CSU College of Business beefs up career center

The CSU College of Business has dramatically boosted its career center and is helping students find their first jobs and, for the first time, alumni land their next jobs.

To get it all done, the College of Business’ Career Management Center this year has expanded its ranks from one full-time and one part-time person to 11 employees.

Susan Schell, director of the center, said the “metamorphosis” began this winter, after Ajay Menon, dean of the College of Business, decided that the career center should work harder to provide better service to students.

Those services include one-on-one counseling, web-based resources and access to a database of 1,000 employers from Colorado and nationwide.

Students can also take advantage of an interview simulator, which allows them to record a mock job interview and then have it critiqued by a member of the center’s staff so that they may learn where their strengths and weaknesses lie.

The goal of the center is to increase the percentage of business school graduates who have been placed in a job within 60 days of graduation to 85 percent. That number now stands at 79.

“When we get to 85, we’ll just set the bar higher,” Schell said. “We’ll shoot for 90.”

Schell began her role as director of the center Feb.1, but has been teaching at CSU for six years.

At most recent count, there were 6,000 students enrolled in the College of Business. One-third of those students were undergraduate students, another third were graduate students, and the remaining third were business minors. Five hundred students graduated from the program in May.

The two most sought-after concentrations are computer information systems and accounting. Accounting students from the college have a high pass rate on the CPA exam, Schell said, and are often hired months before graduation.

Companies with environmentally friendly initiatives also like to hire CSU grads, who have access to the school’s Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise MBA program.

The idea is to get students on track to nail down a career long before their senior year, Schell said.

“We want students to start thinking about what makes them employable compared to their peers,” Schell said.

Because getting hired usually requires an internship, a leadership role in an industry group or even an international experience, the process needs to begin more than just a few months before graduation.

“The students who get the jobs are the ones that follow our template,” she said.

Schell estimates that in total, there are 50 programs operating within the Career Management Center at the moment, some that are aimed at alumni.

The center helps those graduates manage their careers long after their first job. Alumni will be able to come back and visit the center at their alma mater, taking advantage of programs and services that will help them climb ladders and otherwise navigate the professional world.

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Molly Armbrister covers real estate, banking and health care for the Northern Colorado Business Report. She can be reached at 970-232-3139, marmbrister@ncbr.com or twitter.com/MArmbristerNCBR

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