Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Making your last few weeks of your summer experience as impactful as possible

Being that your internship/summer experience is most likely wrapping up soon, if you haven’t done so already, now would be a good time to check in with yourself (and your supervisor), to ensure that you are making your last weeks as impactful as possible.

1. Revisit your goals and communicate with supervisor
Are you on or off target with meeting your goals? If you are on target, be sure to communicate with your supervisor to ensure that final touches are done to his/her liking. If you are off target, have no fear, you can use this time to make adjustments, as appropriate.  

2. Practice final presentations, especially with key decision-makers

If you are in a role where a final presentation is part of your deliverable, be sure to schedule time with your supervisor and other key decision makers to go over your ideas and get their feedback. Ideally, key decision makers would have bought into your ideas prior to the presentation; nothing you say should come as a surprise. It will also make the question and answer segment of your presentation go a lot smoother. 

3. Plan for what should happen with the progress you’ve made once you leave

It is common courtesy to tie up all loose ends prior to leaving a position and organizing information for the next person to pick up where you left off. As much as possible, start thinking about how you want to wrap up your work and what next steps should be taken by the next person. This step will be looked upon favorably by all parties and could even be a deciding factor when evaluating who should get full-time offers. 

4. Be prepared to send thank you notes

We recommend that regardless of your experience, you write a thank you note at the end of your internship/summer experience. This is your opportunity to thank the person and organization for the learning that took place during the time that you were there. Depending on the organization, gift-giving might be part of the culture; be sure to inquire if you are unsure. Similar to planning for after your departure, thank you notes can also be a deciding factor for full-time offers. 

5. Ask for recommendations prior to leaving 

As you are wrapping up your experience, start to think about who you would want to ask to be a reference for you in the future. When you are having final conversations with all of the people who you’ve worked with, it is okay to ask them if you can keep in touch and if they would be willing to be a reference down the line. Assuming that you have had good working relationships, most likely, the answer will be yes. In the event that your experience hasn’t been so positive, try to think or at least one person you could ask to be a reference. If you have more specific questions about this, feel free to schedule an appointment with a Career Counselor to discuss. 

Good luck with the rest of your experience and see you in the Fall!


P.s. Recently, I contributed to an article for HerCampus.com entitled “4 Signs You’re Succeeding at Your Internship” where it went into more detail about how well you fit into the company/organization’s culture, how your responsibilities have grown, how you’re being introduced to people, and how your opinion is being valued; I’d encourage you to check it out for more insights.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

5 ways your summer job will help you in your future career

Let’s talk about Summer, where days are longer, and no one can say it is too cold for iced coffee (no such thing!). In addition to spending time with friends and sleeping in, you may have a summer job. As such, I am here to tell you 5 ways your summer job will help you in your future career.

1. Develop transferrable skills. Whether you are a camp counselor, or waiting on tables, almost every single job has transferrable skills. Transferable skills are skills developed in one situation that can be used in another. Top skills an employer is looking for are communication, writing, problem-solving, and the ability to work in a team. If you are waiting on tables or selling clothes in retail, you are speaking to clients, and selling them a product. If you are life-guarding or being a counselor, you are supervising others and following procedure. All things you can highlight on a resume. If you are not sure how to highlight your transferable skills, don’t hesitate to make an appointment at The Career Center.

2. Establish a work ethic. It may be hard to wake up early and go to work, especially when it is 80 degrees and sunny. However, the quicker you get into a routine of being on time to work, the easier it will be. In addition to being on time, employers notice someone who is eager to help out the rest of the staff. With any job you can further develop your work ethic by being professional and using your time efficiently.

3. Network! This may be heard to hear, but approximately 80% of jobs are found via networking. Networking can happen at any time. When I was in training for my first full-time job at a bank, the employee next to me told everyone how he had originally worked at Dunkin Donuts. He was always attentive to the customers and tried to remember everyone’s usual orders. One particular customer of his was the branch manager. The manager was so impressed with my co-worker he offered him a job as a full-time teller. Was the man consciously networking while at Dunkin? Probably not, but that proves how you never know who may help you in your career.

4. Explore your likes and dislikes. After a few weeks, you can hopefully discern whether you like or dislike your job. My shortest summer job was being a front desk clerk at a gym for two weeks. I hated being a “bouncer” and trying to stop people who were no longer active members (and the 4:30 a.m. start certainly did not help). However, I loved my other job as a lifeguard. I loved being outside and interacting with the other guards. These are things I noticed, and were key to helping me discern my career.

5. Update your resume and references. Don’t be afraid to put this experience on your resume, even if it does not seem to be relevant. Highlight those transferrable skills, especially what you may have improved upon. By the end of the summer you should be able to say you not only did your job, but did it well. In addition, ask your employer for a reference. They don’t expect you to do this job forever, especially if it is seasonal.

Wishing you all a lovely and sun-filled summer!

Kristi Riecker, Graduate Assistant
The Career Center, Hofstra University

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Thank you! 2016-2017 Points of Pride

As we prepare for summer months, we wanted to take the time to thank you for an amazing 2016-2017! This past academic year, we worked with many of you, our valued employers, through our on-campus recruiting events and programming. Through your partnership and support, our students and recent graduates secured full-time, part-time, and internship positions. Most importantly, however, you played a major role in their personal and professional development. Below you will find a few Career Center points of pride for 2016-2017. We could not have done it without you! 

Detailed breakdown/additional stats:

Online Recruiting 
20,997 total job/internships posted
  • 15,784 jobs posted
  • 5,213 internships posted

2,518 public resumes uploaded 

On-Campus Recruiting
404 employers at career fairs
1,866 student attendees
321 on-campus interviews (42 participating employers) 
12 information sessions (112 student attendees)
9 information tables 

Career Counseling
2,864 total career counseling/advising appointments 
  • 1,931 career counseling appointment 
  • 933 drop-in hour appointments 

Special Programs
3 shadowing programs (16 student participants)

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Summer tips!

The semester is over! The textbooks are closed (and sold back to the bookstore), your Hofstra ID is tucked away in a drawer, and you don’t have to set your alarm clock. So now what?

Maybe you have plans for the summer, which can include trips, a class or two, a part-time job or an internship. Whatever your plans, there are many ways that you can jump-start your career or job search during the summer, and some take very little time! See how many of these you can check-off this list by the end of the summer:

Update your LinkedIn profile.  It’s never too early (or too late) to do this.  Complete your profile by adding special school projects, skills and honors. Search for LinkedIn groups in your field of interest and join them.  Connect with your professors, anyone at your part-time job and people who you see are involved in your career field.

Talk to people who are in your target job or career field. Where do you find these people? Ask around, you never know who will know someone. 

Write a draft of a resume. The Career Center is open all summer to help you create a resume, or fine-tune one you already have. A good place to start is our Career Guide, which can be found at hofstra.edu/career.

Volunteer!  Even if it’s just a few hours over the summer, volunteering in a field of interest can give you an inside-look at that career and also provide valuable networking connections.

Start to learn as much as possible about any field you are considering.

The Career Center wishes you a wonderful summer!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

When dreams do (or don’t) come true, what will you do?

Each year, the days and weeks surrounding graduation serve as a time to reflect.  For our Hofstra seniors, you may be thinking about who you were when you began your studies at Hofstra and comparing those feelings and goals to the ones you have now.  Some of you may be right on the same trajectory, whilst others’ journeys took some turns along the way to get to where you are.  We know that not everyone ends up pursuing the career path they always dreamed they would; a couple weeks ago, I read this article where a photography student in India captured beautifully the contrast between people’s dream jobs and the occupations they now hold.  When shift happens, as it often does, how do we look back on those dreams and try to keep them alive?

When we work with students here at the Career Center, oftentimes a question we ask is “if there were no barriers, what would be your dream career?”  The answers we hear vary, as you may expect, but it’s in those answers where we can start to talk about what you would truly value in a career, even if it’s not what you thought it was. Think about what you thought you wanted to be; how close is it to what you’re currently or thinking of pursuing? If your answer is “No,” are there elements of that dream that are evident in what you’re doing now either professionally or personally? We find that the answer moves a lot closer to the “Yes” column; even though we may not achieve that goal professionally in the way we thought, we still retain some aspect in our lives because it brings us fulfillment.

I’ll play; when I was younger, I wanted to be a baseball player – more specifically the first baseman (basewoman?) for the New York Yankees.  That didn’t happen for me (though I’d love for you to picture me writing this blog from the clubhouse), but baseball is still a huge part of my life.  In fact, if I weren’t in the role I have now, I would probably be trying to work in baseball in some capacity in scouting, recruitment, or statistics.  The elements of teamwork, leadership, and determination that are prevalent in a career in professional sports are the same characteristics that help me succeed in my role here at Hofstra – I encourage you to think of what those traits are for you!

No matter how closely related (or not) they are, if you’d like to talk about how your dream can be part of your reality, come visit us. This is true even if you’re graduating come the 21st; you will still have access to Career Center services for a year post-graduation.

Dream on,

Amy Smith, Associate Director of External Relations

Friday, May 5, 2017

Why it’s a good thing to do the coffee run at your internship

So you landed the internship, congratulations!  You are super excited to arrive on your first day, and do all the cool things you’ve dreamed of and learn the tools of the trade so you can hopefully be hired upon graduation. You assume you will be trained in various systems and be able to make a creative contribution and impact from day one. Sure, you may have to shadow or learn for a week or two - but then you’ll be assigned the big account, the major project, invited to have a seat at the executive table, right? Well, you may want to manage your expectations.

And while each company is different, and internship programs have really evolved in recent years to include things like pay, travel stipends, set hours and more formal learning outcomes, some of the basics still remain true. An intern will need to start at the bottom and prove their value, by completing such tasks as making copies, answering phones, doing data entry, and, doing coffee runs from time to time.

It’s all about perspective: when you are the coffee person, you get to leave the office for a few minutes, get a change of scenery, check your phone and grab some fresh air, if the coffee place is outside of the building. And guess who you are: the intern that members of the team look forward to seeing every day, the intern who gets to actually speak with those staffers who they have retrieved coffee for, and, the person who got recognized by senior staff in the kitchen or elevator. They may just ask you one day what it is that YOU want to do - and offer their advice and assistance - since they know you are a nice, enthusiastic, team player who has earned a place at their (or a different) organization.

A student I know who interns at a well known media company on a TV show has had the opportunity to hang out with the writers when delivering their coffee, thus gaining valuable insights and face time with those sitting at the table where she wants to sit, one day.

A coffee run is an opportunity to demonstrate that you’re not above any task, to build relationships, and earn trust. Often what’s been stereotyped as a demeaning intern task is an exercise in patience, flexibility, and, depending on the complexity of the coffee order, attention to detail. Be the person who gets coffee AND thrives in their role, with a great attitude to boot.

All that said, employers should recognize that interns don’t have to just be coffee runners, copy makers and spreadsheet fillers. If employers give interns an opportunity to take on more substantial projects, they will be able to get a better sense of the type of full-time employee they’ll actually be. Hiring and onboarding an intern who has a deep knowledge of the company, its employees and a proven willingness to learn and be a “go to” person saves both time and money. And that’s always a good thing.

Go get ‘em. Some coffee.
And good luck on your finals!

Michele Roberts, Assistant Director

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Last Events of the Year!

Pride Shadowing Program
The PRIDE Shadowing Program is an opportunity for students to explore possible career fields and gain exposure to the professional work environment. Participants will visit a host organization for one day and learn first hand how classroom learning can be linked to career choices and further educational goals. Shadowing can help students obtain knowledge that comes only from being in the job setting.

Department of Education (DOE) Information session
At this event student will be able to get assistance updating their online applications and ask questions about the Department of Education.
Student Center Greenhouse
Friday, May 5, 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm