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Theresa Harrigan, the director of the Boston College Career Center, has a lot to boast about. According to a survey of a recent graduating Boston College class, only 5% were still seeking employment. Approximately 95% of those who responded are involved in other activities such as working full-time, attending graduate school full-time, volunteering full-time or engaged in a fellowship or post-graduate internship. That’s a pretty impressive number given our sluggish economy. Some of the top employers were PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Teach for America, Deloitte Consulting, Ernst & Young, Bank of America, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, JP Morgan Chase, KPMG, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Mass General Hospital, Hanover Insurance and Fidelity. About 35% of the respondents said they found their position through the programs offered by the BC Career Center. 77% of the respondents noted their employment in the Boston area and the Northeast.

Theresa has been counseling college students on their careers in the Boston area going  on 26 years. She has worked at Northeastern University, Simmons College and has been at Boston College shaping the vision for their career center since 2001.
Her BC center offers to BC undergrads and grads out five years a plethora of free services including career counseling, resume critiques, mock interviews and job and internship databases. She recommends to any recent grad out there job  hunting to first access the Career Center at his or her university. Ms. Harrigan notes that indeed there are outside companies that can perform similar services, but emphasizes that college career center services are free to their community and you can't buy better career expertise. The old adage "you get what you pay  for" doesn't work here. In fact, many outside fee-based placement companies
often direct their clients to access their own alma mater’s career center to  obtain vital networking contacts. 

Boston College’s Career Center and most other university career centers have alumni career networks with select alumni who are willing to offer career advice and even find jobs and internships for undergrads and recent grads.  Harrigan says these alumni have a vested interest in helping a fellow grad and can be “internal advocates” within a company, making sure that a certain resume gets in front of the right hiring manager. Clearly, networking is the most effective way to get a job. Lots of statistics are out there, but most report that at least 60% of all jobs are found by networking. Networking with alumni should be one of the first points of attack in a job search says Harrigan. So, check out the resources at your alma mater’s career center. You won’t believe what’s available!


 


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