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Career Center

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Parent’s Guide to Career Services


Any Student in Any Class Can Benefit!

The Center has an integrated approach to working with students across campus in a variety of settings to prepare them for jobs and internships. We provide comprehensive coaching sessions, workshops and programming to help students in the career decision-making process and as they begin to pursue opportunities.

By the Numbers

Data obtained from the 2016 Graduating Student Survey for academic year 2015-2016

Connecting Students to Jobs and Internships

  • 6,130 jobs and internships were available through the Center's internal job board DoreWays
  • 1,734 interviews for jobs and internships were held on-campus at the Center
  • 79 Fortune 500 companies recruited on campus
  • 70% of undergraduates completed at least one internship by graduation 

Frequently Asked Questions

It's natural for parents to be concerned about their student's career path. We've collected some of the most frequently asked questions in the hope that you'll find answers to your questions about how the Center can help. 

Services for First-Year Students
Exploration, Career Decision Making and Professional Development
Internships and Jobs
How Parents Can Help Their Student

Services for First-Year Students

What services are available to first-year students?

The Center integrates its services into the first-year experience in may ways, by providing professional development workshops, career exploration activities with employers and by supporting the Visions programs. The Center has a satellite office on the second floor of The Ingram Commons.

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Exploration, Career Decision Making and Professional Development

What services does the Center provide to help students make career choices?
  • Career assessments
  • Individual and group coaching
  • Professional development workshops
  • Networking events
  • Walk-in hours
  • Industry- and city-specific field trips
  • Industry Career Days and career fairs
  • Campus recruiting events with targeted employers
When should students be involved in Center services?

Ideally, students should take advantage of Center services as soon as possible by visiting our Website or coming to a walk-in session (visit our home page for dates, times and locations). Center staff members coach students by industry clusters (Finance, Nonprofits, Engineering, etc.) instead of by the student’s academic major. This model helps students explore and learn how to pursue opportunities in several areas.

What is professional development?

The Center uses an integrated service delivery model to help students develop professionally in the areas of identity, understanding change and transition, professionalism, how to pursue opportunities, and how to leverage networks to connect to opportunities. This holistic approach is designed to make students competitive in a world of rapid change after they graduate.

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Internships and Jobs

What is DoreWays and how can students use this resource?

DoreWays is the Center’s Web-based portal that houses jobs, internships, professional development opportunities, events and interview schedules for recruiters.

How do most students find jobs and internships?

According to the most recent Graduating Senior Survey, 49% of respondents indicated the Center played the greatest role in helping them obtain a full-time position. The Center provides a variety of networking events throughout the year, and coaches actively show students how to use their networks to find opportunities. Our Post-Graduation Report provides additional information on how students find jobs and internships.

What percentage of students participate in internships?

According to the most recent Graduating Senior Survey, 74% of graduating seniors completed an internship, an all-time high. Almost 60% of students completed two or more internships. Download our Summer Experience Survey Report to learn more about how Vanderbilt students spend their summers.

How can my student compete for an internship if they are studying abroad?

Center coaches are available to work with students year-round via Skype, email, phone, Google Hangouts and other technology. Some companies interview students before they leave the country and virtually while they are abroad. The Center's staff also teaches students how to use their networks while they are abroad to connect to alumni, parents and others inside the companies.

What are the top companies that recruit Vanderbilt students?

The Center has connections with recruiters and alumni at more than 1,000 companies who engage with students by providing job postings, campus recruiting and networking events on and off campus.

A sample of companies include: Huron Consulting, Deloitte, Teach for America, Deutsche Bank, Epic, Accenture, Citi, Aon, Clark Construction, BlackRock, Capital One, IBM, National Instruments, Bain & Company, Raymond James & Associates, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, The Advisory Board Company, Abercrombie & Fitch, Oracle Corporation, Carney, Sandoe & Associates, AT&T, Manhattan Associates, and UBS.

Our Companies Recruiting on Campus document shows a more complete list of companies recruiting Vanderbilt students.

What percentage of students have job offers at graduation, and how does this compare with other top schools?

According to the most recent Graduating Senior Survey, 65% of graduating seniors had obtained a full-time job or received a job offer. This number has increased from 48.4% in 2010 and is competitive with our peer institutions and Ivy League schools.

What is meant by placement, and what is Vanderbilt’s placement rate?

The definition of “placement rate” varies widely from school to school. Some schools define the placement rate as the number of students who have indicated they will be involved in some type of activity (for example jobs, volunteer work, graduate school, travel) after graduation. Others look at those who have job offers. The Center considers those who have job offers at the time of graduation.

How do recruiters view a student’s GPA?

The weight given to a GPA by recruiters is industry specific and many other factors can influence whether a student gets an interview. Top-tier finance and consulting positions are very competitive and can command GPA’s of 3.5 and above. Through the power of networking however, anything is possible. Depending on the industry, many companies value more highly the student’s experience, studies, student organizations and their potential to do the job. It is also helpful if the student has a connection to the recruiter or company in some way (e.g., VUconnect, LinkedIn, high school, parents, professors and campus affinity groups).

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How Parents Can Help Their Student

How involved should parents be in helping their students explore and pursue internships and jobs?

While this is a “student driven” process, parents can serve as a sounding board, provide options and encouragement, and share their stories about their first jobs and how they got to where they are today. While it may seem easier to do the work for students, especially if they are not taking action, this can lead to students missing out on developing the skills and experiences they will need as they pursue jobs throughout their lifetimes.

How can parents encourage students to visit the Center?

Many students may be embarrassed or afraid to visit the Center, because they think they need to have some type of plan or direction before they talk with Center staff. A low-risk way for students to get involved is to visit during walk-in hours at our locations in The Ingram Commons and the Student Life Center.

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