Mary Grace von Thron, Campus Carrier deputy news editor

The CPPD now allows students to utilize “Zoom rooms” to conduct interviews for jobs or internships in a professional setting. The rooms, like the one pictured above, can be reserved on Handshake. Rette Solomon | Campus Carrier

The Center for Personal and Professional Development (CPPD) has created rooms for students to use specifically for internships or job interviews.

“We have heard from other students that they often are scrambling looking for places to go with good internet and good lighting, [for interviews],” Dean of Personal and Professional Development Marc Hunsaker said.

The idea for Zoom rooms originated in the Campbell School of Business last semester and was originally only used by business students. After hearing about these rooms, Hunsaker was inspired to have Zoom rooms be a part of the CPPD’s offerings.

“We said, ‘hey, we’ve got a couple of career peer advising rooms that get used a couple of times a day, so why not?” Hunsaker said. “Why not designate these as rooms and see what kind of traffic and traction they get?”

Hunsaker tested out Zoom rooms with some members of the Gate of Opportunity scholarship. After previewing these rooms to them, Hunsaker said a handful of students were eager to know when they would be able to use Zoom rooms in the future.

“We knew we were probably onto something,” Hunsaker said.

Although Zoom backgrounds are not the most important aspect of an interview, director of career development Sue Tarpley believes that having a professional background can make all the difference to a future employer in an interview. 

“When it comes to interviews, you are competing against other folks,” Tarpley said. “And so sometimes it’s the smaller details that make a big difference and if an employer isn’t distracted by your background or the noise around you, that could lead to a much more productive conversation. It also allows you not to have to worry about those items as well.”

Tarpley hopes that utilizing these Zoom room will alleviate pressure for students relieving any worry about potentially distracting the interviewer.

According to Hunsaker, each room is equipped with professional lighting and a computer. Students can opt to use their own device for their interview or the computer provided by the CPPD. 

In addition to providing students with a clean place to conduct their interviews, the CPPD plans to add a closet of professional clothing for students to wear during their interview.

“Whenever you do Zoom rooms, generally it’s business from the top up,” Hunsaker said. “So you don’t have to have a full suit or anything. We have a couple of shirts and ties and blouses in the closet right outside the zoom rooms.”

Currently there are two Zoom rooms in use at the CPPD. One can be reserved online, while the other is used as a backup for students who drop in.

Students can reserve the room through Handshake at berry.joinhandshake.com. Once the student is logged in, they will go to the career center link where they will click on the appointments tab and select the tab that says “Select Virtual Interview Room Reservation.” Students are given the option to use the Zoom room for 60 minutes or 90 minutes.

The CPPD is currently working on a brand background for the Zoom room with the Berry logo.

For more information on Zoom rooms and what else the CPPD has to offer, log on to Handshake or visit the CPPD in Krannert 311.

Posted by Campus Carrier

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