Thursday, September 21, 2017

How to Add & Not Subtract from Your Job Search Equation

Major + Internship = Job
Math might not be everyone’s strong suit but the above equation seems simple enough.  It is expected though, like in any advanced math class, the teacher will say “Show your work”. 
The same concept applies to finding and obtaining a job. It is imperative as an active job-seeker to show the work that got you to the place you are at today. But as busy students, we often ask ourselves what work needs to be done to get that job?

      Step One: Update your resume

Step Two: Write a cover letter

Step Three: Pursue an informational interview

Step Four: Figure out your “Elevator Pitch”

Step Five: Participate in a mock interview

It may not be the mathematical order of operations we are all used to using, i.e. PEMDAS, but it is a proven method to help students advance in their career aspirations. The Career Center is much like a tutor or professor who is present to help you out with these things.

If you are not sure what your story is, we will help you figure it out.  If you are not sure what jobs you can get with your major, we will help you figure that out as well.  Just remember, we will not give you the answers.  We are here to equip you with the tools needed to obtain the job. Keep in mind it may not be the dream job, it may be the prerequisite. However, much like any math problem, it is important to take those preliminary steps to get to the right answer!

Have a great semester,

Lorraine Massiah
Assistant Director of Career Services

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Student Spotlight: Benji Weiss and How He Locked Up a Lockheed Martin Co-Op Internship

Meet Benji Weiss

Benji Weiss is the 2016-2017 Hofstra University Co-op Student of the Year from the DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. To compete, both Benji and his supervisor at Lockheed Martin wrote about the significant contributions that Benji made during his co-op experience at Lockheed. Benji will be nominated by Hofstra University for the national co-op award competition hosted by the Cooperative Education and Internships Association.

Cooperative Education is currently offered in the DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Hofstra. It is one of the most impactful ways to learn about yourself and get your foot in the door for the career you want. To find out more about co-op, contact Phil Coniglio at

Co-op Experience
Coming into college, I knew I would need internship experience to stand out and have a chance at a job when I graduate. Little did I know, the co-op experience was exactly what I needed. I have aligned myself with exceptional interview experience, resume content, and a life changing job, all because I applied for a co-op internship. Here’s how I did it.

I went to Philip Coniglio to figure out what this co-op internship was all about. After he told me all the relevant information, I needed to update my resume and hand it in to him. Philip also made it very clear and straightforward to my parents about how the co-op internship worked because they were very uneasy about me graduating a semester later. Philip handed out my resume to a plethora of companies, in which four of them wanted to interview me. The first three were all in person, and the last one was over the phone. I was rejected by the first three; which was still okay because I got the interview experience that I needed and the necessary feedback to grow from this. The last of the four was Lockheed Martin, the largest defense contractor in the world! All they wanted was an over the phone interview, in which I immediately accepted and thankfully, they gave me an offer.

At this point, Lockheed Martin has already offered me a position to intern for their software team and I had accepted! Beginning the co-op in June 2016, I was super excited. I began working on various automation projects that positively impacted their software team, and would make their lives easier. I also worked on simulators that would inevitably help the development of submarines for the U.S. Navy. This work was extremely fulfilling and a phenomenal learning experience. By partaking in this internship, I developed better communication skills, presentation skills, a sense of business attire, and the ability to collaborate with other software engineers.  Not to mention all the new programming languages and skills I learned as well! I returned from the co-op as a more developed and prepared engineer, and thankfully, they wanted me to come back for another internship which I completed this summer of 2017. 

With all of this said, you can imagine how life changing this could be for someone who was just going to graduate undergrad with no internship experience. Now I have 10 months’ worth of internship experience, amazing resume content, a professional sense of the working world, and ultimately, a position at Lockheed Martin waiting for me for when I graduate. I could not thank Philip Coniglio enough for providing me with this opportunity. If you are reading this, it is not too late. Apply for the co-op internship and start interviewing!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

5 Tips for a Great Semester and Your Best Year Yet!

To our new students, welcome, and to our returning students, welcome back! I hope you all enjoyed a summer of iced coffee, much needed sleep, and made it to the beach. It can be sad to say goodbye to summer, but there is so much to look forward to! Seeing friends after months apart, bonfires, and pumpkin everything are just a few things to come. Here at the Career Center, we want to help you hit the ground running.

Here are 5 Tips on how to start the semester on the right foot:

1. Set goals
Whether it is to make it to the gym 5 times a week, or to find an internship for the Spring Semester, set your goals now. Once you know what you want, you can determine the necessary steps to achieve them. As much as we love to procrastinate, setting goals are better done now than later.

2. Prioritize
At Hofstra, they are so many amazing clubs, activities, and people to meet. Not to mention new professors, homework, and papers. At times, it will get pretty overwhelming. By learning to prioritize what is important, you will improve your time management, and ultimately achieve your goals.

3. Try at least one new thing
Reach out to an alum for an informational interview, apply to a dream job, or volunteer at a local animal rescue. Hofstra offers endless opportunities, and you should take advantage of as many as possible. Whether it applies to your major directly or not, you should try at least one new thing.  It will develop the transferrable skills employers are always looking for.

4. Establish a routine
Studies show that people who have a routine tend to sleep more, eat healthier, and ultimately be more productive. To help you establish a routine, I recommend a planner or your phone’s calendar app. You can even set a Bedtime Alarm to help you get the recommended 8 hours of sleep.


5. Join the Student Advisory Board
Last, but not least, you should join the Student Advisory Board at the Career Center. We are looking for bright students that will help us improve our impact on the student body. All students of varying majors, school years, backgrounds and interests are invited to apply. We want to provide you with the opportunity to work together and give feedback on the services and resources offered by the Career Center. Board members will develop interpersonal and communication skills that can be useful for any career path. You can apply on Handshake!

~Wishing you a lovely Fall semester~

  Kristi Riecker
  Career Center Graduate Assistant

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Hofstra Career Center Welcomes you with a Handshake!

Chances are that upon your new or returning arrival to Hofstra, you will be greeted by new and old friends alike. Whether it is with a hug, a high five, or a handshake, the message is the same, Welcome

The Career Center at Hofstra is welcoming you on board with our own version of a “handshake”. This is our application that serves as your home base for jobs and internship postings, company contacts, event listings and more. It allows Hofstra students to have exclusive access to job postings that are specifically chosen based on interests you indicate in your profile. The system is accessible using your pre-existing Hofstra login information through the Hofstra Career Hub. Handshake provides the opportunity to engage with employers looking for students just like you! 

For those returning students who may have already been familiar with Handshake, the latest reinvention of the platform is much like your new hairstyle or dorm room d├ęcor: similar, yet refreshed. They also have rolled out an iOS application for your iPhone so while you are waiting in line in the Student Center for lunch or trying to kill some time before class starts, download the app and get to scrolling! Hopefully, the new Handshake will be more than just a welcoming “hello” but a helping hand in increasing your opportunities for success this new academic year.

If you did not get enough “Handshaking” out of this post and want to learn more about the Career Center, don’t hesitate to reach out! Give us a call at (516) 463-6060 or stop by M. Robert Lowe Hall to set up an appointment. Don’t mind the construction and go behind C.V. Starr and the Monroe Lecture Center if you are looking for us!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Making your last few weeks of your summer experience as impactful as possible

Being that your internship/summer experience is most likely wrapping up soon, if you haven’t done so already, now would be a good time to check in with yourself (and your supervisor), to ensure that you are making your last weeks as impactful as possible.

1. Revisit your goals and communicate with supervisor
Are you on or off target with meeting your goals? If you are on target, be sure to communicate with your supervisor to ensure that final touches are done to his/her liking. If you are off target, have no fear, you can use this time to make adjustments, as appropriate.  

2. Practice final presentations, especially with key decision-makers

If you are in a role where a final presentation is part of your deliverable, be sure to schedule time with your supervisor and other key decision makers to go over your ideas and get their feedback. Ideally, key decision makers would have bought into your ideas prior to the presentation; nothing you say should come as a surprise. It will also make the question and answer segment of your presentation go a lot smoother. 

3. Plan for what should happen with the progress you’ve made once you leave

It is common courtesy to tie up all loose ends prior to leaving a position and organizing information for the next person to pick up where you left off. As much as possible, start thinking about how you want to wrap up your work and what next steps should be taken by the next person. This step will be looked upon favorably by all parties and could even be a deciding factor when evaluating who should get full-time offers. 

4. Be prepared to send thank you notes

We recommend that regardless of your experience, you write a thank you note at the end of your internship/summer experience. This is your opportunity to thank the person and organization for the learning that took place during the time that you were there. Depending on the organization, gift-giving might be part of the culture; be sure to inquire if you are unsure. Similar to planning for after your departure, thank you notes can also be a deciding factor for full-time offers. 

5. Ask for recommendations prior to leaving 

As you are wrapping up your experience, start to think about who you would want to ask to be a reference for you in the future. When you are having final conversations with all of the people who you’ve worked with, it is okay to ask them if you can keep in touch and if they would be willing to be a reference down the line. Assuming that you have had good working relationships, most likely, the answer will be yes. In the event that your experience hasn’t been so positive, try to think or at least one person you could ask to be a reference. If you have more specific questions about this, feel free to schedule an appointment with a Career Counselor to discuss. 

Good luck with the rest of your experience and see you in the Fall!


P.s. Recently, I contributed to an article for entitled “4 Signs You’re Succeeding at Your Internship” where it went into more detail about how well you fit into the company/organization’s culture, how your responsibilities have grown, how you’re being introduced to people, and how your opinion is being valued; I’d encourage you to check it out for more insights.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

5 ways your summer job will help you in your future career

Let’s talk about Summer, where days are longer, and no one can say it is too cold for iced coffee (no such thing!). In addition to spending time with friends and sleeping in, you may have a summer job. As such, I am here to tell you 5 ways your summer job will help you in your future career.

1. Develop transferrable skills. Whether you are a camp counselor, or waiting on tables, almost every single job has transferrable skills. Transferable skills are skills developed in one situation that can be used in another. Top skills an employer is looking for are communication, writing, problem-solving, and the ability to work in a team. If you are waiting on tables or selling clothes in retail, you are speaking to clients, and selling them a product. If you are life-guarding or being a counselor, you are supervising others and following procedure. All things you can highlight on a resume. If you are not sure how to highlight your transferable skills, don’t hesitate to make an appointment at The Career Center.

2. Establish a work ethic. It may be hard to wake up early and go to work, especially when it is 80 degrees and sunny. However, the quicker you get into a routine of being on time to work, the easier it will be. In addition to being on time, employers notice someone who is eager to help out the rest of the staff. With any job you can further develop your work ethic by being professional and using your time efficiently.

3. Network! This may be heard to hear, but approximately 80% of jobs are found via networking. Networking can happen at any time. When I was in training for my first full-time job at a bank, the employee next to me told everyone how he had originally worked at Dunkin Donuts. He was always attentive to the customers and tried to remember everyone’s usual orders. One particular customer of his was the branch manager. The manager was so impressed with my co-worker he offered him a job as a full-time teller. Was the man consciously networking while at Dunkin? Probably not, but that proves how you never know who may help you in your career.

4. Explore your likes and dislikes. After a few weeks, you can hopefully discern whether you like or dislike your job. My shortest summer job was being a front desk clerk at a gym for two weeks. I hated being a “bouncer” and trying to stop people who were no longer active members (and the 4:30 a.m. start certainly did not help). However, I loved my other job as a lifeguard. I loved being outside and interacting with the other guards. These are things I noticed, and were key to helping me discern my career.

5. Update your resume and references. Don’t be afraid to put this experience on your resume, even if it does not seem to be relevant. Highlight those transferrable skills, especially what you may have improved upon. By the end of the summer you should be able to say you not only did your job, but did it well. In addition, ask your employer for a reference. They don’t expect you to do this job forever, especially if it is seasonal.

Wishing you all a lovely and sun-filled summer!

Kristi Riecker, Graduate Assistant
The Career Center, Hofstra University