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Saturday, Jan 22, 2022

Mercer’s Center for Career and Professional Development platform transition

Handshake is a career resource platform for Mercer students and alumni. Photo provided by Stefanie Swanger.
Handshake is a career resource platform for Mercer students and alumni. Photo provided by Stefanie Swanger.

Many students struggle to decide exactly what they want to do after college. This year, Mercer’s Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) will connect students and alumni with Handshake, a job recruitment platform allowing users to seek out jobs and internship opportunities as well as view upcoming career workshops and employers who are recruiting on campus.

Previously, Mercer’s CCPD used a platform called BearLink. Although the platform served the same purpose of helping students with career related topics, the office transitioned to Handshake during the summer of 2017.

“We felt students didn’t heavily engage with BearLink. It’s important to us that our students feel connected to opportunities that larger schools have,” said Stefanie Swanger, CCPD Career Consultant and campus administrator for Handshake.

Handshake is a young product with a mission statement that aligns more with the best interests of Mercer students and alumni, Swanger said.

As a group of student engineers at Michigan Technological University began their job search, they found an inequality gap in access to job opportunities. They discovered that students at smaller universities were not being exposed to the same opportunities that larger universities were.

Currently, Handshake unites 500 schools and over 9 million students.

“We are one year into using Handshake and already have connected with larger companies. We see students engaging more with the platform also,” Swanger said.

The Mercer CCPD has created an account for all students and they only have to be activated through MyMercer.

“I want every student to get into the product. Every student has unique situations and will use it differently. Just don’t wait until senior year,” she said. “Start using it now. Come meet with us even if you don’t have a specific reason to, because we are here to help.”

Handshake offers an option to set an appointment with Mercer’s Career Consultants. During these appointments, students have the option to receive resume assistance, interview assistance, internship guidance, career guidance, Handshake guidance and other topics essential to their success.

“A really great thing about Handshake is that you can upload your resume and it will be sent directly to one of the career counselors. They usually review it as soon you as upload it and it will be accessible on your profile, making it easier and quicker to apply for jobs and internships,”, said Jabril Edmonson, senior at Mercer University.



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