The past year has been a unique one! Your student has been researching and writing papers, working on projects, studying for exams and participating in team meetings completely online! University Career Services is fully operational virtually and continues to customize services and advice to address the current employment situation. Oftentimes, students think that University Career Services (and other student offices) are closed over the summer, when in fact we are open and ready to help your student create a plan for their next steps! Mason alumni have full access to Career Services.
We thought it might be best to compile some common questions we are hearing that may be on your mind too.
Are employers still hiring?
Yes! Mason’s Virtual Job Fair is June 18-19. 80+ employers with open jobs/internships are participating. Student/alum registration is required by June 15 at 12 p.m. There are opportunities in even the toughest situations. Industries with the potential to thrive in our current environment are: tech companies, online learning companies, pharmacies and healthcare suppliers, digital entertainment and video gaming companies and food/grocery delivery services. There are over 7,000 active job postings in Mason’s job/internship database Handshake right now (tip: type “remote” or “virtual” in the search bar).
What if my student’s summer internship was canceled or drastically reduced/altered, or they didn’t get a summer internship?
There will be no penalty for not doing a traditional internship this summer. Employers and grad schools will know what happened in 2020. With that said, students should make the most of this time by gaining experience through volunteering remotely (for location select “virtual” on idealist.org and volunteermatch.org), developing in-demand skills from LinkedIn Learning tutorial videos, building their portfolio through freelance work and networking at virtual conferences and employer events.
How can they network while social distancing?
There are several at-home networking strategies they can use. Talk to your student about their career interests, make introductions to people who work in their desired field! Encourage them to invite a former supervisor to a video chat coffee break and participate in virtual career events. Support them in connecting with us, we can help them find Mason alumni on LinkedIn and use the peer-to-peer messaging feature in Handshake.
Should my student broaden their job search to opportunities not in their original plan, just to make sure they end up with something?
Yes. They should be open minded about the types of employers they are willing to work for and jobs they will try. They might be surprised by what they discover about themselves and you may be too! They should have a target list of at least 100 employers.
What if my student just needs quick money to pay living expenses/tuition?
They can freelance, or use company websites, Handshake and remote job sites to find opportunities. Again, there are still employers hiring, and if fast cash is needed, some of these jobs may help fill that immediate need without redirecting their career plans.
Is there a way my student can best prepare for a virtual interview?
Practice. Practice. Practice. They can video record responses to common interview questions using our resource, InterviewStream and send the interview link to email@example.com, a friend or mentor for feedback. Of course, University Career Services offers live video practice interview appointments which can be scheduled through Handshake or by calling 703-993-2370.
Is Career Services doing anything extra to support the Class of 2020?
Absolutely. In addition to the Handshake job database, career counseling appointments and virtual employer networking events already offered, Career Services is hosting a virtual job fair June 18-19 (registration deadline June 15 at noon) and employer panel discussions on the latest developments in the employment market, recruiting and hiring practices throughout the summer.
Didn’t see your question?
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 703-993-2370.
University Career Services
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