A BYU-Idaho student posted a video highlighting the advantages of Handshake on Feb. 6. The video, titled, “Handshake Internship & Job Services,” was created by Jordan Pope and shared on YouTube to show students the importance of using Handshake.
Handshake is a program offered through BYU-Idaho to allow students and employers to connect. At first, Handshake may seem unfamiliar, comparable to looking at a foreign language for the first time, but when it is used correctly it can lead to achieving future career goals.
Few students use this program. Will Gierke, marketing & events coordinator for Internships and Career Services, said only 18 percent of students have completed profiles. This means there is a large group of students missing out on an opportunity to gain more experience. The office thinks that there are just not enough students who know how to use it and what it can do.
Throughout the video, facts and statistics appear on the screen, such as that Internship and Career Services post an average of 115 jobs daily through handshake and that 25 percent of those are internships. It also shares that only 13 percent of students at BYU-Idaho have created Handshake profiles.
Sarah Patterson, a junior majoring in interdisciplinary studies, is a receptionist at the Internship and Career Services Office. She said Handshake gives many opportunities because BYU-Idaho updates it with new job opportunities every day. Every job and internship was sent by an employer and then reviewed by the university. Once the job or internship had been approved by the university, it is put on the website.
“There are tons of internship opportunities and also career opportunities for after you graduate, so it’s a really great resource that a lot of students are under-utilizing and that we are hoping to get more students signed up for,” Patterson said.
Patterson has already done an internship, but she checks for different opportunities for her husband and to see what’s available.
This job platform allows employers to reach out to students and for students to do the same. In this way, it is able to remove some of the pressure of job-searching because the employers have asked to be put on the site and shown specifically to BYU-Idaho students.
The program is designed to match students with certain majors or skills to different work opportunities, and there are many options to filter through as well. For students who have created a LinkedIn profile, it is very similar. One trick that can help is uploading a resume. Once the resume is loaded onto the profile, it will be able to fill out a lot of the profile information for the student.
Profiles on Handshake can be made public, which means they can be sent in a link to an employer, and it can be one place to keep all of your career information.
One of the highlighted features of the program and the reason why BYU-Idaho chose to use this program is that it has a place to put event information. Handshake will contain information about the upcoming career fair, which will take place on Feb. 21.
It will provide details on what organizations are coming and the booths they will be located at. This will allow students to research the companies that will be coming beforehand and be able to have more career driven conversations with the company representatives there.
“You don’t want to just walk up to someone and ask what they do if you have no clue,” said Gierke.
He said that Handshake will have all the details, including what majors they are looking for and basic information about the company. If students use the program to prepare for the career fair, they will be able to already know which companies they want to connect with and which ones will be of most interest to them.
McKenzie Ware, a junior studying environmental geoscience, has been using Handshake to look at internships.
“Handshake was really helpful in letting me know what kinds of internships were out there and that there were different opportunities all over the country,” Ware said.
Even if it might not find all students the internship or job they are looking for, it can help students to expand their network. Using the resources BYU-Idaho offers to help students increase their employment eligibility could benefit students as they continue to set goals and look for their dream job.
Students are encouraged by the Internship and Career Services Office to begin learning how to use it now to prepare for career fairs and for opportunities that can help them find jobs to change their lives.
You can view the video here. It was reposted on this website with Pope’s permission.