Not your father’s Career Services

Career Services has gone digital with the Cornell Career Network (CCN). CCN is an online job database with all kinds of bells and whistles to put the old binder o’ jobs to shame.

“These type of Web sites are the newest trend for career services offices, and rightfully so,” said Jayne Swanson, director of Career Services.

Until this year, according to Swanson, all jobs— part-time, full-time, summer, and internships—came into the office by e-mail, fax, phone, or even regular mail, a la 1997. From there it went into a binder which students could only access by coming into the office and (gasp!) manually flipping through it.

To say CCN streamlines that process would be an understatement. Employers can now go directly into CCN and submit jobs themselves (though any and all jobs are approved by Swanson or Laura Obrycki, assistant director of career services). Any jobs that do make their way to Cornell the old fashioned way can simply be entered into the database as well. From there, jobs can be listed with end dates so they don’t have to be manually removed (or continually monitored). CCN also allows students to post resumes for employers to peruse if they so choose.

What this means for students is greater accessibility— they no longer have to travel to Ebersole to look through the big binder—and better searchability.

CCN has been a boon not only for career services, but also for the career-oriented initiatives on campus. The Berry Center, Dimensions, and Cornell Fellows have all had a hand in inputting jobs, updating student notes (which allow various advisors to share information with one another on students and positions), and utilizing the system to better serve their respective centers. In fact, CCN has been so instrumental in these initiatives that each one funds CCN in part.

In effect, CCN connects students, the initiatives, and the outside world in ways a simple binder never could

In the future, more features are planned, including a section for faculty to check jobs and internships within their majors, and, eventually, a mentoring section likely to be implemented for the 2009–2010 school year.

Meanwhile, Career Services is still advancing its successful externship program. Last year 21 students completed the week-long job shadowing opportunity over spring break. Externships are often sponsored by alumni or through alumni connections, and the response from both sponsors and students is overwhelmingly positive. It may just be a taste of the real world, but that’s often all that’s needed.