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WINTER 2012-2013
By Michael Vitron '12, '13
e all heard the horror stories this past
election season: the national unem-
ployment rate that has hovered
around 8 percent, astounding industry layoffs
and countless college graduates who went back
to school because they couldn't find work.
St. Bonaventure's Career and Professional
Readiness Center (CPRC) is working hard to
ensure these stories aren't coming from the
mouths of Bona grads.
The CPRC aims to realistically prepare students
to be flexible and adaptable with its three-part
Professional Development Action Plan:
Emerge ­
Intended for underclassmen, CPRC
counselors look to meet one-on-one with stu-
dents to discuss passions and strengths to explore
employment opportunities that may be a good
Engage ­
Where students develop and
strengthen the skills employers are seeking while
pursuing professional growth opportunities
through experiential education. In this stage,
CPRC counselors work with students to develop
personal brands, strong cover letters and
résumés, etiquette and networking skills.
Evolve ­
The final part of the action plan calls
for upperclassmen to evolve into confident pro-
fessionals while developing strategies for job
searches, refining LinkedIn profiles, polishing
interviewing skills and participating in on-campus
"When you look back at the last two years,
members of the classes of 2011 and 2012 trav-
eled through their final two years of college with
so much negativity related to the job market that
I almost think they took a different approach.
They said, `you know, I could let this beat me
down, but why would I let this beat me down?'"
said Connie Whitcomb, director of the CPRC.
"I think our graduates should be optimistic, as
long as they are prepared. This is a difficult mar-
ketplace. Even with the uptick of the economy, it
is not going to be easy to find a job, it's a com-
petitive market, you have to be putting your best
self forward, and you have to be marketing your-
self as impactfully as you possibly can. Optimism,
coupled with hard work, appropriate skills and an
awareness of how to go about that marketing is
what's really going to allow the Bonaventure
graduate to be successful."
Whitcomb said that in a difficult economy
where many job applicants will have similar tech-
nical qualifications, it is the ability to set yourself
apart that will land you that first job. The CPRC
staff spends a great deal of time working with
students to develop and strengthen their personal
"It's really about coming to understand those
softer skills that employers are looking for, and
it's also very much rooted in the ability to mar-
ket oneself," she said. "You have to know your
brand, you have to know what you bring and
how you will add value to an organization and
you have to be able to articulate that."
Kristy Bonanno of East Aurora, N.Y., will gradu-
ate in May with a BBA and MBA in accounting.
Although she is months away from attaining her
degree, Bonanno has accepted what she calls her
"dream job in her dream city."
During her undergrad years, Bonanno was a
frequent CPRC visitor. The staff helped her
strengthen her résumé and cover letter and
develop her personal brand. In her senior year,
Bonanno participated in the on-campus recruiting
program, where she interviewed for an internship
with PricewaterhouseCoopers. Although she
never interned with PwC, she was able to make a
connection that would later get her an interview
for a full-time position with the company in New
York City.
The company flew her to the city and put her
up in a hotel before the interview that would ulti-
mately land Bonanno her first job.
"I owe a large part of my success to the
CPRC," she said. "It did a fantastic job preparing
me for interviews, and it helped bring me to the
level I needed to be at to do well in the inter-
views. From that, I was able to land my dream
job in my dream city, and I found out before
graduation, which was my goal."
Budget cuts to school districts have left the
education field one of the most competitive.
When Abigail Schaaf walked across stage to col-
Networking with
a PURPOSE is key.
Don't waste a per-
son's time. Come prepared with
questions and a defined goal.
Always showing initiative to
learn and being extremely
proactive in delivering results
will set you apart from others.
You will be sought out for new
job opportunities by managers
and will be regarded highly by
your peers and superiors.
~ Vasile Godenciuc, '06
Vice President
JPMorgan Chase
New York, N.Y.
It's no secret that
knowing someone
can often get you
an interview, but it helps to be
creative about networking. I
serve on a few boards and
assist with charitable events
close to my heart. This expands
my professional network expo-
nentially, and it's easier to get a
referral for jobs in places where
I wouldn't typically have a con-
~ Carri (Gregorski) Prue, '04
Syracuse University
What's worked
for me is dreaming
big and not letting
others' opinions determine how
big I can dream. If you have
the passion to make a differ-
ence, step into that purpose
and the support you need will
surface. Don't wait until you've
got it all figured out. You never
will. Be the tall poppy in the
field today.
~ Julie Gray, '01
Coach and Owner
Profound Impact Organizing
Washington, D.C.
CPRC preps students
for all job markets
Main Street USA