Noonsong was preparing to be an accountant and looking for a job support program provided by SMWU. She discovered a program called "SM-Bridge" that connects students with alumnae who are currently working. Through it, Noonsong could directly inquire about what she does not know or wants to get help with from her senior mentors related to accounting. There were so many seniors registered with SM-Bridge that Noonsong could receive help from them, greatly reducing her concerns about preparing for employment. After she graduated and got a job, she decided to become an alumna senior and help her juniors diligently, just as she had been helped.
Designing a Career Road Map through SNOWAY
The easiest way to access SMWU's employment support program is to access the SNOWAY website. The website is run by the Career Development Office which designs a Career Road Map for Sookmyungians and strives to help them develop careers in their desired field through employment support, practical competency, and mentoring all the way from admission until graduation. With a step-by-step Road Map designed by the Career Development Office, the Snoway website is largely divided into vision establishment and career choice for the lower grades and competency development and counseling for the higher grades.
First, lower-grade students can establish rough goals toward employment and develop plans for them. Sookmyungians can share various experiences and thoughts by communicating online what they have realized through their lives so far, their ideal goals, role models, and dreams. Furthermore, they can make semester-by-semester plans for achieving those goals. However, before making a plan, if they are not sure what field they are interested in and what industry they want to enter in the future, they can look at job prospects and job information by department in the "career selection" category. In the job outlook section, the work and environment of various job fields, qualification requirements, job status, and future prospects are described in great detail. In addition, vocational information for each major includes jobs to utilize one's major, convergence jobs, and graduate school information, which may give the lower grades some ideas for the future. Sookmyungians also can prepare for employment in earnest by applying for an extracurricular course program, which are educational programs and activities that do not give credits. SMWU's administrative departments provide various types of extracurricular programs every year, including those aimed at strengthening learning competencies, career support, psychological counseling, employment support, and start-up support, based on core competency diagnosis and student demand analysis. Extracurricular programs conducted during November included "How to Use PowerPoint," "JAVA Coding Learning in 4 Days," "Understanding Music Recording," "A Special Lecture on Mental Health," and "A Special Lecture on Alumnae in Economics." If students participate in the satisfaction survey after completing the extracurricular course program, they can receive mileage and even receive scholarship benefits along with it. If they want to talk directly with an alumnae senior who is working in a job field they are interested in, they can use SM-Bridge mentoring. They can receive guidance for the cover letter, interview, and how to obtain certificates from alumnae seniors who are employed in various companies such as Kakao, Naver, Carver Korea, or Lotte Card. In addition, through the Sookmyung AI solution, they can write a cover letter or resume, receive an artificial intelligence evaluation and analysis, and check out the applications of successful applicants. Job aptitude tests for major companies based on the latest information are also analyzed and even mock tests similar to the actual tests are provided, so they can compare their scores with applicants nationwide and predict solutions for passing.
Whether practical help is provided or not
With the aim of looking at the direction in which the on-campus employment support programs should move forward, SMT conducted a survey on them. Respondents were allowed to give multiple responses. According to the survey, 43 out of 45 respondents (95.9%), which was the largest number of respondents, knew about the employment support extracurricular programs.1) 27 out of 45 respondents (60%) knew that employment counseling, start-up counseling, and job aptitude tests were possible. In terms of awareness, the most lacking was SM-Bridge mentoring, which seems to need more publicity to become known to students. In terms of participation, the employment support extracurricular programs were the most common, with 28 out of 35 respondents (80%), and SM-Bridge mentoring was the least. 13 out of 35 respondents (37.1%) had experience participating in the job aptitude tests, and as it is a service that uses mock tests of companies, more respondents from the senior and graduate level had experienced it than the lower grades. There are many access routes to learn about employment support programs, and 25 out of 39 respondents (64.1%) had accessed the website where the extracurricular program was displayed, and 17 out of 39 respondents (43.6%) learned about them through school announcements. Other responses included learning about them from acquaintances in school such as fellow students and professors or through department notifications sent through KakaoTalk or text messages from SMWU, or through a liberal arts course called "Career Exploration and Competency Development."
Students' satisfaction with employment support programs was also investigated. However, although the number of students participating in the annual comparison program exceeds 20,000, the number of students who responded to the survey was only 45, so there is a limit to the sample and there are respondents who have never directly participated in employment support programs. 19 out of 45 (42.2%) respondents said they were satisfied with the employment support programs provided by the school, while 3 (6.7%) said they were very satisfied. Students who have participated in employment support programs were asked why they were satisfied, and the most common reason was "substantial help." One of the respondents said, "I can choose the right program for my level, and even though I am still a sophomore, I received a lot of help at the school level, such as preparing for contests and certification tests." There were also many references to meetings with alumnae seniors, and some students learned about what to do in the future through their vivid job experience, and others were able to have their questions solved through Q&A time. Students who responded that they had no experience directly participating in employment support programs but were satisfied cited the reason as the diversity of programs that can be found through the push notifications of the Smart Sookmyung app. It is easy to communicate with alumnae seniors and there are various programs, so it is judged by students that there are enough channels to obtain information if students want to know.
What the Career Development Office says
Looking at the students' answers to the survey request, "If there is anything that needs to be improved in the in-school employment support program, please feel free to write it down," most mentioned a lack of promotion. In addition, more diverse programs and those that activate alumnae networks should be opened. SMT visited the Career Development Office to share the students' opinions and interviewed Lee Eunsil, head of the Office, and Kwon Hyerim, head of the team. First of all, they said that about 2,000 extracurricular programs have been opened, and the number of students who have used them stands at about 20,000 when including all the programs together. Regarding the fact that despite this high participation rate, some students did not participate in, nor know about the programs, as shown in the results of a survey by the SMT as mentioned above, she said, "We will continue to try to secure ways to promote the programs more effectively." In addition, the Career Development Office has introduced the following ways to make it easier and more comfortable for students who felt that there was a lack of publicity for the program to learn more about it. She mentioned that the office sends push messages through the Smart Sookmyung app and announces all the programs on the SnoWe site to enable students to hear about and use the necessary job support information and programs. In response, team leader Kwon Hyerim said, "There are quite a few students who have not installed the app. In some cases, even if we sent push messages to more than 10,000 students, some couldn't check them as not having the app." She stressed that it would be useful for all students to install the Smart Sookmyung app to easily and quickly hear notices from the university. In addition, if students check out the bulletin board called "Employment Career Development" under "Sookmyung News" on the SNOWE site, they can see all the programs of the career development system. So, SnoWe is a good way to find a program because students can easily find the programs they want.
Regarding the opinion that "More diverse employment support programs should be opened," the Career Development Office stated the following position. First of all, as mentioned above, it is striving to open and promote various programs, and in November alone, it conducted a number of programs necessary for all students, including the lower and upper grades. For example, there was the "Career Talk Talk Concert with SM-Bridge Mentors" introducing alumnae seniors' school life and careers, the "Career Exploration Workshop through BOSI" that helped students design their own careers by examining what type of brain they have, and what kind of job they are suitable for, and the 'What's Next? - 15 global leaders' relay vision lecture.' In addition, the Office said it will try to further expand students' participation and experience by conducting and promoting more job support programs such as special lectures on self-introduction letters for preparing for an internship. Lastly, regarding the students' representative opinions on the school employment support program, the Office emphasized, "This year was especially the time when we opened and conducted a job support program to activate the alumnae network in earnest." In other words, since programs to activate the alumnae network have recently begun to expand much more than before, it will take a little more time for students to recognize these changes, participate in various new programs, and then feel satisfied. The Career Development Office mentioned that various programs such as meetings with seniors and SM-Bridge are being conducted, the satisfaction of participating students is close to 5.0/5.0, and that the new SM-Bridge is also expanding stably. In addition, even if it is not an official program, there have been cases in which the Office has helped students prepare for employment by connecting them with older and younger alumnae. For example, one student called to get some help to prepare for a job interview and the Office directly introduced them to an alumna. In this way, the Career Development Office seems to be doing its best to support students' careers actively and effectively.
Employment support programs are waiting for you
Regarding the SMWU employment support program, the Career Development Office said that it continues to recognize the points raised by students and that it will try to find better ways while considering the survey responses. In addition, various programs for employment support, such as the university job center project, are scheduled and in progress starting in December. It is expected that students will be able to actively participate in job support programs through the Smart Sookmyung app or visiting SNOWE.
1) The total number of students enrolled is 12,596, with a survey participation rate of about 0.4%
Kim Lee Jiwon / Reporter
Park Gil Yeonseo / Reporter