Gonzaga University had been using an old platform to manage their career services activities and programs—from job postings and internships to fostering relationships between students and employers. Melissa McNair-Davis, Budget and Research Specialist for Career & Professional Development, was an active user of the old platform but noticed a change in quality of service after only three years. “As they got bigger, their support system changed, and I think their priorities changed. And I think the vision they have for their company is no longer a vision that matches our department, our university, or the services we want to offer to our students. The direction the company was taking their platform was no longer serving us.” It was around that time that Gonzaga University went looking for a new career services management platform.
“A big part of our mission, as a university, is to care for the whole person—as a student, as an employee, as a faculty member—all of them. And it started feeling as if [the old platform] was trying to cut out the career centers entirely by adding features that didn’t align with creating a comprehensive community"
Budget and Research Specialist for Career & Professional Development
In 2019, it became imperative that Gonzaga University use a new career services management platform. “The old platform wanted to implement a rating system for internships that students could rate, and we had concerns about this being public and other students seeing the rating for a certain internship,” McNair-Davis said, “For ratings of all things, people are more inclined to give a critical review than a positive one. We were worried this would damage our employer connections and would ultimately ripple out in ways that would stop building a holistic community.” The career services team needed a platform that aligned with their values and mission, not just at the departmental level, but at the institutional level. It was around that time that Gonzaga University reached out to Symplicity about CSM.
Gonzaga University went live with Symplicity CSM in June of 2020. The timing was perfect, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down their campus a couple months earlier. Symplicity also released their new Virtual Career Fair product, free to all current clients, that Gonzaga University made full use of for fall recruiting that year. Karen Franks-Harding, Manager of Career & Professional Development for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, noted that “The number one benefit to using CSM is maintaining the continuity with students. That includes the ability to take notes, keep track of job postings, and the approval of resumes. We also love the virtual events and employer outreach but for us, we appreciate most that it’s a student-focused platform.” Gonzaga University plans to continue utilizing Symplicity CSM and their virtual career fair product in 2021 and beyond for managing all career services initiatives and programs while also delivering a holistic student experience.
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“What I care about the most is where the vision is for the product and how the student information is protected. I do feel more of a sense of security about our students and how safe they are with this platform by using Symplicity."
Manager of Career & Professional Development for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences