Though the Office of Career Strategy has increased its efforts to branch out to students over the past couple of years, some students remain unaware of the office’s extensive programming.
New initiatives introduced this academic year by OCS include internship ambassadors to communicate with students about summer opportunities, resume review sessions hosted in the colleges and walk-in hours held in Linsly-Chittenden Hall and the Hall of Graduate Studies — locations closer to central campus than OCS’ offices on Whitney Avenue. Student appointments and walk-ins to see advisors are up by 26 percent this academic year when compared to this time last year, said Jeanine Dames, director of OCS and associate dean of Yale College. Still, some students said they are unaware of the department’s resources.
“I think students are just really busy,” Dames said. “But my hope is that when they are ready to engage in their career search, they know where to come. We definitely want to make sure students know these opportunities exist.”
Dames said many paid summer opportunities arranged by OCS go unfilled each year. She added that students were either unaware of the opportunities or may have chosen not to apply under the belief that the application process would be too competitive.
Students interviewed were split on whether they had used OCS’ advising resources in the past. Of the six students interviewed, three had met with an OCS career advisor or had been to an OCS-sponsored event during their time at Yale, while three others had not taken advantage of any such opportunities.
Three years ago, OCS began sending out weekly newsletters to the student body, outlining career services opportunities for the upcoming week. However, Nicholas Dacosta ’18 said OCS’ communications are sometimes drowned out by the number of other opportunities available to Yale students.
“There are tons of different programs and resources for things to do over the summer, and OCS is just one of those resources,” Dacosta said. Dacosta added that he finds most of his career information online or from friends who have participated in programs that he finds interesting.
And while Elizabeth Karron ’18 agreed that students were generally unaware of the resources available to them, she said they were to blame for their own lack of information. The weekly emails are a good way of reminding people about OCS programming, she said.
Karron suggested that there could be more encouragement from college deans in their own weekly emails to pursue some of the opportunities offered by OCS. Still, she noted that more long-term chores like job searches often give way to students’ more immediate needs.
Caroline Pringle ’16, however, said students are well aware of OCS resources. Pringle, who has used OCS to find jobs in consulting and has found a summer job through Symplicity in the past, said that while she herself has been pleased with OCS’ services, she has heard from friends pursuing other fields that were not satisfied.
“I think that if you’re not looking for consulting and finance, then people are a lot less happy with the circumstances,” Pringle said. “I don’t know what my experience would have been like if I was looking for a biotech job.”
But Dames said that in the past two years, OCS’s largest growth area has been in support resources for students pursuing careers in public service, public interest and the arts. The office has an advisor dedicated specifically to advising students for arts and is working on developing arts apprenticeship opportunities, art-specific internships and workshops for auditioning and screenwriting.
Furthermore, only one advisor in OCS works with finance and consulting firms, while others focus on areas including public sector organizations, legal careers and science and technology. Of 11 career fairs organized this year by OCS, just three were centered around finance and consulting.
Pringle said she believes finance and consulting jobs are simply more visible on campus because they have more resources to devote to recruitment.
There are currently 1,476 jobs listed on Symplicity.