Thursday, July 13, 2017

How to Stay Professionally Productive Over the Summer

Letting the warm weather affect your work ethic is a danger that all workers face. Try not to get stuck in the haze of summer by staying productive in your professional field.

  1. Cover for vacationing coworkers
Show that you can take initiative and are a team player by taking on any projects or work that your coworkers abandoned when they went on vacation. Ensure that your coworkers are up to speed on any changes that go on in the office or attend meetings that they might miss and take notes for them. Not only will you be helping your coworkers, but you’ll also be gaining invaluable experience in different areas of the office.
  1. Take on new projects
With the calm of summer, it’s easier to take on a lot of work at once. Start new initiatives that didn’t take priority during the busy seasons. Revisit smaller projects that fell through the cracks or were postponed. You’ll have more time to invest your time and passion and really make a difference.
  1. Combine work and play
If you’re lucky enough to be able to go on vacation during the summer, don’t let your work fall by the wayside. It’s important to relax during your trip - after all, that’s what it’s for. Dedicate half an hour in the morning to check your work e-mail or check in on a project you left in the hands of a trusted colleague.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

What to do If You Don't Have a Job/Internship Lined Up for the Summer

Facing a summer of unemployment can be disheartening. But there’s no reason to despair. By doing the right things during the break, you can effectively work towards a job for the fall and move further down your career path.

  1. Reach out to your network
Reach out to your connections! It’s important to cement your network and get back in touch with those who can help you in the job hunt.
  1. Go back to school
Taking a class over the summer is also highly encouraged. Learn or refine a skill that will bolster your resume and open the door for more job opportunities. Earn more credits in a field that might help in your journey to graduate school or result in earlier graduation.
  1. Volunteer
While it’s great to be paid for work, volunteering with a non-profit organization, charity, or community center is also a great way to spend the summer. Not only will you be helping your community, but employment at the organization is also possible if you truly prove yourself to be a valuable asset.
  1. Summer research
Do you have a senior thesis coming up? Are you in a field in which you can work with professionals in a formal setting? A great way to spend the summer is by conducting research. This time of year gives you time to become truly enmeshed in your work and devote yourself fully to it.
  1. Start looking for a fall internship
A number of things could have prevented you from finding employment during the summer. Whatever the reasons were, list them and see how you can combat them now without the distractions that the academic year brings.
  1. Shadow a professional or mentor
Use your network to see if there are any professionals you can shadow while they work in their field. The experience you gain will be invaluable and the opportunities presented to you will be irreplaceable.

To find on-campus jobs, start checking Handshake in mid-August.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

9 Things to do Over the Summer to Help Advance Your Career

The end of the academic year doesn’t also signal the end of your hard work. Whether you have a job, are traveling, or are attending classes over the summer, it’s important to keep your career path in check. During the summer, you should try to do the following things that will help advance your progress along that path.

  1. Network
Look for networking events in your area that give you the opportunity to connect with people while also enjoying the season. Take advantage of the nice weather and take networking outside through things like retreats or work picnics.

2. Fill in for your vacationing coworkers
Show that you can take initiative and are a team player by taking on any projects or work that your co-workers left unfinished when they went on vacation. Ensure that your colleagues are up to speed on any changes that go on in the office or attend meetings that they might miss and take notes for them. Not only will you be helping your coworkers, but you’ll also be gaining invaluable experience in different areas of the office.

3. Schedule informational interviews
It’s difficult to get a job in the middle of the summer, but there’s no harm in going to a company and asking to speak to a professional about opportunities and what might be involved in holding a position there.

4. Start cultivating a professional presence online
Do a quick Google search of your name. Does anything inappropriate come up? Clean up your online image and make sure there’s nothing attached to your name that could be considered incriminating. Also look through sites that are available to the public, such as your LinkedIn profile, and make sure they’re clean and concise.

5. Freelance
Just because you aren’t working in an office doesn’t mean you can’t work. Offer your expertise and submit your work to different publications or corporate interests.

6. Volunteer with charities and nonprofit organizations
Another effective way to contribute to your community is through volunteer work. Find charities or non-profit organizations that are offering positions or looking for volunteers.

7. Learn a new skill
A great way to keep your mind active and open yourself up to more job opportunities is to learn a new skill. Take a class at your community college or find out where lessons are being offered. Learn something you’re passionate about but might not have had time to study during the academic year.

8. Update your resume
Be sure to include any new skills, experiences, or references gained by your summer activities to your resume. Everything is valuable!

9. Determine what you need to eliminate in order to reach your goals
Try to limit your time working with toxic people who will detriment your network or working on skills that you are able to do, but are not rewarding or able to further your career in any way.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

How to Be Successful at Your Internship - JCFP Style

Congratulations on being selected to participate in the Jaggar Community Fellows Program!  It is a very prestigious program and one that is sure to greatly impact your summer.  There are many incredible employers doing fabulous work who cannot wait to meet you and see your work within their organizations.  Always remember, as you will be working in a not-for-profit company, every assignment given is, in some small or large way, helping contribute to a greater cause.  Whether this is your first internship or you are an intern expert, here are a few things to help you navigate the 10-week long intern road ahead.

Always remind yourself that you are an intern.  While the Center for Career and Professional Development prides itself on matching JCFP interns with companies that give their interns real work (not the coffee runs or photocopying), there are times where you may be doing everyday tasks.  Everyone in every position has to do these things at some point so do not take it the wrong way.  Interns are there to learn first-hand what it is like to work in a particular position.  You are new, green, and at the bottom of the totem pole.  Let this experience mold you, even the less exciting tasks to the huge projects that you might get to work on.

Dress to impress.  Definitely beating a dead horse with this as it is a mantra of CPD, but it could not be more true.  If you are dressed appropriately, others will see the seriousness that you bring to the job and you yourself also feel more confident.  Now, this comes with an asterisk (*) … some positions do not require suits or business casual every day.  Clearly, this is a tip for those in offices, etc.  If you are doing manual labor or spending many days outside, clearly a suit, for example, might not be the ideal choice.  Have common sense and dress appropriately for the situation at hand.

Be courteous and cordial to everyone that you come into contact with throughout the internship, but especially at the beginning.  You do not know which departments collaborate with one another, who is friends with who, and the dynamic of the office as a whole.  Be sure to take note of these connections quickly.  You may be able to utilize these same relationships when you are working on assignments.  Also a side note, everyone loves food, especially baked things, so it never hurts to bring in something for everyone to enjoy.  Yes, it’s shamelessly convincing people you are great, but as long as the food is good, it usually works and you typically get to share in the deliciousness, so a win for everyone!

Always look for more things to do.  You signed up for JCFP because you wanted an internship experience.  Now, you have to work for it, but with each new task and day comes more experiences and opportunities.  Do not let it go by.  If your supervisor is out or too busy to assign you something new, seek something out!  Perhaps you can take the initiative to begin a new project that you know needs to be done or asking someone else in the office what they need help with.  Displaying ambition and interest to your employer not only reaffirms your desire to be an intern, but it also may lead to even more meaningful tasks.

Feeding off of the last tip, give the internship some time!  Everyone needs to get to know you, especially your new supervisor.  He/she may be a bit hesitant to give you incredibly large or important assignments on the first day, or even the first week.  As with everything, you need to show your strengths and worth.  Just put your best foot forward and be patient.  Allow your supervisor to build a trusting relationship with you.  While it might be difficult to wait, it will pay off in the long run and it never hurts for you to propose things that you could do (see previous tip).

A personal note from a former JCFP intern to the newest class – The non-profit world is a special place!  There are a good number of you who have probably never been exposed to it before or have even considered that there is an entire working force in the not-for-profit sector.  In the end, you may realize that you do not like it at all.  Thank goodness this is a no risk situation!  What would you have done had you gone throughout your entire undergraduate career to realize you dislike the career that you worked so hard to enter into?  Now, you can decipher the various aspects of your major and the numerous jobs that you can acquire with it.  And, what happens if you love your job and even the non-profit world?  Well then, you have found your niche in the workforce and we sincerely hope you not only take advantage of this experience, but propel yourself forward to even greater heights as you work toward something you love to do each day!

Go out, be your best selves, and do great things!!  Best of luck!

By Alexandra Wurglics

Thursday, April 6, 2017

How to Stand Out at a Job Fair

Attending a job fair can be intimidating. With so many people competing for the same job, it’s difficult to stand out as the unique employee you know you are. Here are a few tips to follow so you can make a lasting impression at a job fair.

Do your research
Before the job fair, conduct some basic research on the companies you have the most interest in. Knowing some of their policies, their mission statement, goals, and services is instrumental in impressing an employer and appealing to them as a future employee. Asking specific questions and making references to information you find on their website shows the employer that you are truly interested in working for that company.

Make a strong first impression
When you first meet an employer, firmly shake their hand and maintain eye contact when you introduce yourself. This shows that you are confident. Also, smile! Although you may be feeling intimidated, make it clear that you are happy to be speaking with this employer and excited to be there.

Put yourself on display
This is your time to shine. Once you begin speaking to a potential employer, you only have a few minutes to show them why they should hire you. Mention your achievements and any special projects you worked on. Don’t just speak about where you worked in the past. Tell them what you accomplished there.

Don’t try to be a jack of all trades
Be specific and focused about what kind of job you want. Don’t come up to the table asking what opportunities are available. Your previous research should have also included a look into what positions they’re offering. Have one in mind that you want to discuss and focus your conversation towards that. If you want a human resources job, gear the discussion towards your experience in human resources and what you enjoy about working in that field.

End on a high note
Your final impression should be a lasting one. Ask about the next steps in the application process. Offer to come by the employer’s office for a longer conversation or informational interview in person. Make sure you thank the person for his/her time, and request a business card. This shows that you are committed to following up and are truly interested in the position.

Follow up

Within a few days after the job fair, follow up with the people you spoke to. Although it seems old fashioned, sending a thank you note to thank them for their time and for speaking with you comes off very professional and impressive. It shows the recruiter what type of worker you are and is often the difference between getting offered a position or not. Be sure to ask about any other opportunities to meet and have a discussion if you didn’t bring it up during the in person interview.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

How to Succeed in a Group Interview

A group interview is an interview in which an employer will screen several applicants at one time. These can be daunting, but are practically unavoidable in a competitive job market. Many employers not only do this for efficiency's sake but also to see how you work with other people. Here are a few things to keep in mind to ensure your success in a group interview. 

Approach the room with confidence
When you see the other candidates for the first time, you may feel intimidated or surprised, but don’t let it show. Your reaction to the situation and the group is very important to the employer’s perception of you. Show that you can handle new environments, new people, and situations that deviate from your norm.

Speak with a purpose
In a group, it’s easy to feel like you need to constantly participate. While it’s pertinent to pay attention to the discussion, it doesn’t always need your response or input. When you have something to say, make sure it is unique and moves the conversation along. Use body language to show that you’re engaged, even when you’re not speaking. If you have a thought while someone else is talking, make a note of it. When your turn comes up, you’ll be confident in all that you have to say.

With that being said, it is essential to pay attention to the questions and your group members’ responses. You may be asked the same question and therefore don’t want to give the same answers. Or a discussion may spring up from a reply and it will be beneficial for you to make a contribution.

Focus on yourself
Don't focus your efforts on "bringing down the competition" or discounting others' thoughts and ideas. Not only will it make you look like a bad team player, but it will take away from the opportunities you have to build yourself up. Take this time to show how you interact with others and what you can bring to a group and company. Spending all your time tearing others down is merely a detriment to yourself.

Set yourself apart
While it’s good to be friendly with the other candidates and beneficial to maintain an effective dialogue, you are there to be hired. Show your employer what makes you unique. Stand out by sharing different views on a topic or how you took advantage of a special opportunity.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Senior Ayako Nakashita Gains Confidence After JCFP Experience

Ayako Nakashita gained confidence in herself and her abilities after interning at New York Cares in their Service Events department.
As an international student, Nakashita found her career experience options limited. However, JCFP gave her the opportunity to “earn clinical experiences working in the field.” She learned the importance in asking for help from her supervisors and coworkers when she encountered challenges. She realized that even if an opportunity seemed beyond her reach, she needed to try to the best of her ability. With this newfound confidence, Nakashita says that “with the faith in myself that I earned, I am now rather excited with trying new things than being afraid of it.”
With the tenacity to move forward, Nakashita was able to learn things she could not in the classroom and pursue her future further. “Be proactive towards whatever you want to accomplish for your future,” she says.
The JCFP experience helped Nakashita see things in a new light. “These experiences will widen your perspective in a way that enable you to see the things from opposite side of where you are,” she says. “If you want to see the best version of you, JCFP is the perfect place to work in the summer.”