BOC, TOC must be accessible to students

Credit: Annette Ko/Art Editor Credit: Annette Ko/Art Editor

Carnegie Mellon held its annual Technical Opportunities Conference (TOC) and Business Opportunities Conference (BOC) last week, where students dressed professionally and perfected their résumés in search of employment or summer internships from about 300 recruiters.

There’s no denying that the TOC and BOC are invaluable resources for Carnegie Mellon students, and ones that the student body may often take for granted — but the timing of these events limits job and internship opportunities for some students due to conflicting academic schedules.

The TOC and BOC are held from 10:30 a.m.–5 p.m. on their scheduled days — Tuesday and Wednesday for the TOC and Thursday for the BOC. For students who have days filled with classes, finding time to search for an internship or employment opportunity at these conferences is problematic. Students may have to rush to the University Center during a short break between their classes, sometimes foregoing their lunch to do so. They might even miss class to attend these events.

Academic schedules should not limit the opportunities students have to obtain jobs or internships during the TOC and BOC.

Professors should strive to become more understanding of potential conflicts with the TOC and BOC, and permit students to miss class for the conferences, or at the very least not schedule exams on the same day as one of these events.

Alternatively, it may be possible to change the times during which the TOC and BOC are held. Recruiters often stay overnight for the job fairs, so it is worth exploring the option of holding these events after standard class hours — perhaps from 4–8 p.m. With times in the evening, a far greater number of students may have the opportunity to attend these important events without rushing through them.

The TOC and BOC are great opportunities that benefit Carnegie Mellon students. However, to curb people from missing classes or recruitment events, professors must either adapt their courses to allow students to miss classes on these days, or the university should work to move the TOC and BOC to more accessible hours.