Torrey Conference and Hiring Expo: adapting and anticipating COVID-19 protocols

Changing COVID-19 guidelines force employers to plan in advance or make changes on the fly.

Caleb Jonker, News Editor

Biola’s campus continues to adapt to new COVID-19 guidelines, as the Career Development Center and Spiritual Development teams work to ensure Biola campus events are accessible and safe. 


Assistant Dean of Spiritual Development Mike Ahn said that Torrey Conference is moving its main sessions to Metzger Lawn. Ahn noted that Metzger Lawn will be able to host 3,000 students. 

Due to new COVID-19 protocols, which started Sept. 27, the Torrey Conference team reimagined how the conference will be experienced, Ahn explained.

“We’re excited to go outside, we are excited to see what God has in store for us,” Ahn said.

Attendance at Torrey Conference, which takes place annually every fall, is a requirement for full-time students. This year as the schedule and location change, the required amount of credits lowered from five to three for Torrey Conference, Ahn said.


Career Specialist at the Career Center Raquel McLeod explained that planning for an online conference made more sense due to the uncertainties the fall semester held in regards to COVID-19 guidelines. The Fall Hiring Expo takes place Sept. 28-30 on Handshake and includes group sessions as well as one-on-one sessions. 

“A lot of employers have expressed their interest in only attending virtual events,” McLeod said.

McLeod emphasized that since the pandemic, many employers have found virtual events preferable because of cost efficiency. She noted that this also opens up the possibility for employers from out of state to connect with Biola students. 

The Career Center teamed up with three other local schools—Azusa Pacific University, Concordia University Irvine and Whittier College—connecting students with employers that they were unable to access previously. According to McLeod, this appealed to employers who are looking for a larger audience of students.

“When you have a bigger pool of students you also have a bigger pool of employers,” McLeod said.

McLeod encourages all students to join the Hiring Expo, even if they are not ready to enter the workforce. Group sessions are excellent ways to connect to employers and begin thinking about plans post-graduation, she explained.

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