The Insalaco Center for Career Development is pushing students to use Handshake to help further their internship and future career goals as of this semester.
Handshake is a career management website where employers, ranging from local to large corporations like Disney and Google, can post job and internship applications for Misericordia students and alumni. Handshake has over 600 jobs and internships as well as 600 employers and counting.
Tiffany Wiernusz, coordinator of Career Development, explained the decision to use the platform was made to make it easier for students to contact employers and other students from around the country since the previous program was too difficult and time-consuming to manage.
“The students have a much greater reach, as do the employers and it helps level the playing field for students at other colleges, as well,” said Wiernusz.
Bernie Rushmer, Director of Career Development, explained that Handshake makes it easier for employers to post applications for jobs and internships because they have the option to provide their information out to the schools that are in the Handshake system. It is easier for students because they are able to get access to all that information quicker, she added.
“That has opened up a lot of opportunities for our students to become aware of,” said Rushmer. “Whereas before, it was a bit cumbersome and the employer had to post in each individual school and that sort of slowed down their process.”
Wiernusz said the university is looking for ways to get more students on Handshake.
“We are contemplating doing an email campaign through Handshake. They have said that it leads to great success in students activating their accounts,” she said.
She further explained the goal of the Career Center is to let students know about Handshake. They got the word out about Handshake at the beginning of the school year by giving out free tee-shirts and popcorn to students who showed them their activated account.
Wiernusz said she expects about 1,000 students would have their Handshake accounts activated by the end of the week of Sept. 18.
Rushmer explained professors will talk to all of the FYE classes about Handshake, as well, so first-year students will get a head start in looking for internships. She also plans to hold small events in Banks, advertise at job fairs, and host workshops to make students aware about searching for opportunities.
“For any student that is looking to either connect with the Career Center or is looking for a job or an internship, the platform is exactly the same for everybody,” said Rushmer.
She explained the benefits of using Handshake will be the same across students who are enrolled in the Guaranteed Placement Program (GPP) and students who are not.
“Whether or not you’re a GPP student, we want you to be using Handshake,” said Wiernusz. “I hope that this encourages our non-GPP students to use our office and services more than they have in the past. Many don’t know that our office is open to all students regardless of their status in GPP.”
Rushmer encourages everyone to utilize the new service.
“It’s a convenience for students in terms of connecting with the Career Center, but it’s also a great place to search for jobs and internships and to connect with others” she said. “So I would encourage students to get in there and check it out.”