Launch Your Career: Job Search During a Pandemic

Boston University — Goal 1 Initiative Launch Your Career: Job Search During a Pandemic

Students graduating into the pandemic are facing countless challenges, particularly securing that critical first job. Boston University's new 'Launch Your Career: Job Search During a Global Pandemic' initiative is designed to provide seniors, recent alumni, and interested juniors with career-search skills, tools for resiliency, finance and time management tips, resources for succeeding in the virtual world, and advice about connecting with BU alumni and others for mentoring, career development and potential internship opportunities.

With an extra emphasis on reaching first-generation, Pell-eligible, and underrepresented students as well as new alumni, the initiative will build off a base of resources currently offered by the Center for Career Development and in collaboration with the BU Hub. Students will be able to take advantage of a series of discrete modules designed to equip them for career success in a challenging economy. By bundling these modules into a single comprehensive program, job-hunting students and recent alumni will have an easily understandable and accessible path to follow that makes use of existing university resources and expertise.

Initiative Differentiators

The initiative is part of a strategic effort to help those who are exiting college and launching their careers amid a global pandemic. Offerings will include creating a plan; conducting an effective job search while managing stress and building resilience; negotiating a job offer and developing basic money management skills; and more. The initiative will include resources for connecting with established alumni for career, networking, and mentoring opportunities, and incorporates an option for joining a cohort of peer participants for support and encouragement. While the majority of the Launch Your Career content is available through various Center for Career Development programs, this program offers a streamlined, self-paced format conducive to just-in-time skill- and confidence-building.  The Center for Career Development’s incorporation of content related to resilience, stress management, and budgeting is also unique to the program, as is the option for connecting with a cohort of other job-hunting peers. 

Key Interventions and Milestones

This initiative entails participants completing modules designed to impart specific skills for those entering the workforce during a time of turmoil. The program is designed to be completed in 4 to 6 weeks and immediately increase participants’ skill level and confidence in conducting an effective job search. Upon completion of the course, participants will receive a certificate from the Center for Career Development.

Expected Impact

Launch Your Career provides just-in-time job-hunting skills while acknowledging the special challenges related to the pandemic and uncertain economy, and encouraging resilience, flexibility, and self-care.  The expectation is that this comprehensive, self-paced program will build skills and confidence, and be particularly valuable to those who are underprepared or apprehensive about job-hunting in the current climate.  Participants will be surveyed at the beginning and end of the program about confidence in their skills, and at the end about their satisfaction with the program.  Class of 2021 participants’ post-graduation employment and salary outcomes, where available, will be compared with overall data from the First Destination survey of bachelor’s degree graduates of the Class of 2021.