New job search program expands platform for students

Aaron McDade

Kent State students have a new way to find jobs and internships on and off campus, as Handshake has replaced Flash@Work.

The Fall 2018 semester is the first semester for Handshake at Kent State, a change that has been almost two years in the making.

“A decision like this is not made lightly,” Robin Pijor, the Associate Director of Employer Relations wrote in an email. Pijor wrote that the university went through a long process to find a tool that would give them a better way to help current students and track post-graduation outcomes.

Handshake is a larger platform than Flash@Work was, as Pijor said there are already 60,000 student and alumni users, which is more than the previous system. In addition to the number of users, Pijor also said those users had access to over 2,000 internships and jobs in the last 60 days, which is equal to about six months of opportunities from Flash@Work.

With the previous system, an employer had to have a relationship with Kent State to make an opportunity available to students, while with Handshake employers from all over the country can make their jobs and internships available to over nine million Handshake members at over 500 colleges.

The differences are already being noticed by students. Lexi Watson, a senior communication studies major, said she used Flash@Work to apply to internships, but Handshake is “a lot easier to use,” and she has already used Handshake to find an internship. She said she has already recommended it to other students.

Handshake looks over students’ profiles with information like major, GPA, previous work experience, skills and interests. The program then finds the top internships and job opportunities to present them to students. In addition to showing students jobs, it can also provide a much easier on the go experience.

“Its mobile-friendliness makes it easy to use on the go, so we’ve seen in the analytics that students are regularly using mobile login and feel that it will make the process easier to apply for internships/co-ops. The ability to RSVP to attend fairs and events is done simply with one click, so that process is easy as well,” Pijor said.

The platform being more accessible makes it easier for students to find potentially life and career changing opportunities, as one of the most important steps is taking advantage of the resources already on campus.

Pijor recommends that students create and put all the relevant information on their profile as soon as possible, in addition to attending the many drop-in resources in Career Exploration and Development, like resume workshops and interview practice sessions.

Aaron McDade is the jobs/money reporter. Contact him at [email protected].