University students are fortunate to have Career Services as a resource when searching for jobs and internships. The office does a praiseworthy job of matching academic interests to career interests, preparing students for interviews, attracting top employers and much more. Nonetheless, the student body’s poor understanding of Career Services’ policies undermine Career Services’ mission to educate, engage and empower students. The Board believes that Career Services should do more to address job offers that violate its on-campus recruiting policies, better communicate policies and events to students and increase the number of in-person appointments.
Career Services has a strict policy prohibiting exploding offers and bonuses, but these and other abusive recruiting practices remain a problem. When faced with an offer designed to incentivize signing before the official Nov. 23 deadline, individual students have little to no leverage to change the terms of the offer letter. Career Services, however, is ideally placed to prevent abusive recruiting practices and should better enforce its own policies through sanctions against employers that violate them. Career Services already helps students in these situations on a case by case basis, but in many cases, its assistance is not sought by students. To remedy this, Career Services should do more to publicize its offer policy for employers who participate in on-campus recruiting. Career Services should also appoint a particular career counselor as the point of contact for all issues related to problematic offers. Additionally, students who are given questionable offers ought to be more proactive in seeking help from Career Services.
Further, Career Services ought to better communicate its systems and policies, especially as they relate to the new Handshake-powered HireTigers. HireTigers, for example, has a bug interfering with signups that has persisted despite Career Services’ efforts to fix it. Despite Career Services mitigating the damage in individual cases, students have not been widely made aware of the bug. In order to reduce confusion and anxiety, Career Services should notify job applicants that interview signups may be delayed and take similar actions to alert students if another bug is found. Related to this, Career Services should be more transparent in regards to scheduling appointments; at the moment, it is unclear when during the week appointment slots are released for students to reserve.
Finally, during peak times more students want to take advantage of the help of Career Services. However, there are only a fixed number of counselors to talk to, even if walk-in hours are fully taken advantage of. Expanding the availability of appointments in these peak time periods does not require year-round expansion of Career Services’ staff. Instead, external staffing and services could be brought in on a seasonal basis. Tasks that are more easily outsourced such as resume review and basic administration could be temporarily assigned to seasonal assistance freeing up all of the trained career counselors to focus on advising.
Career Services provides invaluable aid to students, but it can be improved to be more effective. The Board believes that more focus on addressing problematic job offers, better communication and seasonal hiring would enhance students’ experiences with Career Services.
TheEditorial Boardis an independent body and decides its opinions separately from the regular staff and editors of The Daily Princetonian. The Board answers only to its Chair, the Opinion Editor and the Editor-in-Chief.
Correction: Due to a reporting error, an earlier version of this article mischaracterized how Career Services communicates with students. The paragraph in question has been removed. The 'Prince' regrets the error.