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CPD is still here for you during COVID-19

CPD is here for you during COVID-19:

Career and Professional Development continues to advise and serve Virginia Tech students, in accordance with Virginia Tech COVID-19 information for the university community and plans for fall 2020. Our primary concern is for everyone's health and safety, and we provide information below to address current needs you may have.

photo of CPD staff

CPD staff are sticking together and are here for you virtually, while we keep safe practices.

Advising and contacting us

  • In accordance with the university's response to Covid-19, and for safety of all members of our community, on Monday, March 16, 2020, we announced that effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020, the Smith Career Center would be closed until further notice, as were many campus buildings.
  • Our services did not stop. Our staff shifted to remote work, and continued to work non-stop as we adapted our services. You may contact us.
  • In accordance with the university's plans for fall 2020, our building is open during office hours (effective Monday, August 3, 2020). All our services will continue to be offered by phone, Zoom, email, and virtual presentations.
  • For everyone's safety, interview rooms will not be used. All interviewing will be done by phone, Zoom, or other remote means.
  • Of course. We welcome you to reach out. Our staff have continuously worked since the shift to remote work and virtual classes, and you may contact us.

Events and programs

Online tools, finding internships and jobs

Consider these factors to decide if it is in your best interests to negotiate a salary offer:

  • Know the industry and what is happening in that industry right now.
    • If the industry is faring well and the employer is still actively hiring in the current economic climate, that might encourage you to negotiate.
    • If the employer is in an industry that has been adversely affected by the current economic climate, you might choose not to negotiate.
  • Do you have multiple offers?
    • If you have multiple offers, and you like more than one , you are in a better position to negotiate.
    • If you have one offer, consider industry issues and the economy, above, to determine if you want to negotiate.

Read our guidance about salary questions and negotiating.

You are welcome to schedule an advising appointments (by phone and Zoom) for individual assistance.

  • Some employers have already contacted their new hires and candidates to provide updates about the status of new hires and summer internships.
  • Other employers are still determining how COVID-19 will affect their hiring decisions and needs.
  • If you haven’t heard from your employer, contact the HR department (or other appropriate contact person). Ask (politely, and expressing your continued enthusiasm for the opportunity) for any information they can provide.
  • Understand that circumstances are changing rapidly, and some employers don't yet have a decision.
  • Some employers could be very busy with many inquiries, so be patient in awaiting a response.
  • For organizations that have shifted employees to remote work, be aware that making that shift creates more work. This can affect decision-making and communication.   
  • If you are unable to contact your recruiter or have additional questions, feel free to contact us.

Summer 2020 co-op and internship FAQs for students

Yes. During this unsettled time of disruption due to the COVID-19 outbreak, it is our hope that Virginia Tech students will continue to pursue and complete cooperative education and internship opportunities during the summer of 2020. These types of high-impact educational experiences are a staple of the college student experience and a valuable component of your career and professional development.

As you know, employers are having to quickly adapt to the COVID-19 health crisis, and workplace situations are fluid and changing.

  • If you have not done so already, get in touch with your recruiter to re-confirm your job offer, start date, and ask about any alternate work situations you should prepare for.
  • Confirm your new start date.
  • If the new start date impacts enrollment in a summer internship course, contact the course instructor in your department.
  • If the new start date impacts enrollment in the Cooperative Education and Internship Program (CEIP), contact the CEIP staff.
  • If the delayed start date impacts a lease or housing commitments you have made:
    • Get in touch with housing or leasing representative to discuss options.
    • If your employer was to provide relocation assistance, and therefore you made plans to relocate and incurred expenses, ask if this assistance is still being honored.
  • If you want to look for other opportunities:
    • Schedule an appointment with a career advisor in Career and Professional Development to discuss your options and receive job search assistance and advice.
  • If you signed a lease or have any other housing commitments:
    • Get in touch with your housing or leasing representative to discuss options.
    • If your employer was to provide relocation assistance, and therefore you made plans to relocate and incurred expenses, ask if this assistance is still being honored.
  • If your internship included a signing bonus:
    • If you incurred expenses making plans to begin work for the organization, ask if this bonus will still be paid.
  • Confirm your expected work hours. Consider time zones if applicable.
  • Ask what tools are being used to complete work and keep the team connected, and familiarize yourself with them (e.g.  Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Slack, etc.).
  • Work with your supervisor to determine preferred frequency of online meetings (with supervisor, team and other interns).
  • Ask how on-boarding will occur and what documentation you will need to provide in order to complete employment paperwork.
  • Find out if there are other interns you could connect with before and during your experience.
  • Ask what equipment (laptop, printer, etc.) your employer will be providing to you to complete your internship.
  • If you signed a lease or have any other housing commitments:
    • Get in touch with your housing or leasing representative to discuss options.
    • If your employer was to provide relocation assistance, and therefore you made plans to relocate and incurred expenses, ask if this assistance is still being honored.
  • Talk with your supervisor to ensure the organization is following the current CDC guidelines for COVID-19 response in the workplace.
  • Before relocating, ask if it is possible to work remotely.
  • If relocating is required:
    • Confirm move-in details with your housing/leasing representative. Find out how the place you are moving into is managing health and safety guidelines for COVID-19.
    • Check to see how the city/town/community you will relocating to is managing health and safety guidelines for COVID-19.
    • Ask for a mentor in addition to supervisor to help with this transition to new location.
  • Yes, do continue to search for summer internship opportunities. Many organizations are working hard to shift to virtual internships for students. Some organizations still have positions to fill and are actively recruiting. Check out Handshake, CareerShift, and LinkedIn for your job search.
  • See below: finding employers who are still hiring, for a list of resources.
  • Consider how you can prepare for a remote internship and prepare your sales pitch to a potential employer. Familiarize yourself with the technology you will need to use to work remotely and let the organization know.
  • Schedule an appointment with a career advisor in Career and Professional Development. We're here to help you.
  • Any experience is good experience. You can develop important professional development skills from all jobs, even if they aren’t directly related to your future career. Learn more about career-readiness skills and reflect on how you are developing these through your summer job.
  • Consider conducting informational interviews with professionals who work in fields of interest to you to learn more. Utilize Hokie Mentorship Connect and set up an account to connect with alumni. This is a mentorship program through which VT alumni have agreed to have VT students reach out to them for career-related information.
  • Use LinkedIn Learning to learn new technical and workplace skills that you can market to employers. Consider volunteering in your local community, learning a new language or taking an online class.

Finding employers who are hiring during COVID-19

  • Yes. Employers continue to post jobs on Handshake for VT students. Even with the hit to the economy created by COVID-19, we are continously receiving job postings from employers, including internships and post-grad jobs. Each week we review and approve hundreds to over 1000 newly posted jobs. For fall 2020, the number of jobs being approved is roughly 90% of the count for the previous year, so there are many opportunities being offered by employers.
  • See the Handshake blog article: 500 companies hiring students on Handshake right now. (Continuously updated.)

We have all seen news and are aware that some employers are in high need of employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

More resources (in addition to Handshake) to find employers who are hiring now:

New River and Roanoke Valleys, VA:

Various locations:

Offers (for an internship or post-grad job) without complete info due to COVID-19

Prior to COVID-19, there was healthy skepticism about any offer from an employer who had not included a site visit to the work location as part of the interview process. However, with the impact of COVID-19, and the need to follow CDC guidelines, in-person visits are not possible in many industries and locations. Therefore you could receive offers from legitimate employers without a site visit, and based on video interview(s).

  1. Use websites such as StreetAdvisor which is dedicated to neighborhood reviews and related information.
  2. Connect with VT alumni who either live in that area or work for that company to ask them questions about the things that matter most to you: Use Hokie Mentorship Connect and the VT Alumni LinkedIn group on the Alumni Relations career webpage.
  3. Determine the cost of living by using the CNN Money cost of living calculator or another which pulls data from the Cost of Living Index (COLI) compiled by the Council for Community and Economic Research.
  4. Research Crime Rates and Data.
  5. Identify your transportation options.
  6. Get to know the local culture. Visit the website of the Chamber of Commerce (for the town, city, region) for a listing of local businesses, events, etc.

Reach out to your recruiter to find out if there might be an opportunity to conduct a phone or video meeting with the supervisor or manager of the postion you were offered.

Questions not answered here

We know you may have questions that are very specific to your individual situation and are not frequently asked.

You are welcomed and encouraged to contact us or seek an advising appointment (by phone or zoom) for questions you have.