Wednesday, October 10, 2018

What is a Career Fair and Why Should I Go?

What is a Career Fair and Why Should I Go? 

Good question, and we know some of you are thinking it.  While the words “career fair” are thrown around in our office with great frequency, we realize that students may not truly know what a career fair is. So, consider this Career Fair 101 regarding our Fall Career and Internship Fair, happening on Wednesday October 17th from 11-2 in the Mack Arena.

A career fair is a gathering of companies that are looking to hire students for full-time, part-time or internship positions.  If a company is at the fair, chances are they are actively looking to fill these roles, although they may have varying timelines. For example, some hiring needs may be immediate, while some may be for the following academic year or summer. So, no matter when you graduate, chances are you will find employers who fit your time table.

Not looking for any position at the moment?  Coming to a career fair is still a great idea so that you can walk around and know what to expect when you are ready to search for an internship or job.  Walking into a room of over 125 employers can be intimidating, so doing a practice run is a great idea!

Here are some frequently asked questions about our career fairs:

What should I wear?
Wear your professional best! Come in business attire.  If you are not sure what that means, we can help!

Is the fair only for business majors?
NOPE!  Employers attending the fair will be representing a wide variety of industries, including engineering, education, health care, not-for-profit, and may others!

What employers are coming?
You can find the list here. Review this list prior to the fair, and identify your top preferences.  Research those companies so that you know who they are and what they do.  Don’t just look at the company name, but review the jobs that they are seeking to fill.  If you are a marketing major, don’t necessarily skip over a non-profit organization, as the organization may be looking for interns to market their services to the community.  (By the way, A MAJOR hospital system will be in attendance this year looking for finance interns.)

Should I bring resumes?
Yes, and plenty of them. It’s a good idea to have your resume looked over by The Career Center prior to the fair.  Students can get a quick resume review during our Quick Question drop in hours, which are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30-4:30 and Wednesdays from 11-1, no appointment necessary!

Should I bring cover letters?
Nope, not necessary.

Should I follow-up with employers?
Yes, take a business card from the representatives and make notes on the back with anything relevant that they told you. Send them a thank-you email for taking their time to attend the fair, and attach your resume, even though you may have given them a hard copy at the fair.  Don’t be disheartened if you do not receive a reply.  Recruiters attend many fairs and meet many students, but taking the time to follow-up with them shows your interest.

Have any more questions? We are here to help!  Give us a call at 516-463-6060 or email us at  See you at the fair!

Darlene Johnson 
Director of External Relations 

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Fall in Love With Your Career

It is officially Fall, a time of change and new opportunity. With the many meetings, classes, and events Hofstra has to offer, it can be challenging to take a few minutes to reflect on your job or internship search. As our Career Fairs are approaching, you may be wondering what employers to be targeting. The job or internship search can become overwhelming and frustrating, especially as our society places a large emphasis on “the dream job.” 

I am here to ease those anxieties. Not everyone’s dream job is attainable as soon as they graduate college. Things that are valuable and worthwhile take time and effort! And that is why you need to use all of your resources. The Career Center is here to help; we can give you the tools to develop career readiness and understand each person has a unique path.
As I graduate in December and begin my own job search process. I have been continuously reflecting on what has led people to their current roles today. Below are some of the answers the advisors at the Career Center were kind enough to share with me, and I would like to share with you.  

What did you study in college? 
“ I majored in psychology and minored in sociology. After that I had a series of jobs that I didn’t particularly love. Then, 7 years after getting my bachelor’s degree, I went back to school for a master’s in Career Development. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made!” 
-       Darlene London Johnson, Director of External Relations

What was your first job out of college?
“I worked at a non profit organization after college, where I managed an internship program and the communications work for the foundation.   I learned a great deal about professionalism and creating and maintaining professional relationships.  I also learned that the amount of preparation I did before a meeting was directly correlated to how confident I was in that meeting.”
-       Michelle Kyriakides, Executive Director 

What has led to your current role at The Career Center at Hofstra University?
Networking! The previous Executive Director [of The Career Center] was also my spin instructor.  I told him how I was looking for a job and he suggested I apply for a job with him at the Career Center.” 
-       Lorraine Massiah, Assistant Director for Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives 

What do you love about your current role? 
“I love that no two days are alike, everyday is a new way to help students. My favorite part of my job is watching the light go off in a student’s mind when they discover their passion, whether in the classroom, on their internship, during a leadership opportunity, or just by exploring their interests in a one on one appointment.”
-       Sabeen Sheikh, Assistant Director of Outreach and Special Programs

With these answers in mind, I hope this provides a bit of clarity on how all career paths are diverse, even among those who are in the same organization.  If you find yourself struggling in your career path, make an appointment with us by calling 516-463-6060.

~Wishing you a wonderful semester~

Kristi Riecker
Graduate Assistant of Career Development 

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Dress to Impress- Making a Good First Impression!

You’ve just been called for an in-person interview for the job you have been dreaming of. After countless resume reviews, cover letters sent, and phone interviews, the company has asked you to interview in person. The day of the interview, you pull up to the office, resume in hand, feeling confident. As you walk in the front door, you ask for the interviewer, the receptionist asks you to sit while they come down. You look around the room, at the five other candidates applying for the position, and notice something. You think about it for a moment, and realize, you’re underdressed! The other candidates are dressed in professional suits, and you look down at your outfit, faded khaki pants and a short sleeve polo shirt. Sitting and waiting to be called for the interview, you wonder if this will be a deal breaker.

First impressions are one of the most important pieces of interviewing for a position. An employer will likely remember everything about your first impression. Work on making your first impression the best it can be. A first impression is a presentation of yourself and your work. Always dress your best when going for an interview. Suits and professional dress attire can never hurt because the more professional you look, the better. You can never be overdressed for an interview. Avoid looking too “casual;” wearing short sleeves, shorts, sweatshirts or leggings. Neutral colors are best, such as grey, brown, or black. A splash of color to show off your personality can look nice, too. Avoid bright colors that make a bold statement that hinder your professionalism. For example, a red, white and blue suit, while patriotic, is not appropriate for an interview. 

Looking to pick up some extra professional attire? JC Penney’s at Roosevelt Field Mall is offering Hofstra students an extra 40% off all professional wear! Suits, business-casual attire, shoes, watches and accessories are all included. This Dress to Impress event will take place Sunday, October 7th, 6pm-9pm. Entrance to JC Penney’s will be through the Red Parking Garage at the mall. All students are encouraged to attend with their Hofstra ID.. Hope to see you there! 

Cheryl Posner 
Marketing Graduate Assistant 
The Career Center 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Start Living Your Best College Life Now!

If you’re just going back and forth between class and your dorm/house, chances are you are not going to have a great college experience.  College is the perfect time to expand your horizons and try new things: build relationships, make friends, have fun, and leave your mark on the campus.  You can widen the circle of human beings who know you and care about you while building your skills, confidence, and resume.
And when it comes to making the most of your college experience, “Better late than never” is not the best way to roll.   You can’t get back lost time so don’t wait until senior year to realize that you’ve missed out on doing lots of cool stuff.  So here are some optimal ways to experience, socialize, pick up skills integral to any career and help ensure fulfillment now and success later.
Get involved in a group or organization on campus.Check out the Hofstra club database (GetInvolvedHU) which includes over 200 clubs and organizations with descriptions, contact and event information.  Go to: hofstra.collegiatelink.netand click on “organizations” .

Volunteer!  Not only does it feel good to do good, but it’s a great way to gain experience, meet people, and try out different types of jobs and work environments. Whether you’re interested in Health Care, the Arts, Education, Advocacy, Tech ….  there are volunteer opportunities that will engage you. Devote as little or as much time as you want to.  Here are two great websites to find and secure volunteer opportunities:,

Build Relationships - About 80% of today’s jobs and internships are landed through networking.  Networking starts with building relationships and building relationships takes time.  People in your network can support you in many ways: providing advice about and majors and careers, suggesting  things you can do now to prepare, introducing you to other people.  So start building relationships with your peers, classmates, professors, advisors, other staff members.  Here are a few ways you can get started:
   Go to Office hours – Get to know your professors and stay in touch. 
   Form study groups-Collaborate with your peers and share common goals.
   Get involved!Join a club or organization on campus.  Volunteer on campus or in the community.
   Attend events! Lectures, workshops, career fairs (visit handshake for event info.)
   Talk to people- You don’t know who knows who!  This includes family members, neighbors, friend’s parents, co-workers, managers, etc.
Create a LinkedIn profile and start building your professional network. 
LinkedIn is your resume on steroids!  Mange all your contacts in one place and get the power of your connections’ connections.  Stay visible to hiring managers and connect with vast numbers of professionals who are experts in the field you are pursuing.  Find and reach out directly to Hofstra Alum in the jobs/companies you would like to learn more about.

Visit the Career Center during freshman year.   We can help you with all of this and much more!  Some of the services we provide are: 
·      Career and major exploration
·      Answers to “What can I do with this major?”
·      LinkedIn profile creation and networking
·      Resumes and cover letter reviews
·      Internship and job search guidance
·      Practice interviews
·      Graduate school assistance 

You can schedule an appointment with a Career Counselor by calling our office (516-463-6060) or online via Connect (from the portal).   
Hope to see you soon!

Lisa Kornberg

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Getting Ahead of the Game

Many first-year students have a hard time viewing themselves as professionals in the workforce. As a large percentage of incoming first-year students have only had part-time job experiences, they often believe that they lack the necessary skills to even walk into The Career Center. These students may feel insecure about their previous experiences and unsure about how it relates to their future career goals. They believe that they don’t have a strong enough background to fill a resume, so they may not even try to create one at all. What these students fail to realize is that it is never too early to begin exploring their professional identities and how beneficial their skill sets and experiences can be as they begin their career path. 

There is a common misconception that professional opportunities, such as internships, field work experiences, and full-time positions, only come into play in a student’s third or fourth year of college. This notion allows students to feel like they can push back the start date on resume building and interview preparation, which could not be further from the truth. Opportunity can knock at any given moment, so it is imperative that you are all set and ready to go when your time comes. Visiting The Career Center as early as your freshman year will allow you to embrace your professional identity from the start, thus making you comfortable and confident when the perfect position comes your way. Resume critiques, practice interviews and job/internship searches are just a few of the resources that are at your disposal as soon as you step onto campus. In fact, even attending career fairs will help you acclimate to communicating with employers, which will further boost your confidence as you start the interview processes. It is never too early to start chasing your dreams and The Career Center is eager to help! 

Sabrina Iaria 
Graduate Assistant, External Relations 
The Career Center 

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Welcome Back! New Opportunities Await!

If you are like me, you may be thinking, “How is it September already?”  Summer always has a way of passing too quickly, but with September comes the excitement of new beginnings, a fresh start, and a chance to do something different and exciting.  
This past weekend, I participated in an END trip to the Long Island Adventure Park with a group of 12 first year students.  Now, I’ve always been afraid of heights.  I even tried to conquer the fear a while back when I was on a high ropes course during a leadership training experience.  Long story short, my harness got tangled and I was lowered down to the safety net by the emergency staff.   I was terrified, not to mention, embarrassed.
I knew this trip would test my limits. I wasn’t sure if I could complete a course, but I said to myself “I have to at least try one…”  What’s the worst that could happen?  I have already been lowered to the ground using a harness, after all. 

As the first course began, I was nervous.  Even though I was trying hard to appear composed, a student asked if I was ok.  Throughout the course, we helped each other out with encouraging words and tips on how to get through the obstacles.  Before I knew it, we had both completed the course.  By the end of the day, I ended up completing 3 courses, including the new Grand Rapids course which had several ziplines. Who knew flying between the trees (while holding on for dear life) could be so fun and so exhilarating?  
As we debriefed the experience, I was inspired by the first-year students sharing their own experiences of growth during the few short hours we were at the park together. One student even said, “I feel like I can accomplish anything now.”   That students’ statement perfectly summed up my feelings at the end of the event.
With the start of a new semester, I encourage you to be open to all the opportunities and experiences available to you as part of the Hofstra community.  Get involved.  Meet and chat with your faculty outside of the classroom.  Attend events.  Explore a new interest.  Develop friendships.  Challenge yourself.  This is your time to discover who you are and who you want to be.  If you step out of your comfort zone, you will soon realize you can achieve more than you ever thought possible.

As you reflect and explore on each of these new experiences, the Career Center is here to help you design your path to a successful and satisfying future.   Our advisors are available for individual career counseling sessions and for quick questions.  You can schedule a time to meet with an advisor by logging into Connect on the portal, or by calling the office at 516-463-6060.  Our team has also been hard at work throughout the summer planning special events and site visits to help you network with professionals in a variety of fields.  I encourage you to attend these events – even if networking is outside of your comfort zone. (We can help with that too!)
Also, I encourage you to check out the opportunities and resources on the Career Hub (   You can find jobs, internships, event information and more in Handshake, industry information on Vault, and so much more!
I look forward to seeing you all throughout the year.  And remember, "if you don’t challenge yourself, you will never realize what you can become.”

Michelle Kyriakides
Executive Director, Hofstra Career Center

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Searching for a Job, Finding Myself

For many of you, the door is closing on your semester, your college career, or your time on Long Island. In my case, all of the above are true; but, my adventure is just beginning. As a graduate student finishing up on my time here at Hofstra, I began my job search back in December. Being a student in a Liberal Arts program, I was fully aware that I was not going to be able to go into LinkedIn or Indeed and type in my major and jobs just appear (No lie - I did that and it said “no results”). Instead, I had to figure out which skills I wanted to carry with me into my career and find the best path for myself. However, this experience has been a roller coaster ride full of trial and error.

Back in February, I was selected to go through the interview process to be a Crime Analyst with a law enforcement agency. Since beginning at Hofstra, this is what I said I wanted to do and it seemed to be too good to be true when I got the email inviting me to come down to Virginia to participate in interviews.  Unfortunately, this was much easier said than done, but by way of planes, trains, and automobiles I worked my way down there to take a skills test and participate in a panel interview. I almost let my nerves get the best of me, but through talking to counselors at the Career Center, I felt confident in my preparation for both components of the process. After completing the interview, I walked out feeling a tremendous sense of relief. I felt the odds were against me (as they were interviewing 25 people for 2 spots) but was so proud that I made myself go through the experience and learn more about what the interview process for such a role looks like. 


Fast forward three weeks later and I received a call being offered one of the two spots, pending background investigation. I was over the moon and felt so accomplished in what I did. This was my dream! However, this job search did not end in a fairytale ending. The further along I got in the hiring process, the more quickly I realized this career with this organization was not an ideal fit for me. It was an agonizing realization after I had spent so much time, energy, and money to get to this point. Being able to take a step back and assess the situation for what it is and how it would help or hurt me in the long run was invaluable to my own personal growth. After consulting with my friends and family, I made the call to turn down the offer. I felt guilt about turning down an offer others in my program would have loved to have, panicked about if something else would come along, but also relief that I had made a decision for myself. I channeled the positive energy that I had and the life skills I had obtained from my Hofstra experience to propel me forward in my future endeavors.

And just like cosmic bliss, the next week I had two phone screens for two very different roles. One I have continued on with in the interview process and one that I have not heard back from at all. Being open and flexible to different opportunities is so important when beginning the job hunt, but at the same time, realizing what is important to you in a future employer should not be swept under the rug. When speaking to your interviewers, think about if you can see yourself working for or alongside this person every day. One aspect that was important to me was being around people who are creative or support creativity. Speaking with interviewers who I could get a sense by the questions I asked that this was not important or even a piece of what they do, made the decision to remove myself from the hiring process that much easier.

Think about it in terms of pursuing a new relationship. Whether it is a friend or romantic interest, it is important that you see eye to eye on some things and have similar values. We have all had that toxic friend who makes us the worst version of ourselves because we have a hard time distinguishing what makes that person good for our lives. So prioritize what is most important to you in an employer just as you would when deciding to let someone into your social circle. You want to be surrounded by people who appreciate who you are just as much as you appreciate them! And the best way to figure this out? Ask lots of questions! Discover what is valuable to you and the company and inquire about it. Even if it is an organization that you have not interviewed with for a position, if you believe it to be a place where you could see yourself working, cold connect on LinkedIn and inquire about what the culture of that organization is like.

So whether you are throwing a cap off into the air or throwing the last of your packed up boxes into the car, remember that you have a say in your future happiness. Do not settle for something you think is going to make you miserable, rise up and work tirelessly and confidently to make your dreams become a reality.  
Happy Graduation Day!    

Maggie Tardif
Graduate Marketing Assistant, Hofstra Career Center
Hofstra MALFL - Class of 2018