Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) is a cooperative education (co-op) institution that is ranked 11th among top schools for co-op and internship programs by the 2021 U.S. News & World Report. Their co-op program is designed to provide students with career experience that is matched to the student’s field of study. Maria Richart, Director of Career Services and Cooperative Education said that “The key component to making our co-op program work is by giving our coordinators the ability to pre-approve the jobs that students can apply for. From day one, this was the number one obstacle we encountered with [the old platform].” With 4500 students and 3400 hiring organizations participating in RIT’s co-op program, it was crucial that RIT look for a new career services platform.
“With Symplicity CSM, the system is only pulling in jobs that fit our students, their experiences, and their education. These jobs are also coming in based on education and degree levels. The customization in CSM helps us have the control we need."
Senior Career Services Assistant
In 2018, RIT’s Office of Career Services became frustrated with the old platform and knew it was time to switch to a new career services platform. Cathy Slocum, Senior Career Services Assistant, said one of the main reasons RIT wanted to switch was because “With [the old platform], we didn’t own anything. It was hard to manage employers and contacts, especially with jobs. For example, with Symplicity, jobs are attached to the contact. With [the old platform], jobs are attached to a company so it was difficult for us to set things up in such a way that co-op students would be able to see the appropriate jobs that they were qualified for.” That lack of control and authority was a theme throughout RIT’s experience with [the old platform]. Slocum added, “We had no control over a lot of the old platform. We couldn’t control reports and [the old platform] sent a lot of jobs that had nothing to do with our students.” In 2019, RIT reached out to Symplicity about CSM.
RIT implemented Symplicity CSM in July of 2020. Richart and her team not only have a lot more control, but they can perfectly customize and tailor the reports to see a holistic view of the student data within CSM. “Symplicity has a lot more tools we can use as a replica database,” said Jim Bondi, Associate Director for Career Services, “That is going to be a time-saver for us in terms of having all the data in one place.” Prior to Symplicity, Richart and Bridget Callari, Recruiting Specialist, manually tracked data and created reports via spreadsheets. Richart said that “At the end of each semester, I used to ask Bridget, ‘How many interviews have we had?’ or ‘How many info sessions have we had?’ and she would keep track on a spreadsheet on her computer. I don’t have to do that anymore because Jim has set up custom reports that I get weekly. I’m not doing the manual work that I used to do, and I can more easily run annual reports.” Now Richart receives reports every Monday morning directly to her inbox, which helps her stay up to date on all co-op opportunities and programs. RIT’s Office of Career Services is thrilled to be able to use CSM to continue providing one of the best university co-op programs in the world.
“With Symplicity's support team, we are getting a lot more attention as clients than we did with [the old platform]. During implementation, we were probably a bit more complicated than other schools to set up and our client manager would have her dinners prepared prior to our meetings because they were scheduled to end at 5pm her time and I don't think we ever stopped at 5pm. The hours that were spent on us during implementation and the attention we receive as current clients alone is the reason to switch to Symplicity."
Director of Career Services and Cooperative Education