Letter to the editor: Career Services looking for feedback on CareerFest app

Dear UB students

We know you feel a lot of pressure. Pressure to do well in your studies, pressure to be involved on campus, pressure to engage in cultural experiences different than your own, pressure to volunteer, pressure to have multiple internship experiences, pressure to network and of course pressure to find a job. And interwoven in that is the pressure to find something that you’ll love doing after graduation. That’s a lot of pressure, if you ask me.

Over the last few years, Career Services has been working on trying to modify our services so that they might help to reduce some of the pressure. We listen to student employees that work in our office and beyond, we stay current on trends, we hear directly from employers what they want to see in job candidates and we try to help each and every 30,000+ student that comes to UB. That is a tall order but we see that as our mission.

As the world changes so rapidly, leaving less time tobeta-test and more time to just experience – the job market is just like that, ever changing. The minute we come up with something to help you navigate uncertain times, the world has changed yet again. So today we are writing you this letter after an article was published about the CareerFest mobile app recently used at our Job Fair last week. The CareerFest app was created to help students prepare ahead of time, access information immediately in real-time and provide with a tool at the fair that we hoped would make the fair more productive for you.

Before the app, we would cover the walls with paper employer profiles. In this day and age of technology and easy, immediate, real-time access to information, company profile printed and posted on the walls in the arena seemed archaic. Before the app students attending the fair could only do research on BullsEye about the companies who would be attending the fair. It wasn’t the best system for making sure you were confident, polished and ready to secure a job or internship on the day of the fair.

This is the third time we’ve used a mobile app to help students navigate our larger career fairs like CareerFest in spring and STEM UP in fall. When we launched the first mobile app at CareerFest last year, we heard feedback from students about the map feature of the app so we worked on that. For STEM UP we continued to work on the map function of the app as well as enhancing some graphics and tips to help students get a better idea of the top tips to remember at the fair. This year, at CareerFest we instituted “Smartie Central” and had “Smartie Pants” walking around the fair in bright green t-shirts to help you solve challenges, navigate the fair, ask questions and even troubleshoot any technical challenges with the CareerFest app. We’ve been listening to you and we want to hear more. Just like any big tech company sometimes products have bugs but in order to make fixes we need to hear from you.

We would like to extend an invitation to any student who came toCareerFest and used the app to attend a focus group where we can just hear what you have to say over a little pizza. We can’t promise every change will be made, but we can promise you will be heard and our next app or solution to better navigating the fair will be based on your thoughts, opinions, and ideas.

At the end of the day, we want you to succeed, we want you to find something you love, and that dream job or internship and make connections because we know this will lead to a more fulfilling life for you. You are our number one, the reason why we exist, so please stop by 259 Capen Hall, let us help you and please come to the following focus groups so we can listen to you. If you are interested in helping us improve the app for future fairs, please email Jenna Smith at jennasmi@buffalo.edu indicating which focus group you’d like to attend.

Wednesday, March 23 | 5 – 6 p.m. | 259 Capen Hall

Thursday, March 24, | 5 – 6 p.m. | 259 Capen Hall

Many thanks.
Arlene Kaukus, Director, UB Career Services