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recVirtual CDO FAQs

The Career Development Office is open and providing resources, appointments, and events virtually. Please see below for a list of commonly asked questions. Have a question not answered here? Email us at

How will I have access to CDO staff? Can I still make an appointment?

CDO will continue to be accessible for video and phone appointments.

Students: Schedule appointments online via Handshake.
Alumnae/i: Email our Alumnae/i Career Counselor, Deidre Sepp, at with questions or to schedule an appointment.

Extended appointment times are available for those in different time zones. If you have any difficulty scheduling appointments in Handshake, simply email with your availability and someone will get back to you. 
*Note: Zoom is our default video appointment platform; we are also available via Google Hangouts. When you make the appointment you will select “Appointment medium” and select your preferred video platform. Your counselor will send you a video appointment link via Google Calendar. If you prefer to speak by phone, please include the best number to reach you in your appointment request. Your counselor will contact you at the start of your appointment


Will there be any online drop-ins where I can ask questions and get my resume reviewed?

We are offering a 15-minute appointment type for Quick Questions -- schedule on Handshake. Resumes and other documents can be reviewed via email. Send any questions or documents that need review (resumes, cover letters, application essays, etc.) to in an editable format (eg, MS Word, Google Doc, or Pages) and they will be forwarded to a member of our counseling staff.


Will there be any workshops, information sessions, or alumnae/i panels this semester?

Yes! We are continuing to offer workshops, employer and grad school info sessions, and other events virtually. Check the Handshake calendar for details!


I wasn't able to attend a CDO-hosted virtual event. Is it possible to get a recording?

Yes! We are recording most* CDO-hosted alumnae/i career chats, panels, information sessions, and workshops so that students who are not available at the time they are offered can access them. View the recordings here.

Additionally, if you want to be connected to any of the featured alumnae/i and any of the resources they may recommend in these recordings, please reach out to Jannette Swanson at

*Note: Sessions that are more conversational or interactive in nature, or those that convene participants around identity-based conversations, are not typically recorded.

Will I be able to leave campus to take a graduate/professional entrance exam?

Depending on what types of graduate/professional schools you are preparing for and the exam(s) needed, online options may be available that would allow you to test without leaving campus. Currently, the LSAT, GRE, and GMAT are all offering test-takers the ability to test online and remotely-proctored. The Campus Activities Office is working to identify quiet spaces on campus that may be reserved as an alternative to testing in your room on campus. Only the MCAT requires an in-person administration. 

In-person testing options for the GRE, in particular, vary depending on the test and geographic location, and appear to be limited in many instances.

For advice about when and how to test, reach out to the Career Development Office (law and graduate school -, the Office of Fellowships and Pre-health Advising (medical school -, or your faculty advisor.

Students may reserve private space for standardized tests on campus through the Office of Campus Activities at the following link:

To request permission to leave campus to take a graduate admission test, fill out this form

Note: Please include your confirmed test date and test center location in your request. Requests to leave campus for testing needs will be reviewed every Tuesday so plan accordingly. Requests to leave campus for tests where there is a virtual/online testing option are not likely to be approved. We want to minimize students needing to leave campus as much as possible in order to keep them and our community safe. Students are welcome to email Erika Pappas, Director of Case Management, with any questions at

See below for more information about each test and current options.


ETS is currently offering an online GRE At Home option. At home administrations are currently available around the clock, seven days a week, with appointments available as early as 24 hours after you register.
The GRE is also administered at local testing centers. Individuals can sign up for the in-person GRE in Poughkeepsie. However, there does not seem to be too many available openings in Poughkeepsie through mid-October (about two seats per available day). There are additional centers with available seats this fall, around 50+ miles away.

The  LSAT-Flex (online and remotely proctored) will continue to be offered through April 2021.

The GMAT has an online remotely proctored option, GMAT™ Online. Like the GRE, the GMAT is available in-person at testing centers (Pearson). 

MCAT does not have an online option; would be required to take the test off-campus. 



Can I reserve a quiet space for my virtual job/internship/grad school interview?

Yes! Students may reserve private space for interviews through the Office of Campus Activities at the following link:

Whether you are interviewing from an alternate space on campus or your own dorm room/bedroom, check out these tips for How to Look Better on Zoom.

Consider a mock interview to prepare and get feedback! Schedule on Handshake or by emailing


How can I get experience if I’m at home?

Check out the advice and events we have compiled for ideas about how to use the extended winter break! You can also make an appointment with a staff member to discuss your situation and brainstorm ideas.


Can I still reach out to alumnae/i for networking during this time?

Yes! The Vassar network is brimming with goodwill, and we know alumnae/i will help wherever and whenever they can. VassarNet, LinkedIn, and the Alum Directory are all great resources. When you reach out, do so with the recognition that it is a challenging time for all of us and not everyone may be in a position to help. Offer to reconnect at a later date. Focus on gathering information about how an industry has been affected by COVID-19, rather than asking for a job or internship. Below is a sample message you can use as a guide:

Dear [First Name],

I am currently a [insert class year] at Vassar College majoring in [insert major(s)], and I noticed your profile on [VassarNet / LinkedIn / Alumnae/i Directory] when I was looking for alumnae/i that are working in the [insert industry]. My primary reason for reaching out is to seek your insight and advice as I seek to navigate my [job / internship] search in the [insert industry] in light of COVID-19.

I recognize that the COVID-19 scenario is fluid, and what might be accurate today could quickly change by tomorrow. I welcome any insight you might have about how your field is adapting to this ongoing situation, whether [jobs / internships] might be available in the near future, or if any remote opportunities may be in development. I am also exploring creative ways that I might be able to make the most of my summer if COVID-19 prevents me from being able to secure an opportunity right away.

Would you be available for a 30 minute informational interview so that I can learn more about how you and your organization have been impacted by COVID-19 and get your advice for my upcoming summer? I’d be happy to connect by Zoom, Google Hangouts, Facetime, or the phone -- whatever is most convenient for you. I also understand that now might not be a good time; if that’s the case, I am happy to reconnect at a later date.

Thank you in advance for your consideration.




Can an employer rescind my offer?

The short answer is yes. Most positions are “at-will” and you or the employer can change your employment situation at any time. Early reports suggest that some employers are freezing new hiring or cancelling internship programs. If you received a contract or written job offer, consult it closely. If you have specific questions, log in to Handshake and make an appointment with a staff member to discuss your situation.


What other resources are available?

There is no doubt that these are challenging and stressful times for all of us. The Vassar Counseling Service has compiled helpful information for students on- and off-campus to access mental health resources. Additionally, Vassar Counseling Service subscribes to an on-line program called T.A.O. that provides self-help modules (anyone with a Vassar email can log on and access these tools). EmpowerWork is a nonprofit founded by Vassar alumna Jaime-Alexis Fowler '08 that provides free, anonymous support for tough work situations. Anyone in the U.S. can immediately connect with a trained peer counselor via text or web chat to feel heard, supported, and if needed, connected to resources.