Handshake lends a helping hand

Handshake gained popularity and success in ten months.


Eliana Park/THE CHIMES

Anahi Vences, Writer

It has been 10 months since Biola decided to switch from Biola Link to Handshake in fall 2016, and while faculty believe it to be a success, students give mixed reviews.

Career accessibility

“Approximately 60 percent of our students have used Handshake at least once. Most students use Handshake for job and internship searching and making appointments with the Advising Center or the Career Center,” said Miles Bocianski, account executive of University Communications and Marketing in an email.

This software provided students with the simple accessibility of landing a job or an internship. The system also notifies students of job fairs which occur on campus or in the community. The notification tab goes as far as reminding students of their appointments with academic advisors, career advisors and peer mentors.

Handshake has taken steps further than operating like any other classifieds page. Handshake’s success comes from the features it provides like the option to upload information such as a resume, past job experience and other schools they may have attended.This makes it easier for employers to show interest in the applicant without yet having to commit to scheduling an interview.

An essential tool

Many students at Biola, especially upperclassmen, use Handshake as an essential tool to search for internships and entry level jobs right out of college.

“Handshake has been my go-to for finding jobs and internships within the last year. I love it because it’s a one stop shop. It has hundreds of resources and opportunities,” said Angie Fuentes, senior sociology major.

Nonetheless, as Handshake remains fairly new to students at Biola, some students shared that they experienced difficulties with the program which often pushed them to navigate to other sources.

“I wish Handshake didn’t have so much kind of right in your face as you open it up. I think it would make it easier to navigate, maybe a tutorial button,” said Jane Juarez, freshman cinema and media arts major.

Mentorship opportunities

The career center takes care of updating and posting new job listings to provide students with multiple job and internship opportunities.

Handshake has sidebar features which offer a mentorship program where students can match with a mentor or choose a specific individual in the program as a mentor. However, the Career Center looks forward to expanding their mentorship program into a channel that can be more applicable for a specific student’s needs.

“Next year we plan to roll out a mentor channel to create easy connections to whatever type of mentoring students need,” Bocianski shared in an email.

Ultimately, Handshake was created for students to have an easier time navigating their job search and to have a place with all the information regarding appointments with career and academic advising located in one software program.

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