“As a sophomore, it is incredibly hard to get a job interview. Given that most college sophomores have such limited industry experience, our applications normally end up in the auto-reject pile.”

Kavita Vijayan, now a senior at UC Berkeley, recalls the trials and tribulations she experienced when searching for a position during her second year studying Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

For two solid months, Kavita applied to jobs all around her area—devotedly submitting her resume to any and every application open, and regularly cold-emailing recruiters. The reward for her efforts? Radio silence and an unsettling wave of discouragement.

Her drive was strong, however, and she never threw in the towel. Thus she ended up at her college’s career center to see if she could collect any advice on what to do differently.

Professional Persistence

“One of the people at the career center told me to check out Handshake, an online recruiting service for students and recent grads. I was told that it would be beneficial to first gain some sort of tangible work experience in the field that I was trying to get a summer internship in.”

Using this as a stepping stone, Kavita got on Handshake and within two days of applying to a list of recommended jobs, she had secured a place as a computer science mentor. For a semester she worked part-time and after was able to add that experience and tailor her resume to appeal to more relevant positions. 

“Using Handshake, yet again, I was able to secure a summer internship offer at SAP. I went from not even being able to get an interview to getting multiple offers all with the help of Handshake’s personalized and targeted recruiting platform.”

After she graduates, Kavita plans work as a full-time software engineer with aspirations of starting a nonprofit somewhere down the line. 

“Though I’m not entirely sure of where I want to work post-graduation, I am sure that Handshake is definitely part of my plan to secure a full-time opportunity.”