for job openings now.  They must also recognize that the job search may not come easy. Even in an excellent job market, it can still be challenging to find a job best suited to your strengths.  However, with thousands of WF alumni and parents in the WF Career Connectors Group who are willing to help you (in addition to the staff and resources of the OPCD), your journey will be much easier than if you just go it alone.

Category: DeaconSource, Employer Events, Networking