The program is designed to help students get jobs, internships and network with potential employers. The Bridge will be replacing the current e-recruiting system and is said to be more user-friendly and intuitive for both students and employers.
Tony Jewkes, the employer/external relations manager for University Career Services, explained that this tool has been almost a year in the making and, despite feeling pressure to launch it earlier, he has made sure the product is ready to “hit the ground running.”
“It was our hope to launch it last fall, but in all of our research we found that schools that didn’t take a minimum of six months to build their system really set themselves up for failure,” Jewkes said.
The Bridge has been in design since last June; however, due to Jewkes and his department’s caution and attention to detail, The Bridge should be a solid and finished product when it launches on April 7. As with any online technology, there is the worry that glitches and bugs will occur.
“Even though we want it to be functional and as good as possible when we launch, it’s going to be like any other online technology,” Jewkes said. “There’s always going to be updates, and it’s going to be growing and adjusting and improving.”
Jewkes himself cited the launch of the infamous “Obamacare” site as an example of what they hope doesn’t happen with this new recruitment system. While bugs and technological glitches are a concern, Heidi Vogeler, a career counselor for University Career Services, is concerned that the biggest problem will be the under-utilization of this new tool.
“It does so much,” Vogeler said. “We’re more afraid that students and employers won’t use it to its full potential.”
Online recruitment is an extremely popular tool today, according to the United States Department of Labor; employer spending for online recruitment is expected to have an annual increase of 10 percent. E-recruiting is fast, inexpensive and can increase the pool of candidates applying for any given position.
Online recruiting and job-finding through BYU is not only free, but it will also help set students on the career path that is best suited for them. Students will be able to speak to professionals in any given industry and pick their brains about their profession, to help students determine the correct career path for them. The Bridge will not only help students find job post-graduation but will also allow them to find credit and non-credit internships, as well as connect students to possible career mentors.
“Internships are becoming more important than they’ve ever been,” Jewkes said. “What a great opportunity to play our part in the mission of the university, in placing BYU students who are talented, strong in the gospel, helping them be placed around the country and world where they can be influencers for good for the gospel.”
The launch event of the BYU Bridge is scheduled for April 7. More information about The Bridge and other events from University Career Services can be found on its web page.