Graphic by Addison Whiten
Pepperdine’s Career Center provides students with opportunities to learn about potential jobs after graduation, receive help creating resumes and applying for positions, attend career fairs and more. Now, the Career Center is figuring out how to do all of that virtually.
This semester, the Career Center faces the unique added duty of continuing to match students with internships and jobs as the state of the market and remote work opportunities remain uncertain.
“We’re adapting just like all of the students are,” said Sarah Dillion, marketing and events manager for the Career Center.
The Career Center made its shift to a completely virtual presence over the summer, and after researching different ways to operate remotely, offered two online career fairs in September, Dillion said.
“My main goal is to figure out the best way to connect employers with students,” Dillion said.
Dillion said the staff at the Career Center worried over what the job market would look like for students applying for internships and post-grad jobs since the pandemic forced many businesses to close in March.
“We were scared the economy would freeze and no one would be hiring,” Dillion said. “For a few months, we saw a bit of that, but hiring has picked back up.”
Prior to the pandemic, not many employers offered remote internships for students, but now even major companies like NBC have created those opportunities, Dillion said.
“We have tons of [remote] jobs and internships that are available,” Dillion said. “We have companies that are still trying to get in touch with us and have us connect with students.”
Dillion said even if a student had an internship or application canceled due to the pandemic, there are many opportunities now available to them.
“Internships are back out there, and so if students haven’t been looking because they think there’s not anything out there, be sure to check Handshake,” Dillion said. “There are plenty available right now.”
For seniors specifically, the Career Center offers webinars aiming to educate them on what they need to know to get ready for graduation and a career after they leave Pepperdine, Dillion said. Upcoming webinars are Oct. 21 at 8 p.m., PDT, and Nov. 4 at 7 p.m., PDT.
The Career Center typically offers students the opportunity to meet with career counselors, called industry specialists, Dillion said. Students can now make appointments on Handshake to meet with industry specialists via Zoom.
These industry specialists also offer open office hours for students to drop in and ask questions or receive advice, Dillion said.
Two more upcoming opportunities for professional development for students will be career-focused workshops, Dillion said. Teach for America will host Tips for a Successful Virtual Interview on Oct. 28 at 1 p.m., PDT, and Shana Love, from the California state auditor’s office, will host Skills that Define High Performance Leaders on Oct. 20 at 12 p.m., PDT.
Dillion also said there is a collection of online resources available to students that launched in 2019 called “Career Everywhere,” which includes: VMock, a resume reviewer that uses artificial intelligence; Roadtrip Nation, a video library that allows students to explore possible future careers; Real World Ready, a platform that teaches real world “adulting” concepts; and PeppConnect, a directory of alumni mentors.
While the Career Center strives to continue offering online opportunities for career development for students, Dillion said her team is aware that many students are experiencing Zoom fatigue, so attending more online events isn’t always appealing to them. She said she hopes, however, the Career Center achieves its ultimate goal for students, even during this virtual semester.
“Our main goal is definitely to give students all the tools they need to prepare them for success after Seaver,” Dillion said.
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Contact Addie Whiten via Twitter: @addisonwhiten or by email: email@example.com