Career Center utilizes new ‘Handshake’ service

Donny Bryant III, Staff writer

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This year, the Mercyhurst Career Development Center has switched to the internship and career development website Handshake.

Handshake is an online application that allows students, career centers and recruiters to meet, talk and share opportunities.

Handshake can be accessed on the web and via a mobile app that students can find by searching it in the Apple or Google Play store.

Handshake was founded in 2014 at Michigan Tech. Around 700 colleges in the United States of America are now utilizing Handshake to benefit their students and be a talent recruitment startup.
Handshake’s presence is similar to other social media apps people would use today, like Facebook or LinkedIn, in its personal and social aspects.

Every Mercyhurst student has a Handshake account that is automatically connected to one’s Mercyhurst account.

With Handshake, students can build up their profiles highlighting their academic accomplishments, skills and extracurricular activities.

Handshake also allows for companies to see students’ profiles after they make them visible to the public.

Students can also look at employers’ profiles that they are interested in.

Students can request appointments with the Career Development Center staff to look over their résumés.

If a certain event is happening on Mercyhurst’s campus that is related to a students’ field of interest, they can RSVP and sign up for that career event through Handshake.

One of the crucial features that is on the app is that students can rate employers. For example, if a student does an internship and has a good experience while doing so, students can write a review of that employer on Handshake and go into further detail on their review.

Heather Balas, director of the Career Development Center, was thrilled to get this platform started for Mercyhurst’s students.

“It’s like artificial intelligence —the more you use it, the more it gets to know you,” Balas said.

She also said that around 32 percent of the student body has utilized handshake in the first two weeks on Mercyhurst.

“Thirty-two percent might not sound like a high number, but from a career services perspective, it looks great,” Balas said.

Balas said she plans to get other departments at Mercyhurst involved to create Handshake events so that students can participate with others in their major in using the application.
“As we get more comfortable with it, students will see more things that come with Handshake,” Balas said.

Vincent Shioleno, a grad student at Mercyhurst, had positive feedback to say about the Handshake application.

“Handshake is user friendly and self-explanatory,” Shioleno said. “The interface is easy, answering general questions, asking you preferences like part-time and full-time jobs, it all depends on what you are looking for.”

If you are interested in using this application, you can get started by going to www.mercyhurst.joinhandshake.com.

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