The Career Center utilizes technology to provide resources, career opportunities, and events online to the campus community. While the transition to virtual space did have concerns from employer partners, they have been innovative in implementing virtual programming and services.
According to Jon Paul Hernandez, the Employer Relations Specialist for the Career Center since March 2020, the center has adjusted several of its services to adapt to the new normal. “When campus operations began to move virtually in March, the Career Center pivoted to ensure all resources, career opportunities, and events would be available utilizing the latest technology. Within a month’s time, we hosted our first virtual career fair via Zoom and continued our career counseling, career readiness series and interview sessions with employers,” Hernandez shared.
Denise Perez-Flores, a career counselor and college liaison, acknowledges that the transition to online hasn’t been easy for everyone. “This can be an issue if a student or alumni does not have access to an electronic device with internet, which is needed to access most of our services now,” Perez-Flores said.
While the Career Center has been able to offer most services that they would have offered in-person, not every service is available online. “With the transition to online-only services, students and alumni are not able to utilize our Coyote Closet, which offered free professional clothing and was one of our most frequently used services,” Perez-Flores explained.
The Career Center has also alleviated concerns from the transition to virtual services. “It wasn’t necessarily a resistance to change from our employer partners, as it was a number of concerns they had. Employers wanted to know if they would be able to effectively connect with students,” Hernandez conveyed.
He continued to state that “Many employers were facing their own challenges, such as hiring freezes and budget concerns. The Career Center was all hands on deck to develop our new virtual landscape, taking inventory of the tools that were available and implementing virtual programming and services. Employers have seen the added value of virtually connecting and branding their opportunities to students.”
This transition has received positive reception and virtual services will continue to be integrated. Yaquelin Aguayo, an event coordinator and a CSUSB alumna with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology, said, “We have seen a steady increase in event participation since we have gone virtual. We believe the virtual setting of events has provided students access to employment opportunities with an added flexibility to their busy schedules. Many events are recorded as well, allowing students to access content anytime.”
While event participation has increased, there are services that have decreased in student attendance. “I have noticed that there are not as many students scheduling appointments now compared to when we were in-person,” said Perez-Flores. “We still have the same amount of available appointment blocks open and do our best to reach out to students to make sure they know that we are still here.”
The Career Center conducts several other services and resources such as recruitment events, drop-in advising and more. “The Career Center is also available for presentation requests for your class or special event,” Aguayo said.
They also aim to help students be ready post-college. Hernandez says, “Our goal for students can best be summarized from a recent quote from our Career Center Director, Roger Woosley: ‘First and foremost, we want to support our students with the very best services and programming possible to assist with reducing student uncertainty about life beyond CSUSB.’”
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