Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Career advancement through kindness and likability

When you're working toward launching your career, it is quite natural to focus on developing skills and gaining experience.  To be sure, skill and experience go a long way toward helping you land internships and jobs.

However, in this post I'd like to talk about two things you might not automatically consider when trying to advance your career:  kindness and likability.

There are some who will argue that likability is actually more important than skill.  Of course, there are others who disagree.  My point with this blog is not to compare the two, because ultimately my argument is that you need both.

But, it's much easier to ignore the role of likability, and authentic kindness, than skill for emerging professionals. 

I don't have any magic to tell you how to be more likable or how to bring more kindness into your approach to the workplace.  What I can tell you, however, is that once you are actually on the job (or internship or volunteer site or classroom), demonstrating kindness, showing interest in others, and generally being the type of person that others want to be around will absolutely help you advance your career.

There's no definitive list of what makes someone likable, and if you're doing it right, it's probably tailored to your authentic self .  There are some good places to read about such characteristics to get a sense of what I mean.

So, if you're ready to make the most out of any experience.  Focus on kindness and pay attention to how you're treating others.  Likability matters in the short- and long-run!

By Gary Alan Miller, Executive Director
Hofstra University, The Career Center

Friday, September 16, 2016

What does David Axelrod have to do with The Career Center?

On September 13, 2016, I had the opportunity to partake in one of the Debate activities where David Axelrod, Democratic strategist came to talk about the evolving media and political landscape. Regardless of your political affiliations, one of the big takeaways that I took from his presentation was the power of your story.

I learned that he heard President John F. Kennedy speak in New York City when he was a young child, that he sold campaign buttons for Robert F. Kennedy when he was 13, that he worked for the Chicago-based Hyde Park Herald while he was an undergraduate student at the University of Chicago, and so much more. As someone who admittedly was not as familiar with Mr. Axelrod’s story as other people are, he sold me on being fully qualified for the positions that he has held since being in college. He told his story in a way that was personal, impactful, and more importantly, memorable.

David Axelrod’s presentation, and the Debate season as a whole, is a great metaphor for the importance of your personal story. As you think about how you want to brand yourself and how you want to take advantage of different opportunities throughout your undergraduate career and beyond, it will be important to think about your story. What experiences have you had which are driving your desire to pursue a particular path? What stories could you elaborate on if someone were to ask you about how you have been successful in a given area? Why are you interested in a particular opportunity or position? Why should someone choose you over another candidate?

You want to get to a point in your life where you know your story better than anyone else and that you are able to convey to others important nuggets of your story that they could then remember and repeat. My biggest takeaways from David Axelrod were that he has been passionate about politics since he was a young boy, has followed that path and been very successful along the way. What will your story be?

Want to further explore how to articulate your story? Schedule an appointment with a career counselor by calling 516-463-6060 or by visiting www.hofstra.edu/careerhub. Looking forward to hearing your story soon!

Ava Danville, MBA
Assistant Director, The Career Center
Liaison to the Frank G. Zarb School of Business

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

What an exciting time at Hofstra!

Fall 2016 is certainly an exciting time at Hofstra University!  

You may be assuming I'm saying that because of the 2016 Presidential Debate on September 26th.   You're right that hosting our third debate as an institution is very exciting. However, that's not what I meant.

Why is it an exciting time?  Because YOU are here!  And you have a really tremendous opportunity to do really interesting things.  

It's easy to allow your college years to flow past you, with the semesters coming and going.  But, you're not going to do that, are you?  No!  You're going to make the most out of everything that interests you.  And the beauty of this is that you get decide what those things are!

Study abroad?  Research?   Serving Learning?  Internships?   Leading a student organization?   Taking a class just because it sounds interesting?  Talking to someone you've never met before?

There is an old saying that goes, "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.  The second best time is now."

So, get out there and figure out what tree you want to plant!  Make interesting choices and take advantage of every opportunity to make this an exciting time at Hofstra University for YOU!

Gary Alan Miller, Executive Director, Hofstra University Career Center

Monday, April 18, 2016

Choice Theory and Job-seeking

William Glasser, an American psychiatrist who was known for the creation of Reality Therapy and Choice Theory, believed that all behavior is purposeful.  Whether it is to satisfy our basic needs of survival or our desire for freedom, fun, love, belonging, or power, we act for a reason.  We can control these behaviors by acting in certain ways that help people and our relationships (e.g. being supportive, encouraging, listening, accepting, or trusting) or hurt our relationships with others (e.g. criticizing, blaming, complaining, nagging, or punishing).

Our behavior is under our control; what is not under our control, are the behaviors of others.  So for example, if an employer does not respond right away or does not show you the respect of replying to your follow-up email, do not fret.  Employers are very busy people and sometimes they will take days to respond to an email or phone call.  As long as you keep your composure and relax (do not email them a million times waiting for their response), everything will work out. 

And if that employer does not respond back, it is not the end of the world.  Perhaps they found an in-house option for the position or they found a better fit with another candidate.  Do not be hard on yourself and do not lash out at the employer; your time will come.  If you burn bridges with a potential employer you ruin any chance that you can have with them in the future.

Do not be your own worst enemy.

Scott Davidson
Graduate Asst., Hofstra Career Center

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Meet our HU Students: Kirupajini Gnanamurthy

My name is Kirupajini Gnanamurthy. I am a junior. My major is Community Health and my minor is nutrition science. My future plan is to become a surgical physician assistant. While attending Hofstra University I have gained a lot. I have gained new connections that help me with my future career and pathway to graduate school. I have also met some amazing people who are now my friends. I have acquired several resources that have helped me get farther into my career in the form of internships and guidance counselors.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

#HUInternSelfie Spring 2016

Congratulations to our winner, Pamela Lacayo, for winning #HUInternSelfie 2016! 

Check out her selfies below while at her internship with Northwell Health:


Visit our website to find out how to participate!

A few reminders...

  • In order to participate, you need to follow us on Instagram (@hofstracareer), tag us in your weekly selfie submissions and use the #HUInternSelfie hashtag.
  • To see all submissions, we will be checking the #HUInternSelfie hashtag on Instagram. If your profile is on private, we will be unable to view your submission and it will not count towards the challenge. 
  • To know if we have received your submission and is counted towards the challenge, we will 'like' your photo.
  • In order to be put in the $250 Bloomingdale's gift card raffle, you must submit at least ONE selfie challenge!
  • Be on the lookout for a surprise challenge during our Spring Career Fair on March 9th!


Week 1:

Selfie of you on your daily commute!


Week 2:

Selfie of you shaking hands with your supervisor!


Week 3:

Selfie eating lunch at your work site!


Week 4:

Selfie with the view outside your window!


Week 5:

Selfie at your work space!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

It's Not About Who You Already Know, It's About Who You CAN Know

Last week online news magazine Slate ran an opinion piece on the uneven power of informational interviews. You may remember from Gary Miller’s blog post that an informational interview is a meeting that you request with someone whose career you admire. During the informational interview, you ask that person how she got started in the field and what advice she has for a student or recent Hofstra alumni like you, just starting out. At the end of the meeting, you ask who else in the field with which you should be talking. This is the most powerful way to job search! You receive the best advice, and, you now have professionals in your field who are interested in helping you in your career.

The Slate piece agreed with that assessment, but said it makes the hiring process unfair, giving those who seek out an informational interview an unfair advantage. I argue that is exactly the reason why informational interviews are critical.  We are not all born with a built-in professional network. The informational interview you can schedule with Hofstra alumni allows you to tap into the powerful network that being a Hofstra student provides for you. For first generation college students, students from lower socio-economic backgrounds, and students whose parents are unwilling to tap into their own networks to help, the informational interview provides that advantage that others already have.

This spring, tap into your built in Hofstra advantage! Check out the alumni feature on LinkedIn to see which alumni have positions you want, or careers you admire, or are just doing something really cool. Send a message, set up an informational interview, and see where your Hofstra network can take you.

Lisa Tandan
Director of Career Development and Assessment