University News

Internship, employment site updates navigability

New online Job and Internship Board features more streamlined, user-friendly interface

By
Contributing Writer
Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Center for Careers and Life After Brown has launched a new version of the Job and Internship Board designed to make discovering new opportunities more efficient and intuitive for students, said Matthew Donato, director of CareerLAB. This marks the first major interface update to the JIB in five or six years, Donato said.

Simplicity, a software company that produces career management software, has been working on the update for over a year, Donato said. “Once we saw the new interface design, we decided to launch it because we think it is more intuitive to use and it is more user-friendly,” he said.

The JIB is a website that enables current students and recent alums to find job and internship postings offered by companies and alums. Students can also upload job application materials, register for on-campus interviews, schedule career counseling appointments and monitor the status of their applications.

The update includes a modern, streamlined and user-friendly interface. The interface was designed with consideration of Google’s principles of material design standards, which are intended to help make web navigation more natural, Donato said.

The update also features new opportunities for following employers and keeping track of surveys, Donato said.

Students who have used the updated site expressed satisfaction with its design.

“At a first glance it looks so much better, cleaner and nicer,” said Vicky Ding ’17. The old search function was particularly challenging because of glitches in which category “tags would disappear,” she said.

The website is “more aesthetically pleasing but the functionality is essentiality the same,” said Alana Bhatla ’16, vice president of the Undergraduate Council of Students. “The graphics are better; the designs are better. But the tools and menu option, and the way you upload documents and view them — the functionality has not been changed.”

“When I used to visit the website, it used to be hideous,” said Ivelisse Rodriguez ’17. “Now it is more user-friendly and easier to find things.”

The JIB overlaps in some places with BrownConnect, another CareerLAB tool that lets students find internships and network with alums.

Donato, who took the helm of CareerLAB last spring, said one of his main goals as director was improving the JIB.

“Coming into this job, my biggest issue with the product was always the fact that it was not user-friendly or intuitive,” Donato said. “Given the way people in general — not just students — interact with websites and the Internet, if you can’t figure out how to navigate something very quickly, you lose interest from your users. The Job and Internship Board turned a lot of students off, and it made us look like we were behind on the times in terms of technology.”

Looking ahead, the JIB may gain more features as the year progresses.

CareerLAB hopes to create a mobile version of the updated JIB available to students soon. While CareerLAB currently offers an app for the JIB, it has experienced a slight delay in incorporating the new interface into the mobile app.

The entire redesign of the site was meant to make the site better on computers as well as mobile devices, which have become the primary way that students connect with University resources, Donato said.

For this reason, the new JIB was not advertised widely, he said. In the upcoming weeks, CareerLAB will work to better inform students about both the website and the app, he added.

Some students noted that it would have been helpful to know about the update prior to the career fairs hosted on Sept. 29 and Sept. 30.

Jessica Montes ’16 said she wished the update had been better advertised. But she added that she appreciated that the new website allowed her to filter job listings by time or qualifications.

“It was actually weird — I was online when they switched from the old to new version,” said Kyle McIntyre ’16.

Donato said CareerLAB’s success in launching the update can be attributed in part to the students who voiced their complaints through regular career counseling and emails.

“I think it’s great that the CareerLAB has an updated format for the JIB,” said Emma Currier ’16, a peer career adviser at CareerLAB. The JIB has incredible resources and the new version just makes it easier for students to access all within it, such as workshops, appointments and resources.”

In the future, students hope the JIB will be further updated to contain new features.

McIntyre said he would like to see changes in the way resumes are named and uploaded to the site so that they can be more easily differentiated for different employers.

More information about the companies that advertise on the JIB would also be helpful, Rodriguez said.

The update to the JIB is among several CareerLAB initiatives to help students on the track of thinking about their futures. CareerLAB also recently launched Project 2019, a yearlong series of programs, workshops and events, to help members of the class of 2019 in their internship and job searches.

Donato and the staff at CareerLAB are committed to making sure that the system is working well, Donato said. Any students who notice any issues or have any suggestions should bring them to the attention of CareerLAB, he said.

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