Tuesday, October 15, 2019

I'm Going to Go Get One of Those Job Things

“I’m going to go get one of those job things”- Rachel Green, Friends. 

But although we’d all like to think that it is as easy as saying that you’re going to go get a job and then one just appears for you that is exactly what you always imagined you would always be doing, that is not always the case.

Your major does not have to define your career, and it is always good to have experiential learning opportunities to decide if you really want to go into a field. Let me give you an example. As a physics and psychology major in my undergrad days, I first thought that I wanted to be a high school physics teacher. I loved my physics teacher in high school and really enjoyed the subject. Once I started doing some shadowing and field experience in high schools however, I realized that teaching was not for me. After that, I looked into some careers that I could have with a psychology (shameless plug for Onet!) and decided I wanted to work in human resources. I thought that would be so easy! I would talk to people all day, help them with problems, and get to interview some people. Sticking with that plan, I did an internship in HR my senior year of undergrad and discovered that it was not for me. Thank goodness for experiential learning helping me figure out what I did NOT want to do!

Fast forward to graduation from undergrad and going to graduate school at Hofstra for Higher Education, where more experiential learning opportunities presented arose to intern in Advising, and then be a Graduate Assistant in the Career Center. And I LOVED it! I found my passion for career advising and working in Higher Education, all because I was able to have experiences that taught me what I didn’t want to do.

Remember the importance of shadowing, interning and experiential learning in choosing a career. Knowing what you do not want to do will put you closer to what you do want to do!

Cheryl Posner
Career Advisor, Liaison to the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

What If I HATE My Internship

An internship is a great way to figuring out what you don’t want. It can be seen as part of an elimination process for your future job/career.  

Be reflective and try to figure out what about the internship you don’t like. 
Is it something you can change or modify? 

IS it the people, commute, boss, the work, or the company? 

My advice would be not to quit because there is always something to be learned in every situation.
However, knowing yourself and pinpointing the dislike or discomfort of the situation is key. Asking yourself key questions: will this situation benefit my future career choice? Or will this experience show me that the path I thought was great is not as great. 
Either way understanding the “why” will help you decide what to do.

"We can learn nothing except by going from the known to the unknown." - Claude Bernard

Lorraine Massiah
Assistant Director for Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives
Lorraine Massiah

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Me, Madonna & A Master's Degree?!

I graduated with a degree in psychology and no idea what I wanted to do with it. The only thing I knew for sure at that point was that I did not want to go to graduate school. Ever.

I was interested in human resources and applied to all sorts of HR jobs. Unfortunately, it was 1991 and the economy issues at the time resulted in a very scarce job pool. (Google it.)

I was working part-time in a doctor’s office. One of the regular patients knew I was looking for a full-time job and told me about a legal secretary position open where her husband worked. I politely said “thank you, but that’s not really what I am interested in”. She then told me that the clients of this particular law firm included Madonna, Billy Joel and Sting (again, it was 1991, I guess now this would be the equivalent of…um…Beyonce? Drake? Help me out here…) Anyway, I decided to give it a shot and I got the job (cut to me teaching myself to type without looking at my fingers.) That job led to another one in a different law firm. That one led to a job at Sony Music, working for one of their smaller labels, Relativity Records.

I started at Relativity in the finance department, with absolutely no interest or knack for working with numbers. After a year I jumped to their sales department. Then I worked at a college music magazine. One of my main responsibilities there was cutting out articles from Billboard magazine that I thought would interest my boss (it was 1998, people still read magazines.) It was then that I decided that I needed to find a career path.

I made an appointment with a career counselor at St. John’s University, where I received my bachelor’s degree. From the moment she started talking I realized that I wanted her job! It was the perfect combination of my business experience and my desire to be in a helping profession. I spent our time together asking about her role and how she got there.

A few months later, I was enrolled in the graduate program at The College of New Rochelle to pursue a Master of Science degree in Career Development. Yep, the girl who was so sure that she never wanted to go back to school was going back to school. I finally had something that I was interested in learning about.

For the past 20 years I have been working in career development, mostly in higher education. I don’t regret my years of job-hopping, as it is what led me to a career that I truly love. When I meet with students unsure of their career future, I can tell them with certainty that I know how they feel, and that with time and experience, they will know what fits and meets their individual needs.

So, what have I learned from my career journey? A few things. Madonna likes popcorn, for one. Also, most people aren’t born knowing what they want to do, and most people figure it out once they are open to experiential opportunities (If I had done internships maybe I would have figured this all out a lot sooner.) Also, ask people about their jobs and never underestimate the importance of a good career counselor.

Darlene Johnson
Director of External Relations
The Career Center, Hofstra University

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

My Path to a Career In Higher Education

My personal beginning was in a very close, conservative, religious home in New Mexico – my dad was a Baptist minister! After schooling in Santa Fe public schools, I received a scholarship to a college prep day school as a sophomore, which changed the trajectory of my life dramatically. My intellectual and cultural world multiplied and my curiosity and courage along with it – leading me to be the first in my family to leave the Southwest and to attend a non-religious college.

At the University of Puget Sound (Tacoma, WA) I discovered my love of the college experience – in the classroom studying English, history, and theatre, as well as being engaged in student government, campus radio, intramurals, acting in plays, and as a work-study student employee. It was multiple work-study jobs (managing athletic supplies, recording textbooks for a blind professor, being an orientation leader, and giving campus tours) that led me to imagine what a career in higher education could be! (My summer jobs working in a pharmacy, cleaning a conference center, washing restaurant dishes, and being a YMCA day camp counselor had also helped me realize what I didn’t want to do with my life.)

The campus tour guide job led to coordinating campus visits for the admission office, which inspired me to apply for an admission counselor position in the spring of my senior year. It was a perfect first career post for me – allowing me to continue my love of the college experience, while traveling the country to visit high schools, writing and editing publications (let’s hear it for English majors!), interviewing high school seniors, and sitting on the admissions committee. I was fortunate to advance through the office there over 10 years (as assistant, then associate director), then I left for graduate school in higher education student affairs at Western Washington University, up on the Canadian border.

25 years after finishing WWU, I have worked (and learned!) on six additional campuses (large and small, public and private, rural, suburban, and urban) as a dean or vice president in student affairs. I feel fortunate to have discovered my love for the college experience (and helping students succeed) in the late 1970s and am so thankful that I am still be able to experience it every day at Hofstra in 2019!

W. Houston Dougharty
Vice President for Student Affairs
Hofstra University

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Oh, The Places You'll Commute

Breaking into a new industry is difficult, breaking into the television industry can feel impossible. Deciding to make a career change at the end of my sophomore year of college was the first step of a long journey that I thought would lead me to a place where I belonged. 

Like so many others, the way I broke into television was a combination of luck and preparation. First let’s talk about the fun part, the luck. I happened to take a scriptwriting class being taught by a former Fox Syndication Executive my junior year. After a semester of hard work, she was kind enough to get me an internship at the Wendy Williams Show, which shoots in Chelsea.

Now let’s talk about the more important part, the preparation. As soon as I decided to pursue entertainment, I needed something, anything, on my resume that resembled relevant experience. The summer after my sophomore year, I worked remotely for a small traveling short films festival finding and acquiring screening rights to short films. I also worked for the IT Help Desk at Viacom in Time Square, hoping that this would be a way of getting my foot in the door of a large media company.
Although these weren’t the most applicable positions for someone who wanted to write comedic television, they were a start and illustrated that I was willing to do anything for a shot at success. Any opportunity is only as good as what you’re willing to learn from it. Customer service, attention to detail, communication, these were all skills I learned from my preparation. 

The summer after my junior year, I assisted the show’s production crew in shooting a pilot while applying to Fall internships for my senior year. The only position I could get was in CNBC’s documentary unit. Not necessarily comedy, but the commute was somewhat laughable. CNBC is located in New Jersey. I commuted from Rockville Centre to Englewood Cliffs for 4 months while taking 18 credits and working as a Resident Assistant. That semester taught me the meaning of the words time management. 

The following semester, I was able to intern at The Daily Show with Trevor Noah in Hell’s Kitchen thanks to all of the experiences and learning opportunities I had along the way. Finally, comedic television! Sure, I was still working in production, restocking and making cheese platters, but I was at a comedic institution. After I graduated college, I made it out to Los Angeles where I interned for the TV Creative Development team at Lionsgate. By remaining enthusiastic and turning everything into a learning opportunity, there is no limit to the places you’ll commute.

Although I loved my time at Lionsgate, I ultimately left entertainment to pursue a career in Education, which brings me here to Hofstra where I study Business Education.

Michael Goldin
External Relations Graduate Assistant