In Our November, 2017 Issue:

College of Management students kick-start careers

by

We’re doing things to pre­pare Col­lege of Man­age­ment stu­dents for the work­force,” said Edward Con­ley, Pres­i­dent of the Col­lege of Man­age­ment Stu­dent Asso­ci­a­tion (COMSA). The new stu­dent orga­ni­za­tion launched in April 2017.

Con­ley said their focus is to invite guest speak­ers and busi­ness rep­re­sen­ta­tives to cam­pus. They work closely with Col­lege of Man­age­ment pro­fes­sors to make this pos­si­ble. Last spring, they brought a speaker from a Min­nesota account­ing firm to give stu­dents an overview of the exam for cer­ti­fied pub­lic accoun­tants (CPAs).

On Sept. 28, COMSA held a spe­cial event at the Mid­way cam­pus called “Facts and myths about get­ting your first job in busi­ness and finance.” The event fea­tured free pizza for atten­dees and three guest speak­ers from Robert Half Man­age­ment Resources.

The guest speak­ers were Jen­nifer Carl­son, Joe Seltz, and 2015 Metro State grad­u­ate Andrea Zick. In 2017, Forbes mag­a­zine listed Robert Half as “America’s Best Recruit­ing Firm.” Founded in 1948, Robert Half assists com­pa­nies with their staffing needs for office sup­port, finance, account­ing, mar­ket­ing, legal ser­vices, and technology.

COMSA President Edward Conley, left, Faculty Advisor Joel Wilson, Robert Half Management Resources representative Jennifer Carlson, and COMSA Vice President Kossi Ayigah, pose for photos at a club event on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017 at the Midway campus.

Jen­nifer Carl­son, ‎Vice Pres­i­dent and Metro Mar­ket Man­ager for Robert Half, dis­cussed the ques­tion “Are peo­ple leav­ing or stay­ing?” to an audi­ence of more than 30 stu­dents. Carl­son spoke about today’s favor­able hir­ing envi­ron­ment, and oppor­tu­ni­ties as Baby Boomers retire and new busi­ness reg­u­la­tions influ­ence employ­ees to hire more work­ers. She pointed to the Bureau of Labor Sta­tis­tics 2017 esti­mate that the unem­ploy­ment rate for col­lege grad­u­ates is a low 2.4 percent.

But Carl­son said it is still a com­pet­i­tive job mar­ket, and stu­dents must con­sider how their cre­den­tials meet employer needs. Carl­son listed par­tic­u­lar tech­ni­cal skills and inter­per­sonal abil­i­ties that stu­dents need in the work­force. She said that many com­pa­nies are very spe­cific when fill­ing open posi­tions and require indi­vid­u­als to meet cer­tain cri­te­ria. These orga­ni­za­tions are will­ing to pay a con­sid­er­able fee to obtain the best fit.

Recruiters can help job seek­ers match their qual­i­fi­ca­tions and char­ac­ter­is­tics to employer demands, Carl­son said. She said the best recruiters are bru­tally hon­est in giv­ing feed­back to can­di­dates. They will exam­ine a resume for the key sell­ing points. Recruiters also coach can­di­dates on how to make a pos­i­tive first impres­sion and stand­ing out from other job applicants.

Carl­son said job seek­ers should not be com­pla­cent with their cur­rent skill sets. She advised stu­dents to address their weak­nesses by seek­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for life­long learning.

Dis­pelling a com­mon job search myth, Carl­son asked stu­dents to con­sider part-​time or tem­po­rary job assign­ments. These posi­tions often lead to a full-​time employ­ment opportunity.

Staffing man­ager Joe Seltz added that stu­dents should be inten­tional when send­ing resumes to prospec­tive employ­ees. Can­di­dates should apply only to com­pa­nies where a mutual inter­est is appar­ent. He said con­fu­sion arises when a job search is unfo­cused and can­di­dates can’t remem­ber which jobs they applied to when employ­ers con­tact them.

The pre­sen­ta­tion con­cluded with a dis­cus­sion about net­work­ing. Joel Wil­son, COMSA Fac­ulty Advi­sor and Pro­fes­sor of Account­ing, asked the pan­elists what stu­dents should do if they are uncom­fort­able with networking.

Carl­son urged stu­dents to net­work no mat­ter their com­fort level. Stu­dents must push them­selves to go to events and make those face-​to-​face con­nec­tions, she said. She rec­om­mends becom­ing a life­long networker.

We need more of this. Oppor­tu­ni­ties like this,” said Wil­son, express­ing his grat­i­tude to the pre­sen­ters. COMSA events are a step in the right direc­tion to help stu­dents become pre­pared as they look for jobs, he said.

For more infor­ma­tion about COMSA and their events, con­tact Edward Con­ley at dx1677​vb@​metrostate.​edu.