Texas Tech University

Career Management Center Provides Virtual Support to Students & Alumni during Pandemic

Hailey Walker

May 7, 2020

Student visiting the Rawls CMC website.

Virtual career resources are readily available to help students and alumni stay on track with their career goals.

As Texas Tech University engages in remote learning amidst the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Career Management Center (CMC) at the Jerry S. Rawls College of Business remains committed to providing uninterrupted support to students and alumni through virtual resources.

During unprecedented times, the dedicated staff at the CMC have created innovative solutions to assist students and alumni in achieving their career goals. They have introduced virtual career coaching, educational webinars, online networking events and an additional job search tool for alumni.

"Although we are facing an unprecedented recruiting situation, our staff is dedicated to helping students in every way possible. We are available via email, Zoom, or phone appointments, and we have converted as many workshops as possible to virtual delivery," said Senior Director of the CMC, Barry Broughton. "I couldn't be prouder of the dedication and level of concern the CMC staff has shown for our students."

Throughout the month of April, the CMC staff contacted every May 2020 graduate to let them know their office was readily available to offer support. Through email and phone conversations, the CMC offered personalized guidance as students shared about their current career circumstances.

"We have heard back from a good number of students and are currently working directly with each one who is still seeking employment," said Broughton.

Recently, the CMC hosted a webinar to provide students and alumni an overview of the potential impact of COVID-19 on recruiting. During the webinar, representatives from Dell Technologies, Enterprise Holdings, Ethos Group and Chevron provided updates regarding their company's recruiting efforts and shared best practices for staying connected to employers while social distancing.

In the future, the CMC plans to host a series of interactive "employer drop-ins" where students will be able to join a Zoom meeting and speak directly with employers about various predetermined topics such as interviewing, networking and career opportunities.

"We want to be sure we give students an opportunity to hear employer perspectives on recruiting strategies," said Broughton. "Technology and social media have been critical in allowing us to distribute information from recruiters and from staff members in our office."

The CMC continues to offer access to previously established online career resources such as Handshake and VMock. Through Handshake, students and alumni can schedule virtual appointments with career coaches, network with more than 4,800 employers and apply to more than 1,100 internships/jobs. In VMock, an online resume review tool that uses artificial intelligence to review, score and provide feedback, students can receive instant advice regarding their professional documents.

In an effort to expand career services for alumni, the CMC has partnered with the Office of Engagement & External Relations to share advanced career opportunities through the Rawls Raider Network. Launched in 2019, the Rawls Raider Network is a free, online platform exclusively for Rawls College alumni. Through the platform, alumni can apply to jobs that require more than five years of experience, reconnect with fellow classmates, network with industry professionals and volunteer to mentor current students.

"Our team is excited to partner with the CMC to offer a platform for employer partners to post positions for experienced hires," said Laura Sanders, director of alumni engagement at Rawls College. "We look forward to sharing additional employment opportunities with our alumni."

To keep students and alumni informed of current news and events, the CMC has created strategic email and social media campaigns. Students receive two weekly emails advertising upcoming events, pertinent information and new internship/job opportunities. Additionally, throughout the week on their social media channels, the CMC shares helpful tips and resources to assist students and alumni as they navigate their career search.

As a final word of advice, Broughton encourages students and alumni to take advantage of any extra time by improving their personal situation.

"Employers will want to know how you spent your time during the pandemic," said Broughton. "Being able to show that you used this time to complete a certification, improve a certain skill set, or even volunteer to help members of the community in times of hardship are excellent examples of creating a positive outcome from a negative situation. This is the type of character that will set you apart from your peers."

Students and alumni can learn more about available resources and upcoming events on the Rawls CMC website and via their social media accounts: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.