If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything over the past 20 months, it’s the need to be agile, flexible and adaptable. As the world shutdown in an effort to stem its spread, organizations needed to quickly pivot with purpose. At Ivey, the most obvious pivot was shifting the classroom online, but similar efforts took place in every department, notably Career Management.
Home to one of the largest and most qualified departments in North America, Ivey’s Career Management team’s central mandate is to provide students the tools to navigate their career paths in the future. During prime recruiting season the Ivey Building is normally buzzing with a myriad of corporate recruiters looking to meet talented prospects, but with the hallways quiet and empty, the Career Management team needed to adapt.
“Very quickly we pivoted to a virtual delivery of all career programming and implementation of networking and recruiting events,” said Catherine Chandler-Crichlow, Executive Director, Ivey’s Career Management and Corporate Recruiting. “In large part, this was beneficial to students as we were able to provide increased access to alumni across the globe and help facilitate 1:1 introductions, coffee chats, and networking activities alike.”
With corporate recruitment and job hunting moving online, Ivey’s Career Management team looked towards arming students with advanced technological tools to improve their presentation and interviewing skills.
As the workplaces began to interact on platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams, Career Management emphasized programming for students to embrace the reality of a virtual world.
Enter VideoBio, an AI-based application for students across all programs to prepare for virtual interviews at anytime and from anywhere.
“My time in the MBA was the first time I had ever really participated in video interviews,” said Olivia George-Parker, MBA Direct ’21. “As such, I wanted to spend a lot of time practicing to refine my delivery and online presence.”
VideoBio allows students to record, re-watch, and share interviews with Ivey’s career advisors.
“I really liked the feature of being able to customize the experience by inserting my own questions in order to practice for a specific upcoming interview,” continued George-Parker. “I would definitely recommend this tool to future MBA students, especially as virtual work and virtual recruiting will continue to be present in the coming years.”
The software also incorporates artificial intelligence capabilities, providing nuanced, real-time feedback.
“It helped me recognize what image and personality traits I was projecting to the interviewer,” said Edzel Tabing, MBA ’21. “A common piece of feedback I received from mock interview partners was that I needed to bring out more "energy". I didn't quite understand it at first, but Videobio broke down the dimensions of "energy" and suggested some helpful hints how to achieve that, such as by using other words and adjusting my inflection.”
The incorporation of technology is just one example of tools the Career Management team is bringing to the table. Other resources include alumni panel sessions focused on virtual recruiting, updating the Career Management Handbook featuring tips for developing professional online presence, and the Emerald Inc. networking simulation exercise.
As we have seen, the pandemic has forced workplaces to change. Even as the work world begins to return to normalcy, it’s essential Ivey remains ahead of the curve.
“Our corporate partners continue to adopt new technologies, such as AI or digital transformations to support their strategic initiatives and recruiting efforts, so we need to be aware of those workforce trends to monitor the changing nature of work in our companies,” said Chandler-Crichlow.