Baylor career center continues assistance through online resources

By Jessica Harkay | Reporter

Although it may seem the world is stuck in a standstill, the Baylor Career Center said they want students to know their future hasn’t come to a complete halt.

Earlier this month, the university successfully completed two virtual fairs with the Big 12 (and 150 companies participating) and the intelligence community. On Tuesday, students can participate in State Farm’s virtual career fair or tune into a YouTube Live Recruiting Seminar hosted by Google by registering through Handshake.

The Career Center also expects to deliver an online newsletter within the next few weeks which will not only contain information about events and resources, but also highlight student success stories.

“We’re still having virtual career fairs. We’re having virtual events. Everything’s just moved to a virtual platform at the moment,” Shelby Cefaratti, marketing communications coordinator of the career center said. “The biggest challenge that we will face is the same as what the majority of departments will face — making sure our students know that we are still here and that our mission remains the same, to help every single Baylor student achieve their career potential.”

Shifting to an online platform, the career center will continue to offer a variety of resources through Handshake, including career search tools, career discovery and resume building. Alongside those virtual tools, students can set up phone, email or video appointments, something which Cefaratti said is important for maintaining one-on-one connections.

“We’re social beings. That’s part of being human, and I think it’s just going to be a temporary normal for a while to try to adjust how you deal with that,” Cefaratti said. “We’re going to do our best to try to keep that connection personal.”

Amy Rylander, the assistant engagement director, said that part of maintaining relationships with students has come through personally reaching out, especially making phone calls to graduating seniors or students who have met with the career center before.

“Those conversations have been great and are leading to more conversations,” Rylander said. “In addition to reaching out to students, we’re also talking with employers regularly. We want to make sure that we have the most up-to-date job availabilities for our students.”

Career expert and Baylor alumnus, Adam Contreras, said that employers “are hiring a lot more than people think they are right now.”

“I’ve been making calls with employers all week and making sure that they’re still staying engaged with the university tracking their recruiting efforts in their hiring efforts,” Contreras said. “It’s different with every employer. Every business is kind of tackling this a little bit differently depending on how they’re structured …. But by large, employers are wanting to hire May grads in the hopes that this is going to be a short-term thing and that the employer didn’t lose much during all of it.”

Some of the recruiting efforts by employers includes virtual job fairs, which allow students to speak to recruiters.

“Students ‘wait in line’ to chat with the next representative and to give them their resumes,” Rylander said. “Companies participating in these virtual events have jobs and internships posted to the sites before the date so that students can prepare.”

For now, advisors said they suggest taking advantage of life slowing down.

“Whether you’re taking classes in person or online, [students are] still going to graduate and have a degree in May, regardless of what the economic statuses are, what the COVID-19 outbreak has done to effect the job force, you’re going to be looking for jobs,” Contreras said. “I think that the sooner you can kind of adjust and keep looking for jobs and get in touch with the Career Center, the better. You’re going to better yourself and put yourself out in the job market that much faster.”