Body language is as much a part of your communication style as what you say verbally – it’s really about how you say it. Impressions are made within seconds of reviewing body language. For that reason, it is extremely important that you are aware of how you communicate non verbally before you go into an interview. Do you have any nervous habits such as tapping your foot, scratching your face, or twirling your hair? If you do, you are not alone… But it is important that you are aware of these habits so you can control them when you need to.
Non verbal communication refers to more than just nervous habits. According to Best-Job-Interview.com non-verbal communication accounts for over 90% of the message you are sending in your job interview! Your verbal content only provides 7% of the message the interviewer is receiving from you. Consider the handshake. While it may take less than 10 seconds to complete a handshake, in that time, the interviewer has already developed an impression of your character based on eye contact and the firmness of your shake. The same goes for eye contact and the way you sit in your chair. These things might seem small, but they say a lot about your communication style and who you are.
The blog Careerrealism points out that a weak handshake and lack of eye contact can leave the impression you are timid and insecure. A sincere and firm handshake with eye contact expresses professionalism and confidence. An overpowering handshake with a fixed gaze may come across as overconfident and arrogant. So, be cautious with your next handshake and start the interview off with a positive impression.
Here are some other tips to avoid common non verbal mistakes.
Associate Director, Career Planning Center
Over the last 6 months the Career Planning Center (@FairfieldCPC) has been tweeting jobs like crazy. Every day when I go on to Twitter to scan for hot jobs/internships, I frequently come across “Virtual Internships” or positions that don’t require students ever to set foot in an actual office. Sometimes referred to as “telecommuting” or “offsite work,” virtual employment has officially become a trend. Many of the opportunities that we have seen come from Internships.com, which lists more than 8,000 virtual positions, a 20% increase over last year.
What does a virtual internship entail you might ask? Well, it really depends on the company you are working for. Generally speaking many of the positions available are in fields that are most conducive to working independently and in an online setting. Currently, the greatest number of virtual internship opportunities are in sales, marketing, and social media; though a growing number are showing up in graphic design and software development. Seeing that this is a new trend, we wanted to discuss some of the positives and negatives to taking a virtual internship.
Flexible Hours: With virtual internships students have the opportunity to gain professional experience without interrupting their everyday life. That means they could still be the Vice President of their student organization, play Division I athletics, and take a full load of classes all while interning. Remote interns enjoy flexible hours, allowing them to juggle class schedules and even part-time jobs.
No Costs: Another plus is students won’t incur commuting and housing expenses, which we all know can really add up.
Double Time: If you could handle the work load, virtual internships allow you to take on more than 1 internship at a time. With virtual employment, the focus is on completing your assigned duties, not spending time in an office twiddling your thumbs.
It’s EXPERIENCE: One of the biggest and most obvious perks to taking a virtual internship is the fact that you are getting professional experience. In this day and age getting experience and having internships on your resume is absolutely paramount when looking for full-time employment.
Miss Out on Some Important Lessons: One real downside to taking a virtual internship is they don’t always provide the crucial lessons that can come from actually being in the office like insight into professional expectations, corporate culture and office etiquette.
Personal Relationships: Students who work virtually might not have the opportunity to develop close relationships with staff members or managers, which is one of easiest ways to build your personal network. As we all know, networking is key in the job search process and when looking to move up the corporate ladder.
To find virtual internships visit Internships.com, keep your eyes on Twitter, or come in to meet with one of the Career Planning Counselors.
Assistant Director, Career Planning Center
As I have walked around the streets of Amman, Jordan, I often catch myself thinking, how did I even get here? One year ago, I was applying to jobs left and right, praying Dr. Lane wouldn’t make us seniors take a final, and honing my Powder Puff football skills. Now I am teaching English to university students, practicing Arabic over falafel sandwiches with friends, and volunteering in refugee camps. This year has been the best possible post-graduate plan for me.
I had known about the Fulbright Scholarship since my freshman year. My advisor, Dr. Crawford, outlined the idea to me and it was reinforced by multiple IL events and Career Fairs thereafter. The Fulbright Scholarship funds Americans to either teach English or undertake a research project for a year in another country. The major goal is cultural exchange: young Americans work abroad, build friendships and a new life within their host community, and strengthen mutual understanding between the two nations. The program offers a beautiful mission and a year of adventure, which is probably why it has become very competitive over the years. Now, the Fulbright is considered one of the most prestige post-graduate scholarships.
…which leads me to the next thought I always have when I catch a breath from my routine in Amman: who do I think I am? who am I to live this life? There has actually not been a single minute of my Fulbright year when I have been bored. Of course, sometimes life is not perfect – living in a new culture can be tiring and challenging. Yet, I have not spent a single minute unfulfilled. Every day I am meeting new people, learning new things, memorizing new vocabulary, trying new food, exploring new communities, and charting my future path. Who did I think I was? Casually applying to a Fulbright, reaching out for this life?
I still don’t know the answer… but I’m sure it has a lot to do with Fairfield. A lot to do with the professors who listened to my ideas and constantly pushed me. Somebody has to fill those 10 English Teaching Assistant positions for Jordan… why not you?
I’m so grateful for that push, and it’s my best lesson learned from Fairfield. As you look down the road ahead — whether it’s a Fulbright, a scholarship, a job, a graduate program, or another adventure – that’s the important thing to remember. Someone gets to live that life… why not me?
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.
Live the life you have imagined.”
- Henry David Thoreau
Terrific, you got the interview… But it doesn’t stop there! The follow up after the interview is viewed by employers as as critical and expected. It shows them you are sincerely interested in the position and can demonstrate your professionalism. This is not to say to hound them. Email a note within 24 hours thanking them for their time and reiterating your interest in the position and the company. Try to tie in key points that came up in the interview. Maybe you talked about a project they are working on or some new launch they want to make. Essentially, you want to be thoughtful in communicating your desire to work for them. Lastly, if you see an article that is related to their industry or business include that in your note. It shows you are thinking of them and staying on top of current events within the industry.
Check out the article below for more tips published by Fox Business on handling the follow up.
Associate Director, Career Planning Center
What do Mark Zuckerberg, Chris Bosh, and Michael Bloomberg all agree on? More students need to learn computer programming. If that strikes you as a little odd then you might be surprised to learn that by 2020 there will be 1 million more computer programming jobs than qualified students. This huge demand for computer programmers is making these jobs among the highest paid in America with no signs of stopping. The average salary for computer programmers is $77,000 which is 15% higher than average salaries for all job postings nationwide according to Indeed.com. If you are like the majority of students who were never exposed to computer programming during your education then I’d suggest trying your hand at coding by visiting http://www.code.org
Code.org is non-profit foundation dedicated to growing computer programming education. You can find a variety of FREE online courses and tutorials that can teach you everything from simple coding to how to design a mobile app. I played around with their interactive tutorial, Codecademy, and had fun learning some simple coding commands.
If you think you have a knack for coding then you should seriously consider taking a computer science class at Fairfield. Who knows, maybe you will find a new minor or even a major you had never considered before. If nothing else, coding helps you think outside of the box and develop critical thinking skills – something every employer wants!
Still not convinced? I bet you think those nap pods you’ve heard about at Google are pretty cool. Guess who works there? Computer programmers! Check out this video to learn even more from actual programmers.
Meredith Marquez, Associate Director
Looking for a way to volunteer and help other students on campus? The Career Planning Center has the opportunity you are looking for! Starting this fall the Career Planning Center will be launching a Peer Educator program. Upperclassmen will have the opportunity to assist underclassmen as they prepare for their journey to finding a career. These students will help with resumes, cover letters, and basic interviewing prep. Remember when you were an underclassman and had no idea where to begin when looking for a career? Well this is a great way to get involved and help out your fellow Stags.
This opportunity is also great to help boost your resume and give you experience in whatever field you are looking to enter. Psychology major? This is a great way to practice coaching/helping a person. Marketing major? What better way to get practice helping someone market themselves? English major? Who doesn’t need help with grammar and spelling? Whatever your field of study is, becoming a Peer Educator can give you firsthand experience and that extra bullet in your resume.
Below is the link to the application to get the ball rolling on this great experience!
Applications are due April 8th.
It’s finally here, Spring Break. You have been planning this with your roommates for months and you are all leaving early in the morning for Cabo San Lucas…WOO-WOO!!!! Party time!!!
Before your start going wild, remember a few critical things:
1. Make sure you have a handle on your privacy settings for both Facebook and Twitter. You might be on the beach but employers who wish they were might be creeping on your posts!
2. Avoid uploading pictures of you in a compromising situation. This includes you as a bystander. People make judgments based on photos whether they are accurate or not.
3. If all of your friends decide to get tattoos at 2:00 a.m. make sure you put it somewhere you can cover up in the workplace. The vacation is a week but the tattoo is pretty much forever.
4. If you are expecting a job offer any day now, remember, it might be your future employer calling when the phone rings. If you can’t be professional let it go to voicemail and return the call ASAP once you have “gathered your thoughts.”
If you are staying at home this Spring Break, there are some things you can do to be productive.
1. Update your resume
2. Call at least two people that could help you network and invite them to coffee. This is a perfect time to catch up and begin asking for advice on navigating the internship/job search.
3. Don’t have an interview suit? This is a perfect time to visit Marshall’s, TJ Maxx or a consignment shop and see what you can find. Did you know you can sometimes go to Goodwill and find suits with the tags still on?
4. Begin lists of organizations you would be interested in learning more about or working for within your preferred geographic area. Don’t know what is out there? Starting researching.
Finally, wherever you go and whatever you do, remember to be safe and come back to campus with lots of stories!
Director, Career Planning Center
The Career Planning Center occasionally falls victim to rumors about what exactly the office can do for students and it’s time to set the record straight. A career center at a fellow Jesuit school, University of Loyola Maryland, has identified a few myths that are associated with career centers and we’d like to debunk some of these as well.
1. Most of the services are for seniors or business majors.
As Peter Griffin would say, this one really grinds our gears! The Career Planning Center has many services that any student can use, regardless of their major and year. At Fairfield, each career counselor works directly with one of the four schools and colleges (Arts & Sciences, Engineering, Nursing, and Business) to help ensure the entire staff is aware of the unique needs of all types of majors. Furthermore, think of each year as having a career development goal building on the previous years:
- First Year – Discover Yourself and Explore Options
- Sophomore Year – Start Formulating Career Plans
- Junior Year – Acquire Experience
- Senior Year – Transition to the Real World
2. The Career Center places people in jobs.
Remember the old adage, “Give a person a fish and they’ll eat for today. Teach a person to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime”? The same concept applies with finding a job in the sense that the staff at the Career Planning Center wants you to learn how to do an effective job search so you’ll be able to do them throughout your entire life. The trends in career development show that most people change jobs about 10 times in their career, so there is an extremely good chance that your first job search will not be your last!
3. Good companies don’t come to campus.
The Career Center’s brings a wide range of companies to campus interested in recruiting students for full-time and internship opportunities. Keep in mind that for smaller or even out-of-state organizations, on-campus recruiting may not be worthwhile due to having too few available positions or because of the distance needed to travel to campus. Also, some of the companies that are extremely popular don’t necessarily need to come to campus because they know students will find them. Meet with one of our career counselors to discover ways to identify any of these types of employers and their “hidden” opportunities.
Visit Experience to find out which companies are posting opportunities and which are coming to campus to recruit, or conduct a corporate presentation or information session.
4. The jobs available through Experience or at the Career Fair are only for business majors.
While a number of companies seek business majors, there are many employers who seek and hire liberal arts and science majors. It’s also true that some companies have positions requiring specialized knowledge and skills, such as engineering and accounting. But others, especially when it comes to entry-level positions, are more interested in applicants who can communicate effectively, work well on teams, and can carefully illustrate how their skills and experiences align with the employer’s needs – a perfect fit for many liberal arts majors.
There is a separate Nursing Career Fair where local hospitals come to campus to recruit our nursing students. If you are a nursing student interested in working outside of the local area or at a very competitive hospital, please come to the Career Planning Center early and often so we can help you with your job search process.
5. The Career Center cannot help me apply to graduate school or to a post-graduate service program.
Career counselors are here to help you with every aspect of applying to graduate school, including program research, the application process, interviewing, and help with your personal statement. The same applies for post-graduate service and in that instance we work closely with the staff in Campus Ministry to make sure you are aware of a variety of opportunities.
6. The services are no longer available after I graduate.
We are happy to work with all Fairfield alumni at any stage of their career and our services are provided to alumni at no cost. Go Stags!
7. There are no internships for freshmen and sophomores.
While some internships are geared towards juniors and seniors, due to the knowledge and skills acquired in their advanced courses, many employers are interested in hiring freshmen and sophomore interns. The staff at the Career Center has numerous tips and resources to share when it comes to the internship search process that can apply to students at any stage of their college career.
Hopefully, we’ve debunked some of the myths you might have heard and we invite you to come to the Kelley Center to experience the services we provide for yourself. You can make an appointment by calling 203-254-4081 or come to drop-in hours Tuesday-Friday from 1:30-4:00pm. Let the truth set you free!
Meredith Marquez, Associate Director
Over the last month or so, our friends at Twitter introduced a brand new (and awesome) social media network that lets you record and share 6 second looping video clips online. When I signed up and started playing with it, it reminded me a lot of Instagram but with videos. You know that friend of yours on Instagram who constantly posts pictures of their dog or cat wearing glasses? Ever wonder how they got him to wear them so perfectly? With Vine, those 2 dimensional “Pet Wearing People Clothes” pictures transforms into a 6 second clip of the PROCESS of your friend getting those glasses on their pet – you now see the drooling, the barking, and real struggle that it took to get the glasses to stay on their pet’s head. It goes from a picture to a story…
One of the best ways I have read Vine be explained/described is “Vine is to YouTube what Twitter is to WordPress/Blogger”. It’s social at the core and addictive. As a technology, it is user friendly – it records while you’re touching the screen, pauses when you take your finger away, and stops when you hit 6 seconds…
So now, the “Why you should care” part… First things first, in this day and age it is important to stay current and relevant. If you are applying for an internship/job that involves social media, marketing, communication, PR, technology (I could keep going) that means staying on top of emerging technologies. Imagine how impressive you might sound at your next interview if you talk about ways the company might be able to expand their social media presence by using this new social network called Vine… I know I would be impressed. The Career Planning Center cares about this new social network because we want to make sure we are encouraging and empowering you all to be RESPONSIBLE social media users. Just like we say with Facebook or Twitter it is important to become experts on privacy settings and never post anything you wouldn’t want an employer to see. But at the same time, if you are planning on going into an industry where social media is relevant, it is important for you to be an active user.
With all that being said check out VINE and start posting some videos!
Assistant Director, Career Planning Center
First things first, a big thank you to all of the employers and amazing students who came out to the Career Fair yesterday. The room was alive and you could tell there was some serious networking going on. But just like any networking event meeting and talking with people is just one small component - it is the follow up that really takes it to the next level. With that being said, this is to all the students out there who met with any employers…
Sending a follow up letter or email message reiterates your interest in the organization and serves as a reminder of who you are to a busy recruiter who met with many candidates during the event. Here are some simple tips with writing a solid thank you note:
1. Be prompt.
If the the Career Fair was yesterday that means you should send a follow up note TODAY. Now there is the great debate over email vs. handwritten notes. My gut, send an email right away and if you want to do handwritten note because you are a romantic (which I am), then send BOTH. The last thing you want is for the employer to not get your note for some reason. I have heard a ton of horror stories about hand written notes never making it the employer…. You don’t want this to you be you.
2. Keep this basic structure.
Paragraph 1: Remember it is a THANK YOU note, so be sure to express your gratitude.
“Thanks for taking the time to meet with me at the career fair on Thursday. I really appreciated hearing more about the internship program with XYZ company. ”
Paragraph 2: Sell yourself. This is your opportunity reiterate why you’re a perfect candidate for the job. What experience/skills or abilities can you bring to the company?
Paragraph 3: Reinforce your interest in the position and the company, and let the recruiter know you’d welcome further discussions.
3. Keep it short, sweet, and personal.
Thank you notes shouldn’t be much longer than 2 -3 paragraphs. Think of this letter as another way to show you communication skills – a solid written and succient letter is proof you are able to articulate your ideas in a digestible manor. It is also important to address specific points that you and recruiter discussed.
4. Avoid spelling & grammatical errors.
OK, this is a no brainer… Read over your email and make sure it is perfect.
5. Be Confident (& humble)
Moral of this point, do not come off as desperate. When it comes to the hiring process recruiters don’t show pity for desperate people. They want to hire people who are confident, collected, and capable.
Assistant Director, Career Planning Center
In less than 24 hours 70 employers from a variety of industries will invade Fairfield’s campus. At first glance this might seem daunting… But it is not! Consider this an amazing opportunity for you to network with employers and learn more about what types of careers are out there. It is also a great place for you to get experience talking about YOU. Below are some tips on how to make the most of the Career Fair.
How to Prepare:
- Know who is coming! Checkout the Career Planning Website for the complete list of attendees.
- Research in more depth about the employers that you want to meet. What do they do? Are they hiring?
- Be prepared to introduce yourself with a 30-60 second “Elevator Pitch:
- - Communicate a professional/enthusiastic attitude, use a firm handshake, and have a confident smile.
- - Prepare a sincere, one-minute “commercial” about yourself. Include information such as: your major, courses, GPA, skills, activities, work values, reason why you would be a good match with their company/industry, what makes you a special candidate, what your greatest strengths are, or what you have to offer. Summarize your relevant skills, interests, and background.
Day of the Fair (TOMORROW!)
- Arrive early and check out the floor plan, this might help ease any anxiety you have going into the day.
- Collect Business Cards and write something notable on the back about the person, this makes writing thank you notes very easy!
- Bring a pad of paper to take notes.
- Bring copies of your resume on RESUME PAPER even if they have the resume already
- Be open to talking to different companies, you never know what types of opportunities are out there.
- Don’t pair up with a buddy – go off on your own.. It is easy to get comfortable going up in pairs, but employers want to talk to you individually.
- DRESS FOR SUCCESS!
Day After the Fair
- Review your notes & business cards to craft thoughtful thank you notes..
- Be sure to email or write thank you notes sooner rather than later.
- Do your homework on the companies you are interested. They want to know your interest & knowledge of company.
- Dress for success
- Go early and know is attending
- Project a positive image
- Know your elevator pitch!
- DO NOT BE PASSIVE – ask questions!
You can do it and if you need anything CPC Counselors will be there the whole day!
Chances are at some point you will be interviewing by Skype. While you will still need to research and prepare for your interview doing all the things you need to do as if it were an in person interview there are other critical elements that can enhance your success. Here are some tips from College Bound Success Inc. to help you excel with this type of interview.
How do you prepare for
an online interview?
Did you know that, according to Forbes Magazine, more than 60% of companies are conducting job interviews online via Skype?
In today’s global workplace, the Skype interview is a fast, inexpensive, and convenient recruitment tool. Interviewing through Skype brings challenges and opportunities. With the right preparation, you can excel in your online interview and successfully land your next job!
Top 6 Tips to Ace Your
1. Dress for Success
- Treat it like an in-person interview – dress in business attire from head to toe.
2. Establish a Professional Environment
- Determine an appropriate interview space and arrange a quiet area to eliminate background noise.
- Ensure a neat work area and simple background. Suggestions:Keep your resume and other appropriate documents, including questions for the interviewer, close at hand.Solid or simple pattern colored wall
- Organized bookshelf or desk
- Avoid plain white background, windows, or a busy background that may distract the interviewer.
3. Check Your Equipment
- Ensure you are connected to high speed internet.
- Test your webcam and microphone to verify that you are seen and heard clearly.
- Confirm that your Skype username and status are appropriate and professional.
4. Control the Lighting
- Be seen at your best. Too much or too little light can make it difficult for the interviewer to see you clearly.
5. Ensure Professional Body Language
- Treat the online interview the same as you would in person. Maintain good eye contact by looking directly into the camera rather than at the interviewer’s or your own image.
- Be conscious of your body language and maintain good posture.
- Keep hand gestures to a minimal.
- Remember to smile!
6. Practice Makes Perfect
- Ask a friend or colleague to conduct a mock interview with you on Skype.
- Dress in your interview outfit and sit with good posture.
- Practice speaking audibly and clearly, and looking into the webcam.
- With a few practice sessions, you will be comfortable and prepared to ace your Skype interview!
If you ever need a place to conduct your Skype interview, you can do it at the Career Planning Center.
Associate Director, Career Planning Center
As you might already know, an interview is a conversation between you and a potential employer. In a perfect scenario, it is a mutually informative conversation where you both learn something from one another. For example:
“You are the perfect candidate!” or “I do NOT want to work here!”
Remember, the “fit” between you and the interviewer – how natural the conversation is, how much you enjoy one another’s company, how confident and positive you seem and how interested they are in spending time with you can be just as important. Also keep in mind, interviewing is a skill and like any skill one should practice and prepare to be successful.
A Career Planning Center counselor is available to assist you in honing your interviewing skills and can help you prepare for any interview! But in the mean time, here are some great tips on how to be an “Effective Interviewer”.
Prepare for the Interview
The first step in preparing for an interview is to research everything there is to know about the organization and the specific industry it is in. Employers expect you to have done your “homework” and be able to clearly articulate why you are interested in working for that particular company. The only way to do that is to KNOW the company inside and out.
Starting your research:
Go to the company’s website and start digging!
- You want to know as much as you can – who are their clients? Their competitors? What are their products or different services? Do they have an annual report?
- Set a Google alert for the corporation and the industry so you can start getting alerted on anything that is occurring in the news.
- With all of your research, begin to formulate questions that you can ask the employer during the interview.
Start reading the paper!
- You need to have an understanding of what is going on in the world.
- Some employers might even ask you a question about a current event!
Now that you know the company inside and out, it is time to get to know YOURSELF!
- Assess the requirements of the job and determine how your qualifications meet the employer’s needs.
- Relate skills, projects, and internships to the position.
- Know your resume and be able to DISCUSS it in detail.
- Prepare answers to potential interview questions (see Interview question handout.
- To boil it down, an employer is interested in knowing the answer to three basic questions:
1. Why are you interested in this field?
2. Why are you interested in this position and organization?
3. What relevant skills and experiences do you have that will make you successful? WHY YOU?
Dress for success!
- Be sure to dress professionally – wear a suit, conservative tie or blouse, clean shaven, limited jewelry, and bring a portfolio (more on dressing professionally in future blog post!)
- Know the location of the interview in advance and arrive early.
- Check in 5-10 minutes early – think of this as your first impression!
- Bring copies of your resume on RESUME PAPER even if they have the resume already.
- Prepare for inclement weather, bring an umbrella.
Communicating in the Interview
- A successful interview involves making a positive first impression and building rapport with the interviewer.
- Offer a good firm handshake and small talk to break the ice; be sure to be responsive.
- Your nonverbal communication is just as important as what you say.
- Maintain good eye contact, sit up straight, and be aware of your nervous habits (are you a tapper?
- There are 4 different styles of interviews, understanding the types will help you be intentional in your answers
- As the interview comes to an end, be sure to express your interest in the position and summarize why you are well qualified.
- Ask what the next steps will be or when you can expect to hear from the interviewer.
Follow Up E-mail
- Write a thank you email shortly after the interview
- This shows your interest in the position and provides you with one more opportunity to illustrate why you are perfect for the job.
- If you are not contacted within the specified amount of time, call or e-mail your contact to restate your interest and inquire about the status of the hiring process.
Do not be a nag, that might turn the interviewer off. Try to be patient and wait until they make a decision.
OK that was a lot! Again, come by if you want to do some one on one prep for any interview!
Assistant Director, Career Planning Center
Finding Nemo has a totally new meaning today as we hunker down to prepare for the storm. We wanted to let everyone know that the Career Planning Center will be closing at 12:30 today. All appointments will be rescheduled and Drop-In Hours will not be held.
Stay safe & warm!
The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) came out with their annual report on the Top Paying Liberal Arts Majors for 2012. Some pretty interesting stuff! See below to for the entire article.
Three liberal arts majors had average starting salaries that topped $40,000 in 2012, according to NACE’s January 2013 Salary Survey.
The survey found that liberal arts and sciences/general studies ($43,100), history ($41,900), and English language and literature/letters ($40,200) were the top-paying liberal arts majors in 2012. (See Figure 1.)
The increases in average starting salary from those paid in 2011 for these three majors ranged from 3.9 percent for general studies to 3.6 percent for English language and literature.
Furthermore, while the average starting salary for visual and performing arts majors ($33,800) was the lowest among the liberal arts in 2012, it, too, is on the upswing, representing a 3 percent bump from the average starting salary earned by these majors in 2011.
An executive summary of the January 2013 Salary Survey report is available at www.naceweb.org/salary-survey-data/.
NACE’s first report on starting salaries for Class of 2013 college graduates will be available in the April 2013 issue of Salary Survey.
10 years ago (wow, it’s been a long time) I had my first exposure to networking. My dad’s coworker’s wife was a producer on Live! With Regis & Kelly, a show that I loved. When it came to my attention that I had this connection, I asked if it might be okay if I contacted her. Once I had the green light, I sent an email. We set up a time to have a phone conversation and eventually met for coffee. I prepared for those meetings as if it was a serious interview – I learned as much as I could about the show, was able to articulate why I was interested in working in television, and had ample questions ready to throw at her. We ended up hitting it off and she helped me land my first internship.
That’s how a lot of networking happens – you hear that your friend’s uncles’ step daughter mom (anyone!) is doing something that you think is awesome and you find a way to connect with that person. If you do end up getting a meeting you want to come prepared – learn as much as you can about the company, the industry, and even the job function. This research will help you prepare articulate and thoughtful questions – remember it’s all about leaving a good impression. The hope is if they hear of an opportunity (job/internship), they’ll think of you. You are now officially on their radar.
Since that internship I have taken the same approach for every job search I have entered. When I was interested in working for a professional sports league I asked around to see if anyone in my personal network could connect me with anyone working in sports – that lead me to meeting with the VP Business Development for the PGA TOUR, who ended up hiring me. I even used networking to find my most recent job here at Fairfield (Just ask Cath Borgman).
Networking can take different forms – you can network through your personal connections, with Fairfield Alumni, and even through people you connect with on LinkedIn. I have found the hardest part about meeting with people in these types of situation is not talking to them face to face, rather it is the build up to the initial contact. Sending that first email or placing that first call is the hardest part – but you just have to pull the trigger.
Ultimately, if I retrace my steps throughout my professional journey, it becomes clear that all of the jobs that I have been hired for connect back to networking in some way, shape, or form. Moral of the story, networking works.
Assistant Director, Career Planning Center
It might not feel like summer is around the corner with this crazy wind and chill, but it is. That means that it is about that time to start thinking about summer internships. We all know this, internships are incredibly important and can be the key to landing that first job. But sometimes what can be the biggest challenge is figuring out where you want to intern. Should your first internship be with a large company with hundreds of employees? Or would it serve you best to work for a “mom and pop” shop where you might be one of 5 employees. Both options offer pro’s and con’s and it is important weigh them against your personal career aspirations to determine what’s best for you.
Come Recommended provides you with a great list of Pro’s & Con’s – Check them out!
Pros of Small Companies
Small companies can allow you to forge intimate relationships with those you work with, allowing for solid networking opportunities. Small companies often have a fast-paced environment, where decisions are made and quickly seen through to the end — at large companies, there may be more steps to go through before seeing the end result. In my experience, working for small companies has allowed me an opportunity for more hands-on experience and closer relationships with my bosses and coworkers. I’ve heard plenty of stories of interns snagging the internship at a big company, only to spend their days fetching coffee and working the copier. At a small company, you’re much more likely to be an integral part of the team.
Cons of Small Companies
Small companies can have less resources than large ones, and I’m not just talking about money. Bigger companies may have more up-to-date equipment and more connections to industry consultants and professionals. In addition, many college students worry about a lack of name recognition when it comes to putting a small company on their resume. Still, this isn’t wholly important to hiring managers, who are much more interested in the caliber of the work you’ve done rather than where you’ve done it.
Pros of Big Companies
Big companies offer a well-established company culture and can often have more well-established practices for completing tasks. This level of guidance can be beneficial for building your own skill set. In addition, big companies offer more opportunities to network with a variety of professionals (more employees to get coffee with!) and often offer more room for professional advancement or full-time employment (although small companies may offer you a more accessible arena in which to prove yourself to the boss).
Cons of Big Companies
At a big company, it can be difficult for an intern to feel as though they’re truly making an impact on the business as a whole. A small company can offer a better sense of fulfillment than a place with hundreds of employees completing tasks. Big companies also offer less flexibility than a small company, where you may have more opportunities to foster a work-life balance, including flexible hours and opportunities to work from home.
Needless to say, choosing the right company to intern with can be a tough decision for anyone. Luckily there are CPC Counselors here to help you wade through your options – so come visit!
Assistant Director, Career Planning Center
Hello and welcome back to Fairfield!
I hope everyone enjoyed some well deserved time off over the break! I wanted to write with information on the PwC opportunities that are accepting applications this winter! Also I will be on campus in the Kelley Center near the interview rooms 2 days next week for office hours:
OPEN OFFICE HOURS - Bring your resume for review, stop by to get more information about PwC (or accounting in general!), ask about opportunities available to you or just to say hi or introduce yourself! I am there to help you and answer any questions you have! Everyone who shows up will be entered into a Super Bowl Raffle! (Sadly, not to attend the game, but to win other fabulous prizes!) Here is when I will be there:
Wednesday January 30th
11am – 2:30pm, Kelley Center
Friday February 1st
2pm-5pm, Kelley Center
Most importantly, all applications will be due by February 15th! You must apply on Fairfield’s Experience website (see career services for help) and also set up a PwC Talent Profile (directions are found in the Experience job descriptions and also by going to www.pwc.com/getstarted).
Here is some information about the different opportunities:
To be eligible for the Explore program (a one day experience), applicants must be at the Freshman or Sophomore level, with a GPA of 3.2 or higher. We are seeking students interested in considering a business or accounting-related major if not yet declared, or those looking for further information about careers in business and accounting. All students are encouraged to apply who have an interest in learning more about the dynamic world of professional services and where a career in public accounting can take you.
The Start Internship is designed to introduce high performing under represented minority students in their Freshman, Sophomore, or Junior year to PwC. This is just the first step in the PwC internship experience, as during the summer of 2013 you will have an opportunity to intern with one of the firm’s internal services group, like Marketing, Recruiting, Information Technology, etc. After successful completion of this internship, you will have the opportunity to intern in a client facing role in one of our three service lines: Assurance, Tax or Advisory.
Elevate – PwC’s Leadership Program
Elevate is a selective program for high achieving college students interested in starting a fast paced career in the professional services industry. Participants will embark on a journey of self-discovery with PwC professionals and students from around the country. During this 3 day conference, participants will gain valuable insight into PwC’s culture, experience the value of the Firm’s extensive network and develop skills necessary to become a leader in today’s professional world. We invite you to elevate your potential with PwC.
Visit www.pwc.com/elevate to learn more.
Please reach out to me with any questions (or just to introduce yourself!) and I look forward to seeing everyone on campus this spring!
A lot of you come into our office from Freshman through Senior year unsure of when you are supposed to start thinking about your career. We get it… This is a scary process and everyone attacks it at their own pace. With a changing economy and employers expecting (and wanting) students to have a few professional experiences under their belt before they enter the working world, it is essential to start thinking about your career sooner rather than later.
To help you get on track, the Career Planning Center has developed an easy timeline – check it out & get going… Your career is waiting!
- Make an appointment with the Career Planning Center to meet with staff, talk about your goals, aspirations and how to best utilize the next four years.
- Start thinking about what you want to major in! Research different majors & career paths – utilize What Can I Do With This Major to help answer some questions.
- Join Sophomore Success – Weekly dinner conversations focused on career related topics (Resume development, Job/Internship search, digital branding, LinkedIn, & much more!).
- Consider taking one or both of the “self-assessment inventories” such as the Myers-Briggs, or the Strong Interest Inventory. It is important to keep in mind; these are not designed to tell you what you should do, rather to help you get a better handle on who you are and what that means in the context of your career.
- Begin drafting a resume! Check out our Resume Handout to help you start the process.
- Log into Experience to get familiar with how it works. It is important to note, if you are an accounting or finance major there might be internships available for you already!
- If you feel motivated (go gettum) – start thinking about internships for the summer.
- Review your resume with a Career Planning Counselor to develop it further, add your summer internships, and begin to tailor it for specific internship applications
- Identify internship opportunities – whether it’s through Experience or your major, it is essential you get at least one this year.
- Practice interviewing techniques with Counselors and take advantage of Mock Interview opportunities with real employers.
- Create a LinkedIn Account and begin building your network. One way to start doing that is to join the Fairfield Alumni Group.
- Participate in the Career Fair so you can see what it is like, begin meeting employers and researching who you might want to work for.
- Fine-tune your resume by adding additional internships and jobs.
- Hone your interviewing techniques by participating in mock interviews.
- Read the Experience calendar daily to check for on campus recruiting opportunities.
- Network with alumni through the Fairfield Alumni Network (FAN) and LinkedIn.
- Attend the fall and spring Career Fair.
- Apply for jobs on Experience and other job search engines.
You can do it and we are here to help all along the way.
Assistant Director, Career Planning Center
Well… It’s official, the Career Planning Center has a blog! Why do we have a blog you might ask? It’s quite simple. We wanted to create a unique place where we can have real authentic and in-depth conversations about careers; a place where experts could provide their advice, Alumni could talk about their experience navigating their career, a place where we could highlight different jobs and careers, and a place where students could guest blog about their transition into the working world.
All in all – we are excited and we hope you are too.
Assistant Director, Career Planning Center