Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Five Reasons to Join the Peace Corps After Graduation

Five Reasons to Join the Peace Corps After Graduation
As you cross holiday shopping off your list, this is also the season to help others by giving your time and energy to make a difference. I recently met Teckla Persons, a Peace Corps recruiter, and she shared some great service opportunities for motivated changemakers to immerse themselves in a community abroad, working side by side with local leaders to tackle the most pressing challenges of our generation. So as you think about wrapping up the semester, whether a December gradauate or upcoming May graduate, consider these five reasons Teckla shares below to join the Peace Corps after graduation. 
Wishing you happy holidays!
Hofstra Career Center and Jennifer Fragleasso, External Relations Coordinator

Five Reasons to Join the Peace Corps After Graduation
Serving in the Peace Corps is a unique opportunity to help a community overseas and build lasting relationships. It is also a way to launch your career and further your educational goals. This year, there are five alumni from Hofstra serving in Indonesia, Lesotho, Morocco, Senegal, and Tonga. Could you be next to join the more than 182 alumni who have already served?
 If you are considering joining the Peace Corps after graduation, here are 5 ways that you can expect to benefit:
1)    Make an impact in a community that needs someone with your skills. 
Peace Corps has open volunteer positions in more than 60 countries each year, and each of those positions has been requested by a community that identified a project that would benefit from the volunteer’s involvement. Do you have an interest in working with youth and experience with tutoring? Education is the program area that has the largest request for volunteers worldwide, and there are education positionsavailable to applicants from a wide variety of educational and professional backgrounds. If you have a green thumb, or small business experience, or a passion for community health outreach, we have plenty of opportunitiesfor you as well. Learn more about how your skills might fit a community’s needs by reading about What Volunteers Do
2)    Boost your resume with language and technical training. 
Once you arrive in your country of service, there are several months of training with other new volunteers before you move to your host community and begin working. Peace Corps training is intense: you learn a local language, technical skills for your new job, cultural norms to help you fit into your new community, and health and safety information. Trainees typically live with host families, so you will have the chance to start making local friends right away. And after pre-service training has ended and you begin service, there are opportunities to continue your professional development through in-service training and ongoing support from Peace Corps staff. Learn more about our training HERE

3)    Reduce your student loans.
Student loans do not have to prevent you from serving in the Peace Corps – in fact, service can make you eligible for deferment, partial cancellation, income-based repayment, or loan forgiveness.  Peace Corps service is also considered qualifying employment for the Department of Education’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which forgives the remainder of certain federal loans after 120 monthly payments are made under a qualifying repayment plan. Under a qualifying repayment plan, your payments could be $0 per month while volunteering. 
Benefits depend on the type of loans you have, so visit our websiteto learn how to get specific information.
4)    Get help paying for graduate school after service. 
If you are planning to go to graduate school and trying to decide whether to serve in the Peace Corps or apply right away, consider this: our Coverdell Fellows program offers graduate financial aid to returned Peace Corps volunteers, including tuition reduction, full scholarships, stipends and assistantships at over 120 participating universities around the country. In addition, as a Coverdell Fellow you will have the opportunity to build on the skills you learned as a volunteer and continue your service through internships in underserved communities. Learn more about the Coverdell Fellows program and see a list of participating schools HERE.
5)    Form lifelong friendships. 
If you ask returned volunteers about the best part of service, many will mention the close relationships they formed with host families, coworkers, students, and friends in the community. Peace Corps service lasts 27 months, but the friendships that are formed can last a lifetime. Visit the stories sectionof the Peace Corps website to read first-hand accounts from volunteers. . If you are interested in learning more about one volunteer’s bond with her host family, take a look at Clarice’s story. To gain insight into the support network that evolves between volunteers, check out this storyabout three women who grew close during their service after learning that they had all been members of the same sorority. And if you want read more about the relationship between volunteers and community members from the perspective of a local teacher who co-teaches with Peace Corps volunteers, check out Isabel’s story
To learn more about the benefits of service, or to find out what opportunities are available for you in the Peace Corps, join us at an upcoming event, or contact recruiter Teckla Persons at 

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Balance Over Winter Break

Meditate and Marinate

As a student you are inindated with emails, text alerts and parental nagging not to “waste the break away”.  I am here to say, use this time wisely.  TAKE A BREAK, relax your mind and body from a long difficult semester.  No need to think about the class that was harder than expected or the extra credit you could have submitted. Self-care is key to success.  You need to replenish those sleep deprived brain cells.  Set a limit on how much “nothing” you want and need. KNOW the DIFFERENCE.

However, once that is done you should start to envision your next steps.  You can start with the first two stages of change which are pre-contemplation and contemplation.  Start to think about what you need to do to prepare for next month, semester and after.  What should it look like? Who should you be calling? How do you need to approach them? Where should you meet? This is the beginning of change and this can be done from the comfort of the couch, bed or even scrolling through IG or SnapChat.  Once you have that vision you can now move on to preparation and when you return it’s ACTION time.

Lorraine Massiah 
Assistant Director for Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives
The Career Center 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Thanks for Giving Me the Opportunity (to interview)

The leaves are falling, pumpkin spice flavors are everywhere and people are planning their holiday menus. You know what this means: Thanksgiving is right around the corner! Like you, I am looking forward to a break and the opportunity to connect with friends and family over a good meal. As I reflect on this past year, I am thankful to be working here at Hofstra and that you are reading this blog post. What are you thankful for?

Around this time last year I was finishing up interviewing for my current position and navigating how to return to work with a three-month old baby at home (and throwing in starting a new job!) As I left campus last fall, the gratitude was pouring out of me. On my drive home I was already thinking about what to write in my thank you emails to the people I met that day. 

At this point in this blog post you are probably thinking “Thank you notes after an interview? What is this lady talking about?” In the past few weeks the topic of post-interview thank you notes has come up quite often in the Career Center. One such example: after participating in our Escape the Career Center contest where a clue referred to thank you notes after an interview, a student told me that “I didn’t know you were supposed to write a thank you note after an interview.” 

Yes, you are supposed to write a thank you note after an interview. Why, you ask? Let’s check in with another Liz, Forbes contributor Liz Ryan, and two short articles with some great, quick videos on the importance of writing thank you notes and how to make yours stand out.

Sending a thank you note should not only be after an interview - write one any time you connect with a professional in an industry or job of interest. Examples include: after a career fair, networking event or professional panel. Networking and building connections is the #1 way to get a job or internship. Make sure you are remembered by following up, and do so in a prompt manner (within 24 hours). 

Hopefully after reading this you are ‘thankful’ for these tips on showing your gratitude to a prospective employer or networking connection by writing a thank you note. You don’t want to be the favorite candidate, but the one who didn’t follow-up. Thanks for reading!

Liz Sposato, Senior Associate Director of Career Development and Assessment

Friday, November 9, 2018

Career Center Success!

This past Wednesday, the Career Center hosted its Communication Career and Internship Fair in collaboration with the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication. The Fair was a great success, as we had the largest turnout ever for this Fair. Approximately 250 students attended the Fair and met with more than 20 employers in the field of communications. Employers in attendance included WABC-TV, Newsday, NBCUniversal, Fox News, Canon, and CBS News, just to name a few! The turnout was amazing! Here are what some had to say in response to the Fair…

“It was nice to be able to see a lot of well-known and prestigious companies come to our campus to meet the students."
-Jesse Lindell ’21, Journalism Major

“Watching our students interact with employers and advocate for themselves is what makes all the time spent planning and coordinating worth it; getting the chance to witness the very beginning of what could be life-changing conversations is exactly why I love coming to work every day. The feedback that I’m getting from our company representatives was that students were prepared, enthusiastic, and eager – and that’s exactly why they love coming to recruit at Hofstra!”
-Amy Smith, Associate Director of External Relations, The Career Center 

“The student turnout and enthusiasm at the fair were fantastic!  Students looked professional in their business attire and they came prepared with their “elevator” pitch and copies of their resume.  Many said that researching the companies coming to the fair in advance helped make talking to employers easier.  Now that the fair is over students can enhance the positive impression, they made by sending employers a brief “Thank You” email and including a reference to something specific they discussed."
-Lisa Kornberg, Career Advisor and Liaison to the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication, The Career Center 

Thank you to all who helped with and attended the Communication Career and Internship Fair! We could not have achieved these levels of success without the generous support we receive! 

The Career Center has one final career fair for the Fall 2018 semester! The Engineering and Computer Science Career Fair will be held Wednesday, November 14th, from 11am-2pm in HofstraUSA. Students from all majors are welcomed and encouraged to attend! See you at the Fair! 

The Career Center Team

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

From Hofstra to South Africa: The Journey of a Liberal Arts Student

As a global studies major, I often get asked what I can do with a liberal arts major like mine. My answer: anything! More and more organizations are looking for well-rounded employees who can work in a fast, interdisciplinary environment and having a major in the liberal arts can prepare you for just that. In fact, my experiences in liberal arts helped me to get an internship this past summer.

Through a joint program with Hofstra’s Zarb School of Business and the Geneen Charitable Trust, I was able to get my dream internship. Thanks to the Trust, the program was fully funded! I interned in Johannesburg, South Africa at a branch of AstraZeneca, a multinational pharmaceutical company. I worked on their corporate social responsibility initiative (CSR) called Phakamisa, which means “to uplift” in Zulu. This CSR helps to increase education, access, and capacity surrounding breast and prostate cancer in South Africa, an issue of increasing concern in the country. I met with a variety of healthcare workers, patients, and NGOs to help grow the CSR and make sure that Phakamisa’s mission was achieved. 

Even though I was working full-time, I still managed to find time to explore Johannesburg, play with lions (not even joking!), see the beautiful clear blue ocean in Cape Town, and spend time with my new South African friends. I learned so much during my time in South Africa – about the country, about corporate social responsibility, about healthcare, and about myself. I feel more prepared than ever for a job in my field and for starting life after college.

Here are four suggestions I have which helped me get my internship:

1. Network, network, network
If you’re anything like me you cringe at this word. It always made me so nervous to think about! But the truth is that networking is crucialif you want to get your dream job or internship. I wouldn’t have even known about the internship I had this summer if my professor and boss hadn’t told me about it and put me in contact with the right people. Plus, now that I am graduating soon and looking for jobs in the “real world”, I am reaching out to all the people I networked with over the summer to help me find a job.

2. Take risks
Applying to internships and jobs can be nerve-wracking, especially if they are going to be very challenging experiences. But it is alwaysbetter to take the risk and apply for the ones that you really want. I came close to not applying for the internship in South Africa because I was so nervous, but submitting that application turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life.

3. Get involved in something you’re passionate about
I think it’s a myth that you have to get involved in a lotof activities. Choose a couple qualityactivities that you are passionateabout. These activities will prepare you for a job in the future and you can use them as a speaking point during an interview. It’s much easier to talk to potential employers about something you are passionate about and had a really meaningful experience doing, rather than a bunch of activities that you did just because you thought you had to.

4. Pair your major with a minor
I’ve found that it’s better to have a diverse mix of skills and one way to develop this is to add a minor. In addition to my global studies major, I have minors in community health, geography, and management. This makes it easier for me to make the case to employers on why I am prepared for and can succeed in any field, whether it be business or healthcare. Choose something you have always wanted to study and you may be surprised where it will take you!

Hopefully this has helped inspire you to go out there and get your dream internship or job! Good luck!!

Julianna Cirafesi
Senior Global Students Student 

Friday, October 26, 2018

Networking Doesn't Have to be Scary!

The weather’s chilly, it’s getting dark early, you’re watching Hocus Pocus for the 463rdtime (or is that just me?) – Halloween is in the air! But, when the sun comes up on November 1stand you’re coming to terms with how many fun-size Snickers you ate (again, maybe just me…), it’s time to start thinking about how you’ll make the most of what time remains in the Fall semester.
Networking is an invaluable resource and an easy way to improve your connections and prospects while your time is just as crunched as the leaves under your feet. Here are some tips that will help you keep networking from being a skill you just sweep under the rug – save that broom for flying! 😉
1.     Don’t say “Boo!” It’s easy to brush away a potential networking contact because they don’t fit what your exact goals are at the time. This mindset makes sense, in theory, since we tend to seek out the best option for what’s right in front of us. But, take those blinders off! Set the foundation now; you never know when that contact might come across something you are interested in – and they’ll think of you first.
2.     Carve out your niche:What sets you apart from other students? Think about how you can present this to new people, whether it’s your “elevator pitch” at events, the messages you send, or the brand you create for yourself on social media. Your strategy is just that – yours!
3.     No ghosting!Keep connections alive, even if there’s not much to report. Reaching out to a contact with an article you’ve seen or a comment on something you saw them post on LinkedIn shows them that they are top-of-mind – and, in turn, you become top-of-mind to them, too!

Want to practice your newfound tricks? We have two more Career Fairs coming up this semester where you can treat yo’self!
·      Communication Career & Internship Fair:
November 7thfrom 11am-2pm in Studio A of the Herbert School
·      Engineering & Computer Science Career Fair:
November 14thfrom 11am-2pm in Hofstra USA

Happy Halloween!

Amy Smith 
Associate Director of External Relations and Internship Coordinator 
The Career Center 

Friday, October 19, 2018

Tips for Choosing a Career Path

Choosing a career path can be stressful, there's no doubt about it! There are many people throughout your college career who will help guide you. Keeping an open mind is one of the most important factors in choosing a career. You never know where you may land! The Career Center and the Division of Student Affairs at Hofstra are here to help! In honor of Careers in Student Affairs Month, a month dedicated to the celebration of Higher Education and Student Affairs professionals, the DSA has provided some career tips! 

"Make your potential future employer feel special! Connect the dots for the person reading your application – use your cover letter to show how you fulfill their specific needs as outlined in the job description, or preempt any questions the hiring manager may have about the application. Pay attention to keywords in the position descriptions and use bold font to draw the reader’s eye! Brevity is also key – chances are a recruiter or hiring manager is pouring over lots of applications, so make their job easier by hitting your points in an organized, succinct fashion!"
-Denise Campos, Assistant Director, Student Leadership and Engagement 

"I have learned that by saying yes to opportunities that present themselves despite my own fears, the experiences and rewards have far outweighed the negatives. Some of these opportunities have opened up new avenues for personal and professional growth. The exposure to show my talents to colleagues whom I generally do not interact with gives me a level of visibility that opens new doors and the ability to participate in new endeavors within Student Affairs."
-Novia Ramsay, Director of Operations, Office of Residence Life 

“Most people don’t go to college thinking they will end up working in a college – I sure didn’t!  But, I’m so happy that I found out about this career along the way.  Ask a student affairs pro what they love about their job, and you may discover a whole new path that you hadn’t thought about previously.”
-Michelle Kyriakides, Executive Director, The Career Center

With these in mind, remember to keep your options open and to always keep learning. Challenge yourself to explore new opportunities and to work outside of your comfort zone. Every experience you have while in college will help lead your career path, so make the most out of each!