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  • Anna Litman 10:10 pm on February 20, 2015 Permalink
    Tags: , CAS, ,   

    Women In Science Career Night 

    Written by Howlader Nashara, Student Assistant to the CAS Career Advising Team.

    On February 18th, the Women in Science Club and the Career Center co-hosted a career panel with four alumnae who work in various fields, from audio technology to environmental science:

    • Anna Cetina: CAS/MS ’05, Director of the Audio Technology Program at AU
    • Brynne McCord: CAS/BA ’07, Program Manager for Engility Corporation
    • Jamey McEachran: CAS/MS ’11, Marine Resource Specialist for ERT inc., In-House Contractor for NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service
    • Kate Pinkerton: CAS/BS ’10, CAS/MS ’12, Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) Fellow, working on the Hypoxia Team at the Environmental Protection Agency

    The most striking aspect of this panel was that the participants had newly established careers. All have graduated from CAS graduate or undergraduate programs, providing reassurance to current students that a degree, networking, and a little bit of hard work can indeed result in a job. The panelists were asked to provide examples of skills that they look for when hiring. Whether working in policy or research, the panelists placed an emphasis on having a background in science. McCord spoke about how it helps her to understand the depth and difficulty of projects, which in turn allows her to run a much more efficient office because she is able to empathize with her co-workers and their workloads. Pinkerton echoed the need to have a basic science background, and added that writing proficiency and the ability to communicate ideas about scientific concepts, both verbally and in writing, are extremely important. Cetina, the panelist with the longest career, stated that when she is hiring, she looks for someone that is humble about what they do not know and open to learning about those things. The need for flexibility was a sentiment echoed by everyone. This leads to the one concern that every graduating student or recent graduate has: where to find a job and how to plot a career trajectory. McEachran recommends looking at contracting and consulting when starting out, especially if a student is interested in natural resource management. Jobs often intersect with both federal/state governments and also within the non-profit sector, so there is diversity in what someone can learn from their work. Pinkerton recommends looking at federal/state government, the non-profit sector, contracting and consulting, and also research. Pinkerton is currently a fellow at ORISE and advised students to learn more and apply to the program as it is specifically designed for recent graduates.

    It is always interesting to ask people what they think about having a nine-to-five job. Some will say that they love it, and others will say a routine is the most boring thing a person could pursue. Cetina and McCord agreed that very few people truly lead that kind of scheduled life. Working in the audio-technology field, Cetina warned students that hours are often late. Working as the director of AU’s program, her main focus is to be there for students and advise them. However, even when she is on the field for a project, there are days that start early and end late, and then some that start late and end early. Pinkerton advised students to figure out whether they want a nine-to-five job or not; if they do, then maybe working in government is good for them. However, working in the non-profit sector means longer hours but the payoff is that the passion is what drives people to work. The most important piece of advice she provided about this was that students should pursue a work-life balance that is most conducive to their success and happiness in both their professional and personal lives.

    Thus when asked for some final pieces of advice, McCord advised students to really pursue what they love- and figure out what that is as soon as possible. She confessed that had she never taken physics, she would never have known that she wanted a career in science. If there is a class that a student is even vaguely interested in, she said that they should take it! This led to McEachron’s point: participate in campus networking events and practice communicating. Cetina encouraged students to take up internships and explore interests; there is no better way to explore potential jobs and work on skill sets at the same time than through internships. She explained that “when you go down a career path, it gets harder and harder to turn back,” so it is necessary to take advantage of all the opportunities available now.

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  • Anna Litman 9:36 pm on February 20, 2015 Permalink
    Tags: , , CAS,   

    Public Health Career Night Panelists’ Perspectives on Career Direction and Job Search 

    Written by Howlader Nashara, Student Assistant to the CAS Career Advising Team.

    On February 11th, The Career Center and the Public Health Program co-hosted a career panel that featured five professionals working in various aspects of the public health field from health promotion, to policy and advocacy, to program development and more:

    • Brian Bowden: Associative Legislative Director at the National Association of Counties (NACo)
    • Evelyn Kelly: CAS ’01, Senior Program Manager at the Institute for Public Health Innovation (IPHI)
    • Andy Melendez-Salgado: Senior Advisor for Program Integration and Health at the American Red Cross
    • Kim Smith: CAS ’14, Communication Associate at CommunicateHealth Inc.
    • Alyia Smith-Parker: Senior Associate for Health and Wellness at the National League of Cities Institute for Youth, Education, and Families

    All brought to the table diverse academic backgrounds, varying career paths, and wisdom and insights on working in the public health sector. Jody Gan, an instructor in the School of Education, Teaching, and Health in the College of Arts and Sciences Department of Public Health, was the moderator for the night.

    The panelists were asked about their career paths post-graduation, and then asked to describe what kind of academic paths they saw themselves on prior to graduation. Melendez-Salgado, a graduate of Florida State, talked about his experiences working with migrant farm workers during school, and how seeing their health issues sparked his interest in public health. That interest guided him to change his major, and led to an internship at the Department of Health. Bowden, a graduate of the University of Central Arkansas, was not aware of public health as a field of work, and thus ended double majoring in medical sociology and biology, with the intent of going to a medical school. However, upon discovering that his interests lay elsewhere, Bowden received a Rotary Scholarship to attend University of Liverpool’s School of Tropical Medicine and pursue a master’s degree in Humanitarian Studies. Bowden advised that students should “Feel free to create your own path if it’s not there for you.” Important advice, considering how a common theme among the career paths of many of the panelists reflected change that occurred upon taking initiative in their lives.

    Kelly discussed the importance of taking initiative as well; she received her current position after hearing about the organization at a work conference, and then requesting an information interview with president of the company. Although no positions were open at the time, a few weeks after the interview, Kelly found out that the organization liked her enough to create a position specifically for her. Similarly, Smith-Parker received her current job through her supervisor by communicating openly about her professional interests. Her supervisor was able to point her to a job in the parent organization. The importance of networking and utilizing connections in order to gain employment or explore interests was emphasized by everyone on the panel. Smith, the most recent graduate, talked about how she used her connections at American University and in the D.C. area, including the Career Center, her professors, and contacts from previous internships, to procure her current position directly after graduating.

    The panelists who handle hiring processes at their respective organizations gave the audience advice on what they like to see in candidates. Among those qualities are critical thinking skills, knowledge about the organization the applicant is interviewing with, and the ability to transfer skills from other experiences. Collectively, they also advised applicants to really research organizations and target every cover letter and resume to specific employers. Melendez-Salgado added that students should start volunteering with organizations they are interested in, because even that tiniest bit of experience can turn into an internship or job. At the end of the night, the panelists were asked if they would do anything differently in their lives and offered some thoughts on their personal professional development. Melendez-Saldago expressed that although he speaks two languages, given that he works with an international aid organization, he wished he had learned more languages. Kelly wishes that she had studied abroad. Smith-Parker stated that she wished she had not been so linear in her path, and had taken time to pursue other non-public health related interests in order to be a more well-rounded individual. Bowden, his path was certainly atypical, advised students to follow their passions, be aware of natural talents, and use all of that to strengthen the skill set that they put forth in the professional world.

     
  • Anna Litman 7:30 pm on September 15, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: CAS, , ,   

    Anna’s Pondering- the-Question- of- the-Week Series: be strategic about your job search. 

    Greetings all! I am resuming my blog series that I started in spring 2014. I will try to blog at least every other week to comment on the most typical, interesting, or challenging question that I have heard from CAS students during appointments. Of course, I won’t give out any names or specifics.

    The topic of this blog is particularly relevant for seniors. Since the beginning of the fall semester, I have met with several seniors graduating in May 2015 who are anxious to start looking for a job. However, they are not sure whether it’s too early, and their efforts will be a waste of time since most employers don’t hire for May 2015 in September 2014. Won’t it be better to live in the moment, enjoy the last college year, and focus on the job search closer to graduation? In my view, if you want to start a job right after or close to your graduation, you do need to start your job search early, as early as NOW, but do it in a smart way.  (More …)

     
  • Anna Litman 6:00 pm on November 7, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , CAS, , InterviewStream   

    Anna’s Pondering the Question of the Week Series: Go with the STAR(R) to be the Star! 

    Last week I met with several CAS students for mock interviews, which pointed me to the question-of-the-week: how to handle a job/internship interview? When I see a mock interview appointment on my schedule, I get delighted and excited because obviously the student’s job strategy and application materials have served their purpose, which is leading to an interview. When you get an invitation to an interview, congratulate yourself on your progress but don’t get too relaxed. “It’s well begun, but it’s only half done.” Only an interview can give you that job (or internship) that you want to get! Don’t let this chance disappear: practice, practice, and practice for the interview! (More …)

     
  • Anna Litman 4:40 pm on October 25, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: CAS, , , selecting a major   

    Undecided About Your Major? Talk to the Faculty! 

    In my blog post last week, I pondered students’ questions about selecting a major and gave an overview of steps to take to make this decision. So, let’s say you’ve narrowed your choices down and now are looking at a few subjects that really interest you. Your next step is to meet with one or more of the faculty teaching the subjects you are considering to gain their perspective on the major. This can be an informative and even enjoyable process if you know what to ask! (More …)

     
  • Taylor Roosevelt 5:13 pm on May 17, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , CAS, Economics, ,   

    Careers for Economics, Education, and Public Health Majors 

    This week’s CAS Careers post provides career planning resources for students majoring in Economics, Elementary and Secondary Education, and Public Health. After the break, you’ll find some brief information on what you can do with your major after graduation, along with statistics on salary ranges and links to other helpful resources. (More …)

     
  • Taylor Roosevelt 1:37 pm on May 4, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , CAS, , , , WGSS   

    Careers for WGSS, Language & Area Studies, and Foreign Language and Communication Media Majors 

    This week’s CAS Careers post provides career planning resources for students majoring in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS), Language and Area Studies, and Foreign Language & Communication Media. After the break, you’ll find some brief information on what you can do with your major after graduation, along with statistics on salary ranges and links to other helpful resources. (More …)

     
  • Taylor Roosevelt 2:56 pm on April 3, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , CAS, , physics   

    Careers for Computational Science and Physics Majors 

    This week’s CAS Careers post provides career planning resources for Computational Science, and Physics majors. After the break, you’ll find some brief information on what you can do with your major after graduation, along with statistics on salary ranges and links to other helpful resources.

    Careers in Computational Science

    By studying in the Computational Science program at American University, you’re gaining practical experience that will prepare you for a range of technical computing careers. Specific skills you offer to potential employers include:

    • The ability to communicate mathematical concepts and data to diverse audiences
    • Experience analyzing problems and designing technical solutions using computing technology
    • Comfort adapting to new and changing technology
    • Experience developing client-specific systems for processing data
    • The ability to design and code computer programs
    • Proficiency in multiple programming languages

     

    Here is a brief list of some popular careers in Computational Science, along with their national median salary*:

    Electronics Engineer

    $61,000

    Actuary

    $58,200

    IT Project Engineer

    $72,500

    Mainframe Programmer

    $47,500

    Web Designer

    $62,200

    Applications Systems Analyst

    $54,200

    *Data collected from salary.com

     

    Visit our Career Resource Library and check out some of our books on careers in Computational Science:

     

    Here are a few websites with information on careers in Computational Science:

    For a full list of relevant websites, other career options, and books in our Career Resource Library related to Computational Science, visit this site.

     

    If you’re a Computational Science major, and would like some more personalized information on your career options, schedule an appointment with CAS Career Advisor Sue Gordon. Also, feel free to stop by our CAS drop-in hours, which are held every Tuesday from 1:30-2:30 next to the entrance to TDR.

     

    Careers in Physics

    Your degree in Physics from American University enables you to understand and effectively communicate complex scientific concepts—a skill highly prized among a wide range of fields and professions. The specific knowledge you gain of mathematical formulas, scientific tools/instruments, and software systems also give you a competitive edge in the job market. Other skills you offer to potential employers include:

    • Knowledge of physics’ ability to improve industrial processes
    • The ability to design software systems to process research data
    • Experience working with mathematical formulas, diagrams, and charts
    • The ability to think critically about applications in physics, agriculture, mining, medicine, and space exploration

    Here is a brief list of some popular careers Physics majors have found success in, along with their national median salary*:

    Test Engineer

    $58,800

    Physicist (Entry Level)

    $57,300

    Architect (Entry Level)

    $42,100

    Technical Writer (Entry Level)

    $46,200

    *Data collected from payscale.com and salary.com

     

    Visit our Career Resource Library and check out some of our books on careers in Physics:

     

    Here are a few websites with information on careers in Physics:

    For a full list of relevant websites, other career options, and books in our Career Resource Library related to Physics, visit this site.

     

    If you’re a Physics major, and would like some more personalized information on your career options, schedule an appointment with CAS Career Advisor Sue Gordon. Also, feel free to stop by our CAS drop-in hours, which are held every Tuesday from 1:30-2:30 next to the entrance to TDR.

     

     
  • Taylor Roosevelt 8:00 pm on March 29, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: biochemistry, biology, , CAS, chemistry, marine biology,   

    Careers for Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biology, and Marine Biology Majors 

    This week’s CAS Careers post provides career planning resources for students majoring in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biology, and Marine Biology. After the break, you’ll find some brief information on what you can do with your major after graduation, along with statistics on salary ranges and links to other helpful resources. (More …)

     
  • Taylor Roosevelt 4:40 pm on March 6, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: art history, CAS, studio art   

    Careers for Art History and Studio Art Majors 

    This week’s CAS Careers post focuses on opportunities for Art History and Studio Art majors. After the break, you’ll find some brief information on what you can do with your major after graduation, along with statistics on salary ranges and links to other helpful resources. (More …)

     
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