Greek community offers help in job hunt

by Kevin McCahill

Members of the greek community who will graduate this spring gathered at Phi Sigma Kappa on Sunday night to figure out how to find a job.

The meeting was organized by Paul DeBettignies, an alumnus of the University and Delta Kappa Epsilon. DeBettignies now works in recruiting for his firm e-Strategies Group, and had plenty of advice for students ready to leave school and enter the work world or searching for internships.

DeBettignies said he is trying to help students make the leap from preparation to implementation by organizing a job and internship Web site for greek students.

“You have a resume, now how do you find a job?” he said.

DeBettignies gives students examples about preparing and sending resumes electronically and how to get noticed by employers, or what he described as “how to get around the person answering the phones.”

DeBettignies said part of the greek community is building networks and helping students find jobs just like other groups do. He doesn’t think it’s unfair for greek members and alumni to work together to find jobs for students.

“I’m sure College Republicans do something, or the DFL,” he said. “Carlson (School of Management) has one behind a firewall, is that fair?”

He said that often chapter members have skills recruiters are looking for.

“(Greek members) have experience working with different kinds of people, and if you’ve been a treasurer, you’ve already been managing a $100,000 budget each year,” he said.

Dave Brabec, an actuary science and finance junior and president of Phi Sigma Kappa, said the job hunting sessions are a good way to learn how to find a job. Brabec said he has heard stories of greek members being handed jobs by alumni, but said it wasn’t typical.

“I don’t believe (the greek community) gets you connected,” he said. “It just makes networking easier.”

Other students, like electrical engineering graduate student Nick Gabriel, said greek life has taught him things he hopes will help him find a job.

“Going to a fraternity, you learn a lot of interpersonal skills,” he said. “They are valuable skills to pick up.”

DeBettignies said the job Web site will help students who don’t have other opportunities.

“You have students who take a couple of classes at Carlson but aren’t Carlson majors, so they don’t have access to Carlson’s (job) Web site,” he said. “So how do we help them out?”

According to Carlson School office assistant Samantha Chamberlin, the school doesn’t open its job site because many employers are searching only for its graduates.

“There are certain businesses looking just for Carlson students, so it’s good for them,” she said.

DeBettignies said his hiring seminar isn’t just for the greek community, but would offer assistance to any group that wants it.

“If kids in Middlebrook (Hall) wanted to, I’d do it in a heartbeat,” he said.

Paul Timmins, career services coordinator for the College of Liberal Arts said preparing for the job market is important for students.

“As students near graduation, we strongly encourage them to get in touch with their career services department,” he said. “It will help (them) develop a resume, job search strategies and develop interviewing skills.

Timmins said it is common for many academic departments to offer networking opportunities and said the alumni association also has a networking database.

“It’s important to establish good habits now and network now,” he said. “Learn the nuances of the jobs you are looking for.”

Timmins said as many as two-thirds of available jobs are never listed, so students need to learn how to tap into the hidden job market.

DeBettignies said he also plans to e-mail 1,200 employers in the Minneapolis area and connect them to the greek alumni job Web site.