No spreadsheets? No problem! – Managing placements with Handshake Experiences

Hannah Adams

June 13, 2022

As budgets become increasingly stretched and the requirement for data-driven practices is in full swing, careers services teams are having to show their value within the wider institutional ecosystem more than ever before.

This means that there is more pressure than ever to capture experiential learning outcomes for placements and internship programs, and to present this analysis in an easily digestible way for other key stakeholders.

So, is it possible to do this without drowning in spreadsheets and disconnected data?

YES! With Handshake Experiences.

Our experiences tool enables Careers professionals to manage and track learning objectives, automate approvals and capture evaluations all in one place. 

Experiences is built upon the need for Careers & Employability professionals to accurately demonstrate their institutional wide impact of the important work they are doing.  With this in mind, Handshake's 3 levels of data: quick downloads, prebuilt report and dashboards and custom reporting make  tracking student progress and impact a smooth and user-friendly process.

No login? No problem! Faculty staff at your institution do not need to have a login to Handshake, or to learn how to use a new system in order to see that evidence. Everything recorded in Experiences can be approved by internal or external stakeholders without them needing to sign into Handshake - greatly increasing the speed and efficiency of this process.

Careers teams can also customise Experience types to include study abroad, on-campus employment, civic engagement opportunities and much more, meaning that your institution is covered regardless of what type of journeys your students are on.

In addition, Careers professionals can combine Experiences with the Journeys tool to track student progress and maximise impact. The name of the game here is engagement, as the tool allows careers professionals to create integrated pathways that guide students through the process of placement. This might include goals like attending an appointment with a careers advisor, joining a workshop, or completing a survey.

Indeed, our partner institutions are using Experiences at scale to empower their careers teams. To give just one example, Sheffield Hallam University has nearly 1,500 experiences on the Handshake system, uses a variety of templates and has students indicating that they are undertaking these work experiences via Handshake. That means all those diverse, valuable pieces of information are easily accessible in one place for careers professionals. In turn, this allows them to better support their students and monitor where they might need a bit more guidance.

Students themselves can benefit from the power of data visibility too, of course. It’s easy to automatically send evaluations to students while they are on placement. As Experiences allows you to manage and track learning objectives and placement approvals, there’s plenty of information available to help them get the best out of their experience.

But if the aim is engagement, doesn’t this all require too much effort from students? Well, Experiences is designed to make it as easy as possible. If an employer or opportunity is already on Handshake, data is pulled automatically to save time for students, and Experience types are connected to templates that are customised by careers services, taking a lot of the work out of filing updates. Plus it’s easy to see learning objectives and comments from careers services all in one place.

The benefits to students are clear. They can shout about the valuable experience they’ve gained, by adding details to their student profile, showcasing the details to peers and employers – ultimately improving their chances of forging connections with employers and landing the type of career they want. And all without a spreadsheet in sight!
In our recent Careers2032 report, we spoke to 131 careers professionals spanning the country - with 9 in 10 sharing that demonstrating their impact on their careers service was among their top priorities. The trend of data informed decisions and evidence based solutions is only set to continue. 

Want to find out more? Watch our webinar and demo now to learn more, or read our Experiences At A Glance guide.