OPINION | Business School students may receive better career preparation

Billie Wyler, Digital Director

(Merrie Afseth)

Tulane University offers over 75 different major options for undergraduate students. Each of these majors is affiliated with one of the five schools: Architecture, Business, Liberal Arts, Public Health or Science and Engineering. Every school and major at Tulane is unique in their teachings for obvious reasons. One way in which these schools differ from one another is how they prepare students for their future careers. 

Of course, every undergraduate student has something in common students, for the most part, plan to use their majors in their future careers. However, some students may have advantages over others when it comes to instruction that links course material to a future career. 

Specifically, Tulane’s A.B. Freeman Business School has a heavy focus on career preparation compared to its other schools, such as The School of Liberal Arts. Classes within the B-School often include career preparation and development within their curriculums. For example, students in introductory level classes in the B-School are given career oriented assignments, such as making LinkedIn profiles.

Senior B-School student Jaime Sierens said, “My freshman year in [Introduction to Career Development and Management], CMDA 1201 we focused on refining and making our LinkedIn profiles stand out to future employers.”

Sierens also shared other elements of career preparations within her business school classes. Sierens said, “We all had to do multiple online mock interviews, and then had actual interviews with volunteer employers in fields we were interested in.” She goes on to say, “We did [case] interviews where we would have to find solutions to typical business issues, and learned how to ask the right questions.”

Contrarily, junior Liberal Arts student, Grace Blankenhorn, said, “I have done nothing [in Liberal Arts classes] in [preparation] for careers … never made a [LinkedIn] … no mock interviews.”

From their first semester on campus, B-School students receive career-oriented instruction while Liberal Arts students seem to be lacking this same instruction even by their third year.

These trends are not necessarily unique to Tulane since certain majors are generally more career-oriented than others. Not only are students with certain degrees more likely to receive education that prepares them for finding a career, but they are also more likely to receive job offers before graduating.

For instance, 70 percent of computer science majors, 62 percent of economics majors and 61 percent of accounting majors had at least one job offer before they graduated from college, according to data gathered by the National Association for Colleges and Employers. Meanwhile, students who studied Liberal Arts, majoring in things such as visual and performing arts, had much lower rates of employment offers prior to graduation, at around 28 percent. 

Since these discrepancies are not unique to Tulane, they are indicative of a larger issue: students in certain schools and majors are at a disadvantage when it comes to future employment. As such, students who do not feel that their curriculums have prepared them for their careers should take their own initiative to prevent falling behind their peers. 

Newcomb Tulane College Career services is committed to supporting students through their academic and career journeys. They can help undergraduate students to identify their personal interests and skills and achieve their goals. Resources are available on the Newcomb Tulane College Career services webpage. 

Additionally, students can make use of the school’s career advisors, who are available for one-on-one sessions. Advisors guide students through the process step-by-step and can help connect students with alumni and potential mentors in their fields of interest. There are advisors for each of the five separate schools available by appointment. 

Another option is to meet with a career peer advisor. These are students who are available to answer questions during designated drop-in hours, with no appointment necessary. Drop-in hours are held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily on the first floor of Mussafer Hall, as well as on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life Mezzanine.

Ultimately, although some students may receive instruction specifically catered to future career opportunities, every student has resources at their disposal. Being at Tulane, in and of itself, is a career opportunity. Nonetheless, there is no harm in noticing the various paths and outcomes of our education.  

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