14 ways campus career offices are serving students during school closures

With campuses closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, career services teams have gotten creative about delivering programs virtually

In-person opportunities typically dominate campus career services offerings at colleges and universities.

Career services staff communication during closures

When campus career centers closed, staff who were accustomed to being down the hall from each other had to adjust to virtual communication. David Tirpak, associate director of career services at Howard Community College in Maryland, says his team has remained connected via email, zoom, and a group text (with the latter method being new). “In some ways, the situation has brought many of us closer, as we continue to check-in with one another’s well-being, as we also continue to connect students to opportunities—especially new opportunities that are remote, and positions that are high in demand,” Tirpak says.

But as campuses closed this March, these teams had to pivot to a virtual-only model. Here are several actions to consider based on ways career services offices have been delivering services during the pandemic. Click on each link for details.

Part 1, Virtually everything: Organize a virtual career fair; Prepare students for virtual events; Invest in student professional development; Convert workshops to virtual events; Continue to dish out dining etiquette lessons.

Part 2, Internships anywhere: Ask companies with strong internship program relationships to go virtual; Work with outside partners to offer virtual internships; Create micro-internships since not all traditional ones can be available virtually.

Part 3, Program-specific events: Remember your future teachers; Organize an online “Shark Tank”; Ensure that any academic program can have online events.

Part 4, Knowing the audience: Solicit student input on needed services; Keep students’ event program timing preferences in mind; Remind alumni that the career team is also there for them.

Also read: 21 ideas for campus career services and student career development

Melissa Ezarik is senior managing editor of UB.

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