The University of Virginia is partnering with several companies to create a new guaranteed interview program for certificate students, designed to improve the talent pipeline for both employers and job seekers in high-demand fields.
The new program comes from an agreement between UVA’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies – which offers part-time, online programs for adult students – and several private employers, including some founded by UVA alumni.
Nationally, the labor market has been historically tight in recent months, with more openings than applicants for positions in many sectors, especially in technology. Guaranteed interviews will help address this need by connecting employers with highly trained prospects while giving students a leg up in job searches, said Hollie Lee, director of certificate programs at the School of Continuing and Professional Studies.
“Many students come to our certificate programs looking for a way to gain new skills, switch careers, or level-up in some way,” Lee said. “These guaranteed interviews can help students get where they want to go professionally while supplying a steady pipeline of talent from UVA to firms in need of new, well-trained employees.”
Through the program, students from certain certificate programs at the School of Continuing and Professional Studies can sign up for a job interview with a partner company. The employers choose which certificate programs qualify for the guaranteed interviews.
The program is also open to recent certificate graduates, Lee said.
For example, Alpha Omega Integration, one of the program’s initial partners, is offering guaranteed interviews to students in cloud computing, cybersecurity, information technology, and project management.
The company specializes in government contracting in areas such as intelligent automation, software development, cloud solutions and infrastructure security, and was founded by Gautam Ijoor, a graduate of UVA’s Darden School of Business.
“Alpha Omega is investing in career-switchers, career-changers and career-advancers to create an agile tech workforce for our government clients,” said Ijoor, the company CEO. “As a Darden graduate, I know firsthand the rigorous coursework and top-notch faculty that produces high-caliber leaders and innovators. Alpha Omega is honored to formalize our partnership with UVA and open doors for its students and graduates.”
Tim Hale, a 1987 UVA graduate, is the founder of Coastal Cloud, a Florida-based consulting company that helps clients get the most out of software platforms such as Salesforce.
“We expect Salesforce and its ecosystem of partners, like Coastal Cloud, to create 9.3 million new jobs and $1.6 trillion in new business revenue by 2026, so it’s an exciting time to explore a career in technology,” Hale said. “The guaranteed interview program really demonstrates UVA’s ability to keep its finger on the pulse of the future for students and alumni. As a UVA alum myself, I am honored to see Coastal Cloud join forces with my alma mater to build a cloud-based career pipeline.”
Definitive Logic, a Northern Virginia-based information technology company that works with government, military and private commercial clients, is also among the first partner firms for the program and is excited to begin, said Sam Look, the company’s chief people and culture officer.
“Our partnership will provide increased opportunities for both young and experienced professionals,” Look said. “This partnership will provide Definitive Logic with an opportunity to improve the development of our workforce while we provide exciting career opportunities for everyone invested in this program.”
The program starts this summer and UVA certificate students are already signing up. School of Continuing and Professional Studies certificate students or recent certificate graduates interested in participating should contact Lee at email@example.com.
Companies interested in partnering can learn more on the program’s website.