UHD to assist students’ career searches during COVID-19

For many college students (including those at the University of Houston-Downtown), Harris County’s “Stay at Home, Work Safely” request provides some challenges. For those about to graduate, the latter part of that directive (“working”) might be particularly troubling as they begin to look for jobs.

Although students are away from campus right now, UHD has resources to help them on their respective career searches. UHD’s Career Development Center and the Marilyn Davies College of Business Career Center (exclusively serving business majors) are open with online support to students during this time.

To those students who might be concerned with their job prospects during the pandemic, Career Development Center Director Kathy Knapp offers some words of support.

“You are not alone in feeling anxious and uncertain,” she said. “Practice flexibility and resilience. Be open to other opportunities. You may not find your dream job during these difficult times, but embrace the idea that every job is a skill-building job on your employability journey. Learn from every opportunity.”

Brett Hobby, Director of the Marilyn Davies College of Business Career Center, advises not to give up seeking for that job or internship while staying at home. Employers are still seeking qualified candidates for various positions.

“Employers are still interviewing and can still have students work virtually,” he said. “Businesses are still making plans for the future. Internships can indeed be virtual and faculty and staff from the Marilyn Davies College of Business  are ready to make this option work for the benefit of our students and employers.”

Both Knapp and Hobby recommend that students explore the many professional development options available online through UHD, including Linkedin Learning. This free resource (also available to faculty, staff and alumni) contains thousands of free courses aimed at helping professionals and job seekers develop skills in a range of areas.

Besides professional development, networking continues to be an effective way of locating a job. According to Knapp, students should create a list of contacts (approximately 100 friends, past co-workers, classmates, customers and others) and a list of 50 companies that would be ideal for possible careers.

“Once you have your lists together, begin reaching out to them in a systematic way,” she said. “Set a goal to reach out to everyone on your list over the next several weeks. Share what job you’re looking for and some of the companies you’re interested in. Networking is important.”

Hobby said that students should also continue to make contacts by applying for jobs. Although the nation is in the grip of a pandemic, many companies are still operational and seeking professionals to fill positions.

“Students should apply and interview for for internships and either full-time or part-time jobs,” he said. “Look for contract positions or opportunities in project management, as well as jobs for businesses that are considered essential. Many companies and businesses are still ‘working’ but doing so virtually.”

Student job seekers can consult with career advisers at both centers through Zoom meetings at the following links:

Both centers also provide guidance on resumes, interviewing and separate job banks. Services offered by each career center include:

Marilyn Davies College of Business Career Center

UHD Career Development Center