Virtual Career Fair is one of my absolute favorite use cases for Blackboard Collaborate’s breakout rooms. The following is another of my bright ideas and has happened in my imagination only, so far! Imagine with me, if you will…you’ve been invested financially, emotionally, educationally and personally in obtaining your degree for 4+ years and graduation is rapidly nearing. The economy…well the economy sucks! Word around campus is there are a very limited number of jobs for me in my field and they are hugely competitive given the number of unemployed in my geographic area.
My anxiety about graduation, job hunting and my career starting are at an all time high. Then I get an email from my school’s Office of Career Counseling inviting me to a Virtual Career Fair at 7pm this Monday night online. Sounds interesting and since I’m graduating in 2 months and still have no job offers, I will plan to attend.
Monday night rolls around and I log into a Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing room and am surprised to see that 282 of my fellow classmates are participating as well. As I scroll down the long list of moderators and participants I see about 20 different breakout rooms listed. Each breakout room is named to reflect the company that is represented. A few of those are US Army, Apple, Wells Fargo, Starbuck’s, Best Buy, General Motors, Hitachi, Sanyo, Kirin Brewery, IKEA and MANY more. Here in the main room my Career Counselor is explaining that each breakout room has a Human Resources representative who is familiar with jobs available at their corporation and the requirements, pay and applications for employment. My counselor explains that all I have to do is click my own name and drag/drop myself into the breakout room that interests me. EASY & FANTASTIC!
My first stop? Starbucks of course! I easily drag/drop myself into the Breakout Room named Starbuck’s and about 15 of my classmates are already in there. After about 5 minutes listening to Andrea, the Starbuck’s representative, I decide that my skills are not right for the jobs available so I head on over to the IKEA breakout room. They have engineering and designing positions that are right up my alley. The next 20 minutes was spent speaking directly to Hans, the Hiring Manager of IKEA’s international engineering team. Well…good for me! Hans assured me that my educational experience is perfect. Hans file transferred the application for employment to me and by the end of the week I had an online interview scheduled with the Engineering and Design director of IKEA.
IKEA has affordable solutions for better living and now I have a great job with a great company thanks to the Virtual Career Fair my school coordinated using Blackboard Collaborate’s web conferencing.
We should all be thinking outside of the virtual box as we explore ways to support learning and career development. If have used breakout rooms in a similar manner we would love to learn about the scenario, impact it played and any other insight you want to provide. Look here for more of my own bright ideas about creative uses for Collaborate.