Union Pacific utilizes Handshake to connect with Husker talent, receives incredible number of applications from qualified students. 

Handshake is a free resource available to all University of Nebraska-Lincoln students and alumni, but it can also be an excellent tool for local and national employers to connect with top Husker talent. By registering for a free employer account, companies can utilize powerful recruiting tools to connect with  groups of qualified students and enhance their recruitment efforts on a much larger scale.   

Marcela Morales, a senior recruiter at Union Pacific said Handshake is one of the main recruitment methods they use when trying to attract students for open positions. In the fall, Morales said Union Pacific received over 200 applications just from UNL students alone due to their recruitment efforts on Handshake.  

“We’ve seen a lot of success,” Morales said. Employers utilizing the Handshake platform have the opportunity to utilize built-in features that can help drive this recruiting success.   

According to Morales, the user experience for employers on Handshake is very simple. She said when looking for qualified students, they can filter students based on criteria like their majors or years in school and can search based upon which university they attend or leave it open to a variety of universities.  

“We kind of put it out there for all the schools to receive our messages for those students matching those criteria. And then we write up a message and we try to personalize it as much as we can so adding your name, your major your school so that you know that we’re reaching out to you personally because you meet those criteria. And then we send out those messages to all those students.”  

While Union Pacific does subscribe to Handshake’s premium employer offering for additional analytics, everything Morales has mentioned above is included for all employers, no matter their status. 

Last year, Meylin Espinoza, a senior criminal justice major claimed her student handshake account and received a message from a Union Pacific recruiter. After staying in touch with her recruiter and getting an internship with the company, Espinoza had an experience she calls life changing. 

“My goal is to become an attorney and getting a paralegal internship that’s paid is amazing,” Espinoza said. “And it’s not like they just have me filing papers, I get to draft answers and full disclosures and all that. I’ve also become really close with everyone here and have created relationships. So that’s why I say it’s life changing, because of the relationships that I’ve established and the experience that Handshake has given me.”   

UNL student, Meylin Espinoza standing in front of a window.
Meylin Espinoza, senior criminal justice major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Now approaching graduation, Espinoza said that Union Pacific will be the first place she’ll look for a full-time job. According to Morales, Espinoza’s story is not as unique as it may seem. She said that using Handshake to recruit students for internships is a great way for their company to build a talent pipeline.  

“When someone starts, they’re able to move through different departments or intern at departments within Union Pacific throughout their college years,” Morales said. “Once they find something that they really like, or they want to be part of, or maybe it’s more aligned to their degree, if there’s a position open, they’re able to go from intern to a full-time employee.” 

Employers can learn more about Handshake on the Career Services website or by reaching out to our office at careerservices@unl.edu. Students can claim their free account at unl.joinhandshake.com.    

By Bailey Herrera
Bailey Herrera