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Alumni Spotlight: Julianne Whittaker ’12, Fulbright Scholarship – Amman, Jordan



Julianne Whittaker in garbAs 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?

Julianne Whittaker and Emily Jindak on camelsI 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

 

 

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Be sure to follow up with employers!

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.

http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2013/04/08/how-students-should-follow-up-with-employers/

 

Sue Quinlivan

Sue Quinlivan

Associate Director, Career Planning Center

 

 

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Get your “Code” on….

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.

 

Updated Code

 

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

Meredith Marquez, Associate Director

mmarquez@fairfield.edu

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Career Planning Center Peer Educator Program

peer Educator

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!

https://www.axiommentor.com/pages/instTools/app/apply/viewCat.cfm?catID=84

Applications are due April 8th.

 

 

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St. Robert Bellarmine Pre-Law Society Alumni Speaker Series: WEDS 3/20, Alumni House

 

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On Wednesday, March 20, 2013 the St. Robert Bellarmine Pre-Law Society is hosting an Alumni Speaker Series. Patrick Marano, a 2001 graduate from Fairfield University, will talk about his experiences as a student and his decision to attend law school. Patrick is Vice President with Barclays Capital IBD & Syndicate Compliance Specialties.

Prior to Patrick at 4:00p.m., there will be a presentation on the personal statement required for the law school application.

We hope you can join us for this event.

DATE: Wednesday, March 20,2013

TIME:    4:00p.m. An Overview on   the Personal Statement

5:00p.m. -6:00 p.m. Patrick Marano, Vice President with Barclays Capital IBD & Syndicate  Compliance Specialties

LOCATION: Alumni House

 

Refreshments will be provided.

Sue Quinlivan

 

Sue Quinlivan

Associate Director, Career Planning Center

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3 Ways to Use Twitter During your Job Search

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As we have mentioned time and time again, the Career Planning Center LOVES social media. Whether it’s LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or even Tumblr, we recognize and appreciate the power of social media when it comes to finding and securing a job/internship. Today we want to focus on Twitter, so below we outlined 3 ways you can use Twitter to further your career.

1.  Who you follow matters!

Who you follow on Twitter determines what you get out of Twitter. If you only follow your friends, Justin Bieber, and Taylor Swift you are going to get JUST that; some funny banter, a handful of “selfies”, and the occasional cheesy love quote.  But if you follow companies, news outlets, and even industry leaders your feed will transform into a pool of information – knowledge that you might be able to fall back on during an interview.

Also, Twitter is CHOCK-FULL of great people who are tweeting jobs. For example if you are looking for internships or jobs in the New York area a simple search will suggest that you follow:

@NYinterns

@Urbaninterns

@nymarketingjobs

@nyeventsjobs

You can take this approach with any career field. If you are interested in fashion, there are handles that tweet fashion jobs all day, the same goes for sports jobs, engineering jobs, PR, so on and so forth. If there is an industry you are interested in, someone is posting jobs on Twitter.  Of course, FOLLOW @FairfieldCPC because we retweet jobs that make sense for Fairfield students.

2. Participate in the Conversation

Using Twitter effectively involves more than just reading tweets. Instead it involves tweeting, retweeting, quoting, and favoriting. At its core, Twitter is a medium that is driven by participation. From a “Twitter Career” perspective one effective way for you to actively participate in conversations within various industries is to find and follow Chats using hashtags. For example, if you are interested in working in higher education I suggest you tune into the daily #SAChat where student affairs practitioners take on a different topic every day. But again, you can’t just read the conversation – you have to participate! Talk at people and be sure utilize the hashtag created for the conversation.  Since these chats are live, they usually take place on a particular day and time every week. Imagine this as your opportunity to go to coffee with industry leaders.  Most industries have chats like this going on, so do your research, find the hashtag, and participate. You will be amazed with what you learn and who you could meet!  Below are some notable Chat’s that you might want to check out.

#hcsm – Sundays at 9pm ET: Bringing together health care professionals to discuss the benefits of social media for health care communication strategies.

#pinchat – Wednesdays at 9pm ET: Discussing best practices, showcasing new uses, highlighting brand usage, and sharing a passion for Pinterest.

#smmanners – Tuesdays at 10pm ET: Topics range from building business relationships through social media, to the appropriate ways of requesting RTs or recommendations on LinkedIn.

#brandchat – Wednesdays at 11am ET: Each week they focus on one of the following themes: big business brands & non-profit brands, small business brands, personal brands, all about brands, and occasionally they run “open chats” about brands.

#linkedinchat – Tuesday at 8pm ET: Conversing about ways to use the LinkedIn platform, associated applications, and other social media platforms to improve results on LinkedIn.

#mmchat – Mondays at 9pm ET: Featuring a special guest who discusses a relevant social media topic and answers questions from participants.

#wjchat – Wednesdays at 8pm ET: Talking about all things content, technology, ethics & business for journalism on the web.

#pr20chat – Tuesdays at 8pm ET: Helping PR professionals understand how new media is shaping the public relations industry.

#journchat – Mondays at 8pm ET: Facilitating conversations between journalists, bloggers, and public relations professionals.

#Likeable –Sunday at 10pm ET: Social media marketing chat that commonly draws over 100 participants

2. Engage Employers

Whether you believe it or not, Employers (specifically HR professionals/recruiters) who are on Twitter want people to tweet at them. To prove this point check out the conversation below:

Pictutwiiterre1

Viacom Internships – the parent company of MTV, Comedy Central, VH1 and more – ASKED us to come to them with questions via Twitter. Immediately after this tweet, I told the students that were applying to the Viacom Internships to connect with them via Twitter. They could ask questions or even just reiterate their interest in the internship. In many ways, Twitter could be a way for them to make a good first impression.

Either way, Twitter is a great resource and tool for you to use during your job search… Remember to be smart tweeting during spring break and if you have any questions, feel free to come by the Career Planning Center!

 

     

Steph Gallo

 Associate Director,  Career Planning Center

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The Last Hurrah!

springbreak1

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!

Cathleen Borgman

 

 

 

 

 

Cath Borgman

Director, Career Planning Center

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Rumor has it… Debunking the myths about the 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

Review our services and suggested timeline.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Meredith Marquez, Associate Director
mmarquez@fairfield.edu

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Introducing VINE, Social Media’s Hottest New Craze… What it is & Why you should care!

vine

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!

     

Steph Grejtak

 Assistant Director,  Career Planning Center

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Follow up with Employers after the Career Fair!

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…

follow up

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.

 

     

Steph Grejtak

 Assistant Director,  Career Planning Center

 

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