Career Services and Student Employment
Find the career path that will make you happy!
By Terry Bankston, Director of Career Services & Student Employment
I consider myself a “new Hornet,” having arrived at Delaware State University this past January after a 30-year career in sales, marketing, and recruiting. I specialized in diversity recruiting at Xerox, Kodak, M&M Mars, Walmart, and most recently American Airlines. I also have nonprofit leadership experience with Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and others and at the University of Cincinnati in its Career Development Center and as director of its Diversity Recruitment Training Institute.
I start with that brief bio just to let you know that I’ve been on the other side of the fence and know what companies want in a new hire, and I love working with business partners to develop creative strategic WIN/WIN/WIN relationships that are sustainable and benefit students, employers and the University.
Studies indicate that about 10% of students will change their majors at least once while they’re in college, and 61% of all college graduates say they might go back and change if they were given the chance. Roughly 30% of millennials would change their majors for better job opportunities.
That’s where the Delaware State University Office of Career Services & Student Employment, located in the MLK Student Center, can help. We want to help students align their majors with their ideal career paths and reinforce the importance of career awareness when it comes to increasing their satisfaction with their major.
That said, we do judge our success on increasing the percentage of graduates who are either accepted into graduate school or employed within six months of graduation and offer a variety of programs designed to ensure you graduate on time and have great prospects. Our post-graduation placement rate is 87%, which is above national averages, but we definitely want that number going up into the 90s over the next few years.
We work closely with the University’s colleges to administer the First Destination Survey to graduating Seniors in the Fall and Spring to capture these metrics. And we collaborate with administrators, faculty, and staff to provide the resources to help you develop a strategic plan for locating internships, student employment, career options or graduate studies.
You’re going to see a lot of things on this website that differentiate Delaware State University from Wesley and from other colleges across the country.
In our case, it’s more about blocking and tackling. We do all the things you’d expect from a Career Services area – our DSU Connect global networking program, career coaching, resume and interviewing resources, career fairs, special events, internships, on-campus recruiting, and professional development are among the services we provide.
Getting back to the survey about changing majors, millennials were more likely to want to change majors than older adults to have better job prospects, earn better compensation/benefits, or learn in-demand skills. This result isn’t surprising. Younger Americans may be more concerned with wages, benefits, and in-demand skills because they are having a harder time making it in the workforce compared to older generations.
We are working to match student expectations with career outcomes and the realities of today’s workforce. We want to help students align their major with their career trajectories early on, rather than emphasizing only “high-impact” educational practices like first-year seminars or undergraduate research projects that aren’t necessarily linked with early-career outcomes. We see surveys that say liberal arts and social science majors, as well as graduates from many other disciplines, believe that “a professional network to call on” is a valuable benefit of college and we’re committed to helping all our students build those networks.
We are constantly enhancing the strategic relationships we have with our business partners to prepare our students for the ever-changing skill sets needed to succeed in the workplace. Our Spring 2021 Virtual Career Fair included 50 companies and 10 graduate schools. We are currently working with several corporate partners on multi-year pathways to success programs for student readiness funded by generous grants. We are anxiously looking forward to more face-to-face interactions with business partners on campus, but virtual contacts have been very successful.
Don’t wait for next fall. If you have a question, contact me NOW at either 302-857-6120 or by e-mail at tbankston [at] desu.edu.