In hopes of creating a more user-friendly experience, Hamline’s Career Development Center (CDC) implemented a new job and internship database called Handshake.
On this platform, students can find internships and full-time or volunteer opportunities. Handshake allows for direct connection between the internship companies, the database and students.
With the implementing of Handshake, the CDC hopes to make the experience more user-friendly, get student’s voices heard, and communicate events more thoroughly.
“I hope it offers a wide range so everyone knows their options,” junior Sophie Warrick said. She participated in an internship using the CDC’s former platform and help from CDC staff.
Handshake will replace the CDC’s former database, Hamline Career Link.
“In comparison to our last system there was a lot of opportunities, but Handshake connects and has the potential to connect to a lot more companies than Hamline Career Link did just knowing the sheer amount of students already in college campuses using it,” said Kayla Doherty, programming coordinator at the CDC.
The platform also allows for more feedback from students regarding their internship experience. This includes interpersonal communication between peers and the possibility for students to post comments and feedback for both future students and CDC staff to read and review.
“Students have more power in Handshake,” Doherty said.
Handshake is the platform used by Augsburg, Macalester, St. Catherine’s and St. Thomas. The University of Minnesota also uses Handshake.
“It’s been a system we’ve been looking into for sometime,” said Mara Stommes, a CDC career counselor. “We were realizing that Hamline Career Link wasn’t as user-friendly to both students and employers…this is kind of the first platform that is built for and by students that we wanted to also make sure that we were providing the same opportunity to other students across Minnesota.”
One of the conveniences of Handshake is that once institutions post their information, it is streamlined to all school’s using the Handshake website, making it easier for both companies to get information out and students to find information that is matched with all other places.
“If the Handshake program makes things easier for students to find internships or get information about internships, I think that’d be a great thing,” said George Gaetano, communication studies department chair. Gaetano has been the faculty supervisor for over some 100 internships over the years.
Handshake is also the number one most-used system for such a task right now among higher institutions.
“I would hope students come to recognize the significance of Handshake,” Doherty said. “It has so many capabilities beyond what we even mentioned.”
All undergraduate students received an email Nov. 18 regarding their account on Handshake. In February, at the start of the spring semester, the CDC plans to have a more in-depth launch.
“We are still in the process of promoting Handshake, even across the university,” Stommes said. “We’re still in the process of letting faculty know and staff… We’re trying to navigate it on our end first, then more fully engage the rest of the Hamline community.”