For me, it’s almost always internship hunting season. Applications and interviews this year began in late September and end, frankly, whenever they end — even some of the earliest ones didn’t make decisions until early January. For me and many others, TigerTracks is the most accessible way to find internships. At least, it beats cold applying to the same company’s career website or keeping track of myriad application and interview schedules.
But every time I log into TigerTracks, it feels like a hassle. Will I find something useful, or won’t I? How often do I have to log in to find a relevant position — every day, week, month? Do I need to upload an updated resume? Was I automatically logged out again? For what it’s worth, I do find TigerTracks to be pretty good. Pretty, pretty, pretty … pretty good. However, I would suggest a few updates.
But, why even care? Princeton undergraduates get some of the best jobs and internships in the country, so what is there to fix? Well it’s not about the end result, but the user experience. As far as my daily, weekly, even monthly, interactions with Career Services go, TigerTracks is it. It’s easy simply because it’s online and readily accessible. But, in its current state, some students don’t even use it. It works just well enough for me, with some continuous effort, to get done just what I need to do: no more, no less.
Apart from TigerTracks, Princeton offers us Career Services in person. But, let’s face it: People like me are not going to make more than one, maybe two, appointments with Career Services a year. TigerTracks is here, it’s readily available, it’s incredibly accessible, and it can be made better.
First, send us email notifications about our “favorite” employers. TigerTracks already allows us to save “Favorite Employers” from the general master list into our own personal folders, like bookmarks. Within your personal list, you can see if anyone has posted any available jobs or is hosting upcoming interviews and information sessions. But, we have to log in every single time that we want to check for positions or interviews or information sessions. Which, of course, is no great feat in and of itself, don’t get me wrong. We are certainly more than capable of checking at least once a week. But things get busy, we get lazy, it becomes the holiday season, we simply forget. Send us an automated email notification when one of our favorite employers has posted a position or is coming to campus. It’s simple and would go a long way for many of us.
In the same vein, suggest companies to us! The master list is long. Sometimes, even the “Newest Jobs” list can be long. I’m not going to sit and go through each and every single one. Sometimes, a company is relatively unknown to us, and we just pass right by the listing, not knowing that it could have been a perfect match. And so, we often miss opportunities. We just didn’t see it or didn’t hear about it. It didn’t quite fall into the specified industry subsets to which we restricted our queries. Later, after the deadline passes, someone tells us about it, and we kick ourselves.
Every now and then there are companies and opportunities that, for whatever reason, we just don’t know about. True, we could be more diligent, comb through the lists more thoroughly. But, company and job suggestions, much in the way Amazon suggests other items, would also be helpful and appreciated. Understandably, this would take a bit more work. But personalizing TigerTracks would undoubtedly provide for a better user experience.
Next, track trends for us. From the database of companies, how often are jobs posted based on industry, based on our preferences? What time of year do these companies post the most jobs? (In other words, when should we be most alert?) When is the volume of student applications the greatest?
There are also a few other odds and ends that might improve the site further. The point is not only to make TigerTracks more user-friendly, but also to make it work for us. Make it robust, and help it alleviate some of the application tension. Make it so that more students want to use it and so that those, such as myself, who do use it get the most out of it. Because right now, it isn’t at that point.
Kinnari Shah is a chemical and biological engineering major from Washington, N.J. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.