Thursday, February 16, 2017

Junior Lani Chau Shoots for the Stars as a Jaggar Community Fellow

Sometimes interning is all it takes to reaffirm your goals and dreams. Lani Chau interned at the Cradle of Aviation Museum as part of the Jaggar Community Fellows Program (JCFP). She worked as a planetarium presenter.

While there, she gained confidence in her choices to fuse her passion for arts and sciences. Chau was doubting her recent decision to start a minor in graphic design on top of a physics major when a conversation with her supervisor opened her eyes to opportunities she didn’t even know existed. After she talked to her supervisor about technicians at NASA who colorized black and white images from space, she felt more confident about her choice. “It was conversations and experiences from moments like the above that decreased my insecurity and pushed me forward confidently in my journey,” she says.

Chau says that “in gaining more confidence with the choices I made, I also gained more motivation.” This drove her to find more opportunities for hard and innovative work.

The advice she has for students considering applying to JCFP is to keep an open mind. Although the Cradle of Aviation Museum was not her first choice of internship, she “ended up having fun and would not want to trade this experience with anything else.” Although at first being hesitant about taking an internship at an aerospace center, Chau learned the importance of being honest and open about any questions someone may have at a new job.

“If we cannot succeed at first then we can learn,” she says.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Never Too Late! ‘16 Graduate Amanda Kim Shares her JCFP Experience

It’s never too late to start paving the path to your career. Amanda Kim became a Jaggar Community Fellow the summer that she graduated from Adelphi. She interned at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, which led to the Research Technician position she currently holds at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Kim says that the Jaggar Community Fellows Program (JCFP) was unique in providing her, and other graduate students like her, with internship opportunities. Interning helped Kim “further gain professionalism and confidence to enter the working field.”

Her unique position as a graduate intern also had unique advantages. “My undergraduate and graduate experience in research at Adelphi University helped me walk into the internship confident in my abilities to grasp and learn new techniques,” she says. “ I was able to bring...a certain level of experience.”

JCFP was also able to provide Kim with new insights to her future career. “After my internship opportunity at the Feinstein Institute, I realized that medical research was something I wanted to pursue,” she says. Her experience at The Feinstein Institute also “made me a great candidate for various research positions, which led me to my current position.”

Kim also shared some of her advice for students considering to apply for JCFP. “Try everything,” she says. “The more you put yourself out there and the more opportunities you expose yourself to, the more successful you will be. JCFP offered me a crucial experience that ultimately helped get me where I am today.”

Career New Year's Resolutions

2017 is fast approaching and with it, the pressure to come up with New Year’s resolutions. Many people make them, but can seldom keep them. This year, make a list of resolutions related to starting down your career path and making the most of the opportunities you have. Here’s a few to get you started.

  1. Apply for an internship
It’s best to put this one at the top of your list so you can get it done first. Most internships that take place during the summer or the spring have an early application date. Working at an internship gives you experience, varied skills and networking opportunities. Sometimes people even end up working for the company they interned for.

How to follow through: Look through the internships on Handshake or intern at a nonprofit through the Jaggar Community Fellows Program.

2. Gather references
References are an essential part of any professional resume. Your references add credibility to your resume and shows your employer that s/he doesn’t have to take your word that you’re fabulous - you have proof!

How to follow through: Evaluate the professional relationships you have. These can include professors, higher-ups and organization leaders. Find the people in your life that have a good understanding of how you work and like working with you. Always ask these people if you can use them as your references before you list them as such.

3. Attend a job fair
Job fairs are great for finding new opportunities within companies that you might never have looked into otherwise. It also puts you in direct contact with company representatives and even the opportunity to distribute your resume and get your name out there. Sometimes there are even job fairs that cater specifically to a certain field.

How to follow through: Find out how to prepare for a career fair through Adelphi University’s blog or Associate Director of Alumni and Graduate Student Career Services Maria Casey’s workshop.

4. Start networking
Business magazine Forbes says to start networking before you need it. Before you have any professional motivation that might make you nervous or overeager, network with people in your field. Instead of focusing on getting a particular job, you can concentrate on building relationships and your reputation.

How to follow through: Attend a networking event in your area.

5. Update your resume/CV
Reflect on all the experience and exposure you got in your field this year. Did you gain any new skills? Did you participate in any internships, volunteer events or fellowships? Make sure to include all of these in your resume/CV.

How to follow through: Throughout the year, add to your resume as you accomplish different things. This will keep you organized and constantly up-to-date.

Remember to space these tasks out accordingly. Some of these should take priority, but many resolutions can be part of a year-long process that contributes to your growing career path.

Friday, December 9, 2016

The Benefits of Working for a Nonprofit

Working for a nonprofit organization used to be viewed as a negative way to fill your time. But in recent years, the attitude around nonprofits has changed and employment in one looks good on any resume. The perceptions have changed because the work has changed and become more valuable to everyone.

Here are nine reasons to work for a nonprofit.

  1. Growth Opportunities
Because of the informal setting, the potential to elevate your position at a nonprofit is much easier. The jobs you can have fall in a much wider range than most for-profit companies. By working on many projects at once, more opportunities for job development are available to nonprofit employees.

  1. Supersize your skill set
Nonprofits are always understaffed. While this is a disadvantage for the company, it’s a benefit for you. You won’t only learn your role, but you’ll be able to learn about what your boss and coworkers do. Taking on a few projects at a time is common at nonprofits. You’ll learn new and varied skills that you’ll be able to add to your resume and employ in other professions.

  1. Perks make up for the low paycheck
Nonprofits are called nonprofits for that very reason: they are a company that provides services for no profitable gain. This means that your salary might not be as much as one would earn at a for-profit company. However, you’re compensated with non-monetary perks, such as flexible schedules, a relaxed dress code and other benefits.

  1. Network expander
Working for a nonprofit is an excellent way to get your foot in the door of your field. You get to meet people and work on projects that are directly related to your area. It’s also a great way to network. You get to work with a multitude of people in your field who can provide you with recommendations, referrals and advice.

  1. They value the work/life balance
Nonprofits have a more people-oriented approach to staff management. They recognize your personal needs and can work with you to give you a more flexible schedule or set other accommodations you might need.

  1. You can cross over into the corporate world
For-profit companies and corporate professionals often like to hire members of nonprofit organizations to integrate a more compassionate voice into their decision making process and business strategies.

  1. You’ll get to flex your creative muscles
Nonprofits have little money and high stakes, so they need creative solutions and ideas in order to achieve what they want in effective ways.

  1. Plenty of job variety
The variety of jobs you can take are endless. There’s a bigger range of fields in a nonprofit. Want to work with animals? Children? There are jobs that can get you involved in almost anything.

  1. Engage your heart/passion
With this variety of job opportunities, you are more able to engage yourself in your passions at your job. It’s easy to follow your heart into a field you truly love and can do your best work in.

If you are interested in working for a nonprofit, apply for the Jaggar Community Fellows Program today! All applications are due March 1, 2017.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Being a Leader in Your Community

George Bernard Shaw said, “Progress is impossible without change.” And change is impossible without a spark to start the fire. Here are six ways to initiate effective change and become a leader in your community.

1. Find a cause that you believe in.
This cause should be something that you are passionate about supporting, or even part of already. It should be something that you are willing to dedicate a lot of time and effort to and truly believe in the work you are doing. A lack of passion will only detriment your activism process.

2. Set an objective.
One way to do this is to examine your intentions within this cause. Are you advocating for it? Repairing it? Revising it? It’s important to explore why you are becoming involved with this cause.
Within this objective, set long and short term goals.

3. Form a team.
Surround yourself and collaborate with people who also believe in your cause.
Examine everyone’s strengths and interests - some people may be interested in canvassing while others may want to be more involved in designing logos and slogans. Every person has something unique and important to contribute.

4. Listen to people.
Listen to those who have more experience with your cause and people who may be impacted differently by your cause or your objectives. Include these people in your cause. The initial team your formed may need training. You may need assistance creating program and policy proposals. You may need someone who knows how state and federal bills are proposed and passed. These people also may know the core issues or intersectional issues of a community that you are trying to represent.
Also listen to people who oppose your cause. You can learn how to strengthen and revise your cause by talking to as many sides of the story as possible. Be eager to learn and to adapt your movement.

5. Learn how to effectively disseminate information.
If people don’t know what your cause is about, they can’t support or become involved in it.  Hold informational meetings, give out pamphlets, canvass door-to-door, start a digital campaign and maintain an online presence through social media, hang fliers up at schools, campuses, and community centers.

6. Teach others how to be leaders and carry on your vision.
Don’t lead from above. Just because you formed the group does not mean you can rule over them with an iron fist. Work with your group; get down in the trenches with them. Teach them how they can spread the message to their respective communities.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Choosing a Career Path

Choosing a career is not just choosing any other job. It is choosing what kind of life you want to live. Picking a career path is a momentous decision and should be approached with thoughtful consideration.

It all starts with examining your skills. Is there a certain talent you have or something you love to do? It’s important to look at your abilities and see what you can develop and utilize. Try to be creative and flexible with your talents as well. See where seemingly frivolous interests can lead you in the job market.

Consider your past experiences. Did you hate your job as a camp counselor? Did you love your job as a shift manager? Use your previous experiences to gauge what kind of field you’d enjoy being in and which ones you’d be miserable in.

You should also look at your work style and where and how you work best. Do you work better in an office? Do you like hands-on, physical tasks or do you excel with computers and information systems? It’s important to see where you’re most comfortable working. This is hopefully where you’ll be working for the majority of your life.

In addition to your comfort, you should also assess your social needs. If you like interacting with people, sales might be a field you want to explore. If you’re more independent, you may want to look into jobs in which you are able to work from home or jobs that have limited social interaction.

Maintain an organized list of all these elements. You can document your interests, disinterests, and personal strengths. You can note things you want to learn more about or things that sound interesting to you. This will help shape your career path aims. Choosing a career should not be an overnight decision, but something you steadily explore.

Set short term goals that will help pave the way to a long term goal. Pushing yourself to achieve a series of smaller tasks rather than one, large task will help you break up the process and actually accomplish what you want to.

It is also essential for you to intern or volunteer in the field you want to enter. You may think you like this career option, but until you experience it in its purest form, you will never truly know. You may love teaching children, but hate the classroom environment. This can lead you to consider other career options or deviations from your initial choice.

A career path is something you want to seriously consider. Reviewing all your options and exploring your talents and interests are crucial in this process.

Friday, October 21, 2016

How To Prepare for a Job Fair

A job fair is one of the best ways to search for potential employers and secure the job of your dreams. A job fair is also an event that many people attend and you want to stand out in order to succeed. Thomas J. Ward, Jr., Executive Director of Adelphi University’s Center for Career and Professional Development had pointers to give perspective job hunters. Maria Casey, the Alumni and Graduate Student Career Counselor at Adelphi also had some advice to give.

1. Dress for success
Be sure to dress appropriately. Many employers use this a measure of your professionalism. Look like you take this event seriously. Collared shirts, khakis, slacks, or dress pants or skirts are all appropriate attire. Suits should be dark blue or medium to dark gray. Black may come off as a little authoritative. If you are wearing a skirt, knee-length would be most appropriate. Don’t wear sneakers or heels that you would wear to a club. Black or maroon oxfords or loafers and low or mid heel leather pumps in black or a color that coordinates with your suit. Neutral hose and conservative jewelry is also recommended.

2. Have your papers prepared
Bring many copies of your resume to a job fair. Before you hit “print” though, be sure to get your resume reviewed by someone at your university’s career center or another professional. Also bring a list of references to give to potential employers. Make sure these people know you are using them as a reference and that they are a credible source you can trust to give positive comments about you.

      3. Sound professional in the digital world
When including contact information on your resume or when handing it out to employers, ensure that it is appropriate. If your personal e-mail includes words or numbers that you don’t want your grandmother to see, you don’t want your employers to see it either. Your safest bet is to use your school e-mail address.

In addition, make sure your voicemail message is appropriate. Remember, this is the message that not only your friends will hear, but also potential employers. If you come across as unprofessional and inappropriate, your chance of being hired or contacted again by that employer is slim.

Also be sure to update your LinkedIn page and make sure all the information on it is relevant and appropriate.

It’s also very important to evaluate your social media platforms. Anything that has your name attached to it can be found by an employer. Make your online profiles private or, better yet, change your name to an alias that employers can’t track back to you.

      4. Research employers that will be at the event
See which employers will be at the job fair and pick your top choices. Research the company to gather more information on their services and programs. The three key tabs you want to click on an employer’s website is their “mission,” “vision,” and “values.” This will help you get a sense of who they are as a company. Also look at their LinkedIn page and conduct a Google search to see any recent articles. You want to approach as an informed consumer. Know what jobs they are offering and prepare informed questions to ask about them, such as, “What can you tell me about the job that isn’t in the description?”

      5.  Arrive early
It’s good to arrive early to see who’s there and get a layout of the event. Make a “plan of attack” where you locate your top choices, second choices, and backups. Be sure to visit your top choices first so that you can go back to them at the end of the event to thank them again for their time and ensure that you stick in their mind.

      6. Work on your elevator pitch
At a job fair, you have 30 seconds or less to appeal to employers. Work on a short description of yourself that you can tell employers when you first approach them. Be sure to include your top skill(s) and what you want to do with them. You want to give them an idea of who you are and who you hope to become, so start with where you are right now (your current job, your school year, etc.). Then segue into past experiences you had and what you learned from them. Finish off with explaining why you’re excited for this particular opportunity.

      7.  Follow up
After the career fair, send an e-mail to the employers that really stuck out to you. Remind them of what position you were looking at and reiterate your excitement about the opportunity.

      8. Go to your university’s career center
Your university’s career center has many services and programs that can help you be successful at a job fair or learn skills that will help you in the interview and job search process. Take advantage of the resources you have!