Universities are not designed to keep students bound to them by books and term papers forever. There comes a point when students must submit their final assignment, toss on their cap and gown, and walk across a stage to receive the diploma they have paid for by not only monetary means, but mental and emotional ones as well.
When this time comes, students step into the professional world with a piece of paper in hand that represents the hope they have that their university equipped them with the proper skills to not only survive, but also thrive in the unfamiliar world that exists outside of classrooms and textbooks.
Newman University uses a variety of avenues to properly equip students, one of which is sending them to interview fairs.
Newman graduate student Jared Dechant is completing his Master's of Science in Education - Organizational Leadership degree, and also works as the Newman residence life coordinator. He traveled to San Antonio, Texas, March 8 through 12 to attend The Placement Exchange (TPE), a conference that acts as the largest career placement resource for student affairs officials.
The university sent Dechant to attend the conference as a part of his role within the Residence Life Department, just as previous Residence Life Coordinator Mic Brunner had done in 2016. "What [the university] has allowed us to do is to branch out and see how we can network and to see where else we might be able to work in the future," Dechant said.
While at the event, Dechant participated in 10 interviews, including several second-round interviews, with a list of schools including but not limited to Washburn University, West Texas A&M, and California State University at Stanislaus. He also participated in round table discussions meant to help attendees reach higher levels of success during the interviewing process and said that he found these preparation workshops to be very helpful.
Referring to the conference as a "professional development piece," Dechant said that the face-to-face interaction and the networking opportunities he was allotted were the highest points during the time he spent in San Antonio.
"The opportunity to meet a lot of people from different institutions, that alone, even if not getting a job from them, is networking." Dechant said. "Building that network was the most beneficial thing that stood out."
The goal of universities across the nation is to help students answer the question, "What's next?" in the wake of graduating college, and Newman is no exception. By sending students such as Dechant to conferences like TPE, the university is ensuring students will have answered this question by the time graduation rolls around.