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Career Readiness Resources during COVID-19

With these ever-changing times, you may find yourself wondering what to do next when it comes to your career or securing a graduate or professional school option. Our staff continues working remotely and we are eager to assist you. 


How can I connect with my PCDS Liaison during remote learning?

Professional & Career Development Services is providing services virtually. You can schedule phone, video or email consultations. You simply need to select the appropriate delivery method when scheduling through Handshake or Starfish. We are happy to serve as a resource in any way we can.  The best way to reach the PCDS team is via email or through TEAMS. 

Chrystal Stanley, Liaison to A&S (pronouns: she/her/hers)

Annette Watson, Liaison CBPA and SJMC (pronouns: she/her/hers)

Leah Berte, Liaison to CPHS and SOE (pronouns: she/her/hers)

Carlyn CroweAdditional support through SJMC (pronouns: she/her/hers)

How can I look for jobs/internships during COVID-19?

Many companies are still hiring, but please be aware the hiring process may be delayed and more than likely may be a virtual experience.  You can contact the employer to check on the status of a submitted application if no update has been provided. Carve out time to dedicate to your job/internship search.  Make sure your resume, cover letter and social media profiles are updated.  Find out what industries have the most need.  

Handshake – a comprehensive system providing both students access to employment opportunities, scheduling on-campus interviews and company profiles.  To Log into Handshake (, then click on Handshake logo, use Single Sign On login). Complete your student profile in order to maximize employers finding you in their search. Click on Jobs then narrow search by entering keywords, companies or even “remote” or click on Employers to learn more and to follow to be notified about openings. 

Check out the Handshake blog for more tips: 

500 Companies Hiring on Handshake Right Now: 

DiversityInc's Top 50 Companies for Diversity:

LinkedIn list of organizations hiring to meet coronavirus demands:

Candor ( – Status of companies hiring or that have hiring freezes 

The Muse (

LinkedIn article: 

What sites are best for job/internship searches? - This is for all majors and includes tools, resources and local listings - This is for all majors and has reviews, ratings and some sample interviews questions - This is one of the top sites and you can upload your resume, get job alerts - This one incorporates technology based on your job preferences
LinkedIn – You can search for jobs or go to the companies you are interested in to see open position. Use hashtags to help search like #NowHiring or #GetHired. - These are aimed for current students and recent graduates in a variety of fields.

Chegg – Internships and career advice - Variety of job openings listed - Variety of job openings listed - For Public Relations positions. - Students seeking positions with the federal government - Students seeking teaching positions K – 12. - Search for remote and project based positions

CVS and Walgreens have announced hiring needs for Pharmacy and Health Sciences related majors

Major Specific - These are typically positions that are more tech – related. - These are for roles in Pharmacy - These positions are focused in natural parks, ranches and have internships/jobs.

Search professional association websites’ job boards
Search company websites. 


How can I effectively network remotely?

1. Update your LinkedIn account, research companies and groups that are of interest to you. Click here for tips for creating a stellar profile.

a. Join LinkedIn groups

b. Send customized messages to companies/people that you would like to connect with

2. Connect with alumni groups on Facebook/instagram, especially if you’re a senior. There are often alumni groups for specific geographical areas such as Chicago, Minneapolis, Texas, etc.

a. Reach out to your Career Coordinator if you are searching in specific areas and we will do our best to assist you.

3. Volunteer. If you’re able at companies you’re interested in and/or companies that you could value to and/or gain skills.

4. Attend virtual events, fairs, webinars that are available to you with employers. Ask questions, be actively engaged when you’re able to with those events.

5. Explore Reddit. Reddit offers topics and advice on everything including job searches, networking, working remotely, side hustles and any other topic you are interested in. Keep in mind Reddit is used by all.


How can I find a remote job/internship?

The following job boards specialize in remote jobs and internships.

The following resources will help you develop the skills you need to work remotely.



What are some best practices during a virtual interview?

Preparation is essential

Research the company. Go beyond the company's mission and vision on their website.  Check online resources for articles about the industry or the specific organization in publications.  Talk with people who work for the organization and people in your network including Drake alumni.

Research the position. Know and understand the position for which you are applying.  The more you know about the position and all it entails, the better prepared you will be.  Be ready to provide relevant, detailed examples of your work, education, and community engagement matching your skills with those necessary to succeed in the position.

Select your location carefully. A quiet, distraction-free, room with a neutral background is best. Notify others around you that you will be interviewing and should not be interrupted.  Ensure your face is well lit.  Avoid bright lighting behind you. The best location for your webcam is at eye-level.  Try setting your laptop on a stack of books.

Present yourself professionally. Dress professionally, just as you would for an in-person interview.  Be mindful of your body language.  Make eye contact with the camera instead of focusing only on your computer.

Test your network connection. Confirm your audio and video are clear and your WiFi connection is strong.  If possible connect through a router with a network cable. You can test this with PCDS staff or friends.

Minimize interruptions. Close out of other computer programs prior to the interview. Turn off your cell phone.

Send a thank you note.  Be sure to get your interviewer's contact information and send a note within 48 hours.

Practice your virtual interview skills!

Drake’s Professional & Career Development Services office is pleased to offer students a free training system that features a new and innovative way to help prepare more effectively for a job interview.


Big Interview is an online system that combines training AND practice to help improve interview techniques and build confidence.


Big Interview offers a variety of tools including:

• Challenging, virtual mock interviews for all experience levels and hundreds of industries

• A database of thousands of interview questions with tips on how to answer them

• The ability to rate and share your interview answers for feedback

• A comprehensive video training curriculum covering all aspects of landing a job

• A step-by-step interview Answer Builder for crafting answers to behavioral questions

• A Resume builder and Resume Curriculum



STEP 1: Go to and click "Register".

STEP 2: Enter your Drake email address, name, and password, and click “Create my Account”

STEP 3: Log in and start using Big Interview.


Here is a short video if you need help with registration.


If I don’t land an internship/job this summer, what can I do to build skills?

From building skills to gaining new experiences this (not-comprehensive) list provides ideas that could make you more marketable to employers by emphasizing the competencies and True Blue Skills you are gaining. 

Learn new skills 

Building a new skill (or two) over the summer will show an employer your ingenuity, adaptability and innovation (depending upon the skill!) Where to start: 

  • Research and consider the skills that are needed for the career
  • Talk to people in the career  
  • Look through job descriptions and see the skills employers are looking for, and start learning them  
  • Contact people in your desired career to determine the skills they wish they had known before beginning their career
  • Consider which new skills you could learn in a class or through an on-line resource 
  • When building technical skills, there are often online loaner libraries 

Take a class

In addition to the opportunity to take classes at Drake, which could add some needed credit hours, there are many free classes available on basic topics such as how to be a more creative thinker, to the more complex such as artificial intelligence.   

Skill building resources: 

Comprehensive list of accreditation programs in marketing and social media are here 

LinkedIn Learning (

MS Excel (Microsoft is offering discounted Excel training program for a limited time) 

Free courses through CourseraCodecademy 

Here are 10 Things to do this Summer to get ready for the Workforce 

Summer is the best time to evaluate your toolkit and reflect on how you want employers and others to recognize your personal brand. 

1. Clean up your social media profiles
According to a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) survey, 84% of companies use social media to find candidates. Make sure you don’t have anything publicly available that could damage your chances at securing a job. 

2. Create a personal website or blog
Sharing a consistent output of professionally relevant work on social media channels will help show employers you’re a serious candidate. It also helps you project your personal brand online.  

3. Learn what motivates you—and be able to articulate it 
Motivation is listed as an attribute that employers see most lacking in new hires. Practice articulating what drives you! 

4. Network as much as possible
Networking is a time-tested way to get hired. Don’t shy away from meeting online—ask for a 15 minute online “coffee” to get started!

5. Work with your mentor
Don’t have a mentor? Find one this summer!  Who has impressed you with their work in your field of study? When you find a mentor ask them for regular check-ins and over the summer.

6. Line up your professional references and consult with them
Check in with the people who can vouch for your skills and work ethic. Make sure they know what you have been working on and the skills you are developing and mastering! 

7. Develop and practice your elevator pitch

8. Tailor Resume and Cover Letter to the places you want to work

9. Line up an internship or job for fall --or even next summer!

10. Consult with Professional & Career Development Services 


What can I do if my job/internship offer has been rescinded?

This is unfortunate and disappointing news. Please know, it is not a direct reflection on you, so try not to take it personally.  Handle your response in a professional manner. You will want to send the employer a note extending your thanks for being selected for a position and that you are available to work on projects remotely if that is an option.  Also include how you would like to remain in contact should any future opportunities arise.   

Sample email (Customize this to make it your own.): 

Thank you for notifying me of this change in status.  I know this is a challenging time for everyone, employers included. I hope you and your family are safe and healthy.

I am grateful I was selected as a potential member of your team at _________ (organization). I am still very interested in joining your team.  Currently, I am completing my semester at Drake University remotely and have enhanced my ability to work and communicate effectively virtually as well as my _____________ (list skills such as time management, problem solving, etc.) skills.

I would welcome the opportunity to complete projects remotely and would like to stay in touch during the coming weeks and months.

Again, thank you for communicating with me regarding the __________ (position).


Best Practice Tips 

  • Reopen your search- Companies may still be filling positions, especially with remote opportunities. 
  • Contact staffing agencies for temporary work. 
  • Contact previous companies you held positions at and see if they have any project work 
  • Research with a faculty member 
  • Volunteer 
  • Conduct informational interviews or job shadows 
  • Network 
  • Build skills with LinkedIn Learning, Coursera, Codecademy, etc. 

Additional resources


Staffing/Placement Agencies

Aerotek/Aston Carter (West Des Moines) 

Ellen Carlson –  

Anna O’Gorman - 


Manpower – 

Kathy Joblinske – or text “Manpower” to 44844 to apply.   


Midwest Professional Staffing (Des Moines) 

Recent openings (some are remote) Mortgage Processor, Data Entry, Customer Service, Front Desk Admin, Payroll Admin 

Emily Dearchs -  


Palmer Group (Des Moines) 

Sophia O'Brien - - Office Administration and Mortgage and Banking teams or anyone open to "business-related" roles 

Willow Bauer - – May graduates in Accounting and Finance  

Deidra Meyer – May graduates in IT or Data Analytics 


Robert Half (various locations)

Learning Resources

LinkedIn Learning ( –Free courses 


Recommended Books, Blogs, and Videos to Build Your Skills

Equity and Inclusion: 

  • “How to be Anti-Racist” by Ibram Kendi (Sue Mattison, Provost)
  • “My Grandmother’s Hands” by Resmaa Menakem (Sue Mattison, Provost)
  • “Legacy: What the All Blacks Can Teach Us About the Business of Life” by James Kerr(Jennie Baranczyk, Head Women’s Basketball Coach) 
  • “White Fragility: Why it’s so hard for White people to talk about Racism” by Robin Diangelo(Jennie Baranczyk, Head Women’s Basketball Coach) 

Personal Branding/Development:

  • “CEO of Me: Creating a Life That Works in the Flexible Job Age” by Brenda A. Lautsch and Ellen Ernst Kossek (Dan Connolly, CBPA Dean)
  • “What Color Is Your Parachute?” by Richard N. Bolles (Dan Connolly, CBPA Dean)
  • “Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future” by Dorie Clark (Dan Connolly, CBPA Dean)
  • “The Art of Possibility: Transforming Personal and Professional Life” by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander (Kathleen Richardson, SJMC Dean)
  • “The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World” by the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu (Kathleen Richardson, SJMC Dean)

College to Career:

  • “The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter, Updated and Expanded” by Michael D. Watkins (Dan Connolly, CBPA Dean)
  • The Morning Brew Daily Newsletter: (Kathleen Richardson, SJMC Dean)
  • “I Don’t Know What I Want But I Know It’s Not This: A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding Gratifying Work” by Julie Jansen (Chrystal Stanley, Director of Professional & Career Development Services)

True Blue Skills

Critical Thinking/Problem Solving

  • “Sprint: How to solve big problems and test new ideas in Just Five Days” by Jake Knapp (Chrystal Stanley, Director of Professional & Career Development Services)
  • “The Great Mental Models” by Farnam Street, Shane Parrish, Rhiannon Beaubien (Chrystal Stanley, Director of Professional & Career Development Services)


  • “Radical Candor” by Kim Scott (Kristin Economos, Director of Student Leadership Programs)
  • “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” by Patrick Lencioni (Chrystal Stanley, Director of Professional & Career Development Services)

Personal Responsibility

  • “Get Out of Your Own Way” by Mark Goulston, MD and Philip Goldberg (Chrystal Stanley, Director of Professional & Career Development Services)
  • “Find the Good: Unexpected Life Lessons from a Small-town Obituary Writer” by Healther Lende (Chrystal Stanley, Director of Professional & Career Development Services)


  • “360 Degree Leader” by John Maxwell (Jennie Baranczyk, Head Women’s Basketball Coach)
  • “We Need to Talk” by Celeste Headlee (Kristin Economos, Director of Student Leadership Programs)

Digital Proficiency

  • “The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail” by Clayton M. Christensen (Chrystal Stanley, Director of Professional & Career Development Services)
  • “Fast Times: How Digistal Winners Set Direction, Learn, and Adapt” by Arun Arora, Peter Dahlstrom, Kemens Hjartar, and Florian Wunderlich” (Chrystal Stanley, Director of Professional & Career Development Services)


  • “Bossypants” by Tina Fey (Sue Mattison, Provost)
  • “The Servant Leader: How to Build a Creative Team, Develop Great Morale, and Improve Bottom-Line Performance” by James A. Autry, retired Meredith Corp. executive (Kathleen Richardson, SJMC Dean)
  • “Dare to Lead” by Brené Brown (Kristin Economos, Director of Student Leadership Programs) Chase the “Lion” by Mark Batterson (Jennie Baranczyk, Head Women’s Basketball Coach)
  • “iY Generation” by Tim Elmore (Jennie Baranczyk, Head Women’s Basketball Coach)
  • “Generation Z: Unfiltered - Facing Nine Hidden Challenges of the Most Anxious Population” by Tim Elmore (Jennie Baranczyk, Head Women’s Basketball Coach)
  • “The Program: Lessons from Elite Military Units for Creating and Sustaining High Performance Leaders and Teams” by Eric Kapitulik and Jake MacDonald (Jennie Baranczyk, Head Women’s Basketball Coach)
  • “The Carpenter” by Jon Gordon (Jennie Baranczyk, Head Women’s Basketball Coach)
  • “The Energy Bus” by Jon Gordon (Jennie Baranczyk, Head Women’s Basketball Coach)
  • “Russell Rules” by Bill Russell (Jennie Baranczyk, Head Women’s Basketball Coach)
  • “Our Iceberg is Melting” by John Kotter (Michael Nelson, Associated Dean for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management CPHS)
  • “Good to Great” by Jim Collins (Michael Nelson, Associated Dean for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management CPHS)
  • “The Student Leadership Challenge” by James Kouzes and Barry Posner (Michael Nelson, Associated Dean for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management CPHS)
  • “Emotionally Intelligent Leadership” by Marcy Levy Shankman, Scott J. Allen, and Paige Haber-Curran (Michael Nelson, Associated Dean for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management CPHS)

Global/Intercultural Understanding

  • “The Moment of Lift: How empowering women changes the world” by Melinda Gates (Jennie Baranczyk, Head Women’s Basketball Coach)
  • “The Book of Joy” by the 14th Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu (Jennie Baranczyk, Head Women’s Basketball Coach)


  • “Designing Your Life” by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans (Chrystal Stanley, Director of Professional & Career Development Services)
  • “Launch: Using Design Thinking to Boost Creativity and Bring Out the Maker in Every Student” by John Spencer and A.J. Juliani (Chrystal Stanley, Director of Professional & Career Development Services)
  • “Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas that Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries” by Safi Bahcall (Chrystal Stanley, Director of Professional & Career Development Services)

Growth Mindset

  • “The Year of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes (Kristin Economos, Director of Student Leadership Programs) “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown (Jennie Baranczyk, Head Women’s Basketball Coach)
  • “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” by Daniel Pink (Jennie Baranczyk, Head Women’s Basketball Coach)
  • “Search Inside Yourself” by Chade-Meng Tan (Jennie Baranczyk, Head Women’s Basketball Coach)
  • “10% Happier” by Dan Harris (Jennie Baranczyk, Head Women’s Basketball Coach)
  • “The Inner Game of Tennis” by W. Timothy Gallwey (Jennie Baranczyk, Head Women’s Basketball Coach)
  • “Toughness” by Jay Bilas (Jennie Baranczyk, Head Women’s Basketball Coach)
  • “The Score Takes Care of Itself” by Bill Walsh (Jennie Baranczyk, Head Women’s Basketball Coach)

Values Driven

  • “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz (Jennie Baranczyk, Head Women’s Basketball Coach)
  • “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action” by Simon Sinek (Chrystal Stanley, Director of Professional & Career Development Services)
  • “The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness and Effectiveness” by Epictetus (Chrystal Stanley, Director of Professional & Career Development Services)
  • “The Happiness Advantage” by Shawn Achor (Chrystal Stanley, Director of Professional & Career Development Services)



Virtual Events

On-campus events for the spring semester have been cancelled. Our staff continues working remotely to provide you with quality learning opportunities remotely.


Upcoming Events

We are busy planning events that will begin again in August.  In the meantime, be sure to check out the upcoming events listed under "Virtual Employer/Organization Events" and the recorded webinars available under "Archived Events".

Archived Events

Pride + Work: LGBTQ+ Career Panel (June 10, 2020)

Diversity & Inclusion professionals from Nike, Adobe, MGH, and Staples discuss topics such as how to find a company that values your identity as much as your work, how to network with fellow LGBTQ individuals, tips on coming out at work, and information about finding a mentor.

Living, Working, and Networking in the Twin Cities ( June 10, 2020)

Six members of Drake's Twin Cities Regional Alumni Board Share Tips on living, working and networking in the Twin Cities area.

Living, Working, and Networking in Chicago (June 4, 2020)

Four members of Drake's Chicago Regional Alumni Board share tips on living, working, and networking in the Chicagoland area.  

A Time for Resilience and How to Talk About It (May 28, 2020)

Drake Professional and Career Development Services, Drake Community Press and Above + Beyond Cancer teamed up to provide this discussion resilience.  

Living, Working, and Networking in Denver (May 21, 2020)

Three members of Drake’s Denver Regional Alumni Board share tips on living, working, and networking in the Denver area. 

Resume and Interview Tips with Amazon Human Resources Business Partner (May 18, 2020)

This session provides the most recent resume and interview tips.  The presenter is Alumnus, Raquel Rivera.

Networking Strategies for Healthcare (May 7, 2020)

This session provides networking advice from professionals from ChildServe, MercyOne, The Iowa Clinic and The VA of Central Iowa.

Tips For Working Remotely (April 29, 2020)

Drake CBPA alum, Jill Sandberg, presents methods and tips for being productive and effective when working remotely.

How COVID-19 is Impacting Summer Internships and New Grad Hiring (April 24, 2020)

A panel of employers from the Des Moines metro shares with area college students how they are responding to the impacts of COVID-19.  Discussion topics include delivery of summer 2020 internships, hiring projections for new college graduates, and changes to recruitment and selection of new employees.

Ask Us Anything for all Students (April 10, 2020)

This video conference provided students at all levels the opportunity to ask us anything regarding careers and job or grad school search.  (The first few minutes have some connection issues that were resolved quickly.)

Ask Us Anything for Seniors (April 8, 2020)

This video conference provided seniors the opportunity to ask us anything regarding careers and job or grad school search. 



Virtual Employer/Organization Webinars

Mediacom Virtual Hiring Event (July 8 & 9, 2020 – multiple time slots available)

Mediacom’s virtual hiring event allows you to interview without leaving home!

To RSVP, visit Indeed by following the link below. Select an interview time that is convenient for you!

Wells Fargo Careers and Internships (Thursday, July 30, 2020; 3:00-4:30 CDT)

Wells Fargo’s Talent Acquisition Team will outline the 2021 recruiting timeline for internships and full time roles with the company. During this interactive session, senior recruiters and team members from across the firm will share important details on opportunities within each program and how to apply for specific roles.

Please sign-up by Wednesday, July 29.

Password: wellsfargo2020

 Seize the City 2020 events for interns (Throughout the summer)

Seize the City is a series of free events for interns working in greater Des Moines (DSM). The series includes networking events to engage students with business and community leaders, young professionals, and other interns all while experiencing the vibrancy of DSM USA. Details and registration are available here.

This summer, Seize the City is virtual for the safety of students and presenters. All programming will occur within the Greater Des Moines Partnership's LinkedIn group. Please join the group to receive additional updates and information. 

YURtern Summer Program through the West Des Moines Chamber (Various Dates)

Panelists to share their insight about topics from negotiation to interviewing. FREE virtual program. There are 6 events. You can find the full schedule and additional information here.

Students who attend 4 of the 6 events will receive a certificate of completion and be invited to an exclusive post-program virtual event with metro leaders.


USAJobs is hosting a number of free events over the summer covering the following areas:

  • Writing your federal resume
  • Navigating USAJOBS - finding a applying to federal jobs
  •  Interviewing

Register here.


Thinking about international service after graduation? Peace Corps Virtual Events are available here.

Transamerica Summer Speaker Series – Various Tuesdays at 11:00 Central Time

Created in response to students whose internships were cancelled as a result of COVID-19, the Summer Speaker Series is a new initiative geared to all students who are seeking to gain professional development, grow their network, and learn more about career paths, a day in the life, and more from industry experts.

For more information and to register:



Provide Feedback

Please let us know if we have broken links, suggest additional resources, or share ideas for future webinars. Provide your feedback here.

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