For the fourth year in a row, Baylor set a record for undergraduate placement rates, the percentage of students who either have a job or are enrolled in a graduate school program within 90days of undergraduate graduation.
“The Office of Career and Professional Development has gone to great lengths to make students aware of the office, its location and its services,” Marjorie Ellis, executive director of the Office of Career and Professional Development, wrote in an email to the Lariat. “The Office of Career and Professional Development also helps students locate internships including on and off campus, credit and non-credit, as well as intern preparation such as resume writing workshops and job interview coaching.”
Almost nine out of 10 Baylor graduates are either finding a job or finding a graduate program within the 90 day period after graduation, which is more than ever before, according to BaylorProud. The rate in 2016 was 86.5 percent of graduates, which is a nearly 20 point increase from the rate four years ago, when the Pro Futuris vision launched. This vision was formed when university leaders set a goal of raising the placement rate to 90 percent. BaylorProud said that the university is on track to reach this goal.
“The Office of Institutional Research and Testing conducts a senior survey every semester at least two weeks prior to graduation and then again as a 90-day followup in order to capture this information,” Ellis wrote in the e-mail.
Ellis said a successful placement is a student who has either accepted a position, is remaining in a currently held position, is considering offers, owns his or her own business, entered the military or was accepted to a graduate school. This data is important for students to pay attention to because it serves as a reference point to evaluate whether their job offer is competitive with other Baylor students who have accepted jobs recently.
“The Baylor Career and Professional Development Center first helped me prepare for finding a job when I asked for consultation on choosing a major,” said Anastasia Jaska, a 2016 Baylor alumna from Waco. “The Career Fairs gave me the opportunity to land interviews and job offers with leading companies. I ended up signing a job contract before graduation.”
Ellis said the Office of Career and Professional Development provides opportunities for students to gain the necessary skills to effectively market their academic success. Some of the developmental opportunities provided include as many as five career fairs, the online career database HireABear, approximately 140 presentations to classes and students groups and career advisers conducting over 1,900 individual appointments and at least three career development classes, Ellis said.
“If students fully invest in their future by not only doing well in their coursework but taking advantage of the services provided by the Office of Career and Professional Development, they stand a greater chance of being successful after graduation,” Ellis wrote in the e-mail.
Ellis said Baylor has made a decision to place a greater emphasis on career preparation for students as part of an effort to ensure that Baylor provided the best return on investment for students. This investment includes increasing the number of staff, adding resources to provide programs that encourage students. As of this spring, the Career and Professional Development center will occupy the entire west wing of the first floor of Sid Richardson Building in order to promote a better student experience.
The center was asked this year to lead student employment and create a developmental opportunity for students through the Federal Work Studies program and other student employment jobs on campus and in the community, Ellis said. In addition, Ellis said the the center plans to work directly with students to locate meaningful student employment experiences and to transfer those skills to a resume this summer.
BaylorProud said that with additional funds dedicated by Baylor to increase staff and resources in the Career and Professional Development center, students should be more encouraged to think about what steps they need to take in order to find a job after graduation through their work in and out of the classroom.
“The transition from college to the real world was a huge learning curve, but the Baylor Business School prepared me for the everyday problems I have to solve in my job,” Jaska said.
Ellis said that students should be sure to visit the Career and Professional Development website, connect on social media and stop by the office in the west wing of Paul L. Foster Success Center on the first floor in order to take advantage of the opportunities offered.