When Nadine Hovnanian ’09 is looking for a full-time job, a top criterion in her search is whether the company works toward bettering the global community.

Like Hovnanian, many of today’s college graduates are looking for companies that value community service, corporate integrity and respect for the environment, according to Shannon Schuyler, managing director of corporate responsibility at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

‘A lot of them now say that really moving up the ladder of what helps them determine where to go is this whole notion of giving back,’ said Schuyler.

Over the years, the key characteristic students look for in companies has changed from salary to work/life balance to a company’s willingness to take care of the world and their local community, said Schuyler.

‘As an individual employee, I’m only a drop in the ocean that is the corporation,’ said Hovnanian, an economics major, ‘but I want to make sure that what I do helps a greater force (being the corporation) serve a greater good.’

Dan Escobar ’10, a business management major, said that the honesty that a company shows in its business ranks second in his job search criteria, behind salary.

‘I’m looking for a company that has morals and ethical principles,’ said Escobar. ‘I want to work for honest managers. I want a company that values their employees.’

Not only has community responsibility become important to students looking for jobs, but organizations are also emphasizing volunteering to their employees.

Wylie Smith Blake, Fairfield campus minister and coordinator of service outreach, said that community service has become more mainstream in recent years.

Whether students get involved because of their faith background, a desire to serve or necessity, ‘once they’re doing it, they want to stay involved,’ said Blake.

Companies today are aware of the increasing interest in community outreach, according to Cathleen Borgman, director of Fairfield career planning.

Businesses are using community service opportunities and job deferment for a year of post-graduation service as a vehicle to reach out to potential new hires, said Borgman.

Supporting employee’s passions in this area helps companies because it builds teamwork and unity as well as firm loyalty and quality of service, according to Schuyler.

PricewaterhouseCoopers acknowledges employee dedication to community service by offering benefits like ten paid volunteer hours per employee that are included in his or her annual report, said Schuyler.

About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.