Career Coach Gets Creative to Serve Students in a Digital World

This blog was originally published December 17, 2020, on the Indiana Office of Career Connections and Talent News.

When the pandemic began in early March, Brandy Bast, graduate of the Skillful Governor’s Coaching Corps and manager of career and professional development at Marian University Indianapolis gave students and alumni presentations on how to prepare for all things career-related: resume writing, cover letter reviews, job applications, etc.

Once COVID hit, Brandy had to get creative to continue supporting her students in this new virtual world, so she started what she calls “Candid Career Chats,” “HR Huddles,” and “Career Shorts.”

For Candid Career Chats, Brandy conducts interviews with people within her network and outside of her network with different careers, the goal of these interviews is to see what people’s career paths have looked like and find out what lessons and advice these professionals would give to current students and alumni. Career Shorts are a five-to-ten-minute blast of information turned into a video on all kinds of career development topics. HR Huddle, which according to Brandy has been well received by employers, students and faculty, gives quick insights into a variety of companies in different market segments to connect students and alumni to open positions, internships and volunteer experiences. 

Brandy says the Skillful Governors Coaching Corps (SGCC), an intensive eight-month program that provides coaches with the tools and training they need to better serve Hoosiers in today’s rapidly changing labor market, gave her, “background knowledge and confidence to work as a National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Future of Skill Development & Hiring task force member, specifically researching how skills are being incorporated into current and future hiring practices, and how employers as well as higher education are creating and using skill badging and other measures.” The program also informed her about “all of the great things that are happening throughout the state regarding career coaching and workforce development. I never would’ve put all of that together myself.”

A picture of Brandy Bast
A screenshot of Brandy during one episode of HR Huddles.

Two examples of the digital tools Brandy learned about during her time with the SGCC are Jobscan and Panna.ai, which she walks students through, so they can take advantage of the tools. Jobscan looks at resumes and makes suggestions to improve them, and Panna.ai does interview preparation and resume activities as well. Through SGCC, Brandy also learned about the Next Level Jobs training that’s available for her clients. “It’s important that alumni and folks who just graduated into this COVID-19 crisis know that there are resources available for them.”

To learn more about the SGCC, please visit Skillful.com/IndianaSGCC.