Business Career Services Fall Semester Update

Recent and upcoming graduates are facing a more difficult job market. The good news is that Walker College of Business graduates are holding their own with a 65% placement rate for last year’s graduates. While this is down 20% from last year at this time, Business Career Services (BCS) is committed to closing the gap. 

While the national unemployment rate for people between the ages of 20 and 24 was 23.2% in May 2020  -- up from 6.7% in May 2019 -- our recent graduates have remained competitive in the job market. We’re hopeful we can close the gap in the next three months as 78 loyal employers have registered to recruit our students and graduates at Walker Business Connections. Read on to discover the ways we are supporting our graduates in their transition to their first destination and the ways you can help in this effort.  

Student Engagement 

This summer, BCS staff worked to create and publish a three-part online learning module for junior and senior level students as well as recent alumni navigating a job search in the current climate and entering the remote workplace. This module includes content about commonly used technology, job search tips, hiring practices from recruiters’ perspectives, and tips on working remotely from recent WCOB alumni. 

What’s Next Podcast

Seniors facing the transition to the business world now have a podcast to help demystify their next step,  What’s After This? Podcast with Business Career Services. On this podcast, Annie Love interviews a variety of recruiters and alumni to offer insight to students about the job search, hiring processes, and starting a first job.  The Podcast can also be found on Spotify.

Professional Development Series 

The fall semester will bring a host of workshops on various professional and career development topics for WCOB students to attend through the Professional Development Series. These virtual workshops will be held on Tuesdays at 5:00 pm through Zoom. Students will hear from Business Career Services staff and recruiters on a variety of topics tailored to address remote recruitment including Virtual Interviews, How to Work a Virtual Career Fair, Digital Networking, Online Etiquette and more. All workshops will be recorded and saved to the Business Career Services YouTube Channel for those who cannot attend synchronously. We can provide faculty members with attendance lists if you plan to offer extra credit in your courses. 

In addition to the Professional Development series, Business Career Services will also be hosting Graduate Programs Professional Seminars geared toward our WCOB graduate students. These seminars will be held on Zoom on Fridays at 12:00 pm and will also be available in a recorded form following the seminar. 

BCS Virtual Operations this fall 

This semester BCS is offering remote services to students. Students can make a virtual appointment with a career coach by signing into Handshake to schedule a Zoom or phone appointment. Appointments include a variety of topics such as resume and cover letter review, internship and job search, interview skills and more. Students can find jobs and internships by using Handshake, Appalachian’s Career Management System (CMS). All ASU students have a Handshake account. Students can apply to jobs, sign up for career fairs, employer information sessions and webinars using this platform. This is also where they can access professional development assistance from Business Career Services. 

A new feature added this semester is the Virtual Drop-in Hours. Career Services is utilizing our Google Chat account to provide real time assistance to students during our drop in hours. A BCS staff member will be managing the chat daily(M - TR) from 3:30 - 4:30 pm to answer quick questions and to refer students to our resources. There will also be a career coach on duty for a quick Zoom meeting for students who want a face to face interaction. Drop-in Live chat Mon. - Thurs., 3:30 - 4:30 pm. 

STEP Program 

Business Career Services understands that with reduced in-person interaction among students there may be a decrease in awareness of our services. Our team has created STEP- Student Track Employment Plan that outlines a six-step process to develop a student’s resume, polish their online professional presence on LinkedIn and Handshake, navigate the internship/job application process and develop strong interview skills. Completion of each step is designed to prepare students to land their preferred professional opportunity.

Check out this interactive flip guide that students can access with helpful resources and links to relevant tools. 

Employer Engagement

Employer spotlight: Mark Crabb

Connecting students to companies is the gold standard for Business Career Services. The center partners with hundreds of companies and recruiters each year to help students find internships and full time employment after graduation. Business Career Services recognizes one of the Walker College of Business’  top recruiting partners, Mark Crabb with National General Insurance (NGIC) for the employer spotlight. 

Mark Crabb is the Vice President of Claims for the mid-Atlantic region and has worked with NGIC for 32 years. Mark hires over 20 Mountaineers campus-wide each year for his Winston Salem location. The high volume of App State alumni creates a unique and welcoming culture for recent graduates. 

Crabb’s advice to current students preparing for their next steps is “to be open to careers which you may have never considered. Most of my hires never thought of going into Claims but after hearing about the investigative nature of the position, the independent decision making and customer service their interest piqued.”  

To be a part of the NGIC team, Mountaineers can apply in Handshake. Want more information about the company or how to connect with Mark Crabb? Contact Amy Odom at

Virtual Town Hall Hosted

Business Career Services and the Brantley Risk and Insurance Center recently hosted the first annual Employer Town Hall to educate employers on how to use the brand new virtual career fair platform. You can find that recording on our Youtube Channel . The Employer Town Hall report and recording are easily accessible on the Business Careers websitewhere faculty and employers can access the Employer Town Hall Report and other remote recruitment resources. 

Walker Business Connections

WBC Career Week will be hosted virtually the week of Sept. 28th - Oct. 2nd.  Workshops, panel discussions, and mock interviews will be held on Wednesday and Thursday and the virtual career fair on Friday. With the condensed class schedule this fall semester the virtual career fair is held on Friday to accommodate student attendance.

There are currently 84 companies registered to attend that represent various industries across the 10 academic majors within the college. The week leading up to the virtual career fair will feature 24 workshops and panels that cover a wide range of topics that will be facilitated by WCOB alumni, industry professionals, and career fair attendees. Students are encouraged to RSVP for the virtual career fair as well as the workshops and panels  and faculty are encouraged to require attendance. 

Flipbook for employers

Business Career Services has been working to develop tools and strategies to help employers maximize their engagement with students in a remote recruitment environment. We have designed theRemote Recruitment Resource Guideto help them navigate recruiting in a remote environment. 

Click on the interactive flip guide that showcases the power of Handshake, App State’s career management system. Learn creative ways to increase an employer’s online presence and dive deep into the events of Walker Business Connections Career Week. 

WCOB Engagement 

Amy Odom

Amy is the career coach for ACCT, ECON, FIN and RMI majors. Amy also serves as the advisor to Women of Walker, a professional development program for female business students. Women of Walker is a robust curriculum that enables the group to learn experientially through hands-on workshops, business travel and events both on and off campus surrounding career and professional topics.  Amy has supported over 180 female business leaders through Women of Walker since 2014.

Amy is an App State alumna and long-time resident of the High Country. She is currently pursuing her graduate degree in Higher Education at Appalachian. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Watauga Women in Leadership to support local women entrepreneurs and business leaders in our community surrounding career, leadership and professional development opportunities. 

Maureen Cathey

Maureen is the career coach for graduate business programs (MBA, MS in Applied Data Analytics, MS in Accounting and MA in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and Human Resource Management) as well as undergraduate accounting.

Prior to working at Appalachian State University, Maureen worked at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville in a variety of student affairs areas including Career Services, Student Conduct, Orientation, and Parent and Family programs. She also spent time at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in the position of MBA Program Director. Maureen earned her Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Science in College Student Personnel from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. 

Maureen has recently become a Certified Gallup CliftonStrengths Coach and is very interested in helping people discover and own their strengths - their unique combination of skills, talents and knowledge - so that they can build on those as students and professionals, and have the language to market themselves and those strengths to others. 

Veronica Lozano-Toub

Veronica Lozano-Toub is the career coach for HOSP, IB, MGMT, MKTG, and SCM majors.  She has a Bachelor's degree from the University of Texas in Austin and a Master's in Education from Smith College. Veronica works very closely WCOB transfer students to ensure they are aware of the services available to them. She also works with students and faculty to finalize and complete internship contracts for credit. 

Veronica has had over 20 years experience teaching a diverse range of students in a variety of settings. She taught for nine years in the College and Career Readiness Program at Caldwell Community College. Her international experience includes five years teaching ESL in Aix-en-Provence, France. 

Industry Professionals in classes this fall 

Bringing business to campus often is the gold standard for connecting students to industry in meaningful ways. Employers are great at connecting the dots surrounding current industry trends. Are you interested in collaborating with an employer on a class project or to help you deliver relevant course content this semester? Would you simply like a recruiter to talk about career opportunities during your class? 

Complete this interest form and a career coach can follow up with you on the best match based on your needs and interests.  

How Faculty Can Help

  • Invite us into classes to discuss job and internship search strategies with juniors and seniors.
  • Require attendance as Walker Business Connections career fair, workshops and practice interviews.
  • Give extra credit for attending any of our Professional Development series.
  • Welcome employers into your classes to share information about their professional, company, and hiring needs.
Business Career Services Fall Semester Update
Published: Sep 4, 2020 1:17pm