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College Career Crossings office shifts to virtual programming for fall semester

| Thursday, August 20, 2020

The Career Crossings office at Saint Mary’s has provided students with resources, including  group seminars, and focuses on developing skills related to resumes, interviews, LinkedIn, internships and alumni connections, ultimately helping set up students up for career success. However, with the onset of COVID-19 last March, the department had to shift its focus from hosting in-person sessions to transitioning to a virtual platform.

Director Stacie Jeffirs said that the COVID-19 pandemic abruptly changed the Career Crossing Office’s operations.

“We transitioned pretty quickly in March when the College closed down,” she said in an email.

Continuing with virtual programming this semester, Career Crossings launched its first Sophomore Springboard Session on Aug. 18.

Assistant Director Angie Fitzpatrick said Career Crossing’s goal was to start its programming as soon as possible.

“We want to engage students early,” she said in an email.

Based on the number of RSVPs, attendance is expected to be nearly double this year. In addition, if students cannot attend the session, then they can review a recording of the information session, making Career Crossing’s information easier to access than ever.

Furthermore, Jeffirs elaborated on the variety of upcoming services provided by CCO, emphasizing the importance of attending.

“With each class year, there are different career development needs,” she said.

First-Year Outreach will be conducted in one-on-one sessions for fifteen minute increments, personalized in order to get to know each student. Jeffirs explained that a “First-Year Action Plan” will be provided to freshmen in order to set a strong foundation and to confidently prepare underclassmen for the professional development expected of students matriculating into their sophomore, junior and senior years.

Sophomore Springboard Session also addressed the importance of choosing a major and oftentimes applying for a first internship. For upperclassmen, the Junior and Senior Springboard Sessions tend to focus on graduate school and more specialized interning.

In addition to Spring Sessions, the Career Crossings Office will also be offering “What’s up Wednesday!” workshops, beginning in September and lasting until the end of the semester. These will be topical events, Jeffirs said, which will go on to dive deeper into topics addressed in the Springboard Sessions, such as “Career Fair, Virtual Interviews, Resumes and LinkedIn,” all of which will be held online.

“Ninety-nine percent of our programs will be virtual,” Jeffirs said.

Jeffirs noted that an increased use in RSVPs, masks, and social distancing, will be utilized in order to minimize the risk of transmitting COVID-19. In addition, there will be plexiglass for employees when seeing students in the office.

While a majority of programs will be online in the fall semester, Jeffirs said the office could “possibly add some more in person things in the spring.”

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