Students shake hands with future employers

FMU’s Office of Career Development is now offering seniors and alumni a “Handshake” toward a better future.

Handshake is the newest professional networking site offered by The Office of Career Development, and its purpose is to help connect students and alumni with future employers.  These connections can be made through internships, job offers and networking.

Ronald Miller, director of career development, said FMU decided to use Handshake because it offers students a lot of opportunities.

“Handshake is an online platform that allows college seniors to build a professional profile,” Miller said. “With this profile college seniors are then able to network or connect with prospective employers. With that process they are also able to locate possible internships, part-time positions and full-time positions. They can also connect with other seniors and users on the platform which is beneficial for professional networking.”

Miller said FMU heard about the platform from other university’s career centers. He said the office gets an average of 30 or more employers requesting access to their group each day, and that they comb through them carefully to make sure they are the best options for students.

“We were seeing articles that were posted about other career development practitioners, directors, faculty and higher education officials who were using it,” Miller said. “Virtually all of them had very positive feedback about it. We were talking to seniors from other universities and they were all having wonderful feedback from it, so we started investing in a subscription to Handshake.”

According to Miller, Handshake ranks each of the employers on Handshake with a “trust score.” He said their office denies any employers who have a bad score to protect students from employers who may be trying to take advantage of them.

Students who are interested are encouraged to schedule a 1-on-1 meeting at The Office of Career Development for help building their profile and deciding what things they should or should not include in their profile.

While the platform is user friendly, seniors who sign up need to make an appointment with the Career Center to complete their profiles and set up their portfolio.

FMU alumni who are interested are asked to contact Miller at   

The next on-campus career fair will be 1-3:30 p.m. on March 25 in the Smith University Center.