By Erica Quinones
The Rebecca Corbin Loree Center for Career Development team partnered with uConnect to launch the CareerConnX website.
CareerConnX serves as a virtual career center with one-stop access for the Center’s resources through “technical integrations with tools like Handshake for jobs and events, PeopleGrove for mentors, and Vault for industry guides,” according to the Career Center.
This website’s development became vital to the Career Center due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Executive Director of Career Development Nanette Cooley, the Career Center team knew they needed to find a way to connect with students throughout the pandemic. Because of COVID-19 and social distancing protocols, staff cannot meet for one-on-one appointments or group workshops with students. Thus, they needed to find a new way to connect students with career development information.
From this need, they developed CareerConnX, which Cooley described as the most robust virtual Career Center resource to date.
The website offers a variety of resources from community-centric resources to internship offerings to mentorship connections. Additionally, it hosts pages targeted towards different affinity groups, such as first-generation college students and students of color; student and alumni interviews; and a “Resources” page which serves as a portal to different platforms Washington College students use regularly, such as Jobx and Handshake.
By making their resources and information available on one website, the Career Center becomes more accessible to students, according to Cooley.
This accessibility is especially important for affinity groups such as first-generation college students. Cooley, herself a first-generation college student, said that she remembers how difficult the network-building process was because she lacked professional support from her personal inner circle. CareerConnX can make connecting with and learning about professional industries easier for first-generation students by shortening their search process, providing an array of career-building information in one place.
Another part of making the professional world more accessible to students is connecting them to alumni, according to Cooley.
One resource available through CareerConnX is GeorgeConnX, a program launched over the summer which helps students network with alumni.
Alumni are good resources for current students, because they want to help students, can share expertise and advice in their professional fields, and can connect students to internships, according to Cooley.
CareerConnX is currently a work-in-progress, according to Cooley. She said it is a framework which they continue to expand. They are considering including information for student athletes and looking towards adding more blog and video content, which will feature interviews with alumni, faculty, and professional partners.
Beyond expanding their content, Cooley said they will continue bringing updated information to the platform, which can be a huge project. However, the Career Center team wants to ensure that the data and information is current, reporting the most-recent industry trends, hiring projections, desired competencies within fields, and graduate school application guidelines.
CareerConnX cannot just be a platform of resources to be useful, it requires student engagement.
How to engage students with the new platform is a topic which the team is exploring.
Over the summer, junior and Student Ambassador for the Career Center Ryan Smith developed a GeorgeConnX challenge to engage student groups.
In that competition, student groups were challenged to have half their membership register on GeorgeConnX, complete a profile, and connect with one alum between Aug. 2 and Aug. 9, according to a July 31 email from Smith.
Cooley said the Career Center hopes to host more events similar to the GeorgeConnX competition to engage students. Currently, they have two interns working specifically with online platforms, developing ideas on how to create awareness of their resources and programs.
While they continue developing the platform and expanding its information, Cooley said that if students have ideas of what they want to see on CareerConnX, to please contact them and provide feedback.
Featured Photo Caption. The Rebecca Corbin Loree Center for Career Development teamed up with uConnect to create the CareerConnX website. It is currently a work-in-progress but serves as a portal to resources for students and alumni regarding Career Center events and information such as professional growth projections. Elm File Photo.