Loyola launches Handshake employment program


Photo credit: handshake

Jc Canicosa

Students may find career management online a little easier this semester as Loyola’s Career Development Center has shifted its online career management platform to Handshake— the fastest growing platform of its kind with more than 250,000 employers recruiting from its network of over 500 schools.

Handshake officially launched to the Loyola community on July 9, and students had until July 31 to retrieve any saved documents on Employola before it vanished forever, according to an email sent to students by the Career Development Center.

The center said they switched platforms in order to make finding internships and job opportunities easier for students.

“Employola wasn’t always the easiest platform to navigate— in fact, ‘wasn’t always’ really means ‘never.’ Handshake, however, looks nothing like it. You’ll find the user interface is much more intuitive, cleaner, and friendlier.” said Brent McLemore, assistant director of the Career Development Center, in the email.

Michael Rieber, A’18, said that he found Employola difficult to use. He applied for two internships on Employola and never heard back from either employer.

“I think Employola was a good place to start, but it’s definitely not a ‘throw your eggs in one basket’ kind of thing. You should do the job or internship search in all different kinds of ways,” said Rieber.

Rieber said he believes the hardest part about job searching, in general, is actually finding which kinds of jobs to apply for, and that Handshake may make this process easier for students.

“As long as the process of combing through all the jobs or opportunities and internships is fairly easy and straightforward, then I think that’d be a great improvement,” he said.

Jill Boatright, director of the Career Development Center, said after talking with students about what they liked and disliked about Employola, the university felt it was time for an upgrade.

According to Boatright, finding a new career management platform was a months-long process of testing out different systems and comparing them with other universities. In the end, they knew Handshake was the best, most modern, comprehensive platform available.

The interface is built on the same recommendation system as Netflix, where Handshake will recommend “best fits” for users by posting job or internship opportunities and industry-specific articles based on individual’s interests on their personal homepage.

Not only is the interface easier to navigate, but the switch to Handshake also opens Loyola up to a broader range of potential employers across the country, according to Boatright.

“Over the past six months, we have been actively reaching out to top-employers already connected to the Handshake community of schools to educate them about Loyola University New Orleans, our programs, and why they want to recruit our students specifically. The response has been amazing!” said Boatright. “We have already doubled our number of available job and internship postings and connected with new employers that want to employ Loyola students.”