The Russell Palmer Career Management Center serves as the main hub for Broad students seeking career management support, advising and coaching. The center exists to help students realize their career aspirations while working directly with leading employers and alumni from around the world.

For both students and companies navigating new job placement challenges, support is what everyone needs during the novel coronavirus outbreak. The Palmer Center is taking the lead by creating an environment for companies to connect and problem solve together.

“As we’ve been working with companies dealing with the COVID-19 situation, we discovered many of them wanted to know more about what other companies are doing related to hiring,” Marla McGraw, director of career management, said. “We decided to host company group Zoom discussions arranged by industry as a solution to bring company leaders together.”

Interest from companies was piqued, with more than 50 company representatives from a range of industries participating in the first set of discussions over the past week.

“The response has been very positive; they appreciate the calls and hearing from one another to really uncover the best ways to move forward,” McGraw said.

Overall themes for the discussions have centered on sharing how work is being affected, plans for fulfilling full-time and internship offers and exploring ongoing opportunities for remote working.

“Based on what we’re hearing from the conversations, most companies are trying very hard to honor the offers they’ve made to students,” McGraw said. “They’re pushing back start dates, honoring relocation stipends despite remote working and connecting to find genuine tactics to get through this.”

The Palmer Center will extend its efforts by hosting a second round of virtual discussions offering best practices for companies conducting virtual internships.

“We want to provide the opportunity for companies to continue connecting with one another to offer the best experiences going forward,” McGraw said. “We’re helping companies find ways to offer virtual training, virtual social activities and generally how to keep students engaged throughout this time.”

For more information about these discussions and to sign up, please contact Alexandra Hatch, associate director of employer relations for the Broad College.