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Your Summer Reading List

Recommended Reads

By Emilee Smith G’16

Learning is not limited to inside the classroom, and summer break is a great way to catch up on some self-learning and development. We all know that reading is a great way to expand your knowledge, and reading the right materials can also help you in your career. Leadership books, in particular, can inspire you to pursue your dreams and provide advice on how to do so.

Below are a few leadership books to consider:

1. “Lean in For Graduates” by Sheryl Sandberg

After her wildly popular book “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead,” Sandberg wrote this newer publication for recent college graduates. Aimed at young professionals, this book provides advice on resumes, interviewing, salary negotiation and how to get the most out of your first job.

2. “Outliers: The Story of Success” by Malcom Gladwell

An author of modern classics, Gladwell uses this book to influence the way you view success. Analyzing what causes people to be successful, this book can be enjoyed and appreciated by students and seasoned professionals alike.

 3.“The Wisdom of Walt: Leadership Lessons from the Happiest Place on Earth” by Jeffrey A. Barnes

Written by a college professor, this book analyzes the practices and wisdom of Walt Disney and teaches readers how to emulate Walt as a means for success. This book is especially useful for communications majors and professionals, who can learn from Walt’s storytelling techniques and ability to engage audiences.

Summer is the best time to catch up on some reading.  So take some time over the next few months to check out your local library, grab a cup of coffee and improve your career from the comfort of your couch! What books do you recommend for advancing your career?

10 Ways Summer Can Help You In Your Career

How to be productive this summer

By Emilee Smith G’16

School is out for summer, yippee! But just because classes are finished and the sun is shining doesn’t mean you should take a three-month break from productivity. These summer months are a great time to get ahead for the coming academic year and gain experiences for your future career. Here’s 10 ways you can be productive this summer:

  1. Work in your field. Whether it’s a paying job, internship or volunteer opportunity, working in your field is the best thing you can do for your career.
  2. Didn’t get a job or internship in your field? No worries! Use your free time to brush up on skills related to your intended profession. If you are a writer, write. If you’re an artist, make art. If you’re a history major? Read and visit museums. No matter what your field is, there are always ways for you to improve upon your knowledge and add to your portfolio.
  3. Revise your resume. Hopefully this past year you spent some time getting feedback from professors and career counselors on ways to improve your resume. Take time over the summer to make this document even stronger.
  4. Set up informational interviews. Politely reach out to people in your industry and ask if you can have informational interviews with them. This is a great way to make connections and also learn more about companies you think you might be interested in.
  5. Volunteering with places you care about is a great way to build connections with organizations as well as the individuals who work for them. Also, volunteer experience always looks great to future employers.
  6. Utilize LinkedIn. Aside from updating your profile, use LinkedIn to find alumni and other people in your industry.
  7. Read your textbooks. If you will be returning for the 2016-2017 academic year, start reading your textbooks early. This is a great way to get ahead and be prepared for your fall courses. It will also make your homework load more manageable when you return.
  8. Make a 5-year plan. If you still have multiple years of college left, spend time figuring out when you will be taking your required courses. If you have already done this, work on determining where you think you would like to begin your career and how you plan on developing past initial employment.
  9. Start a blog. Blogging is a great way to improve your writing and social media skills and also looks great on a resume. Employers love seeing that you are able to create and deliver content on a regular basis, so start a blog about something you love!
  10. If you can afford to, spend time traveling. Doing so will not only broaden your knowledge but can also help you determine where you would like to be geographically after graduation.

Even if you didn’t get your dream job this summer, there is no reason to fret! There are still plenty of things that you can do to prepare for this coming year and ultimately your future career.

Career Services is open all summer! Don’t wait until the fall to get career help. You can meet with a career counselor over the phone or via Skype to discuss career-related topics. To set up an appointment, call 315-443-3616!

Assembling Your Portfolio

Building a portfolio

By Emilee Smith G’16

Portfolios come in all shapes and sizes. Some are digital and display designs and videos while others are presented on paper, featuring art projects or written music compositions. Looking past the differing displays and varying content, there are several pieces that every portfolio should contain.

Whether you are an art major or aspiring teacher, start thinking about how you can fill these categories and begin collecting materials. Some essential pieces include:

  1. Your resume. The resume acts as a summary and is a great way to introduce potential employers to your work and accomplishments. It sets up the experience of looking through the rest of your portfolio.
  2. Examples of your work. No matter what your major is, you already possess examples of your work. These can be projects completed in school, work produced for an internship or job or even work that you have done on your own! Your field of study will most likely dictate the format of these examples. (After all, it makes sense that an aspiring video producer would have a digital portfolio, right?)
  3. If you have certifications related to your field then you should definitely include them in your portfolio. Not sure what certificates you should pursue? Ask your professors or schedule a meeting with a career counselor!
  4. Letters of Recommendation. Letters of recommendation act as great vouchers for your skill sets and work ethic. Reach out to employers and professors, both past and present, and ask them (politely) if they wouldn’t mind writing a letter for you.
  5. Awards and Publications. When it comes to awards and publications related to your field then you should absolutely showcase them in your portfolio. This will help employers recognize just how fantastic you are!

While no two portfolios look the same, all of the strongest will contain these five categories. By gradually collecting and assembling these pieces, you will ensure that you have a spectacular showcase by graduation.

So if you haven’t already, get started right away! Opportunities can arise at any moment and you may need a portfolio sooner than you think.

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.

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.!

Looking Ahead: Majors, Workshops, & Fairs

By Magnolia Salas

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!

With a dash of luck (…a blog post about landing a job)

By Alison Neufang, Class of 2012

The spring semester was a rough one for me. I had one of the toughest classes I’ve taken. I was also taking the capstone advertising course. I was part of three semester-long teams, and we know how much we all love team projects. Mostly, I was just staving off a raging case of senioritis. Suffice it to say, I wasn’t too proactive about finding a job. It was just really easy to procrastinate. Easier than normal.

That’s not to say I wasn’t thinking about it. I was. I attended one career fair where I didn’t find anything that interested me. I thought about what I should be doing, mainly networking and talking to as many HR people as possible. I knew I should be getting a portfolio together.

But when I finished my last final, I had nothing to show. I still needed to update my resume. I still needed to put my portfolio together. I needed to scour the CDC’s newsletters and

But there were some things that I had been doing for my entire college career. I had been building relationships. Not specifically for the purpose of getting a career, because that would just be rude. But I knew that there were people who wouldn’t mind helping me. So the first thing I did was to recruit as many of my professors as I could. I was lucky that a few decided to lend me a hand. They drew on their experience to introduce me to a few people in the industry.

The other thing I had been doing without realizing is learning how to sell myself. I have passion for my chosen career, and I was able to describe where I thought I fit in. So when I was introduced to people in the industry, I could toss aside any nervousness or scripted speech and just talk. I was able to just look at the people I was meeting and tell them why I thought I could help them do what they do, and be happy doing it. Because, you know, no one likes working with a miserable jerk who has to force herself out of bed in the morning.

So here’s the rundown of what I did. I took my final final (what a weird thing, the last act as a college student) and then I had a week until graduation. So I met with my professors and asked for some introductions. I updated my resume one last time. I went to the SUccess in the City networking event and I shook a bunch of hands and collected a bunch of business cards.

They say finding a job is a full-time job, so I worked on my portfolio for about 10 hours a day for 4 days straight. This was a great exercise because it forced me to reflect on the experience I had gained from school. I would recommend every entry-level person has some examples of why they aren’t completely clueless about the position.  Then I scheduled a few interviews.

And then I graduated. I walked that stage and it was one of the happiest days of my life. The next day I had an interview. Then I had lunch with a professor. Then I had another interview. Then another. And then another. By that Friday, I had a job.

So there was a bit of luck. To find a job that quickly is pretty much unheard of. And I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere without a lot of help from some friends. But the main thing I would attribute my success to is my passion. I walked into the interview with enough confidence to say “I belong here,” and enough desire to ensure that my confidence didn’t come off as “ego.”

I wish you all the best of luck in your job search. I’d wish you luck, but you don’t need it.

From college books to Booz Allen…job search tips from a new grad!

By Ariana Yuen, Class of 2012

As senior year rolled in, I was overwhelmed with the questions, the lecturing and sheer thoughts regarding my post-grad plans. To say that the job search is stressful is an understatement and if you enter senior year without concrete plans (as I did) and are a complete worrywart (as I tend to be), you may experience what I call a quarter-life crisis.

I had sculpted my college career with the intent of going into communications, but come October of my senior year, I pivoted. After a frazzled process of professional “soul searching,” research and brain-picking sessions with people I felt knew me best, I made an unexpected decision to pursue a career in management consulting. Although the job hunt process can be tiresome, demoralizing and metaphysically tumor-esque, there are a myriad of tactics to land a great job while getting the most out of senior year.

Although everyone’s job search will be entirely unique depending on your personality and industry, I have listed the four elements of my job search I felt most beneficial:

1. Research is always beneficial throughout the entire job hunt process. Use research to help understand the industry, companies and job function you’re looking to get into. Sites like Vault and Glassdoor, as well as casual informational interviews with professionals in the field, will give you the best idea of whether or not you’re on the right track for what’s best for you. When you’re networking, research companies before you speak with people to ask more intelligent questions and show a genuine interest in the company. Also, be sure to visit Career Services’ resource page. I wish I had found it earlier!

2. Utilize your resources: Those resources include LinkedIn, alumni databases/‘CuseConnect, OrangeLink, and our very own Career Services office (in Schine 235!). If you tend to be an “I-can-do-it-all-by-myself” type of person (which I am), stop. Although you might be able to land your dream job simply by applying online, your chances are exponentially higher if you leverage your resources. There is so much that Career Services offers that students, including myself, did/do not even realize. Besides resume and cover letter building, there are people who can advise you with career paths, networking, improving online profiles, mock interviews, choosing between multiple offers, negotiations, and many other topics. Pay attention to career-related e-mails so that you are aware of job fairs and deadlines.

3. Network, network, network. This is heavily stressed, yet rarely put into practice by students. It starts with peeling away the common fears of networking: the awkwardness and misconceptions that networking is always “suck-up-y,” artificial and not beneficial unless the person you are networking with is someone with a senior management position. You must get over those fears. Start viewing networking as relationship building and networking now (even if it does not lead directly to a job) can be potentially beneficial to the future, whether you want to transfer jobs X amount of years down the road, or build new business or partnerships on behalf of your company. Don’t be too picky with who you network with. You never know if that entry-level person you’re speaking with is best friends with the HR manager or takes part in the recruitment process. Personally, I found LinkedIn to be most useful. Reach out to SU  alumni – they are generally extremely generous with their time, advice and resources. Follow up and always give your thanks.

4. Be excited about what’s going on in your present and future. Being excited is the best way to balance the stresses of the job search while living up your senior year. Being excited about your job search will make being proactive (whether it’s with your research, networking or actual job applications) less of a hassle and something to get a thrill out of. Yes, I know it sounds mildly strange, but to combat my job search stresses, I began to see networking and my job hunt progress as a game instead of a burdensome struggle. Excitement, most importantly, will give you the perseverance to land your dream job while remaining sane.

These practices, especially school resources and help from alumni, were invaluable to reaching my goal of a career in management consulting. In August, I will start working at Booz Allen Hamilton as an entry-level consultant in the D.C. area and I couldn’t be more excited for this next chapter of my life!

Headhunters and your job hunt

By Chuck Reutlinger, Associate Director

“All you need to do is find a good headhunter who will find you a job.”

I’ve regularly heard young alumni, new grads and some students cite this piece of advice that they have usually received from peers, friends and family members. While there certainly are employment services out there that play a role in job seekers’ successes, there is a lot of confusion and unwarranted expectations about just what these various services really do.

They won’t be your agent. They don’t work for you!
Basically, headhunters, staffing agencies, consultants – whatever they may call themselves – generally make money by finding, screening and referring potential employees for specific jobs that the employer needs help filling right away.  If they are successful, employers give them new assignments and they spend their time working on these and trying to get new assignments from new and old employer clients. Been there, done that!

They may seem encouraging, but…..
To meet an assignment quickly (which means a quicker fee), they need to have an inventory of candidates ready to present.  Hence they’ll encourage you to submit resumes, and they might even have a quick conversation with you to determine salary needs, geographic restrictions, etc. What they seldom do, however, is launch a wide ranging search on behalf of a specific job seeker. They can’t by law accept fees from you to undertake such efforts, and why would they? Once you get a job, you’ll be off the market!  By serving employers well, they build solid relationships and ensure return business.

They seldom handle entry-level job assignments.
In this cost conscious economy, why would an employer pay them healthy fees to find entry-level candidates when they have so many free or certainly less expensive sources, notably fairs and listing resources at campuses near and far (e.g. OrangeLink), social network posting sites like LinkedIn, and college-specific sites like these?

So when are they valuable? You might score if……

  • You are available to work immediately.
  • You have a skill and experience set that is in short supply, probably in technology, healthcare, some areas of business, some foreign languages, etc.
  • You are more than an entry-level student or new grad; the more experienced you are, the rarer you may be, and the more likely an employer is to pay an outside agency to find you.
  • You have identified those who serve specific industries or career fields (headhunters usually emerge from specific settings and use their knowledge to bring value back to employers in the same settings.)

Researching headhunters et al.

Use Indeed, Simply Hired and other “aggregators” to find position listings from these external agencies and then visit the web sites of these organizations to find more opportunities.

Check out the Online Recruiters Directory and RON, the Recruiters Online Directory to find who serves your field or industry.

Happy hunting!