Researching Careers — In Cyberspace

It's a big, big world, and getting bigger all the time. For students ready to launch themselves into the business sphere, the growth of opportunities for interesting and rewarding work has, in the late '90s, been exponential. But choice can bring confusion.  Where to begin? This is the role of Commerce Career Services, which not only works with recruiters

This is the role of Commerce Career Services, which not only works with recruiters to place students in jobs, but educates students about the myriad options and strategies available to them. On-campus interviews, data sheet referrals, Career Fairs, career focus panels, mock interviews — many resources are available to job-seeking graduate and undergraduate students. And among these is an incredibly powerful tool. Students, says Lois Meerdink, assistant dean of Commerce Career Services, "are using the Internet to research companies.

"Through the college's Office for Information Management, a powerful tool supplements the arsenal of resources available from Commerce Career Services. Using the computer laboratory, students may gather a wide range of information about prospective employers, through a Web-based service known as OneSource. The OneSource Business Browser has information on 1.25 million companies. Available by subscription only (licenses cover the entire OIM lab and some additional sites within CBA), OneSource allows information-seekers to access financial data, industry intelligence, executive profiles, analyst reports, and media coverage on a huge spectrum of companies and corporations. Program features include Industry and Company Profilers, time-saving information sources that consolidate vast amounts of data. By utilizing OneSource, students can quickly identify companies that match their career goals, generating lists sorted by such considerations as size, sales, geographic location, and whether a company is publicly or privately held. Having obtained this information, which can also include contact names, students write a query letter and do a mail merge, initiating their job search with a thorough, wide-ranging, and relevant mailing. "The information available through OneSource is updated as often as every few minutes," notes Ruth Reingold, manager of system services, who makes OneSource training available to Commerce students. "The key is that the information is integrated and easily accessible and that the format is easy to use, because data can be exported to Excel and Word programs."
The friendly faces of Career Services.

She adds: "It's incredibly useful, because once students get back responses from their initial query, they can return to OneSource and read up on the company. They can then go into the interview prepared to answer questions, and to pose intelligent questions to the interviewers. Students whom I've trained to use OneSource come back and say, `Oh yes, you were right. This has been extremely helpful.'