Experience Before the Interview: Gannon University Pioneers New Job Development Initiative
Posted: April 25, 2017
For many college students, the first encounter they might have
with a future employer is at a formal job interview. But many
students wish they had a bit more practice before entering the job
Gannon students will receive that experience in an innovative
new program begun this year by the University's career exploration
and development department. Erin Hart, assistant director of
employer relations, piloted a program that offers Gannon students a
chance to shadow local employers to explore opportunities for both
college students and graduated professionals.
"We take a group of students to a specific employer for a two-
to three-hour visit on-site where they can get an overview of the
organization, a tour and a chance to interact with Gannon alumni
there," Hart said. "These visits are great for students, but they
also serve as recruiting events for companies."
Some of the companies that have participated include the
Bethesda Trinity Center, LORD Corp, the Tom Ridge Environmental
Center at Presque Isle, Wegmans and the downtown location of the
YMCA of Greater Erie
Hart and her department offer traditional career advising
services, such as resume reviews and mock interviews, as well as
more than two dozen on-campus recruiting events this year.
New to the arsenal is College Central Network, an online portal
that helps connect students with potential employers. Every Gannon
student is given an account and alumni are offered accounts as
well, and to date, more than 300 employers have signed up.
The program is starting to become noticed by other college
career services professionals. Hart and Brian Collingwood, Gannon's
director of career services, will deliver a presentation about the
program and their new employer relations efforts at the National
Association of Colleges and Employers conference and expo in
"The goal is to brand the program and increase awareness and
participation among Gannon, and also to increase employers'
engagement with students, so that students can make informed career
decisions and find a career they can enjoy," Hart said. "The
earlier that students can start interacting, the more knowledge
they gain and more prepared they can be to make career