The Atlantic

Why Aren't College Students Using Career Services?

Harnessing the resource could help them achieve the graduate’s dream: finding a job.
Source: Ostill / 4 Girls 1 Boy / Shutterstock / Zak Bickel / The Atlantic

One summer, a group of students with research jobs on campus, including myself, met up at a Thai restaurant in our college’s small town. This was our third free dinner of the week. Our school’s career center was hiring a new member for its team and wanted each candidate on its short list to meet with actual students. Naturally, the staff enticed us with the promise of free meals.

Armed with questions suggested by the career center, we would grill each candidate, asking the prospective hire questions about topics such as how they’d manage their time and their strategies for keeping professional boundaries with students. As we nibbled on our curry cellophane noodles and chicken pad thai, though, we would invariably loosen up and begin talking about what actually mattered to us: The career center was too far from main campus, and some of the services—including an online database of

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