Syracuse University Career Services

MythBusters: Career Services Edition

By Danchen Zhou ’14, Career Services Intern

I recently saw a comment from a first-year student saying he was too nervous to go to the Career Services office. I’ve also heard a lot of students wondering what the office has to offer and how students and alumni can get help from the office. My internship at Career Services has allowed me to see how the office works, and here are just a few things I learned:

First of all, Career Services is always there for you. Whether you are nervous about an interview next week, you have trouble with your job search, or you are an experienced alumni considering whether to pursue an advanced degree, you are always welcome to come to us for the services we offer. You can always visit suite 235 in the Schine Student Center, call (315) 443-3616, or leave us a comment on our Facebook page or Tweet us!

It is not just an office, but a hub for you. Our staff are passionate and professional and are here to offer students advice and instructions related to their careers. The passion can be seen through all the hand-written notes left by our students on each staff members’ shelves. The professionalism is evident because we have knowledgeable career consultants and dedicated communicators to connect students, alumni and employers. To familiarize yourself with our office before you stop by, get to know the staff.

You cannot directly find a job here, but they have the tools to help you get there. “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” From self-positioning, to application material review, to interview techniques, at Career Services you will always get the help and mentorship that can have a lifelong benefit to your career. However, do not expect a job offer out of the office – you need to do the work too!  Be patient and build the door first.

Want to volunteer with Career Services? We are looking for students of all years to apply for our Student Ambassador Program to assist the office in different aspects. For more information, read our last blog post or go to OrangeLink and search for job number 61131.

Agents of C.A.R.E.E.R.

By Shannon Feeney Andre, Assistant Director

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to better connect Career Services with the student body.

Career Services Student Ambassador ProgramCareer Services is looking for students to join the Student Ambassador Program for the 2015-16 academic year.  The Student Ambassador Program brings together an elite group of students with diverse talents that are interested in assisting their peers as they navigate the career development process and engaging in the employer relations activities on campus.  Student Ambassadors act as the official liaisons between the Career Services office and the student body.  Ambassadors do this by providing feedback on any new ideas for Career Services’ programs and events, promoting and publicizing events and services, and serving as a role model and resource for their peers.  While serving as a Student Ambassador, your assignments could range from volunteering at an employer event, to participating in a focus group, to providing suggestions on marketing (and more!).

For students interested in gaining campus leadership experience, helping their peers, and marketing the work of Career Services, the Student Ambassador Program is for you!

Do you have what it takes?  Then apply via OrangeLink today (Job #74079).  Candidates need to submit a resume and cover letter explaining why they want to join the team.  The deadline to apply is July 1st.

*Updated to reflect new dates

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!

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 coursecatalog.syr.edu 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!

Interning in the DA's office

Outside the Monroe County District Attorney's office.
Outside the Monroe County District Attorney’s office.

By Duane Ford ’15

Last summer I interned at the Monroe County District Attorney’s (DA) office in the domestic violence department. I worked closely with an Assistant District Attorney (ADA), and helped prepare cases for indictment.

My favorite part about the internship was consulting with the ADA and learning more about the law and the work that goes into preparation for a case to go to trial.

I also enjoyed watching some of the higher profile trials. My least favorite part about the internship was, actually nothing to do with the work of the internship, but that I had to go through a metal detector about every 10 minutes walking back and forth from the DA’s office to the hall of justice and have to empty my pockets, remove my belt and watch, and anything else that was metal. Even with all of that it was a very rewarding experience since I knew that I had assisted in putting perpetrators of domestic violence behind bars and protected victims from their abusers.

During a typical day I did a lot of refiling of paperwork, organization of cases, do “discovery” (which is a fancy name for copying 100+ papers), and would go to get documents notarized. When there was an ongoing trial I would sometimes assist in interviewing jurors for jury selection and help go over case work with the ADA presiding over the case. I received the job by applying directly through the District Attorney’s internship program. My connections also helped; I was lucky enough to shadow a friend of my mother’s in the bureau.

My advice for anyone looking for an internship is to build a network of people or contacts that you can tap into when you want an internship or a job opportunity. For undergraduates: start making your connections now, find someone with a large network that you already know (including Syracuse University alumni) and they will help to point you in the direction of helpful people they know. A great way to build these connections is through joining an organization with a diverse group of interests and majors like Student Association. If you are interested in hearing more about my internship, please feel free to contact me at defordjr@syr.edu. I would be happy to talk to you more about working with a District Attorney or the office at Monroe County!

If you are interested in pursuing opportunities in the government, law, nonprofit, education, or public service sector, don’t miss the Nonprofit & Government Career Fair on Friday, February 28 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. More than 50 nonprofit and government organizations will be in Panasci Lounge (Schine) to recruit SU students for internships and full-time positions!  You can view the list of attending organizations and their open positions in OrangeLink.

Interning in the DA's office

Outside the Monroe County District Attorney's office.
Outside the Monroe County District Attorney’s office.

By Duane Ford ’15

Last summer I interned at the Monroe County District Attorney’s (DA) office in the domestic violence department. I worked closely with an Assistant District Attorney (ADA), and helped prepare cases for indictment.

My favorite part about the internship was consulting with the ADA and learning more about the law and the work that goes into preparation for a case to go to trial.

I also enjoyed watching some of the higher profile trials. My least favorite part about the internship was, actually nothing to do with the work of the internship, but that I had to go through a metal detector about every 10 minutes walking back and forth from the DA’s office to the hall of justice and have to empty my pockets, remove my belt and watch, and anything else that was metal. Even with all of that it was a very rewarding experience since I knew that I had assisted in putting perpetrators of domestic violence behind bars and protected victims from their abusers.

During a typical day I did a lot of refiling of paperwork, organization of cases, do “discovery” (which is a fancy name for copying 100+ papers), and would go to get documents notarized. When there was an ongoing trial I would sometimes assist in interviewing jurors for jury selection and help go over case work with the ADA presiding over the case. I received the job by applying directly through the District Attorney’s internship program. My connections also helped; I was lucky enough to shadow a friend of my mother’s in the bureau.

My advice for anyone looking for an internship is to build a network of people or contacts that you can tap into when you want an internship or a job opportunity. For undergraduates: start making your connections now, find someone with a large network that you already know (including Syracuse University alumni) and they will help to point you in the direction of helpful people they know. A great way to build these connections is through joining an organization with a diverse group of interests and majors like Student Association. If you are interested in hearing more about my internship, please feel free to contact me at defordjr@syr.edu. I would be happy to talk to you more about working with a District Attorney or the office at Monroe County!

If you are interested in pursuing opportunities in the government, law, nonprofit, education, or public service sector, don’t miss the Nonprofit & Government Career Fair on Friday, February 28 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. More than 50 nonprofit and government organizations will be in Panasci Lounge (Schine) to recruit SU students for internships and full-time positions!  You can view the list of attending organizations and their open positions in OrangeLink.

Making the Most of an Employer Visit

#SUCareerWeek is fast approaching (Feb. 10 – 13), and this means there will be more than 100 unique employers visiting campus during that time. Associate Director Sue Casson shares tips on how to connect with an employer while they are on campus.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLY5a3dGemQ&feature=share&list=UU_91WHBS2qdgrRr3ncE_b8g[/youtube]

Get a start on your employer research today!  Visit OrangeLink to see when and where employers will be on campus!  For a full list of events and information sessions, click the “Career Fairs, Workshops, & Information Sessions” tab on OrangeLink.

Tips for Choosing a Major from SU Students

Compiled by Tracy Tillapaugh and Shannon Andre, ’09

Major Mixer Panel & Discussion
– Students in 235 Schine during the Major Mixer & Panel

During our Major Mixer event on Wednesday, October 23, we heard many great tips about how students chose their major here at Syracuse University.

Here are six tips that may help you as you determine your academic major:

  1. Take some courses and see if you can picture yourself in the field. You really never know if you’ll like a particular field until you try it!
  2. Sometimes experience can help you decide what you DON’T want to do. One student interned at a company and realized that the field wasn’t for him.
  3. Major doesn’t always equal your career. For example, you can major in psychology but work in marketing or human resources. There are multiple paths for every career.
  4. Get involved on campus in clubs, academic programs (such as McNair Scholars), organizations or with an on-campus job. You don’t have to wait to have an internship to get experience.
  5. A word of caution: don’t just live your major 24/7, make sure to try out other things that interest you that aren’t 100% relevant to your major.
  6. Sometimes you know what you want to do from a young age, it’s okay to be happy and assertive in that decision.

For help with deciding on a major, check out the career research resources on our website!

Megan Lucas' #LinkedInSUccess Story

May 2013,  The Advisory Board Company
May 2013,
The Advisory Board Company

Continuing our series on #LinkedInSUccess stories, Megan Lucas ’13, shares how she leveraged LinkedIn in her job search!

I graduated Syracuse University College of Arts and Sciences in May 2013, and like everyone else, was very worried about finding a fun full-time job that would potentially turn into a career. I studied international relations, Spanish, and economics as my undergraduate work, and was very reliant on the Maxwell Career Services and LinkedIn. I went to a few networking events in Syracuse and DC before graduating and right after graduation, but relied a lot on online applications and portals.

Beginning in June 2013, I was working an unpaid internship at the Center of Hemispheric Defense Studies at National Defense University. I enjoyed the work and networking opportunities, but knew that I was “burnt out” in doing research for academic institutions, as well as working for non-profits. I wanted to join the private sector, and geared my job search that way. I stumbled upon a job opening at The Advisory Board Company via LinkedIn, and applied. After my first failed interview at Advisory Board, I noticed a few more job positions and decided to apply and subsequently prepare myself better for the interview. I researched the positions as well as the company, and physically wrote down pages of answers to common interview questions, as well as notes detailing my strengths, weaknesses, and how those character traits contributed directly to the position and the firm.

During this process, LinkedIn was invaluable. I was able to research the company, other positions, as well as other Syracuse alumni on the network. I noticed a particular alum had graduated from SU one year before me with the same major (international relations), and asked for a “LinkedIn Introduction” via Kim Brown, one of our many connections in common. We messaged on LinkedIn, exchanging phone numbers, and had an informal phone call shortly after. Not only was I able to feel out more about the company and its inner workings, I used our shared history and career desires to apply to my personal fit and career trajectory. During my next set of interviews, I mentioned the previous voluntary outreach anecdote, and wholeheartedly believe that it was this fact that showed I was able and willing to take all necessary steps for the company and role; to “go the extra mile” (which is ironically one of the company’s cultural values).

The bottom line: getting a job is not only about personality, work ethic, and work history. It is not just showing skills and answering all the interview questions with confidence (never arrogance). Yes, you must be able to read, write, think, comprehend, react, and do simple math and logical deductions in your mind. But a lot of the time, getting the job comes down to fit: not only should you be a well-tailored fit for the company, but the company should be a well-tailored fit for you. LinkedIn is one of the websites that expedites this process; I believe to find a well-suited position, you need to utilize all the tools that LinkedIn provides.

Good luck, Megan and thank you for sharing your story! Stay tuned for more #LinkedInSUccess stories!

Advice from an SU grad: the path to my dream job

With graduation nearing, we know many of our seniors are knee-deep in the job search process. In this blog post, iSchool alumnus Daniel Reichert shares his perspective and feelings on looking for meaningful work – and how he found SUccess.

Stress
The interviewing process is stressful. It’s stressful when you put your applications out, and it gets more stressful as you continue on with the process for any company. If you don’t hear back from a company for some time, the stress goes through the roof.

In my late 20s, I’ve been through the interview process several times – once when I just got out of my Army Reserve training, once after getting back from Afghanistan having also just completed my bachelor’s degree, and finally just recently after completing my master’s from the iSchool.  The stress never gets easier.

Chase Your Dreams
In my recent endeavors, I decided I didn’t want just another job. I wanted a career. After following the suggestions from Career Services, I landed a few interviews with major IT companies throughout the country.  It came down to three, all of which would have an estimated “final decision” time during completely different time frames.  Of the three, there was one that was my dream company. Of course, it was estimated to be the last one in line to decide.

The three companies interviewed me through stages, where two of them went through the process rapidly in a month or so.  One of them flew me across the country for the final interview.  It wasn’t my number one, but it was a good sign. Unfortunately I didn’t get that one. I eventually looked at it as a blessing in disguise to make it easier to go full-speed into my number one pick.

Patience and Follow Up
I graduated in December without any offer. I moved back in with my parents being extremely optimistic that I would get an offer from my top choice.  Time went by with no response, and I started applying to other companies. How could it be that I’d made it so far in this nearly six month long interview process and my rejection came in the form of just being ignored?

I didn’t want to be a nuisance, but at the same time I wanted somewhat of a closure.  I attempted to make contact with everyone I interviewed with at the company.  A week later, I got a phone call from the lead hiring manager who was my main contact.  She apologized to me for the delay in responding and informed me I was well in the running still but there was one more interview to go through.

WOOO!

After going more than one month without any response from the company I put everything into, this was a major relief to know I was still interviewing (strangely enough after half a year of interviewing already). A week later I had the biggest interview of my life. I did the interview via webcam. The interviewer told me I would hear back in about week or so, thus getting my nerves going again (more than ever before).

I didn’t sleep at all during that time.

I did whatever I could to keep my mind off of things. Thankfully this was during Miami Tech Week. There was definitely a fair amount of small community things to attend. While I was walking into the building for the Android meetup and about to silence my phone, I received a phone call. It was the hiring manager and she sounded excited.  She called immediately to offer me the position!

It took nearly half a year from submitting my application to hear the phone call I remember so vividly of being offered the position.  I declined other opportunities and I made major gambles. I lost many nights of sleep.  This was my dream job and I ended up getting it after three separate interviews with three groups of people who had varying levels of credentials.  Did I handle the stresses right? Was it a recommended gamble to take? I can’t say, because it worked out right in the end.  Bottom line: don’t overestimate yourself, but most importantly: don’t shortchange yourself.