Letters to the Editor, Opinions

Letter: CareerLAB should bear responsibility for recruiting culture, too

By
Sunday, September 30, 2018

To the Editor:

Over the last few days, readers of The Herald have witnessed a heated online debate unravel over Brown’s recruiting culture, specifically with regard to consulting. Despite the veracity of each person’s stance, a key component of the argument still remains unaddressed: the critique of Brown’s career resources in general. I posit that fault lies not with students, who tend to flock overwhelmingly to technology, finance and — yes — consulting jobs, but with our school’s career resources, which overemphasize these select few fields and, as a result, frame them as the main avenues for post-graduation employment.

A quick look at the calendar of job- and internship-related events at the Center for Careers and Life After Brown reveals a plethora of coffee chats, info sessions and mock interviews for technology, finance and consulting firms, with the occasional nonprofit or law firm info session peppered in for flavor. The same problem was evident at last Tuesday’s career fair, which, to quote an email I recently received from CareerLAB about public sector opportunities, “is dominated by consulting, finance and tech.” There exist so many more careers in both the public and private sectors, but how can we expect students to learn about or choose these jobs if they have no exposure to them?

Being proactive in the career search is equally fruitless for students trying to avoid technology, finance and consulting. I have heard personal accounts from friends who went to CareerLAB seeking guidance on how to enter unconventional career fields, only to walk away discouraged about their employment prospects because Brown’s only career center lacks the resources to adequately advise them. If CareerLAB recognizes its shortcomings in non-technology, finance or consulting fields but continues to merely ignore them and brush students off, then of course, we will continue to flock to the “Big Three.”

If students are worried about gainful employment after graduation, there are numerous opportunities for well-paying jobs beyond the three narrow fields we hear about at Brown. Students might be pursuing these opportunities if they knew about them. However, until we have a career resource center that can accommodate more than just a few select careers, the dominance of the Big Three industries will continue to prevail at Brown.

Camille Di Bella ’19