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The university-to-work transition: responses of universities and organizations to the COVID-19 pandemic

William E. Donald (Southampton Business School, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK) (Ronin Institute, Montclair, New Jersey, USA)
Melanie J. Ashleigh (Southampton Business School, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK)
Yehuda Baruch (Southampton Business School, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 3 September 2021

Issue publication date: 13 December 2022

1279

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to understand how universities and organizations have responded to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of preparing university students and recent graduates to enter the global labor market, using the accounting, banking and finance sector as a case study. The two research questions are (1) How can university career services and organizations work individually and collaboratively to best develop early career talent following the COVID-19 pandemic? (2) What are the challenges that university career services and organizations face when working individually or collaboratively to develop early career talent following the COVID-19 pandemic?

Design/methodology/approach

The data for thematic analysis comes from 36 semi-structured interviews with career advisors (CAs) (n = 19) and graduate recruiters (GRs) (n = 17).

Findings

This study offers some of the first findings on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, helping to ensure that organizational behavior and career theory literature reflect the dramatically changing landscape in the university-to-work transition.

Originality/value

Theoretically, our contribution comes from applying a framework of the career construction theory (CTT) within the context of a career ecosystem to understand the views of the intermediary, meso-level actors, which, to date, have lacked representation within career literature. Practically, we provide an insightful bridge between universities and organizations, offering opportunities for greater collaboration, and enhanced outcomes for all stakeholders.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the Careers Advisors and Graduate Recruiters who gave up their valuable time during the COVID-19 pandemic to participate in this study.

Citation

Donald, W.E., Ashleigh, M.J. and Baruch, Y. (2022), "The university-to-work transition: responses of universities and organizations to the COVID-19 pandemic", Personnel Review, Vol. 51 No. 9, pp. 2201-2221. https://doi.org/10.1108/PR-03-2021-0170

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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