Employer Relations

A Career in Consulting…Not Just for IT and Business Students!

By Janet Huang, Intern in Career Services

If someone were to tell me that I would be working as a consultant after graduation, I would probably look back at him or her with a very confused look on my face. As a December ’12 graduate with a public relations and international relations dual major, I thought my post-graduate career was going to either be working at a public relations agency or in-house for a corporation. Consulting had never been in my future, and I never thought I would land a job with Deloitte LLP, as a Business Technology Analyst.

I guess I sparked an interest in Deloitte when they came to Newhouse for an informational session. One of the best tips I can give to students looking for career opportunities or internships is to pay attention to Career Services.  I would have never found out about Deloitte speaking in Newhouse if I had not attended Career Fair at the Carrier Dome.

After hearing about all of the great opportunities Deloitte offered, I was surprised to find out that they needed communication majors such as myself. I had always thought Deloitte was a big financial company, but through the informational session, I found out they were much bigger than that. I decided to apply through OrangeLink and Deloitte’s website and SURPRISE! I ended up getting an interview.

Janet Huang, SU ’12

Words could not describe how anxious I was going into the interview. Most consulting firms require a standard behavioral interview along with a case interview. While I have been to many behavioral interviews, I had no idea how to approach a case interview. I pretty much thought that the questions would be extremely technical and involve complex math problems – both of which were not my strong suits. Fortunately, Career Services was able to calm my nerves a little and coach me through a case interview. I learned that the most important part of case interviews isn’t that you know technical terms, but that you know how to think logically and creatively.

It did not matter that I was not an IT student or that I didn’t know much about technology because my communications background was able to help me communicate my thoughts clearly and effectively. Similar to public relations, consulting requires you to face many different clients, most of which you have little or no background in. In order to succeed, you have to possess problem-solving skills, analytical ability, and strategic and logical thinking.  Remember: you can develop these skills in nearly all of the majors offered at SU!

Once I realized this, all I had to do was be calm and confident in my answers. The rest, you can say, is history…

I would have never thought to pursue a career in consulting, but in many ways, a lot of my PR skills matched consulting. I am thankful for being able to explore my options with the help of Career Services and informational sessions. While it may seem like that your major decides where you have to work in the future, it is ultimately the skills you gain that can help choose which path you travel.

How do I prepare for the Career Fair?

Have you heard? Next week is Career Week at SU!

Shannon Feeney, our Employer Relations Coordinator, sat down with Sue Casson, our Associate Director of Employer Relations, to gather some great advice for students on how YOU can prepare to put your best foot forward at Career Fair!


Remember that you can check out a list of participating employers in OrangeLink. Researching those employers is an ABSOLUTE MUST. Just as you’d do your homework for class, you need to put in a lot of effort before you even set foot inside the Carrier Dome.


Headhunters and your job hunt

By Chuck Reutlinger, Associate Director

“All you need to do is find a good headhunter who will find you a job.”

I’ve regularly heard young alumni, new grads and some students cite this piece of advice that they have usually received from peers, friends and family members. While there certainly are employment services out there that play a role in job seekers’ successes, there is a lot of confusion and unwarranted expectations about just what these various services really do.

They won’t be your agent. They don’t work for you!
Basically, headhunters, staffing agencies, consultants – whatever they may call themselves – generally make money by finding, screening and referring potential employees for specific jobs that the employer needs help filling right away.  If they are successful, employers give them new assignments and they spend their time working on these and trying to get new assignments from new and old employer clients. Been there, done that!

They may seem encouraging, but…..
To meet an assignment quickly (which means a quicker fee), they need to have an inventory of candidates ready to present.  Hence they’ll encourage you to submit resumes, and they might even have a quick conversation with you to determine salary needs, geographic restrictions, etc. What they seldom do, however, is launch a wide ranging search on behalf of a specific job seeker. They can’t by law accept fees from you to undertake such efforts, and why would they? Once you get a job, you’ll be off the market!  By serving employers well, they build solid relationships and ensure return business.

They seldom handle entry-level job assignments.
In this cost conscious economy, why would an employer pay them healthy fees to find entry-level candidates when they have so many free or certainly less expensive sources, notably fairs and listing resources at campuses near and far (e.g. OrangeLink), social network posting sites like LinkedIn, and college-specific sites like these?

So when are they valuable? You might score if……

  • You are available to work immediately.
  • You have a skill and experience set that is in short supply, probably in technology, healthcare, some areas of business, some foreign languages, etc.
  • You are more than an entry-level student or new grad; the more experienced you are, the rarer you may be, and the more likely an employer is to pay an outside agency to find you.
  • You have identified those who serve specific industries or career fields (headhunters usually emerge from specific settings and use their knowledge to bring value back to employers in the same settings.)

Researching headhunters et al.

Use Indeed, Simply Hired and other “aggregators” to find position listings from these external agencies and then visit the web sites of these organizations to find more opportunities.

Check out the Online Recruiters Directory and RON, the Recruiters Online Directory to find who serves your field or industry.

Happy hunting!

Why #stayinCNY?

By Shannon Feeney and Kim Brown

Photo of Syracuse's Clinton Square by Steve Sartori

Next week, Career Services will host our very first Downtown Tour, introducing a group of 20 undergraduate students to what it’s like to call Central New York (CNY) home. We still have a few spots left for this very exciting opportunity! On the fence about signing up? Don’t be! Stop by Career Services today to secure your spot for April 13th. Here’s why.

Our Downtown Tour will begin with a ride to Armory Square on the Connective Corridor bus. You’ll get to tour and visit some of Syracuse’s top employers: O’Brien & Gere, KS&R, and Eric Mower and Associates.  You’ll hear about job opportunities in Syracuse from alumni who chose to stay here after graduation and will discuss all of the exciting ways that CNY is growing.  In addition, you’ll enjoy a delicious, free lunch at Lemon Grass, one of Armory Square’s most upscale restaurants. The day will wrap up with a visit to the Tech Garden to hear about all of the affordable (and really nice!) housing options in Syracuse, as well as all of the great festivals our city is known for, from the Downtown Committee.

So why do people choose to #stayinCNY? We thought we’d pose the question on Twitter, to drum up some excitement about our Downtown Tour. While the hashtag (and title of our blog post) is short, the list of responses we got to our question was very, VERY long!

We (Shannon and Kim) are both SU grads who didn’t grow up here, but chose to make Central New York our home after graduation. We both had huge smiles on our faces as we saw the responses pour in, many of them with similar reasons to the ones that kept us here! CNY Central’s Michael Benny even turned #stayinCNY into a news story! Thanks Michael!

Here is just a sample of the tweets that came in, but there are many, many more – so be sure to click on #stayinCNY to see them all!

@erobinso4444: My family and friends are still here, I love the area, and there are lots of things to do within 1 hr of the city #stayinCNY

@nwenderlich: I chose to #stayinCNY b/c I was embraced by the community and felt I could make a positive change. Syracuse has become my home.

@amandaseef: I left for 2 yrs and came back to #stayinCNY. Best decision of my life. Good mix of rural and city, tight communities. Love it!

@erintochelli: I chose to #stayinCNY b/c of all the places and things here! Armory, SU, Greek Fest, Beak & Skiff, Jazz Fest, Zoo, NYS Fair, Beaver Lake etc

@bsio: I choose to #stayinCNY because I can have a direct impact on making the region great

@jamierwhite: I chose to #stayinCNY bc we can customize/share our experiences, and unlimited potential of the area

@danklamm: I chose to #stayinCNY for the career opportunities, sense of community, and low cost of living. By deciding to #stayinCNY, I was able to pay off undergrad loans quickly and get out of debt, giving me more mobility later.

@michaelbenny: After 12 yrs it is home! I think it decided 4 me. Great job, great life.#stayinCNY I recall thinking I’d be here 2 years!!

@kristysmorol: I #stayinCNY because you can find almost anything here. you may have to search for it, but it’s always there

@syrarts: Where else could we find the huge range of affordable arts & cultural activities that we’ve got here? #stayinCNY

@gregmunno: Why I #stayinCNY: Diversity, access, people. Everson to Green Lakes, SU to Skaneateles, Armory to Ithaca. It’s all here for the taking.

@lpavlus8: I choose to #stayinCNY bc of the beautiful fall foliage, the affordability & the opps to make noticeable changes in the community.

Students: we hope you’ll consider joining our Downtown Tour on April 13th after reading through those and all of the other great responses. Remember, space is limited for the event, so be sure to stop by Career Services ASAP to sign up!

Alumni Speaker Series continues with exhibits, ESPN, and engineering!

By Kim Brown, Alumni Programs Coordinator

A former SU football player turned vice president of the company that designed the Melo Center’s Orange Basketball Hall of Fame…

An ESPNU host and play-by-play announcer who got his start at WAER and was a finalist on ESPN’s reality show Dream Job while studying at SU…

And a 2009 alumna who is now a reliability and maintainability engineer for Raytheon, with some great perspective to share!

We are thrilled to welcome three more alumni back to campus as our Alumni Speaker Series wraps up for the semester. Why attend these events? Because our alumni have career connections that can help you; they have advice on what you can expect when you’re coming out of SU and trying to land your first job; and they bleed orange like you wouldn’t believe and are anxious to help students with one of the most important parts of your life – your career!

Brian Tarrant
Wednesday, April 4th, 5:30PM
Tobin Lab, Melo Center
Brian Tarrant ’96 was recruited to SU to play football and studied sociology as a student here. He is now Division Vice President at MC2, a leading event and exhibit marketing company. His company designed the Orange Basketball Hall of Fame at the Melo Center. Brian will share his career path and offer advice/inspiration to students at 5:30 p.m. inside the Melo Center’s Tobin Lab, with a reception to follow in the Hall of Fame area.

Anish Shroff
Friday, April 20th, 2:30PM
Herg Auditorium, Newhouse 3

Anish graduated from Newhouse with a degree in Broadcast Journalism in 2004 and is now an ESPNU Host and play-by-play announcer for ESPNU Thursday night college football games. Shroff was featured on ESPN’s second season of the reality show Dream Job in 2004 and advanced to the final three contestants. He will share details of his career path with students, as well as offer advice on finding success in the competitive world of sports broadcasting. We look forward to welcoming him back to campus as part of our Alumni Speaker Series in partnership with Alumni Relations and the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month planning committee.

Jennifer Zhao
Monday, April 23rd, 7:00PM
Hall of Languages, Room 107
Jennifer Zhao graduated from LC Smith in 2009 and is now a Reliability and Maintainability Engineer for Raytheon. The students who are part of APA month planning are truly excited to welcome her back to share her career advice at this event. More details coming soon!

Hope to see you at one or more of these great events! Remember what we always tell you in our office: networking is a must. 🙂

Don’t forget – The Syracuse Downtown Tour is Friday April 13th from 10am-6pm. Visit companies in the Syracuse area and learn more about what it’s like to live in Syracuse as a young professional!  Check out OrangeLink for more information!

DC Immersion Experience – An awesome Spring Break complete with Orange Fever

By: Kathryn Banzer, Class of 2014

Instead of packing my bags and hopping on a plane to a Caribbean destination this Spring Break, I had the terrific opportunity of exploring the best places and meeting the finest Syracuse alumni in Washington, DC. Courtesy of The Paul Greenberg House in Washington, DC, Alumni Relations, and Syracuse University Career Services, 19 other students and I enjoyed a jam-packed, yet mind-expanding five days in our nation’s capital.

There is everything and more to love about DC. The city is so young and vibrant, yet cultured and well-established. During our trip, we were treated to the best of the best. The weather was warm and sunny and the beautiful cherry blossoms were just about in full-bloom, creating picturesque scenery. We stayed in the grand Omni Shoreham Hotel and feasted on DC’s most delicious cuisine, including Georgetown Cupcakes and Armand’s Pizza. Our itinerary included trips to the Cato Institute, Capitol Hill, and the Peace Corps. We met with prominent alumni at Google, the FBI training facilities, and the National Zoo. Additionally, Young Alumni Dinners provided the chance to speak with recent graduates who are up-and-coming in their careers. For me, meeting the alumni and other professionals was the most beneficial part of the experience. Not only was it an opportunity to network, but also there was a chance to ask questions.

Another aspect to adore about DC is the Syracuse pride. Although it is Hoya territory, the color orange bleeds true. There is not only SU paraphernalia on the desks of our alumni, but also a very delightful smile appears on their faces at the mere mention of the Orange. It is contagious!

I would like to extend a big thanks to everyone who made this experience so incredible, especially Tracy Tillapaugh, Ellen King, Mike Cahill and Ann Donahue Yockey.

The experience was phenomenal. I gained a tremendous amount of insight on the life and culture in Washington, DC as well as ideas for my future career path. After this trip, two things are for certain: I have never been more proud to be an Orange woman and I will be moving to DC as soon as I graduate.

Location, location, location!

By Shannon Feeney, Employer Relations Coordinator

Not just a realty slogan, but one for your job search too!

Courtesy: ycda.com

Students have varying degrees of preference when it comes to where you plan to live and work after graduation.  Whether it’s going back home, getting as far away from home as possible, or moving where you think the most opportunities are, there are some key things to keep in mind when figuring out where to go next.

1) Cost of living – Your cost of living includes everything from groceries to housing and obviously varies from city to city.  According to the Wall Street Journal, Manhattan and Brooklyn take the top two spots as most expensive places to live.  This plays into salary offers as well.  Living in Syracuse on $40,000 is definitely different than $40,000 in New York City.  Sterling’s Best Places offers a cost of living calculator to compare cities and salaries.

2) Consider all options – There are opportunities in almost every field, everywhere!  In some cases, there may be more opportunities in specific industries.  If you are set on being in television, working at a studio, you’re most likely to find jobs readily available in Los Angeles.   Keeping an open-mind will work to your benefit!  Doing a quick Indeed.com search for ‘entry level marketing’ revealed more than 1,400 opportunities ranging in cities from Metairie, Louisiana to Draper, Utah.  Thought you couldn’t work in the fashion industry because you live in Massachusetts and not New York City?  Think again!

3) Research – Just like you would research a company when you’re applying for a job, research cities too!  If you’d die without access to skiing, make sure the place where you decide to hunker down is close to a mountain.  A great tool like ’CuseConnect can help you connect with alumni in that area or ask questions before you make the commitment to move.  Also check out the city’s Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Bureau, and local newspaper to learn more about what’s happening in the area.

And don’t rule out Syracuse!  Interested in learning more about living and working in Syracuse?  Join us for the Downtown Tour on Friday, April 13!  We’ll tour and meet with staff from O’Brien & Gere, Eric Mower & Associates, and KS&R, enjoy a delicious lunch at Lemon Grass, and talk with staff from the Downtown Committee to learn more about living in ’Cuse!  Interested students can email me (scfeeney@syr.edu) for more information on how to register.

Geared towards the government or NPOs? Our next Career Fair's for YOU!

By Shannon Feeney, Employer Relations Coordinator

It’s clear students at Syracuse University are committed to public service, so much so, that the Washington Monthly ranked SU the 14th university overall contributing to the public good in social mobility, research, and service.  Because of our students’ continued interest in making a difference, Career Services is hosting the Nonprofit & Government Career Fair on Wednesday, February 22 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. in Panasci Lounge (Schine Student Center).  This year we’re welcoming 39 organizations from the nonprofit, government, healthcare, and education sectors!

Some agencies you can expect to see at this year’s fair are: Arc of Onondaga County, City Year, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service, Make-A-Wish, Peace Corps, and Utica College.  These agencies are recruiting undergraduate, graduate, and PhD students for full-time, part-time, internship and volunteer positions.

If you are interested in a career in the nonprofit or government sectors, here are some great resources for searching and applying for jobs!

1)      Idealist.org connects people and organizations that are interested in “building a world where all people can live free and dignified lives.”  The website gives you the chance to search for jobs and internships with nonprofit organizations, find volunteer opportunities, and share events and programs relevant to world issues.

2)      USAJOBS.gov allows you to search for all types of jobs within all departments of government.  The advanced search feature gives you the ability to specifically search within an agency, state, or profession.

3)      MakingtheDifference.org provides resources to understanding and searching for federal jobs and internships.  Their federal jobs page offers some great tips to finding and applying to federal positions like Financial Management Specialist for the Department of Labor or Contract Specialist at an Air Force Base.

Know of other great resources for nonprofit and government jobs?  Share them here!  And don’t forget to check out the Nonprofit & Government Career Fair on Wednesday, February 22!

Ready, Set, Go…To The Career Expo!

By Shannon Feeney

Don't miss out on this great opportunity to connect with employers!

If you’re looking for an internship or full-time job, hoping to expand your network, or exploring different opportunities for life after college, don’t miss our Spring 2012 Career Expo!  The Expo is Wednesday, February 8 in Goldstein Auditorium (Schine) from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. and is open to ALL students and alumni.

This semester, we have more than 60 employers attending to recruit SU’s finest!  Career Services is welcoming more than 30 new employers to the Spring Expo including: Aflac, Agro-Farma (Chobani), Citizen Schools, FlexTrade Systems, The Hershey Company, Intern Sushi, Jefferson Rehabilitation Center, Omnicom Media Group, Parsons, Vanguard, and MORE!  And new this year, we’ve asked employers to identify key majors and interests that would be a good fit for their positions so you find the best opportunities for you. Curious about what positions they’re recruiting for? Log in to OrangeLink for a full list!

Not sure if you’re ready for the Career Expo?  Here are some quick tips to help you prepare:

1)      Do your research.  Check out the companies and opportunities available on OrangeLink so you can target companies of interest and prepare a resume tailored to their positions.

2)      Update your resume.  Stop by Career Services for drop-in hours or for Resumania on February 7 (9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Schine Suite 235) to have your resume reviewed by our career counseling staff and employer experts.

Have your resume reviewed by employer experts!

3)      Practice your elevator pitch.  This 30-second introduction makes a HUGE difference in an employer’s first impression of you.  Eye contact, a firm handshake, stating your name, as well as 3-4 skills and traits that make you a good candidate are a great place to start. Practice this introduction with your friends to get comfortable with what you’re saying.

We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday, February 8!

A special thank you to the Spring Career Expo Platinum Sponsors: General Electric, Macy’s/Bloomingdale’s, and JPMorgan Chase; and our Orange Sponsors: Iberdrola USA and the New York Army National Guard.

Sales: So Much More Than Cold-Calling

By Shannon Feeney

Cold-calling is so last century! (flickr / zigazou76)

There seems to be a stigma around the word “sales” when it comes to job seekers.  The images that come to mind are of cold-calling for new clients, salaries based solely on commission, and forcing people to buy something they don’t want.  I am hoping this blog post will help debunk some myths and shed some light on why you shouldn’t shut the door on a career in sales.

1)      Let’s consider sales for what it really is – account management, relationship building, and business development.  If you have a knack for working with people, love the idea of not being at a desk 24/7 and might want to own your own business, then maybe sales is for you.  Take a look at the job descriptions for sales positions in OrangeLink see if they are a fit for you!

2)      Not ALL sales positions are commission-based!  This is why it is so important to do your research into company-specific sales postings.  Many employers will offer their staff starting salaries with the potential to earn more.  Even starting salaries for entry-level sales positions are higher than perceived – according to Indeed.com’s salary calculator, the average salary for an entry-level sales representative in New York City is $59,000.

3)      The job outlook is good!  A recent article from US News listed sales manager and representative as one of the “hot jobs” that will be hiring this year. (We can’t disagree either – look at the positions employers are hiring for at the upcoming Spring Career Expo!)   This isn’t a new trend either; CNBC reported that sales was one of ‘The 10 Jobs Most in Demand in 2011.’

So before you completely shut out an opportunity in sales, I encourage you to do some more research.  Talk to the employers at the Career Fair hiring for sales positions, connect with alumni on ‘CuseConnect (through LinkedIn) who have started their careers in sales, and attend Career Services events such as ‘Sales Forecast: Successful’ on February 23 (6 p.m., Hall of Languages Room 114) to hear what working in sales is REALLY all about from the people who know best.