University of Arkansas

Walton College

The Sam M. Walton College of Business

Cultivating Skills for the Virtual Job Market

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May 06, 2021

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A career management badge system at the University of Arkansas prepares students to find jobs in the post-pandemic workplace.

Even during a global pandemic, students continue to graduate, and they continue to seek jobs. But the framework they must follow to find employment has changed drastically over the past year. As students have entered a world of online career fairs, Zoom interviews, and virtual company visits, they’ve needed to be more innovative than ever to set themselves apart. That’s why it’s important for business schools to make sure students can combine traditional and virtual job-seeking skills.

To help students become better virtual job hunters, the University of Arkansas’ Sam M. Walton College of Business in Fayetteville created the Career Management Badge. The badge is part of S.A.M. (Students Achieving Milestones), the college’s career readiness program. Initially piloted to help supply chain management students prepare to meet employers in the virtual space, the badge program has been expanded to allow all business students to participate.

As we created this badge program, we discovered that some students understand better than others what it will take to find positions in today’s market. The Career Management badge is optional, but some classes participating in Leadership Walton, our undergraduate professional development program, promote the badge as part of their point structure. Students have options to do other, similar work instead, but so far 100 percent of students who participate in courses promoting the badge have participated in parts of the badge program. However, we also have found that all students can benefit from enhancing their tech savvy and learning more about what it takes to effectively navigate their virtual job searches.

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Walton College

Walton College of Business

Since its founding at the University of Arkansas in 1926, the Sam M. Walton College of Business has grown to become the state's premier college of business – as well as a nationally competitive business school. Learn more...

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