A depressing site

The Chicago Career Connection website fails to meet student needs

By Maroon Editorial Board

It’s around winter break that most students realize that they should maybe consider applying for summer internships and jobs. This revelation is usually followed by a flurry of productivity involving close collaboration with Career Advising and Planning Services (CAPS) and frequent trips to Chicago Career Connection (CCC), the job database CAPS maintains.

So it’s unfortunate that CCC sometimes ends up being a burden rather than a blessing. Marketed as the ultimate online destination for the employment-hungry U of C student, the site’s most potent power seems to be its ability to aggravate a student looking for a straightforward solution to a real-world problem.

Technical glitches are the main issue. Basic functions are unreliable—for instance, pages often don’t load completely. Much of the website is incompatible with tabbed browsing. When uploading resumes and cover letters, the page frequently will freeze. Going back and forth between searches and selections can lead to page load errors, and the filters, intended to weed out unnecessary or implausible options, often simply fail to filter.

The problem isn’t the database’s content: CCC does possess an admirable array of resources. The scope of its job listings is truly impressive: There probably isn’t a more comprehensive, connected system available to Chicago students. Finding internships suited to your interests becomes considerably easier with industry searches, and filling out a profile for your account is a great way to channel results in your favor.

None of this matters, however, when the site fails on the levels of functionality, accessibility, and transparency. For example, when one applies for a Metcalf, they should get an email, or contact of some sort, notifying them if they’ve been granted an on-campus interview; instead, they have to manually check each day if they’ve been able to procure one, a fact that isn’t aptly communicated by either CCC or CAPS. And students should be told when they’re out of the running for an interview, so they can immediately focus their efforts elsewhere.

Additionally, other than a “Favorites” tab, there is virtually no way to organize or monitor pending and submitted applications; keeping track of that obscure non-profit internship becomes very difficult when you’re also managing the applications for ten other positions. Why not include within the tab the ability to sort your favorite postings by industry, position type, and whether or not you’ve applied yet? Or a way to prioritize by deadline and your level of interest in the job?

While the existence of CCC is beneficial, the site itself is far from cohesive and very often just confusing. The site should be reworked to reduce glitches; there should likewise be options, like a better calendar function and a more capable tracking ability, that emphasize the organizational aspects of the application process. More than anything, students need not only a listing of available positions, but also a well-structured and functional aid, a sort of “home base” for all their job needs and application efforts that will show them opportunities and, more importantly, do a better job facilitating and organizing them.

The Maroon Editorial Board consists of the Editor-in-Chief and the Viewpoints Editors.