March 9, 2011

From public relations to education, medical school to entrepreneurship, recent Bradley graduates are finding success across all disciplines despite a lackluster economy and slow recovery in the job market. Our latest “Onward” series has featured 11 recent alumni who are embarking on new challenges, exciting careers, and service opportunities.

Bradley’s Smith Career Center reports the 2009-2010 undergraduate placement rates for College of Engineering and Technology and Foster College of Business Administration students were particularly notable, with the former showing a 6 percent rebound over the previous year. Both colleges are enjoying placement rates over 90 percent.

In the Graduate School, the Doctor of Physical Therapy program had a 100 percent placement rate, reflecting data from all the program’s graduates. Overall, the Graduate School showed a 92 percent placement with data collected on 73 percent of graduate degree recipients.

Jane Linnenburger, executive director of Bradley’s Smith Career Center, said a strange thing happens during a tough job climate: use of career centers across the country actually drops off. So over the last two and one-half years, her staff has employed aggressive marketing and outreach strategies to ensure students are aware of the valuable services available at Bradley.

Job fairs are one way Bradley connects student and alumni job seekers with prospective employers. This academic year, February’s Spring Job & Internship Fair saw greater attendance by employers than did the fall job fair held last September. Greater participation may seem an obvious sign of an improved job market, but Linnenburger said the significance is even broader in scope.

“This is the first time we’ve ever seen more participation by employers in the spring than in the fall. Most companies concentrate their recruiting in the fall, so this means the growth came from companies who hadn’t been here yet to recruit,” Linnenburger said.

Representation from the manufacturing and technology sectors was particularly strong at both job fairs, which, along with the upswing in placement rates among Bradley’s engineering and business graduates, demonstrates those industries are seeing a speedier recovery than other fields.

As another class of Bradley students prepares to move onward, the Smith Career Center is doing its part to make sure each graduate also moves upward.