The Office of Career Services is considering making changes to its current recruiting system by expanding the range of employers and helping students in the recruitment process deal with interviews for different companies that happen at the same time, according to Executive Director Pulin Sanghvi.
Sanghvi explained that Career Services will be pursuing a technology strategy inspired by the dating website eHarmony.
“We will pursue a strategy inspired by eHarmony, in which we actively capture evolving student interests and preferences, and then use that information to build relationships with the organizations they are most interested in, and create more informed matches,” he said. In order to do this, they will also be investing more in information technology.
In addition, Career Services will also be devising strategies to resolve the conflict between first-round interviews and second-round “Super Days,” which involve off-campus interviews at a company’s offices with a pool of candidates from other schools. He added that these second-round flyback interviews and Super Days could potentially conflict with scheduled first-round interviews for other employers and noted the need to help students navigate these conflicts.
Sanghvi noted that an example of balancing the needs of different students would be a situation where students have to cancel a first-round interview for a second-round interview invitation they have received from another company. “Ideally, if we have advanced notice of that situation, we can work with the company to give the open interview slot to another student who may really want it,” he added.
He said that the office is currently reviewing its programs and policies. The office will both actively advocate on behalf of students with employers and advise students to make choices about which interviews to take.
April Hu ’14, a peer career adviser with Career Services, explained that feedback for Career Services’ programs is generally positive and noted that students often check in to let her know that they got the internship or the job they were pursuing. However, she added that she has also heard complaints from people who claim that the focus of the services is too narrow, with too large an emphasis placed on consulting and banking and not enough placed on liberal arts.
The Huffington Post recently conducted an online discussion with Azza Cohen ’16 about the limited recruitment opportunities for those interested in the creative arts. The interview followed a column published by Cohen in The Daily Princetonian about the same subject.
Sanghvi explained that the office is really trying to give students more options by broadening the range of industries and organizations that it works with. He added that broadening the range of employers will also cause recruitment to be more balanced throughout the year.
“We’re currently looking at the summer internship recruiting calendar, which currently starts in the spring,” he said. “Some employers would like ways to reach internship candidates earlier in the year, while others will continue to hire just-in-time in the spring and summer. As our employer universe grows, we will see activity on campus throughout the year, and the recruiting calendar will become less focused on only certain parts of the year.”
Jiweon Kim ’15, a student who has gone to Career Services for help, explained that some of the events hosted by Career Services were hit or miss because they were very general and didn’t really address the needs of individual students.
Hu said she thought Career Services could still improve when it comes to interacting with students. “I feel like the main issue that they face right now is that students don’t really go to them or talk to them as an office or don’t feel particularly close to them,” she said.
Kim agreed with this assessment, adding that it would be a lot more beneficial for students if the programs were more personalized, so students would truly feel like they were getting the guidance they needed.
Sanghvi added that one of the goals of his office is to create a more focused and personalized way to help students.
“I’m excited to create a new model going forward,” he said. “We will help each student define a unique and compelling career vision and then help connect them in smart, personalized ways with the people, organizations and opportunities that help them to make those visions a reality. We’re actively exploring how to incorporate information from our in-person interactions with students as well as information the students give us through a technology platform that we will create.”
Sanghvi said he was excited to see what will happen in the future.
“This is going to be a period where we as an organization are going to be breaking new ground and moving into territory not traveled by most career centers at the university level,” he said. “I’m excited to co-create this in partnership with our students, alumni and other stakeholders. […] The more input we get from the community, the better.”
Sanghvi said the office will conduct a more in-depth review of its policies over the summer. He was appointed for the newly created position of executive director in December 2013.