Boise State’s campus-wide shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic has had hundreds of rippling consequences for faculty, staff and students. Many students found their campus jobs at the Rec Center and Student Union Building (among many others) disappear, seemingly overnight. Fortunately, the staff at Career Services has been working ever since to help these students find new employment, either through remote opportunities or companies in the Boise area that are hiring immediately.
“Our career counselors have gone virtual and you can access them through Handshake,” said Nick van Santen, the Career Center’s associate director of experiential learning. “We’re also actively asking employers to list their remote positions on Handshake and we have a list of jobs from the City of Boise that we’re sending out to students as well.”
In addition, Career Service professionals are hosting a weekly Zoom meeting at 11 a.m. on Thursdays, which will highlight jobs, economic trends and career tips. Students can find the registration on Handshake, as well.
Van Santen said that local employers like Albertsons and other grocery stores, as well as senior living facilities, are “hiring almost on the spot.” Career Services is looking for ways to channel Boise State students into those positions if they need immediate income.
The team also is working to support student supervisors during this time by finding answers to questions like how/if students can keep their work study jobs at this time.
While it can be hard to see beyond the next few weeks, or months, in this time of uncertainty, Career Services also is trying to encourage students to think about both their immediate and long-term career opportunities.
“Work U doesn’t begin until September but we’re recruiting students now to sign up,” van Santen said. “Sign up for an internship, start thinking about ways to build your professional portfolio and resume. In times of economic uncertainty there’s nothing more valuable than having on-the-job experience.”
Work U gives students hands-on professional experience with local companies while earning three upper-division credits. The program, which began three years ago with fewer than 10 employment opportunities, now boasts more than 130 opportunities with 30-plus employers, ranging from nonprofit to public sector to private.
“Work U is non-major specific. We’re really proud that you don’t need to be a history or engineer major to get these positions, you just have to be enrolled at Boise State,” van Santen said.