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Posted May 27, 2016 by

How new overtime laws will affect interns and recent grads

How the new overtime laws will affect recent college graduates

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

How will the new overtime laws affect interns and recent grads? A variety of experts weigh in on this hot topic.

Changes to overtime laws

The Department of Labor expects the new overtime laws to affect 4.2 million workers – many of whom are likely new college grads out on their first “real” job.  As of December 1, 2016, the days of working 50+ hours a week and earning $35,000 should be gone, says Kate Bischoff, a human resources professional and employment/labor law attorney with the Minneapolis office of Zelle LLP, an international litigation and dispute resolution law firm. Bischoff is co-leading a June 2, 2016, webinar titled Preparing for Changes to FLSA Overtime Regulations, discussing this topic and more.

Salary versus hourly

There’s one thing college graduates should keep in mind, says Bischoff, and that is that salary has nothing to do with status.

“Being paid a salary doesn’t mean that an employee is more valuable to his or her employer than an hourly employee,” says Bischoff. “It is simply a different way of paying people for their work.”

Those who are nonexempt – those eligible for overtime – may earn time and a half when they work long hours and may even earn more than their salaried brethren, points out Bischoff. Those who are exempt and earn more than $913 a week will not be compensated for their long hours in the office in the form of hourly payments. In fact, when some employees shift from salaried to hourly, many times, they earn more as an hourly employee.

The other thing about being paid on an hourly basis is that employers need to know how much you work, says Bischoff. With apps on smartphones and smart watches, employees can now track their time easier than ever before. “If you track your steps, you can track your hours,” says Bischoff. “The fact that you have to punch in or clock out only means you need to capture your time to get paid the value of your work. That’s all.”

Ask questions to clarify status

So what should college grads do and consider before accepting a job, or if they have questions about their current and future employment status at their existing job? Ask questions such as these, says Bischoff:

  • What will their overtime status be?
  • Will this position be eligible for overtime?
  • Will I be paid a salary?

“For many college grads, work-life balance is important, so ask if you will be able to make it to your volunteer activity every Thursday evening,” says Bischoff. “While asking if you will ‘have to’ work overtime may be a signal to an employer that you might not be a dedicated employee, you can ask about particular events or activities important to you. You may glean from the answer the amount of hours you will put in.”

What do the new overtime laws mean for interns?

Currently, the vast majority of interns earn less than the $23,660 DOL threshold and therefore are classified as non-exempt and qualify for overtime. When the new rules take effect on December 1, 2016, the threshold will almost double to $50,440. The number of interns who earn between $23,660 and $50,440 is miniscule and, therefore, the law will directly impact virtually no interns, says Steven Rothberg, founder of College Recruiter. That said, there could be a substantial impact on new grad hiring as virtually all new grads earn more than $23,660, the average is about $46,000, and a substantial minority earn more than the $50,440.

“At College Recruiter, we believe that the law will have a substantial impact on the number of hours worked by management trainees and other such workers who have traditionally been paid as exempt, salaried employees with no ability to earn overtime pay yet who routinely work far more than the standard 40-hour work week,” says Rothberg. “Employers will likely instruct these employees not to work more than 40-hours per week, which will effectively increase the compensation paid to and reduce the return on investment generated from these employees. Yet with a tightening labor market, more Baby Boomers retiring, and fewer Millennials graduating, it is unlikely that there will be any noticeable change in the number of recent grads finding employment within their chosen career paths.”

Manufacturing director: New OT laws could hurt interns and recent grads

John Johnston is Director of Manufacturing at States Manufacturing, a Minneapolis-based custom electrical and precision fabricated metal company with 49 employees.

He fears the new overtime laws will hurt interns and new hires, namely those graduating from college or technical schools.

“I would expect the starting wage to decrease to compensate for the change in overtime rules,” says Johnston. “Also, I would tend to expect the opportunities to reduce as well as the patience of employers. If we are going to pay more, we are going to raise our expectations and be less patient with someone because of the wage they are earning. When we have had lower wage earners at the start of their career, we are able to be more patient in part because the issues are not as magnified with a lesser wage. Once that increases, we have no choice but to be tougher that much quicker.”

Johnston said his company may avoid hiring interns in the future due to the increased costs and instead balance it with multiple part-time employees. The company currently does not have any interns, partly because they were sorting out the details of the new labor and overtime laws.

“I see this as a trend to save on escalating costs since benefits would not be required with part-time employees,” says Johnston.

A ripple effect for college grads

Elliot D. Lasson, Ph.D., SPHR, SHRM-SCP, is an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in Rockville, Maryland and a Human Capital Consultant with Lasson Talent Solutions. Lasson regularly presents to students on behalf of college career centers.

According to Lasson, the new overtime regulations will have ripple affects all around.

“Students who are in college or right out of college want to gain meaningful experience,” he said. “They are not paying all that money to be flipping burgers or driving for Uber after graduation. The conventional wisdom is that internships are valuable. And they objectively are. However, many employers misappropriate that label to justify in order to get free labor from students who feel desperate for that experience. In many cases, internships play out in a way where the students are gaining only minimal exposure to the workplace and field, while at the same time are not getting paid.”

The Department of Labor previously identified six conditions that must be met in order to permit unpaid internship scenarios. “Many employers play fast and loose with these under the pretense that the work environment itself is more important than it objectively is,” says Lasson. And now, this extends to graduate school as well. The grad students are still “students” and therefore unlike their undergraduate peers who are not in graduate school can still “qualify” to be unpaid interns while in graduate school.  So, there is additional abuse of the system here as well, says Lasson.

“With the popularity of unpaid internships, many employers are inundated with requests and may just take advantage of students without having a handle on the DOL guidelines,” says Lasson.

For more career tips, check out our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Posted April 23, 2016 by

Financial aid secrets for college students

Financial aid web browser sign concept courtesy of Shutterstock.com

alexmillos/Shutterstock.com

With graduation season looming, high school seniors throughout the country are receiving their college acceptance letters and celebrating their impending sense of freedom. At the same time, parents are studying financial aid options and scratching their heads trying to figure out how to pay for the upcoming four (or more) years.

As the costs of attending college rise, it’s important to consider scholarships, grants, and student loans to assist with the hefty fees. There are also some innovative tricks that can help reduce this cost. Here are some insights gleaned from real university financial aid employees, parents, and former college students all high school seniors and their families should know.

Use your FAFSA

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is an important financial aid document college students shouldn’t skip. Even if they don’t think they’ll qualify for any money, it’s important to fill this form out annually. This is how the federal government and schools determine what type of aid to give students. There are many subtle things that can impact the grants offered, many of which are unknown to the average person, and may change the amount a family qualifies for.

Attend class

Many universities have strict attendance and truancy policies to prevent abuse of the grants offered. If a student withdraws from a class due to non-attendance in the first few classes or consistent unexplained absences, their course load may drop below the mandatory credits needed to qualify for certain grants. If you have a scholarship or grant already, make sure you know the terms and what’s expected from your end.

Become a Resident Advisor (RA)

Aside from tuition, room and board are the most expensive costs incurred during college. With the average college student paying $8,535 a year just for a place to stay, it makes sense to try to skimp on this fee. Students who work as a Resident Advisor often wind up with free or significantly reduced room and board in exchange for their services, making this one of the most lucrative student jobs available.

Learn to cook

While Top Ramen may be students best friend those first few months, anything prepared at home is bound to be more affordable than college meal plans and eating out at restaurants. Even if a student’s cooking skills need some brushing up, this is one of the easiest ways to save money. Don’t be afraid of the kitchen.

Find freebies

So much of an average college student’s budget is spent on personal expenses, which often includes entertainment. Seek free options available through the university instead. Campuses are loaded with free amenities, from swimming pools and libraries to dorm dinners, guest lecture speakers, and student clubs.

Join a credit union

Since credit unions are run as cooperatives, they can afford giving customers extra perks that wind up saving them a lot of money. They typically feature lower credit card interest rates, higher interest rates paid out on savings accounts, and reduced-fee ATMs and online banking services.

While the term “starving student” has origins in truth, it doesn’t need to be a reality for all. Instead, research financial aid opportunities and spend wisely to save money and stick to a good budget throughout your academic career.

If you’re interested in more information on financial aid, please visit our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.

Brooke Chaplan, guest writer

Brooke Chaplan, guest writer

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information on first time budgeting, see what a Bountiful Utah Credit Union might recommend. Brooke is available via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.

Posted January 07, 2016 by

Finding your first full-time job after college

Ever felt torn about making plans? I have. Especially as a college student, I felt frozen when making decisions. Small decisions were simple. When selecting pizza toppings (my college boyfriend worked as a Domino’s delivery driver so we often pigged out on the stuff) or choosing whether to hang out in Memphis or St. Louis for the weekend, I could manage. But ask me to plot out the next five years of my life? No thanks.

Maybe you can relate. Let’s pretend it’s May 1, college graduation is the following weekend, and all your friends are making down payments on apartments. They’re gabbing about how they plan to spend their first “real” paychecks at their first “real” jobs, bragging about how they found their first full-time jobs, and your head is buried under a beanbag like an ostrich in the sand.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Duplass/Shutterstock.com

It’s easy to temporarily pretend the world of adulting doesn’t exist.

But it does, of course.

If you’re a senior in college, it’s not really your future career we’re talking about—it’s the now. I know, I know—go ahead and grab the nearest pillow and cover your head for a moment to muffle the ear-piercing panicky scream. Then breathe.

Your future career isn’t really your future career, and you’re already technically an adult. Career planning is an ongoing process, and you’ve already begun working on it whether you realize it or not.

You began the career planning process your first year of college or even earlier in life. During your first few years of college, probably before completing 60 credit hours, you selected a major field of study. You might have met with an academic advisor or career counselor regarding your choice of major/minor and discussed the job outlook (including expected salary range) for your field of study (if not, it’s never too late to do this or to research this information on your own).

If you were super proactive, you might have visited the career services or career development office and sought career counseling advice and services related to resume writing, interview skills, and other valuable information. Or you might have blown this off entirely and thought you’d get to it later. That’s okay—you have one semester left on campus—make the most of it!

Like many students, you probably obtained some form of work experience while in college, either during the academic year or during summer/winter breaks. Whether you worked part-time or full-time, volunteered, or worked as an intern (paid or unpaid), you learned real transferable job skills to list on your resume and discuss in upcoming interviews. Did you know you were investing in your future career while standing over a vat of grease, waiting to pull French fries for 50 hungry customers at lunch? You were. You obtained customer service skills, time management skills, multitasking skills, and team working skills, to name a few. Those 15 hours per week each semester weren’t wasted.

The key at this point in your career journey is to refuse to remain satisfied with where you’re at. You’ve worked your tail off in college. Now’s the time to apply what you’ve learned, both in the classroom and outside the classroom, and begin searching for your first full-time job, one related to your college major, rather than remaining underemployed or unemployed after graduation.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Kotin/Shutterstock.com

I can see you breathing a little more evenly now. See—you’ve already connected several crucial dots on the path to career success.

Follow our blog and let us help you maintain motivation this semester as you begin searching for your first full-time job.

 

Posted January 01, 2016 by

Connecting the dots: Creating a 2016 career action plan

Most college students make a list and check it twice before leaving campus during finals week. Catch up on countless hours of missed sleep during fall semester? Check. Hang out with hometown friends and reminisce about old times? Check. Curl up in Dad’s crusty old recliner and watch every episode of “The Big Bang Theory” aired since 2007? Check.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

There may be other items that make the list but rank lower in priority because, let’s face it, they’re simply not as fun to complete—obtain seasonal employment, complete the FAFSA online for the upcoming academic year, fill out grad school applications, stop by the local architect’s office to ask about a summer internship opportunity, etc. The list could literally go on FOR-EV-ER, as The Sandlot’s Squints puts it.

Realistically, many students head back to campus in January without having completed the lower-ranking, future-focused tasks. This doesn’t seem like a big deal in January; the entire spring semester lies before you like a blank notebook. Sounds simple, right?

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

But a blank piece of paper gets you nowhere in terms of a future career or internship (and certainly generates little cash flow). And most people, not just college students, tend to put off today what can be done tomorrow. Unfortunately, employers and recruiters don’t feel your procrastination pain. They only care if you’re the smartest and best if you’ve actually applied on time and filled their needs for openings.

While you still have time and aren’t stressed by the pressure of spring courses, pour a cup of coffee, prepare to brainstorm, and draft a simple 4-step blueprint for action.

1. Accept your limitations and lower your expectations. This might sound like odd advice, but it will keep you from dropping the career-planning ball altogether. Most of us think more highly of ourselves than we ought; this causes us to set ridiculously high expectations and goals (AKA perfectionism). It’s been said that it’s unrealistic to plan more than 90 days out, so don’t do it. If you do, you’re setting yourself up for failure before you’ve begun. Eat that elephant one bite at a time.

2.Identify a few (3 to 5) key career-related goals that matter to you. These goals need to be directly related to obtaining an entry-level job after graduation or an internship during the summer of 2016. Perhaps you’re not interested in an internship but are interested in obtaining part-time employment during the summer that relates to your academic major or minor. Regardless, you might need help with this step. Who can help?

a) 
College Recruiter’s blog. Keep reading this month and follow our blog (via email, Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn). During January, you’ll read about nothing but information related to helping college students plan for and obtain entry-level jobs after graduation and internships during the summer.   b) Your career services office on campus.

Let’s pretend your goal is to work for Target Corporation in entry-level management near Houston, Texas, and  you plan to graduate in May 2016. This is a pretty specific goal (which is good—the more narrow your focus, the easier it is to set goals and action steps).

Some career-related goals might be:

  • Develop a more polished resume (your current resume was drafted when applying for college three years ago and hasn’t been updated since) and learn how to write a great cover letter.
  • Improve phone/online interview skills since you live three states away from Texas and will most likely interview over the phone or online.
  • Learn how to convey your “campus life” experiences as transferable skills during interviews since you’ve only held one part-time job and feel insecure about your lack of real-world experience.

(Spoiler alert: Stay tuned to our blog this month to learn about all this and more.)

3. Define action steps necessary to help you attain your 3-5 goals. This step’s crucial; goals are simply idealistic dreams unless you take steps to realize them.

Let’s stick with our hypothetical you who hopes to work in entry-level management for Target Corporation near Houston, Texas, after graduating in May 2016. Here are some suggested action steps:

  • Update existing resume with part-time job, volunteer experience, campus involvement, and coursework relevant to future employment.
  • Submit resume to College Recruiter’s free resume review service (yep, FREE) and to campus career services office.
  • Follow College Recruiter’s blog this month for posts related to interview skills. Search College Recruiter’s blog for past articles and webinars related to interview skills.
  • Attend mock interviews and career fairs on campus—these are free and afford you valuable practice.
  • Work on revising your resume to reflect transferable skills and to reframe the way you think about your own skills, too.
  • Search for job openings with Target Corporation near Houston, Texas, on College Recruiter’s website after registering. Registering first is important because College Recruiter sends you new postings (saving you time and effort).

4. Get busy. Blueprints look impressive hanging on the wall, but they’re much more impressive when framed inside the buildings built by the very architects who drafted them in the first place.

Developing an action plan is tough brain work—but the real work kicks in when you crawl out of the comfy recliner (even though you have three more days of winter break) and begin implementing your plan.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

The payoff may not be immediate, but pretty soon you’ll see results—the empty page will fill with a pretty cool image you created by simply connecting the dots by taking action all semester.

 

Posted November 11, 2015 by

Three tips for military service members enrolling in higher education

Three tips for military service members enrolling in higher education

Tracey Thomas, making a difference in military service members' lives  at UACCB since 2003

Tracey Thomas, making a difference in military service members’ lives at UACCB since 2003

Understanding VA Educational Benefits

Military service members are often on “information overload” after exiting the military, so they may bypass or misunderstand information given to them. The best thing veterans can do after discharge is talk to a School Certifying Official about the process of accessing VA (Veterans Affairs) Education Benefits. Understanding how to access their benefits, the rules and regulations required for maintaining their benefits and how their benefits payout will help eliminate any misunderstandings and stress. This also allows service members to make informed decisions when presented with options and when deciding how best to juggle school, family, employment, and finances. Active, Reserve, and National Guard members face these same challenges plus a few more because they may qualify for tuition assistance and/or a state funded benefit, so learning the regulations and processes of multiple VA Education Benefits can be especially overwhelming. Navigating this process is not something students should attempt alone.

Don’t rush the process

Trying to jump into school a few weeks after discharge may cause unnecessary stress. It takes time for the Department of Veteran Affairs to process a new application, as well as other types of financial aid, so this will cause a delay in receiving financial assistance. Sometimes it’s better to delay enrollment for one semester, allowing service members adequate time to submit all required documents for college admissions offices; this also ensures all available financial aid is in place when enrolling. This prevents undue stress and frustrations, so service members and veterans can fully concentrate on successfully completing their classes.

Overload of courses

Since VA Education Benefits are limited (36-48 months), some service members try to take an overload of courses to complete their programs quickly. About a month into the semester, service members realize they took on too much when trying to juggle employment, family, and school. If classes are dropped, this may lead to overpayments of financial aid and/or their VA Education Benefits. Service members need to remember it is better to take an extra semester to successfully complete all courses stress-free than to fail or drop courses due to overload and possibly end up in overpayment as well.

Above all, service members should keep in touch with their local School Certifying Official(s) to receive prompt answers to questions, to avoid miscommunication regarding benefits, and to receive support and encouragement while on campus. We’re here to help.

 

Tracey Thomas, Assistant Registrar/School Certifying Official at the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville (UACCB) since 2003, provides daily assistance to service members and their families in accessing their VA Education Benefits, informing them of VA requirements, certifying enrollment to the VA, providing academic advising, tracking attendance and progress, and offering a listening ear when they become frustrated or want to share their stories of success and accomplishment. Tracey also serves as a mentor for the School Certifying Officials in Arkansas. She says the best part of her job is helping service members and their families. “I feel we owe them for their sacrifices, so it’s important for me to give a little back.”

 

Posted October 17, 2015 by

Grueling FAFSA application process leaves money on the table, hurts students

directly above photograph of a grant application

Directly above photograph of a grant application. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

As the cost of college tuitions skyrocket, the world of academia is constantly growing more competitive, which is causing a large number of students to second guess their options for college. Today, a college education can be financially intimidating, especially when your main form of payment is through some sort of government aid, student loan, or the hope for a potential scholarship. With college costing an average student more than $30,000 per year, students are actively seeking any monetary help possible to ensure they are not haunted by a mountain of debt after graduation. (more…)

Posted September 09, 2015 by

Honest Diversity Conversations Webinar: Race Relations & HR

Steve Levy of Recruiting Inferno Consulting

Steve Levy of Recruiting Inferno Consulting

Diversity conversations are going on in the workplace, but the question is: Are they honest? From racially-charged news headlines to employees going on bias tirades, there is no evading the conversation of diversity and inclusion in the workplace- yet we all do our best to evade it. In fact, a 2014 Deloitte report on Global Human Capital Trends cites ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ as a trend that companies are least concerned about. Contrary to this report, diversity is an important topic in business.

College Recruiter is hosting a series of three webinars this month to dive into these issues in an entertaining yet informative manner. Our guests are Steve Levy and Janine Truitt.

Steve is the director of sourcing for Indeed, owner of Recruiting Inferno Consulting, and a talent acquisition leader, workforce planner, hands-on recruiter, talent community builder & pipeline sourcing and populating magician in ANY technology-laden sector. He is an “Old School”/”New Cool” practitioner who recruits to retain; who mentors recruiters & hiring managers to think & perform better; and trains employees at all levels to become talent scouts. Steve is one of the top 100 most social HR folks & influential recruiters on Twitter and ERE’s first blogger & group leader. Steve can be followed on Twitter @LevyRecruits.

Janine is the Owner/Chief Innovations Officer for Talent Think Innovations, LLC, a talent management consulting firm. Her career spans ten years in HR and Talent Acquisition that has taken her through the world of pharmaceuticals, healthcare, staffing and R&D. Janine is a dynamic speaker, entrepreneur, and an important and respected voice bringing business savvy to the discipline of HR. Visit her blog “The Aristocracy of HR” or follow her tweets on Twitter @CzarinaofHR.

Today was the first of the three-part webinar series. Steve and Janine discussed why it is so difficult for HR to have the difficult discussion of race relations and what should be the role of human resources when it comes to race relations in the organization.  (more…)

Posted July 20, 2015 by

Careers in the Foreign Service – One Diplomat’s Story

Becoming a Foreign Service Officer can be extremely challenging but on the other hand is even more rewarding. Ana Escrogima describes her experiences as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer in the Middle East and how the State Department carries out its mission to implement foreign policy objectives. She also describes the efforts of the State Department to recruit diverse and talented candidates for the Foreign and Civil Service.

In this recorded webinar, Andrea McEwen Henderson, National Account Manager for College Recruiter, hosts Ana Escrogima, Diplomat in Residence for the New York Metro Area.

(more…)

Posted July 18, 2015 by

Job Seeker Webinar Careers in the Foreign Service – The Exam Process and Student Opportunities

There are great opportunities to become a Foreign and Civil Service officer. The positions are taken very seriously and the application process is very intricate. But there are fellowship and internship opportunities to become involved while still going to graduate school.

Andrea McEwen-Henderson, National Account Manager for College Recruiter, hosts this recorded webinar with Ana Escrogima, Diplomat in Residence for the New York Metro area, who discusses the Foreign Service Exam and the Civil Service hiring process. She also reviews the State Department internship program and various graduate fellowship opportunities.

(more…)

Posted May 29, 2015 by

Building Diversity & Inclusion to Support the Americans with Disabilities Act 25th Anniversary: Recruitment, Retention and Stakeholder Engagement in the Digital Age

Jonathan Kaufman, CEO of J Kaufman Consulting

Jonathan Kaufman, CEO of J Kaufman Consulting

The month July 2015 marks the 25th anniversary of The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a truly landmark piece legislation that fundamentally redefined how people with disabilities live in American society. One of the cornerstones of this legislation was the impact on employment across all sectors.

On July 22nd, College Recruiter will deliver a free webinar on how employers can build diversity and inclusion. In this digital dialogue on diversity, you will learn how to leverage new resources, tools, networks and opportunities to gain access to a powerful talent pool that is critical to addressing your human capital and digital engagement strategies for long-term growth.

In this webinar, we will address: (more…)