Not-So-Secret Services

By Brigette Petras

Youngstown State University’s Career Services, located on the first floor of Jones Hall, offers assistance with YSU students’ career development at all stages of their career planning.

Career Services assists students in exploring majors and career paths, examining resumes, conducting mock interviews and locating employment opportunities and internships.

Jennifer Johnson, director of Career Services, is a career coordinator alongside Diane Ritz and Christina Hardy. They are available by appointment, walk-in hours and email.

Hardy, who guides the majority of undecided students, counseled Christine Langer, YSU freshman, with her potential career options this fall.

Langer was informed of how to schedule appointments at Career Services through an in-class presentation on Career Services by Hardy during her Introduction to Honors course.

Langer was unsure of whether her choice to switch her major from engineering to mathematics was best for her, but after speaking with Hardy during a scheduled appointment, her decision was solidified.

“[Hardy] took the information I had and applied it to what’s best for me,” Langer said.

Career Services has four workshops each semester in Jones Hall to offer tips and advice for how to develop a resume, tips when attending job fairs, advice for choosing a major and how to achieve a successful interview.

Along with individualized counseling and workshops that develop career pathways for students, there are numerous opportunities for job search assistance at Career Services.

Penguin Link is an online resource, which connects students and alumni of YSU to part-time and full-time job opportunities and internships. To use Penguin Link, students simply need to create a profile. For alumni, they are required to register before constructing their profile.

Career Services also manages fall and spring career fairs.

During the 2014 fall career fair, 94 businesses were represented, including Vallourec Star, PLS Logistics and Ajax TOCCO Magnethermic Corporation. After this career fair, 433 students were hired.

The next career fair will be in the spring semester, on March 31.

Edward McCarty, a YSU mechanical engineering graduate, learned of his current job at Ajax TOCCO Magnethermic Corporation through the 2014 spring career fair.

He said the fair is most beneficial for YSU seniors that are graduating that semester, although there are internships and networking opportunities available for other students.

McCarty also acquired a summer internship before he graduated from YSU at Vulcraft Sales Corporations in 2013 on behalf of another career fair.

“[The career coordinators and employees of Career Services] do lots of work to make everything run smoothly,” McCarty said. “It’s not just about the career fair. You can go there [Career Services] anytime you want and get advice about getting the right career.”

In the most recent Graduate Career Outcome Survey conducted by Career Services from 2012-2013, 71 percent of YSU alumni are either full-time employed or full-time continuing their education.

Although Career Services offers the career fairs, Penguin Link and counseling, Johnson said students need to have experience before they graduate.

“Relevant experience is critical to [the students’] ability to secure a job,” she said. “Career planning needs to start early with gaining skills employers want.”