Thursday, March 15, 2018

Your Prescription for Spring Break

Midterms are wrapping up and next week is Spring Break. Woohoo! You made it halfway through the semester! Now is the time to catch-up on sleep, binge watch your favorite tv shows, and just…relax. While all of those things will take up a large portion of your week, don’t forget to save some time to work on securing your summer internship. 

Dr. Liz’s (I am not a doctor, I only play one for this blog) prescription for Spring Break is: an hour a day brings an internship your way! Here is a sample prescription for the week, with one hour each day dedicated to your internship application plan:

  • MondayGet your materials ready. Shake the dust off your resume and add all of the new experiences, projects, classes, and skills you gained this year/semester. Start to outline your cover letter by identifying some key examples you would like to highlight, depending on the position(s) you are looking to apply to.
  • TuesdayResearch opportunities. Search web resources (Handshake,, LinkedIn, company websites) for internship opportunities, then narrow down your top 3 positions to focus on for the rest of the week. Be sure to stay organized and create a system (Excel, Google doc, notebook) to keep track of positions you are interested in applying to, including application date, HR contact information, and job description (they can get taken down and you will want to be able to reference it when called for an interview).
  • WednesdayCustomize and Refine. Now that you have positions you want to apply for, you will want to make sure your marketing materials are a strong match. Be sure to integrate language from the internship description into your resume and cover letter. For example, if the internship is looking for someone to analyze large data sets and you have done that in your current job or a class project, be sure to mention it!
  • ThursdayVisit the Career Center. Yes, we are open during Spring Break! Have someone on our team give your application materials a final read through before applying. Knowing your cover letter is well organized and your resume is free of spelling errors will give you that extra burst of confidence before hitting “apply.” You can make an appointment or visit us during Quick Question hours (daily from 10-11am and 2-4pm).
  • FridayApply! Now that you have everything finalized, it is time to submit your application. Keep in mind some company websites have lengthy web-based applications, so be sure to give yourself enough time to complete each one, uninterrupted. Also, read directions! You don’t want to forget an important document or put information in the wrong place.

If you have an extra hour or two, use Spring Break to research companies and opportunities that will be at the Spring Career Fair on Wednesday March 28th. These few hours will help you be prepared to speak intelligently and confidently to employers.

Look at everything you can get done over Spring Break, in just an hour a day! Need more motivation, give us a call!

Liz Sposato 
Senior Associate Director of Career Development and Assesment 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

College is for Fun

Some people describe their college experience as the best years of their life. It is easy to see why when college is the chance to express yourself, make new and unexpected friends, while learning in and outside the classroom! My advice to you is to have fun, explore, and live your best life.  However, I also ask that in those brief (read: very brief) quiet moments you get, ask yourself this question. “Why am I here and what do I need to accomplish?”

The reason I ask you to take this time and reflect is because you are at a turning point in your life. All things are good in moderation. So make sure to find the balance of having fun and remembering why you are in college.  If you find yourself struggling to reflect or be present in the moment, I recommend taking a few deep breaths, listening to a quiet song, or taking a walk in the *Fingers crossed** nicer weather coming to campus. Two minutes of deep breathing and being mindful practiced a few days a week has been shown to provide enormous health and mental benefits. After you have taken this time to quiet your mind, try to answer these questions:
  • What do I hope to accomplish after college?
  • What steps do I need to take for the future I envision? 
  • What is my timeframe for these steps and plans?
  • How can I utilize my resources to help me?
  • Is my goal and the steps I need to take realistic?
Whether you are in your first or last semester, it is never too early to have a goal and make a plan to reach that goal. After all, goals are just dreams with deadlines! If you find yourself struggling to answer these questions, do not worry! The Career Center is here to help. We can advise you on different internships you may need, what to write on your grad school essay, and help determine if you need a tutor so you do not fail “that” class.  We are here to help you find the balance you need to have fun and do what needs to be done to reach your post-graduation goals. 

Life is about balance.  So if you read this entire blog, I would rename it “College is About Balance.”
Lorraine Massiah
Assistant Director for Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Harassment in the Workplace: Through the Eyes of an Employer

This week's blog writer is a guest to the Hofstra Career Center Blog, but not the Hofstra University Campus. Debbie Fischer from Enterprise Holdings is a regular visitor to the Hofstra campus whether for Career Fairs or LinkedIn workshops, she is a great friend to our community. As such, reading her viewpoint on Harassment in the Workplace puts into perspective how integral it is to consider company culture and policies when beginning your career search. Keep reading to learn more about why she believes awareness is key.

We are constantly hearing of sexual harassment allegations involving high profile individuals. As an HR professional I think to myself why are these sexual harassment behaviors occurring so often? This has touched everyone in some way.  One can’t help to think of a time when they themselves were in a precarious situation that they had to delicately navigate while balancing an element of fear amidst trying to maintain their dignity and professionalism.

According to the article “Indecent Behavior” in the February 2018 edition of HR Magazine 64% of Americans say sexual harassment in the work place is a serious problem. “Only 42% of the women reported the inappropriate behavior to a supervisor and 95% said the men went unpunished.”
My immediate thought is WOW! And then my next thought is that I work for a fantastic company that does not allow this type of conduct.  I then think what potentially differentiates us from other companies and I think about the training that we offer our workforce and what we have done to establish this at the earliest stages of one’s career and continue that training throughout. 

The first step is to start with the true definition of sexual harassment.  Then, the next step is to educate your workforce on the definition and how to recognize sexual harassment, a hostile work environment or discrimination. The next step is to establish a zero-tolerance policy and further establish a no fear of retaliation for those who bring a complaint or concern to light.   If those four aspects exist, it creates an environment where it is far less likely that inappropriate behaviors will happen. Now, we are talking about people, and people will react to different situations in their own way. And how individuals express themselves will vary with each person. 

But I go back to current events, would someone like a Harvey Weinstein would have been able to continue the behaviors that were so offensive for so long? As an HR professional I can’t help to think what happened here? His company enabled him and worked to cover him, clearly out of fear of retaliation. So, if all the elements I mentioned above existed in Harvey Weinstein’s company, would that situation have continued for as long as it did?  In my opinion, the company is just as much at fault as Weinstein.  The thought of what went on is disturbing to say the least.   But it is clear to me that it is the education piece that is key. What is also important  is that this component of education needs to be constant and consistent.  A onetime meeting will not help as there needs to be constant awareness.    

How do you know if a company has the components I mentioned earlier?    My suggestions are to reach out on LinkedIn and connect with current employees; Ask questions about the company’s culture and environment to both employees and the hiring managers;  Do research using and similar sites to see what the company’s employees are talking about and what stands out both positive and negative and look at the company’s values to make sure they align with your own personal values.   Finally an actual visit to a location, if that is an option, could also be very telling.  
I am hopeful, as a result of the current events regarding sexual harassment, there is more of a sense of awareness and more of an understanding of what is considered sexual harassment behavior and what will not be tolerated in the work place.

Debbie Fischer, Talent Acquisition Manager
Enterprise Holdings