Career Advice

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!

How to Research Companies for #SUCareerWeek

By Magnolia Salas ’12

Explore your options during Spring Career Week
Explore your options during Spring Career Week

Syracuse University Career Week is next week! Be sure to leave a good impression on recruiters by doing your research before you step foot in Goldstein Auditorium for any of the fairs.

No matter what fair you plan on attending, take a look at what companies will be on campus recruiting. Knowing what companies will be present will help you know which companies you want to approach.

Once you have your target companies, take a look at their available positions (you can do that right through OrangeLink by clicking on the company you’re interested in). We provide an overview of the company, their available positions, and even their website to help you prepare. Once you’ve figured out what positions they are hiring for and if those positions match your skills and interests, it’s time to dig a bit further into the company by:

Visiting their website
It’s a good idea to visit the company’s website and to get to know the culture of the company to know if it aligns with where you would like to work. Want more research ideas? Check out our researching companies’ page on our website. We provide links to Vault, WetFeet, and GlassDoor which can all aid in your getting a better understanding of a company.

Looking through their social media
You can get a good idea of their culture by reading their blog, as well as checking out their Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook pages. Not sure what to keep an eye out for? See what articles they post, if they provide any advice and insights into their company or their staff and what makes a good candidate. Sometimes companies even host Twitter chats where you can get even more insight.

Reaching out to alumni and contacts in the company
Feeling bold? If you know someone who works at the company of your choice or will be on campus recruiting, reach out to them and ask them some questions about the company to gain more insights. You can even do a LinkedIn search via the Alumni tool and research alumni who work in the industry or company, as well.

As you do your research, write down questions you have about the company, opportunity, or industry to ask the recruiter during the fair or in a follow-up e-mail. In addition, continue building rapport with a company by attending an information session if they host one.

Good luck with your research and we hope to see you at the Career Fair on February 3 taking place in Goldstein Auditorium (Schine) from 12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.!

Meet Dan Olson-Bang, Associate Director, Graduate Student Services

Dan Olson-Bang
Meet Dan Olson-Bang!

Our new Associate Director just joined the office on Monday, November 3! We thought this would be a great time to introduce him to you, so we asked him to answer some questions about himself.

Slice of Advice: Tell us why you’re so excited to start working at Career Services/SU and/or why are you excited to be in Syracuse?
Dan Olson-Bang: One of the things that I look forward to in my role in Career Services is to meet with a wide variety of graduate students from across SU’s campus. I really like to hear about the kinds of projects that people are working on and to learn about different disciplines. My own interests run toward the eclectic (I really like to learn about the science of cooking and I enjoy biology, for instance), so I hope to learn some cool things from everyone! I also think I am going to learn quite a bit from everyone in the Career Services office, which is really exciting to me.

I also look forward to spending more time outdoors than I could where I used to live. Since I know about snowy Syracuse, I’m looking forward to learning how to ski. But I also like to camp and hike, which should be a bit easier than it was for me near New York City.

SOA: Tell us your favorite hobby.
DOB: Cycling. I love everything about bikes: I like to fix them, I like to have them, and I like to ride them. I particularly like old ones. I have a classic Italian racing bike from 1963 that I got at a garage sale that is my pride and joy (even if parts periodically fall off of it). I also follow professional racing like the Tour de France. My dream is to get a “snow bike” as they call them, which is a mountain bike with huge tires, to ride in Syracuse’s snowy winters!

SOA: Tell us an interesting fact or skill you have.
DOB: I was born in Germany. People always ask if I was an Army kid, since I came to America at 18 months, but my dad was an opera singer, singing in Germany and Austria. You could say that he is a recovering opera singer now. As for me, I play a few instruments myself (badly), and am a music lover like everyone else in my family.

SOA: I f you could have any superpower what would it be?
DOB: I can tell you what superpower I would like to have: speed! I love going fast on my bike, so it would always be great to go just a little faster. A more dubious superpower that I have been told that I have is an ability to spot grammatical errors at a hundred feet, a skill that I will hope to use with all those cover letters I’ll read in Career Services.

Summer's not quiet in Career Services!

By Magnolia Salas

Enjoy your summer Happy summer! Your dedication to your classwork, campus involvement, internship and work experiences, and long hours have paid off and now you get to enjoy a little relaxation. As you sink into the summer months, we wanted to reach out and let you know Career Services is still here. As you explore internships, co-ops, graduate school, and career possibilities, we are here to help you make sense of it all. We also wanted to let you know of a few events taking place this summer to keep on your radar.

Every summer, Syracuse University’s Alumni Association hosts SUccess in the City  networking events, which help current students, recent grads, and alumni to connect. They’re amazing opportunities to meet Syracuse University alumni who are established in their careers and are ready to help you meet your professional goals.

If you live in or near any of these cities, join us for conversation, new friends, and food:

Philadelphia: May 29
Boston: June 3
Washington, D.C.: June 4
NYC: June 23, 24, 25 (open to classes of 2012, 2013, 2014 due to space limitations)
Atlanta: July 23
Miami: July 24
San Francisco: July 31
Chicago: Date to be determined

If you are in NYC this summer, keep an eye out on the professional events hosted at Lubin House. From apartment hunting help to resume writing to networking opportunities, there is a little something for everyone.

Apartment Hunting Tips: Google+ Hangout, May 21, 12:15 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Resume Writing: May 28, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Making the Most of Your Summer Internship: June 3, 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

In addition, it’s never too early to start thinking about participating in fall career week events from September 24 – October 2:

Local Internship Fair: Wednesday, September 24, Panasci Lounge
Resumania: Friday, September 26, 235 Schine
iCareer Day: Monday, September 29, iSchool
Syracuse University Career & Graduate School Fair: Tuesday, September 30, The Dome
Diversity in the Workplace: Tuesday, September 30, The Dome
Engineering Career Connections Fair:
Wednesday, October 1, Goldstein Auditorium
Whitman Career Fair: Wednesday, October 1, Goldstein Auditorium
Law School Information Fair: Thursday, October 2, Panasci Lounge

If the fall semester seems too far away, you can always reach out to us this summer to answer pressing questions or to prepare for next year. We are available all summer via phone, Skype, and in-person, both for our drop-in sessions and full hour-long appointments.

Have a great summer and we hope to see you in 235 Schine this fall!

If you’re a member of the Class of 2014, congratulations! If you have figured out your post-graduation plans, please share your good news with us by filling out this short survey.

How I Met My Major: Three Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing a Major

By Christina Faulkner, G’16

I’m going to tell you an incredible story, the story of how I met my major. It was the year 2014 and I had tried biology, marketing, and sociology, but none seemed like the right fit. A career counselor encouraged me to consider the following three questions on my quest toward choosing a major:

interestsWhat interests me?

I considered this question and wrote down a list of my interests. It also helped to write down what I didn’t enjoy.

Looking at the list of majors on the website, I found many options that would complement my interests! Some of the majors that caught my eye were anthropology, citizenship & civic engagement, fashion design, graphic design, information management & technology, modern foreign language, public relations, and writing & rhetoric. I contemplated my options and considered the courses required of each major and whether they appealed to me.

I decided to explore a few different options by taking classes in different programs. I really enjoyed my modern Spanish art and leveraging emerging technologies classes, but not my communications and society class.

What am I good at?

Although I thought graphic design or fashion design would be interesting, I was never very good at drawing beyond stick figures and you need a portfolio to apply for those programs. I considered some of my other strengths like writing, speaking Spanish and technology and realized that anthropology, citizenship & civic engagement, information management & technology, modern foreign language, public relations, and writing & rhetoric majors could still be a good fit!

What are my goals and how does this major fit with them?

I had always imagined myself living in a big city after graduation and/or traveling around the world on occasion. I preferred to work for a nonprofit organization or small start-up company because of the culture and environment those types of organizations offer. I looked at the Placement Report to see what students in a few different majors have done after graduation and thought that some of the information management & technology and public relations grads were doing cool jobs related to my goals. Really, I had many options, but after a few semesters of experimenting with different classes in different majors, there was one that really stood out…it’s going to be legend-wait for it…dary!

Now, remember that everyone is different and although these questions are a great starting point, meeting with a career counselor can be helpful for generating ideas, sorting through the options, and finding resources to research different paths.


While you can discuss your major at any time, next week Career Services offers Major Dilemma Drop-Ins dedicated to students who are in the process of a choosing a major! Stop by Schine 235 Monday, March 24 through Thursday, March 27 from 2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. to meet with a career counselor about YOUR major match!

The Perks of Working for Nonprofits

By Shannon Feeney Andre, Assistant Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We look forward to seeing you!

Are you in a "Major Dilemma"? Our alumni share their paths

Compiled by Tracy Tillapaugh, Career Consultant

We recently asked alumni to share their stories of what they majored in at Syracuse University and what they currently do in their careers.

We wanted to show that your college major doesn’t always equate to a career! Take a look at the great responses we received to our tweet:

@JeremyRyan44: I majored in TRF production @NewhouseSU but now I work in journalism as a news manager & former website manager.

@KristySmorol: I majored in broadcast journalism and I’m now working in marketing/PR.

@samedelstein:  I majored in econ and policy studies and now work in alumni relations!

@SunyyinSyracuse: Majored in sociology, work in social media & community management!

@ekyle: I have an AOS and BS in networking and network security and I am about to get my MS in TNM. I’m a software engineer.

@hsholkin: Does moving from TV news (Newhouse TV-R degree) to PR and marketing programs 31 years ago qualify? (Editor’s note: YES!)

@rmahtani: I studied Industrial Design – now I work in Social Media/Marketing.

@mussakram: Management consulting with an engineering degree

@abeljabel: YEP! Double major in Broadcast Journalism at Newhouse & Economics from Maxwell. NOW I’m a celebrity publicist in LA!

@AshOst: I majored in Child and Family Studies/Nutrition now work for NBCUniversal for The Jerry Springer Show!

@The_Mike_hay: Major was Football/Economics. Currently an accountant for a television production company based in New York.

@rattner31:Graduated hospitality management. Now work in digital marketing with hotels.

@MusicGroz: History. Work at Apple Genius Bar.

@lizzigilbert: Majored in psychology, ended up in marketing!

@anupbhonsale: Did my MS in Engineering Management @ SU, now I run a Finance and Retail company in India named OICSPL.

Alumni also chimed in on the ‘CuseConnect group in LinkedIn:

Fiona Andrews: Graduated spring ’12 with a degree in music (voice/piano concentration), and now I work at a top marketing firm in NJ.

Judith Fajardo: I graduated in 2008 with a B.S. in Advertising. I decided my senior year that I didn’t want to have the lifestyle of working in an agency, so I decided to pursue higher education, sales then returned to higher education instead. Now I work for Newhouse.

Jonathan Troen: I graduated in ’89 from Newhouse – Television, Radio, and Film. Spent my first 20 or so years in radio, then Internet, then Television. Now I own an organic snack company, OM Snacks, and teach yoga and meditation, as well as coach other entrepreneurs. A big change from the entertainment world, and tons of fun!

Shayna Bentkover: I graduated in 2009 with a Bachelors of Industrial Design. After a few freelancing jobs, I eventually decided Industrial Design was not meant to be for me. I had taken a job as a Design Studio Specialist at my local Pottery Barn and excelled in the sales aspect of the role and long story short I am now part of a thriving sales team at LinkedIn. While I am not using my design skills directly, there are many other transferable skills that I learned from the Industrial Design program at Syracuse and I don’t think I would be where I am today if I had chosen any other major.

Michael Lambert: I graduated in ’84 with a degree in Industrial Engineering; during my senior year, the Engineering school announced they would end the I.E. program after the year, which turned out to be somewhat prophetic. After working in that field for about 3 1/2 years, I thought I’d try my hand at teaching and went back to school for a Math Teaching degree, and ended up teaching high school for a while, but after getting married and thinking about the cost of a house and kids on a teacher’s salary, I jumped into IT, where I have been for about 20 years now, in various roles.

Lawrence Harlan: I specialize in placing software and hardware engineers throughout Silicon Valley. My industry is high-tech staffing and my job title is outside sales. I graduated from SU in 2000 and majored in Mathematics. My career isn’t directly related to my SU major, but I’m constantly solving difficult problems and seeking the truth.

Bottom line? As you can see from all of the stories above, what you major in during college doesn’t necessarily dictate what your career will look like. Consider your major dilemma SOLVED!

Happy Holidays from the Career Services Team!

Congratulations on finishing your finals! Take this break to relax and recharge for next semester.

Here’s some advice from the Career Services team as you head off on break.

Happy Holidays to all! See you next semester!

Heaven Johnson, Katie Conrad, Kim Brown, and Mike Cahill

Mike Cahill, Director: Use the break to explore and learn about careers/jobs that interest you.  Find people who do work that is attractive to you, talk with them about what they do, and get advice on how to prepare yourself for that type of work.

Katie Conrad, Assistant Director: Use winter break to explore OrangeLink (access it via MySlice). Create a job or internship search agent and OrangeLink will email you with postings that meet your criteria. Check out Career Explorer (click the Resources tab) and explore careers based on industries, growth potential, green jobs, preparation (the amount of prep you need to do for a specific career) and more. These are just a few things you can do to in OrangeLink to help you on your career path.

Kim Brown, Alumni Programs Coordinator: Not on LinkedIn yet? During winter break, sign up for an account! Then, come to the Career Services office in January to learn how best to use it. If you’re already on LinkedIn, try your best over break to get your profile to 100% completeness.

Heaven Johnson, Career Coordinator for Diversity Programs: Pay attention to what you are naturally drawn to doing, and find someone who will pay you to do it.

Jeff D'Andria, Tracy Tillapaugh, Rosanne Ecker, and Chuck Reutlinger

Tracy Tillapaugh, Career Counselor: Take time to relax over the break to reflect about the semester and think about where you were and where you are now, career-wise. Then think about where you want to be next semester… there are plenty of opportunities to reach new levels in your development.

Rosanne Ecker, Associate Director: Work and life are both important. Students should be sure to spend time with friends and family. Your work will always be there when you get back from enjoying visiting with the special people in your life.

Jeff D’Andria, Graduate Assistant: If you’re not sure how to reconnect with people in your network (i.e. old supervisors), the holidays are a great time to send a check-in email. You can simply wish them a happy holiday season and update them on what you’ve been up to with school/internships/volunteering.

Chuck Reutlinger, Associate Director: They say knowledge is power.  Research positions, people, salaries, employers and industries, and learn when and how to use your knowledge, and you will be powerful.

Sue Casson, Sue Clayton, Jackie Shiel, and Shannon Feeney

Shannon Feeney, Employer Relations Coordinator: Take time to research companies you are interested in working/interning for, then try to set up an informational interview while you are home for break!

Jackie Shiel, Recruiting Assistant: Show up on time. Reliability is a very important quality.

Sue Casson, Associate Director of Employer Relations: Every event is a networking opportunity.  The holidays are a great time to practice your networking skills.  At a family gathering or other function, make a point of striking up a conversation with the uncle you haven’t spoken with in some time or with someone you don’t know.  To show your interest, practice asking them more questions about themselves instead of you just telling them all that you do. 

Lucy Rodgers and Ronnie Jones

Sue Clayton, Recruiting Coordinator: Be sure your resume is always up-to-date.

Lucy Rodgers, Internship Coordinator: Take some time over winter break to explore internship opportunities for this summer.  Internships are a great way to try out new career fields, build your resume, and strengthen your credentials.

Carol Hornstein and Pam Latham

Carol Hornstein, Office Assistant and Receptionist: Come to Career Services early, often and always! Our website is an exhaustive resource immediately available and career counseling is just a phone call away!

Pam Latham, Client Services Manager: Don’t wait until the last minute – begin now to develop those skills that you are going to need later when you begin interviewing for internships/jobs.

The best career advice I ever received was…

Our Career Guide has advice too!

Compiled by Tracy Tillapaugh

If you’re reading this post, you most likely follow @CareerSU on twitter, and maybe you even follow me, @tracytilly. If you do, then you probably saw some questions that I posted a few weeks ago. While the original idea was to turn some crowd-sourced tweets into some suggestions for the Class of 2015, I received requests to share the info with everyone else too… so without further ado…

The best career advice I ever received was…

@cmnoguer I would say get out there, get involved and don’t be afraid of failure or rejection. Think of what you want to look back to.

@colormelauren: to use @LinkedIn!

@dgreichert: Don’t pepper your resume and hope for a bite. Research each company and tailor the resume to each specifically.

@dkaps89:  For freshmen: Start networking early & never stop. It’ll pay off when you’re job/internship hunting (or even when you’re not)

@joannagiansanti: It sounds hokey now, but when the book came out, “Do what you love and the money will follow” really rang true.

@kimincuse: “wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.” Confucius was smart… definitely applies to career!

@muruganpandian: Never stay in one place too long; especially when the opportunities to grow have evaporated.

@SyrMichael:  The best career advice I ever received was <— find something rewarding rather than focus on $$

@tjbasalla: chase the dream job, but find the career that gives you the best reality

Thank you to all of our contributors! What else would you add?