Articles College

What’s Next for Your College Student

NextStep’s One-On-One Coaching During the College Years Helps Them Land a Dream Job

by Karyn Brodsky

Congratulations, parents! Your students’ hard work and involvement, plus your efforts, prodding and emptying of your bank account helped them gain admittance to the college of their dreams. But what about the ultimate goal of obtaining a college degree? What about finding a job?

According to Tim Niermeyer, co-owner of NextStep College to Career Coaching, “The days of graduating and then finding a job are over. You have to hone your skills while in college.” He and business partner, Steve Longo coach students individually with resume writing assistance, polishing interview skills, networking and more, with the end goal of helping them land a job and start their careers. “As parents, we make an enormous effort and spend a lot of money on tutors, extracurricular activities and test score improvement programs to help our kids get into college, but we fail to provide them with the tools and skills necessary to be employed after college,” says Longo.

Statistics back Longo’s assertion. Recent data says that around one third of all college educated Americans are never able to find employment in the field they have earned a degree in—and that’s something that needs to change. In fact, Longo notes 72% of kids never visit their college’s career center. “Even if they do visit, on average there is one staff member per 1000 students,” he says. “That’s the equivalent of one, one-hour meeting during their entire four years on campus.”

Niermeyer and Longo come from different backgrounds, but both note that many of today’s students are lacking basic job search skills and the essentials of forging a successful career. During his years as a college recruiter for a Fortune 500 company, Niermeyer saw firsthand that a gap exists in most students’ resume building, interviewing, communication and follow-up skills. He partnered with Longo, a long-time entrepreneur and sales professional, to try to fill this gap with NextStep, their one-on-one coaching business.

The team meets primarily with college freshmen through seniors, though will occasionally coach someone after graduation who is still seeking employment. They meet face-to-face, by phone, via emails or texts, and even conduct Skype sessions for students who are away at school. “We respect our client’s time, and we’re flexible with communication,” says Niermeyer. “We speak to the client at least once every other week.”

“We hold the kids accountable and show them how they can be successful in the process,” adds Longo. “When we work one-on-one, we see the transition. It’s very rewarding to see their confidence grow.”

While Longo and Niermeyer don’t involve parents in the coaching—most kids will listen better to someone who is not their parent—they do provide a tracker of the student’s progress so parents can be supportive and will reach out if the student is unresponsive to assignments.

In a relatively short period of time, NextStep has chalked up a multitude of success stories and helped many college students find their dream job. So what’s next for NextStep? “We hope that in the near future companies will say, ‘Send me one of those NextStep kids,’” says Niermeyer. “That would be the ultimate payoff for us.”

For more information, visit www.nextstepc2c.com or call 972.767.6412.

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