Employers consider NIU grads

By Amy Vanderheyden

NIU graduating seniors should not lose faith in the job market because some of the top companies in Illinois are still seeking students from NIU.

Baxter, one of the leading suppliers of health care products, systems and services, is continuing to hire as many students as they have in the past, said Jennifer Deino, Baxter college relations coordinator.

“We hire six to seven students each year and 20 percent of them come from NIU,” Deino said. “Northern ranks in the top ten for hiring.

She said the recession has not had much of an impact on the quality of candidates the company hires.

“We have a very good pool of candidates whether we’re in a recession or not because of the type of company we are,” Deino said.

Another company whose hiring has not been affected by the recession is Andersen Consulting.

“We’ve positioned ourselves so we’re not affected by it and we’re definitely up from last year,” said Karen Mansi, assistant recruiting manager for Andersen Consulting.

Andersen Consulting operates as one of the business units of Arthur Andersen’s worldwide organization and is a commercial systems integrator. They employ over 21,000 consultants, which includes many NIU recruits.

Mansi’s advice to students is to use the NIU Career Planning and Placement Office and interview early in order to get as much done in the fall as possible.

“It’s much easier to get a job when companies come to you than when you have to go to the companies,” Mansi said.

Another company strongly urging students to use Career Planning and Placement is CNA Insurance.

Jackie Watkins, employment representative from CNA, urges students to work with the office to develop interviewing skills and work on resumes so companies will be interested in them.

“Students should feel comfortable with interviewing and should practice role playing with friends or relatives,” Watkins said. “You can have a 3.4 grade point average but you need to be able to sell yourself.”

CNA is a top-ten national insurance organization with assets of over $37 billion and 17,500 employees. Last year, they hired ten accountants and 15 underwriters.

Unfortunately, CNA did not do much recruiting from NIU last year.

“Accounting wasn’t very successful for us last year and we haven’t had much success this year,” Watkins said.

This may be a possible result of the recession which has made CNA take a close look at their head count to make sure they are not over-staffed.

Another insurance company seeking students from NIU is Prudential Insurance and Financial Services, which recruits from 14 universities, including NIU.

Laura Swanberg, administrative assistant at Prudential’s Oakbrook office, said she believes they hire 14 people a year and 30 percent of them come from NIU.

In addition, Swanberg added the outlook for December graduates is as favorable as the May and June graduates.

Prudential is a provider of financial services in the U.S., employs over 80,000 people, and has assets of over $250 billion.