Going Virtual Hurts Student Career Prospects

Students less likely to engage with virtual networking events, increasing turnover, burnout

Media Contact:
Larry Frum
AIP Media

DENVER, May 24, 2022 – As in-person scientific meetings and gathering have been replaced by virtual meetings during the pandemic, students and young professionals are seeing career fairs and networking events transition into remote experiences that simply lack the same impact as getting together.

During the 182nd Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, Ryan Harne, from Penn State University, will discuss how students and professionals can adapt to the virtual environment and increase networking opportunities. His presentation, “Ensuring the kids are alright: Ways to help students network with industry professionals in the age of virtual meetings and career fair disillusionment,” will take place May 24, at 4:15 p.m. Eastern U.S.

Many career professionals are also adapting to virtual events and working from home and prefer this over in-person meetings. Students still prefer face-to-face communication and are either uninterested in or unfamiliar with virtual interactions. The result is many networking opportunities are effectively closed to students and young professionals, limiting their ability to enter and thrive in their chosen fields.

“Students are familiar and adept at in-person communication and often do not accept virtual communication as a substitute in professional networking,” said Harne. “This trend can be linked to the decline of student participation in professional or society conferences when those meetings go virtual.”

Harne suggests the solution for companies looking to hire new talent is to reach students where they are by holding in-person career fairs and networking events on educational campuses. The goal for these organizations is to find new talent, and for students, they can be exposed to a variety of fields, helping them decide their career path, preparing them to enter the workforce, and reducing early career turnover.

This could prove challenging for many organizations that are seeking to transition permanently to a virtual environment. These companies may struggle to hire or retain young professionals who have little exposure to the careers they are beginning to enter.

“While remote or hybrid work environments are a sustainable solution for existing employees, they have the potential to provoke long-term high turnover of new hires who feel less inclined to ‘stick with it’ when there are lurches in their on-ramping due to the lack of rapport fostered by face-to-face engagement,” said Harne.

Main meeting website: https://acousticalsociety.org/asa-meetings/
Technical program: https://eventpilotadmin.com/web/planner.php?id=ASASPRING22
Press Room: https://acoustics.org/world-wide-press-room/

In the coming weeks, ASA’s Worldwide Press Room will be updated with additional tips on dozens of newsworthy stories and with lay language papers, which are 300 to 500 word summaries of presentations written by scientists for a general audience and accompanied by photos, audio and video. You can visit the site during the meeting at https://acoustics.org/world-wide-press-room/.

We will grant free registration to credentialed journalists and professional freelance journalists. If you are a reporter and would like to attend, contact AIP Media Services at media@aip.org. For urgent requests, staff at media@aip.org can also help with setting up interviews and obtaining images, sound clips, or background information.

The Acoustical Society of America (ASA) is the premier international scientific society in acoustics devoted to the science and technology of sound. Its 7,000 members worldwide represent a broad spectrum of the study of acoustics. ASA publications include The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (the world’s leading journal on acoustics), JASA Express Letters, Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics, Acoustics Today magazine, books, and standards on acoustics. The society also holds two major scientific meetings each year. See https://acousticalsociety.org/.

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