APU Business Careers Careers & Learning Leading Forward Podcast

Podcast: Job Seeking and Recruitment in the New Economy

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Podcast featuring Dr. Marie Gould HarperDean, Wallace E. Boston School of Business and
Audrey Cooper, Assistant Director, The College of New Jersey

How have career opportunities changed during the pandemic? Are fewer employers hiring? In this episode, APU Dean of the School of Business Dr. Marie Gould Harper talks to longtime academic career services advisor and human resources expert Audrey Cooper about the changes in hiring and recruitment in today’s economy. Learn about the current disconnect, where students believe there aren’t as many job opportunities, but employers say they’re not getting enough applicants. Also learn tips for how students can highlight their transferable skills, interview remotely, and be a competitive candidate in a global recruitment effort.

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Read the Transcript:

Dr. Marie Gould Harper: Welcome to our podcast today, I’m your host Marie Gould Harper. Today, we are going to talk about preparing graduates for the new norm. My guest is Audrey Cooper. I want to take a moment to provide some background information on her.

Audrey Cooper has over 20 years of experience working in higher ed organizations, meeting the needs of traditional and non-traditional aged students and alumni. Prior to her work in higher education, her career was focused on HR staffing and recruitment. Audrey combines both her HR experience and student affairs experience to help prepare individuals for the world of work. She has a master’s degree in human resource management, where she focuses her studies on recruitment and retention of women in the workplace.

Audrey is a member of the National Association of Colleges and Employers, National Career Development Association, and the Eastern Association of Colleges and Employers, where she received the Presidential citation, recognizing her dedication and hard work in supporting the organization’s mission.

Audrey combines her human resource and higher education experience to create programs, events, and opportunities to connect employers with talented student candidates. She is passionate about working with individuals to support their career explorations, development and preparation and serving as a catalyst in guiding individuals through their career journey. Audrey has held the position of assistant director in the office of career and leadership development at The College of New Jersey since 2014 and enjoys her role, bridging the connections between students and employers. Audrey, welcome to our podcast, and thank you for joining me.

Audrey Cooper: Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.

Dr. Marie Gould Harper: This is going to be great. We haven’t seen each other for about a decade, so things have changed a lot. And I think I’m going to jump in with a question about some of the changes. First of all, how has your job changed as a result of the pandemic?

Audrey Cooper: Well, interesting. I think just like everyone else, their entire way they work got completely changed. So we went remote, March 13th was the last day I was on our campus. March 13th was also a day I was facilitating a program that was scheduled to host over 900 interviews in a day, in person. So we had to move really quickly. The Monday before that was when we transitioned to a virtual program and it was just kind of a little bit of a peek into what we were all going to be working with and dealing with for that next year.

Things have changed significantly, we pivoted really quickly to be able to offer all of our supports online, our connections, our employers had to pivot really quickly. So it’s changed significantly, but also we have an opportunity to reach more students and alumni because there’s a little bit more flexibility, they don’t need to come to an office to see us.

So maybe they take a quick break from their work or from their studies, and then they get to have an appointment with us and connect with us. So, although it’s been challenging because working with students, we love the interaction and the face-to-face, it’s been a transition but we really have had the opportunity to connect in different ways.

Dr. Marie Gould Harper: Great. That’s good that your office was able to transition because that has been the concern of some individuals. Now with the transition, has there been a transition in connecting the employers with the students? Has there been any apprehension on the part of either party?

Audrey Cooper: Yes and no. I would say some of our employers were already really trying to host things online so they could travel less and meet with more people. So for them, it wasn’t as large of a transition. I think for our students, and this is really for students across the board, what I’ve been hearing is that they have felt like there are going to be no opportunities because of the pandemic.

And our employers are saying, “No, we still have opportunities, we’re just not getting the applicants.” So they need people to apply and become engaged. So it’s trying to bridge that gap between students thinking there are no opportunities and showing them that there are with these employers.

Dr. Marie Gould Harper: Okay. That makes sense, because I could see both parties making assumptions and that not really being the case. And I do know there have been times that I have heard, especially traditional students, their belief, not all of them, but some of them believe, that there are no opportunities so why go to an office such as yours?

How do you implement your plan in terms of getting out to the students that you are there, that you still are offering services to prepare them for meeting employers or even prepping their resumes for employers?

Audrey Cooper: Good question. And that has been the challenge even before we were remote, to sometimes say, “Hey, don’t forget about us.” We try to encourage students to come see us as first-year students. When they first join the TCNJ community, we want them to come be a part of what we’re doing.

And we’ve done that by connecting and becoming entrenched in the curriculum. So a lot of the faculty members utilize our office as assignments, we’re on the syllabus. So it forces the students to have to connect with us, and then they see all the resources and they say, “Oh, okay, great. Now I know that there are internships or there are opportunities to talk about if I want to change my major or how am I going to really think about this career path and explore different opportunities?”

So although it’s been challenging and I think for so many, the students get a lot of email, right? So that’s what we’re hearing from everybody. Everybody’s email is getting filled up with so much because that’s the way people are communicating mostly. And that was the case before, but now it seems like it’s increased exponentially.

And so we’re trying to be really specific and intentional about how we connect with our students. So social media, we have an Instagram account that we share a lot of information with. We utilize the different clubs and organizations, our student government to help us get the word out.

And our school is set up that we have liaisons. So I’m a liaison specifically to the schools of education, nursing and health and exercise science. And what that means is that I just work with the schools to help them in their programming and really connect with them.

We meet with all students, so I’ll meet with engineering students or business students, whatever it may be, but we’re connected with certain schools. So that allows me to build the relationship and the connections with the deans and assistant deans in those faculty. And they help us get the word out and encourage students to participate in the services that we have.

Dr. Marie Gould Harper: Okay. That seems like a good plan. Now you talked about your infrastructure at the office and especially given that you are working remotely, but let’s go on the employer side of the house. Is there a message that employers are sending you in regards of what types of graduates they are looking for this year?

Audrey Cooper: I would say that a lot of the employers that we’re connecting with, they’re looking for students that have flexibility because we’ve all seen that you need to be flexible, be able to be strong problem solvers with strong communication skills, follow through, time management.

Being able to understand that the world of work has changed significantly. And understanding that employers now have access to people all over the globe if they’re going to continue to have remote workplaces. So there can be additional competition, but there can also be additional opportunities.

So you can work for a company in California. So we are seeing more companies on a global level that are recruiting and connecting with our students and having that messaging that, “We’re going to work with you. We understand that if you live in New Jersey and our organization is in California, then we can make that work.”

Dr. Marie Gould Harper: Great. As you were sharing that information, I started to think about that. I was going to go into a different direction, but that is an opportunity for students to explore many different industries, if I want to use that particular word. Now, I don’t know how much they talk to you, do they discuss what they would do during the orientation process?

I know how it is normally before the pandemic, but now not only would they be interviewing students via Zoom or some other type of method, but the orientation. I’m sure the orientation would have to be remote as well. Have they discussed with you how they plan to do that, that’s different than the interview?

Audrey Cooper: Right. Absolutely. So the onboarding process has changed a bit. But the organizations have learned really quickly that they need to be able to provide those supports whether it’s having that onboarding and scheduling the meetings with the different team members, making sure that those things happen, even setting up IT and the technology that’s needed.

And then beyond that, building the social connection, because that’s an important aspect especially for what we’re finding with our traditional-aged students. That first job or that first internship, there still needs to be that social aspect, so people feel like they can connect with others and things like that. So they’re creating these social aspects, but virtual. So it might be a scavenger hunt or an online happy hour or whatever. So there are different ways that they’re connecting people and making them feel a part of their organization. Challenging, but still making them apart of it.

Dr. Marie Gould Harper: Okay. Now it seems like every time you say something, I think of something else and it’s down a different rabbit hole. But even as I was asking you questions, I really had the traditional working student in my head. You have worked with the older, working student. Have you seen a difference in the reaction of what is going on and how to better utilize your services?

Audrey Cooper: It has been very interesting. So we do have a graduate population at TCNJ, so more non-traditional students in that group and they’re embracing it in a different way. So the non-traditional students have really embraced technology and understood that this is something that’s not going away, that they really need to be able to focus and utilize it for their own good.

So having the flexibility is important too. So maybe there’s a working parent and they are looking for job opportunities, but they need some flexibility, being a remote worker provides that for them. It’s sometimes a juggle or a challenge, but it also provides that flexibility for them. So bringing them into the fold of our services and how we can support them, it has just been reaching out and connecting with those faculty in those different areas to encourage their utilization of our services.

Dr. Marie Gould Harper: Okay, because one of the things that I was thinking about was when I hear a student and I’m assuming again, a working adult, but in terms of age, if they are younger, they embrace the technology. But they would probably utilize your office more so because they want to understand what is the etiquette now with the new norm.

But with the older working students, more of the non-traditional, I see, I don’t want to say frustration, but they’re juggling balls more than usual. And by that, they’re trying to do their coursework, they may be in the process of interviewing, but they’re also taking care of things in a household and teaching their children. And the only word I can think of is fluster at times. And I wasn’t sure if you’ve experienced that and how do you hold their hand and get them through it, to let them know they can do it?

Audrey Cooper: Right. And you know what’s interesting? So we do see that with our older students, but I see it with the traditional-aged students, and I think it’s just the level of uncertainty. So we’ve also with our older students and this is for all of our students really, we’ve created opportunities to watch videos of what we’re doing.

We walk them through the process and actually show them how to utilize the different services whether it’s our recruitment tool and show them specifically, “This is how you register,” or create those step-by-step guides to be able for them to open up their document and say, “Okay, first step, go to this. Second step, go to this,” and really try to provide visual support as well.

And then there’s always the appointments where we are walking the students through the process or answering questions and connecting with them in those certain ways as well, to provide the supports. It really is interesting where there are a lot of extra things that are pulling at the working adult learner, right? There’s a lot of responsibilities and things that we need to pay attention to.

So offering our hours later at night seems to be working for them. So because they’re not teaching their child during the day or interviewing maybe at night works better for them to have an appointment. So we’re really pivoting and sharing and creating more opportunities for connections.

Dr. Marie Gould Harper: Okay, that’s good. It’s making them more comfortable and relaxed during this time. So I can see where not only are you helping them in terms of their future employment opportunities, but also just how to adjust to just doing things remotely and not necessarily being in front of a person.

Audrey Cooper: Right. It’s a different way to interview too. It is a totally different way to interview and being able to pay attention to what’s behind you and what noises are happening or what’s going on in the household. I was doing a session with one of the employers and for himself, he was providing information on how to interview and all of a sudden his daughter walked in and handed him a cup of coffee. And he was like, see, now this is what you have to be careful of. Be careful of these things and tell your family don’t come in. So even as myself, the working parent, I have my 12 year old downstairs right now and I’m like, “Do not come up in this room. Mom’s working.”

Dr. Marie Gould Harper: Yeah. And I’m sure sometimes they think everything is an emergency.

Audrey Cooper: Oh, absolutely, right?

Dr. Marie Gould Harper: And speaking of that, we were talking about proper etiquette. Are you getting anything from the employers in terms of dress attire since we tend to be so casual at home?

Audrey Cooper: Right, yeah. We’ve had some situations even before the pandemic where we had employers that were doing interviews remotely so they didn’t have to travel. And one student shared that they were dressed professionally from the waist up, and then the interviewer said, okay, can you stand up?

Dr. Marie Gould Harper: Oh my goodness.

Audrey Cooper: And they had sweat pants on. So what we have been sharing with the student is have your full traditional interview attire that you would wear if you were in person. It’s better to be overdressed, and this is whether it’s in person or online, better to be overdressed than underdressed in that scenario. And once you have the job, then you can be more casual if that’s what their culture is. But when you’re looking for the job and you’re the one trying to get the job, you need to make sure that you are professionally put together.

Dr. Marie Gould Harper: Exactly. I’m glad that you shared that because that’s been one of my concerns. I’ve spoken to a number of people who have done a remote interview, via Zoom or something. And some of the comments have been, they left feeling more uncertain than they have with other types of interview because they felt as though the interviews were harder than in-person. Are you hearing that, any comments about that?

Audrey Cooper: I do. I’ve heard that it’s just harder to connect. We’re social beings and it’s hard to read someone through Zoom or another camera or another way to be able to really read and see body language, right? So if you’re only seeing from the shoulders up, you can’t see how they’re holding themselves or maybe it’s hard to make eye contact. So those aspects can be really challenging.

So we do have a mock interview technology that we utilize in our office space called the Big Interview, and that gives students an opportunity to practice their interviewing skills in a remote environment. So it gives them feedback right away, and then we also provide mock interview appointments so they can meet with us and we can work through some of that.

But yeah, it’s been really interesting for students and even for the employers, because there’s also the challenge of what do you see behind somebody? That’s also an aspect for students. Make sure that you determine that your background, there’s nothing, or they can’t tell different things about you perhaps. We want to make sure that there’s no opportunity for discrimination, right? We want to make sure that… Even employers have said, “If we can see a messy closet behind you, that’s going to make us fearful. Close that closet and make it so we can’t see that.”

Dr. Marie Gould Harper: Yeah. That’s funny because as I sit here, when I was creating my space, one of the spaces, it’s pretty much like if you’re trying to sell your house, you make it as bland as possible, or maybe only a couple of things that show that you are still present there. But I have found that I get distracted if I’m on a Zoom session and the person’s background is busy. Nice and neat, but busy, I get off-focus. And I think that’s part of the message that I’m trying to say. Sometimes you don’t know who your interviewer is going to be, you don’t know their personality. So there’s the safe zone, some things just to do.

Audrey Cooper: Absolutely. I have a funny story of a student that I was working with and we were doing a mock interview and they had their blinds wide open, and all I could see was the light behind them. I’m like, “You have to close that. If you’re having an interview, you can’t just be this blob, that’s the shadow.” And then the student closed the blinds and I’m like, “Okay thanks so much. And then on the wall, I saw this big beer sign and I’m like, “Okay, you can’t have a beer sign behind your head either. These are things you need to pay attention to.”

And in a couple of previous roles I’ve heard, employers say, “Well, the messy closet, or you could see people walking behind them and that was really distracting. Or they were in a Starbucks,” obviously pre-pandemic. “And so there was a lot going on behind them and it was hard to pay attention.” So really making sure that your environment around you, especially stuff that you can mostly control. Even if you have a small space, you can try to tuck yourself into a corner and adjust your camera that way, so there’s nothing behind you. Or like you said, maybe a plant or something small that’s not going to distract people.

Dr. Marie Gould Harper: Exactly. As we were talking about that, another thought came to my mind, when we were talking about you don’t want to have anything that would allow a person to discriminate against you. But I was thinking about issues such as the digital divide.

So many, even students have been used to being able to go somewhere else, if they did not have the means to accomplish the setting. And what has been your experience or what are you hearing in terms of students feeling as though that the place they live may not be appropriate to do a Zoom call. Or the objects that are in their space may not be the most professional? How do you deal with students who their means may not be able to support what we consider to be professional etiquette?

Audrey Cooper: Right. Absolutely. And that’s where we try to find in a “normal” setting where we’re on campus. We do have interview rooms for students to be able to utilize. So it’s a quiet space, it’s like a conference room and things of that sort. But there are different ways that you can adjust.

If you have a friend, if you have someone, a different family member that maybe you can utilize their space, or one of your peers in a class like, “Do you mind if I use one of your rooms?” Or something of that sort. Or even just utilizing one of the fake backgrounds. You can create a space where if you’re on a blank wall, you can have that fake background and upload that right into Zoom, and that can be your background. I’ve seen people on tropical islands as their background, or there’s also some other spaces that I’ve seen.

You can go to a local library and see if you can utilize a space there. A lot of times they will have rooms that can be utilized as well. Even different social service buildings will provide an opportunity for you to have some space, it really depends. Community centers, they’re obviously sometimes a little bit different now because of the pandemic and restrictions, but there are more and more opportunities to be able to find some different spaces.

If your car is quiet and you’re able to use your phone and connect it to your laptop or whatever means, or there are times that you can explain to an employer that your internet maybe isn’t very reliable at this point. Is there an opportunity, maybe they have an office that you can go into and utilize. So employers are being really flexible in those types of scenarios as well.

Dr. Marie Gould Harper: As you were speaking I was like, one of my concerns would be, what if I lose internet connection in the middle of the interview? It’s like a great fear, probably unnecessary, but that’s my little pet peeve.

Audrey Cooper: I do encourage students to make sure they get a phone number or contact information too, in case there is some sort of internet breakdown per se. And that’s definitely something that employers are a little bit more understanding with too. It’s not like the student is trying to get up and walk out of the interview in the middle of the session, it’s just the technology failed. And it happens. It happens as professionals, it happens…Even recently, snowblower, right? There’s so much snow happening in the Northeast. I was on a meeting with a student and I was like, “I am so sorry. Someone’s out there shoveling and snow blowing,” and it was all this background noise, but everybody understands it just is becoming the norm now.

Dr. Marie Gould Harper: Okay. That’s great. And I like the fact that different groups of individuals are collaborating with one another to make the best of the situation and are being understanding. So that’s a plus for humanity, that’s how I take it.

Now we’ve talked about students preparing them, in terms of what to expect, we’ve talked about the employers and their expectation. I’m going to move to your professional associations. You’re involved in a number of them. What kind of conversations are being held at those type of meetings as it relates to the world of work?

Audrey Cooper: So a lot of different things. So obviously with the pandemic and how we can make sure those connections are continuing to happen between employers and students and people looking for work and job opportunities, but also diversity and inclusion and what that means.

There are a lot of conversations around how we can help in our industry, in our field and how we can help bridge the gap and make sure that we are a part of the solution to diversity, equity and inclusion, with making sure that we are really connecting with employers that have strong diversity statements. And truly live it and breathe it and act on it instead of just having it as something on their website.

And then beyond, how the pandemic is going to change what we do in our industry and career services and career development, and then how employers are changing and how maybe there’s going to be less office space and more people working from home and how that’s going to change how people work and how people connect socially and how they connect with colleagues and peers.

So there’s a lot of conversation and just getting people involved and engaged. There was a time and sometimes it dips a little bit still, but at the start of the pandemic, it seemed like we just lost the students. They just disappeared. They went quiet for a while, I think because they were all just adjusting to what was happening in the world, focusing on their studies.

So TCNJ has been on-campus, not ever remote or online campus. So for our students, it was a big adjustment, but everybody did it and they did it wonderfully. And faculty were amazing and the staff, everybody came together. So there was a lot of talk in our professional associations about how we can still engage students without overdoing it. Because probably like you and I, they get a lot of messaging. And so how can we be really strategic in our messaging and not overwhelm them with content?

Dr. Marie Gould Harper: Exactly. And that’s one of the things that was an area of concern, that we don’t overdo it because when we tend to do that, then they’re not looking at anything and losing out on a lot of good information.

Audrey Cooper: Right. That happened recently. I had a student get in touch with me and say, “I didn’t know that this workshop was taking place.” And I was like, “You’ve got an email four times in the last month and a half that,” I don’t know.

Dr. Marie Gould Harper: They probably say, “Oh, I stopped reading those, but…”

Audrey Cooper: Right, yeah. “I stopped paying attention.”

Dr. Marie Gould Harper: Yes. Is there anything else that you would want to share in terms of what is the best preparation? And also one of the questions we didn’t dive into a lot was: Are you hearing from employers as well as at your professional association meetings of thinking of the next two to five years as being the interim economy? So there’s a set of things that they’re doing just to get back to where they were and then the thought of developing a strategic plan for the long term.

Audrey Cooper: Right. So I love that you brought that up. We have heard from some different employers and this was through professional associations of webinars and panels that I was sitting in on, of employers that talked about how they stopped their internship programs and hiring and the cycle in 2008, when everything went really bad with the economy. And they found that it caused them such a hard time to catch up, that they have learned from that lesson and they’re still going to recruit, create internship opportunities and create that pipeline of employees and leaders in their organization.

So that was really nice to hear. And I think that’s a great, positive thing to focus on, that employers that have gone through 2008, they may have to adjust, but they’re still looking to be able to create the pipeline for talent. So there are going to be opportunities.

They might be different, they might be part-time, they might be contract work. We do encourage even students that had their internships canceled because of COVID, there are different micro internships and different micro-internship opportunities that they can participate in. So it’s more project-based work. But it’s a way to gain experience for organizations and companies all over and begin to help your networking and staying connected with people.

So I would say that in the next two to five years, there may be a smaller number of opportunities, but there will still be opportunities out there and really making sure that you’re flexible and understanding that it may not be your first choice of an opportunity, but if you make the best of it and learn from it, when the economy starts to pick up, and when there are more opportunities, you’re going to have so many other skills that are going to be valuable to an employer that you’d want to work for.

Dr. Marie Gould Harper: Okay, great. I like when you mentioned the mini-internships, I think that’s a good idea. It gives them the opportunity to work with an employer, but also it may open the door for more opportunities to do that same type of mini-internship with someone else. And I think that would broaden their network, would you agree?

Audrey Cooper: Yes, absolutely. And micro internships tend to have really taken off during the pandemic because there were opportunities that got canceled, right? So you can’t run a full internship program when all of a sudden your work base is switched to remote and you’re supposed to have 30 interns.

So there are students that had their opportunities canceled, but these micro internships give an opportunity to work for different organizations. Again, that global aspect, get paid because they are paid micro internships, and be able to build skills and build your resume. So it’s building your resume, it’s building your skills and also building your network and connections.

Dr. Marie Gould Harper: Great. Again, we were talking and I was like, here’s an opportunity to just connect collaboration with networking. And I think that will be good for anyone. It is a way to get exposure to a number of other different types of companies. And you can share your thoughts with me on some of our students are transitioning careers. Has your approach to that population been different or you’re using the same techniques and tips that you have shared thus far?

Audrey Cooper: It’s so individualized. So it really depends and really thinking about, and this can be somebody that is transitioning into a different career, or even just transitioning into a different company or an organization, really looking at the skills that you have developed or how you’ve developed them. Those transferable skills are really essential when you’re highlighting your experiences and being able to speak to those transferable skills. Maybe you don’t have experience in one particular area, but maybe you have a different type of experience that transfers or translates into those types of skills.

So understanding that, and I always say, look at your resume as a potential employer, instead of, as yourself. You want to make sure that when you have your resume and you apply to a position, that you are solving a problem for the employer. You’re taking the guesswork away from them, you are showing them, “Here are the skills that you’re looking for,” because you saw that on that posting, or you heard about that from that person you networked with and, “These are my skills. This is how I can help you. This is how I can be that solved problem for you. I can help you solve that problem by you hiring me.”

Because employers are looking for people to help solve problems, right? And to make sure that maybe you don’t have the exact experience, but maybe you have very similar experience and tell them how that is a win-win for them. How are they going to get something positive out of your experience in maybe a different industry or different career, whether that’s the soft skills or tangible skills, whatever it might be. You have to make sure that you’re looking at it as a potential employer and really highlighting your experiences appropriately.

Dr. Marie Gould Harper: Well said. And your comments also tied to something we touched on before, and that was EDI. When I think of that, I know a lot of people go to demographics, but it’s more than that. And I think this pandemic gives them opportunity for exposure to people who think differently and may do things differently because now we have the remote capacity.

So like you mentioned earlier, it might be a person in New Jersey that is interviewing with somebody in California when they are asking about, “How can you assist our company?” Some of the things done in this region may be totally different than what’s done on the West coast. So there’s an opportunity to share what you will bring to the table versus trying to be in a cookie cutter format.

Audrey Cooper: Right. And really being able to highlight your skills and what makes you an outstanding candidate is what employers are looking for. Even if you aren’t the fit that they’re looking for, make them understand that you can bring some other things.

And I think employers are now starting to really embrace different ways of thinking and being able to say, “Okay, well geographic boundaries don’t really matter anymore. And you don’t necessarily have to travel to be able to go connect with someone.” You also, if you’re in a different geographic area, you bring a different network to them as well.

So there are different ways that you can really look to say, “Hey, this is me, and this is what I bring to the table,” and be confident in that. An interview is just as much you interviewing them to make sure they’re a right fit for you, as them interviewing you. And I think that sometimes there’s that disconnect and people feel like, “Oh, please give me the job. Please give me the job.” But you know what? If it’s not going to be the right fit for you, you don’t want that job. So it’s your chance to figure out if they’re right for you also.

Dr. Marie Gould Harper: Exactly. I think because you and I come from HR, we know the importance of the right fit. I’m not going to say the best fit, but I too usually tell people, think of it as a relationship, a marriage that you just don’t want that person to take you, spend all your time on getting them to like you, but you have to like them as well.

Audrey Cooper: Right. Understand, ask questions. When I have my workshops on interviewing, I always put samples of questions that people can ask in an interview. But I always say, do not use these. These are my questions. These are my examples. And what’s important to me might not be as important to you. You have to really think about what you want to know about a potential employer. You need to understand them so when you get into that position that you are going to feel like that’s the right culture for you, because if not, you’re going to be looking for a job in another year.

Dr. Marie Gould Harper: Yes. And I believe that’s some of the concern just because of the pandemic, but there are different things that we can do to prevent that from happening and make it a very authentic type of interview experience. Yeah. Well, Audrey, I want to thank you so much for joining me today and sharing your expertise. Do you have any last words that you would like to leave us with?

Audrey Cooper: I would just say research, prepare and practice.

Dr. Marie Gould Harper: Oh, I like that. And you said that was such force, so it sounds like you’re doing a good job with your students.

Audrey Cooper: Thank you. It was such a pleasure to be here, and I really appreciate the conversation and the opportunity to connect with you again and share a little bit of information and “use your career services.” I would say that so many people wait until they’re graduating or it’s at the end, use them at the beginning, use them at the start. Do your research even before, know who they’re hiring, know who they’re working with. It’s there.

Dr. Marie Gould Harper: Great. Those were some good tips too. Sometimes we forget, but thank you for reminding us. We have been speaking with Audrey Cooper. This is Marie Gould Harper, thanking you for listening to our podcast today.

Dr. Marie Gould Harper is the Dean of the School of Business at American Public University. She holds an undergraduate degree in psychology from Wellesley College, a master’s degree in instructional systems from Pennsylvania State University and a doctorate in business from Capella University. She is a progressive coach, facilitator, writer, strategist, and human resources/organizational development professional with more than 30 years of experience.

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