The Perks of Working for Nonprofits

By Shannon Feeney Andre, Assistant Director

Before starting at Career Services, I worked for a local branch of a national fundraising nonprofit.  The work I did was rewarding and I feel fortunate to have started my career there as an intern and then a full-time staff member.

Nonprofit and Government Career Fair Flyer
Nonprofit and Government Career Fair Flyer

Students sometimes think that the nonprofit sector isn’t a great place to start a career, but I certainly think otherwise.  As the Nonprofit & Government Career Fair approaches (Friday, February 28), here are some of my thoughts on the advantages of interning or starting your career in the nonprofit sector.

1)      Benefits – Salaries in the nonprofit sector are generally lower, so agencies can often supplement with more-than-average vacation time, comprehensive healthcare and retirement savings packages, and if you happen to work near a college or university, you’ll find opportunities for credit reimbursement due to partnerships the agency develops.

2)      Building a network – Boards, volunteers, and donors are vital to nonprofits.  Without them, most nonprofits would cease to exist.  You can utilize your relationships with these parties to explore other opportunities if you decide the nonprofit sector is not right for you.  In this “business” you’ll meet and interact with LOTS of people working in your community.

3)      Budgeting – One of the most valuable skills I took away from my experience was budgeting.  Budgets for nonprofits are often slim and you are required to do a lot with limited resources.  This experience can help you no matter where you go next.  Additionally, you will learn to be creative with funds and perhaps gain some experience in resource development, fundraising, and grant writing in order to make your programs happen.

4)      Being humble – There is something about working in public service that I think makes people humble.  You’re not above making your own copies, pouring coffee for a board member, or stuffing envelopes.  With budget cuts and staff shortages sometimes you just need to step up, and keeping this mentality will help you get things done in the future.

So if public service is for you, the Nonprofit & Government Career Fair should be on your calendar!  Join us Friday, February 28 from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. in Panasci Lounge (upstairs in Schine Student Center).  More than 50 organizations will be present representing government, education, military, health service, and public service agencies!  We also welcome 23 new employers to this fair.  Some employer attendees include: Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park, City Year, New England Center for Children, New York State Department of Taxation & Finance, Peace Corps, WorldTeach, and many more.  To see the full list of opportunities and agencies attending visit OrangeLink.

We look forward to seeing you!

Important 2014 Dates: Mark Your Career Calendars!

As the fall semester winds down and you’re getting ready to head home, we just wanted to wish you a great, well-deserved break and let you know that it’s never too early to begin preparing for the spring recruiting season.

Mark these dates in your calendars!

Internship Apply-A-Thon: January 25 – January 31 (apply via OrangeLink)
Resumania: January 31 & February 7, 11:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., 235 Schine
Syracuse University Spring Career Fair: February 11, 12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., Goldstein Auditorium, Schine
Diversity in the Workplace: February 11, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., Panasci Lounge, Schine
Nonprofit & Government Career Fair: February 28, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., Panasci Lounge, Schine

We look forward to having you back on campus in 2014!

Out at Work: Navigating LGBTQ Identities and Your Job Search

By Shannon Andre, Assistant Director, Campus & Employer Relations

Out at WorkOn Monday, October 28, Career Services, in collaboration with the LGBT Resource Center, held the inaugural “Out at Work: How to Navigate LGBTQ Identities and Your Job Search” panel discussion.  This event brought together SU students, staff, and faculty for a discussion about the process of determining whether to come “out” about your sexuality and/or gender during your job search and the added stress to career considerations.  We welcomed LGBTQ executives and SU community members on our panel from General Electric, Northwestern Mutual, JPMorgan Chase, The Q Center, and Syracuse University to share their advice and guidance in navigating the job search process.

Here are some key considerations the panelists shared:

–          When looking into companies you would like to work for, utilize resources like the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index.  This resource rates companies based on their policies and practices pertaining to LGBT employees.  (252 businesses recorded a 100% this year)

–          If you are unsure of a company’s support for those with marginalized genders and sexualities, look online for their stated value of diversity or nondiscrimination policy.   Does it include gender identity and sexual orientation?

–          When applying for a position, you should focus your resume on the skills you bring.  Let your results and performance speak for themselves on your resume and in the workplace.

–          Inquire about benefits when considering an offer.  Is the company’s health insurance policy transgender-inclusive?  Do the benefits cover same-sex partners or spouses?

–          When you enter the workforce, some companies will have employee resource groups (or affinity groups) that bring together diverse populations within the company.  Joining an LGBT and Ally employee resource group will provide you with opportunities to not only network, but also advocate for the community.

The panelists also stressed the importance of authenticity, not only to yourself but those you work with.  You need to be comfortable where you work and coming “out” will depend on the company culture, your relationships with the people at work, and your own readiness.  Ultimately, it is up to you when to come “out” during your job search process, and in the workplace you may have to make this decision multiple times.

Thank you again to our panelists for sharing their insight, advice, and stories!

Tips for Choosing a Major from SU Students

Compiled by Tracy Tillapaugh and Shannon Andre, ’09

Major Mixer Panel & Discussion
– Students in 235 Schine during the Major Mixer & Panel

During our Major Mixer event on Wednesday, October 23, we heard many great tips about how students chose their major here at Syracuse University.

Here are six tips that may help you as you determine your academic major:

  1. Take some courses and see if you can picture yourself in the field. You really never know if you’ll like a particular field until you try it!
  2. Sometimes experience can help you decide what you DON’T want to do. One student interned at a company and realized that the field wasn’t for him.
  3. Major doesn’t always equal your career. For example, you can major in psychology but work in marketing or human resources. There are multiple paths for every career.
  4. Get involved on campus in clubs, academic programs (such as McNair Scholars), organizations or with an on-campus job. You don’t have to wait to have an internship to get experience.
  5. A word of caution: don’t just live your major 24/7, make sure to try out other things that interest you that aren’t 100% relevant to your major.
  6. Sometimes you know what you want to do from a young age, it’s okay to be happy and assertive in that decision.

For help with deciding on a major, check out the career research resources on our website!

…Career Fair is Coming

careerfairiscomingWith Career Fair at the Dome less than a week away, there’s only a little time left to get ready to impress the employers visiting campus!  Here are some quick tips to help you along the way:

1)      Have an up-to-date resume.

Remember that your resume is a marketing tool.  Most recruiters will spend less than 10 seconds reviewing a resume.  You’ll want to make a great impression!  Spend some time reviewing the Career Services Career Guide for all the basics of building a resume.  Make sure it’s free of grammar and spelling mistakes too!  Once it’s ready, have it reviewed by one of our career counselors during 15 minute drop-ins, or visit us during Resumania on Monday, September 30.  Employer experts will review resumes from 9:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis.

2)      Do your research.
One of the most frequent criticisms we hear from employers is that our students have not done their research when they approach the employer’s table.  Before you attend the Career Fair, it’s important to check out the employers visiting, the opportunities they have available, and to learn a little bit about the company.  Utilize resources like OrangeLink, LinkedIn, Twitter, and the company’s website to do the background research.  It will make you stand out!

3)      Practice your elevator pitch.
When you approach an employer, you’ll give them a firm handshake, introduce yourself, hand them your resume, and then have a few moments to explain why you are a great candidate for their position.  Be prepared to speak for 30 to 60 seconds about your qualifications, experiences, and goals as they relate to the position you are interested in (this is where that research is really important).  Don’t be afraid to write it down and practice!

4)      Dress for SUccess.
First impressions are key, which is why dressing the part is so important.  Make sure your clothes are ironed and appropriately cut.  Some suggestions for business dress include: dress pants, khakis, button-down shirts, collared shirts, suits, ties, skirts, and blouses.  Remember comfortable shoes too!  Check out Career Services’ Pinterest board for some examples.

If you need additional help preparing for the fair, Career Services is hosting a ‘Prepare for Career Fair’ workshop this week –  Thursday, September 27 from 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.  Learn how the Career Fair works, what to wear, what to bring, and how to approach employers.

We look forward to seeing you Tuesday, October 1st, from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. in the Dome for Career Fair!

#GECuse: Advice from SU Alumni at GE

General Electric is taking over the SU campus this week! On Wednesday, September 11, GE will be here to connect with students and share information on their leadership development programs.

GE will host tables in various academic buildings from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., conduct office hours in Career Services (235 Schine) from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., and conclude with a major kick-off event in 304ABC (upstairs, Schine Student Center) from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.  You’ll also hear from SU alumni all week on @WorkingOrange!

In preparation for GE Day, four SU alumni share their tips for success:

Matt Benvie ’08 – Public Relations and Psychology – Communication Leadership Development Program

  1. Writing ability and interpersonal skills are two of the most important skills for communicators. Two books you need to read over and over:
    • On Writing Well by William Zinsser. I’m not a great writer. You’re not a great writer. Regardless of your chosen profession, you’ll be expected to communicate with clarity and brevity. No one wants to read a five-paragraph email that could have been three sentences. Academic writing and “real world” writing are two completely different animals. Please read this book as soon as possible.
    • How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Fair or not, many of our elders view millennials in a less than favorable light. This will be your biggest challenge to overcome in your first few months on the job. You can whine about it, or you can proactively address the stigma by incorporating Carnegie’s lessons into your work and personal interactions. Thank me later!
  2. Whatever job you accept after graduation, learn everything you can about the history of your chosen industry, not just the company where you work. Why? Institutional knowledge = instant credibility.
  3. I’ll be crushed for this, but networking is overrated. Focus on perfecting your communication skills and building your resume, then worry about your network. Good managers and companies want the best talent. For me, a superior resume and work portfolio beats a connection every day of the week. I like helping people I know, but I love hiring the best talent. Why worry about my network when my work is all over the net?

Mike_GEMichael Jones ’09 – Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Management – Edison Engineering Development Program

  1. GO ABOVE AND BEYOND what is asked.  Exceeding expectations as an early engineer is critical to gain visibility and show the required dedication to excel.
  2. LEAD in all aspects.  Lead on small projects, lead on big projects.  Ownership is how you get to put your name to impactful projects.
  3. ASK WHY, don’t just agree.  New engineers won’t have the answers…and that’s ok!  Ask why you’re assuming this value or why there are advantages to the conventional design.  The more you understand the background, the sooner you can understand the implications and levers in problem solving.
  4. GET EXCITED always.  Passion in what you do is critical to happiness and success.  If you don’t love what you do, find what does make you happy.  Engineering is everywhere, in everything.  Love what you do.

Rima_GERima Rana ’13 – Accounting and Finance – Financial Management Program

  1. Be a hard worker and go the extra mile. Don’t settle for just doing what’s expected or requested of you; stop and think about what the real objective of the assignment is, and provide more insight, more research, more value.
  2. Do not be afraid to ask questions! People expect that you know very little about your job since you just started so speak up and ask questions and there is no such thing as a dumb question. Keep asking yourself why? until you really understand and have a good grasp.
  3. Build your mentality to network with people within your department and the company overall regardless if they are senior leaders or day to day professionals.
  4. Take the lead whether it be on a small project for your role or an affinity group event so you can build your reputation and make an impact.
  5. HAVE FUN and BE YOURSELF! It is important to create that work life balance. 🙂

Kaitlin_GEKaitlin Lambracht ’08 – Information Technology and Entrepreneurship – Information Technology Leadership Program

  1. Network as much as you can.  Talk to people.  Ask questions. You never know where your next job opportunity will come from.
  2. Get involved.  You will be quite busy with your normal work but it’s good to set aside time to help out in the community and/or get involved with program activities.  It’s both a nice break from day-to-day work and a great way to enhance your internal resume.
  3. When you interview, just be yourself.  The best thing you have going for you is your uniqueness and the set of experiences you have had to make yourself who you are today.  Use your extracurricular activity experiences to your advantage and be sure to highlight them in your interview! You have developed some of your most important skills for the workplace at your sorority, your sports team, or your favorite club.
  4. Come prepared with questions to ask your interviewers.  You will also be asked at the end for what questions you have.  Ask about what some of the first initiatives you will be working on or when you can expect to hear back from them on the results of the interview.
  5. Have your set of 3-5 stories that you can pull experiences from when asked questions during your interview.  You can likely answer all questions when referring to one of these stories that you have in your back pocket.
  6. If you have the capacity, ask for more work.  Tell your manager about a project that you feel is needed and that you are interesting in taking it on.

Thank you to our GE bloggers!  To learn more about these programs, come to the GE kick-off or follow along on @WorkingOrange.

A little "Soul" is coming to the SUccess in the City series!

By Kim Brown, Assistant Director, Alumni Programs

It’s hard to believe that four SUccess in the City networking events are already in the books for the 2013 SITC season…with five more on the horizon! SUccess in the City events give our new graduates the opportunity to meet established alumni in nine different cities across the US: Syracuse, Philadelphia, DC, Boston, NYC, Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. We are proud to partner with the Office of Alumni Relations and alumni clubs in each city to make them happen!

Alumni Andrew Laver, Rob Long and Jenny Sacks at SITC Philadelphia!
Alumni Andrew Laver, Rob Long and Jenny Sacks at #SITCPhilly!

We kicked off the series at Eric Mower and Associates in Syracuse’s Armory Square. Eric is an SU alumnus, and we were thrilled to hold the event at a company owned by one of our own. Attendees heard 2012 grad Alison Neufang’s fantastic success story and enjoyed a great night of Orange networking. The series continued on a gorgeous night in Philadelphia, where we shared all of the recent changes to LinkedIn and how our students and alumni can take advantage of the Orange networking opportunities that are abundant within that platform. It was a wonderful evening – and we had difficulty clearing the room as the night ended!

#SITCDC – put on by SU’s Greenberg House – and #SITCBoston were also excellent events. In every city except for NYC (where our alumni population is so huge), we encourage current students to attend SUccess in the City. It’s always amazing to watch our up-and-coming Orange alumni make connections with our established grads. Smart networking starts early on in your college career!

Gabby Etrog Cohen, VPA '02, will speak at #SITCNYC
Gabby Etrog Cohen, VPA ’02, will speak at #SITCNYC

Speaking of NYC, that’s our next event…and we’re THRILLED that Gabrielle Etrog Cohen will be our featured speaker at #SITCNYC. Here’s where the SOUL part of the blog post comes in. Gabby is a 2002 VPA alumna and is the PR and Marketing Director at SoulCycle – arguably the HOTTEST workout on the market these days. Gabby has an incredible career story to share, including the fact that she was recruited for her current position thanks to LinkedIn! We hope you’ll consider joining #SITCNYC on June 27th. Click here to register and here to learn more about Gabby before attending the event.

And remember…if you call Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, or San Francisco home, then we’ll be making a stop in your city this summer! You’ll find all the details here. Hope to see you at a SITC near you!



Just Keep Swimming!

By Shannon Feeney Andre, Employer Relations Coordinator

For the seniors wondering “what’s next;” for the juniors needing internships; for the first-year and sophomore students just starting out – have no fear, Career Services is here!  With three-and-a-half weeks left until the spring semester ends, there is still time to figure out what to do this summer.  Our office offers a variety of services to help students with their career development from the basics like resume writing to more in-depth conversations about your major.  If you aren’t sure what to do next, here are some tips to get you started:

Resume Help

  • Drop-in hours are a great opportunity for you to have that extra set of eyes review your resume.  These fifteen minute sessions allow you to ask the important questions and assure you that your resume is ready to go.  Check out our drop-in hours on the Career Services’ homepage.
  • Career Guides offer a full range of advice on everything career-related; however, if you’re just starting out, the section on resume writing is great place to find the main components.  We even produce three editions based on your class level: Freshman/Sophomore, Junior/Senior, and Master’s.

Job/Internship Search Resources

  • OrangeLink is the online job and internship board managed by Career Services.  All students have access to the postings on this site.  It’s easy to get started – just log into MySlice and under the ‘Career Services’ header, click on the link to OrangeLink.  If you’re an alumnus needing access, contact our Help Desk at 315.443.9093.
  • is a Meta search engine that allows you to look for positions based on keywords and location.  It’s a great place to start looking for jobs and internships since it gives you the ability to pull positions off multiple websites.

Counseling Sessions

  • Career counselors are here to help if you’re feeling a bit lost too.  If you’re wondering about what major to pursue, what career path is right for you, or where your interests lie, we’re happy to help.  To schedule an hour-long appointment with one of our career counselors, give us a call at 315.443.3616.

If you’re thinking you may need help in a variety of areas – resume writing, interviewing, networking, and personal branding – check out the Career Crash Course on Friday, April

The Career Crash Course is a one-day event featuring employer instructors leading workshops on career essentials.
The Career Crash Course is a one-day event featuring employer instructors leading workshops on career essentials.

5th!  Employers will lead sessions on the basics of your career search in this one-day event.  Participating employers include General Electric, IBM, JPMorgan Chase, Northwestern Mutual, PepsiCo, and Teach for America.   Students interested in participating should sign up in Career Services (235 Schine) by 4 p.m. on Thursday.