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Students from the Texas Tech Rawls College of Business participate in the Spring 2020 Career Fair to find potential job opportunities for post-graduation. Career fairs and other networking events are being delivered virtually this fall semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Texas Tech Rawls College of Business hosts a variety of networking opportunities that help students find work after graduation. With the fall semester taking place amid a pandemic, one may wonder how these opportunities will be conducted.

Jamie Pitman, program director of student development at the Rawls Career Management Center, said this semester, everything will be online. The college will be utilizing Zoom and conducting employer mock interviews, speed networking events and virtual career fairs.

The Rawls also will be taking advantage of a platform called Handshake, a job site that helps students find jobs and internships out of college. Handshake posts jobs available to college students as well as hosts virtual recruiting events and fairs for students to network.

“We have over 1,400 jobs posted on Handshake right now with more being added daily,” Pitman said.

Ryan Hansford, a junior energy commerce major from Fort Worth, said he feels COVID-19 has affected every area of the work force, and he is personally concerned with his line of work.

“The economy and technology part has been affected when it comes to producing clean energy,” Hansford said. “However, the need for energy and oil is still in high demand throughout everyday life, meaning jobs still need to be filled.”

The virtual options offered, which are not the traditional job fairs and networking events, have not slowed down students like Hansford who said he is not concerned with job placement after the pandemic.

“Considering all of the new safety precautions, companies are still in dire need of employees and jobs to fill,” he said.

Brett Myers, Tech associate professor of finance, said he thinks certain majors will take a harder hit but that it will be more difficult to find jobs in the short term, rather than the long term.

“I don’t think things will be nearly as difficult as they were in 2009 and 2010,” he said. “I think that, when things start to recover, they will recover very quickly.”

When discussing virtual options, Meyers said he believes we have come a long way in a short amount of time using technology to meet virtually. Though we have only been working with this kind of virtual technology for a short amount of time, it’s a lot farther than we were before and should we keep going, things can only get better from here.

“We are learning that there are limits to virtual communication and, with this in mind, I’m not sure that virtual fairs will ultimately be as effective as in-person fairs,” he said. “But it’s closer than ever before.”

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