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Career Center Adapts to Pandemic with Virtual Job Fairs

Christie Comunale

The Career Center hosted five Instagram Live (@SBUCareerCenter) sessions on September 8, as members across campus shared career advice for upcoming job and internship fairs.

Christie Comunale
Christie Comunale, Research Professor for Accounting in the College of Business, gives advice in Instagram Live event

Each session was hosted by Elizabeth Ann Moon, marketing and digital content specialist for the Career Center, and featured an interview with a faculty member or dean from various areas on campus, including the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Division of Student Affairs.

The Career Center used the sessions as an innovative way to increase awareness of virtual job and internship fairs while collaborating with different areas on campus related to each fair. Career Center staff worked closely with the communications managers in each area to facilitate the live sessions between the Career Center’s Instagram account and the official accounts of each department. This enabled the Career Center to reach a wider audience of students in different areas.

The live sessions allowed students to engage and ask questions in real time.

During a session with College of Business Dean Manuel London, Ariana DiPierno ’21 asked: “What advice do you have for students going through the job and internship search during this difficult time?”

This gave London the opportunity to advise students about how to look for job and internship opportunities during the coronavirus pandemic and work on developing skills that will help them stand out to employers.

Stony Brook University students can use the digital platform Handshake to sign up for time slots with employers either one on one or in group sessions for five upcoming Career Center virtual fairs (see listing below).

“Each session lasted about 10 to 20 minutes and was a live interview on Instagram with each participant,” Moon said. “We tried to increase excitement around registration opening for the fairs with with countdowns and promotions.”

The Career Center posted five video recordings of the Instagram Live sessions featuring campus leaders and faculty, each with more than 30 attendees and averaging about 400 impressions. Moon assembled the videos by asking the communications managers if it would be possible to have a dean, faculty member or administrator participate in an Instagram Live Chat.

“The thing that we really want to highlight is how exciting it was that administrators joined us to help us promote the fairs and share their advice for students interested in attending the fairs,” she said. “Having representation from different areas on campus was a great way to showcase the relationship the Career Center has with other departments and how much we value collaboration.

“The Career Center is dedicated to helping connect students with employers and help them to find job and internships during the pandemic,” Moon said.

For the Sept. 8 event, the following faculty members and campus leaders were livestreamed and are accessible on Instagram:

Moon said that the Career Center also held a virtual job fair for new and experienced alumni during the summer as a response to the difficult job climate for recent graduates, as well as for those who may have found themselves out of work during the pandemic.

“It was the first time we ever held a fair like this over the summer, and we were really excited about the results,” said Moon. “We had more than 60 companies attend, and they had more than 1,200 appointments with roughly 320 recent grads/alumni,” adding, “We will be running all of our fairs that we normally run, now virtually.”

— Glenn Jochum

 Upcoming Career Center Virtual Job and Internship Fairs

The fairs will take place as follows:

September 23
11 am to 1 pm

September 25
Healthcare, Research and Human Services
12 pm to 3 pm

October 1
IT/Computer Science
12 pm to 4 pm

October 2
12 pm to 3 pm

October 8
12 pm to 3 pm

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