COVID and Careers

“The past is not the future.” This is what employers who recruit LMU students are telling us. With the move to online learning and remote work, college recruiters are now conducting campus interviews virtually, and employers are discovering the benefits of this shift. Recruiters engage more students — especially underrepresented students — and connect prospective hires to company executives and mentors earlier in the process. Virtual interviews take place on platforms like HireVue or Google Hangouts, reducing the overhead associated with traveling to college campuses each year.

The Career and Professional Development office also transitioned services to support LMU students in this new reality. Students utilize VMock, a 24/7 artificial intelligence résumé review tool that compares their document to all other LMU student résumés and thousands of student résumés across the country. Prior to interviewing, students schedule virtual mock interviews with CPD career coaches on Zoom. Our office works with over 30,000 companies — including 100 percent of Fortune 500 companies — who post their internship and job opportunities in Handshake where students can apply, communicate with current and former employees at their dream company and attend virtual employer events.

Despite the incredible challenges posed by COVID-19 and the trauma of racial justice, LMU students remain resilient. Ninety-six percent of the undergraduate class of 2020 successfully landed a job or enrolled in graduate school within six months of completing their degrees — an incredible feat given the depressed job market. But we know many recent grads and alumni from all class years are struggling with job loss, underemployment or unmanageable workloads.

While the past is not the future, the future does remain bright. The pandemic has forced changes on all of us, voluntarily or not. Yet, the experience has taught us much about how we support and prepare our students and alumni for an ever-changing business environment, now and in the future, and that is very exciting. Career and Professional Development stands ready to ensure LMU students and alumni leverage their Jesuit education to achieve their full potential.

Branden Grimmett is associate provost for Career and Professional Development. He earned a Ed.D. in higher education administration from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree in theological studies from Harvard University. His work in higher education has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal. The Career and Professional Development office is prepared to support alumni at any stage in their career:

Tell Us Your Story

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to adapt and change many of the ways we do our work in almost every sector of society. Are there pandemic-related changes in your field of work or expertise that will last beyond the crisis? 

Tell us in 250 words about the most important change, for better or for worse, that you see being long-lasting in your world of work. Email your reflection to, along with your name, email address, your relationship to the university, and your profession or area of expertise/work and we’ll post some to the LMU Magazine website on the Afterlife page in the coming weeks.—The Editor.