Alumni Reflect on the @WorkingOrange Experience

By Kim Brown, Assistant Director of Alumni Programs

We’re celebrating the one-year anniversary of @WorkingOrangeTuesday’s blog post offered top advice from some of our alumni who took over as guest tweeters during the past year. Today, our alumni share what it was like to be the voice of @WorkingOrange for a day and encourage other alumni to sign up to tweet!

Josh Lukin, @coffeeon3rd, Director of Club Initiatives at MLB Advanced Media
Access. As a sports and social media professional (yes, you can do this for a living!) I routinely preach to teams and colleagues that above all else, being able to offer fans unique access to a world once reserved just for the athletes themselves is what makes social media in sports so powerful. Through social media, you can not only take fans inside the locker room, on to the sidelines and aboard the team bus, but you can also connect the team and players directly to their fans. Similarly, @WorkingOrange has done the same for students and alumni across the professional spectrum, giving access to workspaces and workplaces you might otherwise never get to see. From MLB Advanced Media (that’s me if you can’t tell by now) to Twitter HQ itself, the account offers aspiring journalists, teachers, engineers, politicians and more an all-access tour of what it might be like to do just that for a living at some of the most sought after employers in the country. And just like in sports, it also offers the chance to connect those alumni (pretty cool that we’re the ‘athletes’ in this analogy) directly to those students to answer questions and offer advice. It was a joy to be given the keys to the account, and I’ve enjoyed following along ever since. I encourage students do the same and for alumni to open up their Tweetdecks for one day to show future Orange grads how great it is to be you.

Marc Lomasky, @marclomasky, Duke University Law Student
MarcLomaskyThrough @WorkingOrange, I was not only able to share law school advice with students/alumni, but I was connected to SU alumni and current students who are planning on attending/or are currently in law school. I was particularly connected to two alumni – a first-year law student at Syracuse Law and a first-year law student at Brooklyn Law – and have served as a mentor to them in their studies in their first year. 

Brittany Campbell, @bcampp, Google+ Marketing Associate at Google
BrittanyCampbellWorking Orange is a great way to give SU students a quick glimpse of what the real world is like. It feels great for us as alumni to stay connected with the Orange community post-graduation because networking never really ends – even though we are lucky and have jobs right now, staying connected with fellow Syracuse alums and current students will always be a positive thing for the future.

Jen Voss, @jvoss0712, Account Supervisor, Social Marketing at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide
JenVossI was honored to be part of the first week of Working Orange and to help Syracuse continue its role as a leader in higher education/social media innovation. Not knowing how many students would participate in week one of a new initiative (and with my early morning hours!) I was extremely pleased with the number of questions and amount of interacting I did with current students and appreciated the feedback and questions from alumni as well. I’ve developed relationships with several students through Working Orange and spoke with them after my Working Orange day about the public relations industry, the pros/cons, how I got my start, and so forth and continue to speak with them as they have left Syracuse or are about to leave and start their professional careers. 

Matthew LaFleur, @doodlematt, Design Director at Trend Publishing, Freelance Illustrator, and Homebrewer
MatthewLaFleurWorking Orange, for me, was a way to demonstrate to students that it’s possible to do freelance illustration, have a full time job, and make your own work to promote yourself (homebrew labels).

Mitch Bernstein, @mitch_bernstein, Manager of Operations at MAXX Sports & Entertainment

MitchBernsteinHaving the opportunity to take over the Working Orange Twitter Handle for one day was a very great experience.  I was able to share my story with current students while answering their questions about the industry I work in, as well as providing advice to them, based on my time in the “real world” thus far. I encourage all Syracuse Alumni to participate in the opportunity, as it has allowed me to broadcast my story to all of the Working Orange followers and give current students a chance to reach out to me.  Thanks to this experience, I have been able to network with many students and have given these students additional industry contacts to reach out to based on their career interests and experiences. Some of the students that I’ve helped have been great about keeping in touch and I hope these relationships will grow over time.  Giving back is something that I’ve always prioritized in my life and after taking over the Working Orange account, I feel great that I now can mentor and help students with career advice.

Matt Cohn, @mattdcohn, IMG Clients at IMG
MattCohnI had a senior sport management major reach out and have been helping him in his job hunt. It was great interacting with students, especially considering I was in their position only a few years ago. I have continued to follow along and it’s fun seeing fellow classmates and where they ended up. Only problem is @WorkingOrange was not around when I was at SU!

Katie Walpole, @katiewalpole, MPA Candidate at the London School of Economics
KatieWalpoleBeing able to participate on the @WorkingOrange account was a great experience in giving back to the Syracuse University Community. I’m not able to attend too many alumni events due to my location as well as graduate school schedule, but this was a great opportunity. The SU community is full of amazing people, and I was so happy to interact with them even virtually! After tweeting on the @WorkingOrange account, I was able to help a bunch of current students and alumni with questions about living abroad (SU study abroad or grad school). I’ve also given out a bunch of tips about what to see and do in England!

Scott Spinelli, @spinelli_scott, Baseline Producer at MLB Network and Author of “congratulations?”
ScottSpinelliWhen I participated on @WorkingOrange, I wasn’t sure what to expect. And what I got totally blew my mind in a great way. Questions, comments, interactions for literally the whole day. The ease of twitter and innovative accounts like this one really make it so there’s no excuse for recent grads… it’s networking made easy. So take advantage!

Jeff Kaczmarzyk, @jkacz, Associate Manager at PBS Distribution
JeffKaczmarczykStudents who were working on a social TV presentation for a class contacted me while I was on @WorkingOrange and used my insights directly in the presentation. I also got some good response on Twitter!

Clark Van Der Beken, @ClarkGVan, Strategist at One Mighty Roar

ClarkVDB@WorkingOrange provides a really great opportunity to give unfiltered advice while talking about what we love about our job or company. It’s a win-win for everyone. I enjoyed being able to talk about one of the lesser known majors at SU – Communication and Rhetorical Studies – and provide a connection between classes and work life.

Andy Hetzel, @andrewhetzel, VP of Corporate Communications at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
AndyHetzelLiterally, as soon as I took over @WorkingOrange for the day I had people at another university’s alumni relations department, who follow me on Twitter, talking about doing something similar!  It’s another great example of Orange innovation and leadership.  I loved the opportunity to interact with students and alums about career insights and my daily work.  I strongly encourage other alums to get on board. It’s a unique way to contribute your insights, experience and wisdom to help make others better prepared and more knowledgeable – like making a guest lecture on campus, but at 140-characters at a time.

Sandy Prisbell, @sandypantalones, Project Designer at Mattel
SandyPrisbellTweeting for @WorkingOrange was a great opportunity to share my experiences to help other BFA students bring their talents into their future creative careers but also to connect with other alumni and learn about their experiences and careers!

Amelia Sugerman, @AmeliaSugerman, Online Community Marketing Specialist at Collette
AmeliaSugermanI opened some great conversations and am beginning to mentor a graduate student who is now looking for work. I think the biggest thing for me has been that I want to give back- and this is a great way to do so for those who unfortunately just can’t send financial help to the university yet. I feel so honored that others look up to my advice and I know that I got where I am today because of the relationships I’ve made – so I’m hoping that others will learn to pay it forward!

Rachel Chang, @RachelChang, Senior Editor at Us Weekly Magazine
RachelChangI was a fan of @WorkingOrange before I had the chance to be one of the guest tweeters, sharing my day at @UsWeekly. Not only is it a unique peek into what the actual day-to-day life of different careers are like for students, but for professionals, it’s a fascinating way to break stereotypes and truly learn how other industries work, which ultimately can help you on your own job. Plus it was just so fun to interact with students and alumni during the day — it made me appreciate my own job more too!

Matt Friedman, @mattfrieds, Co-Owner/Co-Founder of Tanner Friedman Strategic Communications
MattFriedmanI truly enjoyed the @workingorange experience. It allowed me to put my career in perspective, distill some thoughts into succinct terms and, hopefully, help students and young alumni to focus on their careers while giving them a glimpse into mine. I highly recommend participating in this and dedicating the time, throughout the day, to shed light on what you do and why you’re doing it and share what you have learned since graduation that helped you get where you are. It’s a given we couldn’t have accomplished success without SU. @workingorange lets you tell the rest of the story and provide access to your workday that a “career day” would never otherwise share. Selfishly, the highlight of my @workingorange day was the Direct Message I received late that night. A student who had been following, and picked up on my obsession with SU basketball, used a connection to the team to invite me to sit in on a practice. Six weeks later, when I was visiting campus for the annual WJPZ Alumni Weekend, I got to watch a practice courtside and meet my favorite Orange basketball player of all time – Gerry McNamara. It was fan’s dream come true, all possible thanks to @workingorange.

Angela Tucciarone, @A_Tooch, Digital Media at PepsiCo
AngelaTucciaroneI’m not just saying it but… Syracuse really does have one of the best alumni networks. When I tell colleagues and friends about the WorkingOrange Twitter handle, HS mentor programs like SUMMA and all of the events that go on at Lubin house they are shocked (and jealous). Most are invited to engage in one thing a year from their universities…homecoming.

Matt Josephs, @brosephs950, Producer at ESPN Radio 950
MattJosephsIt was a good chance for the followers to see what covering training camp was like. I got to know a few students and alumni who asked questions and have a few more friendly followers who love the Orange and talk sports.

Nicole Marie Milano, @nicolemariemil, Writing and Editing Specialist at Writing Solutions Group
NicoleMarieMilanoWhile it wasn’t a direct result of my involvement with @WorkingOrange, I recently passed on my old job at the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra to another SU grad whom I recommended to my supervisor. I’m always willing to help another Orange!

Taylor Carr, @taylorcarr90, Account Associate, Corporate & Strategy, at WCG, a W2O Company
TaylorCarrBeing a recent graduate, Working Orange allowed me the opportunity to offer students advice and feedback on topics that I always had questions about as a student. I covered topics like transitioning to the workforce, the best way to connect with potential employers or deciding which city would be best for me. I was thrilled that so many students engaged with me, followed me, and have continued to communicate with me.

Harsh Mall, @harsh_mall, Digital Marketing Associate at Richard Attias & Associates
HarshMallMy biggest takeaway from following @WorkingOrange over the past year was the sheer spectrum of opportunities that are available to students. Learning how each alumnus connected their major to their career is so fascinating! The questions I received when I was working the account actually made me look harder at the work I was doing. Before, I hadn’t thought much about “branding” my work- that is, how do I make my work and my company’s work seem attractive and valuable to someone who knows nothing about us? So I went back to the drawing board to rework some basic branding language for us, thanks to @WorkingOrange.

Miko Horn, @mikohorn, National Tour Director/Father Knows Best & FISLL Curriculum at the Allan Houston Legacy Foundation
MikoHornI had an awesome time being on WO and sharing a little about my work experience and various projects I’ ve worked on and people I’ve worked with and for. It was great to meet so many fellow current Orange students and some fellow working Alum.  I had a chance to connect with some in the sports industry and look forward to working on future collaborations with them.  It was also great to meet and speak with some students that are interested in careers in sports and having an opportunity to pass along an opportunity with one young lady that may lead into a summer internship and who knows maybe a possible future job. I encourage other Alum to participate on WO and continue to spread valuable insight on career opportunities.  Nothing like that SU Brand!

Matt Park, @mattpark1, Voice of the Orange at Syracuse University
MattParkI’d encourage anyone to take part because Working Orange is a very creative, easily consumable demonstration of the variety of careers that are possible through the Syracuse experience. You never know who or what might be sparked by exposure to what our alums are doing.

Naysa Mishler, @naysamishler, LinkedIn Corporate Solutions
NaysaMishlerI loved participating in @WorkingOrange! It was such a unique and creative way to reconnect with the SU community.  I also recommend the LinkedIn Alumni Tool to connect with SU graduates. (Editor’s note: this is a great tip from Naysa! The tool is very powerful!)

Ryan Balton, @ryanbalton, Studio Operator at ESPN
RyanBaltonI had a lot of fun being part of @WorkingOrange. It allows direct communication between alumni in the workforce and students that in other forms is difficult to organize.


Happy birthday @WorkingOrange and THANK YOU to all of our alumni, students, and friends who have made the account a SUccess!

If you’re a Syracuse grad interested in taking over @WorkingOrange for the day, please e-mail me at kmbrow04 at syr dot edu.


As @WorkingOrange Turns ONE, Alumni Share Their Best Advice

By Kim Brown, Assistant Director of Alumni Programs

On January 14, 2013, we launched @WorkingOrange. One year and 100 guest alumni tweeters later, the account has grown to more than 2,600 followers. This is the first of two blog posts looking back on the first year of @WorkingOrange. Thanks to all of you for making it a SUccess!

For our first post, we asked the Syracuse University alumni who had taken over the account during the past year to share their top piece of career advice. Here’s what they had to say!

Lauren Wannermeyer, @colormelauren, Community Manager at MXM Social 
LaurenWannermeyerDon’t limit yourself to careers that are directly in line with your major. Many majors have transferrable skills that can be applicable in a variety of fields if you do the right internships and have the right on-campus experiences. 

Marc Lomasky, @marclomasky, Duke University Law Student
MarcLomaskyI feel it’s important for prospective law students to know what they are getting themselves into. It is much easier said than done to decide on attending law school. Students must be fully aware that entering the field of law is a major time commitment. The law school process is three years, but coupled with LSAT and Bar exam studying, it comes out to a little over four years of non-stop tireless work. All that said, I couldn’t be happier with my personal decision to attend law school as it has made me into a well-rounded individual and has taught me to think outside the box in various situations. 

Dane Lopes, @danelopes, SVP/Sales Leader – US East Region, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions
DaneLopesStand out and be different. Think for yourself. Take chances. As Mark Twain said, twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did.

Matthew LaFleur, @doodlematt, Design Director at Trend Publishing, Freelance Illustrator, and Homebrewer

MatthewLaFleurSome of the most interesting courses I took were outside of my major (acting for non-majors, sophomore fiction workshop, films of Steven Spielberg thru Newhouse, Animation via Film school, The Soling Program). Take advantage of everything Syracuse offers. 

Catherine LaPointe, @LaPointeArt, Book Illustrator and Designer
CatherineLaPointe It may take days or decades to succeed, but if you give up you’ll never know which it was. The first step is never glamorous, but take it anyway, and see where it leads. 

Adam Britten, @AdamBritten, Social Media Coordinator at Taco Bell

AdamBrittenAlways be looking for new connections. Reach out to people within your industry who are just starting out, on the same level as you, and 10 years your senior. You never know when a small connection will turn into a big break. @WorkingOrange is a great place to start, as you have a natural connection to anyone tweeting from the account since we are all part of Orange Nation.

Katie Walpole, @KatieWalpole, MPA Candidate at the London School of Economics
KatieWalpoleDon’t give up! I’m just starting the job search process, but even during the graduate school admission process I was rejected from first choice possibilities. Keeping a positive energy is the best way to move forward!

Sean Keeley, @NunesMagician, Creator and Writer for the blog Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician 

SeanKeeleyTake advice but trust your gut. More often than not in life, the people who told me what I should do didn’t actually extend any help to make it happen. It’s easier to tell someone not to do something risky than to help them accomplish it. Remember that sometimes advice comes cloaked in “what’s safe for you” and not “what’s best for you.” You’ll know the difference when you hear it. It’s your life, don’t live it through the filter of other people’s hopes and dreams.

Daryl Wolke, @DarylWolke, Director of Development at Gesher Jewish Day School
DarylWolkeMy advice for new grads entering the job market as well as those of us whose diplomas are a little on the yellow side and are looking at career reinvention would be “think outside the box!” In my day, a Broadcast Journalism major went to local news, a PR or ADV major to an agency, etc. We collected an amazing box of skills during our time @cuse and @Newhouse, how can they be used “off label” so to speak? In 1984, I would never have considered philanthropy a CAREER, it was something my mom did because she didn’t work lol. Every day, as a professional fundraiser, I use the public relations, writing, advertising and rhetorical skills I learned at SU.

Menotti Minutillo, @44, Technical Program Manager at Twitter
MenottiMinutilloYour career path is only obvious and knowable in retrospect, so spend less time trying to plan it. Focus instead on identifying opportunities in the moment and developing a trusted network of professionals that you’d be delighted to work with in any capacity.

Victoria Chan, @VictoriaChanINC, Executive Director at Values Academy
VictoriaChanWhen you go to any kind of conference, understand that it is more important to build relationships than to collect business cards. For every ten cards that you receive, take two minutes aside to write down an interesting fact about the person so when you email them later, there’s a personal touch.

Sandy Prisbell, @SandyPantalones, Project Designer at Mattel
SandyPrisbellMy career advice for SU students is to do what you love! The best tool you can bring to your job is a real passion for what it is that you do- no matter what industry you are in.  It was great to be a part of the @WorkingOrange twitter community for a day! My job is creative and unique and I’m thrilled to be part of a company, like Mattel, and to be able to share my day to day inside these amazing walls with the SU community. My Surface Pattern Design major and BFA from SU played a big part in laying a foundation of skills to design for consumer products and character brands.

Kafele Khalfani, @kafele, Director of New Student Orientation/CLUE & Residence Life at the College of Staten Island
KafeleKhalfaniI think one of the best pieces of advice is to make connections with alumni especially those on Working Orange.  We want to build relationships with the current students. Who doesn’t love sharing their wisdom and sage advice?

Rachel Chang, @RachelChang, Senior Editor at Us Weekly Magazine
Don’t underestimate the value of networking with those in the field you have your eyes set on. Even if they may not have any job opportunities at their companies, they may know others in the field looking for employees — and someone who comes recommended always beats the pile of resumes to sort through. Cast your net wide — it only takes one position at one company to open up for you to land your dream job! Stay on target and don’t let being turned down from one job get you down… it’s all about the perfect fit at the right time and your time is coming!

Hillary Berman, @hillaryberman, Founder/Owner of Popcorn & Ice Cream
When you first start in a new job, focus on listening first and contributing second.  While demonstrating your knowledge is important, you can answer questions more intelligently and provide far more value with greater perspective on the company, the context of a situation and a general understanding of culture.  Employers may note eagerness to participate, but they’ll really appreciate your desire to learn and provide the most valuable contributions possible.

Don McPherson, @DonMcPherson, Social Education Innovator and Entrepreneur, College Football Hall of Famer, TV Show Host, and more
DonMcPhersonMy advice is always to follow your passion.  Make money your last deciding factor and go with what makes you happy, smile and feel like you are fulfilling your purpose in the world.  I know that sounds fluffy but nothing is worse than missing that one person who can make you happy…YOU!!

Chris Velardi, @cvelardi, Anchor of Good Morning CT on WTNH/NEWS8
ChrisVelardiIt sounds simple, but “hello” is such a powerful word. It’s a door-opener, a conversation-starter and the glue of networking. Whether you’re reaching out to someone for the first time or reconnecting with someone after a long time, it begins with “hello.” During my day as @WorkingOrange, a few “hellos” led to some new connections – professionally and personally. You never know how the people you meet may help you. And you never know how you may help them. But the world – and particularly our Orange world – gets a little smaller when you start with “hello.”

Scott MacFarlane, @MacFarlaneNews, NBC 4 I-Team Reporter – Investigative Journalism
ScottMacFarlaneAs a reporter, I’m paid to be resourceful. I’m paid to find things no one else can find. I’m paid to find solutions when surrounded by problems. To succeed professionally, keep this in mind: Resourcefulness shouldn’t be limited to reporters. No matter what field you choose, always strive to be resourceful. When setting up a networking session, or a professional meeting, don’t rely strictly on GOOGLE to do your pre-meeting research. Call people in the industry. Ask around. Knock on doors. Do some *real* research. Go into the meeting having done some homework.  You’ll have an edge, you’ll have a more successful meeting and you’ll demonstrate the type of resourcefulness EVERY employer craves.

Angela Tucciarone, @A_Tooch, Digital Media at PepsiCo
AngelaTucciaroneStalk alums on social media. Follow them, send them a FB message, tweet @ them, favorite their tweets (only if you genuinely are in like :)) Social media is a more casual, engaging way to get noticed without having to send that awkward introductory email.

Matt Josephs, @brosephs950, Radio Producer at ESPN Radio 950
MattJosephsMy advice is to soak up as much info from the alums as possible. We’re good resources to help out and I’m always willing to listen to someone who went to the ‘Cuse.

Nicole Marie Milano, @nicolemariemil, Writing and Editing Specialist at Writing Solutions Group

NicoleMarieMilanoNetworking is everything. While I’m confident in my skills, I know that most of the jobs I’ve gotten since graduation have been due to connections, not my resume. Always be networking, and keep in touch with connections even when you’re not looking for a new job. You never know when you might need them.

Fiona Andrews, @fionalandrews, Marketing Consultant and Yoga TeacherFionaAndrews
Don’t pigeonhole yourself, and make your own opportunities – sometimes, all you have to do is ask! 
I studied opera at SU, intending to pursue a secondary degree and a career as a musician. Instead,  I asked a company I had interned with for a job and then graduated a year early to take it – I ended up working with them for over two years, working my way up, taking on extra responsibilities, and learning a lot. Then, I decided I wanted to pursue yoga – so I emailed a yoga master asking if I could study with him, moved to India, and completed my advanced teacher training. Now that I’m back stateside I teach yoga classes and also work as a marketing consultant – but everything I do is a result of something I learned from an out-of-the-box opportunity I simply asked for.

Nick Martin, @NickAlanMartin, Regional Recruitment Admissions Communications Manager at City Year
NickMartinMy advice for any graduating Orange is to do a term of service with AmeriCorps. The term will be incredibly challenging and rewarding as it accelerates your career path. There are currently 18 Syracuse Alum serving with City Year and many more have served before. 

Ben Tepfer, @bentepfer, Marketing Specialist at Adobe
BenTepferI have two pieces of career advice. The first is to learn to grow within a changing environment. Changes occur on your team, but also at the company level. This time last year I was at a company of around 300 people. Now, as the result of an acquisition, the company is around 12,000! Change can be great for you personally and your career. Just don’t let it overwhelm you. The second is that it so always learn. Try to learn new skills as often as you can. You should never be bored at work, in my opinion, because there is always something new to read or a way to hone your skills.

Harsh Mall, @harsh_mall, Digital Marketing Associate at Richard Attias & Associates
HarshMall- If you’re an international student, you’re going to have to put in twice the effort into everything. And in this job market, that means putting twice the effort into putting twice the effort!
– You may be applying for a job but you’re applying through a person. Pitch to the person not the position.
– At entry level, you will experience rejection, creative frustration, and rigorous working conditions. Deal with it. Working hard will sharpen your skills and provide with you a crucial asset in your workplace: dependability.

Bill Voth, @billvoth, Cofounder of Spiracle Media
The day I took over @WorkingOrange, I was covering the NCAA Tournament, but not in the way I would have thought when graduating from Syracuse in 2001. Back then, the traditional media ladder was intact. In order to cover big sporting events, you did so with a television station, newspaper or radio station. But 12 years later, that ladder had essentially disappeared. I covered this year’s tournament for a participating school that used my company, Spiracle Media, to do its video production. It was an example of how athletic departments, teams and athletes have used the emergence of digital and social media to become their own media outlets. My advice to current SU students would be to look beyond any ladder or traditional route they think they need to use to achieve their dreams. The media landscape has been blown up, and while that is in some ways scary, it also means there’s infinitely more ways to creatively pursue career ambitions.

Miko Horn, @MikoHorn, National Tour Director/Father Knows Best & FISLL Curriculum, Allan Houston Legacy Foundation
MikoHornFind an industry that truly interests you and compliments your talents, learn as much about the field and people currently working in that space, research opportunities to intern or volunteer and most importantly work harder than anyone else.

Matt Park, @MattPark1, Voice of the Orange at Syracuse University
MattParkIn any industry, one of the most important keys to success is personal relationships. It’s not always easy, but nurture your network when you’re not necessarily job seeking or in need of something so that it’s there when you are.

Naysa Mishler, @naysamishler, LinkedIn Corporate Solutions
NaysaMishlerMy “slice of advice” is to build your network now, so when you need it, it’s there. I also recommend the LinkedIn Alumni Tool to connect with SU graduates. Compare their skills to what you’ve learned to see how you stack up, and where you might need to bulk up. Reach out to them for an insider’s perspective about a company and how they got there. We’ve found that most people want to help out fellow students and alumni, and are open to informational interviews. It’s a great way to get your foot in the door. #orange4life

Ryan Balton, @ryanbalton, Studio Operator at ESPN
RyanBaltonMy biggest pieces of advice for students are to get involved with activities on campus, especially ones that give you practical experience in your field, and to work part-time and freelance jobs on campus, especially those that give you customer service experience, like at the library or a computer lab. Also, in general I would avoid unpaid internships if you know what you’re doing, otherwise they’re just taking advantage of you and your skills.

Joe Bator, @joeb300, Senior Vice President at Eastern Bank
JoeBatorWhile it is important to have an idea on where you want to go, don’t wear blinders that keep you from an opportunity that doesn’t fit your view of your future.


Veronica Ripson, @veronicaripson, Digital Planner at Essence
VeronicaRipsonEveryone makes mistakes and it’s okay! Always take responsibility for your role and try to come to the table with three things; what happened, how to fix it in the short term, and how to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Your bosses will respect your honesty and appreciate your ability to think through the issue. 

Chasity Cooper, @chasityscooper, Inbound Marketing Coordinator at 2U
ChasityCooperWhen it comes to starting out your career, be willing to lay a firm foundation above all. Yes, there may be grunt work and long hours, but the hard work will ultimately pay off. Stay hungry, remain humble, ask questions and never be afraid to fail. Finally, always show gratitude because your passionate spirit will always shine through.

Nick Cicero, @nickcicero, Lead Social Strategist at Livefyre Storify
NickCiceroNever stop hustling. One of the things that I’ve found to be most beneficial to successful people is their tenacity and desire to create amazing things. Surround yourself with people and organizations who never stop asking questions or challenging traditional ideas.

Charles Oehrlein, @droehrlein, Podiatrist
DrOehrleinDo something interesting, way outside of your major.  I played tuba in the Marching Band for four years as well as taking fencing.  These were the two topics my med school interviews focused on.  Everyone takes all the bio courses and pre-requisites so if you can find something really fun and not what everyone else is doing you can set yourself apart.  Plus you’ll meet people you probably would never have met elsewhere.  

Thanks for reading! Tomorrow, we’ll hear from some of our alumni about what being on the @WorkingOrange account meant to them.

If you’re a Syracuse grad interested in taking over @WorkingOrange for the day, please e-mail me: kmbrow04 at syr dot edu. Thanks and GO ORANGE!

LinkedIn as a Recruitment Tool

RachelMervisBy Rachel Mervis, ’11

LinkedIn is essentially a resume open for everyone to see. There are different points of view on which aspects are the most important to utilize. Essentially it depends on your strengths as well as your objectives. I got my current job at iAcquire, an SEO agency via my LinkedIn profile. I asked the recruiter what information leads him to select his recruits.

  1. He chooses second connections so that he can ask 3 or 4 people about the candidate and get the truth about their work ethic and personality.
  2. He doesn’t place too much emphasis on endorsements as he does not know the people who have given them or whether they were solicited.
  3. He looks for the skills acquired through past internships and jobs.

I have often wondered whether it is prudent to show your sense of humor somewhere on your LinkedIn profile. I asked this to our recruiter who stated, “it sort of depends on the position you are looking for and the way you go about it. It is vital that any humor be classy and appropriate.”

The takeaways from this are to connect on LinkedIn with every classmate, colleague and acquaintance that you meet along the way. Obviously, it is unfair to say to make a good impression with everyone you meet. However, it is important not to burn any bridges, as well as to make every effort to put your best foot forward. The sooner you adopt these principles, the easier it will be to establish a network and a career.

Feel free to email me with any further questions at

20 Tips for SUccess When Networking In-person

By Kim Brown, Assistant Director for Alumni Programs

A few networking tips to get you started networking on the right foot.

A few networking tips to get you started networking on the right foot.

We thought this would be a timely post as many of you prepare to head home for Thanksgiving Break. Believe it or not, family/friend gatherings are networking events even though they don’t have the official title! And while some of these tips are geared more toward the “official” events, we thought they’d help you get ready for all of the in-person networking that’s ahead of you during break…and beyond!

  1. Your name tag goes on your right side.
  2. Do your homework prior to attending an event. Google attendees or find them on LinkedIn to see their photos, learn a bit more about them.
  3. Being a wallflower won’t work. Think about what you have in common with people and strike up a conversation!
  4. Try not to approach two people in conversation. It’s best to approach groups of three or more. You’ll be less of an interruption and feel more welcomed.
  5. Say the other person’s name two or three times during the conversation. You won’t forget it, and it shows that you are actively engaging with him/her.
  6. Make eye contact, but don’t make it a stare-down contest.
  7. Keep business cards in an outside suit coat or purse pocket. They’ll be easy to access and you won’t be passing along a sweaty, crinkled card that came out of your pants pocket.
  8. Write yourself notes on the back of business cards you receive. When you leave the event, you won’t be asking yourself, “now who was that person again? What did he promise me?”
  9. No food and drink at the same time. Keep one hand free to shake hands!
  10. Speaking of food, be mindful of your selections. Spinach dip might be a bad choice.
  11. Observe people we might call “mingling mavens” and try to replicate what they do.
  12. Read newspapers, books, movie reviews. Have things to discuss that are not necessarily career-related.

    A few go-to conversation starters.

    A few go-to conversation starters.

  13. It’s OK to “prepare” small talk. What are your go-to topics?
  14. Try asking a question to start an interaction. Ask the question, then stop talking.
  15. Try making a statement to start an interaction. Make your statement, then stop talking. For example, “What a well-attended event this is!” Then let the other person speak. Sometimes, networking is all about simple, casual conversations that lead to more.
  16. There are differences between hand shakes, hand breaks and dead fish. Have a firm hand shake.
  17. Ask questions of the other person that show you are paying attention.
  18. Remember your “elevator pitch” and practice it. Your elevator pitch is the short description of yourself and what you do/what you hope to do. You might use it if you had only a few minutes in the elevator with the CEO of your dream company.
  19. How do you get away? It’s OK to use colleague/food/restroom as excuses.
  20. Say thank you when leaving a conversation. For particularly helpful conversations, consider following up afterward with a personalized LinkedIn connection request or a handwritten thank-you note.

We hope these tips offer a helpful start!

Megan Lucas’ #LinkedInSUccess Story

May 2013,  The Advisory Board Company

May 2013,
The Advisory Board Company

Continuing our series on #LinkedInSUccess stories, Megan Lucas ’13, shares how she leveraged LinkedIn in her job search!

I graduated Syracuse University College of Arts and Sciences in May 2013, and like everyone else, was very worried about finding a fun full-time job that would potentially turn into a career. I studied international relations, Spanish, and economics as my undergraduate work, and was very reliant on the Maxwell Career Services and LinkedIn. I went to a few networking events in Syracuse and DC before graduating and right after graduation, but relied a lot on online applications and portals.

Beginning in June 2013, I was working an unpaid internship at the Center of Hemispheric Defense Studies at National Defense University. I enjoyed the work and networking opportunities, but knew that I was “burnt out” in doing research for academic institutions, as well as working for non-profits. I wanted to join the private sector, and geared my job search that way. I stumbled upon a job opening at The Advisory Board Company via LinkedIn, and applied. After my first failed interview at Advisory Board, I noticed a few more job positions and decided to apply and subsequently prepare myself better for the interview. I researched the positions as well as the company, and physically wrote down pages of answers to common interview questions, as well as notes detailing my strengths, weaknesses, and how those character traits contributed directly to the position and the firm.

During this process, LinkedIn was invaluable. I was able to research the company, other positions, as well as other Syracuse alumni on the network. I noticed a particular alum had graduated from SU one year before me with the same major (international relations), and asked for a “LinkedIn Introduction” via Kim Brown, one of our many connections in common. We messaged on LinkedIn, exchanging phone numbers, and had an informal phone call shortly after. Not only was I able to feel out more about the company and its inner workings, I used our shared history and career desires to apply to my personal fit and career trajectory. During my next set of interviews, I mentioned the previous voluntary outreach anecdote, and wholeheartedly believe that it was this fact that showed I was able and willing to take all necessary steps for the company and role; to “go the extra mile” (which is ironically one of the company’s cultural values).

The bottom line: getting a job is not only about personality, work ethic, and work history. It is not just showing skills and answering all the interview questions with confidence (never arrogance). Yes, you must be able to read, write, think, comprehend, react, and do simple math and logical deductions in your mind. But a lot of the time, getting the job comes down to fit: not only should you be a well-tailored fit for the company, but the company should be a well-tailored fit for you. LinkedIn is one of the websites that expedites this process; I believe to find a well-suited position, you need to utilize all the tools that LinkedIn provides.

Good luck, Megan and thank you for sharing your story! Stay tuned for more #LinkedInSUccess stories!