Ceylin Arias/Staff Writer
Students can expect a new software called the HandShake Program to replace the old platform, Panther JobLink, Ivette Duarte, the director of the Career and Talent Development office said to Student Media.
Expected to launch Saturday, July 1, the HandShake program is a software platform where university students will have the opportunity to search for jobs and internships.
To participate in the platform, students will be required to set up their profiles using their school email and password and while they wait for their account to be verified by the school, Duarte said, students will have the chance to begin modifying their page to include information about themselves such as their GPA, educational career, extracurricular activities, work experience and personal skills.
Students will also have the opportunity to upload their resume, profile picture, and any projects they have engaged in, she said.
Students currently registered in PantherSoft will automatically be downloaded into the HandShake program with their basic information already in place, she said. Those that have not been registered into PantherSoft, will be required to create a new account on their own.
Duarte believes the switch to the HandShake program, from an employer’s standpoint, will drive businesses to the university because new employers will be able to find FIU through the HandShake network and make it easier for students to connect with them.
“We looked at the system we currently have and the system is more robust in its ability to drive the information that we need and [The HandShake Program] is definitely more user-friendly for our students,” Duarte said. “The program is sort of like a one-stop shop for employers.”
Students such as Austin Nugent, a junior majoring in marketing, are looking forward to the program’s launch.
“The program sounds like a great opportunity for students to continue using social media to their fullest advantage,” Nugent said. “In today’s world if you can’t use social media to expose yourself professionally, especially with all the competitiveness that exists among millennials, you’re losing opportunity, time and money to the person next to you who has ten offers waiting because they know how to present themselves to the real world.”
According to Nungent, the HandShake program is another example of the resources that are currently available to students and by graduation, he said, no no student should feel overwhelmed.
“There should be no reason why we can’t graduate with a job,” Nungent said. “I understand that over competitiveness among our own peers may become a hindrance for many, but really when you think about it, you’re bound to at least 2-3 offers from any employer if you really put the time and effort into your job searching,” continued Nugent.
Some of the features the HandShake program has that the Panther JobLink did not have include: an enhanced and replicated social media platform, is mobile-friendly, and students can receive alerts when new jobs/internships are available.
Bidjie Racine, a junior majoring in biology, wishes Panther JobLink would have provided the same features, to facilitate networking but is happy that the new program will include them.
“[Panther JobLink] It was a step to the right direction, I’ll give it that, but it was in dire need of improvement,” Racine said. “There weren’t that many options while job searching and I’m glad that FIU has stepped it up a notch to create a new and better software.
I like the fact that the HandShake program supports a mobile version because that was one of my greatest frustration with Panther JobLink. It was super inconvenient at time and acted more as a struggle than it did help in any way.”
Students will also have the opportunity to be tagged. When this happens, students will be able to receive information about a job opportunity or when employers will be visiting on campus, for instance.
“From a student’s perspective, it is more functional as students will be provided with more job and internship possibilities to apply since we’ll have a greater number of employers,” said Duarte. “Not to mention the program is also much more sophisticated than our former platform.”
Yisell Cirion, associate director of the Career and Talent Development office, said students will have the ability to add a portfolio where they can upload samples of their work to supplement their profile, a feature that is not provided in the old platform.
Cirion and Duarte hope students will use the platform and that it will facilitate employer contact, result in more postings and help identify FIU as a place of interest.
Image retrieved from Flickr.