College pioneersfirst automated job line at the U

by Joe Carlson

In addition to their bank account balances and voice mail messages, some University students can now get information about jobs and internships over the telephone.
Students and alumni from the College of Human Ecology now have access to JobLine, the University’s first automated job-information phone service.
College of Human Ecology Career Services Director Jeanne Exline said the college’s career office is the only one at the University with a job line.
The telephone service, which is free to students and alumni, began Aug. 15. Since then, more than 90 students in the college’s eight undergraduate and four graduate programs have registered for the service, Exline said. The college has more than 1,300 students.
“It was a very convenient service,” College of Human Ecology senior Daewon Choe said. It was helpful “to be able to call over the telephone to get job listings.”
Choe said that the selection of positions was limited, but that was not unexpected, given that the service is still new.
The JobLine, which can be accessed 24 hours a day, contains information on full- and part-time jobs, as well as internships, in fields directly related to the programs in human ecology, Exline said.
Students who want to use the service must complete an application in the college’s career services office. In the application, students choose their own access number.
“When they want to gain information about jobs, they are required to enter in that code,” Exline said.
Human ecology students or alumni can use the system, which is an extension of an older, manual job-referral service.
The manual system handled 2,000 calls in 1995-96, Exline said.
“We started exploring a telecommunications system and decided on PhoneMaster from U.S. Telecom,” Exline said.
Currently, applications for access to the service are being taken in the college’s career services office, but later this month applications will also be taken by a computer in the lobby, research fellow and analyst Steve Flister said.
“Once that is running, we plan to put a version of it on the World Wide Web,” on the college’s homepage, Flister said. He hopes to have the Web-access system running before the end of fall quarter 1996.
In the college, “We encourage, if not require, students to have an internship,” Exline said. Exline stressed that the JobLine is a new resource that is intended to speed the process of applying for internships and employment, not a replacement for human contact.
“I still believe that talking to people and building relationships is an important part of the job application process,” she said.