Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

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Career Office Gives Employment Opportunities

 Life after graduation can feel daunting, but the Office of Career Education’s Handshake program is implemented to relieve students’ stress and increase the chances of postgrad success.

“Handshake is a robust career platform,” said Otesha McGhee, the office’s coordinator for virtual career development. “Recruiters are looking at students that are attached to college universities – it’s specifically made for that.”

For students unfamiliar with Handshake, McGhee is hosting “Navigating Career Education’s Handshake,” a virtual session in which students will be guided through building their profiles from 6-7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 13. 

McGhee, specializing in career development planning, explained she will provide attendees with 10 steps to simplify the process of getting connected on Handshake. 

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Focusing on how students can “get the most” out of Handshake, McGhee said it is important for students to complete their profiles so internship experiences, volunteer work and job opportunities become readily available to them.

Handshake determines which jobs and internships are most suitable for the user through student engagement, said Sam Aretz, the office’s assessment and data analyst.

“By completing their profile, but also following employers and attending events through Handshake, it has an algorithm that learns what is most relevant to the students,” Aretz said.

Aretz added once students start opening the links sent out to them through blast emails, their Handshake suggestions become much more specialized.

Analyzing the data behind where students are going after graduation, Aretz said this information is gathered through Handshake but is reliant on graduates responding to a post-grad survey.

While the response rate is only around 35% currently, Aretz said the Office of Career Education would like to raise this number to at least 50%.

As for the data regarding current students’ interactions with the platform, she said, “That number’s not where we want it to be, but we wish every student would at least log in and activate their account and see what Handshake can do for them.”

Since every Marshall student already has a Handshake account, the staff of the Office of Career has been working with faculty throughout the colleges to ensure students are utilizing the tool.

Additionally, both Aretz and McGhee agreed the platform is user friendly and easily accessible; McGhee explained Handshake can be accessed through MyMU using Marshall’s single sign-on, and Aretz suggested using the mobile app.

Aretz said students can look to see new features on the platform as well, such as the “feed” feature, which will allow users to browse employers’ posts, much like they would with those of friends on social media.

Students looking for more information regarding Handshake can schedule an appointment with a staff member from the Office of Education.

The office will also host its annual Career Fair on Friday, March 8. Students can view the visiting employers on Handshake’s “Events” tab on marshall.joinhandshake.com.

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