The University of Nevada, Reno’s College of Business Career and Corporate Outreach Center helps students plan for life after the University. Early this semester, it held events offering students the opportunity to build their resumes, practice their interview skills, network and more. As COVID-19 moved University operations online, businesses across the country went remote and social distancing became a new reality, the Career and Corporate Outreach Center knew one of the best ways it could help students was by connecting them with companies who have employment opportunities.
Friday, May 1, The Career and Corporate Outreach Center hosted its first virtual recruitment event through Zoom. The main goal of this event was to address the challenges graduating seniors can face with limited job prospects due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Our goal was to create an event for graduating seniors with employers that are hiring right now,” Jim McClenahan, director of corporate relations and outreach, said. “I know many seniors have had opportunities get put on hold or eliminated because of COVID-19, and it is important for the College of Business to try and help them navigate this new world.”
The virtual event hosted recruiters from Greater Nevada Credit Union, ITS Logistics, Clear Capital, SupplyHouse.com and Cintas. Each of these local companies were looking to fill positions with local Nevada talent.
“Our office prides itself on being able to help students to the best of our abilities,” Stallar Lufrano-Jardine, director of career services, said. “Companies are still hiring and students are still graduating. We have a great opportunity through our established network of employers to bring them together, even if it is virtual.”
Approximately 16 students participated in the event and they were able to ask questions and talk to employers in 10-minute breakout sessions. Although many participants thought that the 10-minute sessions were too short, the event organizers hoped that these quick interactions would encourage both students and employers to have more conversations down the line.
“I was very nervous about doing a recruitment event in this format,” McClenahan said. “It’s challenging to offer a workable format through technology, which is why we kept this first event small. We look forward to continue offering these and finding a format that works for all parties involved.”
Numerous participants believed that this event was beneficial to them. It allowed the students to make connections, and many thought that the advice the recruiters had to offer was very insightful. For example, one recruiter told students to not be closed off to any particular industry, especially during these unprecedented times, as each job is a stepping stone to where you want to go.
“As the economy begins to resume, I believe there will be many opportunities to staff the community with fresh graduates,” McClenahan said. “We plan to do this event every three to four weeks as long as there are employers willing to invest the time and students willing to come.”