The Point Park Career Development Center's mission is to provide services and programs to students to help develop the professional skills needed to achieve their goals, advance in their professions, and serve their communities. The Center also facilitates partnerships among students, faculty, staff, employers, and alumni to maximize professional opportunities. From individual counseling, to resume and interview preparation, to internship and job opportunities at job fairs, networking events and the Point Park Career Network online, the Career Development Center is a one-stop resource. The Point talked with Angela Scaramucci, coordinator of employer relations, about the growing number of opportunities to match employers with the University's talented students and alumni:
What are your primary responsibilities as coordinator of employer relations?
AS: I manage the University's existing relationships, and build new relationships, with employers with the aim that they'll provide internships and job opportunities for our students. In addition to posting those on the Point Park Career Network, we encourage employers to come to campus for a networking event or job fair for students. As everyone knows, networking is key to getting a job. If our students can develop a relationship with a prospective employer, they have a better chance of getting a job after graduation.
How can students get the most out of a networking event or job fair?
AS: The first thing we advise is to dress professionally. They'll be meeting potential employers at the event and want to make a good first impression. In addition, their resume should be up-to-date. Students should meet with their Career Center counselor before the event to make sure their resume is in top shape. Doing homework in advance is also very important. We prepare background about the participating employers and what they are hiring for, but we encourage students to visit company websites and do additional research. That will impress an employer when the student talks to them at a job fair or networking event. We send out guidelines that help students prepare for the fair as well as the period after the event. That is, how to follow up and maintain the relationships developed with prospective employers. That's just as important.
What are some of the key events sponsored by the Career Development Center?
AS: The largest event is our fall internship and job fair, which encompasses all industries. It's very popular and always filled to capacity. We also have regular networking events. For example, this spring we'll offer a reception hosted by young professional women in energy. The oil and gas industry is a big employer in this region. We also present a spring job fair that has grown to have a broad creative focus. This fair was originally designed for Sports, Arts and Entertainment Management (SAEM) business students, but it's been expanded to include the School of Communication. Participating employers include marketing and advertising agencies and arts organizations such as dance and theatre companies. Point Park has so many creative majors, and this fair offers great opportunities. Another big event in the spring is our Networking Reception and Etiquette Dinner.
Tell us more about the annual Etiquette Dinner.
AS: It's a wonderful event that begins with a networking reception followed by an etiquette presentation dinner for students. A small group of employers participate in both events. This event is more personal and it's designed to help students become comfortable with networking and proper dining etiquette. At some point in their career, nearly everyone will have an interview, client meeting or other business situation that involves dinner. We make it a fun evening and give students a program with tips and advice that they can reference later. It's very popular and reservations fill up quickly.
What is the Point Park Career Network?
AS: It's a secure website that includes job and internship postings and it's only available to students and alumni of Point Park. It also provides information about all of our events and enables students and alumni to sign up in advance. It's a great way to find out about the many great opportunities employers are offering. Quite often, when employers contact the Career Development Center, they are specifically seeking one of our students or alumni because they are familiar with the quality of our academic programs and excellent reputation.
How can alumni access the Career Network?
AS: Those who graduated in 2007 or later are automatically included in the Career Network database, but alums who graduated earlier can contact the Career Development Center and we can quickly set up login information for them.
What about alumni employers who have internship or job opportunities to share?
AS: We love hearing from alumni employers! It's great to have alumni participate in the networking events and job fairs because they can share campus experiences in conversations with students. Alumni can contact me directly and I will gather information to post to the Career Network and also provide it to the Career Counselors who work with students from each of our four schools.
How many employers are collaborating with Point Park right now?
AS: We currently work with between 300 and 400 employers, a number that is more than double what it was just a couple of years ago. As many as 500 employers are invited to campus for events, such as networking receptions and our fall and spring job fairs. As Point Park has grown and become more visible in the Pittsburgh business community, we've been on the radar of a growing number of employers. I get an average of 20 - 30 phone calls or emails from employers every day. I do a lot of outreach, but there are also a growing number of employers reaching out directly to Point Park, and that brings wonderful opportunities for our students and alumni.Contact Point Park's Career Development Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-392-3950 or visit the Point Park Career Network.
Interview by Cheryl Valyo
Photo by John Altdorfer
Video by Chris Rolinson
The Point is a magazine for alumni and friends of Point Park University