BGSU Career Center call campaign connects with nearly 2,600 students

Volunteers make over 5,000 calls undergraduate, graduate students

By Meredith Troxel

Since the announcement of remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bowling Green State University has continued to provide support and resources for all students.

Remote learning has brought many different challenges to all students, including graduating seniors who will be looking for their first post-graduation job.

The Career Center continues to be the focal point to help graduating students with their post-graduation plans. The office started a call campaign as part of President Rodney Rogers’ recent announcement, in efforts to reach every graduating student, whether undergraduate or graduate, and to follow up on their post-graduation plans.

“This initiative was a great way to connect with and support these students during this uncertain time,” said Danielle Dimoff, director of the Career Center. “We were able to discuss resources and answer questions about their next steps such as preparing for a job search or applying to graduate school.”

The Career Center collaborated with the Division of Student Affairs to collect 12 volunteers, which included staff from Accessibility Services, Campus Activities, Recreation and Wellness and Residence Life. Volunteers worked remotely through their homes and all calls were completed in 10 days between the end of March and early April. Students received a text explaining that the Career Center was starting an initiative to reach every graduating student.

Volunteers set out to talk with every graduating student and contacted them up to three times. If the student did not answer the phone call after the third attempt, a voicemail was left and they received an email to encourage them to follow up with the Career Center.

More than 5,000 calls were made to 2,016 undergraduate students and 552 graduate students. The volunteers were able to reach over two-thirds of these students. The majority of students stated that they did have a plan for graduation, whether that be employment, graduate school, military service, volunteer opportunities, internships and gap years.

“We have an awesome group of seniors. Most were positive about how things were going in online learning for their last semester and their future. They repeatedly acknowledged their gratitude for BGSU and President Rogers,” said Lisa Jones, secretary for vice president of Student Affairs. “Some students stated this was not their first contact; in fact, they were pleasantly surprised how many professors, advisors and departments that actually did reach out to them.”

Students who had not yet made a plan were encouraged to schedule an appointment with the Career Center to discuss new opportunities. More than 200 appointments were made within the 10-day duration of the call campaign. 

“I think the calls reminded students of the resources available to them and how those resources can be helpful during these uncertain times. Even having someone to talk to about the job search and additional opportunities was thought-provoking for students,” said Allison Adkins, coordinator of student involvement for Campus Activities. “The best part for me, was when students shared that they had recently gotten a position or internship in their field of study. I was able to celebrate with them and congratulate them on such a great thing in a time with limited things to celebrate.”

Students who were contacted and completed an appointment with the Career Center also received a survey for feedback on their experience with the campaign. One hundred percent of students felt supported in their plans, better prepared to achieve their career goals, and would recommend the Career Center’s resources to other graduating students. They requested support for employment search strategies and resume development resources the most.

“We encourage students to take advantage of the Career Center’s virtual resources and services during this time,” Dimoff said.

Students are able to schedule appointments to video or phone call with a representative from the Career Center, which offers 15 consultation types ranging from cover letter and resume review to LinkedIn profile support. All appointments are customized to fit the needs and goals of the students’ career plans.

“We also encourage all students to complete every section of their profile on our recruitment platform, Handshake. Students with a complete profile on this platform are five times more likely to be contacted by a recruiter,” Dimoff said. “We continue to search for and post new companies and jobs daily. We have 20,000 recruiters on Handshake and nearly 9,000 current employment opportunities. Students should check back often as this list continues to be updated by our team.”