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Brianna Lipp ’20 was a seabird research assistant at the National Audubon Society’s Project Puffin in Maine last summer. Her internship was funded by Middlebury's Center for Careers and Internships.

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Students Find Handshake an Asset in Their Search for Jobs and Internships

December 5, 2018


MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – A year has passed s
ince Middlebury College’s Center for Careers and Internships (CCI) launched Handshake, a digital platform that enables students to manage all aspects of their search for jobs and internships, from scheduling appointments with CCI advisors and signing up for the center’s programs and events to finding positions and submitting applications.  

Handshake has been a game changer with students because it makes CCI’s resources so accessible,” said Tim Mosehauer, associate director of advising at CCI. “They can do everything in one place, including apply for CCI internship funding. I use Handshake every day in multiple ways to engage students and navigate resources with them.”

Handshake is a bit like a mix of LinkedIn and Eventbrite. It combines the functions of a social media platform and job board with the features of an event management and scheduling system. Students can set up one-on-one conversations with advisors, recruiters, and Middlebury alumni, as well as create professional profiles that include résumés, skills, courses, and career interests.

According to Peggy Burns, director of the Center for Careers and Internships, Handshake has been an unambiguous hit with Middlebury students—more than 90 percent of sophomores, juniors, and seniors have activated their accountsThis rate is almost 25 percent higher than the average among students at the more than 700 schools that use the platform 

There are nearly 9,000 employers using Handshake to find and hire Middlebury students for internships and full-time jobs, including leading organizations and companies such as Wayfair, the Council on Foreign Relations, Girls Who Code, Under Armour, and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.  

The ability to connect directly with employers has benefitted students as they pursue diverse career opportunities around the world.  

"Handshake made every part of my internship application process incredibly easy,” said Rachel Veneziano ’20, an environmental policy major from San Mateo, Calif. “I have scheduled appointments with my career advisor, signed up for information sessions, and identified internships that I was qualified for and that matched my interests. In fact, using Handshake, I found my internship as a farm educator at Shelburne Farms last summer and my internship for this coming J-term as a legislative intern for the Agency of Agriculture at the Vermont Statehouse.

Handshake also provides valuable data so that CCI can continuously improve engagement with students. Information from the platform allows CCI staff to identify the programs that are most successful and the students who are not taking advantage of the center's resources. CCI staff can then develop and adjust their outreach to better support every Middlebury student.

Since Handshake was implemented in the fall of 2017, Middlebury students have submitted more than 14,000 job and internship applications. They have completed almost 6,000 advising appointments with CCI staff, and scheduled more than 1,200 on-campus interviews with 100-plus organizations.

“Much of career readiness and advising will always come down to forging personal connections with students and helping them on a one-on-one basis,” said Burns, “but Handshake has become a critical tool for the CCI as we help our students put their best foot forward.”