About Syracuse University Career Services Blog

We assist Syracuse University students and alumni with exploring careers and finding fulfilling work experiences. This is the official blog of Syracuse University Career Services.

Agents of C.A.R.E.E.R.


By Shannon Feeney Andre, Assistant Director

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to better connect Career Services with the student body.

Career Services Student Ambassador ProgramCareer Services is looking for students to join the Student Ambassador Program for the 2014-15 academic year.  The Student Ambassador Program brings together an elite group of students with diverse talents that are interested in assisting their peers as they navigate the career development process and engaging in the employer relations activities on campus.  Student Ambassadors act as the official liaisons between the Career Services office and the student body.  Ambassadors do this by providing feedback on any new ideas for Career Services’ programs and events, promoting and publicizing events and services, and serving as a role model and resource for their peers.  While serving as a Student Ambassador, your assignments could range from volunteering at an employer event, to participating in a focus group, to providing suggestions on marketing (and more!).

For students interested in gaining campus leadership experience, helping their peers, and marketing the work of Career Services, the Student Ambassador Program is for you!

Do you have what it takes?  Then apply via OrangeLink today (Job #61131).  Candidates need to submit a resume and cover letter explaining why they want to join the team.  The deadline to apply is July 1st.

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5 Valuable Tips from Career Crash Course

By Danchen Zhou, G’14, Career Services Public Relations Intern

Danchen Zhou, public relations intern at Career Services.

Danchen Zhou, M.S. ’14, Career Services Public Relations Intern

On Friday, March 28, Syracuse University Career Services hosted a crash course on campus providing students with five career-focused workshops.  Presenters were recruiters from IBM, JPMorgan Chase, Northwestern Mutual, O’Brien & Gere, and U.S. Secret Service.  Here are some of the most valuable tips and insights regarding resume writing, personal branding, networking, interviewing, and financial management-

1.  Resumes: “Just a tiny little minute, but eternity is in it.”*
The recruiting manager from JPMorgan Chase said he would not spend more than one minute reviewing a resume. With only one minute, it’s important to learn how to tell a whole story explaining why you are a good fit for the position on a one-page resume. Also, use numbers to show the outcome and impact of your experiences. Finally, proofread your resume. Make sure your resume is typo-free, which indicates that you are a detailed-oriented person.

2.  Personal Branding: Make yourself stand out and be your own boss.
Take a few minutes to think and write down the strengths that make you stand out. If you have trouble identifying your strengths, ask your friends who know you well, or utilize some online tools, such as StrengthFinder 2.0. Once you realize your strengths, manage yourself like a boss manages its company. Take ownership of your career because it’s your choice where you lead your own path.

Students in J. P. Morgan Chase's resume presentation.

Student listen to advice from JPMorgan Chase about building effective resumes during the Career Crash Course.

3.  Networking: Don’t just take – give.
Whether you are searching for a job, or you are trying to connect with an alumnus, a common mistake is that you emphasize what they can offer you.  But why don’t you try to think about what you can give to them instead? You have connections and some information that matters to them, too. In a way, the networking process should be beneficial for both of you.

4.  Interviewing: Bring out your thoughts that can add value to the company.
The representative from IBM talked about the importance of doing research before the interview. For instance, reading balance sheets of any publicly-traded company can help you learn more about their business strategies and then you could reference this information during an interview. It’s also a way to take charge of the interview by offering your own thoughts.

5.  Financial Management: Start early and have a plan.
The representative from Northwestern Mutual shared a point that rich people get rich because they stay away from debt. To eliminate the amount of loans and avoid a poor credit score, you need to start planning your finances even while you are still in college.  The first thing is to determine what you need rather than what you want. Mint is a good App to record and calculate your expenses so that you are aware where your money has gone.  It will also help you establish a long-term strategic plan for savings. In addition, you need to familiarize yourself with financial policies and procedures, such as 10-99 Form, W-4 Form, and W-2 Form.

*Benjamin Mays Poem God’s Minute

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A Syracuse Success Story at Success Academy

By Kate Hansen-Roxas, Class of 2001

Usually when I tell people what I do, I get blank stares.

“I’m the Associate Director of Network Operations at Success Academy Charter Schools!” I say.

“Come again?” they say.

Kate Hansen-Roxas '01. Success Academy

Kate Hansen-Roxas ’01. Success Academy

So then I explain: Success Academy is a network of 22 public charter schools in New York City that serves mostly underprivileged kids in struggling neighborhoods. There are so many unique and wonderful things about the organization, but one of the best things is that teachers and administrators at the schools focus solely on teaching and learning. Everything else — policies and procedures, health and safety, reporting and compliance, implementation of tech systems, enrollment, training (really, everything else) is handled by an operations team at each school. My job, with my department’s support, is to help those operations teams figure out what to do — and how best to do it.

I never imagined that I’d end up here. I started out protesting sweatshops on the ‘Cuse Quad. But, truly, it’s not such a leap from there to here. I was fighting injustice for kids and families then, and that’s what I’m still doing — because that’s another great thing about Success Academy. We don’t just operate high-performing schools; we also advocate for education reform so that all children everywhere will have access to high-quality schooling (we’re in NYC but we share our best practices far and wide). For me, the best part so far has been finding out that just because I didn’t study education, or know when I was 12 that ed reform would be my life’s work, here I am, smack in the middle of the education world, and I love what I do.

How did I get here? Well, it was roundabout, but a common thread runs through my experiences. At Syracuse, I earned my BA in International Relations (I also served on the student government, played ultimate Frisbee, and spent a semester in Italy). Afterward, I spent five years working for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. As a nonprofit working to empower people, the organization was connected to my core interests, and it got me started in program management, a big part of what I do now. I went on to earn a Master of Public Administration from NYU. For a brief interlude, during the worst of the recession, I was front desk manager at a spa. Then I worked for a public health insurance enrollment program. That led me to Success Academy, where I started out focusing on schools’ health and medical-form issues and ended up doing so much more.

Look, I can’t play cool about it — I really love what I do. I want all Syracuse grads to feel this way about the jobs they end up with. Here’s what I can tell you about building a career: Work hard. Lay your foundation; it’s not about moving up the ladder at first. Prove yourself solid and engaged, and opportunities will come. Also, one thing will lead to another. Your experience and knowledge, whatever they are, are transferable — maybe not to every job in every way, but what you have always means something.

As far as how to land a job, here are a couple simple interview tips (I should know, because I’m in the throes of hiring for dozens of positions): Start with a firm handshake, eye contact, and a smile. These are small things, but they mean a lot. Often you’ll find yourself in a round-robin interview situation or facing a panel. Be prepared to ask each person involved a question. If you run out of job-specific questions, ask for personal perspectives: What do you think the culture of the organization is? What’s your favorite part of the job? What are the top three characteristics for success at the organization?

From my experience, it comes down to pursuing what you love; believing that your path will come clear, even if you can’t see it right now; having a sense of humor but being serious too (professionalism requires both humor and seriousness, and learning which is appropriate when); and pushing yourself to improve continually. You can do it, ‘Cusers. And if Success Academy sounds interesting to you, please check out SuccessCareers.org!

Tomorrow, April 10, Kate Hansen-Roxas ’01 will take the helm of @WorkingOrange. Follow her day at Success Academy with us!

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It’s Madness!

By Shannon Feeney Andre, Assistant Director

NCAA basketball teams aren’t the only ones immersed in March Madness – Career Services is too!  Every March and early April, employers will visit our campus to conduct interviews and in some cases make offers to students for internship and full-time Tournament Bracketopportunities.  The on-campus recruiting process can sometimes be overwhelming and unfamiliar to students, so here we use some bracketology to help explain…

Regular Season – Employers are assessing students’ skills, aptitude, and potential during events like career fairs, information sessions, meet and greets, and workshops.  Employers may start to identify potential top seeds for their roles.  These interactions will factor into the decisions employers make later on after resumes are submitted.

Breaking the Bubble – Employers will assess resumes and the applicant pool to make selections on the candidates they would like to interview.  Depending on the number of slots they can fill, not all applicants will make it to the on-campus interviews.

The First RoundThose selected from the applicant pool will interview on-campus during the first preliminary round.

Being Sweet & EliteOften times, employers will conduct more than one interview, especially with a stellar candidate pool.  The candidates that make it past the second round could likely face new interviewers, some they may have never met before during the regular recruiting season.

Final FourAs employers narrow down their top selections, there will only be a few candidates left to consider.  The next phase could also include an interview with one of the leaders in the company or organization, such as a vice president, hiring manager, or department head.

ChampionshipThere can only be one winner in the NCAA basketball tournament, but there can always be multiple hires!  If you receive the offer, congratulations on a great job-hunting season!

This process does not have to be madness; in fact, Career Services can make it much easier!  If you are looking for a job or internship and need some help, stop by our office during drop-ins or schedule an hour-long appointment with one of our career counselors by calling 315.443.3616 or signing up via OrangeLink.


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A Worthy Week in Washington, D.C.

By Karen Castro, ’16

Instead of choosing to go to Costa Rica or somewhere where it felt like spring during Spring Break, I decided to take a part in the Washington, D.C. Immersion Experience sponsored by the Greenberg House, Career Services, and the Office of Alumni Relations. Despite the lack of warm weather, I would go through the D.C. Experience Immersion all over again if I had the chance to do so!

I had an amazing trip in which I met successful, powerful, and humble SU alumni.  All alumni I met were very kind and willing to help us undergraduates find our personal and career paths.

Perhaps because it was my first time in Washington, D.C., or because it was hard not to be impressed by the strong Syracuse presence (16,000+ alumni!) in town, but Washington, D.C. won my heart. I came back to ’Cuse inspired and confident in the majors I am currently pursuing.

Overview of our intense, fun, and worthy spring break trip:

We got to D.C. on a Sunday afternoon. After a casual pizza dinner at the SU Greenberg house, and an introduction to Mary Anagnost, the director of programs at the Greenberg House, all of the students hopped on a trolley and had a private tour of famous monuments in D.C. The sky bled a soft pink-orange behind the Washington monument as we circled around town.

Monday morning was the first time we all had “the art of breakfast” at the Omni Shoreham Hotel–what a beauty. As someone who does not get up early for breakfast, I woke up early every day during Spring Break to indulge in a delicious breakfast before our day would start! Our week consisted of interacting with SU alumni that provided insight of their academic and professional career, and a good balance of exploration in the city.

To say I was impressed by the alumni I met during this Immersion Experience would be an understatement. I became inspired, challenged, and motivated by all the SU alumni. From the Washington Post, to Under Armour, to the Office of Budget and Management, to even Google, the presence of Syracuse University alumni is evident in Washington, D.C.

If I had to pick my top favorite events I would pick the following:

1. Dinner with an alumnus: Mary and David Bartell, director of development, had the brilliant idea of having the 20 students be taken out to dinner in smaller groups by members of the D.C. Regional Council. Two other students and I met up with Anthony Noble at Circa, a trendy American-style restaurant in Dupont Circle on Wednesday night. Although I was initially wary about this dinner, because I was afraid of an awkward, silent experience, it ended up being one of the most memorable moments of my trip. Besides the delicious dinner we were all treated to, we all got to know Anthony in a more intimate setting, and I was able to gain insight about his academic and professional endeavors, particularly because I am interested in going to law school, and Anthony also has a law degree.

Google2. Google! Not only are Megan Stull and Travis Mason energetic, wise, and brilliant, but we all got a personal tour of the Google office in Washington. I learned that getting a job with Google is harder than getting into Harvard, and that Google employees cannot be more than 40 feet away from food at all times. Usually when I think of Google I think of technology and the internet, but Megan and Travis, who both work on the policy department of Google, opened my mind to the broad employment opportunities available at Google. The visit to Google was one of my favorites, because I walked away with a different perspective on how technology and policy interact with each other in our globalized world. Plus, parts of the Google office looked like a playground!

3. Maybe because I appreciate architecture and art, the tour of Capitol Hill was beautiful. The Immersion Experience marked my first time in our nation’s capital, so I was especially in awe of all the white buildings that resemble Greek and Roman architecture. I could have spent hours staring at the Apotheosis of Washington in the rotunda of the Capitol building.  The D.C. Immersion Experience is relevant and worthy in continuing to be offered to sophomore students. Through such an experience, I have become conscientious of the power of networking and the influence of SU alumni in Washington. More importantly, I have come in contact with the supporting network of alumni – one that is willing to share their experiences, wisdom and knowledge.

I would like to thank the Office of Alumni Relations, the Paul Greenberg House in Washington, D.C., and Syracuse University Career Services for providing me with the opportunity to take part of the immersion experience. I would particularly like to thank Mary Anagnost and Tracy Tillapaugh for the hard work they put into making the Immersion Experience thriving, knowledgeable, and fun for all the 20 students that were selected to attend. I hope that in the future students are offered the opportunity to gain networking skills and become inspired through the Washington, D.C. Immersion Experience.

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