Browsing articles in "All Things CDO"
Apr 3, 2014
Goucher CDO
Comments Off on A Book Review- You Majored in What?

A Book Review- You Majored in What?

You Majored in What?: Mapping Your Path From Chaos to Career

you-majored-in-what

You Majored in What? is about your transition to working life and how it doesn’t have to match up with what you studied in college. The book begins by expanding on the author’s, Dr. Katharine Brooks’, “Wise Wanderings” career path method.  The “Wise Wanderings” system is one that’s designed for students and college grads who don’t want to follow the traditional career-focused pathway or don’t choose a career they went to college for. The system is created to help you tap into your inner strengths without getting caught up with negativity and regret.

This book is perfect for the visual learner complete with visual mapping and an innovative layout on every page.  These techniques are both creative and practical. Brooks applies chaos theory to the job-finding process, stating that “Chaos theory helps us predict the outcomes of complex situations.” Isn’t our job search just another complex situation? Brooks breaks through traditional answers to the question “What are you doing with the rest of your life”, by analyzing not only what subject the reader is interested in, but also what mind-set you have toward life in general. As a student myself, I found the dos and don’t of college studying interesting as it pointed out simple studying tips and myths, such as highlighting required documents doesn’t actually increase comprehension.

This book is refreshing, positive, interesting, and inspiring. It gave me hope that even if I don’t know exactly what I want to do today, some day I’ll be working in a career that makes use of my mind, my education, my talents and my interests. This book lays out why it’s okay to try different things and that it’s okay to be confused about what you want to spend your life doing.

I would recommend this book to any student that is stuck at the question stage of what to do with their life. “You Majored in What?” walks you through step by step the entire career process in an anxiety-free way. This book is like career coaching and therapy all in one. The Goucher College Career Development Office is a great campus resource that also provides an anxiety-free way of figuring out your life. The counselors at the office are there to help you chose a path that works for you and doesn’t leave you with regret.

Apr 2, 2014
Peer Career Advisors
Comments Off on Researching a Company or Business: How-To

Researching a Company or Business: How-To

Whether you are a freshman in college or a senior, applying for jobs and internships is a vital part of your college experience. Many students need to have jobs over their summer breaks in order to pay for their expenses; others choose to have one for the fun of it. In this same sense, many students choose to partake in academic or paid internships for the amazing training and experience they can give in various fields. Whichever path you choose, you will most likely be going through some sort of application process. After your well-polished resume and cover letter is submitted, there is a good chance you will be called back for an interview or get the opportunity to speak with someone from the company. These situations can be stressful, and rightfully so. But don’t be intimidated! Being prepared is the best way to gain confidence and impress an interviewer/company official.

There are many different ways to prepare for an interview or conversation, including practicing various answers to anticipated questions, preparing questions to ask at the end of your interview, and coming up with different stress-relief strategies. At the basis of all of this preparation is the need to know the company or business you are applying to! You should always be aware and informed of the company’s mission/goals, their platform, recent projects or jobs they have been working on, information and background on the person you will be speaking with, etc. Many interviewers often say that you should never ask an employer a question that you can find yourself online.

So how do you go about finding this information about a company? Listed below are a few different resources and techniques for finding the most relevant and helpful resources about various companies and businesses. Utilize the information you find in your search to impress the interviewer/company official and land the job!

Google. Yes, I’ll include the most generic search resource on the list, because Google (or Bing, if you prefer) is a great way to track down not just general information about a company, but also news, corporate history and more.

Company website. This should be your first stop. Check out the customer-facing part of the site, and scan the press area, as well.

Corporate blogs. You should also read some of the more recent blogs, if the company blogs — and note who wrote them. Depending upon what level you are interviewing for, you might even be interviewed by someone who write the corporate blog.

LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. Many companies have a strong social presence these days, and you can glean a lot about the company, its culture and how it thinks about its mission by seeing how they present themselves on social sites like Facebook and Twitter. Even better, LinkedIn is a treasure trove of corporate backgrounders.

Find out who’s interviewing you — and look them up. If a company doesn’t don’t tell you ahead of time, contact your hiring manager or HR and ask who you should expect to meet on the day of the interview. There’s nothing confidential about that sort of info, and they’ll probably share it without batting an eye. Equipped with names (and, ideally, titles) you can learn a little about these folks via LinkedIn, Twitter and other sites. Learn a little about who they are, what they do at the company and if you have anything in common.”

Other options:

“Annual Report Financial Statements for Public Companies are a great source of information about how well a public company is doing and any future plans they may have. They are found under the Investor Information on a public company website. Be sure to read the fine print which can list company affiliates, partners and other interesting data. Apple’s Annual Report reveals its business strategy, organization, products, competition and customer markets among other information.

Press Releases issued by the company or its public relations firm give a glimpse into what the company is most proud of and want the public to see.

Industry Associations focused on your intended business will be the place where industry thought leaders and most influential leaders will be sharing their expertise and vision. Associations are an excellent resource to find out what is on the mind of these business leaders. One example of a robust industry association is the Conscious Capitalism Institute where you’ll find influential business leaders from all over the world meeting to share their innovative thoughts and concerns around the conscious capitalism movement.

Competing Companies: Be sure to research companies that directly compete with your target company. Get to know your target company’s competition and what they are doing. Wouldn’t it be impressive to a prospective employer if you were able to give them a heads up on what their competition was doing?

Glassdoor.com: This site describes itself as an anonymous workplace community that gives a free inside look at over 200,000 companies including salaries, employee reviews and interview questions. We like it to research companies because the reviews are by actual employees and they give both pros and cons of that company. You can also identify salary expectations and prepare for interviews by seeing actual interview questions that other job candidates were asked.”

 

If you have any more questions or concerns about any aspect of the job search process, please come down to the CDO for walk-in hours (Mon.-Fri. 2-4, Wed. 3-5) or for an appointment (call or email). We are here to assist you in all of your career development needs!

 This information was sourced from an article published on CBS by Dave Johnson: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-to-research-a-company-before-the-job-interview/

Check out these two articles that were quoted above for more information on researching companies and utilizing the internet in your search.

http://alumni.holycross.edu/s/1380/images/editor_documents/career/presentations/ten_smart_ways_to_research_a_company_online_before_your_interview_handout.pdf

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-to-research-a-company-before-the-job-interview/

 

Apr 2, 2014
Peer Career Advisors
Comments Off on “Grad School: To Go or Not to Go”

“Grad School: To Go or Not to Go”

Should you go on to graduate school? Is it the right move for you at this point in your career? Give your decision careful consideration, weighing all the factors, including:

Your career path

What do you truly want to do? What excites you more than anything? If it’s a profession you absolutely, positively must pursue, and it requires advanced education, then you’re probably an excellent candidate for further education.

“You go to graduate school to become an expert in a certain area or to be a professional in certain industries, like law, medicine, or engineering,” explains Cindy Parnell, director of career services at Arizona State University.

Investment of time, money, and energy

Graduate students find out very quickly that their days of frat parties, general education courses, and hanging out with friends are over—graduate school is, well, about school.

Are you ready to commit?

Also consider your post-undergraduate life plans. Are marriage and family in your immediate future? Graduate school can put a huge financial strain on a young couple already facing student loan debt, not to mention the burden of the time you’ll be spending studying. Be sure you—and your family—are ready for the added responsibility of a few more years of schooling.

Your marketability to an employer

Not every profession requires an advanced degree, so do some research on potential career opportunities before committing to more education.

“Students run the risk of thinking today that grad school might be the answer. Depending on the program, you want to have the fieldwork experience as well as grad school. If you go on to grad school without having any fieldwork experience, you run the risk of being over-educated [and under-experienced],” says Shayne Bernstein, associate director, career development services, at Hunter College.

Opportunities within the field

If you do plan to work before going back for that advanced degree, will more education help you move up the ranks at your company? Have you landed a job in your undergraduate area of study, and now you’re thinking you want to enhance what you’ve learned, or pursue a totally new field? Depending on your professional career path, advanced education may help you reach your career goals.

Your motivation

Can’t think of what else to do next? Don’t think of graduate school as a way to hide from the job search. You face wasting a lot of resources.

Bernstein suggests giving careful consideration to your decision to pursue graduate school.

“Don’t go if you’re not passionate about something,” she stresses. “Don’t go for the sake of going to graduate school. Go because you’re passionate and you want to develop your skill set in a certain area.”

Courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Apr 1, 2014
Peer Career Advisors
Comments Off on LinkedIn: Top Five Do’s

LinkedIn: Top Five Do’s

Check out this Youtube video for a short list of do’s when it comes to creating your LinkedIn profile by the experts themselves.

[youtube_sc url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8WZxYFaSmI&list=PL7MtT0VRyvmIePuNLkWx6_OSq0W0-Xi6U” title=”LinkedIn%20-%20Do%27s%20and%20Dont%27s%20″ autohide=”1″]

 

For some more helpful interviews on various jobs, industries, and ideas, check out the videos below:

[youtube_sc url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZWvK6H_tTk&list=PL7MtT0VRyvmIAbIXqUW98RS6EDCMTn16i”]

[youtube_sc url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtCyCoqYT4o&list=PL7MtT0VRyvmIAbIXqUW98RS6EDCMTn16i”]

[youtube_sc url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wi4u34VB1r8″]

Mar 27, 2014
Peer Career Advisors
Comments Off on Landing an Internship Before Declaring a Major: Don’t Get Left Behind

Landing an Internship Before Declaring a Major: Don’t Get Left Behind

Internships are daunting and intimidating: there’s no question about that. But most college students or graduates will tell you that their internship experience is one of the most valuable aspects of their education. As tedious as the application process can be, by being able to join a community of people who are thriving within the industry that you hope to be in one day can not only give you valuable skills to highlight on your resume, but can also serve as a great source of inspiration.

Many students who have begun the internship search/application process already seem to find that many internships require that students have a declared major in a related field of study. Junior and Seniors, having already declared, might gloss over this knowing that they already fulfill that requirement. Yet what are undeclared and unsure Freshman and Sophomores to do? For them, reading “for ____ majors only” is simply a source of anxiety and stress.

But don’t fear. Don’t give up on your internship search- you have more skills and experience than you even realize!

So what can you do to secure the perfect internship and make the most out of your time off from school?

1. Realize and rely on your own skills, interests, and experiences.

They ARE valuable! What experiences have you had inside of the classroom as well as outside of the classroom? Clubs, sports, leadership positions, volunteer experience, related coursework, business management, etc. These are just a few of the experiences that are essential for a great resume. Think back to the past few years and try to find the most valuable experiences that are most closely related to the internship that you are applying to. If you don’t have enough experience in your field of interest, how can you acquire more? Get involved in your local community and school! Finally, never forget to highlight the various skills you learned while involved in each experience. Here in the Career Development Office we have tons of resources that show you how to identify and describe personal skills and transferable skills that can make you marketable for any employer.

2. Network

At the Career Development Office, we could not stress the art of networking any more than we already do. The age of technology is booming. Between Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, ‘six degrees of separation’ suddenly dwindles as it becomes easier and easier to make connections with people from around the world. While contact with employers and companies always needs to be as professional as possible, a stellar resume and cover letter on hand paired with honed networking skills can lead to immense opportunity. Along with professional connections, don’t forget to utilize family and friends as well. Networking truly is a conversation! It never hearts to say something as simple as, “Anyone know anything about ___ industry? I’d love to make a contact and get more involved!” Making connections through any of these mediums can allow you to make a strong connection with a future employer.

3. Interview like a Pro: Learn the technique, dress the part, make a personal connection

Did you find an internship that you know you would be perfect for, but simply don’t have the vast experience or related major that the company is looking for? Score an interview and you might be able to ease your own fears. When you express confidence in ability and are able to show those incredible transferable skills that you learned from past experiences (being adaptable, determined, diplomatic, loyal, self-motivated, etc.), you can show the competence that you already have and the areas in which you are excited to grow.

Lastly, my own personal piece of advice for interviews is to make a personal connection as quickly as possible. Everyone interviews differently, some are formal and in a Q&A format, some are simple conversations. While you don’t want to go out of your way to keep changing the topic of the interview, being able to make a connection on a deeper level will only help you to stand out from the crowd. Whether it be a love of classical films, that you have lived in the same small town in Mississippi, or that you both were girl scouts, creating a bond is more valuable than people realize.

Finally, good luck! Never give up the search for the perfect internship for you. We know there is a perfect fit for everyone. And as always, if you have any questions or concerns about the internship process, cover letters and resumes, or your job search in general, call or come down to the CDO – 9-5 Monday-Friday.

 

Articles Worth Reading:

5 Ways to Nail a Job Interview: http://www.usatodayeducate.com/staging/index.php/career/5-ways-to-nail-a-job-interview

Applying to Internships, Not a One and Done Deal: http://www.usatodayeducate.com/staging/index.php/career/applying-to-internships-not-a-one-and-done-deal

Universities Re-Write Wikipedia to Fill Holes to Include Women: http://www.usatodayeducate.com/staging/index.php/pulse/universities-re-write-wikipedia-to-fill-holes-include-women

10 Songs We’d Love to Hear On Repeat: http://www.usatodayeducate.com/staging/index.php/pulse/10-songs-wed-love-to-hear-on-repeat-on-college-radio

 

 

Mar 24, 2014
Goucher CDO
Comments Off on Be featured on the CDO blog!

Be featured on the CDO blog!

Tell us about your experience for a chance to be featured on the CDO blog!

The CDO is seeking student stories from influential experiences outside of the classroom. This can be from volunteer opportunities, jobs, conferences, clubs, study abroad, etc.

Briefly describe in 5 lines or less the opportunity you have participated in and why it has been influential for you.
Mar 20, 2014
Peer Career Advisors
Comments Off on Breathe, relax, and destress – We’re Here For You

Breathe, relax, and destress – We’re Here For You

Spring break is a magical time of the year. Whether the sun is shining or not, spring break allows us all to catch our breath. That being said, the weeks before and after the break can also be some of the most stressful for college students . Final exams, securing internships, trying to write an A+ paper on two hours of sleep, and much more. Here at the Career Development Office we realize that you are all dealing with a lot and thus we seek to provide you with the right resources to help you manage your stress, stay happy, and enjoy the end of the year as much as you can. Take a look at our cumulative list below to see some helpful ways to stay calm during this last push through the end of the year.

  • Remember to stretch and take a walk every once and awhile. Studying as hard as most college students do can not only take a toll on one’s mind, but also on their body. Remember to get up, take a minute to just breathe and stretch your limbs before you get back to the grind.
  • Plan something fantastic for when you are finished! Whether it means a night out with your friends, or a night in with yourself, make sure you reward yourself for all of your effort and hard work. You deserve it!
  • Get outside! Whether you take yourself for a walk along the water or a hike in the mountains, this is a perfect time of the year to enjoy the great outdoors. Fresh air definitely can ease your mind and help you get some perspective on the bigger picture in moments of great stress.
  • Create a new Pandora or 8tracks channel comprised of your favorite holiday music (or whatever you enjoy most). Whether it be chill step or Justin Bieber’s version of “All I Want for Christmas”, let yourself enjoy some music as a nice break from taking notes.
  • Organize yourself and keep up with your professors! Remember that planner that you bought back in August? Drag it out and use it for these few weeks, if not for the rest of the academic year. Keep track of your time and account for breaks without letting yourself get too sidetracked from your studies. Managing your time allows you to manage your stress levels while still maintaining your normal routine and getting enough sleep to function. Also, keep up with your professors and make sure you know what they have planned for the end of the semester. Whether it’s a final essay or final exam, make sure you are aware of the requirements, grading expectation, time frame, and study guides. Most times teachers will provide you with the resources you need to be successful, so make sure to take advantage of them.
  • Don’t be afraid to tell people “no” or “not right now.” You may have friends who don’t have as much homework as you and already enjoying their freedom, or your family is calling you every 5 minutes. Make sure that you’re setting boundaries for these few weeks and don’t feel bad about it. That way you can get your work done and then really feel the gratification of finishing strong.
  • Sleep! Everyone says it, no one does it. Staying up all night creates more problems than benefits. It might seem like a good idea at the time, but you’ll be regretting it the day after. Even if it is only a few hours, allow yourself to get as much sleep as you need so you will perform better throughout the week, instead of just on one assignment.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding internships, resumes or cover letters, graduate school, and much more, please visit us in the Career Development Office in Dorsey Center. We are here to help you in any way we can, and look forward to meeting new Gophers! Look on our website for more of our resources, call to make an appointment, or come in to see us yourself for walk-in hours daily! Remember, we’re also here over winter and we’re more than happy to work with you through phone or skype appointments. Call us at 410-337-6191 or stop by if you would like to schedule an appointment.

Good luck to all Goucher students as you finish the year strong!

Feb 3, 2014
Peer Career Advisors
Comments Off on Stand Out at a Job Fair

Stand Out at a Job Fair

For many students, the easiest and most helpful way of job searching is through job fairs. A job fair is a big event where many businesses send representatives have tables set up with information and applications for students and others seeking a job to look into. They can be hectic and overwhelming, but just like any business event, they are certain tips and tricks that can help you be a stand out candidate.

The number one trick to stand out is to never show up empty handed. For any job fair or employer opportunities you attend you should always have your resume, a note pad, and a pen. If you have a business card, you may also want to bring a handful of them. You want to get as much information on the companies you apply to as possible, so that you could easily answer questions during later interviews, or send follow-up emails.

While circling your way around a job fair you should never be afraid to network. How do you expect to get a job if you don’t sell yourself to the representative there? Your goal at a job fair should be to talk to as many people as you can. The employers want to know more than just your name, they want to get to know you as a possible employee. Don’t go in expecting to walk out with a job, but go in expecting to walk out with a much larger database of employers with opportunities available for you.

You can’t stand out at a job fair without standing out. Whether it’s the bright blouse you decide to wear or the perfect answers you have to any interview style questions you may be asked, do something that makes you different. You should be dressed in interview attire, business enough so that you appear serious and the job hunt, but not so over the top you could be at prom.  Don’t show the employer why they should want you, show them why they need you.

A job fair can be such an important step on your career path, opening many doors to many different job opportunities. They are a great place for face-to-face networking and can be your key to landing the job of your dreams. You should always enter a job fair well-prepared and confident so you can stand-out to the employers and leave with multiple opportunities on you plate.

 

The information for this blog was provided by:

http://blog-brigade.militaryonesource.mil/2013/06/11/how-to-work-it-at-a-job-fair-five-mistakes-to-avoid/

and

http://www.savingssarah.com/2014/01/26/4-job-fair-must-haves/

Jan 30, 2014
Peer Career Advisors
Comments Off on Career Fair 2014: Largest Career Fair in Maryland on Feb 7 @ Towson University, Towson Center

Career Fair 2014: Largest Career Fair in Maryland on Feb 7 @ Towson University, Towson Center

MCC Career Fair Electronic Sign

Goucher College along with other Maryland Career Consortium colleges present the largest career fair in Maryland! Join us on Friday, February 7th, 2014 from 10am-2:30pm to meet employers from over 100 companies in the region who are hiring for full-time employees and interns. For a list of registered employers visit the MCC website.
Before you go, read these five tips below to learn what you can do make the most out of this career fair! Plan and be prepared to gain all that you can from this opportunity! We look forward to seeing you soon.

1. Dress for (comfortable) success
While shopping for formal business attire, make sure you look good as well as feel comfortable. Your dashing suit or brand new dress won’t do you any good if it is too tight or loose. Make sure that you can walk around in your formal outfit for an extended period of time without having to adjust anything. Comfortable business shoes are a must- all networking takes place standing up!
2. Have a plan
Remember that you will probably have classes scheduled around the career fair. In order to maximize your time, plan out the most important, “can’t miss” companies that you need to meet. You can always allow for detours if a new company’s booth strikes your eye, but having a plan will allow you to see all of the companies that you are seriously considering.
3. Ditch your friends
Okay, so don’t permanently leave your friends, but don’t walk around with them at the career fair. One of the best pieces I received regarding career fairs was from a representative at our own Northwestern UCS. “Your friends may have never seen you in professional mode, and they may not take it seriously”, he said. In order to be at your best and feel comfortable talking in a professional manner, let your friends take their own path around the career fair.
4. Be prepared
This may be an obvious one, but I have cringed at witnessing awkward experiences of other career fair attendees. Make sure you have plenty of resumes and any other documents you may need. Almost every recruiter will ask for your resume, and I have seen conversations fall and die when a student forgets their resume.
Being prepared also means doing your research on the companies you plan to talk to. Bring a set of notes with you that outline the essentials of each company’s internship program, as well as a set of questions that you can ask them. Telling a company how excited you are for their specific internship program sounds much more appealing than asking them if they have any internships available.
5. Notice your body language
Stand tall and walk proudly around the room. Give the recruiter a firm handshake and make eye contact with them. Actively use your hands to enhance your elevator speech instead of hanging them by your legs. Body language can distinguish between an anxious college student and an impressive, professional candidate. You would think that remembering to do these basic things would be easy, but I felt my posture slipping and my handshake lacking grip during my first career fair. I felt much more confident at my second career fair when I checked my body language before speaking to each company.

(Tips Courtesy of Northwestern Business Review, http://northwesternbusinessreview.org/5-college-career-fair-tips/)

Dec 5, 2013
Goucher CDO
Comments Off on Senior Career Week

Senior Career Week

As spring semester quickly approaches, the Career Development Office is getting ahead and planning a week of career programming dedicated to our seniors for March 3-7th, 2014. This week should help students prepare for job searching and transitioning from Goucher.

In planning this week, we need your help! Seniors, please take a few minutes to fill out our survey so we can tailor Senior Career Week to address all of your questions and concerns before graduation. We’re accepting responses until the holiday break.

http://tinyurl.com/SeniorCareerWeekSurvey

Questions? Contact the CDO at 410-337-6191 or career@goucher.edu.

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