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2013 Winter Issue 3 (February 1, 2013)

“Engagement Wanted” Connects Carleton Students with the Workforce

February 1, 2013
By Ben Strauss

Upperclassmen looking for jobs or internships want a quick and easy way to connect with Carleton alumnae. The Career Center wants to help them do just that.

This year, the Career Center has promoted ‘Engagement Wanted’ as a networking tool to connect Carleton seniors and juniors with “Alumni, parents, and friends of the College who may have advice, referrals, or employment opportunities.”

Students make a 500-word profile describing themselves and their interests, which the Career Center sends to Carleton alumni and parents. According to an anonymous alumnus, “The best profiles state the student’s focus in the very first sentence.”

However, currently, only a small percentage of Carleton students use ‘Engagement Wanted.’ According to Brent Nystrom, Associate Director of the Career Center, there are currently only “about 20 percent of each class is participating, slightly more seniors than juniors.” Fortunately, juniors and seniors still have time to create a profile, which can be done via the Career Center website, he said.

Nystrom believes that more people should participate in “Engagement Wanted” due to its many benefits in finding jobs and internships. “My opinion of Engagement Wanted is that all juniors and seniors should participate,” he said, citing the importance of making connections in today’s job market.

Jonathan Hillis ’13, Team Leader for Engagement Wanted, agreed. “There is absolutely no reason that any junior or senior should not fill out a profile,” he said. “It takes very little time, can be targeted towards whatever you are looking for, and has resulted in Carleton students getting their dream jobs.”

Students enjoy Engagement Wanted for its simplicity. “It’s nice because it really streamlines the process of finding something to do in the summer,” said Peter Franco ‘14.

The process is intentionally simple to encourage more students to take advantage of the website. 

“Engagement Wanted is by far the easiest, most low-maintenance and high-results way to engage with alumni,” said Hillis.

Agreed Franco, “It basically takes care of the searching process and all you have to do is create this 500 character profile.”

Students also appreciate an additional forum to potentially search for jobs. “It certainly feels good to have another avenue for getting advice on specific areas of the job market,” said Donald McNeil ‘13.

Carleton alumni offered advice in using Engagement Wanted, so that Carleton students may become more attractive to potential employers. According to one Carleton alumnus, “Short, direct and honest are always welcome attributes. A bit of humor never hurts.”

Specifically, he said, “Student profiles that contain clear and concise ideas as to what they desire reflect direction [as well as] preparedness to pursue a professional life after Carleton. These are the qualities an alum wants to be associated with in recommending a current Carl for a position.”

Finally, “Engagement Wanted” has proven instrumental to students in finding great jobs. Nystrom said, “Carleton alums and parents want to be helpful to students and this program is designed to make it extremely easy for the two groups to connect in a productive way.”

Many alumni joined their current jobs after Carleton alumnae found their Engagement Wanted profile. One recent alumnus highlights his success following his use of the Engagement Wanted program:

“I work as a commodity trader for a firm in Minneapolis,” he said. “A Carleton Alum found me on engagement wanted and hired me, because I that is what I put in my engagement wanted ad. It is one of the primary reasons I am currently working my dream job.”

In addition to jobs, many Carleton alumnae responded to surveys about Engagement Wanted saying that they had received valuable advice because of their profiles.

“I really wanted to be in Chicago after I graduated, working at some art organization or museum,” said another alumnus. “I was contacted by multiple alumni who work in the non-profit sector or have friends at museums in Chicago and they gave me all sorts of advice on how to make my dream job in my dream city a reality.”

In summation, Nystrom says, all juniors and seniors should consider creating a profile.  “The only investment is the time to create a profile and then the time to follow up with responses to any comments or referrals they receive.”

Students remain hopeful about their job prospects. McNeil said, “I think I might just stay nervous about the job search until I actually have one, but all the same I’m excited about the connections and opportunities that Engagement Wanted might facilitate.”

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