CCA hosts Virtual Community Service Fair on Handshake

Nicole Yeager, Assistant News Editor

The Center for Career Advancement (CCA) hosted a Virtual Community Service Fair via Handshake on Tuesday, Sept. 1. From 4-6 p.m., students had the opportunity to join various video sessions run by members of on-campus and local community organizations where they could obtain information, ask questions and share contact information. Among the organizations in attendance were Lewisburg Children’s Museum, Lewisburg Community Garden, Lewisburg Downtown Partnership, Lewisburg Neighborhoods, Merrill W. Linn Land & Waterways Conservancy, Mother Maria Kaupas Center, SUMMIT Early Learning and the Bucknell Farm.

Toward the end of last spring semester, the CCA announced its transition from LinkedIn to Handshake. This network was founded in 2013 and was created by students at Michigan Tech University to bridge the opportunity gap in response to “the glaring inequality in career opportunities for students across the country.” It is now the leading budding career community in the United States. Having advanced platforms that are suitable for computer and smartphone use, they provide accessible and advantageous resources and opportunities for students to begin their career paths.

In response to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, Handshake has programmed further digital resources — namely, virtual career fairs. In addition to this, they have posted articles on their blog that share how these virtual events can be advantageous and offer useful tips on how to make the best use of them. 

The CCA on campus has also made an effort to provide additional assistance to students during this time. The CCA staff sends frequent emails to students about virtual fairs and help sessions, relay current information through the Message Center Digest daily emails and the Career Center tab on MyBucknell, and keep the University’s Handshake page updated with all appointments, resources/surveys, events and job applications.

For Tuesday’s virtual fair, students were instructed to sign up for group sessions and/or 1 on 1 video sessions with a staff member or director from each organization. Lewisburg Downtown Partnership was represented by their Executive Director, Ellen Ruby, who spoke about their various opportunities and answered questions from students. Similarly, Education Director Lindsey Walter spoke about the Lewisburg Children’s Museum. Carl Nelson, Education and Outreach Coordinator of the Lewisburg Community Garden and a staff member at the Office of Civil Engagement, represented both the Community Garden and the Bucknell Farm. This session included a PowerPoint and encouraged student involvement.

“While the fair was virtual via Handshake, I was still able to engage with program coordinators, ask meaningful questions and connect with amazing community service opportunities. I can’t wait to volunteer and contribute to the Lewisburg Children’s Museum,” Sarah Frischmann ’23 said.

“Although the community service fair was virtual this year it was still a good way to connect with different organizations to find a way to give back during these strange times,” Ryleigh McGaw ’24 said.

During these unstable times, with a global pandemic asserting its force, getting involved with community service and finding opportunities to give back to our community is more important than ever. For those who were unable to attend the Virtual Community Service Fair, more details can be found on the Civic Engagement page of the University’s website.

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