Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Career Reflection in an Unexpected Time

In the past couple of weeks, our day-to-day lives have changed drastically. Our schedules have been flipped upside down and inside out, and we are all doing our best to find normalcy in our new routines. These unexpected times have pushed us into a newfound virtual world that is far from what we are accustomed to. What some of us might not see is the positive that can come out of these circumstances. This new time gives us an opportunity to reflect on who we are, what we want, and where we see ourselves once life returns to what it once was.

As you sit in front of your computer screen, whether you are working remotely or logging on to your online courses, you are now given the opportunity to eliminate the background noise. Classmates, colleagues, and environment now play a lesser role in your current situation. You have the opportunity to focus solely on the content that you are learning or putting into practice, which only leaves one question - are you fulfilled by the content of your work?

Take this time to consider the type of career path that truly makes you happy once all other factors are taken out of the equation. Although we know that life will return to how we once knew, it is important to have a career that you love waking up for when all outside factors are removed. The current situation will pass in time, and I hope you all come out of this more certain of who you are as a professional than ever before.

For more information about career/major exploration, or any other ways to gain insight on your current/potential career path, leverage the Career Center’s virtual resources and schedule an appointment with a career advisor on Connect today!

Stay inside and stay healthy!

Sabrina Iaria
Career Advisor

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Accounting Dual Degree Program

What is your major and what year are you?
I am a senior accounting student in the dual degree program which means I will get my BBA in Accounting and a Masters in Taxation.

Did the Career Center assist you and how?
When I was first starting to apply for internships, I was very nervous and did not know what to expect. Liz Sposato, Senior Associate Director of Career Development and Assessment, was a great help and reviewed my resume numerous times, as well as did a video mock interview with me so I was able to see what I can improve on. I was able to get an internship at Henry Schein due to her help.

Where did you intern and what was your role?
My first internship was at Henry Schein and I was an Internal Audit Intern. Currently, I have an internship at Grant Thornton as a tax intern. For this summer, I will be interning at Crowe as a tax intern as well.

How has your on-campus involvement helped you market yourself to employers?
Being involved in different clubs and activities has been a very beneficial experience. I have been on two executive boards at Hofstra and I was able to talk to employers about the different responsibilities I had as a leader and how I can contribute to a team. Being involved shows that I have good time management skills since I also have classes and homework to do. 

What advice would I give to a student looking for an internship?
My advice would be to apply to as many companies as possible to get exposure to different industries. I would also recommend getting involved as early as possible in different clubs and activities especially a club within your specific major. Many companies like to see that you are involved in campus life outside of your studies. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Television Production and Studies and Fine Arts: Design

What is your major and what year are you?
I am a sophomore, double majoring in Television Production and Studies and Fine Arts: Design. 

What made you choose your major and/or career path?
Though I came to Hofstra as a Film major, I had every intention of making television. However, I chose Film because, at the time, the television I wanted to produce was more dramatic, and cinematic, something that aligns closer with studying Film. After visiting ABC Studios with my LLC in the Netherlands, I fell in love with the fast-paced environment of live TV, and immediately made the switch. Design has always been something I was passionate about, and they seemed like natural companions.

Did the Career Center assist you and how? 
The Career Center has been integral in my hunt for a summer internship. Television internships can be incredibly intimidating, and with my little knowledge on the fundamentals of making a resume, and presenting myself for hire, I was nervous to say the least. With the help of Darlene Johnson, the Director of External Relations, I was able to confidently submit my resume and cover letter to some of the biggest names in live television.
Additionally, I was able to value what activities I was involved in on campus. Before going to the Career Center, I was insecure about my experience, activities and strengths. Darlene assured me that, while my experience is not in my field, it is still valid, which certainly boosted my confidence. 

What is your most memorable career-related experience?
Having the opportunity to visit ABC Studios, and visit what will one day hopefully be my place of work, was incredibly memorable and impactful on my professional future. 

How has your on-campus involvement helped you market yourself to employers?
Being involved not only shows dedication, but a skill in time management - something essential to employment. Having the ability to market yourself as a well-rounded student, who is obviously passionate about impacting their community, is certainly something worth mentioning during interviews.

What advice would you give to a student looking for an internship?
I would tell students looking for internships to reach out to potential employers to set yourself apart from students applying through their portal. Try to reach out to students with internships within your field, and see if they have any advice/contacts.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

A Look into Community Health

What is your major and what year are you?
I am a sophomore studying Community Health, minoring in Spanish.

What made you choose your major and/or career path?
I’ve always been interested in science and for a time, I wanted to be an epidemiologist (“disease detective”). Then I went on a mission trip to Mexico to build a home and found out that the family needed a new house because their previous one has been infested with black mold. I saw the smog in the air there, the poor living conditions, lack of clean water, and how the country’s infrastructure would make it nearly impossible to access healthcare, especially for those living in rural areas. After that experience, I realized so much more went into health than just combating diseases and I’ve been pursuing community health ever since.

How has your on-campus involvement helped you market yourself to employers?
I’m involved in a lot of different activities on campus, so I think that shows employers that I am well-rounded and willing to try lots of things. I’m a member of Sitare (a South Asian dance club), yoga club, Nippon Culture Society, and Honors College. I have an on-campus job, serve as a Global Mentor as well as an Honors College mentor, and I’m a part of the track team. While I think it is important to be involved in things that are major-related, you can also get a lot of valuable experience when you step outside of your comfort zone or just do something for fun.  

What is your most memorable career-related experience?
An experience that I’ve had that has taught me skills I can use in any career would have to be the mission trips I’ve gone on to El Salvador. For the past two summers, I have traveled to El Salvador on a medical mission trip and mainly spend time with the children in the villages on play team, where we do games and crafts, have a toothbrush demonstration, and connect with the families. From this trip, I have learned how to stay calm under pressure, adjust to last-minute changes in plans and navigate cultural differences. I’ll be going on the trip again this summer, but for the past year, I’ve also been involved in the planning of the trip. I’ve learned how much coordination goes into arranging the purchase of medicine, finding transportation, fundraising, and marketing the trip to attract more volunteers. Going on these trips has not only been extremely rewarding for me but also taught me a lot and I know that when I enter the workforce, I’ll be even more prepared because of it.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

From Biology to Associate VP of Student Affairs!

Although I started college as a biology major headed for medical school, by sophomore year I realized that I did not want to be a doctor. In addition to nearly failing my physics courses and struggling through organic chemistry, a volunteer opportunity at our university hospital helped me understand that I did not want to do clinical medical work but was still interested in pursuing something in the medical field. And so my plan to pursue health education and public health was born. From then on, I carefully chose student opportunities that would move me closer to that goal: I was part of a theater company that crafted an educational performance about HIV prevention; I worked on social norms campaigns for alcohol risk reduction; I was a peer health educator for eating disorder prevention. I was also a Resident Assistant (RA) and was fairly involved in the student affairs division and loved this work, too. Once I completed my master’s degree, I got my first professional job as a Residence Hall Director. I was thrilled when I was placed in the Health and Wellness Living Learning Center – I was able to mix my love of student development with health education and it felt like a perfect fit. I had the opportunity to help develop an academic minor in health and wellness and teach several classes there. This was my dream!

During these first years of my professional career, I found myself gravitating more towards the student affairs work. I truly enjoyed working with students to help them achieve all of their goals, not only those that were related to health and wellness. I found that I had a knack for programming and event planning and was becoming more and more interested in how things work in higher education. However, a few years in I still viewed this student affairs job as a stop-over in my journey towards health education. I was offered a position as an area director supervising Residence Hall Directors. I reluctantly accepted – I feared that it was taking me further away from health education, but it was a higher-paying promotion and would bring me experience in things I thought I’d need in future jobs: budget management, supervision, and campus-wide committee leadership. I actually referred to this job to my family and friends as a “necessary evil!” During this time, I had an opportunity to co-teach a course for social workers who wanted to work in higher education. In order to teach student development concepts and current issues in higher education, I was researching and learning so much about my own field and my own job. By understanding the academic theories that guide the work, I fell in love with the profession from a whole new lens. The person I was co teaching with told me that when I taught about these topics, I looked joyful. He challenged me to think of my current role as a happy scenic route rather than a necessary evil. I thought to myself: why not choose joy?

From then, I decided to pursue higher education fully: I enrolled in a doctoral program, applied for jobs in other areas of higher education than student affairs, and read everything I could get my hands on that had to do with this field. I still use many of the skills that I learned as a health educator, but am so glad I kept my heart and mind open to a new career path. There was a time where I was getting in my own way and almost turning down opportunities because they didn’t fit my “plan”. You never know where scenic route will bring you.

Jean Peden Christodoulou, Ed.D.
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs

Jean Peden Christodoulou

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

A Glimpse into a Biomedical Engineer Major

1.What is your major and what year are you? What made you choose your major and/or career path?

Hey! My name is Jenna Alma and I am a Junior studying Biomedical Engineering with a Mechanics Emphasis and a Mathematics Minor. My desire to study biomedical engineering started when I elected to take an A.P. Biology class in my sophomore year of high school. I was fascinated by the human body, our cells, and how one could tinker with what’s on the inside to do truly amazing things. I envision finding cures for all kinds of diseases and using the power of our own bodies to create therapies to solve the world’s most elusive problems. My decision to choose biomedical engineering was also influenced by my growing up in a family of engineers. I was raised in a household that fostered curiosity, contributing to the strong critical thinking and problem solving skills I possess today.

2. Where did you intern and what was your role? What is your most memorable career-related experience?

Image result for biomedical engineeringMy journey to obtaining this degree reached a milestone when I landed my very first internship. After applying to only two programs (as a freshman no less) I was beyond amazed when I was accepted into both of them! I ended up choosing the Summer Student Program at the Jackson Laboratory and I can say with complete confidence that that was the best decision of my life. I not only was able to spend two whole months immersed in a professional lab conducting genomics research, but I was able to forge strong bonds with the other participants, people who I still consider my friends today! And if we were all to meet up again, we would pick up right where we left off. I didn’t expect to grow as much personally as I did and I really feel that that added to the overall experience.

3. Did the Career Center assist you and how?

The Career Center has been really helpful when it comes to sending representatives to attend our club meetings and teaching the entire club on how to put together a resume and the in’s and outs’ of a LinkedIn profile. They also tailored their presentation to the needs of engineering majors like ourselves, which is super helpful when you might not have experience in the field yet.

4. How has your on-campus involvement helped you market yourself to employers?

Being the President of the Society of Women Engineers at Hofstra has really helped me develop in so many ways. I’ve learned great communication, leadership, and managerial skills that have helped me be more confident when marketing myself to employers at career fairs. I also believe it teaches you how to handle responsibility and manage your time, two skills that translate to any workplace, no matter the major.

5. What advice would you give to a student looking for an internship?

As for those still trying to land their first internship, Google is your friend so use it to your advantage. I spent the summer beforeI wanted to intern searching for programs related to my degree that would give me the experience employers were looking for. Once you find some programs that you like, ask for letters of recommendation early both as a courtesy to the person you’re asking but also so that you aren’t scrambling for documents at the last minute.

You’re worth is not a sum of your failures and successes but rather how you deal with what life throws at you. It may seem like the end of the world now, but in two, three, or even five years, you will look back on that time and wonder why you were so stressed out about something so small. As for me, I’m waiting to hear back from the numerous program applications I submitted. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Criminology and Linguistics Major's Career Adventure

What is your major and what year are you?
I am a Criminology and Linguistics double major. I am a junior.

What made you choose your major and/or career path?
I always wanted to be a morgue technician because of watching the X-Files as a kid, but quickly realized I did not want to take Chemistry or Math related courses. I took an administrative justice community college class in high school and fell in love with the subject. From then on I decided to study criminal justice and criminology related topics! Since studying Criminology at Hofstra I have become increasingly enamored with the topic of penal abolition and critical criminology. Which lead me to my interest in the nonprofit world.

Did the Career Center assist you and how? 
The Career Center was my guide the entire process of finding my first nonprofit internship. From instructing me on how to perfect my resume and cover letter to the mock interview to the very suit I wore the day of the interview (thanks to the Career Closet).

Where did you intern and what was your role? 
I am currently interning at the Association of Community Employment Programs for the homeless. ACE is an important nonprofit based in Long Island City that offers courses for post incarceration, homelessness, or addiction individuals foundational tools like computer classes, financial literacy, and housing aid to promote self sufficiency. There is only a limited amount of case workers and teachers programming these classes so my role as an intern is to provide additional support while a class is being taught. I work one on one with clients who need additional instruction with computer courses, mock interviews, and other classes that ACE offers. 

How has your on-campus involvement helped you market yourself to employers?
My on-campus involvement consists of only competing with the Hofstra Forensics Speech and Debate team! Public speaking is always a great talking point when being interviewed by employers and provides them with the information that you can literally argue competitively.  

What advice would you give to a student looking for an internship?
Browse! Scanning the site Idealist gave me access to the current internship I am in, but surfing the web or begging your professors for connections seems to do the trick. I would not have known about websites like Idealist or Indeed without the recommendation from the Career Center.