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  • Minna Scherlinder Morse 12:50 pm on November 22, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , Thanksgiving   

    Talking Turkey: Making the Most of Your Break 

    At this point in the fall, students can feel torn between the desire to take a well-deserved breather, and (in some cases) severe stress over finding their next internship or gearing up for the daunting task of job hunting.

    Thanksgiving comes at a perfect time.  Just enough down-time to allow you to regroup, think through your plans and priorities, while also packing in the food and having some much-deserved fun.

    It also happens to be an EXCELLENT time to begin or ramp up your networking efforts.  Here are some tips for preparing on your way home:

    • * Make a list of everyone you’re going to see during this break, and (as much as you can recall) what they do for a living, where they work, where they live, what kinds of circles they hang out in. Then, of course, tuck that list away. It would kind of look mercenary if anyone found it.
    • * Think about something that you can say about your next career development goal: I’m hoping to explore careers in X in the next few months by talking to people in the field, OR I’ve decided to explore Y career path and am looking for a spring internship in that field, OR I’ll be job hunting soon, and am really interested in getting a foot in the door in Z industry.
    • * Remind yourself of some of your accomplishments. Folks will be interested in what you’ve been up to. Deliver the goods, with passion, and with just enough detail to let them know that you really sank your teeth into something.

    Then sink your teeth into your turkey (or tofurkey) and pumpkin pie, and have some nice, relaxed (and subtly goal-oriented) conversations with your nearest and dearest (or those of your family and/or friends)! They may know people who can help, or have ideas for you that you hadn’t considered. Keep your mind open, and…be grateful for all that you will have received.

    Happy Thanksgiving/Networking!!

    Note: This was such great advice, given by our former SOC advisor Minna Morse, that is being re-posted for this holiday break.

    • Sue Gordon 4:12 pm on November 25, 2009 Permalink

      Great advice, Minna.

      Students should remember these tips when their assorted neighbors and relatives asks them the inevitable “So, what are you doing after graduation?” question. Talking about those goals and accomplishments is so much more effective than a blank stare or a mumbled “I’m exploring my options”. When the students share just a bit about their goals and accomplishments, those neighbors and distant relatives will undoubtedly come up with ideas and advice– some of which may actually be helpful! After all, the students don’t always know that Uncle Bill’s sister’s best friend works in the same field they aspire to be in!

  • Minna Scherlinder Morse 9:29 pm on September 27, 2010 Permalink  

    Your Job and Internship Fair Game Plan 

    More than 120 public, private, and nonprofit organizations are eager to recruit AU students and alumni this Wednesday, September 29, 1-4 PM in Bender Arena. Find a professional outfit to wear, practice introducing yourself with ease, read these tips, and you’re off!

    Freshmen: Yes, you! This is a perfect opportunity for you to “window shop” for your future. Study the employer directory, and come ready to introduce yourself and ask questions.  “What do your interns do?” is a great way to start.  “What do they wear?” is okay, too. “What’s your role at the organization?” You get the picture.  If you have an up-to-date resume, great! If not, visit our virtual resume builder, and read the advice below!

    Sophomores and Juniors: There are dozens of employers looking explicitly for interns. You, too, should study the employer directory, and pick some target employers to meet. Then get your resume in shape! Come by the Tavern on Tuesday from 12-2 or 5-7 PM for The Resume Station, for just-in-time resume critiques from your career and peer advisors! And remember, bring multiple copies of your resume on Wednesday!

    Seniors and Grad Students: Many of this year’s employers have full-time and part-time jobs in the offing (here’s our last link to that handy-dandy employer directory). This is a great chance to meet, greet, and make an impression. If you haven’t had your resume polished in a while, take advantage of the Resume Station at the Tavern (details above).  On Job Fair day, bring multiple copies of your new, improved resume; engage the recruiters in conversation; play up your strengths; ask intelligent questions (including, for starters, “what kinds of jobs are you hoping to fill this coming year?”); collect business cards; send an email thanking them for their time, and attach your resume again.

  • Minna Scherlinder Morse 12:44 pm on September 27, 2010 Permalink  

    SOC Employers at the Job Fair 

    SOC Students: Get your suit (or other professional-wear) out of the closet, get your resume in order (Tavern, 12-2 and 5-7 Today/Tuesday!), and make plans to attend Wednesday’s Job and Internship Fair. The following employers are among those looking for someone like you! Check out the employer directory for more details, and go to their websites below:

  • Minna Scherlinder Morse 10:48 pm on September 21, 2010 Permalink

    Networking Is Not A Dirty Word (Part I) 

    I often talk with students who seem to think that “networking” is a dirty word, that the whole concept suggests that who you know is more important than what you can do, that it smacks of privilege and is implicitly manipulative.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Let me ask you a question. Have you ever looked for an apartment or a roommate? A great place to eat? Did personal recommendations play a role at all? (I’m guessing yes.) Did you ever do a favor for a friend, or offer some advice? Did you feel used or manipulated as a result? (I’m hoping no.)

    A network is nothing more than a web of relationships with people who have positive feelings about you and/or the work that you do, and who may ask for or offer advice, opportunities or recommendations from time to time.

    Talent and hard work are essential. But if a tree (or a person) accomplishes something fabulous in the forest (or anywhere else), but no one hears about it, did it really have an impact?  You need ears in the forest. (And occasionally, you’ll need to remind them of what they heard, and even encourage them to share the story with others.)

    At its best, your network is an ever-expanding collection of people who want to see you do well, who know (or can guess) what you’re capable of, for whom you do nice things once in a while, and who may be inclined to do nice things for you. That’s all.

    Convinced? Then watch this space for tips on building and navigating your network, in Networking is Not a Dirty Word (Part II)…

  • Minna Scherlinder Morse 10:00 pm on September 21, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , , ,   

    Networking Is Not A Dirty Word (Part II) 

    To further dispel the notion of networking-as-dirty-word, I may be forced to use the F-word. A number of F-words, actually,  none of them unseemly, and all crucial to career success.

    Let’s start with Facts of Life. The truth is that we all start our adult and professional lives with different networks in place (in part related to our family, how and where we grew up, etc.), and with different levels of skill and confidence in networking.  That’s just the way it is. But none of us are stuck with that starting point. Those who come into adulthood well-connected are still going to have to prove their ability and worthiness of those connections, and those with talent and fewer connections are going to have to build their networks on their own.

    For everyone, the place to start is with those already in your corner: Friends, Family, Family Friends, and (a key resource here at AU) Faculty (both full-time and adjunct).  Get in touch, tell them about your interests, your long-term and/or short-term goals, and see what ideas they have for you.

    If that goes well, it will soon be time to reach beyond that circle, to the strangers-to-you they recommend you contact, or to others further afield who may be helpful to you.  At that point,  you can no longer expect contacts to automatically want to help you in your career exploration or job/internship searching. (Not even if you’re talking to your Uncle Fred‘s oldest friend.)

    You’re swimming with the big fish now. But don’t panic! This is simply where another layer of “f-words” comes in:  Fact-Finding and Face-Time. (More …)

    • Alex Priest 8:48 pm on September 22, 2010 Permalink

      Great, great, series of posts. I’m constantly amazed by how amazing my network has been for internships and job opportunities–already, even though I haven’t graduated yet.

      Glad to see you mention LinkedIn, but to be perfectly honest, Twitter is a far more powerful networking tool! 😉

    • Minna Scherlinder Morse 2:07 pm on September 28, 2010 Permalink

      Ah, yes, but Twitter is for those who need not be convinced that networking is somehow tainted! LinkedIn can be a nice first step on the social media food chain, leading folks to take bigger steps later, don’t you think? That’s the thought, anyway 😉 Thanks for reading–and for weighing in!

  • Minna Scherlinder Morse 12:00 pm on August 24, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , ,   

    J.I.T. Hiring for Internships! 

    Some companies have large, structured internship programs, and strict application deadlines a full semester or more in advance (which should serve as a reminder to all to plan ahead!). On the other hand, many companies are looking for fall interns RIGHT NOW, and engaging in J.I.T (Just in Time) hiring. They know you’re coming back to campus, and they’ve posted their openings on AU Career Web, and are waiting to hear from you! Time is short to expect that any of these will be for credit (since the deadline for registering for credit is September 13th), but anything is possible, including getting great experience (and, in some cases, pay!) without logging it for credit.  Either way, if you’re still looking, carpe diem!

    (Opening photo by TheTruthAbout…)

  • Minna Scherlinder Morse 9:17 pm on August 23, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , ONA, Online News Association, professional associations, , Volunteering   

    Volunteering + Networking = Career Traction 

    Here’s a general principle for all students to take note of:  engaging as a volunteer in work that matters to you can pay off tremendously for your career.  Whether it’s an on-campus organization, or an off-campus cause or professional association, if there’s a “world” where you want access, you can get it by being an active, dependable  volunteer, building a track record, and leveraging your involvement to best effect.

    Here’s an upcoming opportunity/case study from the world of journalism. This October, the Online News Association (whose simple domain name, http://www.journalists.org, pretty accurately reflects the organization’s significance in the changing industry) is holding its annual conference in Washington, DC.   If you are interested in building a career in journalism, ONA10 is the place to be, but registration costs are pretty steep for students. If you volunteer before, during or after the conference, however, you can attend a part of the conference for free, learn about trends in the industry and skills you’ll need to know, and shmooze with industry pros. (Note to non-journalists: what are the professional meetings that you might want to attend? Google them now!) (More …)

  • Minna Scherlinder Morse 2:24 pm on August 10, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , ,   

    Downtown Networking Events on Wednesday 

    The National Press Club Young Members Committee is hosting a Speed Networking event for grad students (and undergraduates over 21 years of age) with representatives from media companies and PR firms across the region (Discovery, Bloomberg, etc.) on Wednesday night, Aug. 11, that begins promptly at 6:30 PM.  If you’d like to attend, RSVP ASAP to Tim Young at timyoungjd@gmail.com.

    Also Wednesday night, an opportunity for those under and over 21 to explore the resources that public access television provides, and how it can enhance their media production experience, expand their film-making network, and contribute to a collaborative and creative film community. Arlington Independent Media, a leader in the field, will be represented, along with other stations from DC and Maryland. Gibson Guitar Gallery, 709 G Street, 6-9 PM. For more info and to register, see the DCFilm.org event listing.

  • Minna Scherlinder Morse 9:54 pm on August 9, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , , ,   

    Fall Internship Countdown! 

    The fall semester is fast approaching, and internships are on the mind of many a returning student. Currently, there are more than 1500 internships posted on AU CareerWeb, and more coming in daily!

    For further inspiration and background information on great places for internships (OneDayOneInternship.com), or jobs, for that matter (OneDayOneJob.com), I still recommend these pages by job-hunting-survivor-and-entrepreneur Willie Franzen. For my SOC advisees, here’s a page with just the communication-related companies he’s listed. Scroll down the list; you’ll be amazed how many are DC-area companies! (Or pick another tag and you’ll get a list of all the intern-hiring companies he’s profiled from Washington, DC.)

    For a different, and totally local, source of internship info, there’s also DC Intern Net, where you can sign up for regular email updates of great gigs.  But these go to students nationwide. At the end of the day, don’t forget all the employers who are seeking AU students specifically through AU CareerWeb, where you can also set up an email alert system, as described in a previous post. Just remember, if you want or need to do an internship for credit, the deadline to get offered the position, accept it and hand it all the paperwork to register is September 13th!

  • Minna Scherlinder Morse 6:37 pm on July 6, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    Celebrating (and Learning) Social Media 

    We just missed Mashable.com‘s self-declared Social Media Day, June 30th, but here’s to keeping the celebration going!

    How? Easy. Boost your social media savvy this summer. Maybe you’re on the cutting edge, and only need to keep on plugging. Or maybe you’ve got your Facebook friends, or follow folks on Twitter, and that’s it. That’s a fine start, but likely not enough to get you a job requiring social media skills (or a boost toward other jobs, since so many employers are eager to get new-media-mavens on staff)!

    The time is now. Here are some tips:

    Browse Mashable.com‘s endless list of How-To Posts, which includes advice on using various social media for the job hunt AND for growing a business or advancing a cause. Then stay on top of other areas of Mashable for the latest word on contact-keeping technology.

    For the bare basics about popular platforms and tools, check out this great “In Plain English” animated series, including explanations of social networking, social media, RSS feeds, Twitter searches, Wikis and more (including explanations of Zombies, Presidential Elections, and other random topics, on top of the social media primers).

    To get an overview on tools to use, check out Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk (or, for fun, check out Gary’s appearance on MTV’s Hired!)

    For great tips on using video online, check out Get Seen by Steve Garfield, and follow him at SteveGarfield.com

    Now start browsing, and building on what you already know!

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