Loyola University Career Services Breaks New Ground with Fanmaker

The career services department plays a vital role at any university. In charge of guiding its students and their newfound education to rewarding, prosperous careers, you’d imagine the offices would be in constant buzz with students looking plan their lives after their education is up.

The Career Center at Loyola University Maryland took a chance to market its services further than the general knowledge of its existence to the student population. In partnering with FanMaker, the Career Center and Andrea Ramsey, Assistant Director of Technology, looked to increase the number of students that participated in the career development services available by instigating some friendly competition with the Career Navigator program.

We felt that a rewards-based program would be a different and more exciting way of reaching our students.Andrea Ramsey, Loyola University Maryland

“Career development is a lifelong journey that we all have to navigate — hence the name for Career Navigator — and we wanted to encourage students to be active participants in the process early on,” Ramsey told FanMaker. “We felt that a rewards-based program would be a different and more exciting way of reaching our students.”

The Career Navigator program works as such: Students can check in to career-related activities and events sponsored by the Career Center by using the Career Navigator app. A list of upcoming events is updated on the website and app to keep the public informed. Students also knew to look for the Career Navigator’s compass logo around campus, signifying different activities and events that qualify for points to use towards exclusive rewards on the Career Navigator Store.

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“Students who are actively participating in the program, are redeeming prizes and enjoying doing so,” Ramsey said. “Some students are redeeming prizes to use for themselves or as gifts for others. Some students have redeemed multiple prizes.”

The key objective of the Career Navigator program was to spark the interest of undergraduates to get involved in the process early on in their collegiate careers. Ramsey said they found that students thought that career services were only for upperclassmen, as they readied themselves to enter the workforce or seek out internships. They wanted to inform the student body that everyone was welcome and services were available beyond aiding upperclassmen in search of jobs and internships.

“We provide services to support all students — and alumni — whether they are just exploring careers, deciding on a major, or preparing for graduate school,” Ramsey said.

The Career Center even made some unlikely connections thanks to the Career Navigator program.

Many of our prizes were donated by either other on-campus offices or by our employer partners.Andrea Ramsey, Loyola University Maryland

“This program has enabled us to collaborate with various partners both on and off-campus,” Ramsey said. “Many of our prizes were donated by either other on-campus offices or by our employer partners. We worked with multiple offices on-campus, as well as the Student Government Association to help promote the program to students. These collaborations have all contributed to a different level of success as they strengthened our office partnerships.”

…being able to redeem prizes in exchange for participation brings an element of fun to the process.Andrea Ramsey, Loyola University Maryland

The Career Navigator program has proven to be successful in ways that Ramsey and the Career Center never imagined at first. There are currently 5,658 current users on the Career Navigator program, and the leaders on the leaderboard continue to climb higher towards better rewards for their time and effort. They’ve increased attendance at Career Center sponsored events. And, most importantly, the Career Center is finally reaching out and connecting their services to a larger percentage of the student body, — not just upperclassmen anymore — and they’re really having some fun while doing it.

“Career planning and development requires work and students may not always find it intrinsically rewarding.” Ramsey said. “So being able to redeem prizes in exchange for participation brings an element of fun to the process.”