3 ways the UAB Collat School of Business prepares their students for the workforce


Business students at UAB before quarantine. Photo via UAB Collat School of Business

For graduating seniors, job hunting can be one of the most stressful parts of graduation. Luckily, the UAB Collat School of Business has an excellent program that connects students with potential employers and helps prepare them for the job search long before they graduate.

Collat Career Center

UAB Business students gathered in the Collat building prior to social distancing. Photo via UAB Collat School of Business

Located on the first floor of the new UAB Collat School of Business building, the Collat Career Center is the one-stop advice shop for students in any of UAB Collat’s nine undergraduate business majors:

Although UAB students are currently studying from home, here are three ways the Collat Career Center helps prepare them for the next step.

1. One-on-One Counseling

Helen Zhou is one of the Career Peer Mentors at UAB Collat. Photo via Bham Now

In addition to several expert job counselors, the Collat Career Center has two Career Peer Mentors that help better connect with the students. Since students feel more comfortable with and are more willing to accept advice from their peers, Career Peer Mentors are able to get incredible results.

To continue counseling during the pandemic, the Collat Career Center swiftly pivoted and built a virtual career center where students can seek the help they need from the comfort of their own home. Students can set up virtual counseling sessions there.

Students connecting in the virtual career center. Photo courtesy of UAB Collat School of Business

Another great resource is the recent campus-wide addition of Handshake. Handshake is an online job and intern recruiting app which allows students:

  • 24/7 access to apply for jobs.
  • The ability to upload resumes and cover letters.
  • To be able to connect with other students and discuss their internship experience.

“Handshake is especially useful now with the COVID-19 outbreak. Students can see job opportunities from over 10,000 employers online.”

Rita Stewart Hampton, Director, Collat Career Center

2. Unique Career Fairs

An Employer Chats at Collat table. UAB Collat School of Business

Career fairs: it seems like all colleges and high schools host them, yet they are always the same. You walk around the room, talk to an employer at a table, and probably never hear back from them. In these career fairs, the student is always pitching the potential employer. However, UAB Collat does things a bit differently.

Collat hosts several speed-pitch events for potential employers to pitch themselves to students. Without the aid of a PowerPoint presentation, these employers must pitch their company to students and show why they are unique. One logistics company even wrote and performed a song about their openings!

In addition, the Collat Career Center created a program called Employer Chats at Collat—a mini-program where employers can set up a table in the Collat building and pitch to students. Since students can quickly chat and hand in their resume while they walk to class, they love the program.

These visits haven’t stopped while campus is closed, they’ve just moved online. Recently the virtual career center hosted an online Employer Chat with a hiring manager who told students how to make themselves stand out during online job interviews.

3. Job Tours

UAB students on a tour of the Tennessee Valley Authority headquarters. Photo courtesy of UAB Collat School of Business

“Students have often said that they don’t know what the environment and work culture is like at an opportunity, so we decided to start taking the students to see for themselves.”

Rita Stewart Hampton, Director, Collat Career Center

Several times a semester, the UAB Collat School of Business takes groups of students to local and regional job opportunities to let the students have a closer look. In the past, they’ve visited Mercedes, Honda, Hyundai, Hibbett Sports, Regions, BBVA, Innovation Depot, Shipt, Daxko, Protective Life, Coca Cola and more.

Recently, a group of students traveled to the Tennessee Valley Authority campus in Chattanooga. Throughout the day they learned about the TVA, how you buy and sell energy, and even had roundtable conversations with executives. Afterward, three students received telephone interviews.

Learn More About The Collat School of Business

The UAB Collat School of Business lobby. Photo via UAB on Facebook

Although there is no physical activity on UAB’s campus for the near future, it’s never too early to start planning to further your education at the UAB Collat School of Business. Learn more online or check them out on their very active Instagram account to get a first-hand look at what it’s like to study business at UAB.

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Nathan Watson
Tennessee native who fell in love with Birmingham during college. Graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in 2019. Passionate about Birmingham and its continued growth.
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