Looking for a job or internship? Trying to connect with alumnae/i? Want to explore your purpose? Career Week is your answer! The Career Development Office is excited to work with students throughout events from February 15-19. All of these events are meant to help students prepare for their immediate career needs, but also life after Goucher. So take a look at the schedule, register for events, and mark your calendars. We’re ready to work hard and prepare you for what’s ahead, are you ready?
Monday, February 15
3:30-4:30pm- Batza Room- 7 Strange Questions: Figure Out Your Life’s Purpose
4:30-5:30pm-Batza Room- Your Personal Brand: Stand Out to Employers
- Do you have a resume already? Bring it to this presentation, resume critiques will be provided at the end.
Tuesday, February 16
3:30-4:30pm- Batza Room- Inside the Search: Top Job Search Strategies
4:30-5:30pm-Batza Room- Impress Employers: The Art of the Interview
Wednesday, February 17
1:30-3:30pm-ACE- Welcoming Uncertainty: A Wholehearted Approach to Your Job Search
- Presented in collaboration with ACE and Health and Counseling Services.
- Register at http://bit.ly/GCWelcomeUncertainty
3:30-4:30pm- Hyman Forum- Dress to Impress: Student Fashion Show
Thursday, February 18
10am-2pm- Julia Rogers- Practice Makes Perfect: Mock Interviews with Goucher Alumnae/i
- Register at http://bit.ly/GCMockInterviews
5-6:30pm-Buchner Hall- Grow Your Network: Speed Networking with Goucher Alums
- Register at http://bit.ly/GCSpeedNetwork
Friday, February 19
10am-2pm- Loyola University Maryland, Reitz Arena- Maryland Career Consortium Career Fair
- Click here for more information and to see a list of employers attending.
- Need a ride to the fair? Goucher will be running a shuttle at 9:30am and 12pm. Registration is required! http://bit.ly/MCC-Shuttle
- Not certain the shuttle times work for you? The Collegetown shuttle will take you to the fair as well!
Show us your best work, internship, and interview attire! Submit your photos on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram tagging @CDOGoucher and using #GCDressforSuccess. Photos submitted will be entered to win $50 Macy’s gift card!
Have you checked out the events for Grad School 101 next week? Don’t forget to register for select events! Click on the tab above for “Grad School 101” for the full list of events.
Getting your career started or making a change to a new career can be a daunting task, but all Goucher grads have an ace up their sleeve: a liberal arts degree. Learn the strengths of the liberal arts background and how to sell that to your benefit. Set yourself up to beat the competition and find out how you can stick out above the crowd. Moving from college to work or from industry to industry can be challenging, but many of your skills are transferable.
Presented by the CDO featuring Kyle Williams ’12.
Join the Career Development Office October 26-28, 2015 for a variety of events designed to help you prepare for graduate school. From GRE Prep to hearing from experts in the field, there’s an event for anyone considering graduate school as an option after college. We’re especially excited about inviting back so many alumni to participate in events throughout the week. Make sure to check out Stand Out Above the Rest if you want to meet with alums studying in a variety of fields. Registration is required for some events, but all are welcome to attend.
Write Your Story, 10/26, 4:30pm & 5:30pm, Ath 111
The Writing Center and the CDO will give you the tools needed to write your best personal statement. Have your personal statement reviewed at 5:30pm.
GRE Prep, 10/27, 5pm, Ath 111
Presented by Kaplan– learn about the GRE and tactics to help you ace it!
Coffee Chat: Pre-Law, 10/27, 6pm, CDO (VM117)
Meet with Steve Batoff of Batoff Associates to learn about various areas of law and applying to law school.
Psych Panel, 10/27, 7pm, Kelly Lecture Hall
Hear about local psych grad programs from Goucher alums.
The Right Fit, 10/28, 4:30pm, JR128
Choosing the right graduate school can be difficult. Learn how to approach the process from Brenda Grove, Director of College Outreach at Villanova University.
Stand Out Above the Rest, 10/28, 5:30pm, Buchner
Learn how to be a more competitive graduate school applicant from a panel of graduate school admissions counselors and Goucher alums who have or are currently attending graduate school.
What Being a Waiter Taught me About Customer Service
By Alejandro Zendejas, Customer Service Representative at BSI Financial Services Inc
After I graduated from Georgetown, I had been applying and interviewing for full-time employment while working a summer job for the university as a student security guard. My contract was ending in the beginning of August, and luckily, a friend of mine that worked at a local Mexican restaurant referred me to the management to become a waiter. Despite only doing the job to earn money for survival and to extend my stay in Washington, DC, until I found a full time job, I learned numerous customer service concepts and absorbed fundamental interpersonal skills that helped me land my current job as a Customer Service Representative at a mortgage servicer.
At Georgetown, I decided not to go through a conservative, secure path of obtaining a job in finance, consulting, law, sales, or education through the Career Center. I did not see myself working in any of those locations after graduation because my desire was to attain a job at a non-profit that dealt with foreign affairs and international development as well as the federal government. These positions are extremely difficult to obtain in Washington, DC, since the openings are extremely scarce and the competition is fierce. As I felt my time was running out, I decided to seize the only opportunity available to mostly support myself through the month of August while crashing at my friend’s apartment.
Without any previous background in retail or hospitality, the owners of the restaurant and the management decided to bring me in. I did not know the nuances of waiting tables until I began my training, shadowing veteran servers and practicing carrying the drink tray with one hand. I was reticent, observing my fellow waiters, and asking any question I could think of, whether it seemed stupid, redundant, or ingenious. In my first actual shifts, I made mistakes that irked the kitchen crew; however, the management was receptive and helped me whenever I faltered. The other waiters advised me and provided pointers in improving the quality of my service. When I began to work more shifts, including weekends, the owners’ perception changed after they witnessed my progress and positive reviews began coming in. Ever since then, I would always refer to a more seasoned waiter or the management for all my work concerns. Furthermore, I valued everyone in the restaurant because they took part in my development.
Now, I am in a similar position at my current job. I became hired with the basic idea of what caused our economy to collapse and virtually no knowledge of the mortgage industry. I was educated on laws regulating creditors, absorbed terminology inside the mortgage business, and learned proper phone etiquette when dealing with borrowers. I am still stumbling, but in this job, like waiting tables, one can only excel through repetition. My manager is extremely helpful and my co-workers do not hold back in correcting me. I see myself as a member of a team focused on maintaining borrowers current and assisting them on their homeowner goals. I demonstrate deference to my co-workers because they have been in the business longer.
In all restaurants, a waiter’s principal duty is to be a messenger between the kitchen crew and the customers. If a customer’s order is wrong, the waiter will always bear the brunt of his inattentiveness from the patrons. For that reason, waiters must be active listeners, taking notes and paraphrasing what the customer said to ensure that every detail is remembered. Additionally, a waiter must remain proactive, gathering information to be aware of the situation at the tables. Checking up on your customers once in a while is important because it makes them feel valued. Showing up at your table and asking a simple question such as, “How’s everything going?” without being overbearing will inform you of the actions you need to take to satisfy their present wants. These desires can range from refilling their drinks, to serving more of a complimentary appetizer, and providing recommendations on dishes to order.
In the end, it comes down to effective communication between a representative and a customer. At my job, I apply these skills whenever I receive a call from one of my customers in my pipeline. During a conversation with a customer, I always ask what I can help them with, taking notes while talking, and try to give an answer. On the other hand, I make outbound calls to check on the borrower to see if he is able to make payments, remind him of an upcoming due date, ask if they need any loss mitigation assistance, and request missing documentation. Through iteration, rapport is established, and the flow of information between a server and a customer remains open and honest.
In customer service, multitasking becomes second nature. Waiters are the masters of this skill due to the circumstances of the profession. In a restaurant, waiters need to execute by timing their actions, remember the serving process, and handle the pressure from customers.
Timing is crucial for ensuring a quality dining experience for the patrons. After customers arrive and are seated, few minutes exist that a waiter has to make an introduction and begin serving. Once the waiter introduces himself, he must return with water and an appetizer (depends on the venue) and inquire if the customers are ready to order. As soon as the order is complete, a waiter must instantly register the beverages and entrées correctly and deliver the drinks within a short period of time so the customers have something to sip on while waiting for their meal. Timing forces a waiter to be conscious of when his last activity with the customer was, which will give him space to manage other tables or complete additional tasks.
Alongside timing, remembering the process of taking an order is significant since it allows a systematic progression of tasks. At some restaurants, customers are numbered based on where they are sitting. Waiters must take note of each customer’s number so they can know from which person the ordering should begin. Another aspect of the serving process, which is imperative for waiters, is checking for IDs right after drinks are ordered. Some jurisdictions send undercover cops to penalize restaurants whose staff does not follow the law. Subsequently, handling food and beverages is tantamount to keeping utensils sanitary. When placing drinks and food on the tables, waiters must be cognizant of the way they are holding the plate or the glass. At the end of the meal, waiters should ask if the patrons want anything else, and the answer will lead to a dessert or the check. If the customer wants the check, a waiter should permit the table to see the cost. The instant that the checkbook is placed on a table with the type of payment, the waiter must take heed to special instructions, charge the payment amount, and return the book soon thereafter. Even though the patrons are finished, a waiter cannot take the checkbook until they leave the table. By remembering the nuances of any process, tasks will flow more smoothly.
Lastly, pressure from customers will pervade the restaurant. Every customer wants to be treated like he or she is special. Each one will have different preferences in their orders or requests and varying degrees of patience in receiving what they want. Regardless of the situation, a customer is always right. A waiter must own up to any mistake committed and assure the customer that measures will be taken to remedy it. Customers are constantly a priority, and an excellent waiter will always remember that.
These three items relate to being a customer service representative because a person in this position is the first one a customer will encounter on the phone. When I receive an inbound call, I have to answer the phone within three rings. After answering, I have to verify the borrower and give them the disclosure as mandated by law for debt collectors (even in my outbound calls) as part of the call process. During my phone conversation, I must have the borrower’s account information in front of my screen to be prepared to answer any question that the customer faces. If I need to put the customer on hold in order to do research, I cannot leave him waiting past five minutes. As the conversation reaches its end, I ask if there is anything else, and then, I finish with a thank you. Before going for my next call, I always record the call by writing notes of the important aspects of the conversation. In the event that a borrower cannot reach me, I tell the borrower in our parley to leave a voicemail and give me up to 48 hours to return his call. If a mistake happens, the representative must call and inform the borrower of the error and apologize. A customer service representative is the first line of response in any company, and must be mindful of his behavior and the person on the other side of the line.
Focus on Customer
Nevertheless, customers are people, human beings, just like us with feelings, cravings, and wishes. While being a waiter or a customer service representative, it is imperative to recognize this element in order to build patience. The one thing I have learned in both jobs is that we, as humans, influence others based on our own feelings. If a customer is having a bad day, a representative’s cheerfulness or friendliness can ease any worry. Conversely, some circumstances may be too difficult to overcome such as the fear of losing a home. In that case, you as the representative should demonstrate empathy as the customer tells his story to let him know that you care.
While speaking with any customer, anyone in the service industry must follow the Golden Rule. Treating everyone with the equal and utmost respect as you conduct business will eventually lead your customers to respect you. Your reputation will improve with the person as well as the company’s because you are the face of the company that people see or interact with. By doing an outstanding job and respecting customers, the company’s ratings and reviews improve, which will then cause potential clients to hold the firm in high regard.
Being a waiter checked my pride and curbed my entitlement I had received from graduating from the most prestigious university in DC. It made me realize that everybody has to start somewhere before reaching a desired job. When an opportunity came to interview to be a customer service representative, I decided to try it out just like I did as a waiter. Working in both positions has showered upon me greater appreciation for any individual providing a service to a customer. Notwithstanding that my current job at a mortgage servicer is simply a stepping stone for my career, I have gained negotiation skills, learned how to build trust with people, become more responsive to concerns as well as inquiries, and taken home-ownership knowledge that will help me in my adult life.
“I’ve been meaning to make an appointment, but I forget to call when you’re office is open.”
“Can you help me locate an internship?”
“What is the process to apply for academic credit?”
“Dorsey is so far away!”
At the Career Development Office, we’ve heard you. What is our answer to these questions and remarks? CDO ON THE GO! We are excited to launch this new initiative starting November 4th. Stop by and ask us your CDO questions. Let our Peer Career Advisors help you get on the right track for your job or internship search, learn about our services, discover options for your career path, and much more.
Check out our website for hours and locations http://www.goucher.edu/career-development-office/for-students/meeting-with-the-cdo/cdo-on-the-go
If you are tired of the job search rat race, then stop doing what you are doing. While you are at it, dismiss all the assumptions you’ve made about how jobs get filled. People hire people, not résumés. Let’s debunk your beliefs and myths associated with job searching:
MYTH: You will find your next job by applying online. You may believe that if you apply to enough jobs, you’ll eventually beat the odds and land one. While applying to jobs may make you feel productive, a recent CareerXroads survey shows that only 15 percent of positions were filled through job boards. Most jobs are either filled internally or through referrals. When you spend all your time and energy scoping out jobs and applying, you’re hurting your chances.
So what else should you be doing? Try a combination of things. Successful job seekers use a variety of tactics, such as contacting industry-specific recruiting agencies or third-party recruiters, meeting one-on-one with past colleagues, attending professional association meetings, volunteering and meeting new people every day. If this sounds daunting or almost impossible, remember: More than 70 percent of people land jobs through networking.
MYTH: You should expect to hear a response soon after you apply. After you have taken time to research a company, modify your résumé and go through the application process, you assume you’ll hear something. The reality is you may not hear back from the company. Expect this to be the norm and take proactive steps. Plan to follow up with someone in human resources after you have submitted your application. Ask what the time frame is for filling the job, and then ask if your application was received. Always end every conversation by asking when you should follow up next and with whom. The really eager job seekers will make that call the same day the application is submitted. The less assertive job seekers wait about a week.
MYTH: Your cover letter will always be read in full. You can’t make someone read your cover letter. In reality, some people will never read a cover letter, and others won’t look at your résumé until after reading your cover letter. And there are varying preferences in between. The bottom line is that you should always include a customized cover letter that explains specifically why you are interested in and qualified for the job and shares something about the company to show you are a fit. If you don’t take the time to do this, then why should the company take time to review your qualifications for the job?
MYTH: You should network with human resources. One of the many roles human resources serves is to fill open job requisitions. Often, there are numerous requisitions in the pipeline, and the No. 1 priority is to fill these jobs. Requesting to network with human resources is not in your best interest nor in the best interest of the busy human resources professional. He or she probably doesn’t know about future openings or department-level plans. And and even if he or she did, the advice you get would be to wait until you see something posted.
Invest your time reaching out to peer-level employees inside a company. Learn how these employees landed the job, what the company culture is like and the skills and responsibilities required in the job.
MYTH: The best time to network is after the job has been posted. You see the perfect job posted and believe you’re a match. With great excitement, you reach out to someone inside the company only to get ignored or brushed off. You’re doing the right thing, so why isn’t it working? You’re too late to the party. That job has probably been circulating inside the company for weeks. The person you are contacting may even be in the running for the job.
The best time to network is in advance of job opportunities being posted. In fact, networking after a job has been posted really isn’t networking – it’s tracking down a job. That’s not bad – in fact, it’s recommended – but it’s not truly networking. Start identifying companies you would like to work for, andbegin networking before jobs are posted.
MYTH: You will be granted an interview for every job you apply to. If you’ve purposely submitted a vague or general résumé with the hope that a recruiter will call for more details, think again. Most of the time, you will not receive a call. Recruiters, human resources staff and the hiring manager only call you if you are a good match for the job. If your application and résumé don’t show how you are a perfect match for the job, the recruiter has very little interest in speaking with you.
MYTH: Your references are contacted before or during the interview process. Every company has a different policy regarding reference checking. Seldom will your references get checked while résumés are being reviewed or during the interview process. It costs time and money to verify references, and if there are multiple candidates applying and interviewing, this can be a costly investment.
On the other hand, a quick Internet search can often reveal information, so some recruiters may be checking you out online. Carefully select the people you want to serve as references, and prepare them to provide the most relevant and important details about you.
MYTH: Your résumé is the most important job search tool. It is important to have a well-written résumé. However, how many hours do you spend updating, modifying, tweaking and adapting it? Too many. The numerous hours you spend hiding behind a computer screen means you aren’t spending time on the phone reaching out to people or attending one-on-one networking meetings.
Invest your time wisely. How many people will actually take the time to thoroughly review your résumé and ask you questions about each job you held? Much of the detail you obsess over is irrelevant to hiring professionals or will be overlooked in haste.
Hannah Morgan writes and speaks on career topics and job search trends on her blog Career Sherpa. She co-authored “Social Networking for Business Success,” and has developed and delivered programs to help job seekers understand how to look for work better.
Visit the CDO for walk in hours to amp up your networking skills! M,T,Th,F 2-4pm, W 3-5pm
As the year winds down we are heading into the last week before graduation. Before we know it there will be an entire class of graduates who are looking to begin careers and therefore make connections. Graduating from college can have a multitude of benefits (like a degree and four years worth of education) including the alumni that have also graduated from your college. In most cases, alumni are proud of where they went to school and for both professional and personal reasons are always looking to meet recent graduates or undergraduates who are still attending their Alma mater.
Here at the Career Development Office we have a variety of networks that can help connect you with various alumni. Through LinkedIn you can check out the Goucher Professional Network that can link you to grads, undergrads, and other Goucher community members!
Beyond our resources, here is an article by Levo.com discussing other various ways that you can connect with alumni and why it is so important.
“This post is by Sudy Bharadwaj, a co-founder and the CEO of Jackalope Jobs, a platform that helps job seekers find a job via their social networks. Learn how Bharadwaj and Jackalope Jobs obsess over job seekers by connecting with them on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the class of 2013 was expected to total 1,744,000 bachelor’s degree graduates. More than one million alums have embarked into the “real world.”
As an alum, you may think “now what?” How can you use your degree, experiences, and passion for your industry to start making real strides? And how can you do so in a difficult job market?
Check out these suggestions to optimize your new alum status:
Utilize your alumni network
Your alumni network can be a powerful resource if you use it properly. Not only do you have a common connection—your alma mater—but there’s also a willingness to help those who have a shared connection. In the same light, referrals are often linked as the number one source of hire. Pair the two together and the chance of landing the job of your dreams skyrockets.
Tip: Don’t use your network solely when you need something. Cultivate and maintain your relationships. Show what you can offer so they come to you. No one likes a leech; don’t become one just because you are starting your job search.
Create and maintain an online image
I know you’ve heard it before, but it begs repeating: Your online presence and your reputation are so important. Most employers use the internet as a screening method. In fact, one in 10 young job seekers were rejected because of their social media channels. If you have pictures from your party days or continuously post information that may offend certain audiences, you may be put in the “no” pile.
Tip: When you start looking for jobs, think about what an organization would like to see. Does the content you present align with their messaging? This may mean posting industry news or showcasing your knowledge for the space. You might also consider having a personal website—according to Forbes 56 percent of all hiring managers are more impressed by a candidate’s personal website than any other personal branding tool. This can help an organization to see why you’d be a great fit.
Look into postgraduate internship positions
An internship or an ambassador program may not be your ideal post-college job. After all, you may have thought those days were behind you. However, the fact is it may be your one shot to get into an organization. Studies have shown that candidates have a 70 percent chance of being hired by a company they’ve interned with.
In addition, campus ambassador programs, such as the ones created by 1 Degree Hire, allow new professionals to create content, build their own professional networks, develop their personal brands, and can give them the opportunity to earn commissions. While these jobs may be temporary, there’s no denying the power of an internship or an ambassador program for your future.
Tip: In addition to traditional job searching methods, one of the best ways to find an internship or an ambassador program is through your career center. Even though you’ve graduated, keep looking into it as a resource. Career centers are also typically willing to help those who want to stay connected with their colleges. Take advantage of it.
Go outside the box
Many alums use basic job searching tactics to find work. In today’s competitive market, you have to stand out and be bold. Think about the minimum you can do to land a job—now, triple it.
Although your resume already contains solid content that showcases your experience, adding interesting design elements or creating a video resume can make you a more attractive candidate. Going outside the box may require additional work, but the outcome is typically more rewarding.
Tip: You may be tempted to use a bunch of bells and whistles, but think strategically about the kind of image you want to portray. A cleanly designed resume or a video that addresses why you are a great candidate are both good options. Bribing an employer with boxes of donuts or calling incessantly are not. Be smart and understand what an employer would want to see out of candidate—that is, what will show your value.
Being a college alum in today’s market is tough. However, turning your “now what” question into real, marketable tactics is how you can get past that question and land the job of your dreams.”
Stop by or make an appointment at the CDO to learn more about how to edit, structure, and tailor your resume!
As of today our Grad School 101 week is launching! Our aim is to help all students at Goucher to be able to begin processing the ins and outs of grad school.
Come and attend one of the three events that we will be hosting throughout the coming weeks!
STAND OUT ABOVE THE REST: 10/8, 4:30-6PM, BATZA ROOM
Learn how to make yourself an ideal candidate for the grad school of your choice. Event includes giveaway prizes!
GRAD SCHOOLS AND GAP YEAR PROGRAMS: 10/10, 11:30-1:30, ATH
Meet representatives from programs around the globe!