Job resources beneficial for students

By Editorial Board

As the spring semester winds down, seniors prepare for graduation and begin their careers, while continuing students search for summer jobs.

Although the job market for young adults has been drastically affected by the recession, Columbia offers students many employment resources which students should take advantage of.

One of Columbia’s opportunities includes hosting an annual job fair to connect potential employers with students, and to showcase summer job openings.

On April 8, the college hosted its most successful fair and brought in 75 businesses. In previous years, only 20 to 25 Chicago-area businesses attended.

The college also offers other valuable services through the Portfolio Center, located on the third floor of the Wabash Campus Building, 623 S. Wabash Ave. The center offers free services through various workshops for students and recent graduates. Some of the workshops help students compile digital portfolios, create Web sites and design business cards. Professionals are also brought in to review student work.

Many students take advantage of the Portfolio Center’s resources, which means some are put on waiting lists.

The center employs a limited number of staff members, which means less time for individual attention and in-depth workshops. The Portfolio Center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with walk-in hours available.

Even though the center’s hours are accommodating for most students’ schedules and it has a staff that is more than willing to help, there are not enough staff to successfully assist Columbia’s entire student population.

Because Columbia is trying to cut down on spending, hiring more people to work in the Portfolio Center may not be a priority. However, it may be beneficial to bring in technologically-advanced students to teach their peers how to build visually-stimulating and effective portfolio Web sites.

Currently, the center offers a two-hour workshop explaining the basics of how to build a Web site, which is not enough time to fully understand the program.  Adding more in-depth online tutorials would be beneficial for students who are placed on a waiting list or for others who may have missed something during the workshop.

Columbia students are fortunate to have these additional programs. However, bringing in more people to work at the Portfolio Center or adding more online tutorials that would be the equivalent of a workshop is something the college should consider to ensure all interested students receive the services.

The college may be faced with a series of budget cuts and low enrollment; however, this is an investment that helps students gain employment after graduation and therefore, would bring in future students based on student employment rates.