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Nemo… You have FOUND us!

 

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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!

 

 

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Top Paying Liberal Arts Majors in 2012

 

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.

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LinkedIn Tip of the Week: Networking with Alumni!

As mentioned in previous blog posts, I am a HUGE fan of networking. I am a firm believer  that creating personal relationships with potential employers or industry peers is an incredibly powerful way to go through the job search process. One way to start networking is through LinkedIn, specifically using the LinkedIn Alumni Tool . Below is a quick lesson on how to search for and connect with Alumni in your field of interest. Before you start connecting with alumni it is important that you have an updated and professional profile.

If you need help conducting a search or have any questions regarding LinkedIn, make an appointment with a CPC Counselor… We are here to help!

STEP 1:     Go to the “CONTACTS” tab and click on “Fairfield University”.

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STEP 2:    The Alumni Graph appears & it allows you to search for Fairfield Alumni based on location, Industry, and Company. Be creative… What do you want to do? Are you interested in Marketing? Do you want to work for an advertising agency? Make the search all about your interests and you will be surprised to find that Fairfield has Alumni in nearly every career field.

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STEP 3:   Next step, choose a company or area that you are interested in & search. For example, we chose GE Capital & Finance and there were 29 people who met the criteria… Pretty impressive, huh?

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STEP 4:   Now that you have the 29 people that meet the criteria you set, take some time to look through them. You will find people in various roles and at different points of their career. You might also find someone that you share a common connection with which could be a starting part to a conversation with them. Once you find the right person and you are ready to connect – press “Connect”.

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STEP 5:   When you connect with them a generic message will come up (see below). DO NOT USE THAT… This is your opportunity to make contact with this person and you probably have never talked to them, making this your FIRST impression. You only get to make that first impression once, so we encourage you to craft a thoughtful note. For example:

Dear Mr. Lucas S.,

My name is Sally Vatingforajob and I am a Junior from Fairfield University. I identified your LinkedIn profile through the Alumni LinkedIn Tool and would like to connect with you.  I see that you have had a long career at GE Capital, a company that I aspire to work for.  If willing, I would love the opportunity to talk with you either in person or over the phone to learn more about your career and to gather your advice and insight. 

Thank you and I look forward to connecting.

Sally Vatingforajob

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We don’t want you to start wildly connecting with Alumni, rather use this as a tool to SELECTIVELY connect with people in fields that you are interested in. I had a student connect with me from my alma mater regarding my past jobs and he was thoughtful, articulate, and professional – so guess what I did… HELPED HIM OUT. Ultimately this tool works, so I encourage you to play with it and become comfortable with searching for people in different careers.

     

Steph Grejtak

 Assistant Director,  Career Planning Center

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Networking – The key to nailing your dream job.

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.

 

     

Steph Grejtak

 Assistant Director,  Career Planning Center

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Step 1 – Join LinkedIn!

linkedin_logo_11My students often ask me,  “Should I join LinkedIn?” and before they can even finish their sentence I respond – “ ABSOLUTELY!”  LinkedIn is not Facebook and it is not Twitter. While Facebook allows you to stay connected with family and friends and Twitter provides you the opportunity to read, write and share pretty much anything within 140 characters, LinkedIn helps you meet people in your field, connect professionally with Fairfield alumni, and create a personal brand. LinkedIn is definitely still a “Social” network, but with a professional focus. Much like with any social network you have to actively participate (Connect with people, Join groups, etc) to really see the value in it. In a Forbes article entitled 6 Things You Must Do To Get Your First Job After College, they list creating a LinkedIn account as Step 1. See what they say below:

Create a LinkedIn profile.

Even if the profile is just a bare-bones list of where you attend high school, your extra-curricular activities, including awards or accolades, what you see as your skills, and a summary of the sort of career that may interest you, it’s a good idea to create this early. Do include jobs you’ve held, like working at a summer camp or babysitting; they show you’re enterprising and have shouldered responsibility. As you grow and accumulate more work experience, you can delete your early jobs and add new ones.

I’ll add one more LinkedIn strength: It can be extremely helpful to start building your list of connections early. Most adults you know have LinkedIn profiles with multiple contacts. Do connect to as many people as you can.

Schawbel says most students figure that because they already have a Facebook page, they are doing sufficient social networking. But most employers don’t troll Facebook looking for job candidates.  “It looks good if employers can find you on LinkedIn,” insists Schawbel, who predicts it will remain the pre-eminent professional social networking site in the foreseeable future. Among college students, the survey showed that only a third have a presence on LinkedIn. You will stand out from the competition if you create a LinkedIn account.

LinkedIn is a powerful tool that can help you make the transition from college student to working professional. Our alumni are using it, employers are using it, and now it is your turn. Come by and see us if you need help setting up an account. More LinkedIn to tips to come via our blog – so stay tuned!

 

     

Steph Grejtak

 Assistant Director,  Career Planning Center

 

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What’s Right for You: Intern at a Small or Big Company?

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 internshipkey 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!

 

     

Steph Grejtak

 Assistant Director,  Career Planning Center

 

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Employer Update: A message from Fairfield’s PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) campus recruiter:

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:

Explore
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.

Start Internship 
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!

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~ Margaret

margaret.j.lardizabal@us.pwc.com

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Career Planning Timeline – Set goals & get going!

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!

Freshman Year

  • 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.

Sophomore Year

  • 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.

Junior Year

  • 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.

Senior Year

  • 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.

     

Steph Grejtak

 Assistant Director,  Career Planning Center

 

 

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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.

     

Steph Grejtak

Assistant Director,  Career Planning Center

 

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