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Please visit our COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) Updates page for all developments.

CDO FAQs & COVID-19

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 dsepp@vassar.edu 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 cdo@vassar.edu with your availability and someone will get back to you. 

*Note: Google Meet/Hangouts is our default video chat platform; we are also available via Zoom. 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

 
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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 cdo@vassar.edu and they will be forwarded to a member of our counseling staff.
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I wasn't able to attend a virtual event. Is it possible to get a recording?

Yes! We are recording all CDO 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 jaswanson@vassar.edu.

 
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What should I do if I am currently applying to or interviewing for summer internships or post-grad jobs?

Keep applying and interviewing! Many employers are now holding online or virtual interviews. The situation is rapidly changing and we don’t know when hiring will be back to normal, so prepare for multiple possibilities. Additionally, use tools like VassarNet and LinkedIn to continue to reach out to people within your network (and the Vassar network); many will do what they can to be helpful and may have the most ability to create creative, remote opportunities in the face of uncertainty.
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What is happening with the job market? Will entry-level hiring and internships be affected?

We are keeping a close watch on how COVID-19 is impacting job and internship prospects for our students. Students, job seekers and employers have begun to compile information about organizations and their hiring statuses here:

https://candor.co/hiring-freezes/ (more focused on full-time hiring)

https://github.com/gcreddy42/hiring2020/ (more focused on internships)


Do you have an update from an employer on your internship or job? Please share with the CDO here!

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

This is a complicated time and both students and employers are having to adapt and be creative. Check out the Making the Most of Your Summer: Choose Your Own Adventure for ideas and resources on what to do this summer. Consider opportunities to learn and pick up new skills virtually; LinkedIn Learning is a great tool for learning a new software program and so much more. Micro-Internships are paid short term projects you can do right now. In partnership with Parker Dewey, a platform where 100’s of companies and non-profits go to hire students for short-term (5-40 hours) paid projects, the Career Development Office has arranged for Vassar to have its own portal where alumni, parents and friends can add their own paid projects. This is a great way for you to gain valuable work experience and earn some money starting right now. Sign up for your account here. 

You can also make an appointment with a staff member to discuss your situation and brainstorm ideas.

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I have already accepted a full-time or internship position. How should I check in with my employer on the status of my position?

If you have accepted an opportunity for a full-time or internship position, check in via email; a sample message is included below.

Sample email:

Dear (insert name of supervisor or HR contact here),


I hope that this finds you and your team at (insert name of employer here) safe and well in these uncertain and unprecedented times. Given these challenging circumstances, I am writing to see if you are able to share with me any insight on my position as (insert position title here) for this summer. Would you be able to provide me with an update on the current status of my position at this point in time? I would greatly appreciate any information that you can offer, so that I can continue to prepare accordingly. 

I remain committed and excited about the opportunity to work with you this summer and look forward to hearing from you soon. Thank you in advance for your consideration.


Sincerely,

(insert your full name here)

 
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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.

Sincerely,

Name

 
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Can an employer rescind my offer due to COVID-19?

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.
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Can I still apply to the Internship Grant Fund (IGF) and other Vassar-funded opportunities and programs?

We are currently continuing to review IGF applications weekly and make preliminary awards. College travel restrictions may impact the availability of Vassar funds to support summer experiences. Check https://www.vassar.edu/coronavirus-updates/#travel-policy-updates for the latest information. If you have questions, email igf@vassar.edu.
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Will there be any career fairs or online sessions to interact with employers?

Vassar is shifting in-person career and recruiting events based on employers’ availability to online sessions. Many employers are already planning to host virtual events and information sessions; check the Handshake calendar for details!
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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. 

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