Bauer students and faculty adjust to the virtual business world
With many internships rescinded as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, business students have been adjusting to the “new normal” by searching out virtual professional development opportunities.
The C.T. Bauer College of Business has been encouraging students to continue learning skills and gaining relevant experience, regardless of physical constrictions caused by the pandemic.
“In this new, and rapidly changing, virtual environment, we need to train our students to identify job and internship opportunities, engage in virtual experiential learning opportunities, interview and obtain jobs using videoconferencing tools and more broadly, effectively use technology to launch successful careers,” said C.T. Bauer College of Business dean Paul Pavlou in an email.
Bauer plans to assist students in the professional development process by teaching business students how to approach the application process, engage in interviews and gain jobs while living in a virtual world.
“This process starts from engaging students with online experiential learning opportunities with our partner companies, providing all available job and internship opportunities for students online, enhancing their ability to interview virtually on Zoom and other video conferencing tools and overall learn how to navigate the job search process virtually,” Pavlou said.
Finance and marketing sophomore Hannia Yeverino was accepted to the HP Summer Scholars program after finding the opportunity in Bauer’s Career Gateway. Printing and gaming technology, supply chain and marketing are some of the areas the virtual program focuses on.
“We also have opportunities to participate in various professional challenges, either in teams or individually. Currently, my team and I are developing ideas for an eco-friendly HP product,” Yeverino said.
“I’m really excited to be a part of this program, as I feel like I’m learning a lot of valuable lessons and skills,” Yeverino added.
Virtual business opportunities have also allowed students to participate in internships and programs based out of different locations, something that not all students always have the option to do.
“Not that long ago, I also participated in Harvard’s Virtual Venture in Management Program, which is a Pre-MBA virtual week-long program at Harvard Business School,” Yeverino said.
Assistant dean for Career Services at the C.T. Bauer College of Business Jamie Belinne recommends for students who are participating in virtual internships to talk to people in the organization other than the people who they are directly working with.
This way they can better understand how the different jobs complement each other.
“The more people at the organization who know you, the more likely you are to be at the top of their list when it comes time to hire in the future,” Belinne said.
Belinne recommends students who aren’t virtually working to use this time to be productive, including connecting with alumni and building their network and relationships.
“Some students are really using this opportunity to take some online classes, to learn some new computer skills or to further refine some skills related to their majors or chosen careers,” Belinne said. “Those types of things will stand out.”
For recent University alumni, Belinne encourages them to continue the job hunt, despite additional difficulties caused by the coronavirus.
“There are still jobs, there really are,” Belinne said. “You have to work a little harder to get them and it’s taking a little longer than it used to, but there are definitely still jobs.”
While emphasizing that there are still business-related jobs available, Belinne suggested graduate school as a good investment of time as the economy cycles back.
“If you were thinking about getting a graduate degree, this is a good time to do it,” Belinne said.
“Normally I encourage people to wait for their graduate degree, because after a couple of years of working sometimes your goals may change, but the economy is not going to stay down, and time in grad school may be just the time you need to let things turn around,” Belinne added.
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