July 15, 2016 by William Frierson
College career services offices are designed to help prepare college students create career paths. Whether helping college students continue their education or finding internships and entry-level jobs, these offices have the resources and tools students need for succeeding in the job search. The career services professionals on college campuses can even share their personal experiences to give students a better idea of what to expect in the real world.
However, while having resources, tools, and professional advice is nice, how can career services offices improve to attract more college students? Nichole Lefelhoc, Director of the Career Center at Mansfield University, discusses how these offices can center their budgets around collaboration and creativity to connect students with career services offices and other events.
“Collaboration and creativity are the name of the game when it comes to ensuring our budget can be utilized in such a way that we are reaching the greatest number of college students. In a time of shrinking operating budgets, we focus our efforts on developing strong relationships with departments across campus and pool resources to have the greatest impact on students. We have also found a great amount of success in collaborating with student organizations to co-sponsor events. The student group will conduct much of the marketing of an event, as well as fund refreshments, and the career center will organize the content and/or guest speakers.
Another area of potential collaboration is with employers. Many employers are seeking ways to brand their organizations on college campuses, and career centers are seeking ways to connect their students with internship and employment opportunities. One such example was a “Fall Fest” sponsored by an employer. We organized pumpkin decorating, s’mores, hot chocolate, and a fire pit. Turnout at the event was tremendous and offered an opportunity to not only brand the employer, but also market the services of our career center. The event came at no expense to our office.”
Nichole Lefelhoc is the Director of the Career Center at Mansfield University. Nichole helps prepare college students for success after graduation and in their chosen careers. She has a responsibility to make sure the career center offers the appropriate services and resources for this to happen. This could mean anything from career exploration, professional image, and resumes/cover letters to internships, job searching, interviewing, and graduate school.
July 10, 2016 by William Frierson
Recruiters typically head to college campuses every fall. They will be looking for the best and brightest students with the potential to fill internships and entry-level jobs. However, other recruiters will not travel to schools or may limit travel because of the costs; they would prefer job seekers come to them, find candidates online, or may recruit through other means, such as through target email campaigns and banner ads.
Recruiters who opt out of campus recruiting entirely might miss out on the face-to-face interaction with college students interested in learning more about specific employers. Attending at least some of the networking events on college campuses not only allows recruiters to make their presence known but also helps students gain a better understanding of the workplace. John Link, Assistant Director for Career Development at Webster University, highlights why recruiters and employers should visit college campuses.
“I think it is important for recruiters to actively attend networking events on university and college campuses to assist with developing college students’ understanding of the working world, and begin identifying the marketable skills and abilities essential in that specific area of employment. Employers who attend networking events on university and college campuses have immediate access to college students from various economic and cultural backgrounds while connecting information to students about opportunities for the company or organization they are representing. This information can be helpful for short and long-term career goal setting and connecting students to professionals in the fields of work they are interested in.”
John Link is the Assistant Director for Career Development at Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri. An Indiana native, John spent time working at Indiana State University’s Career Center in career programming before making the move to St. Louis. Prior to working in higher education, John worked as an elementary teacher in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and served as an instructional coach to assist teachers in further developing their math and science teaching skills. John enjoys working in career development and helping define students’ career goals through personalized career coaching.
July 07, 2016 by William Frierson
Congratulations on landing your new entry-level job or internship! Perhaps you landed it through networking. If so, that means you understood how to approach interacting with family, friends, and/or recruiting and talent acquisition professionals during your job search.
Now it’s time to transition from networking to find a job to networking in the workplace. This is an opportunity to demonstrate your skills and qualities and learn from established employees who can help you along the way. Vickie Cox-Lanyon, Director of Career Services and LEEP Center Adviser at Clark University, explains how new hires should approach networking in the workplace.
“The first step is to establish yourself as a hard-working, competent, young professional. Making a good first impression in your new role will get your colleagues’ attention and increase the likelihood they will be willing to assist in your career development. At the same time, you need to assimilate into the culture of your organization and begin to create collegial working relationships. If you begin networking too early, it may appear you are too focused on your future rather than your current role.
Once you have established yourself, identify someone one level above you whose position or career path you’re interested in. Start with people you already know. Your goal is to secure an informational interview where you ask questions about the professional’s career trajectory and solicit advice on your potential goals. People generally like to talk about themselves and like to give advice, so you should get a positive response as long as you are polite and professional.
Another goal of that conversation should be expanding your network by asking the professional for names of other professionals they can introduce you to. Etiquette is important in this process so remember that written communication should be formal and professional, and follow-up thank you notes are essential. Above all, be willing to listen and be open to the advice you receive.”
Vickie Cox-Lanyon is Director of Career Services / Graduate School Adviser and Assistant Director of the LEEP Center at Clark University. Cox-Lanyon provides career and academic guidance to students and alumni throughout their career development process. She has been in the field of career services since 1997 and is a member of the National Career Development Association, the National Association of Colleges and Employers, and the Liberal Arts Career Network, through which she participates in annual professional development activities. She holds a BA in Psychology from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and an MS in Psychology from the University of Rhode Island.
July 04, 2016 by William Frierson
While obtaining a higher education, it’s a smart idea for college students to gather some contacts along the way. Building a professional network in college can be helpful when searching for internships and entry-level jobs. Don’t underestimate classmates, professors, or anyone else who can assist with your job search. John Moriarty, Director of the Career Development Center at Barry University, gives advice on how college students can build a professional network in school.
“The old adage, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is as true today as it was 50 years ago. Building a professional network is the key to unlocking the secrets to success and scores of unknown opportunities. The internet makes it possible to identify professionals in your chosen field; passion, persistence, and determination will enable you to connect with those professionals.
The first and most obvious place for college students to find professionals to connect with while still in school is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a professional social media platform where professionals create profiles detailing their professional experience, expertise, and education. Using the advanced search feature in LinkedIn, students can search various criteria to find the right person to connect with.
Armed with a list of professionals who are working in college students’ desired fields, it is now time for students to contact the professionals about conducting an informational interview. Ask to meet with professionals (15 to 20 minutes) to learn more about what it takes to succeed in their professions and get advice as job seekers just beginning their careers. Request a face-to-face meeting, but if that is not possible, ask for a phone interview. This is an excellent opportunity for students to build a rapport with professionals and impress them with passion, enthusiasm, and a desire to succeed in the industry.
Besides LinkedIn, college students should take advantage of other internet resources such as industry association websites, news articles, and blogs to identify connections. In addition, students should use the resources of faculty, staff, and the career development center to build their networks.”
John Moriarty has an M.B.A. from National University in San Diego, California, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Florida. A native of South Florida, and a Marine Corps veteran, John spent nine years recruiting employees for various local and national companies before joining the Barry University Career Development Center staff. John has served as a Career Counselor, an Assistant Director, and is currently serving as the Director of the Career Development Center.
July 03, 2016 by William Frierson
While being shy is not a crime, it is something job seekers need to overcome to network. For introverted college students and recent graduates, networking might seem impossible or intimidating when trying to find internships or entry-level jobs. However, that doesn’t mean introverts can’t interact well with people. Knowing what to do ahead of time and practicing it can make introverted job seekers more comfortable when networking. The more confident they are networking, the better their chances of learning about job opportunities, including those in the hidden job market. Peter Margaritis, Chief Edutainment Officer of The Accidental Accountant, shares networking tips to help introverts with their job search.
“Tip 1: Smile and have a positive attitude, which is displayed by projecting inviting body language, a.k.a. don’t cross your arms over your chest.
Tip 2: Ask the other person questions first after you introduce yourself to reduce the level of your nervousness. Ask questions like, where do you work and what role do you play in the organization? These are just some easy questions to start the conversation.
Tip 3: Don’t sit with or follow your network at an event. Break away and meet someone new.”
Peter A. Margaritis, CPA, is a speaker, educator, trainer, humorist, and self-proclaimed Chief “Edutainment” Officer for The Accidental Accountant™. Partnering with the Business Learning Institute, his firm helps accountants and other business leaders to increase their profitability by strengthening their business success skills and improving morale through better communication. He is a member of the Ohio Society of CPAs, Georgia Society of CPAs, National Speakers Association, and the American Institute of CPAs. Peter is also the author of Improv Is No Joke: Using Improvisation to Create Positive Results in Leadership and Life. www.theaccidentalaccountant.com
June 24, 2016 by William Frierson
While college students may use social media for personal reasons, they can also use it for their careers. Social media allows students to find the right contacts and engage with them, which helps students build a professional network. This network can be an asset connecting college students to internships or entry-level job opportunities. Chaim Shapiro, Assistant Director of Career Services at Touro College, discusses building a network and how to use social media effectively to do so.
“The best time to build your network is before you need it. College students need a strong network when searching for jobs or internships.
It can be very difficult for college students to connect with established professionals because usually those requests are for “one-way relationships” from which ONLY the students stand to gain. That means there are no reasons or motivation for professionals to accept the requests.
LinkedIn is, by far, the best professional research tool in social media. Students can use LinkedIn’s “Advanced Search” feature to identify top networking prospects in their fields.
Unfortunately, LinkedIn is NOT a great engagement tool. Connection requests are easy to deny, and meaningful conversations are rarely on LinkedIn Groups. Twitter conversations, on the other hand, are much more natural and organic. That’s why a multi modal approach utilizing Twitter is so effective.
After identifying prospects on LinkedIn, find and follow their Twitter accounts. Wait until they tweet about an area of mutual interest to respond with a tweet meant to catch their attention. The conversation doesn’t even need to be about a professional topic. A shared interest in sports, movies, etc., can be a great entree into a conversation!
Responding to a targeted Tweet provides the opportunity to build a genuine two-way relationship. After engaging your target and building credibility, take it to the personal level and invite them to meet for coffee to introduce yourself and demonstrate your professionalism in person.”
Chaim Shapiro, M.Ed. is the Assistant Director of Career Services at Touro College, a freelance writer, public speaker and social media consultant specializing in LinkedIn. He has presented his popular LinkedIn Workshop at National Conferences, Universities, Public Libraries and for communal organizations across the country. Chaim earned a Master’s Degree in College Student Personnel from Loyola University, Chicago, and also studied in the Institutional Leadership and Policy Studies Ph.D. program at the University of California, Riverside Graduate School of Education. He has more than 12 years of experience working in college administration.
June 17, 2016 by William Frierson
Going to college not only gives you the opportunity to further your education but also to meet new people. As you are pursuing your college degree, focus on making quality contacts. For example, developing relationships with other college students is smart in case you forget a homework assignment or need a study buddy. Those relationships can become friendships, and when it’s time to find an internship or an entry-level job, your new friends may know someone in their networks who can help you.
College is also a great opportunity to build a professional network. Getting to know other college students, and faculty and staff helps you establish relationships that can be beneficial for your job search. Bruce Harpham, Founder of Projectmanagementhacks.com, offers two tips for building a professional network in college.
“1-Read the alumni newsletter or magazine, and contact graduates you read about. Many colleges have a magazine or newsletter that shares alumni news. Practice reading the publication and contact graduates you read about to ask about their businesses and careers. For example, the Ohio State Alumni magazine is published six times per year. Take two hours on a quiet afternoon to read previous issues.
2-Make the most of campus events. Many colleges and universities invite authors, business leaders, and others to visit and give presentations. Make the most of these events by sitting in the front row (or as close as you can get), taking notes, and then asking a question during the Q&A session. This is a great way to make connections.”
Bruce Harpham is the Founder of Projectmanagementhacks.com, a career development resource, and freelance writer. Bruce’s writing has appeared in CIO, InfoWorld, CSO, ProjectManagement.com, and other publications. Bruce lives in Toronto, Canada.
June 03, 2016 by William Frierson
Employers can take different approaches when it comes to their onboarding programs. Some companies focus more on management, while others concentrate on the social aspect. These approaches and others shape new employees into the company culture. Beverly Behrmann, Academic and Career Advisor at Keene State College, discusses how certain companies help college students and new hires succeed in the onboarding process.
“As for onboarding programs, bigger national companies like Liberty Mutual have extensive management programs that work closely with new hires to ensure success. There is a mentoring component and a rotation so new hires can see various aspects of the company and how divisions work.
Here in Keene, there are two local employers we work with often. They are Barton Associates and Electronic Imaging Materials. Both companies build in a social component to integrate new employees. This might include potluck lunches, games, and “fun” gatherings. Both companies also have extensive internship opportunities so college students can get acclimated to workplace scenarios and behaviors in a lower risk situation. If the internship works out, students may transition into full-time employees and have been “socialized” to a certain extent by the time they start as full-time employees.”
The Office of Academic and Career Advising believes in empowering students to develop lifelong skills that will serve them beyond their time at Keene State College. This philosophy is paramount in creating successful and meaningful outcomes and one Beverly Behrmann wholeheartedly shares. As career advisor, Beverly helps students gain essential skills needed to pursue their academic and career paths. By working with students through individual appointments and class presentations, she provides resources to help them navigate the career development process.
May 30, 2016 by William Frierson
In a world where everyone is expected to have everything right by the time they leave college, most college students and recent grads still have many questions about their careers. In order to get a clear understanding of what career path is best straight out of college, there are a few things to consider.
The type of research required in this process involves looking within. Look at your personality. Take a closer look at the hobbies you love and the things you’re really great at. After taking close inventory from within, find out which careers line up with some of those personal strengths and attributes. A person who loves color, working with children, and completing DIY projects might want to consider becoming an art teacher in an elementary school. If you are good at math and developing things, you may want to consider engineering degrees online. Arriving at a career choice involves introspection, but eventually, the puzzle pieces come together.
If you desire to become a chef, consider finding a few chefs of different restaurants and reaching out to them. Sure, they might have busy schedules, but you never know how many wouldn’t mind sharing their expertise and insight through an email. It is very important to get into their space and begin learning about the lifestyles of those with the career you desire. Many chefs work very long hours on their feet. If this is a deal-breaker, it’s better to know sooner than later.
Internships, externships, and volunteer experiences are excellent for on-the-job training. In most cases, these opportunities are short-term experiences and give just enough insight to let a person know whether this particular career is right for them. Journalism students might love to write and think they want to work on the staff of a major magazine. After completing magazine journalism internships, the students might quickly realize they love to write but would rather work as freelancers instead. Contact your career services office on campus to seek information about local opportunities, and search for opportunities with College Recruiter.
Keep an open mind and be okay with making mistakes. Open-minded people know they might not get everything right on the first try. Sometimes, finding the right job involves taking a variety of jobs at different times. Try doing two part-time jobs that are completely different, but make up enough money for a full-time job. Discovering which job is more rewarding and fulfilling can be a real eye-opener. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, your job might involve working as an assistant at a nursing home. The off days might be spent working as a nanny for little children. No matter what the job entails, keep an open mind. It might lead you straight to the job of your dreams.
After evaluating these concepts and re-entering the hunt, it is only a matter of time before you’re on the right path to knowing what job is best for you. It may be an uncomfortable path, but you’ll be happier in the long run that you chose to take the road to your dream job.
Anita Ginsburg is a freelance writer from Denver, Colorado and often writes about education, business, and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family when she isn’t writing.
May 05, 2016 by William Frierson
Many students place a higher value on “prestigious” internships at places like Goldman Sachs for finance, CNN for media, and Facebook for technology. While there is definitely value in interning for these firms, most of that value is derived from the perception of other people. I would encourage students to look smaller. I think experience working for small businesses and organizations can be the BIGGEST hidden gem in your college career. This played out in my own recruiting process. One of the best internships I had was with a small investment firm in Charlotte, North Carolina. The office consisted of only 15 people, and the internship was unpaid. However, I think I learned three years of skills and knowledge in my three months with the company. I have also seen this take place for other students I have interviewed on my podcast “Interns on Fire.” More often than not, students have a better experience interning for smaller organizations and here is why:
1. More responsibility: Since these companies are smaller, they lack the bureaucratic red tape that prevents interns from doing meaningful work. These companies are often competing against larger companies with 10% of the workforce. This translates to more meaningful work for interns.
2. More diversity: For many of the same reasons mentioned earlier, employees for these companies wear multiple hats. They have to coordinate events, answer customer calls, process orders, and manage key strategic initiatives. Since they work across different divisions, interns are more likely to do the same. Therefore, they will not be siloed into just one role or with just one task for their entire internships. Interns will likely get the opportunity to work across many different areas.
3. Better culture: Typically, smaller firms have better cultures and camaraderie. Because they are smaller, they tend to focus more on hiring people who are good culture fits. Hiring one bad egg does a lot more harm to a small organization than it does for a Fortune 500 company. Working for a smaller organization will give interns greater access to potential mentors and friends.
4. Ability to make an impact: Given that many small organizations have so much to accomplish with so few resources, they are often spread thin. In many cases, there have already identified a few valuable projects they just haven’t had the chance to work on yet. This leaves the door wide open for interns to come in and make an impact.
Don’t be afraid to go smaller. It can be the catalyst you need to jumpstart your college career. An internship with the right organization can be a game changer.
Carl Schlotman IV was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. Carl completed six internships in his collegiate career with world-class financial institutions such as: Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, and Goldman Sachs. After gaining experience with his internships and accepting a full-time offer with Wells Fargo Securities in Investment Banking upon graduation, Carl seeks to give back to younger students. He published his first book, Cash in Your Diploma, in April 2014.
Carl has spoken at several universities around the country to share his strategies and tactics for getting the job you want in the field of your choice, making the salary you desire. He also hosts a podcast highlighting the best student interns across the country, “Interns On Fire.”