Career Services gives helping hand in moving on up

By Aaron Brooks

Good news everyone, our college education will pay off after all. With the recession and listening to the GOP debates I thought the best job my degree would earn me would be hamburger flipper.

However, after reading the 41st edition of Recruiting Trends, published by Michigan State University and prepared in part by the Collegiate Employment Research Institute, I feel more confident that I will not come home every night smelling of grease and processed meat.

The highlights of the publication are that employers are more optimistic about the college labor market. Therefore, employers are more committed to hiring college graduates and there are more opportunities for individuals with a Bachelor’s Degree; especially in companies with 100 or fewer employees and companies with over 4,000 employees. And that in the Northern U.S., the Great Lakes Region holds the most opportunity for Bachelor’s Degree holders.

To figure out how students can capitalize on this good news, I sat down for an interview with Brandon Lagana, Director of marketing at NIU’s Career Services. Responding to questions about factors that make soon-to-be graduates employable, Lagana could not stress enough the importance of internships.

When talking to employers, Lagana has heard employers say they want 100 percent of job placement to come from individuals with internship experience.

“Internships are like a four to six month job interview,” Lagana said. “They give employers the opportunity to assess how well a student applies knowledge, and lets students see if they like that career path.”

Lagana advises to build a relationship with Career Services starting your freshman year. Participating in workshops, etiquette dinners and career fairs definitely improves your marketability once you graduate. For seniors who never have stepped foot inside Career Services, it can help you build your resume, provide tips like not using a PDF of your resume, how to use key words and help you get started on “Huskies Get Hired.”

“Huskies Get Hired” contains 2,500 job postings and 950 internships, and can be found at Just use your Z-ID to login and a password will be sent to your student email. From there you can upload your resume, which must also be published in one of the resume books, or register for an upcoming event like the Retail Leadership Expo on March 29.

Seniors, time to move on up to better things. Remember to be confident and tell your story, and soon you too may live high in an east side apartment next to Louise and George.