• STEM Institute

Preparing the STEM Talent Pool During the Pandemic

Updated: Jun 10, 2020

Many CSU East Bay students have just graduated or are about to graduate and need support as they transition from college to careers. The job market into which they are entering has been completely transformed by COVID-19 and the need for social distancing to protect community health. The Institute for STEM Education developed virtual professional development experiences and support, drawing from our Career Awareness and Preparation (CAP) program.

A total of 83 students participated in a two and half hour workshop that covered essential components for effective resume and cover letter writing, as well as interviewing skills. In addition to the workshop, 23 students attended a one-hour session to practice interviewing one another and 12 students participated in one-on-one and small group support.

“I had almost no idea on how to write a cover letter. After the workshop, I know exactly what to do and what not to do in order to stand out as an applicant”

– Aaron, Graduated Spring 2020

“This workshop was great! I hope to see more of these workshops, especially during this quarantine. One of my goals during this stay at home order is to update my resume and cover letter and to improve upon my interviewing skills."

– Laura, Graduating spring 2021

“Every section of the workshop was helpful. This helped me frame my mindset that I hope to remember when it is time to apply for this particular job. It gave me feedback, support, and ideas to make sure that the interviewer senses the type of person that I am”

– Pia, Graduating fall 2020

Following the workshops, students had the opportunity to have professionals provide feedback on their resumes and cover letters and participate in 35-minute mock interviews with a panel of professionals. Fifty students received written feedback on their materials from two to three professionals and 44 participated in mock interviews with a panel of professionals.

“Thank you [mock interview panelists] for taking the time out of your busy schedules and participating in the mock interviews. I found your feedback to be incredibly helpful and will continue to refine my skills”

– Jake, Graduated spring 2020

In total, 67 professionals, 84% of them alumni, volunteered their time and contributed more than 175 hours to support CSU East Bay students by providing feedback on resumes, cover letters, and virtual mock interviews. We would like to offer our sincerest gratitude on behalf of our students to CSU East Bay’s Alumni Relations, Amazon Web Services, Amgen, Baxter Healthcare, Delta Electronics, Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, Paul Nguyen with the City of Hayward, and to all of the incredible volunteers who supported our Pioneers!

“The best part of the mock interview process as a volunteer was spending time with students, hearing perspectives from other mock interviewers, and feeling like you're doing something useful and productive for someone else in this crazy time.”

We are planning to extend the mock interviews throughout the summer. In addition, we will be recruiting professionals who are interested in participating in informational interviews to share their career paths with juniors, seniors, graduate students, and recent graduates.

If you are interested in learning how you can be involved, please contact Janiene M. Langford at: