We've created this page to answer some frequently asked questions and provide more information on topics of concern. We will continue to update this page as more information becomes available.
Caltech Career Development Center COVID-19 related FAQs
For Students, Postdocs and Alumni
We are here to help you with most of our usual services. The only resources impacted by this virtual format are use of the resource library and interview rooms. Please make an appointment through Handshake if you need assistance with: Career Counseling / Pre-Med Advising / Grad School Advising / Resume Review / Cover Letter Review / Interview Coaching / Salary Negotiation / Job or Internship Search Assistance
Send us your questions or concerns! Please fill out our "Job Search/Concerns During COVID-19" survey. We can't respond directly to each submission, but all of them will be reviewed for common questions - some will be answered on this page. However, you are welcome to set up an appointment with one of our career counselors to discuss your specific questions/concerns. Please see the first answered question below for details on setting up an appointment.
Our career counselors are available for phone or zoom appointments! To schedule an appointment, please log into your Handshake account, click on "Career Center", and follow the prompts to make an appointment on the date/time that works best for you.
Yes! You can either pick a day/time within working hours of 8am to 5pm PST (Monday through Friday), or if that schedule does not work for you, please email email@example.com to discuss some alternate times. We are also happy to meet with you via email.
The Career Development Center's Career Guide contains tips on how to prepare for phone and video interviews on pages 24-25. Caltech students, postdocs, and alumni can schedule a practice interview with a career counselor, please refer to the first question above for info on making an appointment.
Yes! We are converting our workshops to a virtual format (on Zoom.)
All other in-person events have been temporarily suspended. However, employers, grad schools, and other organizations are continuing to host virtual events. Please look out for our weekly email of upcoming events, or visit the Events page on Handshake, for a complete list of what's coming up.
Check to see if the prospective school has offered a virtual alternative or postponed their events. Contact the graduate program to see if there are additional materials or other graduate students they can connect you with to ask questions that might help you decide if the program is the right fit for you. Identify what your priorities, goals, and values are when considering programs, and center your questions around those topics.
Yes, employers are still hiring for summer internship and full-time employment opportunities. Currently, Handshake shares more than 2,300 Jobs and 1,200 internships and 150+ Fellowships posted by unique employers. We encourage you to setup your notification preferences in the system and make sure your profile is current and complete in order to receive postings.
The following are some resources to potentially identify a new opportunity for the summer. For more assistance tailored to your interests, please schedule a phone or video appointment with a career counselor.
- Use job boards such as Handshake, Builtin.com, Indeed, LinkUp, LinkedIn Jobs, Engineerjobs.com
- Explore careers through informational interviews.
- Use LinkedIn's Find Alumni Feature to connect with Caltech alums near you.
- Connect with local companies or alums doing interesting work. Propose a project you would like to help them with.
- Complete short term or contract-based projects through AngelList.
Alternatives to internships:
- Build your skills with free online courses offered through Coursera, EdX, and LinkedIn Learning.
- Reach out to research labs at local universities to inquire whether they need summer research help.
- Begin or update your portfolio.
- Develop an independent project - design and/or build something and add it to your portfolio.
- Explore graduate school programs that align with your interests. How might they help you with your career path planning? Review websites of schools, read research papers that interest you and figure out where the authors teach, send emails to potential PIs, and video chat with graduate students in different programs.
Finding opportunities closer to home:
In addition to the above-mentioned resources, investigate remote work opportunities with employers. If you currently have a summer experience lined-up, ask your employer about the possibility of working remotely or working at another office location closer to home. If you are searching for a new opportunity, look for descriptions that include flexible work arrangements or that signal the work would be remote.
Check your local universities for opportunities to conduct research. Look for formal summer programs open to external applicants, or consider sending an inquiry directly to a faculty member who is conducting research of interest to you to see if there is a possibility of working with them this summer.
Yes! We will add resources to this section as they come our way!
- The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) recently introduced the ORISE GO mobile app. ORISE GO offers college students, recent graduates and postdocs a mobile tool to search and apply for hundreds of STEM internships, fellowships and research opportunities at national labs and facilities across the United States. ORISE GO also provides a platform to remain engaged, connected and informed during the ORISE experience—from application, to offer, through the appointment and even as an ORISE alum.
- Get hired remotely! - This is a resource page from Handshake. They have posted a lot of useful information such as free resources to help you right now, advice on how to ace your virtual interview, how to impress employers at virtual events, and how to get a last-minute internship.
Did you miss a workshop or want to review it again?
Our virtual spring and summer term workshops are being recorded for your benefit. Feel free to review the presentations below. Recordings of upcoming workshops will be added to the list as they become available, so please check back regularly!
We are also sharing any company info session recordings made available to us by the organization or employer.
- Company Info Sessions
You will need to log in with your Caltech credentials to access the information.
- Medical School Personal Statements - April 7, 2020
- Job Search/COVID concerns - April 14, 2020
- Graduate School Personal Statements - April 16, 2020
- Enhancing Your Linkedin Profile: Tips & Tricks - April 21, 2020
- Fundamentals of Graduate School - April 30, 2020
- Time crunch: Job Search & Research Opportunities - May 1, 2020
- Internship Search during COVID-19 - May 8, 2020
- Preparing for Fall Recruiting - August 11-13, 2020
- Resumes and Cover Letters - August 25-27, 2020
- Preparing for Virtual Interviews - September 1-3, 2020
- Preparing for the Career Fair - September 15-17, 2020
- Preparing for the Virtual Career Fairs - September 30, 2020
- Career Fair Follow Up - October 5, 2020
- Resumes and Cover Letters - October 6, 2020
- How to git hired: Guide to resumes, referrals and interviews (presentation by Alex Cui) - October 27, 2020
None at this time - check back for any recorded virtual info sessions!
We would like to thank employers for continuing to stay connected with our student population! If you wish to discuss issues with existing offers of full-time positions or internships, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Caltech has instituted a response plan to the Covid-19 virus, switching to an online-only model. Our students have been asked to leave campus, and physical access to campus is limited to essential personnel only. At the Career Development Center, we are working with our students remotely for their career needs, such as hosting virtual workshops, as well as virtual counseling sessions.
We are also encouraging virtual connections for Employers. We would be happy to assist employers with promoting their internships and full-time roles. If you have current positions you would like us to share with the Caltech community, please post them on Handshake and send us an email with the job ID#s so we can feature them in our weekly newsletter. If you have any questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New positions can be posted as usual, with relevant information due to the existing crisis (such as remote-work options.). Our students have been informed that Handshake is operating as normal, and to search for positions as usual. If you have existing positions in Handshake, please review them for any changes needed (such as later start date, or perhaps a remote-work option).
Handshake allows for the posting of virtual sessions. When "Virtual Session" is selected, your firm will be able to submit the link for students to access your network of choice. We will also ask our students to register via the Handshake event in addition to your registration site, so that we can track usage of this option. We will also reach out to your firm to compare numbers, in order to capture attendance from our University.
Most students do not have classes during the following times: 12-1pm and 4-7pm PST. Tailoring your events to these specific time periods may increase participation.
You can set up a schedule for virtual interviews through Handshake. Before you request an interview schedule, please be sure you have posted the job you are interviewing for on Handshake.
Yes! Caltech holds two Career Fairs per academic year in October and January.
SAVE THE DATE! - 2021 STEM Virtual Career Fair
January 29, 2021 – 10am to 3pm
The Career Development Center is happy to announce that the next virtual career fair will be on January 29, 2021!
We are once again teaming up with Harvey Mudd College (HMC.) This joint effort will be an incredible opportunity for employers to seek top talent from Caltech, HMC, and The Claremont Colleges. In turn, students from these schools can take advantage of opportunities offered by familiar and NEW employers/organizations.
Please look out for more information on how to register for the STEM virtual career fair!
Have more questions?
If you couldn't find the answer to your question or concern on this page (or throughout our website), please email us at email@example.com or the appropriate staff member directly:
Claire Ralph, Director – firstname.lastname@example.org
Jill Wells, Associate Director – email@example.com
James Berk, Career Counselor and Pre-health Advisor – firstname.lastname@example.org
Marie Lara, Manager of Career Services – email@example.com
Alice Liang, Student Programming Coordinator - firstname.lastname@example.org
TBD, Recruiting Coordinator -
For general inquiries, please email email@example.com
Students who are experiencing increased anxiety or stress related to the COVID-19 virus, concerns about family overseas, or your personal health, may contact Student Counseling Services (https://wellness.caltech.edu/counseling) for consultation and support. Call (626) 395-8331 to arrange a phone appointment.
Postdocs who experience increased anxiety or stress related to the virus, concerns about family in the United States or abroad, or your personal health, may utilize the Staff and Faculty Consultation Center (http://www.sfcc.caltech.edu/.) Please call (626) 395-8360 to arrange a phone appointment.