Earnings Call: Jada Hector, Career Counselor for the Master of Finance

By Tommy Milburn, Master of Finance Candidate 2014
In the last edition of Earnings Call, I talked to Master of Finance Director, Clay Randolph. He said that the number one goal of the faculty and administration “is to equip Tulane MFIN candidates with the skills necessary for the careers that they’re working to qualify themselves for.”  The front line to achieving that goal is Jada Hector, the designated career counselor for the Tulane MFIN program. Jada is a licensed professional counselor (LPC) in Louisiana who has spent much of her career helping adults and adolescents achieve their academic and professional goals. She also holds a Masters in Counseling from Louisiana State University and a Bachelor’s degree from University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Jada says that it was an easy and natural progression to her position here at Tulane. I was lucky enough to pick her brain in this week’s edition of “Earnings Call”.
Q: What steps are the CMC taking to make Tulane students more competitive in the job market?
A: We are expanding our staff, which includes one new counselor in addition to me that will be dedicated solely to the MFIN students. This will allow for more programming and more outreach to companies that are interested in recruiting Tulane MFINS. In addition to adding more staff, we have redesigned Freeman Days to more greatly benefit the career development of our students.  Our workshops allow us to provide students with the correct development opportunities and the new focused networking sessions allow Freeman students to connect with the alumni working in their future industry.
Q: What is the most valuable skill that students often lack going in to the job search? How does the CMC help develop this skill?
A: Our main goal is helping students translate their academic excellence to how they will succeed in a professional setting. Being able to demonstrate unique personal traits that translate to success in a job setting is very important to employers. Many students read an interview guide and feel that memorizing answers will lead to success in an interview. At the CMC, we offer mock interviews to get students out of the habit of responding to standard interview questions in a robotic manner. The most important question that is never asked in an interview is: Who are you, really?  The time that we spend on mock interviews help students tailor an interview strategy unique to their skills and experiences.
Q: Does the CMC reach out directly to companies on behalf of students, or are companies actively seeking to recruit Tulane students?
A: Alumni are the crucial first step to this mechanism. Companies actively seek to recruit Tulane students because they have hired Tulane alumni that excelled. It is important that students are actively reaching out to members of the Tulane network to discover opportunities and it is just as important that past students keep in touch with the CMC. We try to keep these lines of communication open, especially with alumni that are recruiters.
Q: How important is student involvement in getting recruiters on campus?
A: Current student and job seeker involvement is crucial, because we can’t help anybody that doesn’t ask for it; however, alumni involvement is critical to getting recruiters on campus. Many of the recruiters and hiring managers that we work with are Tulane alumni that are itching to hire Tulane’s brightest students. We try to get students to let us know what their career goals are because that allows us to connect them to the correct alumni. Another great resource that many students don’t realize that they have is the Tulane parent network. Many students are willing and able to connect classmates with their parents that are very successful in a variety of fields. The CMC utilizes the parent network for professional panels that have been some of our most successful programming to date.