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Mount Selects Handshake as University Career Management System

Paige Roberts
Graduate Assistant, Office of University Marketing & Communications

The Mount St. Mary’s University Career Center is making the conversion to Handshake this summer as its new career management platform that connects students and alumni to employers for both job and internship opportunities.

handshake-logo-in-text.pngQuickly becoming the leading early career community in the U.S., Handshake is used by over 1,200 colleges and universities with more than nine million active student users. “We wanted something that would be of best value for our students, our alumni and our community,” said Matthew Pouss, interim director of the Career Center. Users can connect with over 550,000 employers, including all Fortune 500 companies.

MountHired, the previous university career system designed in partnership with Symplicity and launched in 2018, was effective in its own capacity for both students and alumni the last few years, according to Pouss. Recognizing the value of Handshake as an even more powerful tool, Pouss is optimistic about the switch. “We are now excited to further expand and enhance opportunities for our Mount community through Handshake,” Pouss said.

When in-person events were not feasible last academic year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Career Center implemented Handshake for two virtual career fairs in collaboration with other liberal arts colleges and universities in the region. Overwhelmingly positive feedback from students as well as the Mount’s employer partners demonstrated the platform’s ease of use for making professional connections. “Handshake has built itself as the platform that is seeking to democratize the job search,” added Pouss, “making it easier for people to connect and have more equal access to opportunity.”

Handshake’s features are similar to other career sites, such as LinkedIn, where users have a visible profile, allowing students to easily create and promote their personal brand and professional identity. They can also schedule appointments with Career Center staff members as well as attend employer-held virtual events and career fairs. Securing a credit-based internship is now a simplified process digitized through Handshake; students can correspond directly with employers and complete the university learning agreement form entirely via email. Faculty, administrators and staff can utilize the platform to market different career opportunities to students within their department, including on-campus internships, through creation of an employer account.

The Mount recently realigned its graduate employment outcome rate to be within National Association of Colleges and Employers’ standards. Now reporting numbers six months out from graduation instead of a year, the university’s Career Center is hopeful that Handshake will assist in maintaining the satisfactory employment rates seen in recent years. Based on a 78% knowledge rate, 100% of Mount graduates from the Class of 2019 are employed or in graduate school within a year of graduation. Handshake will serve as the first step to achieving career goals for both current students and alumni.  

Paige Roberts
Graduate Assistant, Office of University Marketing & Communications