Academics People and Community

New Handshake program feeds job opportunities to students

The Toppel Career Center is launching a new tool that customizes internships and jobs for students’ chosen field of study.
Israel Pacheco, a senior studying accounting and finance at the Miami Herbert Business School, completed an internship in the finance, accounting and reporting team for Universal Parks and Resorts in Orlando, Florida last summer. Photo courtesy of Toppel Career Center.

Completing an internship during college is a major stepping stone to a job for many students.

Up to 52 percent of students who work as interns are hired for a full-time job with that same company or organization. And should the student apply for other jobs, simply having internship experience on their résumé can make them a much more attractive candidate. They often receive 75 percent more job offers, and it can also spur employers to offer that student a higher salary, statistics from the National Association of Colleges and Employers indicate. 

To help University of Miami students find jobs and internships more easily, the University’s Toppel Career Center is launching a new tool called Handshake Feeds. The search tool allows students to find internships and jobs filtered for their major through their school or college’s website, and then apply right away. University of Miami is just the second institution in the country to offer the feeds, and the Toppel staff hopes it will help more students garner work experience during college. 

“Since not all students come to Toppel in person or virtually, we wanted to explore how we could put these jobs and internships in places where they are already looking,” said Christian Garcia, Toppel’s associate dean and executive director. “At the end of the day, we want our students to get hired. And we want them to be in the best possible position to get job offers or get into graduate school, so the best way to do that is to have work or internship experience. It’s the number one thing employers are looking for now.”

Toward that goal, on each school or college website there is now a section devoted to career resources, where job and internship opportunities are tailored for every major available at that school. Once a student clicks on their major, or field of interest, the Handshake platform populates a list of the latest job and internship openings. 

The tool can also help students see the range of career options available to them that they may have not considered, but are associated with their path of study, according to  Alexa Lord, director of assessment and communication at Toppel. Creating the feeds was a collaborative yearlong effort between faculty members from each school and the Toppel staff, she added.

“For a history major, many companies are interested in hiring that student for their critical thinking and communication skills, but students might not know what jobs are available,” Garcia pointed out. “These feeds will expand the possibilities for them, but the feeds are also public. So, even prospective students and parents can see the applicability of different majors.”

To capitalize on the new feeds, Toppel encourages all students to take advantage of Handshake, its job and internship search platform that is free for all current students and recent graduates. Since Handshake partners with more than 200,000 employers to list thousands of jobs and internships, it is able to further personalize job postings based on an individual student’s interests in a given industry and in certain companies and locations, too. Also, if students fill out their profile and make it public to employers on Handshake, they are often contacted by recruiters, according to Lord and Garcia.

For students interested in getting help to create a resume or in preparing for an interview, Toppel staff members are also available both in person and virtually for guidance through drop-in coaching during the week. 

Toppel will also host its Fall Job and Internship Expo at the Watsco Center on Oct. 3. Register here.

To find your own Handshake feeds, visit each school or college website below and follow the tips provided. 

To access your Handshake account, visit the website here.