Grads may fare better in 2011 job market

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    TCU graduates might fare better in the 2011 job market than last year’s graduates, Jessica Cates, associate director of the Alcon Career Center, said.

    There have been 100 on-campus interviews with students and employers this semester, up 16 percent from spring 2010, she said.

    Although Cates said she could not determine actual numbers of 2011 graduates receiving jobs until they actually graduate, she said she heard of more students getting jobs at this time of the year compared to last year.

    Austin Grajczyk, a senior nursing major, said he recently had an interview at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest in Fort Worth. He said many of his other classmates also interviewed with companies and others even received job offers.

    Cates said employer recruitment through campus-sponsored events and services like career fairs, networking nights, on-campus interviewing, and job postings on TCU FrogJobs had seen an increase in interest for TCU students.

    The number of employers participating in the TCU Career Expo increased from 63 employers in spring 2010 to 80 employers in spring 2011, Ashley Grubbs, associate director of employer development of Career Services, wrote in an email.

    More employer interest would translate to more employment offers available to TCU students, Grubbs wrote.

    Cates also felt as a whole the job market had begun to open back up.

    “A lot of employers slashed hiring a number of years ago, so now that they have some money and have been able to create some revenue, they need people badly because they have been working with a very slim workforce,” Cates said.

    She said Fort Worth-based Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway provided an example of a company that had cut back recruiting at TCU in recent years, but had returned to recruiting more at TCU this year.

    Bret Irvin, assistant vice president in Human Resources at BNSF, said he said he felt BNSF and TCU had a similar commitment to excellence. The railway company had already hired or made offers to five TCU students this year, he said.

    He believed this commonality helped TCU students fit in well in the company’s working environment.

    When he thought of TCU, he said he thought of quality of faculty, excellence in academics, and students engaged as citizens within a community. This similar excellence and familiarity of involvement in a community reflected some of the characteristics BNSF looked for in job applicants and future leaders in the company, he said.

    Irvin said things BNSF and TCU had in common rested in being able to select people to thrive in each institution’s culture.

    “Anytime you look at success whether it’s in a company or a university, it really revolves around people,” Irvin said. “So you think about how do you bring the right people into your organization or how do you bring the right people into your university to ensure that you have success.”

    Renewed hiring of TCU students at companies such as BNSF could give hope to Trang Lam, a senior accounting major.

    Lam had not found a job yet and with graduation nearing, the anxiety of not knowing what her future held left her frustrated.

    She felt student resources like Career Services and Frog Jobs had provided a great way to network with potential employers though.

    Irvin said he considered networking with employers and friends a beneficial part of finding a job.

    Grajczyk said his experience working at the hospital and getting to know the employees there had helped him obtain an interview. He said he remained hopeful having an established relationship with the employer will help him get the job.

    Irvin said graduates should remain committed and not get discouraged if they did not receive a job immediately after graduation.

    “One of the hardest things at any age is just trying to be patient and trying to maintain the tenacity that it is going to take to find that job,” he said.