Thursday May 3, 2007

Pomp and Circumstance

An unforgettable graduation gift, the first graduates of a UD international initiative and an undergraduate CEO who's had a job for months highlight this weekend's commencement ceremonies.

Approximately 1,500 students will receive degrees at 10 a.m. on Sunday, May 6, at University of Dayton Arena. The top undergraduate majors are marketing, public relations, accounting and early childhood education.

Job Outlook — Greg Hayes, executive director of career services for the University of Dayton, says there is a 4 to 6 percent increase in the number of jobs available for the nation's college graduates this spring. Hayes said that is down compared to 2006 when hiring was up nearly 14 percent, the best job market for college graduates since 2000. Hayes evaluates this year's job market as a five on a scale from one to 10. Nationwide, large companies in the manufacturing, utilities, transportation, finance and insurance sectors are hiring more than others, according to Hayes. Compared to last year, hiring has slowed in the retail, real estate and construction industries, although demand for civil engineers remains strong. Overall, graduates with master's in business administration degrees, along with sales and marketing and accounting majors are in the greatest demand. Nationwide demand for engineering and computer science degrees also are strong, he added. Companies turned increasingly to career fairs to meet students. "UD saw a rise in the number of companies participating in spring and fall career fairs, with a 43 percent increase in the fall event and a 65 percent jump in the spring event," Hayes said. "However, the number of on-campus recruiters remained the same." Hayes said starting salaries vary by major, but in general, graduates can expect a rise of 2 to 3 percent over last year. Contact Greg Hayes at 937-229-2075.

First Students in New International Initiative Graduate — Twelve Chinese students will graduate with UD engineering technology degrees after a year at UD and three at Shanghai Normal University. The parents of two of the students will travel from China for graduation ceremonies. The University of Dayton is pursuing strong ties with top universities in China. The initiative represents UD's first major recruiting effort in Asia, where China is one of the largest exporters of students to the United States. The initiative also enhances the multicultural environment on campus and expands study-abroad opportunities. Contact Scott Segalewitz at 937-229-4216.

Attention-Grabbing Resume — Adam Buckman attracted a dozen job interviews and a couple of offers before he even entered his last semester at the University of Dayton. It helps when you can list CEO on your resume. As chief executive officer of Flyer Enterprises, Buckman, 22, managed a profitable student-run enterprise with 170 employees and annual revenues topping $1.3 million — all while earning a bachelor's degree in operations management. "That experience impressed them (employers). It was the selling point," said Buckman, who's joining General Electric in his hometown of Louisville. He'll start as a management trainee in the information management leadership program in the company's appliance division. "Our experience at Flyer Enterprises allowed us to go into job interviews talking about leading a marketing campaign or improving operations through process analysis." The Flyer Enterprises' companies range from gourmet coffee shops to an upscale café. The venture's success helped gain national recognition for UD's entrepreneurship program, ranked fifth best in the nation by Entrepreneur magazine and The Princeton Review. "Most of my friends either have offers on the table or have accepted positions," Buckman said. "No one is discouraged." Contact Adam Buckman at 502-445-1272.

An Unforgettable Graduation Gift — The year was 1993. Eight-year-old Lainey Prendeville, her brothers and cousin put a message in a bottle and dropped it into the Passaic River near Chatham, N.J. Nearly 14 years later, and days before Lainey's own graduation from the University of Dayton, Michael Shannon, a 1990 UD graduate, found and answered Prendeville's message in a bottle and gave her an unforgettable graduation present. Flooding from April's Nor'easter washed the bottle into Shannon's parking lot at work about 15 miles away from the children's launch point. Shannon broke the bottle to retrieve the message. Shannon said various online directory searches were fruitless. So, he did a Google search on Lainey's "unique name," which listed her as a senior at the University of Dayton. Besides having UD in common, both share a love for music. Prendeville will graduate with a degree in music (voice) performance. Shannon plays keyboards in a rock band. The full story can be found here. Contact Shawn Robinson at 937-229-3391.

For more information about UD's commencement ceremonies, contact the Office of Public Relations at 937-229-3241.