The U.S. labor market is inching back from the shock of COVID-19, but that does not make job hunting any less daunting. To help mitigate job search challenges of graduating seniors, the Center for Student Professional Development (CSPD) at the Fox School of Business created the Job Search Jump Start cohort.
“We held the program two times this spring. We accumulated about 96 applicants, with around 60 students accepted into the program between the two sections,” says Brighid Scanlon, assistant director for CSPD. “We decided to have an application process to choose students who were dedicated to the job search process and knew what they were looking for from the program. We ended up taking their applications and designing the program based on the students’ needs.”
Lindsay Marek, senior associate director for CSPD, helped to facilitate a cohort and was impressed by the high caliber of students accepted into the program.
“These students wanted to connect with employers and gain more tools for their job searches,” says Marek. “I always wanted to do a program like this, but as a result of COVID-19 it was a chance to normalize the challenge for seniors.”
Led by the CSPD team, four cohorts were introduced to a variety of professional development topics over the course of three weeks. The first week was focused on organization, job research strategies and how to look if companies were hiring. Next, they concentrated on networking and branding your personal image. Last, students were taught interview strategies.
The Job Search Jump Start cohort program provided Sarah Abrams, who recently accepted an offer with Burlington Stores as an assistant buyer, with guidance for the next steps in her career search.
“When I applied to Jump Start, I had already had my first interview with Burlington. I was also in contact with another company for over a year,” says Abrams. “This program gave me guidance on how to move forward with the companies and what to look for during the interview process. It provided me with tips, such as how to look for Temple alumni on LinkedIn that work for the companies I was interested in.”
Abrams emphasized that this program helped her connect with CSPD staff like Marek, who she has reached out to for advice. She says the Fresh From Fox networking event also gave her experience with talking to employers.
It was an informal networking event aimed to bring together graduating seniors and employers. The 15 employers in attendance ranged from small startup businesses to large investment banks.
“Most students are accustomed to the career fair mentality, but this was different. For this event, we put an emphasis for students to talk to multiple employers, not just ones they are interested in prior to meeting,” says Scanlon. “We also focused on bringing employers to the event that had positions open for our students.”
Scanlon says there was lots of positive feedback from students and employers that attended the Fresh from Fox event.