For the second year in a row, the Office of Career Strategy is offering same-day appointments for seniors who have yet to secure post-graduation plans.
After a successful launch last spring, OCS Director Jeanine Dames said these Senior Strategy Sessions are meant to make the office’s service as accessible as possible to students still exploring options for the coming year. Dames said that as 50 percent the Class of 2015 has yet to commit to employment or schooling after Yale, same-day appointments are meant to remind students that even if their plans are still up in the air, they should not feel that there are no dedicated resources for them.
“It’s important for students to know there are so many wonderful opportunities for the weeks and months ahead,” Dames said. “There’s more of an immediacy if you just wake up that morning, hop onto the online system, hit a button and secure a 30-minute appointment.”
Seniors can book the same-day sessions by logging onto the OCS Symplicity system. Though seniors could also schedule appointments in advance or meet with an adviser on a walk-in basis, Dames added that the sessions allow students to seek help completely based on their own schedules.
Same-day appointments were made available starting March 1, three weeks earlier than they were last year. Dames said the switch was meant to target seniors before spring break and has already proven effective. Last year, about 75 seniors took advantage of the same-day appointments in total. In the four and a half weeks since the sessions were made available this spring, 21 students have come in, more than at this point in 2014.
Director of Career Services and Alumni Advising Elayne Mazzarella said the same-day sessions are intended to help students at every stage of the search process — from students who are just beginning to think about options to those who are deciding between job opportunities.
Mazzarella, who meets with each senior who schedules a same-day appointment, said her calendar reliably fills each morning when students can sign up for appointments in the afternoon. On Wednesday, her schedule was completely full, and the day before it was at 75 percent capacity, she said.
Two students interviewed who used the service said they found the counselors to be open and flexible to tailor it to their specific needs. Vicky Luh ’15 said she scheduled a same-day appointment before spring break and found the resource particularly helpful at a time when her peers seemed to have their plans secured.
“They keep telling you that most Yalies don’t find jobs until May, but you never believe it,” Luh said. “You go to dinner and you hear people who have jobs, who know what they’re doing, and as one of those people who doesn’t yet know it gets really stressful. Going into spring break I saw there were things I needed to work on and do before I came back.”
Luh said what she appreciates most about the service was that Mazzarella continued to check in with her for weeks after their meeting.
Of the five other seniors interviewed, only one said she knew about the same-day appointments. All said they did not rely on OCS when finalizing their plans for the coming year.
Sara Torres ’15 said she thinks OCS counseling sessions can be most helpful when students need help polishing cover letters or resumes but added that she never applied to a job through OCS.
Caroline Andersson ’15 said her experience with an OCS counselor was underwhelming and that she received little constructive advice.
“I went [to OCS] and I said, ‘I don’t know where to start with this job search … I really have no idea what sort of job I’d like or what industry,’” she said. “The advice is less based on what interests the person who’s sitting there and more about whatever the career specialist works on. They just give recommendations of websites to look at.”
Summer Baxter ’15 echoed the sentiment, adding that she felt OCS job opportunities were almost always targeted towards students interested in going into business.
For the class of 2014, 51 percent of seniors secured their post-graduation positions in March or later.