Symplicity draws mixed response

With fall semester comes the start of a new job search for many students, especially those who belong to the class of 2014. But as these students log online to peruse career opportunities for the summer or year, they may face a stark white page that is utterly unfamiliar.

Earlier this year, Undergraduate Career Services launched a new online resource system for students and alumni that aims to streamline communication between students and employers. The new system — Yale UCS Symplicity — replaced the previous eRecruiting platform and runs in a similar format. Though the site was originally released with limited functionality, UCS continued to add new features and currently plans to develop the system even further.

“We started the process in May, and we rolled out additional features over the summer so it would be the least disruptive time,” said UCS Director Jeanine Dames. “The use of the system has been very high.”

The new system, Dames said, is superior to eRecruiting because of its increased functionality and customizability. Through Symplicity, students can access contact information for various alumni classes, network directly with a database of over 9,500 employers and also view students’ reviews of their past employers.

Dames added that UCS is currently building the peer-to-peer password-protected database of employer reviews based on student feedback on their summer activities. So far, roughly 2,200 students, or 55 percent, have responded to the survey.

Ken Koopmans, director of employment programs and deputy director of UCS, said the new system will also be easier for employers to access and use than the previous platform.

“Employers post and edit their own job descriptions. … They can also extend deadlines and access applications on their own,” Koopmans said. “It’s a much more effective and efficient system for them.”

Despite the positive feedback from employers, students themselves have not responded so enthusiastically to the changes. Out of nine students interviewed, seven said they either disliked the new system or were confused by it.

Emily Harris ’15 and Ezriel Gelbfish ’16 both mentioned that they had problems accessing the system at first. Harris said she had to email UCS about five times to fix a log-in issue with her account, and Gelbfish said he could not use the site for Yale-in-New York events when he tried to during the summer.

“I haven’t used the site since [I first logged in], but it seems to have pretty much the same functionality as eRecruiting,” Harris said.

Dames said the feedback UCS has received about the new site has largely been in the form of questions about how to access certain features or make use of them. But she added that the traffic to the site has been high, with over 1,600 views on a page featuring the contact information for members of the class of 2013, whom students may reach to for career advice.

“I want to remind students that if they do have any questions, they should take a look at the instructions or come to us with them,” she said. “[Symplicity] really does offer a really strong, searchable database, and it is a very powerful tool that can be incredibly helpful for students.”

A large part of the system is currently live, Dames said, though certain features — such as special resources for a health professions advisory program — have yet to be completed.

Yale UCS Symplicity was first announced on May 8 after the end of the spring semester exam period.

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