Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Thanks for Giving Me the Opportunity (to interview)

The leaves are falling, pumpkin spice flavors are everywhere and people are planning their holiday menus. You know what this means: Thanksgiving is right around the corner! Like you, I am looking forward to a break and the opportunity to connect with friends and family over a good meal. As I reflect on this past year, I am thankful to be working here at Hofstra and that you are reading this blog post. What are you thankful for?

Around this time last year I was finishing up interviewing for my current position and navigating how to return to work with a three-month old baby at home (and throwing in starting a new job!) As I left campus last fall, the gratitude was pouring out of me. On my drive home I was already thinking about what to write in my thank you emails to the people I met that day. 

At this point in this blog post you are probably thinking “Thank you notes after an interview? What is this lady talking about?” In the past few weeks the topic of post-interview thank you notes has come up quite often in the Career Center. One such example: after participating in our Escape the Career Center contest where a clue referred to thank you notes after an interview, a student told me that “I didn’t know you were supposed to write a thank you note after an interview.” 

Yes, you are supposed to write a thank you note after an interview. Why, you ask? Let’s check in with another Liz, Forbes contributor Liz Ryan, and two short articles with some great, quick videos on the importance of writing thank you notes and how to make yours stand out.

Sending a thank you note should not only be after an interview - write one any time you connect with a professional in an industry or job of interest. Examples include: after a career fair, networking event or professional panel. Networking and building connections is the #1 way to get a job or internship. Make sure you are remembered by following up, and do so in a prompt manner (within 24 hours). 

Hopefully after reading this you are ‘thankful’ for these tips on showing your gratitude to a prospective employer or networking connection by writing a thank you note. You don’t want to be the favorite candidate, but the one who didn’t follow-up. Thanks for reading!

Liz Sposato, Senior Associate Director of Career Development and Assessment

Friday, November 9, 2018

Career Center Success!

This past Wednesday, the Career Center hosted its Communication Career and Internship Fair in collaboration with the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication. The Fair was a great success, as we had the largest turnout ever for this Fair. Approximately 250 students attended the Fair and met with more than 20 employers in the field of communications. Employers in attendance included WABC-TV, Newsday, NBCUniversal, Fox News, Canon, and CBS News, just to name a few! The turnout was amazing! Here are what some had to say in response to the Fair…

“It was nice to be able to see a lot of well-known and prestigious companies come to our campus to meet the students."
-Jesse Lindell ’21, Journalism Major

“Watching our students interact with employers and advocate for themselves is what makes all the time spent planning and coordinating worth it; getting the chance to witness the very beginning of what could be life-changing conversations is exactly why I love coming to work every day. The feedback that I’m getting from our company representatives was that students were prepared, enthusiastic, and eager – and that’s exactly why they love coming to recruit at Hofstra!”
-Amy Smith, Associate Director of External Relations, The Career Center 

“The student turnout and enthusiasm at the fair were fantastic!  Students looked professional in their business attire and they came prepared with their “elevator” pitch and copies of their resume.  Many said that researching the companies coming to the fair in advance helped make talking to employers easier.  Now that the fair is over students can enhance the positive impression, they made by sending employers a brief “Thank You” email and including a reference to something specific they discussed."
-Lisa Kornberg, Career Advisor and Liaison to the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication, The Career Center 

Thank you to all who helped with and attended the Communication Career and Internship Fair! We could not have achieved these levels of success without the generous support we receive! 

The Career Center has one final career fair for the Fall 2018 semester! The Engineering and Computer Science Career Fair will be held Wednesday, November 14th, from 11am-2pm in HofstraUSA. Students from all majors are welcomed and encouraged to attend! See you at the Fair! 

The Career Center Team

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

From Hofstra to South Africa: The Journey of a Liberal Arts Student

As a global studies major, I often get asked what I can do with a liberal arts major like mine. My answer: anything! More and more organizations are looking for well-rounded employees who can work in a fast, interdisciplinary environment and having a major in the liberal arts can prepare you for just that. In fact, my experiences in liberal arts helped me to get an internship this past summer.

Through a joint program with Hofstra’s Zarb School of Business and the Geneen Charitable Trust, I was able to get my dream internship. Thanks to the Trust, the program was fully funded! I interned in Johannesburg, South Africa at a branch of AstraZeneca, a multinational pharmaceutical company. I worked on their corporate social responsibility initiative (CSR) called Phakamisa, which means “to uplift” in Zulu. This CSR helps to increase education, access, and capacity surrounding breast and prostate cancer in South Africa, an issue of increasing concern in the country. I met with a variety of healthcare workers, patients, and NGOs to help grow the CSR and make sure that Phakamisa’s mission was achieved. 

Even though I was working full-time, I still managed to find time to explore Johannesburg, play with lions (not even joking!), see the beautiful clear blue ocean in Cape Town, and spend time with my new South African friends. I learned so much during my time in South Africa – about the country, about corporate social responsibility, about healthcare, and about myself. I feel more prepared than ever for a job in my field and for starting life after college.

Here are four suggestions I have which helped me get my internship:

1. Network, network, network
If you’re anything like me you cringe at this word. It always made me so nervous to think about! But the truth is that networking is crucialif you want to get your dream job or internship. I wouldn’t have even known about the internship I had this summer if my professor and boss hadn’t told me about it and put me in contact with the right people. Plus, now that I am graduating soon and looking for jobs in the “real world”, I am reaching out to all the people I networked with over the summer to help me find a job.

2. Take risks
Applying to internships and jobs can be nerve-wracking, especially if they are going to be very challenging experiences. But it is alwaysbetter to take the risk and apply for the ones that you really want. I came close to not applying for the internship in South Africa because I was so nervous, but submitting that application turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life.

3. Get involved in something you’re passionate about
I think it’s a myth that you have to get involved in a lotof activities. Choose a couple qualityactivities that you are passionateabout. These activities will prepare you for a job in the future and you can use them as a speaking point during an interview. It’s much easier to talk to potential employers about something you are passionate about and had a really meaningful experience doing, rather than a bunch of activities that you did just because you thought you had to.

4. Pair your major with a minor
I’ve found that it’s better to have a diverse mix of skills and one way to develop this is to add a minor. In addition to my global studies major, I have minors in community health, geography, and management. This makes it easier for me to make the case to employers on why I am prepared for and can succeed in any field, whether it be business or healthcare. Choose something you have always wanted to study and you may be surprised where it will take you!

Hopefully this has helped inspire you to go out there and get your dream internship or job! Good luck!!

Julianna Cirafesi
Senior Global Students Student 

Friday, October 26, 2018

Networking Doesn't Have to be Scary!

The weather’s chilly, it’s getting dark early, you’re watching Hocus Pocus for the 463rdtime (or is that just me?) – Halloween is in the air! But, when the sun comes up on November 1stand you’re coming to terms with how many fun-size Snickers you ate (again, maybe just me…), it’s time to start thinking about how you’ll make the most of what time remains in the Fall semester.
Networking is an invaluable resource and an easy way to improve your connections and prospects while your time is just as crunched as the leaves under your feet. Here are some tips that will help you keep networking from being a skill you just sweep under the rug – save that broom for flying! 😉
1.     Don’t say “Boo!” It’s easy to brush away a potential networking contact because they don’t fit what your exact goals are at the time. This mindset makes sense, in theory, since we tend to seek out the best option for what’s right in front of us. But, take those blinders off! Set the foundation now; you never know when that contact might come across something you are interested in – and they’ll think of you first.
2.     Carve out your niche:What sets you apart from other students? Think about how you can present this to new people, whether it’s your “elevator pitch” at events, the messages you send, or the brand you create for yourself on social media. Your strategy is just that – yours!
3.     No ghosting!Keep connections alive, even if there’s not much to report. Reaching out to a contact with an article you’ve seen or a comment on something you saw them post on LinkedIn shows them that they are top-of-mind – and, in turn, you become top-of-mind to them, too!

Want to practice your newfound tricks? We have two more Career Fairs coming up this semester where you can treat yo’self!
·      Communication Career & Internship Fair:
November 7thfrom 11am-2pm in Studio A of the Herbert School
·      Engineering & Computer Science Career Fair:
November 14thfrom 11am-2pm in Hofstra USA

Happy Halloween!

Amy Smith 
Associate Director of External Relations and Internship Coordinator 
The Career Center 

Friday, October 19, 2018

Tips for Choosing a Career Path

Choosing a career path can be stressful, there's no doubt about it! There are many people throughout your college career who will help guide you. Keeping an open mind is one of the most important factors in choosing a career. You never know where you may land! The Career Center and the Division of Student Affairs at Hofstra are here to help! In honor of Careers in Student Affairs Month, a month dedicated to the celebration of Higher Education and Student Affairs professionals, the DSA has provided some career tips! 

"Make your potential future employer feel special! Connect the dots for the person reading your application – use your cover letter to show how you fulfill their specific needs as outlined in the job description, or preempt any questions the hiring manager may have about the application. Pay attention to keywords in the position descriptions and use bold font to draw the reader’s eye! Brevity is also key – chances are a recruiter or hiring manager is pouring over lots of applications, so make their job easier by hitting your points in an organized, succinct fashion!"
-Denise Campos, Assistant Director, Student Leadership and Engagement 

"I have learned that by saying yes to opportunities that present themselves despite my own fears, the experiences and rewards have far outweighed the negatives. Some of these opportunities have opened up new avenues for personal and professional growth. The exposure to show my talents to colleagues whom I generally do not interact with gives me a level of visibility that opens new doors and the ability to participate in new endeavors within Student Affairs."
-Novia Ramsay, Director of Operations, Office of Residence Life 

“Most people don’t go to college thinking they will end up working in a college – I sure didn’t!  But, I’m so happy that I found out about this career along the way.  Ask a student affairs pro what they love about their job, and you may discover a whole new path that you hadn’t thought about previously.”
-Michelle Kyriakides, Executive Director, The Career Center

With these in mind, remember to keep your options open and to always keep learning. Challenge yourself to explore new opportunities and to work outside of your comfort zone. Every experience you have while in college will help lead your career path, so make the most out of each! 

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