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Handshake — Using New Technology to Connect with Careers

Leverage the CC Network and Experience to Help Students Transition to Careers and Post-CC Lives

The Charge: Our students affirm the value of a liberal arts experience that broadens their horizons, deepens their insights, and develops their capacity to identify and pursue their passions. In fact, they want us to go further and find new ways to help them integrate the various parts of their CC experience and connect their college experience to their lives after graduation. One way to do this is to draw on the expertise of alumni, parents, and supporters to offer new forms of mentoring for students. Find new ways to bring alumni and parents to campus and send students out into the world. Using technology with consistency and sophistication is critical to this aim.

What’s Happening: In the summer of 2018, Colorado College implemented the Handshake technology. Handshake is an online platform that allows students and alumni to connect with the Career Center in a wide variety of ways. Powerful search tools allow students to connect with off-campus jobs, internships, fellowships, and volunteer opportunities both locally and globally.  Students can indicate a variety of interests and discover new opportunities with Handshake’s personalized recommendations.  Handshake's algorithms show personalized postings to students every time they log in. Students are able to conveniently make, view, and manage their appointments on Handshake. Career Coaches are able to share post-meeting notes with students allowing easy follow-up. Additionally, workshops, information sessions, virtual meetings, and employer visits are all accessible to students through Handshake’s Event tools.

Currently, just over 2,000 undergraduate and 140 graduate students have activated their accounts in Handshake; 468 students have attended an event hosted by the Career Center this year, and there are over 6,500 employers connected to Colorado College’s Handshake system.

Students can easily apply to postings directly through Handshake’s application system. Finally, the Questions & Answers feature of Handshake allows students to communicate with other campus’s students to receive engaging peer-to-peer insights. Handshake continues to allow students to explore possibilities, develop their professional identities, and connect with opportunities. According to Megan Nicklaus, director of the Career Center, “The Career Center brought Handshake to Colorado College to offer students a curated experience as they looked for job and internship opportunities and events that matched their interests. As a part of the Handshake community of students and young alumni, students have access to over 3,500 jobs and 1,100 internship opportunities and we receive more opportunities each day. We are excited that the Office of Student Employment is in the process of transitioning student employment opportunities to the Handshake system. This will offer students a single place to search for on- and off-campus opportunities.”