Ds Scholarship

Helping Students Find Jobs In The Shake Of A Hand. – Cardinal & Cream


“I picked my major because I am passionate about it, and I’m good at it, but it’s a job that isn’t highly valued unless you go into a very specific niche,” Andie Anderson, senior psychology major, said.

Navigating the job market can often feel like fighting your way off of a battlefield. You are in a landscape so congested with potential options that you do not even know where to start. All of the people who were standing beside you in college are now fighting against you for the same job. The ground around you is pocked with scams that hide under too-good-to-be-true hourly rates and attractive benefits. Step on a scam thinking it was solid ground, and then suddenly your private information is blown into the digital universe.

Just like for Anderson, a lot of seniors, graduates and underclassmen alike see the job market as an incredibly intimidating place. It is no wonder that McDonald’s starts looking like the safe option for your biology degree.

One of the ways that Union remains excellence-driven is through the Vocatio Center for Life Calling and Career. If you are like me, then you know about the Vocatio Center, but you might think they can only help you if you need a resume or if you are just clueless about what you want to do after college. While they do help with those things, they do so much more as well.

“I think that the biggest obstacle for students [facing the job market] that I have worked with personally is not knowing where to start,” Trent Holloway, Assistant Director of the Vocatio Center for Life Calling and Career, said. “It’s a really daunting task, especially if you’re looking in a place that’s really remote or far away.”

I met Stephanie Hawley, Director of the Vocatio Center, and Assistant Director Holloway in the writing center, where they were doing a come-and-go resume workshop for students (with complimentary cupcakes!), to talk about Handshake, a new site that the Vocatio Center has instituted to help students on their job hunt.

Handshake is a user-friendly social site, with mobile and online options, where students can get actively, and interactively, plugged into the job market. It makes finding a job less like a battlefield and more like a road trip where you can go your own pace and stop at the jobs that seem interesting to you.

Stephanie Hawley described Handshake as more than just a career services manager, “It functions more like a social site, so closer to LinkedIn. It’s kind of a hybrid. And so there are some messaging features going back and forth. Employers can message students that match what they’re looking for and vice versa, students can rate employment experiences, so it’s a lot more interactive.”

Handshake has filters to allow students to find a job they love in the place they need with a wage they can live on. I was really excited using Handshake to see that I could set my filters to find full-time journalism jobs in Salt Lake City. I am only a sophomore but exploring the kinds of jobs that are available to me after I graduate made me feel more at ease about my future and excited about the opportunities at my fingertips.

Students can also filter for jobs for a specific major, title, employer, on-campus or off-campus, and even industry.

But Handshake is not just for seniors looking for a job. Students can also find internships, co-ops, fellowships, graduate school programs and experiential learning opportunities.

“We want to advertise and students to pursue those experiential learning opportunities while they’re students and Handshake will help encourage that because students can say things like, ‘I worked here as an intern, and this is what I encourage I got from it,’ Hawley said.

I always have a lot of questions when I am looking at an internship like, ‘How do I know that this will give me the experience I need?’ ‘What if they just have me running coffee for them all the time?’ I want my internships to be worth my while. Handshake allows students to apply filters that show other Union students using the site and whether they previously worked in the position you want.

“We want to be excellent for our students and I think that, while evaluating what platform we chose to utilize, excellence was always in mind, so we see that not only is this excellent for our employers but that equals more excellent for our students because We want to plug them into those opportunities and open those doors for them and we think this is a really great step in that direction,” Holloway said.

Union’s core values ​​are Christ-centered, people-focused, excellence-driven, and future-directed, and those values ​​are definitely upheld by the excellent people in the Vocatio Center. They are there for the students so that navigating the job market does not have to feel like fighting your way off of a battlefield.

So whether you are a senior teetering on the razor’s edge of graduation, a sophomore or junior wanting to get some real-world experience under your belt or a freshman who just wants to explore what is out there for your major, Handshake can help.

Remember that it is never too early to start. Hawley encourages students to, “come in as a freshman and learn how to build a foundational resume, so you’re not scrambling a few weeks before graduation. It’s never too early to begin this journey and to learn how to talk about yourself and how to build your resume and how to think about experiences too.”

Handshake is an excellent resource for students to find opportunities, but the Vocatio Center is still there to help students discern what the best opportunity, of the many, is. They are here for the students for whatever their needs may be.

As Assistant Director Holloway said, “No question is too small. Any question is welcome. We’re here to help every step of the way.”

For more information on Handshake, you can visit vocatiocenter.com or uu.joinhandshake.com.

Go to uu.joinhandshake.com if you would like to set up an appointment either in person or via zoom with someone in the Vocatio Center.

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