advice

You have a friend in me: the importance of mentors

Quote about mentoring on image of girl staring into distance

By Vanessa Salman ’17

In any group setting, whether it be your sorority, work, or an internship, there is always going to be someone there with more experience, more exposure, and knowledge than you. I can’t stress enough how important it is to lean on these people for guidance.

It’s okay to ask questions or for advice. It does not show weakness, but rather an eagerness to learn and grow. Now, it’s one thing to ask questions about every menial task, however you should not be afraid to reach out to someone and seek their input. Before seeking help, come up with a few potential solutions to the issue at hand. If you’re still stuck, fear not, as your mentor is there to lead you to the light at the end of the tunnel.

It is essential to find a mentor-like figure, especially in a professional setting. They have so much experience and knowledge to lend you, despite how new they are in their career. Mentors are able to provide career and academic advice, provide insight into their journey to where they are, and be a sounding board for you to express your future goals and plans.

When you find this person in your place of work or internship, it enriches your experience. Two summers ago, I interned in a prestigious congressional office in Washington, DC. From the start, our Staff Assistant took me under her wing. She helped me navigate through the three House Office Buildings, offered me support, and was always willing to lend me advice. She and I shared similar long-term career goals, which helped us bond more.

I was just a young, bright-eyed, 18 year-old girl in our nation’s capital, which could be overwhelming to some. Not for me, thanks to Jessica’s help. Looking back, I realize her guidance made my two and a half month internship a memorable experience. To this day, I occasionally ask her for advice, we keep in touch, and I visit her every so often in her new office when I’m in town. And to this day, I still look up to her as a mentor, and will continue to do so as I begin to make the leap into the professional world.

A mentor-menteeship doesn’t necessarily have to be a formal relationship, but a relationship nonetheless. They have a wealth of knowledge to share with up-and-coming professionals in their respective fields.

So my slice of advice to you is to be open, be inquisitive, and be you. If you do these things, you will find a mentor in the most natural way.

 

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!

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.

TwitterOC2014

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!

Listen to Ruth Ross. Ruth graduated from Syracuse University and, after a very successful career in HR for top companies like Estee Lauder, Wells Fargo, and Charles Schwab, she’s now an author and speaker on the topic of employee engagement. What does that mean? It means finding a career you love, a job you feel passionate about that makes you want to go to work every day. Ruth is amazing, and she’s speaking to students and signing copies of her book at 3 p.m. on Friday, October 10. You don’t want to miss the chance to hear her advice!

RuthRossPostcard

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 2014!

A Syracuse Success Story at Success Academy

By Kate Hansen-Roxas, Class of 2001

Usually when I tell people what I do, I get blank stares.

“I’m the Associate Director of Network Operations at Success Academy Charter Schools!” I say.

“Come again?” they say.

Kate Hansen-Roxas '01. Success Academy
Kate Hansen-Roxas ’01. Success Academy

So then I explain: Success Academy is a network of 22 public charter schools in New York City that serves mostly underprivileged kids in struggling neighborhoods. There are so many unique and wonderful things about the organization, but one of the best things is that teachers and administrators at the schools focus solely on teaching and learning. Everything else — policies and procedures, health and safety, reporting and compliance, implementation of tech systems, enrollment, training (really, everything else) is handled by an operations team at each school. My job, with my department’s support, is to help those operations teams figure out what to do — and how best to do it.

I never imagined that I’d end up here. I started out protesting sweatshops on the ‘Cuse Quad. But, truly, it’s not such a leap from there to here. I was fighting injustice for kids and families then, and that’s what I’m still doing — because that’s another great thing about Success Academy. We don’t just operate high-performing schools; we also advocate for education reform so that all children everywhere will have access to high-quality schooling (we’re in NYC but we share our best practices far and wide). For me, the best part so far has been finding out that just because I didn’t study education, or know when I was 12 that ed reform would be my life’s work, here I am, smack in the middle of the education world, and I love what I do.

How did I get here? Well, it was roundabout, but a common thread runs through my experiences. At Syracuse, I earned my BA in International Relations (I also served on the student government, played ultimate Frisbee, and spent a semester in Italy). Afterward, I spent five years working for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. As a nonprofit working to empower people, the organization was connected to my core interests, and it got me started in program management, a big part of what I do now. I went on to earn a Master of Public Administration from NYU. For a brief interlude, during the worst of the recession, I was front desk manager at a spa. Then I worked for a public health insurance enrollment program. That led me to Success Academy, where I started out focusing on schools’ health and medical-form issues and ended up doing so much more.

Look, I can’t play cool about it — I really love what I do. I want all Syracuse grads to feel this way about the jobs they end up with. Here’s what I can tell you about building a career: Work hard. Lay your foundation; it’s not about moving up the ladder at first. Prove yourself solid and engaged, and opportunities will come. Also, one thing will lead to another. Your experience and knowledge, whatever they are, are transferable — maybe not to every job in every way, but what you have always means something.

As far as how to land a job, here are a couple simple interview tips (I should know, because I’m in the throes of hiring for dozens of positions): Start with a firm handshake, eye contact, and a smile. These are small things, but they mean a lot. Often you’ll find yourself in a round-robin interview situation or facing a panel. Be prepared to ask each person involved a question. If you run out of job-specific questions, ask for personal perspectives: What do you think the culture of the organization is? What’s your favorite part of the job? What are the top three characteristics for success at the organization?

From my experience, it comes down to pursuing what you love; believing that your path will come clear, even if you can’t see it right now; having a sense of humor but being serious too (professionalism requires both humor and seriousness, and learning which is appropriate when); and pushing yourself to improve continually. You can do it, ‘Cusers. And if Success Academy sounds interesting to you, please check out SuccessCareers.org!

Tomorrow, April 10, Kate Hansen-Roxas ’01 will take the helm of @WorkingOrange. Follow her day at Success Academy with us!

Looking Ahead: Majors, Workshops, & Fairs

By Magnolia Salas

calendar
Spring break is around the corner and we are sure you are looking forward to a week-long rest. But as you get ready to pause, don’t pause in your job or internship search. Take the time next week to build new relationships, discuss your career aspirations with friends and family and reflect on your career journey. In addition, mark your calendar with these events taking place in the coming weeks.

Major Dilemma 15 Minute Drop-Ins
March 24, March 25, March 26, & March 27, 2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., 235 Schine
Not sure about your major? Come to us about choosing it, switching it, or what to do with it once you’re out of school!

Career Crash Course
March 28, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., 304ABC Schine
A one-day crash course on career essentials such as resumes, interviewing, networking, and job search resources. Workshops will be led by employers including GE, Macy’s, and JPMorgan Chase.  You can attend, one, multiple, or all sessions to gain knowledge about landing your next internship or full-time job. RSVP in OrangeLink.

SEC & ACC Virtual Career Fair
April 1 – 3, online via CareerEco
Attend this virtual career fair from anywhere and connect with more than 45 employers hiring in engineering, business, IT, sales, accounting, science, human resources, and many more. To RSVP and to view the full-time and internship opportunities and employers participating, please visit this link.

Keep an eye on your emails for updates on these events. Enjoy your spring break and we’ll see you back on the blog in two weeks!

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
RachelChang
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
HillaryBerman
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
BillVoth
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!

#GECuse: Advice from SU Alumni at GE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alumni weigh in: what to expect after graduation!

2013We asked Syracuse University alumni for some advice on what you can expect, as well as what you should do to be successful in your first year of employment after graduation. Here’s what they had to share:

On Twitter:

@KristySmorol: I would say expect to keep learning. While college classes give you a GREAT step up, hands-on learning is different

@EilishMitchell: Adjust your sleep schedule as soon as possible for a regular day. No more staying up till 2am on weekdays!

@christinelan3: Patience is key. When you first start, everything will feel like its progressing painfully slowly.

@AmeliaDeCesare: Job descriptions are constantly evolving and you should expect/offer to do anything and everything!

@SunnyinSyracuse: Be flexible, be fluid…and you’ll need help sometimes…that’s okay.

@AlyssaHenry: Don’t live & die by the job description, roles evolve as you grow into them. Don’t expect micro-management; take initiative!

From ‘CuseConnect on LinkedIn:

Michael C. Hay: Network, network, network! You can never have too many connections.

Murugan Pandian: Be daring and take risks!

Julie Weinstein: Know that there’s a reason if your manager asks you for something – a report, some numbers, some information. It’s most likely to help her/him provide information to someone else. In most cases, the more you can help your manager, the better it will be for you. Also know that there are plenty of people who want you to succeed in your job. When you succeed, your company does too!

Jason Goldberg:
* Participate in every networking group possible.
* Join a recreational club sports league and participate in all of their cost-effective social activities.
* Take on a leadership role with a local volunteer organization.
* Become an expert in whatever field you enter. Regardless of your current employment, you should start a professional blog, generate white papers, and apply for speaking positions at association conferences. The youngest component of the US professional workforce has a significant technological edge above older counterparts…use this to your advantage.
* Transition to Adulthood (i.e. go to sleep earlier, wake up earlier, no more weekday partying, stay current on all local and national news).
* Learn to find common-ground with ANYONE. No more Greek Life, no more social clubs. If you want to climb the social and corporate ladder, you must be a likable person.
* Represent your alma mater well. Syracuse University has an excellent academic reputation that makes us highly employable.

Michelle Dalton:
— Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You’re a recent grad, not someone with 20 years of hands-on experience. You’re not expected to know everything.
— Remember you were hired because you are smart and your boss saw something in you no one else had. Take the opportunity to learn everything you can about the job, the company, and the industry it’s in.
— Using shorthand when you’re texting is fine. Using shortcuts in business correspondence is not. For that matter, forget every emoticon you’ve learned.
— Jobs are hard to come by these days, but that doesn’t mean you should allow yourself to work 80 hour weeks to prove you’re dedicated. The company is investing its personnel to train you and they want their investment to pay off. Having someone burn out in the first year doesn’t do anyone any good.

———————————————————–
Check out additional tips from ‘CuseConnect!

Need more inspiration and direction? Here are some of the commencement speeches given to the Class of 2013. We wish you all the best!

Alumni weigh in: what to expect after graduation!

2013We asked Syracuse University alumni for some advice on what you can expect, as well as what you should do to be successful in your first year of employment after graduation. Here’s what they had to share:

On Twitter:

@KristySmorol: I would say expect to keep learning. While college classes give you a GREAT step up, hands-on learning is different

@EilishMitchell: Adjust your sleep schedule as soon as possible for a regular day. No more staying up till 2am on weekdays!

@christinelan3: Patience is key. When you first start, everything will feel like its progressing painfully slowly.

@AmeliaDeCesare: Job descriptions are constantly evolving and you should expect/offer to do anything and everything!

@SunnyinSyracuse: Be flexible, be fluid…and you’ll need help sometimes…that’s okay.

@AlyssaHenry: Don’t live & die by the job description, roles evolve as you grow into them. Don’t expect micro-management; take initiative!

From ‘CuseConnect on LinkedIn:

Michael C. Hay: Network, network, network! You can never have too many connections.

Murugan Pandian: Be daring and take risks!

Julie Weinstein: Know that there’s a reason if your manager asks you for something – a report, some numbers, some information. It’s most likely to help her/him provide information to someone else. In most cases, the more you can help your manager, the better it will be for you. Also know that there are plenty of people who want you to succeed in your job. When you succeed, your company does too!

Jason Goldberg:
* Participate in every networking group possible.
* Join a recreational club sports league and participate in all of their cost-effective social activities.
* Take on a leadership role with a local volunteer organization.
* Become an expert in whatever field you enter. Regardless of your current employment, you should start a professional blog, generate white papers, and apply for speaking positions at association conferences. The youngest component of the US professional workforce has a significant technological edge above older counterparts…use this to your advantage.
* Transition to Adulthood (i.e. go to sleep earlier, wake up earlier, no more weekday partying, stay current on all local and national news).
* Learn to find common-ground with ANYONE. No more Greek Life, no more social clubs. If you want to climb the social and corporate ladder, you must be a likable person.
* Represent your alma mater well. Syracuse University has an excellent academic reputation that makes us highly employable.

Michelle Dalton:
— Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You’re a recent grad, not someone with 20 years of hands-on experience. You’re not expected to know everything.
— Remember you were hired because you are smart and your boss saw something in you no one else had. Take the opportunity to learn everything you can about the job, the company, and the industry it’s in.
— Using shorthand when you’re texting is fine. Using shortcuts in business correspondence is not. For that matter, forget every emoticon you’ve learned.
— Jobs are hard to come by these days, but that doesn’t mean you should allow yourself to work 80 hour weeks to prove you’re dedicated. The company is investing its personnel to train you and they want their investment to pay off. Having someone burn out in the first year doesn’t do anyone any good.

———————————————————–
Check out additional tips from ‘CuseConnect!

Need more inspiration and direction? Here are some of the commencement speeches given to the Class of 2013. We wish you all the best!

Be the WISEst you can be

By Rayna Linowes, Class of 2013

Sport management major Rayna Linowes shares how being involved on campus has helped her professional development.

I have come to recognize the need for a strong attitude if one expects to succeed in life. “It’s all a mental game,” was how my high school track and field coach would phrase it. Even as a junior at SU, these five words kept me going especially during those times when “I can’t” or “I don’t feel like doing this” thoughts screamed for surrender. The ability to overcome mental roadblocks is essential to reaching beyond one’s current limitations and discovering one’s potential.

But in today’s extremely competitive world, that is not always enough. People are always striving to set themselves apart from the crowd. Getting involved on campus was my way of doing so.

As a member and current president of the inaugural collegiate chapter of Women In Sports and Events (WISE-SU), I was able to mature my business, networking, and communications skills while increasing my professional confidence. Much of what I learned in the classroom became reality. I was able to become an active member by building relationships with my peers of all backgrounds, understanding the importance of completing tasks in a timely, positive and successful manner, while also becoming an integral part of a nationally recognized organization.

WISE Members at the Melo Center

This year WISE-SU is hosting its first symposium, “A Word to the WISE: Leveling the Playing Field” that will explore and celebrate the stories, successes and challenges of women in the sports world.  We are thrilled that this event, which has been in the planning stages for several years, is now coming to fruition. Our symposium scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 10th at Syracuse University’s Herg Auditorium, features an impressive line-up of industry leaders:

  • Laurie Orlando, Senior Vice President of Talent and Development at ESPN
  • Michelle Berg, Executive Vice President, Team Epic
  • Jessica Gelman, Vice President, Customer Marketing & Strategy, Kraft Sports Group
  • Donna Lopiano, President, Founder, Sport Management Resources
  • Julie Nemeroff, SU alumna, NBA Hospitality Coordinator and Global Marketing Partnerships
  • Sage Steele, Sports Center co-host, ESPN
  • John Walsh, Executive Vice President, Executive Editor, ESPN

The best part about this symposium – it was organized, designed, and hosted by the members of WISE-SU. A collection of majors from all corners of the university pooled their talents to create one of the most prominent symposiums ever hosted by a student group. Using this hands-on experience is more than a resume builder. It has helped construct the foundation of my professional career.

One of the topics of the symposium is to examine the obstacles that students face when entering the corporate world and what skills and lessons are necessary to overcome them. The members of WISE-SU are walking examples of how to effectively transition from college to career. By getting involved on campus, discovering new talents, and cultivating our passion for sports we were able to come together as an organization, host an event of such capacity, and better prepare ourselves for life after graduation.

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
— Eleanor Roosevelt

Interested in getting involved on campus? 

Check out the Office of Student Activities!