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What You Need to Know Before Going to Grad School Overseas

By Adam Britten, Class of 2011

I’m a big fan of the app TimeHop. Using posts from your various social media accounts, it reminds you what you were doing exactly one year ago. For me, this means that for the past few months, I’ve been seeing my old Foursquare check-ins from the grocery store near my flat, Facebook statuses about term papers written from a computer lab near Buckingham Palace, and even Instagram photos of my favorite museum in Brussels.

After obtaining my Bachelor’s in Marketing Management from Whitman in 2011, I pursued a Master’s in Digital Marketing at Hult International Business School in London. Attending an international grad school was one of the best choices I made for my career and for my personal growth. If you’re considering attending a graduate program in another country, here are a few things I’d recommend.

Do Your Research.  When you were applying to college, you might have done a few campus visits before making your final decision. This can be much harder when you are considering international schools. Try to absorb as much online content about the school as you can. It also helps to look for local conferences and other events that the schools you are considering are attending so you can talk with representatives. Make sure you are making an informed decision so that if and when you do get on that airplane, you’re confident in your decision and ready for what’s ahead.

Plan Your Finances Carefully.  Bank accounts, rent, emergency funds, and health insurance can be a lot to deal with. This can be especially taxing if you are doing it under a different set of regulations, or in another language. Consider things like foreign transaction fees and currency conversion rates. Be prepared for things like needing to pay a really large deposit for your apartment or a trip to the doctor. Don’t forget to build in spending money to enjoy your surroundings! (My budget included enough money for occasional theater tickets. It was one of my favorite things about living in London!)

Adam Britten in Paris, of course!
Adam Britten in Paris, of course!

Explore Safely & Often.  One of the benefits of living in another country, especially a European country, is the opportunity to travel. During my breaks in between terms, I visited Copenhagen, Amsterdam, and even Disneyland Paris. Traveling across cultural and language barriers can be intimidating on your own, so it’s important to be prepared. Embrace it as an opportunity, but keep your wits about you. Your family will also frequently want to know that you are safe and well; a good way to do this is by writing a travel blog or tweeting about the places you visit. (This will also give your future self a lot of amazing TimeHop content!)

Overall, the decision to attend graduate school in another country is one that I would highly recommend. It helped me develop skills that I use to my advantage at work, as well as gave me several amazing experiences that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

(Further reading: Will Going to Grad School Immediately After College Set Your Career Back?)


Adam Britten has a Bachelor’s in Marketing Management from the Whitman School of Management (2011) and a Master’s in Digital Marketing from Hult International Business School (2012.) He is the Social Media Manager at 16 Handles frozen yogurt. He can be found on Twitter @AdamBritten or at his blog TheDigitalCareerist.com.

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!

 

 

#LifeAfterSU with Caitlyn Ferber

Otto & Caitlyn!

Our #LifeAfterSU series continues with School of Education alumna Caitlyn Ferber!

1) Name, Major:  Caitlyn Ferber ’13; Majors: Selected Studies in Education and Sociology; Minor: Disability Studies

2) What are you doing after graduation?  I will be participating in the Syracuse Urban Inclusive Teacher Residents (SUITR) program at SU! Through the SUITR program I will be pursuing a master’s degree in inclusive special education (7-12) and working in the Syracuse City School District.

3) What tip do you have for those going to graduate school/finding employment?  The best piece of advice I have for anyone about to graduate is to take time and think about your long-term goals. It is a daunting task but it will make the process of applying to graduate schools and jobs easier. Another important thing to do is to be open to the idea of taking different paths to reach your goals, as flexibility is a very important skill in the workplace.  I would also encourage you to network with your professors and peers. Networking is a great way to meet new people and a wonderful opportunity to hear new ideas/opinions that may influence you.

4) How did Career Services help you? (Or, what tips would you give to others on using Career Services?)  I first visited Career Services my junior year, but I wish I had realized sooner just how many different services the office offers. These services range from advice on choosing a major to helping with the job search process. When I first met with Tracy in Career Services I had no idea how to approach my graduate school search. Career Services helped me through the whole process from personal statements to final decisions. Throughout my junior and senior year, I also attended Career Services’ events such as drop-in hours, the career fair, graduate school fair, LinkedIn workshop and more. I would advise you to start using the resources that Career Services offers as soon as possible!

Good luck at SUITR Caitlyn, and thanks for sharing your post-grad plans with us!

Stay tuned for more #LifeAfterSU stories!

 

Bright lights, Big city: when a new job involves a move…

Dan Klamm

by Dan Klamm ’08, Director of Young Alumni Engagement – Syracuse University Lubin House

On October 14th, 2012, I packed my things into three suitcases, hugged my mom goodbye, hopped in a car, and went to New York City.

I didn’t have a place to live, I hadn’t met my boss for the job I would start the following day, and I didn’t have any super-close friends or family in the city. But I knew one thing: I needed a change. And I was excited about the adventure to come.

My story is not unique. Each year, thousands of college grads and young professionals flock to cities like New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, and Austin. Here are some tips on making a successful transition:

Be smart about housing. Where yNeighborhoodou live has an incredible impact on your level of happiness in your new locale. It’s your home base! I am a huge advocate for finding a short-term sublet while getting your bearings in a new city (I found a six-month furnished sublet on Craigslist that worked out well). Once you’re familiar with public transportation and you’ve had a chance to scope out neighborhoods — as well as discover your own preferences within the city — you can make a more informed decision about where you’d like to settle down.

Just as important as the neighborhood you choose is the apartment itself. Syracuse alumna and real estate agent Stephanie Tiboris ’05 shared some great tips at Lubin House recently about hunting for apartments.

Think carefully, too, about long-term roommate compatibility if you choose to cohabitate (which is often a wise financial and social decision for new transplants).

Make a budget. When you move to a city like New York or San Francisco, it’s easy to blow $50 on a casual night at the bar or to discover that your artisan latte habit adds up to $200/month. Take the time to chart your monthly financial situation. Account for fixed expenses like rent, utilities, and student loan payments; then, determine what you can afford to spend on food, entertainment, and other flexible expenses, while hopefully allowing you to put a bit into savings as well.

Consider your overall budget whenever committing to major financial decisions. The $90 gym membership you sign up for on a whim can come back to bite you, as can the decision to spend 40% of your monthly salary on apartment rent. There’s nothing wrong with spending money; the key is to consciously prioritize where to allocate your funds, so that you’re not forced into unpleasant situations (like skipping a social outing with friends, or eating ramen noodles) because you’re broke.

CentralPark
A view of Central Park

Develop a group of friends. “Be the one who finds things to do,” said Sadé Muhammad ’12 at our recent Lubin House event to welcome new grads to NYC. You’ll likely arrive to your city alongside a slew of twenty-somethings who are all in the same boat: looking for new social connections and things to do. So be the one who finds free concerts, inexpensive happy hours, and fun cultural outings… then pull people together to attend! You’ll begin to develop a strong group of friends — or groups of friends — this way.

In terms of branching out, check out sites like Meetup.com. Consider joining classes that intrigue you, from fitness to painting to improvisational comedy. Become part of the SU Alumni Club in your region and attend the summertime SUccess In The City events to make new connections.

Bright lights, Big city: when a new job involves a move…

Dan Klamm

by Dan Klamm ’08, Director of Young Alumni Engagement – Syracuse University Lubin House

On October 14th, 2012, I packed my things into three suitcases, hugged my mom goodbye, hopped in a car, and went to New York City.

I didn’t have a place to live, I hadn’t met my boss for the job I would start the following day, and I didn’t have any super-close friends or family in the city. But I knew one thing: I needed a change. And I was excited about the adventure to come.

My story is not unique. Each year, thousands of college grads and young professionals flock to cities like New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, and Austin. Here are some tips on making a successful transition:

Be smart about housing. Where yNeighborhoodou live has an incredible impact on your level of happiness in your new locale. It’s your home base! I am a huge advocate for finding a short-term sublet while getting your bearings in a new city (I found a six-month furnished sublet on Craigslist that worked out well). Once you’re familiar with public transportation and you’ve had a chance to scope out neighborhoods — as well as discover your own preferences within the city — you can make a more informed decision about where you’d like to settle down.

Just as important as the neighborhood you choose is the apartment itself. Syracuse alumna and real estate agent Stephanie Tiboris ’05 shared some great tips at Lubin House recently about hunting for apartments.

Think carefully, too, about long-term roommate compatibility if you choose to cohabitate (which is often a wise financial and social decision for new transplants).

Make a budget. When you move to a city like New York or San Francisco, it’s easy to blow $50 on a casual night at the bar or to discover that your artisan latte habit adds up to $200/month. Take the time to chart your monthly financial situation. Account for fixed expenses like rent, utilities, and student loan payments; then, determine what you can afford to spend on food, entertainment, and other flexible expenses, while hopefully allowing you to put a bit into savings as well.

Consider your overall budget whenever committing to major financial decisions. The $90 gym membership you sign up for on a whim can come back to bite you, as can the decision to spend 40% of your monthly salary on apartment rent. There’s nothing wrong with spending money; the key is to consciously prioritize where to allocate your funds, so that you’re not forced into unpleasant situations (like skipping a social outing with friends, or eating ramen noodles) because you’re broke.

CentralPark
A view of Central Park

Develop a group of friends. “Be the one who finds things to do,” said Sadé Muhammad ’12 at our recent Lubin House event to welcome new grads to NYC. You’ll likely arrive to your city alongside a slew of twenty-somethings who are all in the same boat: looking for new social connections and things to do. So be the one who finds free concerts, inexpensive happy hours, and fun cultural outings… then pull people together to attend! You’ll begin to develop a strong group of friends — or groups of friends — this way.

In terms of branching out, check out sites like Meetup.com. Consider joining classes that intrigue you, from fitness to painting to improvisational comedy. Become part of the SU Alumni Club in your region and attend the summertime SUccess In The City events to make new connections.

You've studied abroad…now use it to stand out!

By Christina Faulkner, Career Services’ Employer Relations Program Coordinator

So you’re back in the States after a semester abroad; you’ve explored a new place, culture, and maybe a new language too. Your semester abroad can be a great leverage point on your resume and in an interview to help set you apart from other candidates!

Christina in Niokolo Koba National Park during her study abroad experience in Senegal.
Christina in Niokolo Koba National Park during her study abroad experience in Senegal.

Put it on your resume
Your resume is often the first method of contact you will make with a potential employer, so you want it to stand out against all of the other resumes they see. Having experience abroad distinguishes you from other candidates because it shows that you can adapt to new environments and be independent.

Depending on how relevant your study abroad experience is to the job you are applying for, you can list it briefly or more in-depth. Always include the location, duration, and title of the program on your resume. If you studied at a university while in your host country, include the name of the university as well. If your study abroad experience is directly applicable to the job, you can expand on it by sharing the classes you took (and whether they were in a language other than English), research projects you conducted, what you learned, and/or skills you gained.

If you held an internship, volunteered, or conducted research abroad, add your title and duties under the appropriate section of your resume.

Include any languages you learned abroad in the skills section of your resume. Add your proficiency in the language – basic, intermediate, conversational, or fluent.

Examples:

Resume Pic Christina

Talk about it in an interview
What you choose to put on your resume, including study abroad experience, may come up in an interview; if it’s on your resume, then you should be prepared to discuss it. You can also use experiences from your trip abroad to answer behavioral interview questions. Examples:

Interview Christina

Examples like these can show you are adaptable, determined, a good communicator, and so much more!

Everyone’s study abroad experience is unique and challenging in its own way, so use it to prove that you are the right person for the job. Be proud of your experience abroad – you learned, explored, and put yourself out there!

For individual help, please visit us during drop-ins! These times will change beginning May 13, so please keep an eye on our website.
Monday           12 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Tuesday          12 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Wednesday      3 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Thursday          2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Jerejef! (Thank you!)

A MAJOR decision: living my dream at ESPN

By Rachel Eldridge, SU ’10

I always knew I wanted to be a doctor. I have a strong stomach and never panic, both things I was sure were required to get your M.D.

Little did I know that I would end up far from where I started out as a biology major at Syracuse University.

Rachel Eldridge graduated from SU with a dual degree in English and Political Science. She followed her passion for sports and now works for ESPN.

Rewind to 2007. I was sitting in chemistry class; not only was I bored, I had lost the passion I thought I had. I was good at science, which forced me to feel like it was the career path I was supposed to pursue. My mom always asked me, “If you had one day to yourself, what would you do? However you answer that question, that is what you should spend your professional career doing.” My answer for as long as I could remember was “I’d watch sports.”

So there I was, a year and a half out of college, working at an intellectual property law firm in Washington D.C., with degrees in Political Science and English.

I was starting to get antsy. I knew that eventually I was going to have to decide if I wanted to go to law school, and if I didn’t, I needed to make a change and I needed to make one that was calculated. With my two degrees, I knew that I didn’t have the clear and overt qualifications for a position in sports, but I figured it was worth a shot. I was pressured into applying, but luckily I didn’t have to cast a net of applications in desperation. I had a job, which gave me time to be honest with myself about what I wanted.

I finally had the guts to do it. On a late Saturday night, I did a quick search regarding employment at ESPN, pretty convinced I had a zero percent chance of getting hired.

In the end, I refused to put restrictions on myself. I took a risk and it worked out, even if I did have to wait an agonizing four months to work through the process at ESPN. I know that it won’t always work out as it did for me, but you can’t convince yourself not to do something because you “aren’t qualified” or because “it’s way out of your league” or because you didn’t major in a specific subject or industry area.

I didn’t have much experience working in sports, but transferable skills and a passion for sports were enough to not only get me through the door, but hired by the World Wide Leader in Sports in the research department as part of the Stats & Information Group. Looking back at my path: from biology to political science and English to sports, I took many turns but am happy with the result. I am not sure how much my specific majors actually mattered, but I do know that I needed a degree to achieve these goals!

If you’re looking for help deciding a major, check out Career Services’ Major Dilemma Drop-Ins, March 25th – 28th.  First-year and sophomore students who wish to discuss their majors can stop by during the below times:
Monday, March 25 – 4:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 26 – 3:00- 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 27 – 2:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 28 – 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Career Crash Course – April 5th

Feel your job search is stalled - get a jump start with the "Career Crash Course" on April 5th. #CCCSU.
Don’t idle in your career search – come to the “Career Crash Course” on April 5th and get a jump start on finding the career of your dreams! #CCCSU.

"Should I Go To Grad School?"

By Alaina Spadaro, G’14
Graduate Assistant, Career Services

Graduate Assistant
Alaina is the graduate assistant in Career Services. In this post, she shares some thoughts and resources about pursuing a graduate degree program.

To Go or Not to Go?
Wondering about graduate school? Well, “Should I go to graduate school?” is a common question we hear in Career Services and one that I am familiar with personally. When I was in my senior year of undergrad, I didn’t know whether or not I wanted to pursue a degree past my B.A. and if so, what program of study I should choose.  I knew how much effort it would take to apply and had to decide quickly. Time limitations, financial concerns, and family pressures combined to make my graduate school decision complex. The choice to go or not to go is unique for every individual and situation.

I would not recommend graduate school to someone who is unclear about his or her career path. There’s a lot of emphasis in today’s economy on continuing your education. However, without a specific career goal in mind or without being ready, the pressure of graduate studies could become too much. Personally, I needed to be certain that I really wanted the job opportunities that would be available when I finish my graduate degree. Otherwise, I don’t know if I would have the motivation and willpower to complete the demanding program.

Identify Your Career Path
In my opinion, the most important aspect of deciding whether you should go to graduate school is to identify your career path. There are many different fields and industries to consider and you want to make the best decision for you and what you want out of life. It might sound cheesy, but knowing your “work self” is pivotal to finding a rewarding employment opportunity down the road. Your work self is a term we use to help students define their unique capabilities, interests, and values impacting their career decisions. Many undergraduates don’t get the opportunity to think about what they value in a career, whether it’s work-life balance, organizational structure, or workplace culture. If you don’t know your work self very well, I’d say that work experience trumps education.

NOTE: You don’t have to go graduate school right after undergraduate studies. Many have successfully completed graduate degrees both during and after obtaining some work experience.  Often, work experience shows you what it’s really like in your field of interest and what kind of education is required to advance. 

The Application Process
Once you identify your career path and realize an advanced degree is the appropriate next step, prepare to apply (and that can be daunting).  I have to be honest…the application process takes much more time than you anticipate. If you’re considering graduate school the fall of your senior year, then you better hustle to get your applications together for the following fall. Often, application deadlines are in January and February.  Not to mention, many graduate schools and programs require a standardized test (GRE, GMAT, MCAT, and LSAT). Below are some resources that I’ve compiled to help you along the way.

Some useful links when considering graduate programs:

Below are links to the main pages for graduate school exams:

You’re Not in This Alone
There’s no way that I could address all the concerns and questions you, as an individual, have about the application process or grad school. I hope, however, that you realize that you don’t have to navigate the question: “Should I go to grad school?” on your own.

For more advice on the many aspects of the graduate school application process, please come to Career Services to speak with a counselor. We would be happy to discuss your decision with you or answer any question you might have along the way.  Just call 443-3616 to set up an appointment or stop by the office at 235 Schine Student Center during Drop-ins.

Our counselors can help you:

  • Clarify whether you should pursue a master’s degree or a PhD
  • Research graduate schools and programs
  • Develop a strategy for the application process
  • Fine-tune your personal statement
  • Revise your resume for graduate school
  • Practice for your graduate school interview
  • Understand what a GA/TA/RA is and how to apply

Best of luck with your decision! And please let us know if we can help.

Three Ways to Enhance Your Employability for Nonprofit Jobs

By Ben Thomas, Guest Blogger

In preparation for the Nonprofit & Government Career Fair on Wednesday, February 20, The Riley Guide Blogger Ben Thomas shares tips on standing out to nonprofit employers.  Stop by on Wednesday 2/20 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. in Panasci Lounge, Schine Student Center, to connect with more than 50 agencies searching for interns and entry-level hires.  Some agencies attending include: City Year, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Math for America Foundation, and United States Department of Agriculture.  For a full list of attendees and positions available, visit OrangeLinkCropped

Nonprofit careers are looking more and more promising to Americans who still struggle to find work. A recent report by CNN estimates that the nonprofit sector’s 1.5 million organizations generate almost $1.5 trillion in spending every year – and that the sector has continued to grow robustly throughout the recession. If you’re looking to expand your career options, nonprofit work might be just the right area for you to explore. Even so, you’ll need to tailor your profile pretty differently than you would for the corporate world. Here are three ways you can start improving your shot at a nonprofit job, starting right now.

Hone your talents
Many jobs in the nonprofit sector rely heavily on skills you may have developed elsewhere – for instance, many nonprofit organizations are in need of teachers, translators and event organizers. If your skills fall under a technical heading, you may be in an even better spot. Nonprofits need professional websites, secure networks and knowledgeable tech support staff, just as any company does – but many nonprofit managers report that their organization’s technology is a bit behind the times. Whether you’re talented at upgrading technology or sprucing up an aging public image, a portfolio of projects you’ve completed on time and under budget will serve as a strong recommendation for your ability to contribute. If you freelance at all, seek out some clients – nonprofit or otherwise – whose business model emphasizes ideals like sustainable energy or free education. These projects will do more than just boost your resumé – they’ll also give you glimpses of the nonprofit sector’s look and feel.

Learn the territory
No matter where your talents lie, you’ll want to spend some time investigating the structure and needs of some nonprofit organizations in the field that interests you the most. Nonprofit work comes with its own set of expectations: many nonprofits value compassionate ideals over  competitive spirit; personal relationships over profitable ones. Though many corporations toe lines like this, you may find that a corporate go-getter attitude comes across as excessively intense – even intimidating – to people who’ve spent years in the nonprofit sector. What’s more, nonprofit work comes with its own set of terms and titles. These don’t necessarily refer to different concepts than those used in the corporate world, but they’ll come in handy as you approach nonprofit employers for a pitch or an interview. Speaking their language, in their preferred tone of voice, will take you far in the relationship-driven world of nonprofit work.

Donate your time
When a nonprofit manager looks over your work history, one thing that’s sure to catch his or her eye is volunteer work. This doesn’t have to mean service in the Red Cross or the National Guard (though such experience certainly wouldn’t hurt). What’s important is to emphasize that your volunteer work wasn’t a one-time resumé-booster, but represents a lifelong commitment to generosity with your talents. Time is valuable for all of us, it’s true – but even some after-work hours cleaning up a local park, or a few hours a week offering free tech support to a local school, can help you show your community-oriented side to potential employers. By the same token, make sure your volunteer hours are clearly related to the nonprofit work you aim to do – whether your donated time is in the service of a similar charity, or just devoted to tasks similar to those you’d like to perform for a nonprofit organization. A little open-heartedness now may go a long way in the near future.

Though many organizations in the nonprofit sector emphasize different virtues, structures and expectations than those emphasized in the corporate sector, nonprofits still value many translatable skills and character traits. So as you enter the working world, keep your options open, and give nonprofit work a serious look. You may find that you’re pleasantly surprised by what you discover.

Ben Thomas is an expert on many topics related to the job hunt. He writes about such topics for www.rileyguide.com.