Social Media as a Career Skill

Using social media to build your career

By Emilee Smith G’16

In our digital age, social media is a highly sought-after skill. Although many of us are familiar with social media on a personal level, there is much value in using the platforms in a professional manner.

But with so many platforms and an abundance of information, where do you begin? Below are 5 tips and tricks that can help you improve your social media presence and knowledge in a way that will impress your future employers:

Be Professional. Perhaps the most obvious, it is exceedingly important that you keep all of your profiles professional. Even Facebook, which most people feel is more “personal,” should demonstrate a certain level of professionalism and possess a smart narrative. One of the first things your employer will do before hiring is look you up on social media, so make sure they like what they see!

Develop Your Personal Brand. You are uniquely you! Be sure that your personal brand is consistent throughout all of your profiles. One way to do this is by keeping your voice and personality constant.

Engage. Whether it is LinkedIn or Twitter, be sure you are following the companies you are interested in and respectfully connecting with influencers in your industry. It is called social networking for a reason, after all!

Be Proactive. Certain platforms, such as Twitter and WordPress, have a tendency of intimidating new users. Don’t be afraid! The only way to improve your skills and learn is by diving in. Being proactive and having a thorough understanding of all of the major platforms will make you much more marketable after graduation.

Stay Relevant. Publications such as Smart Brief on Social Business are free subscriptions that publish the newest social media developments. Reading publications such as this not only improve your knowledge on professional social media use, but also showcase your desire to learn more about the industry and developing trends.

While sometimes overwhelming, our social world is a blessing. Never before have we been able to network, engage and learn like we can today. Embracing these tips today will undoubtedly make you a better job candidate tomorrow. So good luck, and stay social!

Exploring the Unknown

vsBy Vanessa Salman, ’17, Career Services Ambassador

College is all about self-discovery, right? You have the opportunity to figure out if you’re a morning or night person, fast or slow reader, independent or group “studier”. One of the most valuable discoveries, however, is finding your path of study. While many say that you’re not confined to your major in the workforce, picking one that will equip you with the proper knowledge and skills can give you a competitive edge when seeking employment.

Searching for a major isn’t like searching for your soul – it’s not finite. Here at Syracuse University, and most universities, there are countless programs to explore. From physics to political science, engineering to communications, the options seem endless. Don’t be afraid to immerse yourself into the seemingly obscure academic abyss that is college major selection – dive in full-force; you might surprise yourself.

Changing your major or coming into college without one is not a bad thing. It’s okay to not know what you want to study when entering your post-secondary educational career. While many students apply under specific programs and majors, that doesn’t mean you have to as well. The worst thing one could do is to compare their journey to finding a college major to someone else. We don’t live in a homogeneous society: as individuals, we have unique qualities and differing motivations from one another, therefore everyone’s experience won’t be the same.

While this may seem overwhelming, don’t think that you have to go at this alone. There are many resources at your fingertips to help you throughout your journey in finding the major for you. Aside from Career Services counselors, whom you can make an appointment with or speak with during drop-in hours, there are advisers in each department that are more than willing to give you advice and tell you about their program(s). Professors also serve as important resources in guiding you in the best direction. Don’t be afraid to reach out to individual professors if you find interest in what they’re teaching, regardless of if you are able to take their class right now.

When it comes to selecting a major, the best piece of advice I have is to search until you find your passion. That sounds scary, but it’s doable. Find the field that ignites the fire within that you had no idea existed. Sure, coursework can be daunting, and you’re not always going to be gung-ho about doing that 15-page research paper, but if you have a genuine interest in what you’re studying, the sense of accomplishment felt post-grueling assignment is indescribable.

Ask questions, do your research, take a class or two – it could lead to the unearthing of your future career.

Unsure about your major or exploring your options, join us for our Major Mixer & Panel tonight at 5 p.m. in 202 Hall of Languages. Upperclassmen who’ve been unsure of their major will talk about their journey and share tips to help you find yours.

Orange Central: A phenomenal chance to meet alumni

By Kim Brown ’06, Assistant Director for Alumni Programs

Have you heard? Orange Central is this week! Our Office of Alumni Relations welcomes everyone to celebrate their love of Orange – and with so many alumni visiting campus, it’s an incredible opportunity for students to make amazing career connections with alumni who want to help the next generation of Orange.


So how can you take advantage of Orange Central as a student?

Check out the list of events – and sign up to attend them. Many Orange Central events are open to students. You’ll find the whole list here. Take some time to go through it. There is, without a doubt, something for everybody! You’ll even find some events, like Slice of Orange Days, Trivia Night, and Camp ‘Cuse, that are specifically for YOU!

Don’t be afraid to say hi. Most of our alumni will be checking in at the Goldstein Alumni and Faculty Center, which is right next door to Bird Library. If you’re leaving the library and see alumni mingling around GAFC, say hello! You never know who you’ll meet, and our alumni are always thrilled to have conversations with current students. They miss SU, and you offer them a chance to live vicariously. Tell them what you love about this special place!

Offer help. For many of the alumni who come back for Orange Central, it’s been years since they were on the Syracuse University campus. Whitman is new. Ernie Davis is new. Dineen Hall is new. If you see folks looking lost, offer to help them find their way to a campus building. Again, you never know who you might meet!

Aspire to win an Arents Award. The George Arents Award is Syracuse University’s highest alumni honor, presented annually to alumni who have made outstanding contributions to their chosen fields. Check out this year’s winners, who will be awarded at Orange Central 2014, and then chart your own path to becoming an Arents Award Winner!

Hope to see you at Orange Central 2015!

*updated for Orange Central 2015

The Most Future-Proof Career Advice Ever

Marina will take over @WorkingOrange on Thursday, October 22.

By Marina Zarya, ’11; G ’13, Time Inc., Video Producer, Branding + Culture

Now that I’ve got your attention with my very-catchy headline, I’ll warn you that the actual advice part of this post will be underwhelming.


My advice to you, eager Syracuse University student, is BE KIND.

Yes, that’s it. The job you’ll have soon does not exist yet, and your skills will keep evolving to meet market demands. What won’t change is how you should treat people. And if this is the part where you’re clicking off the page, that’s OK, you’ve read the most important part and I hope it sticks. If you’re enjoying my snippy prose, you’ll be pleased to note that I’ve prepared a few examples to illustrate what I mean.

/bē/ verb; Exist
/kīnd/ adjective; Of Kin, gracious, congenial, altruistic, accommodating

Put the two words together and they mean to exist in empathy, act with integrity, humility, and grace. This is a way of being. A state of mind that everyone is capable of tapping into and effectively living in. Please don’t misinterpret this as a suggestion to be lovey-dovey 100% of the time or to let people walk over you.

“Be Kind” doesn’t mean “Be Nice”. Nice guys (or gals) finish last for a reason. Niceness is short-lived and stems from a need for immediate approval (and therefore comes from insecurity). Niceness implies an alternative (usually selfish) agenda, and is a disingenuous approach to relationships. Kindness is being aware of others; their feelings, needs, and time. It means being confident in your ability to empathize, or help if need be. It means adding value to interactions and relationships, not taking away from them by being self-serving. Here are a few ways to do this.

Be Kind:

  1. To *everyone* you meet.

As far as your career is concerned, you just never know where you’ll see the person again. Every single job or freelance gig I’ve ever had (including the one in which I decorated cupcakes in a bakeshop window during a summer in high school), I got because I was kind to someone, not realizing they held a key to my future employment.

My favorite quote on this subject is one that I learned of in grad school by the great Dr. Maya Angelou: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Be kind to your teammates. People love working with kind people, and certainly remember them when other co-working opportunities come up.

As I’m sure you’re well aware, networking is the utmost important part of finding work. Interpret this as your chance to be kind. For one, be kind enough to get the person’s name and position right when you email them. Be kind to follow up, to demonstrate that you appreciated a new connection’s time. Be kind and do your research – understanding the person’s background will lead to a productive conversation and no wasted time. Mostly, be genuinely interested in what they’re doing, and don’t start the relationship with “I’m looking for a job at your company”.

  1. To yourself.

I learned the hard way. As the former reigning queen of caffeinated all-nighters in Bird Library and Newhouse Photo Labs, I can attest to the severely negative impacts of disrespecting your body’s needs for sleep, healthy food and exercise. I won’t preach too much on this point, for fear of sounding like a hypocrite. Part of being a productive adult is learning to manage the fine balance of your own well being, whatever combination of factors it is for you. This is probably harder than finding a job, but is crucial to your success. Science (and Arianna Huffington) suggest that getting enough sleep is the most important thing you can do to take care of your brain.

“Be kind” applies to negative self-talk, too. Yes, we all fall back on deadlines, procrastinate doing laundry, or forget to send emails. These things happen. Guilt-tripping yourself over past indiscretions or behavioral patterns that you may have inadvertently formed will not help you change them. In fact, bad-mouthing yourself in your head activates your brain’s reward center, making your biological self think that you’re having a great time beating yourself up – making the feedback loop of negativity a “fun”​ habit.

  1. Online. 

Just because you don’t see the person you are writing to does not mean that you don’t have to be kind. Write carefully thought-out emails that get right to the point, and if something is too long for an email, pick up the phone (old school, I know). Being kind online also means being kind to your image online – when you’re job-searching, recruiters will rifle through your tweets, Instagram posts, and anything really. Do yourself justice by portraying your professional self accurately.

     4. To your community. 

In the near future, you’ll be in a position to offer career guidance, or recommend a classmate for a role you see opening up at your company. Be kind. Pay it forward.

Speaking of which, current juniors and seniors should apply to my company’​s (Time Inc.) Summer Internship & Fellowship Programs. The preferred deadline is December 1, which is sooner than you think.

Graduating seniors and grad students should check out the Careers page. We’re constantly looking for new talent to join the company.

​We also post frequent updates and job alerts on InstagramLinkedIn, and Twitter, keep in touch with us there!


Marina Zarya works at Time Inc. as the Video Producer for Branding + Culture. She did both her BS and MS at S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, in Advertising and Multimedia, Photography and Design, respectively. While at Syracuse University she was General Manager at WERW Real College Radio, an Engagement Fellow, Remembrance Scholar, News21 Fellow and Bayliss Scholar.

Reflections on Spring Break in the US Capital Region

By Vanessa Salman ’17

Vanessa Salman outside the White House
Vanessa Salman outside the White House

I vividly remember the December morning I received my acceptance into the 2015 Immersion Week Program, as if it were yesterday. My feet had just touched the snowy Syracuse ground after a 5-hour bus ride from New York City when I received the email from Tracy. As I read the words “CONGRATULATIONS,” I nearly tripped and fell on my face. I guess you could say I was ecstatic, although that is definitely an understatement. I am grateful and appreciative that my love for our nation’s capital shined and landed me a spot on this life-changing trip.

On our trip, we visited some pretty awesome places. Our week included visits at The Washington Post, National Geographic, The National Press Club, The Capitol, just to name a few. It’s still pretty surreal that we got to walk through the newsroom of WaPo where the Watergate Scandal broke. Oh yeah, and the FBI headquarters – totally got to be Derek Morgan for a day. It wasn’t just the places that were fascinating, but the alumni that we met at each location. Each place we went to, the alums recalled their years at Syracuse University and their journeys from the land of Orange to the workforce.

The one thing about D.C. that is so unique is there’s a piece of history on every corner. From the different monuments, to landmarks like Ford’s Theater, to the White House, there is a piece of American history everywhere you go; it’s inescapable (but like, the good kind).

Before going on this trip, I didn’t understand how united, kind, and truly supportive the Syracuse University alumni network is. I mean, we hear about it all the time; SU alumni have awesome jobs, connect with them! But this trip gives you the opportunity to do this in person, as opposed to on digital platforms like LinkedIn.

If you’re a sophomore, I strongly suggest you apply this year. Regardless of what college you’re in or what your interests are, this trip is a helpful learning experience. You will learn and grow so much over the span of just one week from improving on your interpersonal, networking, and team building skills. I saw so much growth in not only myself, but the group I traveled with as well quo.

Oh, and D.C. has AMAZING food. If you’re down to splurge, there’s Founding Farmers, which is an organic restaurant close to the Farragut West metro. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you’re in luck because you can vote on the Georgetown Cupcakes vs Baked and Wired debate. I am totally Team Baked and Wired, just saying.

The application for the Immersion trip is open in OrangeLink through November 13. Career Services will host an information session on October 21 in 232 Schine from 5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. to answer questions and provide more information on the immersion experience.  For questions or more information, please contact Christina Faulkner at All students who have sophomore standing in credits are encouraged to apply.

Accelerate Your Career as a Student Ambassador!

By Janak Khilnani G’15

Janak Khilnani, a 2014-2015 Student Ambassador shares his experience.
Janak Khilnani, a 2014-2015 Student Ambassador shares his experience.

My experience as a Career Services student ambassador was extraordinary.

One random afternoon, I walked into Sue Casson’s office. Sue used to be the associate director for employer relations in Career Services. I mentioned that I wanted to be involved in an on-campus activity that would give me exposure to new people from different cultures and academic backgrounds. Coincidentally, she was looking for student ambassadors and asked me whether I would like to join. After discussing the opportunity with her, I decided to apply to become an ambassador and was excited to be selected.

Since I had just recently moved to Syracuse from India, and as an introvert, I feared that my communication abilities would be mocked, but I kept that fear to myself. I met the rest of the student ambassadors, all of whom were diverse, talented individuals. We had a fun first meeting where we introduced ourselves to the team, learned about our responsibilities, and shared one recent good and bad experience. By the end of the session, I was comfortable interacting with my peers and left on a positive note.

Soon we each received custom polo shirts with our names printed on them; the polos looked amazing! Then came the workshops, information sessions, and career fairs where our role as ambassadors was to assist with student and  employer check-ins, promote events to our networks, guide students and employers to the venues, and so forth. There were thousands of students and hundreds of employers from various industries attending these events.

My interactions with students helped me effectively interpret and communicate despite the cultural differences, and my interactions with employers helped me to build a strong network with good relationships. One relationship was so strong that when I saw a returning employer at a different career fair, the employer said, “Oh I remember you! If you are looking for an opportunity at my company, give me a copy of your resume and I shall forward it for review.” It felt humbling. Being an ambassador also allowed me to work in close collaboration with the Career Services staff, who are always willing to help in the best possible way. They became my family away from home.

If I had to describe my experience in a nutshell, I am glad I received the opportunity to serve as an ambassador this past year as it allowed me to effectively communicate, to think on my feet when I had to answer questions from employers or students, to adapt to diversity, to multitask while balancing my academics and other on-campus roles, to grow as a team member and occasionally a leader, to motivate myself and others to succeed, and to be innovative and think critically while planning and managing events attended by tens to thousands of individuals. I am grateful to the Career Services team and I credit a major chunk of my success to them. I have been fortunate to have constant support from them in accomplishing my goals.

Would you like to be a Career Services student ambassador? The application to become a 2015-2016 ambassador is available now.

To apply, visit this link: The deadline to apply is July 31st. 

Top Tips to Make the Most of Your Internship

By Jennifer Pluta and Lucy Rodgers

Internship panel hosted by the Lubin House and Syracuse University Career Services
Internship panel hosted by the Lubin House and Syracuse University Career Services

A few weeks ago, Syracuse University in NYC hosted a program in partnership with Career Services called “Making the Most of Your Summer Internship.” Attendees heard from a fantastic panel of alumni, including:

Josh Books ’11, Nielsen Catalina Solutions
Daniel Greenberg ’13, MediaLink
Josh Levy ’10, William Morris Endeavor
Pamela Medina ’13, General Assembly
Ciara Schoenauer ’14, Fullscreen

These recent alumni from various industries and fields provided their perspectives on how to have a successful internship in New York and elsewhere.

Here is what they had to say:

  1. What we hear most from employers is that they wish interns were more proactive. They encouraged everyone to follow the advice, “be a go-getter.”
  1. If you experience any “down time,” don’t wait for direction. Instead, look for assignments and present ideas.
  1. Be sure to take advantage of your resources because the connections you make at your internship can definitely go a long way in the future.
  1. You drive yourself and that itself is motivation. Even if you make a mistake and you may get discouraged, keep going.
  1. Treat your internship seriously. Treat it like a job. For example, go beyond your assigned responsibilities and ask to sit in on meetings.
  1. Your connection with Syracuse University is huge. You can see all 50,000 alumni who call New York City home on LinkedIn. So, use those Orange connections!
  1. When you are trying to network and make a connection, a great way to end an email is to ask “if there is ever any advice that you can give me, please reach out.”
  1. Don’t ask someone you are trying to connect with to meet for coffee and then expect them to do all the talking. Be prepared and ask insightful questions.
  1. Be sure to attend any professional development opportunities or networking events within the organization where you’re interning. Local events are great, too.
  1. Get and stay connected with fellow Syracuse University student and interns in order to build your network.
  1. After the internship, make sure to maintain your connections through emails, thank you notes, or holiday cards.

Check out all of the tweets from the event for a full re-cap of the evening.

For more advice on how to make the most out of your internship or if you are still seeking a summer internship, Career Services can help – call 315-443-3616 to make an appointment today!

Post-grad Plans…and #HireOrange Opportunities!

By Kim Brown, Assistant Director, Alumni Programs

Share your news!
Share your news!

Congratulations, Class of 2015! Be proud of all that you have accomplished and excited for what’s ahead!

We’d love to share in your celebrations. What are your post-graduation plans? Are you traveling? Spending time with family? Starting a new job? Heading to grad school? Share your news with us on Twitter or Instagram using #SUGrad15.

And if you’re looking for a great job or internship opportunity, we think you’ll be thrilled to read the announcement below. Make sure to keep an eye on #HireOrange on Twitter and on the Jobs tab (click “Jobs” then “Job Discussions”) in the ‘CuseConnect group on LinkedIn!


Email or tweet us!
Email or tweet us!

Is your company hiring? Want to add a little more ORANGE to your office?

Please email a link to the job or internship description (or multiple descriptions!) to our newly created email address that is JUST for job opportunities in the Orange family. It’s

That’s hireorange at syr dot edu. Exciting, huh?! 🙂

If you are willing to have our newest grads and/or fellow alumni contact you about the openings, please give us the OK in your email.

The #OrangeNetwork is incredibly strong, and we want to help you #HireOrange!

We will tweet the link using #HireOrange and will share the opportunities in our LinkedIn group, ‘CuseConnect. THANK YOU AND GO ORANGE!

All The World’s A Stage…And Teachers Are Players, Too

Guest post by Jaimie Salkovitch ’05

Jaimie Salkovitch '05 dancing with one of her students.
Jaimie Salkovitch ’05 dancing with one of her students.

As a musical theater major at Syracuse University, I never imagined that my audience would one day be a room full of first graders from Brooklyn.

After I graduated with my B.F.A., I worked nights and spent my days auditioning for shows in New York City. I loved the theater world, but eventually I began to crave a more stable position. A desk job wasn’t for me – I wanted a career that would throw me curve balls every day, one where I could make a difference in people’s lives. Recalling my transformative experience volunteering at an inner-city school as a high school student, I decided that teaching would be just that career.

In 2008, I began working toward a master’s degree in special education at Fordham University, and a friend recommended that I apply to work for Success Academy, a growing charter school network that at the time had four elementary schools in Harlem. I was hired as an assistant teacher, and today, I am a special education teacher at Success Academy Crown Heights.

At first glance, the voice and acting classes I took at Syracuse University seem unrelated to the math and English lessons I teach today. But after seven years of teaching, I’ve found that not a day goes by when I fail to apply the lessons I learned as a musical theater student in my classroom.

When I started at Success Academy, I quickly realized that the traits that make an actor great – preparation, quick thinking, the ability to accept feedback – are the same qualities that make a teacher successful in the classroom.

When I started at Success Academy, I quickly realized that the traits that make an actor great – preparation, quick thinking, the ability to accept feedback – are the same qualities that make a teacher successful in the classroom. During productions at Syracuse, I had to improvise if I forgot a line, or if a prop was missing from the stage. Today, if a student is disruptive in class, I have to think on my feet to resolve the issue immediately – while making sure I don’t lose the attention of my young audience.

My acting career also taught me to accept feedback — a critical skill for any teacher. In the same way that directors guide their performers, Success Academy principals offer in-the-moment feedback to teachers, allowing them to improve rapidly. The trick is learning how to accept constructive criticism and incorporate it into your next lesson. As an actress, I had a lot of experience doing just that.

Today, my colleagues and I work together to ensure our scholars are meeting Success Academy’s high expectations. We all care deeply about our students and work to create a school environment where children arrive eager to learn every day.  To achieve this in my classroom, I might ask scholars who have a hard time grasping a book passage to act out a scene, so they can better understand a character’s motivations or a certain plot point.

As I collaborate with my Success Academy colleagues to improve student learning, I am always reminded of the family-like atmosphere I discovered at Syracuse University, where players worked together to give the best possible performance.

At Success Academy, I have found the perfect position for me — no school day looks exactly like the one before.  Each morning, I have an opportunity to impart a new lesson to an eager young audience. That’s an exciting and sometimes scary responsibility — but one that the stage prepared me for.

Founded in 2006, Success Academy is a free public charter school network with the dual mission of building world-class public schools across New York City and advancing education reform across the country. Success Academy operates 32 schools in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. Admission is open to all New York City families. Students are admitted by random lottery, held each April. Across the Success Academy network of K-12 schools, 76% of students are from low-income households; 8.5% are English Language Learners, and 12% are special needs students. About 94% of students are children of color. For more information about Success Academy, go to

Jaimie Salkovitch is a K-2 special education teacher at Success Academy Crown Heights in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated from Syracuse University in 2005 with a B.F.A. in musical theater and received her masters degree in special education from Fordham University in 2010.

Introducing #CuseCue on Instagram!

CareerSU1 Instagram image
By Kim Brown, ’06, Assistant Director for Alumni Programs

Can you believe it’s been two years since we launched @WorkingOrange? It’s our Twitter account featuring guest alumni tweeters sharing details of their workdays and offering advice to students and fellow alumni. We’re having a lot of fun with @WorkingOrange and today, we’re excited to announce another way our students can connect with our awesome alumni – via Instagram!

We’re calling it #CuseCue. Why #CuseCue? A cue is, simply put, a signal for action. Syracuse University alumni know the actions they took towards achieving career/life success, and students can take their cues from fellow members of our Orange family. A #CuseCue might be advice on standing out in an interview, tips on paying back college loans, thoughts on what makes a rockstar intern, insight on the most fulfilling career paths, and so much more. The goal is to keep each #CuseCue to 140 characters or less. Short and sweet advice from alumni who are the best at sharing it!

STUDENTS, here’s what to do/expect:

  • Follow @CareerSU1 on Instagram
  • Every Friday, we’ll introduce you to a new SU grad and you’ll find his/her #CuseCue in the photo’s description.
  • We’ll tag his/her Instagram, so you can connect directly with the alum, if you’d like.

ALUMNI, are you willing to share a #CuseCue?

  • Follow @CareerSU1 on Instagram
  • Email Magnolia Salas (, our awesome Communications and Marketing Coordinator, with the following information:
    • Your name, SU graduation year, job title and employer
    • Your Instagram handle (if you have one and wouldn’t mind us sharing it)
    • A photo you’d like us to use on our Instagram on the day we feature your #CuseCue. It can be a cool picture of your office, a headshot, a fun photo showing your Orange personality, your SU graduation picture, you name it. Be creative if you’d like!
    • And, of course, your #CuseCue. Try to keep your advice for students/fellow alumni to 140 characters or less.

That’s it! We are excited to feature our alumni in this new way and can’t wait to read the awesome advice in each #CuseCue.