Employers can now reach students from all 14 UT System institutions through a single platform called UT Connects Talent.
The new employment-matching platform aims to expand and improve employment opportunities for employers and students through algorithm technology from the company WorkFountain.
UT Connects Talent matches students and employers considered to be a good fit and then allows them to request to connect before providing users with contact information, a similar process to that on LinkedIn.
“We like to think about it as Monster.com meets Match.com for employment,” said Julie Goonewardene, chief innovation officer at the UT System.
Students who register with the platform answer questions about their interests and the type of internship or job they want. After uploading a resume, the platform will search for the job postings for the best matches and present students with their top seven results. Goonewardene said this can help students find jobs they are actually interested in.
“It can be difficult for students to understand exactly what a job entails just by reading a traditional job description,” Goonewardene said in an email.
Employers looking to post a job also answer questions to describe their ideal candidate. With the platform companies can easily advertise on social media. This allows smaller or mid-size companies that may be overlooked to connect with UT System students, Goonewardene said.
“There will be large companies in the system and it’s for all sizes,” Goonewardene said. “But it particularly helps small and mid–size companies who don’t have large human resource departments.”
The platform is available for free to all UT System students, and a posting fee for employers will help pay for the costs of rolling out the platform and for past pilot programs at UT Tyler, UT Rio Grande Valley and UT El Paso. The platform costs about $1,045,000, according to UT System spokesperson Karen Adler.
UT Tyler’s pilot program currently has 98 students registered, said Rosemary Cooper, UT Tyler’s Director of Career Success. When a job is posted on UT Connects Talent, it is also integrated into UT Tyler’s career management system and interested students are prompted to create a UT Connects Talent profile.
“UT Connects Talent will allow the institution to provide a new level of career service that was not previously available,” Cooper said.
A similar pilot program for UT Austin is in the early stages of planning. There is currently no central career management system at UT Austin, but UT students have access to different job and internship platforms and resources from each college or department.
Sophia Bogat, a physics and astronomy alumna, is currently looking for internships before going to graduate school. Bogat said she would be open to using the UT Connects Talent platform, but has found that networking and having connections is still more helpful than looking for jobs online.
“I went to an astronomy conference the other day and it was the best thing I could have done,” Bogat said. “All my friends have gotten jobs by having connections.”
Goonewardene said students should still take advantage of their institutions’ career services to find employment opportunities.
“This is just another tool to add to their toolbox,” Goonewardene said. “This is a collaborative effort with our institutions to help our students find jobs and create the lives they want for themselves.”