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BSUCalendar June 19, 1998 Pabst/SkaarMemorialGolf Tournament,BemidjiTownand CountryClub July 10, 1998 BSUFoundersWalkInduction Ceremony August 7, 1998 LadyBeaverGolfTournament, BemidjiTown&CountryClub August 7-9, 1998 HockeyReunion August 21-22, 1998 BSUAlumniAssociationBoard ofDirectorsAnnualRetreat andBoardMeeting, DavidParkHouse,Bemidji September 21-27, 1998 BSUHOMECOMING1998, “There’sNoPlaceLike Home...coming1998!” Vol. 13, No. 4, Summer 1998 A Publication for Alumni & Friends of Bemidji State University BSUHorizons G r a d u a t e s The Courting S of Graduates Bemidji State University BSU Horizons OfficeofAlumniAffairs 1500BirchmontDriveNE#DPH Bemidji,Minnesota56601-2699 FORWARDINGSERVICEREQUESTED NON-PROFIT ORGAN. U.S.POSTAGE PAID Bemidji, MN 56601-2699 PERMIT NO. 9 PenaltyforPrivateUse hawn Johnson started her job search during winter quarter. After the first three interviews, she stopped looking. It wasn’t that the senior technical illustration and graphic design major from Bemidji was having a bad experience. It was the opposite; she was weighing offers from each of the firms. While alumni with memories of soft job markets may find this story unusual, many BSU graduates in 1998 will relate experiences similar to Johnson’s. “The job market has turned around for students,” said Margie Giauque, director of career services. “We’ve seen a steady increase in interest by employers for BSU graduates, and in the past two years they’ve hit the campus pretty hard. Students are being courted.” On-site recruitment by potential employers was at an all-time high for Bemidji State last fall, mirroring a phenomenon on colleges campuses across the country. Many businesses, agencies and firms have discovered that waiting until spring is too late, and winter is becoming somewhat problematic for certain majors. On the teaching side, Giauque noted that the market was tight in Minnesota, but jobs were available if students were open to looking at all opportunities. The pursuit of both teaching and non-teaching majors has increased. During a job-fair in the Twin Cities sponsored by the state universities, 143 potential employers participated with 20 on a waiting list trying to get in. At the Minnesota Education Career Fair in Minneapolis, a record 146 school districts were there to look at candidates and many made job offers on the spot. Experts cite strong economies on the state and national levels as a primary reason for the high demand. Employment rates are also a factor; in Minnesota, the most recent figures showed unemployment at an extremely low 2.5 percent compared to 3.6 a year ago. Becky Dawley, a BSU alumna who is vice president of information services at Federated Insurance in Owatonna, makes fre- N Becky Dawley conducts an interview on campus. “ earlyallofthepositionsinmyareaprefer acollegedegree,butdon’trequireit.Atthe sametime,thevastmajorityofourpeoplehavea four-yeardegreeandthere’sareasonforit.The employeewithabachelor’sdegreehasabroader perspectiveandagreaterdegreeofmaturity.They haven’tfocusedononespecificarea.” Becky Dawley quent trips to campus to interview candidates. Specializing in commercial lines of insurance and risk management services, Federated Insurance has 1,300 employees with Bemidji State alumni working in marketing, information systems, loss control, and risk management. “We see a fit with our company’s values and the students’ values,” Dawley said when discussing her company’s success in recruiting BSU students. “We’re often a good match because the reasons a student was attracted to BSU are the same reasons they’d be interested in working at our company in Owatonna.” That sentiment was echoed by Ivan Reimer, human resource manager of Solvay Pharmaceuticals in Baudette where approximately 10 percent of the company’s 200-member work force graduated from BSU. It is a fast-growing enterprise with quadruple the sales over the past five years and another 25 percent growth projected for 1998. The plant manufactures drugs for female health, mental health and gastro-intestinal use. As such, it needs employees with solid science backgrounds. “The appropriate degree is the one thing we’re looking for in a candidate while a desire to work in this field is another,” he commented. “Beyond those factors, one of the major reasons we recruit at Bemidji State is the type of person who attends the school. They are from Minnesota, understand and know the climate, and are familiar with life in a smaller town. “We see BSU graduates as having a sound base of knowledge from their chemistry and scientific curriculum. More than anything, they’re eager to get to work. They seem to have a work ethic that is superior to what I’ve seen in other parts of the country.” For Tim Shears, president of MNN Radio Networks, his attraction to BSU graduates can be related in two words, enthusiasm and confidence. Shears oversees a firm that runs nine different networks across the region and operates an all-news station in Minneapolis. Of MNN’s 38 fulltime employees, seven earned degrees at Bemidji State. “BSU graduates tend to possess good, basic skills,” said Shears, who is a BSU alumnus. “But they also have a level of competency that allows them to survive, which comes from their experiences in the program, and they show passion for the industry.” The demand for university graduates may be tied to the bachelor’s degree. Although there is a lot of attention paid today to specialist programs that can be completed in one or two years, many employers feel the bachelor’s degree is the degree of choice. “Nearly all of the positions in my area prefer a college degree, but don’t require it,” said Dawley. “At the same time, the vast majority of our people have a fouryear degree and there’s a reason for it. The employee with a bachelor’s degree has a broader perspective and a greater degree of maturity. They haven’t focused on one specific area. “The nature of the responsibilities for our programmers requires them to be general problem solvers and to work with people who have other ideas. The perspectives gained with a four-year degree will lead to better business solutions.” Reimer indicated that Solvay has not wavered from its requirement for a bachelor’s degree for entry level in many facets of the firm while Shears felt the bachelor’s was even more important for the future. “Employees and employers need to evolve in this changing economy because the business we’re in today might not be the same business we’re in five years from now,” Shears said. “People will need to be generalists, to be able to do special skills and to articulate ideas, show initiative, think, and have the willingness as well as ability to change.” With 13 years in the career counseling area, Giauque sees an upside today in the way agencies, companies and school districts are changing to attract candidates. 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BSUCalendar June 19, 1998

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