Ben Hoertnagl-Pereira, a 2018 Johns Hopkins University graduate with a degree in computer science who plans to return for a fifth-year master's program, is spending the summer somewhere he has long wanted to go: Facebook headquarters in California.
To get there, he first connected with a recruiter for the company at an on-campus event, which he found through the Handshake career services platform provided by the Homewood Career Center. It took a year to land the internship, and Hoertnagl-Pereira says networking was invaluable.
"It's always nice to interview in person," he says, and with Handshake, "it's helpful to see all the opportunities in one spot."
Encouraged by the experience of students at JHU's Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and Whiting School of Engineering, which have used Handshake for several years, the university is preparing to offer the career services platform to every JHU student starting Aug. 6. Hopkins alumni will also be able to request access to the system starting that day.
Whether they are looking for a first job or building their careers with advanced studies, students can use Handshake to connect with career center staff and resources in their schools. They can search job and internship openings posted by approved employers—a group that numbers 50,000 across all industries—and sorted for their interests and experience. Handshake will also be the place for students to find career-related events, including recruiter meetings and career fairs happening on JHU's campuses.
"This is an exciting 'one university' moment to ensure that every student has a robust resource for accessing employment opportunities and managing their career path," says Sunil Kumar, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. "The consistency for all students and the coordination it will allow between schools were key considerations brought to light by the Student Services Excellence Initiative, which spent more than two years collecting feedback from students, faculty, and staff; researching options; and implementing the system."
All students will have a basic profile already loaded in the system that they can update with their interests, experiences, and other details. They should look for an email inviting them to get started on Aug. 6. Students who are not served by the Homewood Career Center need to wait until that date; they may be able to access the platform, but their account will not be active until the official university launch.
After the system goes live, alumni can also join by going to the Handshake website and clicking on the link to sign up for an account. More information for alumni will be available on the Alumni Association website, gohoponline.com, in August.
Students outside of the Krieger and Whiting schools who have been using another platform—such as Symplicity, SAISWorks, and Carey Compass—are encouraged to save copies of their resumes and other documents if they want to add them to their new Handshake profiles. Starting Aug. 6, previous systems will no longer be accessible.
Gaston Melo-Felgueres, who spent the past two years studying conflict management and international economics at SAIS in Bologna, Italy, and in Washington, D.C., says he is looking forward to using a system that's intuitive, allows him to personalize his profile, and gives him access to employers and alumni who are working with other JHU schools.
"I believe it will open the professional opportunities of many students interested in subsections of international relations and economics that other Johns Hopkins schools cover more in depth," he says.
Kevin Shollenberger, vice provost for student affairs, adds: "Students will continue to have access to the resources, coaching, and industry expertise provided by their school career centers, but sharing Handshake across the institution will make it easier to open recruiting events to students across schools and allow employers to offer opportunities to students in many schools at once.
"We believe the career services professionals at each school will enjoy being able to improve coordination, while students will have many more resources and opportunities at their fingertips."