Pandemic Forces Changes In Career Services


By Stuart Esrock Ph.D.

The coronavirus outbreak will alter how career services are delivered to UofL students in the fall.  While some services that have traditionally been handled on a face-to-face basis will move to virtual/remote, career development professionals at UofL indicate there are some benefits to the increasing emphasis in online technology.

The director of career services in the Speed School of Engineering, Mary Andrade, said her office is making more extensive use of their career services management system and for the first time moving to a virtual career fair.  “But that brings new opportunities to the table as well. Our career fair has always been limited by lack of space. This year we do not have to cap attendance because the virtual fair is less limited. We may also attract employers from farther away because travel is not an issue. We’re excited about the possibilities.”

Likewise, the College of Business fall career fair will be a virtual event.  The director of the Ulmer Career Management Center in the College, Eileen Davis, said demand for services in their program has been high as Business students and alumni negotiate changes in their jobs and in employers’ hiring practices. “The Ulmer Career Center is using MS Teams for our career coaching, resume review, and interview preparation and practice meetings, and we think it’s almost as effective as F2F engagement. We’ll continue using video meetings throughout the fall to keep everyone safe while we help with questions and career needs.”

 The director of the University Career Center, Bill Fletcher, said in addition to virtual career fairs, his office is moving more programming online. "Because the UCC serves over 50 academic departments, it is important that we connect with students in their academic disciplines.  With the majority of classes being online or hybrid, we are developing career content that can be delivered in classes asynchronously. Faculty can have students review the material then have a Career Coach participate in an online Q&A during class meetings.”

 And Fletcher said the UCC is increasing other online content as well. "In addition to Career Curriculum, we are developing Career Bytes, which are short 3-5 minute online presentations.  These complement the many videos we have on our website in CandidCareer." 

 Andrade said the coronavirus outbreak has actually created new career development programming opportunities for the Speed School. “We used to focus on employer panels that tapped into our local companies, but we are now reaching out to alumni in other cities for virtual programming which expands our topics to industries not well represented in Louisville.”

Davis said the College of Business is also expanding virtual programming that is open to all students.  "The Ulmer Career Center has launched ongoing job-search virtual meetings and students, alumni, and anyone else who’s job-hunting can join us. We’ve had speakers from the Kentucky Workforce Development Cabinet, LinkedIn, LG&E, and others present topics and take questions about how to be competitive in a challenging employment situation." Job search meetings happen every other Tuesday at 1:00 pm and are live-streamed on Facebook at "ULBiz Career."

Find out more about your career center as follows:

Engineering students here

Business students here

Law students here

All other UofL students here