Rethinking Career Services

Dean's Reflections

The fall semester is well underway here at Loyola University Maryland. I welcome back to campus our students and faculty who were away for the summer months. I hope everyone had a chance to rejuvenate for the busy months ahead.

As our undergrads and graduate students settle into fall classes, we in the Sellinger School have refocused our career services with the needs and skill development of both groups in mind. Our current undergraduate population falls directly within the Millennials, a group that has shown a preference for guidance and to be task-oriented. These characteristics, combined with a down job market over the past five years, have delayed this generation’s career development in the traditional sense—go to college, get a job. The environment is different today. Fewer opportunities after graduation have incentivized Millennials to lower their career expectations post-graduation. Our initiatives are challenging these assumptions, adding networking skills from the very beginning to the book smarts acquired in class. In other words, we are preparing our students early on for life after Loyola.

Thanks to the efforts of The Career Center at Loyola, our recent graduates are finding success. The Sellinger School Class of 2012 enjoyed one of the highest full-time employment rates comparable to top universities in the nation. More than 98 percent of that class is currently employed or enrolled in graduate school, an outstanding rate that shows our well-trained students are in high demand.

For graduate students, our efforts in graduate career services are a direct result of what students have been telling us. As the enrollment demographics for business students shifts, so too have the needs for those in graduate business programs. We have seen an increase in professionals who wish to use their graduate degrees away from advancing in their present companies and toward finding a new industry or employment opportunity. It is therefore vital that business schools respond by offering increased networking support for students to draw upon larger, yet more familiar resources for connections, jobs, and advice.

Speaking of networking, we have held and will continue to host a number of excellent events this fall. Our inaugural Business Alliance at the KPMG offices in New York City in September featured an outstanding panel of alumni that addressed the challenging subject of ethical quandaries in today’s business environment. Hundreds of alumni and business leaders attended to make the event a resounding success and one we very much look forward to repeating. Special thanks go to Loyola parent Kevin Finnerty, Parent ’10 and ’13, Jim Forbes, ’80, David Lynn, '89, M.S. ’91, and Harry Markopolos, '81 for their service as panelists and to Andrea Giampetro-Myer, Ph.D., for moderating.

On Oct. 7 we hosted Robert G. Wilmers, chairman and CEO of M&T Bank for the first DeFrancis Lecture. Thanks to Mr. Wilmers for his willingness to speak to an excellent 40 year career at M&T Bank in a time of great flux in the banking industry.  Mr. Wilmers pointed out that the concepts of learn, lead, and serve work in the banking world as well as for Jesuit education.

Still to come this fall are several events. The BB&T Lecture Series on Nov. 4 featuring John Allison, president and CEO of the Cato Institute. Mr. Allison will be discussing his book, The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure.

We kick off our Thought Leadership Breakfast for Howard County on Nov. 6 featuring a panel of distinguished alumni in leadership positions throughout the county. The breakfast discussion will focus on “Leading Change: Creating the Future and Managing the Present.” Last but certainly not least, our annual Business Leader of the Year dinner and awards ceremony is scheduled for Nov. 21. This year we will honor Alan Wilson, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of McCormick & Company. In addition to honoring an excellent leader in both an organization and the community, Business Leader of the Year brings the Baltimore business community together for a premier event.

Finally, I would be remiss not to mention some great rankings news we received during the summer. Once again, Businessweek has rated Sellinger programs (No 2. for business law; No. 5 for marketing; No. 7 for information systems) among the best in the country in its “Best Undergrad B-Schools 2013” specialty lists. When also looking at the specialty lists from 2012, the Sellinger School has had five programs ranked in the national top 15. This is remarkable. Most impressive to me is that Loyola has achieved these honors as a regional school, which tells me something about where we stand in our market. It is good to know that Loyola remains Baltimore’s business educator leader.

If you have any thoughts on this topic or would like to discuss career service opportunities and the Sellinger School, please contact me at sellingerdean@loyola.edu.

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