After spending years working and studying hard to earn their degrees, college students look forward to graduating and landing that first 'real' job.
However, today's economy has made finding, and landing, that job much harder than it was for past graduating classes. Today's graduates need to not only put more time and effort into finding, and applying for, available jobs, they also need to have as many skills as possible in order to set them apart from other applicants.
With that in mind, Penn State Worthington Scranton recently offered two events aimed at helping students get a leg up on their competition in today's tough job market.
The Worthington Scranton Alumni Society and Student Activities Fee Board recently co-sponsored an Etiquette Luncheon for over 100 students. A professional consultant walked students through a formal dining experience, similar to what they will eventually face in the business world.
Carol Rubel of CWR Consulting Services explained that knowing how to properly handle oneself during a formal setting, such as the one created for them during the etiquette luncheon, could mean the difference of being hired or promoted, so it is vital that they have these skills, along with their academic knowledge and experience.
Students learned proper manners and business acumen for various situations, ranging from the simple - turn off or silence your cell phone before sitting down to dine - to more sticky situations - your salad has an olive and upon putting it into your mouth, you realize it has a pit. What do you do? The proper answer, according to Ms. Rubel is to remove it as discreetly as possible by using your fork to return it to the plate.
In addition to the etiquette luncheon, Worthington Scranton's Career Services Department held its annual job fair on Wednesday, giving students the chance to meet and network with dozens of regional employers who are either looking to hire new employees in the near future, or who are interested in finding students to serve internships with them.
Students visited various employers throughout the day, including companies in financial services, publishing, insurance, medicine and others, as well as several military branches. They were able to fill out information request forms, applications and, most importantly, made personal connections with recruiters they were interested in.
"We were very fortunate in being able to get such a wide range of area employers here today," said Sophia Robles, co-ordinator of Student Programs and Services, and organizer of the Job Fair. "This type of event is especially helpful for students who will be graduating this year, as it puts them in touch with regional companies that are hiring, and also helps current students who are interested in internships or learning more about a particular business. I am happy to see such a good turnout."