Career Services Employer Relations Team Recruits New Companies for Fordham
By Jennifer Spencer
The Fordham Career Services Employer Relations team connects with hundreds of employers each year with one mission in mind—providing Fordham students with the best possible job and internship opportunities.
Fordham Career Services Employer Relations Team (L to R): Kathlene Lewis, Tamara Nisanov, Christina Jacques, and Laura Greenbaum
The team of four full-time staff is tasked with recruiting employers and managing logistics for all annual career fairs, organizing topical career panels on campus, hosting employers for on-campus recruiting, and the day-to-day upkeep of employer relationships.
Kathlene Lewis, director of employee relations, said that when she started with Career Services at Fordham, there were only two people in the department. Last summer, she was able to hire two additional staff. She said her experience in corporate human resources helped her restructure the team and effectively allocate their time.
“The best thing we have been able to do is improve the response rate to employers,” Lewis said. “Between the four of us, there's really no longer than a day that goes by before we get back to employers—or to students—who have questions.”
Lewis said additional staff has allowed her team to go beyond simply responding to employers and to begin thinking more strategically and building up the community of employers who recruit at Fordham.
Lewis and assistant director Tamara Nisanov meet frequently with employers to introduce them to the value of recruiting at Fordham. In addition to engaging with employers who have a history of recruiting on campus, the team has been able to expand outreach to companies and organizations who are new to Fordham.
Lewis said she and her team are constantly working to respond to student feedback and bring employers to campus that the students want to see.
“We continue to develop new relationships with employers. We are always looking for more employers to recruit here and making sure we know what the students are looking for, and that we are reaching of to those kind of employers,” she said.
Nisanov said a student recently inquired about opportunities working with the FBI or CIA, and she was able to leverage existing connections with employers to bring an FBI recruiter to campus for a panel discussion.
Introductory conversations with new employers involve informing them about the broad range of options Fordham Career Services can offer to help them in their recruitment efforts—the bulk of which are provided at no cost to the employer.
Lewis and Nisanov also educate employers about opportunities such as the ability to offer an internship for academic credit.
Typically, employers will start a relationship with Fordham Career Services by adding jobs to the online CareerLink job database. Employers can also participate in on-campus recruiting, giving them the opportunity to interview several Fordham students on campus all in one day.
Nisanov also coordinates a Career View program, which gives students an opportunity to go to the offices of employers and get a sense of what it would be like to work there.
Recent Career View visits have included Viacom, AOL, JPMorgan Chase, advertising firm BBDO, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
“What’s great about Career Views is that students can visit such a wide variety of organizations, and all these companies may have the same work environments—they just may be in different fields,” Nisanov said.
“It’s great in terms of helping students think about a variety of opportunities,” she said.
As much as the employer relations team loves getting out and meeting new employers to bring to campus, they said their greatest satisfaction comes from knowing they have helped a student find a great opportunity.
“One of the best things about this job is when you've spent a substantial amount of time working with one student and they reach out to you, hug you, when things work out,” said Christina Jacques, on-campus recruiting coordinator.
“They appreciate even the littlest bit of help, and it makes a huge difference to them,” she said.