Photo courtesy of the OPCD
Photo courtesy of the OPCD

New app offers access to jobs and internships

Marketplace, a new resource created by the Office of Personal and Career Development (OPCD) on Nov. 13, will help students find unique internships and job opportunities beyond those represented by campus recruiters, has launched as a mobile app.

“We meet with so many students who have interesting ideas for careers that just don’t fall into the typical on-campus recruiting arena,” said Katharine Brooks, executive director of the OPCD. “We wanted our liberal arts and science students to know that we care about all of their career ideas and interests — not just the fields that recruit on campus.”

Developers of Marketplace collaborated with OPCD career coaches in order to identify over 30 careers students seek guidance for, which are not advertised by recruiters on campus.

Career categories featured on the site now include museums, community and social services, human resources, music, public health, sports and writing, among others.

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Freshman Blair Dunaway, who might pursue a career in social services, feels that the website evens the platform for students interested in less common fields.

“I like that Marketplace is more inclusive for all majors to find job opportunities,” Dunaway said.

The website is color-coded so that it is easy for students to access not only their particular field of interest but also search for opportunities in related, similar fields.

“It sounds like it opens up opportunities for all and I think it sounds [great],” freshman Joshua Maxwell said.

To illustrate how students might benefit from Marketplace, Brooks noted that dance troupes do not send recruiters to campus, since that is not their typical approach to hiring.

Therefore, students searching for dance-related careers are at a disadvantage when it comes to finding employment opportunities.

“I think it’s great that the OPCD is supporting students interested in non-traditional job fields and helping them seek out opportunities,” said freshman Wesley Skidmore.

Patrick Sullivan, the associate director of the OPCD and a career coach, helped develop the website and put together the layout.

“The most useful aspect of Marketplace is the fact that students have a central location from which to start their search,” Sullivan said.

“Someone with strong writing skills can learn about opportunities in publishing on Marketplace, but could also learn more about journalism, public relations and social media, without ever leaving the Marketplace website,” Sullivan said. “We want students to know that the OPCD has ‘something for me,’ regardless of career interest,” Sullivan said.

Students interested in learning more about their fields of interest can visit Marketplace to access social media sites and associated bloggers already in a particular career area.

Within the next few months, the website will feature a variety of internship opportunities alongside job listings.

“We know that it can be frustrating to try to make that first connection from college to career,” Brooks said. “We wanted to show students in a tangible way that we know they are interested in a wide variety of opportunities.”

Still in its earliest stage, Brooks expects that Marketplace will soon expand across all job divisions. Student feedback will play a big role in determining which career areas will be added.

“Our hope is that students will be able to use Marketplace as a convenient one-stop-shopping way to find immediate job openings in their fields of interest,” Brooks said. “We wanted a site that would showcase current job openings, the key employers and professional associations, as well as the best social media related to the field.”

Sullivan also said he thinks that this resource might be helpful for employers.

“Employers stand to benefit if talented, hard-working Wake Forest students have an easier time finding jobs with their organization,” Sullivan said. Marketplace is not only designed to provide access to employment opportunities, but it is also constructed so that new opportunities will be updated on a continuous feed.

“We wanted something that would update every time you open the page, not just a static website,” Brooks said. “The student response so far has been very positive, and we welcome their suggestions to make it even better.”

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