The Griff Center: Everything but…

By Meg Cook

Opinion Contributor
This past Wednesday, the Griff Center hosted a gathering of businesses and prospective employees in one room. Much like the average job fair, there were young bright-eyed students with freshly printed resumes and sparkling personality milling about to impress the multitude of Human Resources representatives. As an attendee, I can testify to the quality of the event- and it was great for me! I met a lot of interested companies who were looking for candidates with degrees from this academically- awesome institution. I left feeling a sense of urgency, accomplishment, and preparedness in my job hunt, when I ran into a peer who was headed in the direction of the Griff Fair. But I was wrong in assuming she was headed to the Griff Fair. I asked her why she wasn’t and to my surprise it was because there was no employer represented that had a job she wanted. I was puzzled at first because I thought there was a lot of diversity in the type of organizations and businesses represented. However, I’m a business major. My friend was talking from the perspective of someone seeking a career in the sciences. I didn’t realize that there were no institutions present that offered opportunities in that very important sect of the workforce. Majority of science majors pursue further education, research positions, or other opportunities in their chosen field. Majority of the companies and organizations at the Griff Fair were focused on education, volunteerism, sales, finance or tourism. I’m of the opinion that you can have a job that doesn’t match your major and still be content. I also firmly believe that first and foremost you should do what you’re passionate about. So why isn’t Canisius facilitating that in our career services? Canisius invests a lot of resources into creating science programs that students would kill to get into. Canisius creates amazing learning platforms to give students the ability to dive into any career they want. But what does it say about Canisius when we don’t give their diving board any springs? Students in the sciences rely on professors and their own prowess alone to find their way through opportunities. The Griff Center provides no support for these students. In fact, as I’m considering this, there are a number of academic paths in this institution that aren’t supported by the Griff Center with opportunities. Sifting through the opportunities on Handshake, I can only recall seeing business-related positions. The Griff Fair is another example of this hole in career support. Given that for most students the purpose of their academic efforts are to qualify for and secure well- paid positions in the workforce, it seems irresponsible as an institution to not be helpful in pursuit of those goals. Curious about what the postgraduate path was for other Canisius science graduates, I spoke with an alum. He testified to having skipped over career services entirely because they were of no help to him. He sought the advice of professors. The faculty are stellar, but shouldn’t Canisius give science students an equivalent set of resources as the students who are catered to by the Griff Center? One argument that can be made is that the professors have an exponentially better gauge on the workforce culture, applicant etiquette, and what opportunities are worth pursuing. This is fair. My counter to that is a collaboration between the department that claims to be a one-stop-shop for academic needs and career services and the science departments that have students who aren’t adequately being served. Maybe a post-grad fair is necessary for these forgotten fields. Invited schools with top PA, veterinary, dental, medical, and research programs. Invite institutions that have focuses in animal behavior, environmental technology, and ecological conservation. This is a big way to expose students to making connections and learning about all of their options. Every student deserves adequate resources and opportunity in career services. Maybe adding a career services position for careers in the sciences. Maybe hosting more events geared toward neglected majors. Or maybe we just need to be better at serving all students. If our career services are ill- equipped to serve all of our students, then maybe we need to revisit how the department functions.

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