For a university that produces graduates as career-focused as those at Hopkins, it is surprising that the Career Center is not a more effective resource for graduating seniors and others seeking jobs and internships. While the Career Center ideally should bolster students' chances of encountering exciting job opportunities, this year it has seen some gaffes in its schedule of events. More importantly, the Center has also revealed genuine disparities between the resources available for science and engineering students and those for humanities and social-science majors. The paucity of resources for the latter group should be a focus of improvement in the coming year.
There have been decidedly mixed reviews of the three major career fairs held by the Center. The general career fair -- which, held in the fall, focuses as much on internships and part-time jobs as it does on full-time employment opportunities -- and the spring science and technology fair saw rising attendance among students. The recruitment opportunities for students interested in engineering, finance or science jobs are refreshingly abundant, with e-mails announcing new recruiting opportunities every week.
But in comparison, the resources for students interested in jobs outside of finance, engineering or scientific research are severely lacking. The only targeted career fair in this category, the Public Service and Non-Profit Career Fair, failed to draw large numbers of attending students this year. Although Career Center administrators claim that this particular event offered an increase in the numbers of organizations, several of these recruiters failed to show up on the day of the fair. The employment opportunities offered at the fair also surprisingly skewed toward unpaid internships and volunteer positions -- hardly helpful for a graduating senior seeking a full-time entry-level job.
In addition, both Career Center events cancelled this year -- one a panel on academic job searches, and the other titled "What to do with a foreign language major" -- have significant implications for humanities students. Considering the number of academics and foreign-language experts who populate this campus, it is a mystery as to why the two panels were not rescheduled.
The smaller number of direct recruitment opportunities for liberal-arts students is certainly not an indictment of the Career Center as a whole, which has made strides in recent years toward publicizing their events and encouraging students to take advantage of the helpful career counselors. But when Hopkins students find themselves having to board a bus to catch Columbia University's more exhaustive job fair, perhaps it is time for the University to whip our languishing Career Center into shape. The students here deserve an office that is a primary resource to turn to during their job search, not a last resort.