Though recruiting season is far from over, the number of applications submitted through the Center for Careers and Life After Brown Student Job and Internship Board has already surpassed last year's total. The number of applications submitted from Aug. 1 to Feb. 1 of this year represents a 57 percent increase from last year's total, said Andrew Simmons, director of CareerLAB.
The number of "unique" students applying — students who have submitted at least one application — is also up 19 percent, Simmons said. He did not have data for each individual class.
"It probably means that students are more aware of the resources than they have been in the past," he said.
The surge could also be due to the rise in on-campus recruiting. Though he did not have exact numbers, Simmons said the number of recruiters visiting the University has increased.
Many of the companies that formally recruit at Brown are in the finance, consulting and engineering fields. As The Herald reported last fall, out of 90 recruiters at the annual job fair in September, only 24 were there to provide careers in the common good — even though 75 percent of students expressed interest in that area in a 2010 CareerLAB survey.
But Simmons said CareerLAB was not worried by the dominating presence of financial and consulting companies, adding that they are only part of a "small universe of companies that do this type of recruiting." He said other fields are equally accessible to students, but they might have to "use a multi-faceted approach" that is "less structured" than the on-campus recruiting process.
Simmons said he did not expect the increase in on-campus recruiting to affect where students apply. Though data is not yet available for the class of 2011, the distribution of students across career fields has been relatively constant over the past five years, he said.
"The only thing you can tell about Brown students is that they are interested in a wide variety of fields," Simmons said.
Abigail Cain '15 visited CareerLAB for the first time before the start of this semester for sessions about interviewing and the internship search.
"It's nice to know that Brown has so many resources for you to use, such as a network of alums," she said. Cain said she planned to bring her resume to a career advisor for a closer look.
But some students use alternate pathways to get summer opportunities and explore life after Brown.
By using the Fellowships@Brown website, Maddie Johnston '13 was able to receive a grant from the Watson Institute for International Studies for research last summer. This year, she said she is applying for an Undergraduate Teaching and Research Award.
Though Johnston has never used CareerLAB, she said many of her friends have found it very useful. Still, it was no surprise to her that many students have not yet used its resources.
"You have an hour," she said. "Do you want to go to an internship fair or hang out with your friends?"