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MassBay Community College Pilots Paperless Career Fair

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

WELLESLEY HILLS, MA (December 29, 2010) - Imagine... a college career fair where no business cards or resumes on fine white paper are allowed. In place of all the paper that normally changes hands, MassBay Community College has adopted a cutting edge technology that will allow students and potential employers to transmit key information to each other remotely.

The technology is called “Mingle Sticks.” Looking like a flash drive, the Mingle Sticks are pointed at each other, allowing students to send recruiters pertinent information, even a photo, and the recruiters can send contact information, which can be easily downloaded into an address book.

Julie Komack, Director of Career Services at MassBay, came up with the idea. “I’m always looking at ways to go green, and a friend and I began discussing whether we could find a green alternative to business cards and resumes. So I went online and discovered Mingle Sticks. I’ve been told that we are the first college in the country to use Mingle Sticks at a career fair.”

Mingle Sticks are distributed by UCSA International, Inc. and can be purchased, but MassBay intends to rent them for each student and recruiter. In fact, MassBay will have all the recruiters’ information preloaded on the sticks, ready to beam to the students. Komack has arranged for the Mingle Stick rentals to be donated by the Metro West Secondary-Post Secondary CVTE (Career Vocational Tech Education) Linkage Consortia under the direction of Sofia Vieira.

“When we signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, these were exactly the kind initiatives we envisioned,” said MassBay President Carole Berotte Joseph. “MassBay’s green career fair can be a national model for schools across the country to follow, and we are proud to host the first one this year.”

All sixteen prospective employers have expressed great excitement about participating in this state-of-the-art green (and convenient) technology, knowing that at the end of the day, they will have all the potential applicants’ pertinent information, together with a photo, which will make it exceptionally easy for them to remember each student.

Komack said that there are safeguards built into the system to protect people’s privacy. “No one can get any information by accident - you have to beam your stick at the other person’s stick and simultaneously click a button. A green light will show that the information is transmitted between the sticks.”

The students are also very excited to be part of this pilot program. Fifty students have prepped to get ready for the career fair - many taking part in MassBay’s Career Closet five-session course in resume writing and interviewing skills - and all getting their information ready to be uploaded on the Mingle Sticks.

Komack didn’t stop at creating paperless career fair and calling it a “green” event - she also has insisted that the lunches served to the recruiters be cooked with local ingredients, and that no bottled water in plastic containers will be allowed. Furthermore, everyone participating in this career fair will receive a reusable canvas bag.

Komack said, “MassBay is committed to being on the cutting edge of technology and protecting the environment. I think this career fair easily achieves both goals, and I think everyone who participates will be proud to think that they are in the forefront of changing the way we have always done things in order to be more efficient and leave a smaller carbon footprint.”