Virtual Treks: A New Way of Recruiting

The emergence of COVID 19 brought unexpected changes to the traditional ways of learning. It also brought changes to employee recruitment. The Ole Miss Business Career Prep team, through the Business Connect program, decided to research some creative solutions to connect employers with “business-ready” students.

The team learned about student “treks” from other university career centers. The concept of the trek includes an engaging, face-to-face employer presentation, where the employer hosts the students at their corporate headquarters.

The trek experiences allow students an opportunity to learn more about day-to-day expectations and inner-company culture. This provides a clear guide for employers to identify talent and for students to develop relationships with the employer and bid for the available positions.

COVID changed the landscape of employer recruitment, and the teams and presenting companies, such as Memphis-based International Paper and FedEx, adapted virtual treks.

Charlie Moutoux, information technology manager with International Paper, led a virtual trek involving critical information about the company’s culture, advice on how to best prepare for employment, and an active employee panel of recent UM alumni answered questions from the audience. Nearly 40 students attended from the UM schools of business and engineering.

Two weeks later, Spencer Chasteen, human resource manager with FedEx Services, presented their trek presentation virtually to 18 business school MIS majors. Spencer and his colleagues presented details about the company’s culture and respective positions. He also addressed how to successfully interview, and prepare a resume and strong LinkedIn profile.

“The virtual setting was a great way to learn about how to interact with the company,” said Michael Melvin, a senior from Charlotte, North Carolina, majoring in entrepreneurship with a double minor in management information systems and psychology.

The UM business school is currently planning trek opportunities with Regions Bank, FedEx, and RJ Young for marketing majors this spring.

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