Whether you are in the beginning of your career or looking for ways to advance, if you address these four areas, you can successfully manage your career.
1. Owning Your Career
You may think that your company is going to manage your career, but in most cases this does not happen. You are responsible. What are you doing to seek out information from role models and mentors to help you determine your career path? Look a level or two ahead of you and ask that person questions like, “How did you get to this position? What was your path?” Then ask yourself, “How can I develop myself to get there?” Ten percent of what you learn is from taking classes; 20% is from a coach/ mentor/ boss;, and 70% is through on-the-job experiences. Seek out opportunities to be put on projects and to help out. Possess the motivation, show that initiative, and don’t forget to master the job you have now.
2. Create/Develop Your Skill Set
Is your company laying people off, but hiring people, too? Welcome to the world of shifting work skills. You need to take the emotion out of it and look forward to the growing industries and the skills required to be successful where the growth is. Technology, healthcare and hospitality are examples of growing industries. Assess yourself. What skills do you possess that will transfer? How can you sell that to a future employer? What new skills must you acquire to be successful? What most people want in a job is 1) challenge 2) balance and 3) authenticity and passion. Find your passion. Companies are open to employees from other industries as long as the skills are there.
3. Create Your Personal Brand
It’s amazing at how little time and energy people put into planning; whether it is for their next interview, their next career move, or even a networking event. Take the time to create short commercials about each point of your resume. What did you do, what did you learn, what was the result? Understand yourself and prepare one- or two-minute stories that tell the listener who you are and what’s unique about you. Practice! By understanding yourself and preparing your message, you are creating your personal “brand.” Once you master this, take it to social media and make your LinkedIn profile, your Facebook, and your Twitter feed portray the authentic message that you control.
4. Be a Leader
All employers want leaders in their organization. Leadership is complex; it grows over time. Anyone can demonstrate leadership. It’s not always the highest performers that employers want to hire and promote, but the ones that have the highest potential to lead. What are some ways to develop leadership? Find the holes in your organization. Where can you make the biggest contribution? Get involved; raise your hand for additional projects. Does it mean putting in extra time? Of course it does! Do the work associated with the next level. Be agile, flexible, and develop new skills. It’s a choice you make. If you are caught leading; you may be identified for that next level position! Being a team player is essential in today’s market. It’s a “we” environment. Develop an “I am here to serve, to help you/ manager/company succeed” attitude.
Interested in more? Here are some Recommended Readings:
Emotional Intelligence 2.0, by Travis Bradberry and Jean Graves
You Don’t Need a Title to be a Leader, by Mark Sanborn
(Article provided to CPC by Fairfield University Alumni Relations )
Samantha MacDonald ’11 – An alumna from the Class of 2011 shares her experience.
Samantha MacDonald graduated from Fairfield in 2011 with a degree in international business and management, and promptly got a job as a mutual fund account administrator at BNY Mellon. “The job market was tough after graduation,” Samantha noted, “I took the opportunity I was given, I was lucky to find a job.”
A little over a year into her job, Samantha knew that finance was not the right field for her. She figured out that she wanted to work in public relations or advertising, but didn’t know how to go about making the change.
Deciding What to Do
Even after realizing that finance was not for me, it was difficult to decide where to go next. I learned that knowing what you don’t like is just as important to knowing what you do like. I decided to do a little “soul searching,” and combine my interests and strengths. I was always interested in brand management and marketing, and my strengths included writing and creativity. This led me to believe that a career in public relations or advertising would suit me well.
How Fairfield Helped
Fairfield had been an excellent resource when I was an undergraduate. I worked with Cath Borgman (director of career planning center) during that time, and she offered advice surrounding potential careers, interviews, and resume development.
After signing up for Fairfield’s “Boston Young Alumni Job Search Workshop,” I got in touch with the director of Alumni Career Services at Fairfield, Julie Tuozzoli, and started working directly with her regarding my career switch. From providing me with industry resources to helping me rewrite my resume and re-shape my LinkedIn profile, Julie was a tremendous help.
Networking, Networking, Networking
In my pursuit to change careers I explored many paths. First, I worked with Julie to re-shape my resume, cover letter outline, and LinkedIn profile. Then, I reached out to the Fairfield community. I found local graduates in the Boston area through the FAN (Fairfield Alumni Network). Everyone was very responsive and happy to answer my questions. I set up a few meetings and phone calls with people who worked in public relations and advertising.
Next, I made use of my personal network by reaching out to family and friends for advice or hints about potential job openings.
Lastly, I took advantage of workshops and networking events. Although not yet a member, I attended my first Pub Club (Publicity Club of New England) writing workshop. I networked with young professionals and got the chance to set foot inside a big Boston ad agency for the first time. I also attended a few networking/career events hosted by Fairfield. I connected with alumni in a variety of industries and received helpful advice. As a result of these experiences, I gained a great group of personal resources.
Although I hadn’t used it much before this experience, LinkedIn became an excellent resource as well. I began joining groups related to public relations and advertising, and reaching out to local Fairfield graduates. I was pleasantly surprised by the responses I received. Through one Fairfield graduate, I connected with a local woman who was starting a health non-profit in the community. It turned out that she was looking for a communications assistant for her launch. I needed the writing experience, and she needed some assistance. While at BNY Mellon, I simultaneously held a part-time internship with this local non-profit. It was tough to balance the two jobs, but well worth the experience.
A Full-Time Internship
I met a lot of helpful—and realistic—people on my journey to a new career. I quickly learned that public relations and advertising were difficult fields to break into. After a long haul of applying for jobs that I didn’t yet have the experience for, I realized that an internship might be my ticket in the door for this particular industry. Through traditional online searching, I found a full-time internship at Regan Communications Group, a well-known public relations firm with clients in the consumer, lifestyle and hospitality sectors.
I left my full-time position at BNY Mellon for this opportunity. As crazy as it sounded at the time, I knew that this would be my chance to make a career switch. For seven months, I served as a public relations intern, in which I worked on major client accounts in the hospitality and nonprofit sectors. I created and edited media advisories, press releases, news stories, and coverage reports for clients and special events. I was able to grow my knowledge of print, digital, and social media outlets by working on different writing assignments, media clips, and newspaper pitches.
After my internship experience, I landed a job as a copywriter/Internet marketing specialist at Web Solutions, a Connecticut-based web design, Internet marketing and branding agency. The experience has been very exciting and motivating – I love my new career!
If you are undecided about your major – you are not alone!
– 50% of students entering college nationwide are unsure of their major
– Somewhere between 55 % and 60% will change their major at least once and others two or three times.
It is quite common for students to enter college without a major declared. Many students come to college with an idea of what they want to major in only to discover that it is not what they they thought it would be life. One of your jobs as a college student is to EXPLORE.
1 ) Attend the “Choosing a Major Workshop”… Thursday, November 7, 2013– 6:30-7:30 Kelley Center Presentationake classes to meet the core requirements and take classes that interest you and see if you like them. The Career Planning Center is here to help you throughout this process. Here are a few additional resources that you should take advantage of if you are still trying to solidify your major:
This workshop which will discuss major and minor options, dispel myths concerning majors and careers, and offer resources to give you the information you seek.
2) Take a Career Assessment
The Career Planning Center offers the Myers Briggs Type Indicator and the Strong Interest Inventory. These assessments are tools to help you gain more information about yourself…personality, skills, interests and values. No assessment can make the decision for you but provide a good starting point. For information about the assessments schedule an appointment with a career counselor. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
3 ) Explore the What Can I Do With This Major? website
The “What Can I Do With this Major” website is a greate resource that provides a general overview of majors and jobs associated with each major. It also includes additional resources for exploration.
3 ) Meet with a Career Planning Counselor
Schedule an appointment with a counselor to discuss options and resources. Email email@example.com or call 203.254.4081. The office is located in the Kelley Center.
4 ) Additional Strategies:
– Review Majors and develop a “short list”
– Eliminate disciplines that you know you are not interested in
– Consider your passions – what do you love? Ask yourself: What fascinates me?
– Consider multiple interests: Combine a major with a minor or consider a double major
Associate Director, Career Planning Center
I grew up watching it in movies. That dream job a young, determined girl or guy just happens to land, you know the nonexistent ones. As you watch these characters walk around Manhattan with designer clothes, working for famous successful people and the best companies, you wonder how do I get where they are? I have wondered that same question over the past four years and never expected to find the answer when I signed up for the Alumni Job Shadow Day Program last fall.
When first hearing about this program, I was unsure whether it would actually be worth my time; however, after sending my application to a dozen or so companies without receiving much response I figured it was worth a shot. As part of the program, I was placed with alum Brian Williams who worked at MSL Group, a large Public Relations firm in downtown New York City. Although I had never heard of this company I was excited at the opportunity to see the inside workings of an actual Public Relations firm versus what I had learned about them in my textbooks.
During the following winter break I went into the city to spend the day shadowing Mr. Williams at his job as Vice President of MSL’s Consumer sector. We toured the office, sat in on client meetings with famous companies and went to an informational lunch with other MSL employees who answered any and all of my questions. However, apart from all the information I learned that day some of the best moments came from our unified stag pride. We talked about different Fairfield traditions such as Clam Jam, Midnight Breakfast, and Point Days. He told me about which beach houses he lived in while a student and how nights at the grape were exactly the same then as they are now. These moments lead to a bond which put my foot in the door and landed my summer internship position at the company.
With Brian’s help getting my resume to Human Resources, I was given the opportunity to join MSL Group as a paid intern in the Personal Care sector this past summer where I became an intern for both the Feminine Care and Beauty and Luxury teams. As a member of these teams I was not assigned minimal tasks, but taken in and given work that was an important piece of the overall campaign. I was assigned tasks such as media monitoring, event planning, campaign pitching and a variety of meaningful writing projects. All of which allowed me to hone skills that will be useful in the future.
Through this internship I was able to work with clients I would never have before dreamed of such as Tiffany, Shiseido, Proctor and Gamble accounts, etc… This overall experience made for an amazing summer, but further amazing relationships. I still stay in contact with a variety of mentors and individuals I met while working at MSL. These connections leave the door open for my future possibilities in the PR industry because they already know my work habits and abilities.
On my first day in the MSL office, a few individuals had already heard from Brian “a fellow Stag” was joining the company. His pride for Fairfield led him to believe in my abilities as an intern because he knew where I had come from and what I was capable of. I cannot explain how thankful I am that I decided to apply for the Career Planning Center’s Alumni Job Shadow Program. Never in a million years did I expect to land an amazing internship by shadowing a Fairfield alum around over my winter break; however, this opportunity gave me the chance to be that determined girl who gets that inexistent, dream job.
Bottom line, if I could do it you could do it.
To apply,visit fairfield.edu/jobshadowinfo. All applications must be completed by November 1st.
If you are interested in Post Graduate Service or working for a Non-Profit organization be sure to stop by the Non-Profit & Post Grad Career Fair on Tuesday, November 12 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the Oak Room. Below is the list of attending organizations and let us know if you have any questions!
Blessed Sarnelli Community
Bon Secours Volunteer Ministry
Boston College School of Theology and Ministry
Capuchin Youth and Family Ministries
Career Resources, Inc.
Center for FaithJustice
Cristo Ray New York High School
CT Campus Compact
Fairfield University Campus Ministry
Good Shepherd Volunteers
International Institute of Connecticut
Jesuit School of Theology, Santa Clara University
Jesuit Volunteer Corps
Jesuit Volunteer Corps-Northwest
New Haven/Leon Sister City Project
Passionist Volunteers International
Providence Alliance for Catholic Teachers (PACT)
Public Allies Connecticut
Rostro de Cristo
RSHM Volunteer Program
Saint Martin de Porres High School
SSJ Mission Corps
Teach For America
The Starfish Foundation, Inc.
Volunteers in Mission – Bernardine Franciscan Sisters
The waiting process after submitting a job application, meeting a recruiter or going on an interview is often nerve wracking. The stigma about job hunting is whether or not you should contact the employer. Following up after the interview is essential when it comes to getting a job. Here are several important tools that will leave a mark on the company you are interviewing with!
Why is following up essential?
1) Following up with the interviewer shows that you exist. Companies have multiple tasks on their plates. Also if you are interviewing for a competitive position your resume will be filed in with many others. Sending a quick message to the interviewer could possibly be the edge you need against your competitors.
2) Following up shows that you are taking initiative. Sending an email to your interviewer will give you the opportunity to show your potential employer how dedicated and persistent you are.
Are there rules?
- You are not being annoying by following up with an employer. They appreciate you reaching out to them. Just make sure that you are not contacting them every day because they have jobs too.
- The amount of time it takes you to follow up is crucial. After your interview, send an email thanking the company for the interview, state that you enjoyed the interview and lastly that you hope to work with their company in the near future. This shows the employee how much you are invested in the position.
- Following up with an employer is essential if something changed in your certifications or your experience expressed on your resume. It is also a great topic of discussion that will get you onto their hiring radar.
- You should follow up with an employer even if you are unsure you will be getting the position. Be positive about following up and look at it as an opportunity for constructive and unbiased criticism. This will show employers that you are receptive to feedback and also they could possibly keep you in mind for a future position.
What are the avenues I can use to follow up with an employee?
- You can send a quick email but make sure to keep this short and simple.
- You can contact your employer over LinkedIn
- You can also use Twitter
Katie Brundage ‘15
Career Planning Peer Advisor
We’ve all seen those famous Priceline.com commercials with William Shatner, but did you know that representatives from Priceline.com will be at the Career Fair this Thursday, September 26th? Priceline.com helps users obtain discount rates for travel-related purchases such as airline tickets and hotel rooms. The company is also headquartered right in Norwalk, Connecticut! There are currently four internship opportunities available at Priceline.com, including positions in software engineering, finance, and customer service.
For more information about the internships we hope to see you this THURSDAY at the Career Fair and check out stags4hire.experience.com!
Next week recruiters from Big Four will come to campus to meet with students to discuss opportunities with their firm – Check out the schedule below & we hope to see you there!
Ernst & Young – Office Hours
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Location: Career Planning Center
PricewaterhouseCoopers – Office Hours
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Location: Career Planning Center
Deloitte – Resume Review
12:30 pm -4:30 pm
Location: Career Planning Center
Sweet Life at KPMG
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Location: Career Planning Center
Whether you landed your DREAM internship or you’re at a company that might not be your first choice, consider this experience an audition for your future. This is your time to apply all of the skills you learned from the classroom and life thus far to the REAL world. Here are some tips to make sure you nail that audition and make the most of your internship.
Come Prepared on Day 1
Do your research! I know what you are thinking… But this isn’t the interview, why do I need to continue to read up on/ research the company? Well, it’s simple – you’re an intern and you are still in the “proving yourself” stage. Read up on the company’s products, keep up on any articles that surface in the news, learn about their competitors – you never know when your research will come in handy. Similarly learn the names and faces of the big players in the company. You don’t want to end up being on an elevator with the CEO and start talking about something inappropriate. On the same token, if you do end up in an elevator with an important person, this might be a good time to say hello and introduce yourself. Knowing their name will be impressive – that’s a promise.
Work Hard & Effectively
Put your cell phone down, don’t check social media (unless that is part of your job description) and focus on the task at hand. Treat every day of your internship like it’s an audition, the biggest game of you athletic career, or your final Glee Club performance – WORK HARD. My former coach used to always tell me “Steph, hard work is only worth something if it’s effective”. Imagine running your heart out in a race and then realizing that you are running in the completely wrong direction. Sure, you ran fast andyou tried hard, but you still never made it to the finish line. One main tip to working hard effectively is to ask questions when you don’t know what’s going on. Imagine you just got an assignment from your manager and you have no idea how to do it. Do not smile, nod and tell them “I got this!” Instead, ask them some questions and make sure you understand what it is you are charged with doing. You can either be the intern who asks questions and tries hard to get it right, or you can be the one screws up a project because you wanted to seem like you knew what you were doing. I strongly suggest you avoid the later.
Staying positive is extremely important in any internship. Even if the experience isn’t all you thought it would be, it is important that you remain upbeat and keep a good attitude. The goal of your internship is to learn, network, and leave with a strong reference from your boss. At the end of the day, if you really don’t like what you are doing – it is only three months… You will survive! Here’s another secret, generally speaking people like having interns. They remind them about how excited they were when they started their career. That positive attitude might get your more responsibilities and will definitely transcend into a positive reputation at the firm.
Request Feedback & Be Receptive To It
Periodically throughout your internship request meetings with your boss to assess how things are going. You want to know how you are doing and what you could be doing better. Once you get feedback, USE IT. Even if your boss says you aren’t hacking it – take the advice they are giving and change the way you are doing things.
Network, Network, Network
If you don’t remember anything else, remember this – networking will get you your job. Networking basically means building and maintaining relationships. Keep in mind if your internship is in the field you want to work, then you’re more than likely going to be running into these individuals for the rest of your career – the world is small. When you are in your internship try and meet as many people as you can, but don’t just introduce yourself. Talk to them. Learn about what they do, where they came from, and where they are going to go. People love to talk about what they do so listen! One tip is to send an email or “thank you” note to everyone you meet, it’s a foolproof way to ensure that they remember you. Your most valuable resource during your internship is the people that you’re surrounded by – even your fellow interns.
Lastly, SAY THANK YOU.
At the conclusion of your internship be sure to talk to your manager about what you got out of the experience and thank him/her for giving you the opportunity to work there. At the end of the day, people love feeling appreciated and even a simple expression of gratitude may even help you land a full time job.
Associate Director, Career Planning Center
Classes have been out for 1 week, you have already made your way through the first 3 seasons of Mad Men, and your butt has made a very permanent dent on the couch. I think it might be time to get up and do something. Here are a few things you can do to make the most of your summer.
This is clearly the preferred and obvious way to spend your summer. Internships provide you with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience and practice the skills you learned in the classroom. These experiences are not just resume builders (although they do take up a lot of white space), they help you decide what your interests are and what you want to do. You might think that you want to work in finance, but then after a summer of interning in corporate finance you find out it is not for you.
Despite what you might have heard, it is not too late to get an internship. Continue to check out Experience for new job postings and visit Indeed.com, Internships.com and other job search engines to keep track of new opportunities. Also, follow @FairfieldCPC – we will continue to retweet jobs and internships throughout the summer. Virtual internship are also a great option, check out our blog post on virtual internships to learn more (see Virtual Internship blog post).
If the internship route was not in the cards, do not fret! There are plenty of other ways for you to gain valuable experience. Being a volunteer provides you with an opporuntity to give back to the community and gain real world experience. If it’s an option, be strategic about what volunteer opportunities you take on and try to tie it into your career interest. Are you a marketing major? Maybe a local non-profit needs help with community outreach and engagement via social media! Are you interested in writing? Ask to start a blog for your local soup kitchen. Really the options are endless.
There are a bunch of different ways for you to find out about volunteer opportunities – check out Volunteersquare.com and other sites that aggregate opportunities. Campus Ministry might also know of some places that need volunteers during the summer. Ask around, you will find something!
Participating in research is another great way to spend your summer. There are many Research summer programs in various fields – economics, engineering, science, mathematics, and even business. Even if you do not want to work in academia after college, the skills you gain through research – gathering and synthesizing data – can be used in any career. Like traditional internships, some research programs recruit students in the spring to join their team. But it is not too late to reach out to a local University to see if they need any extra hands. It cannot hurt to ask!
Summer is also a great time for you earn some CASH. There is nothing wrong with having a plain old summer job. The reality of our world is that college and life is expensive!
Another smart way to spend your summer is building your personal brand and being creative. Are you an inspiring writer? Spending you summer creating a blog, potential employers will check it out. Do you plan on being a computer programmer after graduation? Write some code! Are you interested in marketing or social media? Start a tumblr focused on something you are interested in. You would be surprised how important it is for you to have some tangible evidence that you are innovative creative, and different (especially if you plan on entering a creative field or plan on working for a creative company). Moral of the story, one way to set yourself a part from your peers is to follow your interests and be creative.
The summer is a great time for you to network! Networking comes in many forms – but one of our favorite ways is through Informational Interviewing (see Networking blog post). An informational interview is a key networking tool during the job search process. Keep in mind, an informational interview is not a job interview. Rather, it’s an interview with an individual working in a career you would like to learn more about. You can set up informational interviews with anyone in your network – your network consists of family, friends, coaches, teachers, and Fairfield Alumni. Using LinkedIn to find connections is a great place to start (see LinkedIn blog … again!).
Either way, get off the couch and do something this summer… You will not regret it!
Assistant Director, Career Planning Center
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!