Career Center still helps students during the pandemic

Hire-A-Rattler logo. Photo courtesy

The COVID-19 pandemic put a halt on campus interaction but it didn’t stop the flow of Florida A&M University Career and Professional Development Center. The center is devoted to helping and giving students the tools they need to get the career and internship that best fits them.

The career center was quickly able to transition their services to virtual.

“Our office was quickly able to convert many of our services to virtual. Our goal as a center was to provide students online resources before the pandemic, but this was an opportunity to bring more attention to these resources. The challenge was capturing the students’ attention when everything in their world had changed so suddenly, making it a challenge for them to connect with us as often as we would like,” said Director Shereada Harrell.

Harrell mentions the center has many different resources that will impress the students such as Big Interview, Career Ready Guide, Career Spots Videos and career snack chat.

“We have resources such as the virtual interview prep platform titled Big Interview. We also have two additional resources to help students with their career readiness preparedness. These tools are Career Ready Guide and Career Spots Videos,” said Harrell.

Harrell added, “These are just a few of the resources that we have, and if students take the time to research our site, I feel they will be very impressed with what we have to offer.”

The career center’s most important resource is Hire-A-Rattler. The career engagement platform helps students find employment opportunities, keep students updated with upcoming events.

Hire-A-Rattler is brought by Handshake, and it is one of the most important resources at the center. Every student has an account, and they must update this account. Students can find employment opportunities (part-time, full-time, internships, etc.) on this site. Also, any events hosted by their office or employers are listed there. This resource is for all students.

“There is a huge misconception of what opportunities are available and the type of employers connected to our office. Indeed, there are more opportunities in certain areas, but if students are interested in knowing more and learning how to utilize this tool, they can work with their designated career specialist to learn more about how to utilize this resource,” Harrell said.

African American studies major, Candace Jones, finds the career center and Handshake very helpful.

“I made an appointment to fix my resume to the career center fall 2019 or spring 2020 and it was great. They were very helpful because they let me know about Handshake and other things that were going on such as the JCPenny suit up event,” Jones said.

If students would like to set up virtual appointments with advisors; They can call or easily set up an appointment through Hire-A-Rattler powered by Handshake at any time.

Computer information systems student, Vanessa Chery, thinks the career center is extremely important and students should take advantage of the center.

“It’s extremely important for a student to take advantage of the career center, because it’s staffed with professionals who are specifically trained to assist us with career- related concerns, and it’s a free resource,” Chery said.

Since the campus is opening up slowly, most of the center’s services will remain remote until further notice. The center wants to make sure that their new space is safely set up with proper PPE before they start seeing students in person.

For the career center upcoming workshops and events, their schedules can be found on their Virtual CPD Center. The Career and Internship Expo is on Jan. 27 and there are 110 companies registered. For more information about the Career and Professional Development Center, you can email or call 850-599-3700.