Recently, Meridian Resources was approached by a well-known and highly respected private southern university, to provide a career management course to students matriculating through one of their graduate business school programs. So why would this recognized leader in student career services innovation decide to provide a career management course in the first place? And why outsource the development and execution of the course to Meridian?
Our client understands clearly that students attend colleges so that they can secure work that is both emotionally and financially satisfying. However, they are an exception. Although possible, but highly improbable, not every student walks away with a multi-million dollar contract to play a professional sport like basketball and football.
There is an interesting statistic that indicates that the average college graduate has received a little less than 8 hours of career management instruction in preparation for a career that could go over 40 years. And with the average career services staff person supporting 1,645 students, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), support for students is based on triage. This means that students receive, on average, only 40 minutes per year of one-on-one support from career services. Interestingly, these career services staffs are “low hanging fruit” for cost savings and are usually a place that administration looks to cut costs.
So, it boils down to this:
The course provided by our client is mandatory for graduation. They are serious about having their graduates not only receive a diploma on graduation day but also to have meaningful employment on graduation day as well. By providing the course, students are exposed to the who, what, when, where and how of a job search. Then they can have insightful consultations with their coaches.
Also, by freeing up staff from teaching duties, staff members can focus their efforts on both coaching acclimated students and working to connect these students with key decision makers at target organizations. The coach is doing what they should focus on-coach and connect.
Certainly, this sounds very altruistic and it is to a certain extent. However, it is an important financial decision as well. Essentially by doing this one thing, schools can enhance rankings, improve job offer and acceptance rates, maximize offer compensation while encouraging contributions from grateful alums who received value from a trusted career services team. And then they can attract high caliber applicants to fill the program openings…Truly a win-win for students, parents and schools!
If you are ready to explore innovative ways to maximize the impact of career services for your students we are open to partnering with you to reach your goals. Visit us at http://www.meridianresourcesuniversitysolutions.com/ or call 800-924-8865, ext. 301
Contributing Author: Melvin J. Scales