Handshake User Conference 2018 in New Orleans

Discussions at HUC 2018 centered around democratizing opportunity, access, and credential for every student.
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Just a few weeks ago, Team Handshake came together in New Orleans for our 3rd annual User Conference. Ahead of NACE’s annual gathering, more than 500 career services professionals from across the country came together on Tulane University’s campus to share best practices, connect over gumbo, and most importantly — talk through the ways we can continue to democratize opportunity for all our students.

Our conversations centered around three key themes: democratizing opportunity, access, and credentials.

Democratize Opportunity.

Help every student find a job and build the foundations of a meaningful career.

Our COO Jon Stull discussed a recent study from the Strada Institute of Work and from Burning Glass Technologies finding that 43% of college graduates are underemployed — meaning they are in jobs that don’t require a bachelor’s degree. More than ever, the first job out of school is critical and those who start out behind tend to stay behind. At the conference we reflected how the Great Recession has changed the job market landscape and what we can all do to help change the odds and expand opportunities, information, and connections especially for students from underrepresented backgrounds.


Democratize Access.

Every student has the opportunity to discover and apply to every job, internship, and post-grad opportunity.

We held fireside chats on broadening access to opportunity and improving economic mobility for Gen Z students with two esteemed education policy experts, Eric Waldo and Peggy G. Carr. Mr. Waldo and Dr. Carr discussed the importance of listening to students, asking for what they want instead of developing solutions in a vacuum, and leveraging analytics to better serve marginalized students. There were also several breakout sessions led by our team and university partners on Handshake’s reporting tools to support student and employer engagement.


Handshake Employer Panel featuring Google, Deloitte, IBM and a local New Orleans School District.

Democratize Credentials.

Every student can show off her best self; a truly holistic picture of what she can offer employers.

Our Head of People and Talent Madeline Kolbe-Saltzman facilitated an employer panel with representatives from Google, Deloitte, IBM, and a local school district to discuss recruiting strategies to engage Gen-Z and break down the barriers to information as to what employers are currently looking for. On the panel and in several breakout sessions and informal conversations, we acknowledged that employers are looking for skills and not majors and how Handshake helps employers expand their outreach.

Now that we’re back from New Orleans and had our fill of beignets, gumbo, and music, we want to make sure the conversation can continue across Team Handshake! We invite our community to plug into the following resources as we head into the rest of summer and prepare for the fall recruiting season:

  • Participate in the Handshake Career Services Community — join the conversation! We’d love to hear how we can support you this back to school.
  • Continue sharing your stories, insights, and thoughts under the #TeamHandshake hashtag on Twitter.


For Employers

For students