GoldPASS to get new look by end of spring semester

Some students have complained that the current website is difficult to use.

by Tiffany Bui

GoldPASS, the University of Minnesota’s career networking database, will get a digital facelift at the end of April.

GoldPASS will be powered by the software service provider Handshake starting April 30. The website is anticipated to have a more modern appearance and user-friendly interface. This change will also feature app accessibility for GoldPASS, allowing users to connect to the platform on their phones.

The University decided to move away from its current software provider, GradLeaders,when the contract ended last spring, said Becky Hall, the University’s director of career services administration. She said Handshake will have a contemporary and ‘smarter’ interface, in addition to app functionality.

“They have a machine learning function where students go in and they start entering some of their industry sectors, areas of interest,” Hall said. “The software becomes smarter and will start recommending opportunities for student to explore that might not necessarily be with the company they thought about before.”

Handshake expands student opportunities to connect with employers, said Ben Christensen, co-founder of Handshake.

“One thing that Handshake does is connect all of the University of Minnesota campuses to the larger employer network that spans the country, including things from Tesla to Amazon, to companies that are certainly local favorites like U.S. Bank or Target,” Christensen said.

Macalester College transitioned to Handshake last July, and has been using the platform for a year. The ease of access for employers has allowed the college to connect students to more job opportunities, said John Mountain, director of Macalester College’s Career Development Center.

“Handshake makes it really easy on the employer side to post positions to multiple schools,” Mountain said.

The Career Development Center has seen more student interaction with Handshake than their previous center, he said. More students are logging into the database and making appointments at the development center office.

“Clearly, from an engagement standpoint, we’ve seen positive results, which is very consistent with what Handshake sees from other schools that have launched,” Mountain said.

Some students say they welcome improvements, as GoldPASS was not user-friendly, which impeded usage of the platform.

University junior Alyssa Benson said GoldPASS is something she uses sparingly — only when outside links redirect her to the website. But this year, Benson has had problems using the site.

“It has not worked for me every time I have used it. Using it to sign up for job internship fairs, I had trouble,” Benson said.

Sophomore Bruno Indig said he uses the website to find jobs and internships, but doesn’t find it convenient.

“It’s really cluttered and not super helpful all the time. I’ll look at something in education and then a whole plethora of options that are not at all related to education will come up,” he said.

Both students said they value ease of use as the most important improvement.

Students enrolled in the Carlson School of Management will continue to use The Edge as their career services system.