Attempting to further prepare students in the Harbert College of Business for the professional marketplace, the Office of Professional and Career Development center announced a new service that gives students hands-on experience getting laid off.
“It’s a service we’ve thought long and hard about,” States Elizabeth Cooper, supervisor of the office, “We’ve given a lot of tools to students, resume help, mock interviews, and career consulting, but we wanted to prepare our students for when they are inevitably fired due to underperformance or outsourcing.”
The service will roll out in the fall of 2019, making it the first of its kind in the southeast. The service includes a one-on-one meeting with three employees of the OCPD posing as corporate officers. Students will get to experience first hand the anxiety of walking into a room full of their direct superiors only to be told that their work here is no longer needed.
OCPD partnered with the theater department to have actors on hand to pose as spouses for the freshly laid off. Theater students will get the unique opportunity to pose as spouses or loved ones to call after the appointment.
“The hardest part of getting laid off isn’t the event itself, it’s that phone call you have to make afterwards. Hearing the person you love most on the other side of the line, confused, scared, afraid. That’s the feeling we are really trying to capture.” Stated Cooper, “We think this element will add a whole new layer of realism to the service.”
Walk in appointments are available, however, students are encouraged to book an appointment in advance using Handshake.