While many saw challenges when transitioning to a virtual world, The Career Mentoring and Professional Development Center (CMPDC) at Shippensburg University saw a new opportunity to expand the reach of its services. This expansion includes a collaborative effort with eight other schools in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education working to help the Class of 2020 launch their careers.

Victoria Kerr, director of CMPDC and president of the State System Career Professionals Association (CPA), meets with her CPA colleagues on a regular basis. The relationships they’ve formed became even more important as each navigated how to provide services to students in a virtual world. After hearing about the collaborative efforts of System schools in the west, Ship started brainstorming with Bloomsburg, Cheney, East Stroudsburg, Kutztown, Lockhaven, Mansfield, Millersville and West Chester universities.

Ideas formed into actions, and before she knew it, Kerr was working with all eight universities to plan  virtual employer sessions, and new online workshops and skill-building sessions. Now a three week event, the Get Hired program kicked off May 11 and runs through the end of the month.

“It’s been a really collaborative effort, and so far has been really popular. Graduates can participate in a wide offering of sessions organized by any of the participating schools. It really expands our ability to assist them and gain employer access,” Kerr said.

Hannah Gratti ’20, is ready to put her new degree in communication/journalism to work, and thought the sessions “How to Job Search in Difficult Times: Q & A with Human Resources Professionals,” was a great place to start.

“Everyone was able to answer questions and incorporate personal experiences to make us feel less stressed,” she said.

Gratti plans to attend several Get Hired events and is excited to continue to connect with employers and fellow graduates.

Over the next two weeks, students will move forward with the skills they’ve learned and begin to virtually connect with over 110 employers during the employer sessions and Ship’s virtual career fair on May 21. All participating employers are actively hiring. With this new collaborative approach, students have the benefit of an expanded list of potential employers, expanding their hiring potential.

Check out the listing of events.