Summer program prepares business students for job market even in a pandemic

Summer program prepares business students for job market even in a pandemic


Students from the William G. Rohrer College of Business this summer took a crash course in launching their career even in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis and severe economic downturn.

Headed by Amie Ryno and Elisabeth Parker in the college’s Rohrer Center for Professional Development, the ten-week program provided students real world know-how, such as experience using LinkedIn Learning, Bloomberg Market Concepts, Salesforce and Google Analytics to name a few, as well as a professional certification with those and other marquee business products for their resume.

“With the pandemic and many internships cancelled this summer, this was a way for students to build experience remotely,” Parker said.

Fourteen RCB students, from rising sophomores to recent graduates, comprised the program’s first-year cohort.

Ryno said the Center for Professional Development tailors services to RCB students that go well beyond typical career counseling. In addition to resume critiques and mock interviews, the center provides tips and tricks for leveraging modern job search tools like LinkedIn and LinkedIn Learning, which offers a wide variety of videos and tutorials for launching and advancing careers.

“The summer program took a deeper dive into career preparation and professional development services that we offer to all of our students,” she said.

Parker said the summer quarantine, in which not only internships but entry level jobs in many fields evaporated, provided an opportunity for students and graduates to better position themselves for when the economy improves.

Among other goals, the summer course required students to attend a career resources workshop hosted by the center; attend a NETiquette/Ettiquette workshop; participate in a one hour, one-on-one career coaching session with Parker or Ryno; update their resume and cover letter; update their LinkedIn profile; obtain an online professional certification such as those offered through Bloomberg and Google; participate in a mock interview; and conduct an informational interview with an industry professional.

“The idea was that, even during this difficult time, they’re still building skills, still developing professionally,” Ryno said.

Moving forward, Ryno said, the center plans on hosting the certification program every summer and may even offer it over winter break.