ABC 7: Career Center Discusses “Boomerang Generation”

The San Jose State University Career Center was featured on the ABC Channel 7 TV segment “Beyond the Headlines” with Cheryl Jennings. In this clip, Job Development and Marketing Specialist Daniel Newell discusses services offered through the Career Center to help businesses identify, attract, and recruit top talent. Political science student Aryton Oliver also shares his views on moving back home after college graduation in response to the need to pay back school loans and secure employment in a tight market.

View a similar segment with Career Center Director Cheryl Allmen-Vinnedge.

SJSU in the News: Huge Jump in Number of Employers at Career Fair

Employers are returning in droves this fall to the Silicon Valley college job fair circuit

Originally published in the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal Oct. 4, 2011.

By David Goll

San Jose State University officials say the 132 companies and other organizations represented at its Fall Job and Internship Fair being held Tuesday is up 69 percent over the number of employers who participated a year ago. And the more than 150 employers participating in the Oct. 5 autumn job fair at Santa Clara University has grown by more than one-third as compared to last year’s turnout.

“We’re dedicated to trying to help students connect with employers at any level,” Anita Manuel, San Jose State’s career consultant/program manager at the university’s Career Center, said in a statement. “That includes internships, part-time jobs and then also their first professional career position if they’re going to be graduating and looking for that first job.”

Among the employers talking to San Jose State students today are Applied Materials Inc. Cisco Systems Inc., Kohl’s Inc., SanDisk Corp. and Lockheed Martin Corp. Manuel said she was impressed with the increase in companies coming to this fall’s fair, “especially given the economy, how it’s been a tough job market. But with the fact that we have so many employers that want to come to the job fair means they’re definitely hiring.”

Many of those same employers plan to be at Santa Clara on Wednesday. The list — including a wide array of industry segments — includes KLA-Tencor Corp., Macy’s Inc., Apple Inc., Fisher Investments, Kiewit Infrastructure West Co., Safeway Inc., Ross Stores Inc., Barracuda Networks Inc. , Comerica Bank, Target Corp. and Seagate Technology LLC.

“Employment for the class of 2012 is looking good,” Elspeth Rossetti, director of Santa Clara’s Career Center, said in a statement. “The number of employers attending the fall career fair is back at pre-recession levels. Recruitment for new graduates is not reflecting the doom and gloom prospects of national economic forecasts.”

David Goll can be reached at 408.299.1853 or dgoll@bizjournals.com.

David Goll covers commercial real estate, retail, economic development and transportation at the Business Journal.

Crowds of students and alumni visit employers' booths and tables at a previous job fair in the Event Center. Photo courtesy of Career Center.

Career Center Offers Variety of Resources to Job Seekers

Crowds of students and alumni visit employers' booths and tables at a previous job fair in the Event Center. Photo courtesy of Career Center.

The Career Center will host its Fall Job & Internship Fair at the Event Center on Oct. 4. Photo courtesy of Career Center.

By Sarah Kyo, Public Affairs Assistant

No matter what stage Spartans are at in their job search, SJSU’s Career Center has them covered.

“We’re dedicated to trying to help students connect with employers at any level,” said Anita Manuel, career consultant / program manager at the Career Center, “so that includes internships, part-time jobs and then also their first professional career position if they’re going to be graduating and looking for that first job.”

Located up a set of stairs at Administration 154, with a wheelchair accessible entrance at Administration 255, the Career Center offers a variety of job resources and events.

Here just a few of many upcoming events:

  • Fall Job and Internship Fair on Oct. 4, noon-5 p.m., in the Event Center
  • Job Fair Success Workshop on Sept. 28, 2-3:15 p.m, in Mod A
  • Resume Blast Event on Sept. 29, 1-4 p.m., in the Loma Prieta Room of the Student Union
  • Job Search 2.0: Managing Your Online Presence on Sept. 28, 12-1:15 p.m., in Mod A
  • The Career Center offers walk-in appointments on Mondays and Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m., and Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:30-3 p.m.

Job & Internship Fair

It will be a full house at the Fall Job and Internship Fair on Oct. 4, noon-5 p.m., in the Event Center: 132 employers will be represented, which is 69 percent more than last fall’s fair, said Susan Rockwell, the Career Center’s assistant director of employer services.

Manuel said this turnout is great, “especially given the economy, how it’s been a tough job market. But with the fact that we have so many employers that want to come to the job fair means they’re definitely hiring.”

Companies include Applied Materials, Cisco Systems, Kohl’s Department Stores, Lockheed Martin and SanDisk Corporation. The job and internship fair is open to current SJSU students of all majors, as well as SJSU alumni who are registered with the Career Center and have a membership card.

Rockwell said even with an increase in employers at the fair, it’s important for attendees to remember they’re in a competitive job environment and to consider how they present themselves and their skills set.

Manuel agreed, saying, “Some of the most important things for students to remember when it comes to job fairs is the more prepared they are, the more likely they are to get a request for an interview or to meet with that employer for a job.”

To help students prepare, the Career Center offers Job Fair Success Workshops in Mod A, a portable building near Hoover Hall and the Aquatic Center: Sept. 27, 3:30-4:45 p.m., or  Sept. 28, 2-3:15 p.m. An online version of the workshop can be accessed after students create an account with the Career Center.

There’s also a Resume Blast Event on Sept. 29, 1-4 p.m., in the Loma Prieta Room of the Student Union, where students can have a hard copy of their resume reviewed and practice what they’ll say to employers at the fair.

Workshops

Whether it’s choosing a major or preparing for an interview, the Career Center runs workshops that cover an array of job-related needs. All workshops take place in Mod A.

One workshop that covers a recent trend is Job Search 2.0: Managing Your Online Presence. It’s next offered on Sept. 28, 12-1:15 p.m. Besides going over how to utilize social media for job-seeking purposes, the workshop also warns students about being careful.

“A lot of students are surprised that employers actually do check or Google them when they’re candidates,” Manuel said, “and if things come up from their Facebook pages, or if they don’t have privacy settings on those pages, photos and all sorts of comments and things that they think might be private are actually very accessible.”

Other newer workshops include Networking 101 and Finding a Job in Today’s Economy. Read the Career Center Program & Event Calendar for a listing of workshops and other events.

Personal Interaction

“One of the biggest misconceptions is that a lot of students think they have to be graduating or in their senior year to actually use our services, but in reality, they can use our services starting in their freshman year,” Manuel said.

After creating an online account with the Career Center, students will have access to the SpartaJobs database. Their online account also allows them to schedule an appointment to meet with a counselor in person. The Career Center offers walk-in appointments on Mondays and Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m., and Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:30-3 p.m.

“I encourage people to come to the Career Center and work on a job search plan tailored to them,” Rockwell said.

You can find out more information about the Career Center at its website, blog, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channel.

SJSU alumnus Jason Whitcomb at Labeau Field

Kinesiology Alumnus Drafted for NFL Internship

Jason Whitcomb standing on Lambeau Field, Greenbay Wisconsin

Jason Whitcomb at Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin. Planning an NFL kick-off event is just one of several assignments for Whitcomb with the Junior Rotational Program.

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

Alumnus Jason Whitcomb may have just graduated, but he is already off to a great start with a career in sports management.

After enduring a three-month interview process and going up against 2,500 applicants, Whitcomb was one of just six individuals selected in 2011 for the NFL’s Junior Rotational Program, a two-year paid internship in New York.

Sports Management Program Director Sonja Lilienthal says the most important thing for her students to do is gain experience in the field and volunteer as much as possible.

“Jason was a kid who took all the opportunities that I brought to class and followed up on them,” Lilienthal said.

Whitcomb played football, basketball and volleyball in high school. Then he played one year of football at Foothill College.

Now residing in Manhattan’s East Village, he is adapting to New York culture and working 9 to 5. He talked to SJSU Today about getting the job and what he does during his free time. The following was edited for length and clarity.

SJSU TODAY: Can you tell us about the interview process?

Jason Whitcomb: I took every round of interviews as an opportunity to prepare for the next stage. I used the SJSU Career Center’s online interview practice to help me prepare for my interview and met with a counselor to work on my resume. I tried to become more comfortable with my interview by practicing in my room at night.

SJSU: How important is it to have work experience in addition to your academic record on your resume?

Whitcomb: There is no way I would have gotten the job without my work experience. Professor Lilienthal recommended the Special Event Management Team with the Department of Hospitality, Recreation and Tourism Management. The biggest highlight of my resume was living in Pebble Beach for a month, where I worked with upper-level executives to gain office experience while assisting with the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

SJSU: What types of things do you do with the Junior Rotational Program?

Whitcomb: I touch bases with different people in different departments. I’ve also worked with youth clinics, on an internal newsletter, and helped to plan the NFL Experience, a series of events that lead up to the Super Bowl.

SJSU: Were you a high school athletes?

Whitcomb: I played football, basketball and volleyball in high school. Then he played one year of football at Foothill College.

SJSU: What do you do during your free time?

Whitcomb: I like to put on a pair of sneakers and walk around the city. There are so many cool things to see, just walking down the street. There are a lot of cool parks and the East Village is such a fun area.

SJSU in the News: Proposed Tuition Increase Leaves Students Scrambling for Jobs, Loans, Paid Internships

CSU, UC students brace for another round of tuition hikes

Originally published in the San Jose Mercury News July 10, 2011

By Lisa M. Krieger and Ellen Huet

Wendy Yang is working as hard as she can to save enough money to someday attend California State University.

But the rise in tuition is outpacing her paycheck.

On Tuesday, the CSU’s Board of Trustees votes on a 12 percent hike for a semester that starts in less than three months. That’s $1,272 more than it cost two years ago, when Wang enrolled in community college in Cupertino, landed a job in Milpitas — and set her sights on CSU-Pomona.

With a constantly moving target, “my friends and I are worried,” Yang said. “I’m trying to save money, and I love my job. But it seems like every couple of months, fees keep going up.”

University of California students are facing an increase as well — their ninth in eight years — if the Board of Regents approves a 9.6 percent hike at Thursday’s meeting.

The schools say the hikes are necessary to help offset the $150 million in additional budget cuts approved for each system when Gov. Jerry Brown signed the new state budget last month. In turn, the schools say they will boost financial aid to help. In addition to tuition hikes, both systems will cut operational costs, on top of previous cuts.

UC is even taking more desperate measures, such as increasing the payout from endowments and drawing down from an employee/retiree healthcare reserve.

Students and their families say that the average business couldn’t sustain such sudden, unpredictable and significant cost increases — and similarly, it busts their well-planned household budgets. “We weren’t prepared for such relentless fee increases,” said Morgan Hill’s Eric Acedo, 20, an environmental studies major at San Jose State. He already works one part-time job, as an office assistant — but wants a second one.

“I work as many hours as possible, but I’m looking for another. Everybody I know is looking for a job,” he said. “I should be studying full-time.”

University educators and analysts say the year-to-year state budget cuts make it equally tough for them to plan for their future.

“Schools are doing lots of things to get through this emergency. But it is very hard to plan your fiscal future when things are changing,” said researcher John Douglass of UC Berkeley’s Center for the Study of Higher Education. As state support keeps receding, he said, “You’re always waiting for another shoe to drop.”

Last-minute fee hikes and emergency cost-cutting “are all just reactive,” said William G. Tierney, director of the Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis at the University of Southern California. “We haven’t heard a single thing from the governor about his vision for higher education — what he wants it to be.”

California is not alone in this mess: State support of higher education has sunk to the lowest level recorded in more than 30 years, according to a recent report by the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, which tracks and reports these trends in annual financial reports.

Florida’s state schools are hiking tuition 15 percent — for the third year in a row. The University of Washington is considering a 20 percent boost in next fall’s tuition. Nevada’s Board of Regents voted earlier this month to raise tuition 13 percent at the state’s public colleges. At the University of Arizona, incoming freshmen are paying double what this spring’s graduating seniors paid — $10,035 a year, up from $5,037 four years ago.

More than two dozen governors are seeking slashed college funding, a possible $5 billion in cuts nationwide, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers.

“But what’s unique in California is the magnitude of the crisis — the size of the budget deficit, combined with a growing population,” Douglass said. “This puts it in a league of its own.”

“We used to be leaders,” said William G. Tierney, director of the Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis at the University of Southern California. “It’s a tragedy.”

Tierney fears the growing debt on students who can least afford it. In 2009, Tierney remembers a UCLA student with no parental support needed to take out $3,567 in loans for a year of school; next fall, he has a student who will borrow $9,200.

Increasing fees mean that students may need to make tough choices about internships, which are often unpaid, said SJSU’s career center director Cheryl Allmen-Vinnedge.

“Many students would love to be able to accept an internship but perhaps it’s not as well-paying — so they’re forced to make choices between getting experience and putting food on the table,” she said. And if they’re sharing a house with roommates, to save money, “they have to think twice when they’re offered an internship in Washington D.C.”

“Many of ours students have several part-time jobs,” she added.

To help, Daniel Newell of SJSU’s Career Center has assembled a report compiling “job opportunities to meet rising student debt. With the downturn economy the past few years, rising tuition and debt, the college wanted to react to this,” he said.

Student groups are lobbying for a bill to make CSU and UC give students at least six months notice before raising tuition. But schools warn the bill could hurt students more than it would help, because campuses would need to reduce enrollment and close classes to cover revenue shortfalls.

“Tuition is the biggest lever you have” to quickly generate new revenue, when the state suddenly cuts support, Douglass said.

“We have been suffering a million small cuts,” he said, “but now we’re getting bludgeoned.”

SJSU in the News: San Jose State Students Benefit from Sizzling Tech Job Market

A Graduation Gift for College Seniors: Jobs

This year’s crop of tech grads could see the best hiring market in years

Originally posted in Bloomberg Businessweek on May 5, 2011

By Oliver Staley, Douglas MacMillan and Cecile Vannucci

Hamza Afzal had such a hard time finding an electrical engineering internship during the recession that he delayed his graduation, took pre-med classes, and applied to law school. This year he got two job offers in his field. “I definitely saw a shift in the job market,” says Afzal, a senior at San José State University, who starts May 30 at chipmaker Linear Technology (LLTC).

The class of 2011 is enjoying the best job market for new grads since the 2008 financial crisis, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. It’s being driven by gains in finance, energy, and technology, says Edwin W. Koc, NACE’s research chief, who foresees younger workers filling a backlog of jobs after two years of stagnant hiring.

In Silicon Valley, postings have doubled from two years ago at technology career website operator Dice Holdings (DHX). “It’s quite a stunning comeback,” says Lance Choy, director of the career development center at Stanford University. Postings on Stanford’s online job board for full-time positions surged 36 percent to 1,900 in the fourth quarter of last year compared with a year earlier.

Emerging areas such as social media, mobile applications, and e-commerce are fueling rapid hiring at big companies such as Google (GOOG) and Apple (AAPL), as well as venture capital-backed startups. At San José State, job postings increased 59 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, according to Cheryl Allmen-Vinnedge, director of the school’s career center. A job fair at the university on Apr. 12 drew more employers than the school had room for, she says.

Zynga, the biggest maker of online games on Facebook, is hiring about 130 college grads this year, 35 percent more than last year. That pace is a switch from the past few years, when the recession crimped the hiring of new graduates. In 2009 the University of California, Berkeley, halved its job fair from two days to one because of a dearth of interested employers. This year the event returned to two days and drew 160 companies, up from 95 last year.

Baba Shiv, a professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business, says the current frenzy to hire business and engineering students translates into a great opportunity for job seekers to gain valuable experience at a startup. “For students, it’s the perfect time to take chances,” Shiv says. “Do it now. In five years, it will be over.”

SJSU in the News: Students Crowd Career Fair

Hiring surge brings recruiters to Bay Area campus job fairs

Originally published in San Jose Mercury News April 20, 2011

By Lisa M. Krieger

After years of gloom, college students are flocking to campus job fairs this month in what is shaping up to be the best job hunting season since the Class of 2008.

Universities all over the Bay Area report an increase in the number of recruiters seeking to fill entry-level jobs and internships — brightening prospects for students whose entire adult lives have been clouded by the Great Recession.

As commencement approaches, 148 recruiters are visiting UC Berkeley this week at a job fair so big that it was turned into a two-day event — for the first time since 2008. More than 1,500 students are expected to attend.

Earlier this month, Santa Clara University’s fair attracted 75 employers, up from 50 last year. At San Jose State, lines of students snaked through the Student Union hallways and the number of prospective employers jumped from 52 to 73 — so high that recruiters were turned away.

“The valley is heating up again,” said Lance Choy, director of Stanford University’s Career Development Center, which held its first Ph.D. Fair on Wednesday. Last week, Stanford hosted 128 companies at its undergraduate fair — and because it ran out of room, needed to create a waiting list.

“It’s been a tough couple years,” he said. “A lot of students struggled.”

With bold ideas, curious spirits and near-infinite reserves of energy, most college graduates are eager to launch their careers with feverish optimism.

But few groups suffered greater setbacks during the recession than the young. The jobless rate for new college graduates averaged 9.3 percent in 2010, double the figure for older graduates, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. (It was far higher, 17 percent, for 20- to 24-year-olds without degrees.)

As undergrads, students watched their elder classmates enter the worst job market in recent history — many forced to move back home with their parents, because of unemployment. Such a bleak start has lifelong implications; because most workers see their incomes increase slowly and steadily, a low starting salary can affect future earnings.

Now, a technology-led recovery is slowly spreading throughout the local economy, adding jobs in every sector except construction. The 150 biggest public companies in Silicon Valley had their most profitable year in history in 2010, bolstered by demand for new handheld gadgets.

Campus counselors caution students that Santa Clara County still has an unemployment rate of 10.3 percent — and because the job market remains very competitive, new grads should consider “starter jobs” that are not necessarily in their field, and build up their resumes with research assistant positions or part-time work.

“I was definitely scared,” said Santa Clara University senior Tasha Mistry, whose studies taught her how to apply computer-based data analysis to guide business strategies.

“I planned on graduating a year early — but my professor gave me the best advice, advising me to stay in school, due to the economy,” she said.

Now the 21-year-old Fremont native has, not one, but three job offers — all from top-tier companies: Kaiser Permanente, Cisco Systems and Adobe. Kaiser’s offer came through a successful internship, which she landed after an on-campus “resume review.” She met Cisco at a campus job fair last January, and though the San Jose networking giant didn’t have any openings then, she kept in touch. Adobe found her through the school’s career website, called BroncoLink.

Job listings on San Jose State’s SpartaJobs website jumped 59 percent to 1,831 listings compared to the same period last year.

Today’s graduating students are benefiting from a confluence of factors, said Tom Devlin, director of UC Berkeley’s Career Center and president of the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

“First, employers have greater confidence in the economy, and are now hiring for positions that they had been holding back,” he said. “Second, employers are recognizing that there is heightened competition to hire the best candidates.”

A recent survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that employers this year expect to hire at least 13 percent more new college graduates compared with 2010.

“We’ve grown by leaps and bounds every year so we just keep on hiring, and with a nice talent pool like this close by, it’s a plus for us,” said Dan St. Peter, a recruiter for TIBCO Software in Palo Alto who met students at the job fair Wednesday at UC Berkeley.

At Santa Clara and Stanford, recruiters are showing special interest in software engineers and startups are showing up to hunt for talent to fuel green businesses.

“But there seems to be hiring in other areas, as well. It’s nice to see the traditional fields of finance, consulting and marketing coming back,” Stanford’s Choy said. “Except for teaching or government, the overall market is looking pretty good.”

After happy deliberation, SCU student Mistry made her choice: Adobe. And because she doesn’t start until June 6, she has time to celebrate in Hawaii.

“It feels surreal. I didn’t think I’d get anything, after the way the market was,” she said. “I’m so excited to be able to support myself.”