Baylor Career Center Continues to Serve Students, Organize Virtual Job Fairs, Facilitate Interviews
‘There are many ways that students can engage with employers through this time of uncertainty,’ says Baylor’s assistant vice provost for the Career Center
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By Kaitlyn Rieper, marketing specialist, Baylor Marketing and Brand Strategy
WACO, Texas (April 9, 2020) – Despite the recent downturn in the U.S. job market, due to COVID-19, Baylor University students are still participating in interviews, negotiating job offers and working toward their career goals, said Ken Buckley, assistant vice provost for the Baylor Career Center.
Career Center staff are working with students each day via phone and video chat, offering job-search assistance, organizing virtual career fairs and setting up one-on-one virtual meetings with recruiters.
“We want to make sure our students know that we are still actively working to assist them in every way available,” Buckley said. “Every day we are hearing success stories from our students.”
In the following Q&A, Buckley explains the Career Center resources available to students and shares advice on how students can position themselves professionally during this time.
Q: One of the staples of the Career Center is students being able to meet with Career Success Professionals (CSPs). Are students still able to meet with CSPs?
BUCKLEY: We are still having appointments and encourage students to meet with their Career Success Professional by phone, email or video chat. We are and have been working with students on a daily basis to offer job search assistance or just to listen and provide support. Being available to our students and helping them find success remains our primary goal.
Q: Students utilized on-campus employer events like career fairs and information sessions to find jobs and internships. Are there resources for connecting with employers in this time of social distancing?
BUCKLEY: There are many ways that students can engage with employers through this time of uncertainty. What we see each day is that employers are actively placing jobs and internship in Handshake, our online recruiting portal. We are utilizing virtual experiences with employers and replicating traditional career fair experiences with virtual career fairs. In March, we hosted the Big 12 Virtual Career Fair where 160 employers posted positions for our students. We are hosting three virtual career fairs in April, numerous information sessions via video chat and virtual information tabling events. These events, and others, will be in Handshake.
Q: What can students do during this time to boost professional skills and continue working toward their career path?
BUCKLEY: This is a great time to continue working on career goals and even get ahead of the process by utilizing our numerous resources and meeting virtually with CSPs. Our CSPs can walk with each student through the job application and interview process and assist them with any area of difficulty. Here is a list of ideas that students can work on remotely:
- Become familiar with Handshake. Students that utilize Handshake have an 80% chance of being contacted by employers. Virtual event registration, setting up appointments with CSPs and more are all done through Handshake.
- Take a career assessment. Students who are unsure of where they might want to go professionally can take advantage of our career assessment software. Traitify is a quick personality assessment that matches personality to career paths. Super Strong is an assessment based on the Strong Interest Inventory that helps students understand how their personal interests can translate to professional access.
- Network with employers. This is an excellent time to reach out to employers and network through CareerShift and Handshake. Employers appreciate the connections made with our students and are very willing to visit with them about potential job details and career paths.
Our CSPs can assist students with all of these resources and more. They are also available through Handshake, organized by major and interests. If a student is unsure of what they should be doing right now, our office is available with help customized to each student’s needs.
Q: Some students may be worried about the job market, especially graduating seniors. Are there still job opportunities available?
BUCKLEY: Graduating seniors should not be discouraged with the current job market. Although several industry areas are currently experiencing economic challenges, there are still many areas doing well. We anticipate that when the COVID-19 issues return to a normal state that the economy will come back stronger than ever. The job market will be different over the next months, but there are jobs available. We are discovering through our First Destination Survey of graduating seniors that the success rate is slightly higher now when compared to the fall of 2019, which is very good news in light of the COVID-19 effects on employment.
Students should be open to positions outside of their majors and looking at how their skills can fit into other directions right now. They can be proactively searching for jobs and positioning themselves for success. Students who are nervous about navigating the job market and having a competitive edge should reach out to our office. Our CSPs are here to help.
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 18,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.