Only a few months after converting its undergraduate student career search service from PennLink to Handshake, Penn has decided to rename their job searching website.

“Handshake was named because of the implied introductory motion of a handshake that often occurs during networking events. However, after careful consideration and observation of these events, we have decided to rename Handshake 'OneArmedHug,' because of the surveyed behavior that often occurred at OCR events,” said Head of Career Services Margaret Reed.

The committee in charge of choosing a new name stated that they wanted to foster a more community–centered OCR. They argued that a handshake, while polite, is a very formal—and unrealistic—way to greet professionals, and that students might be better suited to the more friendly (albeit awkward) situation that a one-armed hug creates.

“We saw many students approach alumni at networking events, and many were posed with a moral dilemma: to handshake or to hug?” said, Steven Smith, who lead the name–change committee. He agreed that the handshake/hug dilemma is one that occurs often and thought that, for now, a one-armed hug is the perfect compromise of the two: comfortably placed in between a full embrace and a formal introduction. 

One student agreed that this would be the positive change that students have been waiting for for so long. “A smile immediately creeps over my face when I log onto OneArmedHug, rather than the chill down my spine that occurred when logging onto Handshake in the past,” said Katie Johns. “It really makes OCR into something so much warmer and friendlier.” 

The hope of the committee is that down the line, OneArmedHug might be changed to Embrace to truly create a united recruiting network built on the foundation of kindness, teamwork, and love. “But that seems a little unrealistic at this juncture, so for now, we’re happy with OneArmedHug.”


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