SARATOGA SPRINGS -- Skidmore College senior Ross Colombo has a little more than a month until graduation, but the Mount Vernon native is still scrambling for a job that will bridge his interests in music and marketing.
"I want to do something I really care about," Colombo said Friday. "I've applied for a lot of internships, but nothing's really worked out yet, so right now, I'm just looking to network. I'll talk to anyone."
Colombo isn't the only Skidmore student still wondering what awaits him in his post-college life.
He was among more than 200 students who flocked to the school's second Career Jam on Friday to network with more than 50 alumni and professionals in hopes of finding some clarity.
Organizers said the event is designed to give students an opportunity to network while also learning what life is like for those who already have careers.
"This Career Jam is intended not just to find people jobs but to actually mentor students through the whole career strategy process," said Gail Dudack, president of Skidmore's Parent Council, which sponsored the event.
"It's not just a job search but really a career search," Dudack said. "It's a chance to ask, ‘You're a market analyst. So what do you do?'"
Of course, if a student happens to come away with a job, that wouldn't be bad either. After some difficult years, it appears there might be jobs available, too.
The National Association of Colleges and Employers on Thursday reported that the hiring market for this year's college graduates is the best it's been since 2007.
Employers surveyed by the group said they expect to hire 19 percent more graduates this year than they did in 2010. The number of applications per job opening is expected to fall to 21 from 40, the group said.
Prospective employers at Friday's Career Jam said they were hoping to contribute to that growth in hiring.
"There's been a real bloodbath in the publishing industry over the last five or six years, but the human resources department is very busy these days," said Mike Quincy, a writer and editor with Consumer Reports.
L. Howard Adams, a partner at the Wall Street law firm Cahill Gorden & Reindel, said his firm is also in the market for new blood after pulling back on hiring during the recession.
"The business has come back very well for us," said Adams, whose firm's clients include JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Merrill Lynch.
Such a resurgence comes as welcome news for Brendan Calafiore, a senior majoring in business with ambitions to work in the financial sector. He said he already has a few job options, but he's taking nothing for granted and is still looking.
"You never can be sure until you sit in that chair," he said.