Wednesday, August 20, 2014

You Can Go The Distance in Your Career!

Have you ever wanted to work in another country but don’t know how to get started?  Are you an international student that wants to find out how to work in the US in the future? Hofstra can help with both!

If you go on the main page of Pride CMS ( à my apps à Pride – Career Management System), you can now click on the link for Going Global.

This site, which is free for Hofstra students, gives useful information on how to find jobs and internships in any country you want to work in.

Here are the top 3 things you can do to get started, once you find your country of interest:
  • Find Professional Associations or Networking Groups – Try to get in touch with these groups to see if they offer an event you might want to attend if you visit the country. You can also see if you can have an informational interview by phone or skype/facetime with people from these groups to find out more about what it’s like to work in the country.
  • Check out the Work Permit and Visas section to see what the application process is like to get work authorization to work in the country of your choice.
  • Look at the Resume and Cover Letter Guidelines to see if you will need to edit your resume and cover letter according to what is the norm in the country you want to work in. 

If you need extra help, make sure to make an appointment with The Career Center or stop by the Multicultural & International Students Programs Office to speak to staff members on campus that can help you with your relocation journey.
Nayelli Perez, Assistant Director 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What Does the Concept "Personal Brand" Really Mean?

You may have heard the phrase "personal brand" lately.  We here in The Career Center have even presented workshops on the topic. But what what does that mean?  Turning yourself into a brand may conjure images of fast-talking informercial pitch-people with shiny white teeth demonstrating their best features and functions. But it's not like that, at least it is not supposed to be.  Creating your personal brand simply means that you are establishing yourself as a professional; a professional who is known for certain key attributes and knowledge in particular areas. For example, I am known in the office as the "people person"; someone who is not afraid to enter a room of people and strike up conversations.  I am NOT, however, known in any way for my technical prowess.

This article perfectly outlines the concept and purpose of a personal brand. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact me at The Career Center at 463-6060 or at

Darlene Johnson, Director of External Relations 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Don’t cook fish in the microwave!

It is easy for us to overlook the basics of workplace etiquette when giving career advice.  But, the problem with letting things go unsaid is that it creates uncertainty.  With that in mind, here are five workplace etiquette tips that will make you more popular (or at least keep you from being less popular) around the office.
  1. Don’t cook fish in the microwave.  Or popcorn.  Or Cabbage.   We spend a lot of time in our places of work, and no one wants them to smell bad.  Don’t be that person!
  2. Don’t leave the copy machine or the printer out of paper or jammed.  Yes, fixing the copy machine can be a hassle.  But, if it broke on your watch, it’s your hassle to deal with.  Fix it!
  3. Answer your emails.  All of them, and in a timely fashion.  Email messages may be passé, but not answering them (no matter how mundane the subject) will paint you as someone without follow through.  Also, use full sentences and full words – no text speak!
  4. Don’t gossip.  We all need water cooler conversations.  But, gossip of any kind – even about individuals who don’t work in the office – will ruin your reputation.
  5. Smile, make eye contact and be friendly.  We spend a lot of time in the workplace, and being social can help make the experience better.  Just pay close attention to non-verbal signals that it’s time to stop the chit-chat and get back to work.

Remember that our offices are, in many ways, our homes away from home.  If you’ve not had a lot of experience in a professional setting previously, be sure to watch how others behave and try to mirror their best (and avoid their worst) actions.  When in doubt, find someone with more experience and ask for their input if you have questions.  

Gary Miller, Executive Director 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Truth About Assessments...

What are assessments?
One of the services that we offer to students at The Career Center is career and personality assessments. Career assessments are tools that are designed to help individuals understand how a variety of personal attributes (i.e., interests, values, preferences, motivations, aptitudes and skills), impact their potential success and satisfaction with different academic majors, career options and work environments. We currently offer Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), Strong Interest Inventory, and the Career Decision Making System (CDM). Each assessment serves a different purpose and it is usually up to your career counselor to determine which one would be the best fit for you.

Is an assessment right for me?
Anyone can take a career assessment. For students, assessments can be useful when you are in the process of choosing a major and later on when you want to pin point some career options. Assessments are also a great way for you to assess your values, personality, interests, etc which is just good information to know. For example the MBTI can be helpful in determining how you perceive the world and interact with others. Although very effective when taken individually, the MBTI is a good choice for groups as it can help clarify how you can work together more effectively as a team by playing off each others personality types and cognitive preferences.

Will taking an assessment reveal all the secrets of the universe to me?
Unfortunately, no. Assessments are helpful in narrowing your search and/or pointing you in a certain direction but they are not the end all-be allRemember, taking an assessment is just one step in your “Path of Pride.” After taking an assessment, there is a strong chance that you will still not be 100% sure which major you are going to choose or what career you are going to have and that’s OK. Truthfully, you do not want an assessment to be the one factor that shapes your future. In addition to taking an assessment, here are some things you should do to further explore:
  • Research majors and careers by doing internet research (check out The Career Center's website - we have LOTS of career and major exploration resources) and by talking to other students, faculty and professionals in the field (check out the Alumni-Student Konnection (ASK) program to network with alumni)
  • Use your electives to take classes in different subject areas to find out what you like (and what you don't like) 
  • Join clubs and other on and off-campus organizations that focus on certain industries or areas of interest
  • Volunteer and complete internships to become more familiar with an industry and gain valuable experience outside of the classroom 
As always, The Career Center is here to help you throughout the exploration process! 

Kaitlyn Riley, Assistant Director 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Life/Career Lessons We Could All Learn From Iggy Azalea


Iggy Azalea isn’t only the hit sensation of the summer, with hits such as “Fancy”, “Problem”, and the soon to be hit “No Mediocre”; she can be a source of inspiration for anyone who is wondering what they could do to follow their gut and find meaning in their lives.

Follow your dream, literally.

Iggy, originally from Australia, never felt at home in her native country. Her dream was to become a rap star, and Australia has never really been the hub for that kind of work. So she decided to move to the source: the US.

"I was drawn to America because I felt like an outsider in my own country, I was in love with hip hop, and America is the birthplace of that, so I figured the closer I was to the music, the happier I'd be. I was right.”[source]

Sometimes, your career goal or life dream seems out of reach, maybe you don’t seem connected to the industry you want to work in or you wish you could work in another city or country. Figure out a game plan to reach your dream destination. A big part of that will involve establishing a network. You have to immerse yourself with the people in your target career in your target area. Not everyone fits in where they start, and that’s ok.

How to network.

“It was hard for me [to rap in Miami] because I didn’t know anyone that did music. It’s like, ‘Where do I go? Who do I talk to to do this?’ [source]

“Work really hard, keep meeting people, keep pushing yourself all the time, attend gigs, meet and network with different people.” [source]

When Iggy finally made it to the US, she put herself out there by connecting with people in the music industry and sharing her music on the internet. Her networking journey led her to Miami, Houston, Atlanta, LA and superstardom. The same goes for you. There isn’t one expert or person who is going to get you to your goal. It’s up to you to build a network, and here are some ways you can do it:

  • Reach out to alumni on LinkedIn or Alumni Student Konnection to find people who have accomplished the goal you want; ask questions and get information (a.k.a. an informational interview).
  • Prepare for your informational interview by coming up with at least 10 questions to ask (a good resource for questions is the Interview section of the Career Planning Handbook).
  • Towards the end of your informational interview, ask the person if there’s anyone else they recommend you talk to (naturally expand your network).
  • Show what you can do – Examples: If you’re an artist or do graphic design/marketing, have a website of your work. If you’re a writer, start a blog. If you’re ready to get your first internship, have an updated LinkedIn profile. The ideas go on and on. Any career path could be promoted online.
  • Oh, and don’t forget, keep your network in the loop about your journey. You will be surprised at how many people that you network with will be genuinely interested in the progress you make along the way.

And, finally, if you want to find out how to follow in Iggy’s footsteps or start your own, The Career Center can help. You can make an appointment by calling 516-463-6060 to see a career counselor and brainstorm on a career path and networking plan that’s tailored to you.

 ~Nayelli Perez, Assistant Director

Monday, June 30, 2014

No application needed!

Are you tired of applying to jobs the traditional way with a resume and cover letter? Well, a new movement has begun and Zappos is the trendsetter.  So, if you are passionate about shoes, accessories and fashion, and absolutely love Zappos it is time to get on board the new "no application" movement. Find out how it works here.

We would love to hear your thoughts about this! Comment below.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

10 Rules of Life You Didn't Learn in School

Charles Sykes, author of DUMBING DOWN OUR KIDS, speaks frequently at high school and college graduations where he shares a list of things the graduates did not learn in school. 
Rule 1: Life is not fair, get used to it.
Rule 2: The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself.
Rule 3: You will not make 40 thousand dollars a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice president with a car phone until you earn both.
Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss. He doesn't have tenure.
Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping; they called it opportunity.
Rule 6: If you screw up, it's not your parents' fault so don't whine about your mistakes. Learn from them.
Rule 7: Before you were born your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way paying bills, cleaning your room, and listening to you tell them how idealistic you are.  So before you save the rain forest from the blood-sucking parasites of your parents' generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.
Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers but life has not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades, they'll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer.  This, of course, bears not the slightest resemblance to anything in real life.
Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters.  You don't get summers off, and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself.  Do that on your own time.
Rule 10: Television is not real life.  In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

I want to focus on Rule 5 regarding flipping burgers.  There was a time called the Great Depression back in the 1930’s, and those who had college or high school educations were lucky if they had a job, grateful for the pennies they earned. There were no “job snobs” during this time.  People needed to feed themselves and their families and whatever job they could find they took. It was called survival.

Over the last 14 years as a career counselor I have continually found myself counseling individuals and coaching them in their job search for their “ideal” job.  However, when times were tough and we found ourselves in a downward job market, recession, depression or whatever phrase of choice you like, those ideal jobs were hard to find.  There were many people on unemployment (and still are) and many who were dipping into whatever savings or retirement savings they had, in order to put food on the table. 

I understand that many of us want to start or maintain our “careers” however, when life brings us to a point where you cannot afford the basic necessities of life, and/or its been months or years of searching, it is time toss some more balls up in the air. You can still be looking for that ideal career-oriented job, but other jobs need to be considered. In other words, open that job search, toss some more balls in the air and consider what is called in many circles a “stop gap” job; a job that may not be ideal, a job that may not be related to your career plans, but a job that will help you afford the basic necessities of life and put food on the table. 

Flipping burgers (or any other stop gap job) is not beneath you.  Not only can it provide you a small salary, but it will get you out of the house, make you feel better about yourself, and may even allow you to develop skills like team work, customer service, and the ability to work in a fast-paced environment.  Lastly, it will show any future employer that you have work ethic.  Remember, this is not your last job and this may not be your career, but it is one of the balls you tossed in the air while still pursuing that first ball, the “ideal job”.

Suzanne Dagger, Director