The Texas Tech University Career Center has made adaptations to ensure their students are equipped with the tools they need to find a job amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The career center is meant to help Tech students, Ashley Penner, associate director for student development at the career center, said. The goal is to make sure students feel motivated to chase their dreams after college.
“I meet with students every day to help prepare them for either figuring out what they want to do with their careers and majors or helping them find positions to apply for,” Penner said.
Toni Krebbs, assistant director of employer relations at the career center, said she is responsible for being an aid to students seeking any professional help.
“Anything with professional development type things…preparing them for jobs, preparing them for interviews, helping them make the next step to graduate school,” Krebbs said. “I work with all students and alumni, but I’m also on the employer relations side. So, for that, I’m recruiting employers to come to Texas Tech and recruit students.”
The career center’s primary goal is to help students succeed, Krebbs said. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the career center employees had to be creative to find ways to assist students.
“Everything that we do is designed to help build students in their career and help equip them with skills to make sure that they’re entering the workforce confident and competitive in the job search process,” Penner said.
Overall, there has been an extreme decrease in jobs worldwide due to COVID-19, Penner said. The career center wants to make students are aware of the jobs that still are hiring and wanting to recruit more people.
“Unfortunately, some of the students’ internships have been rescinded.” Krebbs said. “But I think as the companies grow in their virtual internships and jobs, I think students will see an uptick and be hired,”
There is a COVID-19 career source resources page on the website, Monica Gomez, a lead counselor at the career center, said. The page has information about who is hiring and job boards and websites that are highlighting any remote jobs or internships.
“There were definitely decreases in some areas, but there were companies and industries that we’re able to remain open and even add positions and see an increased demand for their services,” Penner said, “Thinking about the companies that have the solutions we didn’t know we needed, those are companies that are definitely still hiring actively looking and seeking to expand.”
For the concerned students who are stressing about finding a job out of college, Penner said the career center is diligent about students feeling comfortable to pivot their talents in times of need like this.
“I think there is a level of responsibility in terms of recognizing the situation students are in, being proactive as much as possible to help make sure that they’re setting themselves up for success after graduation,” Penner said.