In the weeks leading up to what’s expected to be a unique, unprecedented fall semester, career services remains committed to student success. Oakland University students continue to have access to various appointments and consultations and will even see a virtual fall career fair in September.
“We still offer all the same services that we always have, like resume reviews, interview preparation, job search strategies, LinkedIn and social media strategies and so forth,” said Kelly Dorner, director of career services. “We offer those appointments both on campus and virtually depending on what works better for the student.”
Additionally, a virtual fall career fair is taking place on Tuesday, Sept. 23 for business, liberal arts and health sciences students and on Wednesday, Sept. 24 for engineering and information technology (IT) students via Handshake.
“We are going to have many of our top employers participating in this virtual fashion,” Dorner said. “[Students will have] the opportunity to participate in large scale information sessions to learn more about the employer, [as well as] 10 minute one-on-one video discussions. [This will] allow for more intimate conversations than would typically take place at the career fair.”
Also, coming in September is the JCPenney Suit-Up Event, where students receive a discounted price on professional clothing. Here, students will be able to shop in person or virtually, as mentioned by Dorner, with more details in the coming weeks.
When it comes to the current job market, career consultant Denise McConkey mentioned it has been slow but is gradually improving. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in July, the unemployment rate declined 0.9 percentage points to 10.2 percent. However, measures are still up 6.7 percentage points since February’s below 4 percent approximate unemployment rate.
Overall, McConkey believes patience is very important.
“It might take a little bit longer for students to find something,” McConkey said. “Continuing to network in a virtual world and connect with alumni that are working in positions and industries that students are seeking is very important — to make those connections, build those relationships and continue that relationship. It’s a lot of the same things, [students] just have to do it in a virtual format.”
Dorner believes the most vital message students need to hear is, there are still “plenty of opportunities out there.”
“Companies are considering many different ways to continue engaging with OU students,” Dorner said. “[Career services] knows many of the employers that we work closely with are considering virtual internships. So, this could be the perfect opportunity if [students] have a more flexible schedule, if their classes are online. They might have more time to give to a virtual internship.”
Dorner also encourages students not to dismiss opportunities based on current news posing a tough job market. Current students and recent alumni may not be able to rely on pre-pandemic channels, but there are still plenty of opportunities.
“I think it’s important to keep a positive outlook and not be discouraged by daunting, overall messaging,” Dorner said. “[Career services] is here and happy to meet with students.”
To schedule an appointment with a career consultant, drop into the virtual career studio or discover more information, visit the Career services homepage.