By Jada Butler
Assistant News Editor
The campus office of Employer Relations is an underutilized resource for students at LIU Post.
To those who seek them out, job opportunities can arrive sooner than graduation. In an effort to get more students involved, Moreen Mitchell, University Director of Employer Relations and Career Success as of June 2016, and Joan Yonke, Campus Director of Employer Relations, decided to bring awareness to their department through a table in Hillwood Commons during common hour on Tuesdays.
Employer Relations is an outward-facing office, meaning most of their time is spent outside of the office meeting with employers. Mitchell expressed, “I want to go out and meet students on my own.”
Beginning in late Nov. 2016, Mitchell and Yonke created “Tabling Tuesdays” to draw attention to the job database for students listed on www.career.liu.edu and to talk with students about opportunities available to them.
Yonke and Mitchell sent lists of student jobs, internships and job shadowing opportunities to professors, departments, and the Promise office, yet the student engagement remained low.
Mitchell advises students to think of their future career and aspirations simultaneously with their studies. Internships are the key to securing a job after graduation. “Students should take advantage of being a student.”
Mitchell explained that employers are doing a cost-and-benefit analysis of hiring a graduate that has interned with them, versus a student that has done nothing with the company in the past. She commented, “Internships are a leg in the door.”
A prime concern Mitchell notices among students not applying for internships is how their grades reflect on potential employers. “Most employers are not looking at grades,” Mitchell explained. “They want someone hardworking, dedicated, and genuinely interested in learning about the field. It is ultimately about what you bring to the table.”
Yonke and Mitchell are working on a survey that will be sent out to students to determine the efficiency of tabling. Jenise Carter, a senior business management major, came to them last semester for help with applying to trainee programs at Enterprise, and successfully landed an interview.
Carter explained, “I asked them if they knew of anyone who could help me with my resume, because
that seemed to be my weakest spot.” Yonke and Mitchell worked with Carter and talked about her past job experiences, action verbs to put on the resume, and resume structure that would help her stand out. Yonke connected with Carter over winter break to go over her revised resume.
She shared her success in her first interview, “[Yonke] sent me a few companies that were looking for students, and Enterprise was the first company I’ve heard back from.”
The Employer Relations office also provides other services in Hillwood such as on-campus interviews where employers are brought on campus to engage with students, “Employer-in-Residence” where an employer can speak directly to students about current job openings, “Employer Spotlight” where a single employer speaks about their work to a group or class and “Career Roundtable Connections” in which various employers from similar industries speak with students in small groups.