Career Design Lab FAQs
Yes, we are operating all our services fully online. Here is how you will find all of our services:
Webinars: Career Education workshops and employer information sessions continue on Zoom. Please look for events in the Engage platform, click on “Organizations” search for “Career Design Lab”, click on “View More Events” to see all events. Also open the CDL Newsletter you receive in your Columbia email inbox for announcements, upcoming events are listed there.
CDL Course on Canvas - Find great resources to help you with every step of your Career Journey - from writing resumes and cover letters to interviewing for a job. Look in your Canvas dashboard or canvas list of courses for this course - it's free for all SPS students! If you have trouble locating it, please contact the Career Design Lab CareerDesignLab [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu () and we will enroll you!
SPS Talent (for jobs) - we continue to post relevant jobs for every degree program on SPS Talent. If you haven’t been there yet, please go in, create your profile and we will approve you to get started!
Virtual Coaching Appointments: We continue to provide you with individualized coaching either through zoom or by phone. Please set up your appointment! We are here to help you!
Virtual Walk-in hours: our 15- minute drop-in appointments have gone virtual. These are available on Mondays and Tuesdays 3:00pm – 5:00pm. Appointments are made through the Engage platform – you will need to log-in to find these.
To get an appointment, sign into the Engage platform, click on “Organizations” search for “Career Design Lab”, click on “View More Events” on right, Search for “Walk-in”
Select the coach you wish to meet. If they are with another student you will be placed in a waiting room for the next available spot.
You can also use these direct links for walk-in appointments (if you have problems, be sure you are logged-in to Engage. You can also try copying and pasting these into your browser:
Monday│3:00 pm – 5:00 pm │ https://columbiasps.campuslabs.com/engage/event/5674222
Tuesday│3:00 pm – 5:00 pm │ https://columbiasps.campuslabs.com/engage/event/5674226
Your career coach is available to help you work out these issues. Please be sure to set up and appointment to discuss your situation and strategize about your next steps. While some jobs/internship have been cancelled or are on hold, some employers are switching these to remote opportunities.
Active jobs and internships are posted daily on SPS Talent. Please check these. More resources are available to help you search for jobs/internships in your Degree-specific Toolkit in the Career Design Lab Course on Canvas.
Contact the Employer:
Since this is a difficult time for everyone. First, inquire with the employer to see if the job/internship has fallen through. Here is a suggested email:
I hope this email finds you well. I am checking-in about the status of my internship: [TITLE]. I remain interested in working with your [company or organization]. This semester I have developed skills to be an effective remote worker and am interested in pursuing opportunities with you, even those which may be remote.
Under the current circumstances, I’m sure you are very busy. I do appreciate your taking the time to update me on the status of this [internship or job]. I look forward to hearing from you.
It’s also important to let the employer know your interest in working with them continues and request they keep your name active for future openings.
Given the current situation, students are experiencing this. Employers are having a difficult time since they don’t know when their offices will reopen. It’s important that you follow-up with the employer to let them know of your continued interest in working for their company. In addition, continue looking for other opportunities - there are still plenty available. Please check on LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Indeed, and other websites that specialize in jobs in your field. There are plenty of links to these sites in the Degree-specific Toolkit in the Career Design Lab Course on Canvas – look for the Career Path document.
Here is a sample template you can use to follow-up with the employer.
I hope this email finds you well. Thank you so much for considering me and offering me the [internship or job] [Title]. It was an honor to be chosen to work in your [company or organization]. I remain very interested in working for [name of company or organization] and hope that you will keep me in mind for future opportunities. If there is any way I can assist you remotely, I would be pleased to help out. I will keep you informed about the progress of my career search and hope that you will be hiring again soon.
Yes, you will have access to the Career Design Lab services and resources:
Contact the Career Design Lab at careerdesignlab [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu () to learn more about services designed to support SPS Alumni.
- Up to 1 year out: Access to premium subscriptions (GoinGlobal, Vault, Big Interview, CandidCareers) | Access to CDL career fairs & networking events | Can sign up for a 6-part, small group career coaching sessions (offered every six weeks during the semester) | Full CDL student services including individual career coaching sessions and drop-in hours | Job board access
- 2- 5 years out: Access to premium subscriptions (GoinGlobal, Vault, Big Interview, CandidCareers) | Access to CDL career fairs & networking events | Job board access | Can sign up for a 6-part, small group career coaching sessions (offered every six weeks during the semester)
- All alumni: Access to premium subscriptions (GoinGlobal, Vault, Big Interview, CandidCareers) | Access to CDL career fairs & networking events| Job board access
There are a number of steps you can take whether online or on the phone which can help you build your career plans during this unusual time. For current or students 1-2 years out, there are resources in the Career Design Lab course on Canvas to help you with each of these steps. Don’t give up. This is a chance for you to perfect your job search skills.
Perfect Your LinkedIn Profile: read-up on how to build your profile. Make some improvements to your profile. Schedule an appointment with your coach to review your profile.
Do Your Employer Research & Identify Future Employers: be proactive and identify a list of employers who you would like to work for. Then, look for Columbia alums who work at these companies and connect with them on LinkedIn.
Build Your LinkedIn Network: make new connections and stay connected with people. Start by connecting to every student and faculty member in your program. Check out the LinkedIn Learning for tips on sending invitations to connect.
Next start reaching out to alumni and other professionals in your field and request to connect.
Request Informational Interviews: These types of interviews will help you to learn more about organizations and the industry that interests you. This is for information gathering and relationship building only - NOT to ask for a job.
Learn about Online Interviewing & Practice: Most likely employers will be conducting more interviews online and on the phone. You need to prepare to be successful.
You can find useful articles and tips in the Career Design Lab course section called: Working Remotely & Living Online. This page focusses on resources to help you with your job search during the pandemic.
Update or Build Your Skills: There are a lot of online courses - many free which you can use to update your skills. You have access to LinkedIn Learning which has an amazing number of courses. Access these for free through the Columbia subscription:
To access LinkedIn Learning, go to “Sign in” and select “Sign in with your organization account.” Type in your Columbia email address (UNI [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu) and you will be redirected to the UNI authentication page. If you are signed in with your personal LinkedIn account, sign out first. LinkedIn Learning
Meet with your Career Coach: CDL is available to you online for appointments and webinars. We are happy to help you work through this difficult time and help you consider options and strategies to get your career on-track.
There are still lots of jobs and internships out there! Active jobs and internships are posted daily on the CDL Hub. More resources are available to help you search for jobs/internships in your Degree-specific Toolkit in the Career Design Lab Course on Canvas. Please check on LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Indeed, and other websites that specialize in jobs in your field. There are plenty of links to these sites in the Degree-specific Toolkit in the Career Design Lab Course on Canvas – look for the Career Path document.
Job Search Sites
Remote Job Boards
Remotive (remote start-up jobs)
Powertofly (remote opportunities for women in tech)
Angellist (start-up jobs)
Freelance Remote Work Job Boards