• Dramatic Drama – Part 3 of 7: Independent feelings

    February 28, 2006 by

    I was still working with my delivery job when I got a chance to actually work with a television crew for a few days, in another city in fact. It was the biggest opportunity I had ever had before and in my mind I was break dancing. My sister was also pretty excited for me and would have wanted to go if it wasn’t for the fact that she had MCATs to study for.
    The series of events unfolded first with my covering my backside. I had to get at least three days off work which was actually was easier than I thought. Then I also had to confront my parents who would be curious about me being gone for three days. I broke it down in simple terms that this would be a great business trip to learn new technical skills and that I would drive up there by myself and spend a few nights there. My Dad was again skeptical of course wanting me to cancel, but I said “No way! You can’t do this, besides I’ve already scheduled three days off. I’m ready to do this and have all my clothes in here.” I think he was worried actually that I was leaving for good and thought I had found a career, but I assured him I’d be back in three. I think what really motivated me at the time was also the fact that my coworkers had told me that they drove two hours to work everyday and then two hours back home. Everyday regardless of whether we had overtime!

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  • Play Classic Video Games On-line, But Don’t Let Your Boss Find Out

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    Unlike most of the students and recent graduates who use CollegeRecruiter.com, I am old enough to remember the release of Pong and other early video games. They were amazing, at least for their time. Imagine being able to have control over what appears on your TV screen and compete against your friends or even the computer! A handful of web sites allow you to play many of those classic video games for free, so if you’re feeling nostalgic or just want to understand what your parents are talking about, here are some suggestions:

    • Midway offers 10 games from the 1980’s, including Joust, Defender, Defender II, Satan’s Hollow, Rampage, Bubbles, Robotron: 2084, Sinistar, Spy Hunter, and Root Beer Tapper.
    • Froggyville offers Frogger.
    • CyberiaPC has two sections of games, including Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Duck Hunt, Asteroids, and above mentioned Pong.
    • Although CollegeRecruiter.com doesn’t offer classic games, we do have a games section on our site featuring three games:
      • Stumbling Distance Game – Can you get the sleepy college student home before he falls over?
      • Puzzle Game – Flip and sort out the pieces to the photo, or upload a photo of your own and do the same!
      • Snowboard Game – Experience all the jumps and acrobatics you’ve dreamed of being able to complete, but without the frostbite!

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  • My Most Challenging Hurdle of the Job Hunt

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    I’ve only recently realized what I want to do after I graduate…and right in the nick of time (since I’m graduating in less than three months)! I’m majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Management, but I’ve only recently acknowledged my strength as a writer. Given my newfound forte, plus a need to foster my much-neglected creative side, I’m looking into getting an internship in the Marketing sector of Business. I’ve been utilizing my college’s Career Center, which features an online job/internship database. A few jobs listed on the site caught my eye and I plan on submitting my resume as soon as I get a break from the onslaught of midterms.
    If none of my job prospects fall through anytime soon, I won’t be too upset. I’ve already gotten over the most challenging hurdle of career searching, which is determining one’s passions and finding a way to relay those passions into a career! I know that as long as I’m dedicated to achieving my goals, the rest will fall into place.

  • Dramatic Drama – Part 2 of 7: Lucky Break

    February 27, 2006 by

    As I said yesterday, when I started working with mail delivery I was gung ho for the work and money. I had set my goals high. I wanted to go to graduate school for film, and with an uncertain but slight lean toward video editing. I wanted to go to a big name school in LA or NY. I mean if you are gonna dream, you might as well dream big, right?
    The mail delivery business I was in had a strict hierarchy favoring people that had served the country, soldiers and veterans, and they also hired civilians. The structure was setup to reward those who had worked hard for the government for many years. It also was a stable, steady income trading an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. At least that’s what it’s supposed to do in theory. Of course hierarchies systems always have some problems if people decide to discriminate based on hierarchy or flaunt their status. For example, the main classifications involved a full-time employee, part-time and temporary seasonal positions. It was also the first time I dealt with blue collar work and unions. But gist is that a temporary seasonal position could work insanely harder than a full-time on the same task, but get paid much less without benefits. I never had noticed or cared until I noticed a lot of complaining from my temp seasonal coworkers. And personally my stance was that it was unreasonable for me to expect equal pay scales when just starting out. Being raised as a son of an airman, I had a work-through-pain-and-inequity-soldier-and-you-will-be-rewarded feeling. Many of my peers didn’t feel the same way. So there was a lot of caustic daily complaining and ill feeling between full time and temps when we had transferred to a new mail unit after all the large holiday packages were exhausted. I stayed neutral, but I could feel a of war politics going on.
    There was also a new shipment time pressure element, with lack of sufficient workers, and endless repetition of mail daily duties. I thought I was a great worker and fast, but I learned in the new unit that we were disposable. The work could be hazardous, back breaking, and even fatal if you worked too fast or were careless. But of course, don’t think I have a silver spoon in my mouth. It was easy and you could get in a routine and have breaks and lot of chill out and think time. But, like a full-time employee told me who oddly echoed the sentiments of my car sales job… “You’re wasting your time the longer you stay here, you have a college degree.”
    Now, I don’t give up from a fight easily, and I also heard some people don’t like you and just want you to quit (more office politics) but I stayed on until we got terminated in the summer due to the end of our holiday contract. I looked all summer for a job, but couldn’t find anything except some web positions, that didn’t reply back to me. I drew my first unemployment checks, which I recommend to do online to get faster checks.
    They brought us back about two months later to start again with a new contract.
    Meanwhile, I had stayed on my college newsgroup for theater and they were looking for extras for a big name college music & video television channel. My very, very first break! I was sent this opportunity a few days after I had agreed to the contract. After working back at the mail delivery plant, I got the courage to ask my boss if I could get a few days off in a row. Since they knew my previous good performance and it was still the beginning of our contract I luckily was able to go! More on this and jobs tomorrow.

  • Write a Thank You Note After Being Interviewed

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    Candidates often ask whether and how they should follow-up after an interview. Overwhelmingly, employers advise candidates to follow-up quickly and courteously. The Minneapolis Star Tribune quotes Marni Hockenberg of Minneapolis-based job search firm The Hiring Experts, as stating that thank you notes set candidates “…apart from their competitors, and I am more likely to contact them regarding a future job opportunity,” says Hockenberg. “It says to me this is a professional person that sets high standards for themselves, and my clients need to hire this type of a candidate.”
    I’ve heard some recruiters dismiss thank you notes as a waste of time. They indicate that they’re too busy to read thank you notes so advise candidates not to write them. But they’re wrong. Unless a candidate knows that a recruiter does not want to receive a thank you, the candidate should quickly write and send it. Why? Because there is unlikely to be any harm in writing a thank you note to a recruiter who is too busy to read it. The note may end up in the trash, but it won’t harm the candidate’s chances of being hired.
    Most recruiters, however, are like Hockenberg. They understand that spending more time with fewer candidates yields better results. It isn’t about receiving or reviewing the greatest number of resumes. It is about hiring the best candidates. After all, recruiters aren’t employed to read resumes and interview candidates. They’re employed to hire the best candidates. And if you’re the recruiter who interviewed two well qualified candidates and one sent a thank you note to you within one business day of being interviewed and the other one didn’t, which one would you hire? I thought so.
    Mail a short, courteous thank you note to everyone with whom you interview within 24 hours. Take a stack of thank you notes and pre-stamped envelopes with you to every interview. Leave them in your car or briefcase. As soon as you leave the building, find someplace where you can write the note. Reinforce the points that you want the recruiter to remember and address those that you felt were missed but which you want them to consider. Then put the letter into the closest mailbox that you can find that still has pick-up that same day. If there aren’t any, take the letter to the nearest post office and mail it there. The chances will then be excellent that your thank you note will arrive the very next day. If you were the employer, wouldn’t that impress you? Again, I thought so.

  • Job Hunting: Insights and an Introduction

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    To introduce myself, I’m Danielle, I’m 22 years old, and I live in central Massachusetts. I graduated this January from Franklin Pierce College, and I majored in mass communication and concentrated in print journalism. Right now, I’m in the middle of looking for my first professional job, preferably in marketing, advertising, public relations, or journalism.
    So far, the going has been tough. I started applying for jobs semi-seriously in October and very seriously in December, and I have yet to receive a job offer, although I’ve been on a few interviews. I graduated from FPC a semester early, which I thought would be a good time since there are fewer entry level candidates looking for jobs in January than in May. So much for that!
    There are a few things that I’ve learned about job hunting since I began my search. I’d like to share them with you:
    1. Employers want you to have experience, sometimes two to five years. But if you’re like me and you’re just starting your career, you don’t have any. Without that experience, not every employer is willing to give you a chance. Unless someone gives you a chance, you’re out of luck. It seems to me like finding a job is about convincing someone to take a gamble on you.
    2. Job candidates are usually at the bottom of the human resources priority list. Sometimes, you don’t get a phone call until a month after you’ve applied for the job. By that time, you’ve usually forgotten that you’ve applied for the job and what the job even is, and you have to pretend you know what you’re talking about when the recruiter calls. (Yeah, that’s happened to me. More than once.)
    3. Your odds of finding decent employment are severely limited when you live in a cow patch (if you don’t know what that is, you probably don’t live in one. But if you’re curious, it means you live in a town that has a significant cow population, a town that nobody has ever heard of. The sticks, if you will). I am one of those unfortunate people, and the closest city to me is Worcester, about an hour away. Boston is about an hour and a half away, too far for a daily commute. While I like the country, I feel as though my opportunities are limited, especially when I see that all of the most interesting, relevant jobs are located in the Boston area.
    Maybe my luck will change soon. I have three interviews this week! More later.

  • Stay focused, be productive, and “fight” for what you want!

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    “Whatever you decide what you want to do in life, just make sure it’s something you love and it’s something that you will be happy to get up and do every morning.”

    In my previous blog, “Tribulation of a Military Spouse,” I talked about my uncertain future. I learned that my spouse would deploy to Iraq in about 6 months. We just settled in a new city and I was actively involved in looking for a job.
    What am I going to do now? I asked myself. I really took some time to reflect and took some advice from two very important people, my parents. My mother always told me, “Whatever you decide what you want to do in life, just make sure it’s something you love and it’s something that you will be happy to get up and do every morning.” On the other hand, in order to keep track of all of my ideas and things that I wanted to do, my father would always tell me to write things down.
    I took the advice of my parents; I wrote down and thought about all of the things that I would love to do. I want to be a writer, I want to work in public relations, and I want to be more involved in the community.
    My next step was to put my goals into detail. I asked myself the following questions:
    1. What do I want to write?
    2. What area of public relations do I want to work in?
    3. What areas within the community do feel, need the most attention?
    After answering these questions, I set some short-term goals. I decided to pursue my writing goals first. I plan to start writing and submitting work to a local publication.
    However, I do plan to move in 6 months (to be closer to family members), so I decided to hold off on pursuing any permanent PR jobs. I have already begun researching jobs in the area where I will relocate. Fortunately, there are several PR agencies there and hopefully a lot of opportunities to find a job.
    I think I’m on the right track now and I am being productive. I am trying to gain more experience and hopeful build-up my resume. I have compiled a list of contacts within the community and hope to get involved with a local organization soon. I also signed up to volunteer with a national non-profit organization to help with media relations.
    I can only hope to stay focused and continue to pursue my career goals.

  • More Thoughts About Graduate School

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    Lately, my thoughts are solely on what project I’m going to work on during the eight week intensive summer program for graduate school. I have so many ideas; I just have to pick one and focus it. Since I got in for sculpture, but I’ve mainly been a painter, I will try and combine the two into one project.
    I haven’t heard back from the video rental store yet about setting up an interview. Maybe I’ll give them a call, but I’m not too worried about it. Since I got into grad school, the job search is much less important now. I would like to have some money coming in though so I can use it for art materials, especially once the program starts.
    I’ve been reading through the graduate school booklet and I’m excited that I have to write a Master’s Thesis. As a former English student, any writing exercise is a welcome challenge. After reading through a thousand pages of Troilus and Crisede then writing a research paper on it, nothing they can throw at me will be too difficult.
    I think the fact that I have an extensive background in education probably helped me get in. Once I get my MFA, I’ll probably start applying to colleges for jobs teaching art. But that time is far away because this graduate program is two and a half years long. That’s all for now, I will post again soon!

  • Dramatic Drama – Part 1 of 7: Magazines

    February 26, 2006 by

    It’s been about two weeks since I’ve written anything on the blogs and I thought I’d finish up the trilogy à la George Lucas before the story loses interest or gets sidetracked. I have had a lot of happenings in the past few weeks (I keep busy) and also I tend to be a writing perfectionist, but if the latter is true I would never get my blogs out. And so this is a good time to begin since College Recruiter just launched their new website design, another momentous occasion!
    Since working with mail delivery, I’ve had a lot of time to think, and I mean a LOT. Consider it being stuck in a sort of prison, without all the benefits. Of course I didn’t always see it this way. Tomorrow, I will update you about work politics and drama and you’ll see what I mean.
    See, what many college students don’t realize is that they have all these resources on campus and hardly ever use them all. Most barely use 1% of the libraries, networks, career services and what not.
    So when I got out of college I was still pretty jaded by the fact that I was living independent without a care in the world. Soon as that ended, it was “Son, time to get a job. Too bad you never too advantage of that career services center on campus or went to any of those job fairs, eh…? a heh heh.”
    So I dedicate Dramatic Drama this week not only to the struggling actors and students out there, but also most definitely to the post graduate students. The ones out there like myself that have gone “the wrong path” and put themselves into a hole whether because we make poor academic, financial, or life decisions. Or just we are born with bad luck. I give you this advice, “Only you can take control of your life. All the power for success already lies within you.” Because we all make “mistakes”, but they are never truly mistakes if you learn from them. They are just what makes you unique from everyone else.
    My tip for today which I got from a career help site is this: stay up to date with your field with free magazines and books. Once you find a field you are truly interested, whether it be medicine, art, accounting, etc. you can usually find free publications online that are willing to send them to your door monthly for free or very little fee.
    For instance, doctors, teachers, and computer scientists have an ever changing field and always need to stay updated and abreast with current information. Thus, this is a great way to always be “in the know.” Think about it.
    I personally was able to do a search for free industry professional and trade magazines and find some goodies. If you are looking for acting resources, you’ll also find newsgroups to be an excellent source of information as they often have links to online books and links. Often these will also have insider information into jobs and internships.
    Tomorrow I’ll also talk about my first lucky break and more about the power of online resources.

  • New Hockey Players Needed. So Is a Sense of Humor.

    February 25, 2006 by

    I’ve had quite the varied reaction to yesterday’s blog entry about a fictitious job posting for new hockey players for the USA men’s team. While several teams played below their expectations, it was Mike Modano and some of the other players on the American team that refused to admit that their failure to perform might have been primarily responsible for their failure to win more than one out of their four games.
    Ever had an employee like Mr. Modano? Talented? Yes. Heart? Yes. Proves great leadership skills over a long period of time and with a wide variety of co-workers? Yes. Able to accept blame when there’s failure? Not a chance.

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