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    What To Do About the Just-a-Job?

    April 11th, 2012, 11:01 pm

    Last semester, I had the good fortune to attend a panel discussion with four young SFS alumni now working full-time.

    Of the topics that came up, one of the most interesting was the question of what to do with what I’m going to call the just-a-job. The just-a-job is the cashier job you took because you needed gas money over the summer. Or the receptionist job you took in a student affairs office on campus to have a little spending money during the school year. The just-a-job is the kind of job that is not, in any obvious way, preparing you for a career. It’s just a job.

    I review resumes all the time and many students treat these kinds of jobs as afterthoughts or ask if they should take them off their resumes altogether. They suspect the job is not relevant or, worse, that employers will look down on it. Not so, based on the experiences of our SFS alumni.

    Read the rest of this entry »


    Six Simple Suggestions for Winter Break

    December 21st, 2011, 3:34 pm

    Take stock of where you are.

    Our career counselors have designed six brief activities to help you think about who you are, what’s important to you, and where you’re headed. Download a few activities from our Web site and consider talking through your answers with folks at home or discussing them during a counseling appointment next semester.

    Update your resume.

    Visit our Web site for resume tips and examples. Sign up for an account with Optimal Resume. Create resumes from templates and breeze through formatting issues using this interactive and Georgetown-customized website.

    Create or update your LinkedIn profile.

    Don’t know what all the fuss is about? Visit LinkedIn’s student guide to get started. While you’re on the site, join relevant groups (affiliated with Georgetown or an industry of interest) and search for companies to get the inside scoop on current trends, connections and job openings.

    Learn about different industries.

    Vault is a great resource for learning about industry trends. Click the “guides” button, then “industry guides” to browse downloadable guides from industries such as screenwriting, consulting, government, and fashion. Our Web site also has links to our favorite career Web sites, organized by industry.

    Network.

    Search LinkedIn or the Alumni Career Network for relevant contacts. Don’t forget to talk with friends and family while you’re home for ideas or to learn about the work they are doing (visit our Informational Interviewing page for sample questions to ask).

    Participate in one of our Winter Break Tours. Georgetown alumni will be gathering in nine major cities over winter break to offer their insight and expertise on a variety of industries. Learn more and RSVP on our Web site.

    Relax.

    Know that regardless of where you are in your career development process, you’re allowed to take some time to rest during Winter Break.  Come visit us when you return to campus!


    The Elevator Speech

    March 23rd, 2011, 5:07 pm

    This is an excerpt from our Senior Handbook, a guide we have written to help seniors prepare for life after graduation. The Senior Handbook is now available for download on our Web site.

    Not every networking opportunity has the structure of an informational interview.  For less formal situations, such as a conversation at a conference, you can prepare by drafting and practicing an elevator speech.  An elevator speech is a commercial of sorts that concisely describes your relevant qualifications, accomplishments, and goals as you move forward.  Preparing a personal pitch helps you control your first impression, convey confidence, and articulate what you’re seeking.

    An example might be as follows:

    “Hello, Dr. Smith.  I attended your session this morning and appreciated your insights regarding BCM theory.  My name is Jack Walter, and I hope to be a future colleague someday.  As a sophomore at Georgetown University, I have been taking coursework in biology and neuroscience as well as working in a lab at the Georgetown Medical Center.  I plan to matriculate directly into a masters program so that I can participate in neural network research.   I am particularly interested in your work at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.  May I e-mail you next week to ask some questions about your research there and how I can position myself for work like yours?”

    Essentially, an elevator speech should follow the format below.  Of course, there is room for flexibility depending on your goals and context:

    1. Who I am.
    2. What I want (short-term, long-term).
    3. My academic and experiential background (as it relates to what I want).
    4. What I can contribute to your organization (not necessary for informational interview).
    5. What I’m hoping you’ll do for me.

    Government & Nonprofit EXPO – Feb. 18, 2011

    February 17th, 2011, 10:44 am

    Our annual Government and Nonprofit Career EXPO is happening on Friday, February 18. The primary difference between EXPO and our fall career fair is that almost all of the employers who recruit at EXPO are government agencies and nonprofit organizations, whereas the fall career fair is open to for-profit and nonprofit employers. EXPO is also different from our fall career fair because we host the event as part of a consortium of universities. So if you are interested in a career in the government or nonprofit sectors, we hope you come on Friday. Just don’t be surprised if you bump into students from NYU or UVA (two of our five partners in putting on this event).

    When it comes to making the most of EXPO, the process is the same as it is for any other career fair. Preparation is key. Below you will find some resources to help you prepare.

    On Hoya Career Connection, our jobs and internships database, we have a list of the 84 employers who will be at EXPO. Employers like it when you show up at their table and demonstrate some understanding of and interest in what their organization does. Look at this list before EXPO to see who’s coming and, if necessary, do a little research on organizations’ Web sites, Hoya Career Connection, Idealist, or LinkedIn.

    Here is some advice on how to succeed at a career fair from an employer who has recruited at Georgetown.

    Last fall, Christine Cruzvergara, our Manager of Special Programs, wrote a series of posts about the myths and realities of career fairs. The posts were written for our fall career fair, but the lessons are applicable for EXPO too.

    • Career Fair Myths 1 & 2 – Why career fairs aren’t just for business students and why its not necessarily a bad thing that some employers may not be able to accept your resume.
    • Career Fair Myths 3 & 4 – About the importance of preparing for a career fair and why our career fairs aren’t just for people looking for full-time jobs.
    • Career Fair Myths 5 & 6 – On managing expectations for career fairs and how to make employers remember you.
    • Career Fair Myth 7 – How to dress appropriately for a career fair.

    A Call to Adventure

    November 10th, 2010, 4:05 pm

    In my office, on a shelf near the chair where students usually sit when they come in for career counseling, I have a framed photograph that I took while backpacking through Europe a few years ago. The picture is of a wall in a hostel in Prague, on which was written, “We ache for places we haven’t gone, for voices we haven’t heard, and smells that linger in a future memory.”

    I keep this picture close by for a few reasons. First, I like to think about the trip that I took with my friend, and the memories we made. Second, I like to think about the unknown in my own life, and how it may play out (which is, of course, impossible to imagine!). And finally, I keep it there because I want students to feel free, within my office walls and far beyond them, to explore the idea of adventure. Sometimes, as I walk through our crowded interview lounge and hear the anxiety that students justifiably experience, I wonder how remote the idea of joy seems. I worry that for some students, it is a distant thought. Read the rest of this entry »


    Government Week: What it is and Why You Should Care

    October 4th, 2010, 12:50 pm

    If you have considered a career in public service, Government Week is for you. If you are trying to figure out what options are available with your major, Government Week is for you. If you want to know how to stand-out with government employers, Government Week is for you.

    What is Government Week?

    We designed this week to provide you with an opportunity to learn about career possibilities in the federal government from alumni, employers and other experts in the field. Whether you are a first year student or a graduate, the information you gain will be valuable to you as you consider your career options.

    What’s in it for you?

    Remember, at the end of the day, or in your case when you graduate, you want to be in a position to make a choice. Industry weeks are all about helping you to identify your options. The events are a great, non-committal way to learn about the possibilities within different industries.
    What can you expect from the week?

    On Monday, representatives from Homeland Security, the Department of Commerce and the FDIC will offer suggestions on how to make your skills stand out while touching on the variety of careers available with the federal government.

    Also on Monday, federal career expert and Washington Post contributor Derrick T. Dortch will give you key tips and tricks for searching for government opportunities. Read the rest of this entry »


    Career Fair Myth vs. Reality, Myths 3 & 4

    September 27th, 2010, 4:24 pm

    MYTH 3: “All I need to do is show up on the day of the Career Fair”

    The Reality: Our employers have high expectations and in this down economy, you want to stand out and be prepared every chance you get. I know how much time you spend on the computer, checking your gmail and looking at photos on Facebook. I admit, I’m guilty of the same, so it really shouldn’t be too much trouble to stay on for an extra 15 minutes and do a little bit of research on the participating employers. In that time, you can look at the list, check out their available positions, read through their Web sites, and look through their career opportunities.  Jot down a few notes to help you come up with some good questions for each employer.  Do not ask them, “So what does your company do?”  It will make you sound uninformed and lazy, and who wants to hire someone with those qualities?
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    Career Fair: Myth vs. Reality, Myths 1 & 2

    September 24th, 2010, 11:50 am

    Myth 1: “The Career Fair is only for business students or seniors.”
    The Reality: The Career Fair is for everyone!  We aim to bring a variety of employers from all different industry areas that also recruit for a wide array of positions.  Our employers recruit for internships and full-time positions so students from all years can take advantage of the fair.  Do your homework, look at the list of participating employers, and don’t just stop at the name of the company or the industry they represent.  Check out the positions they’ll be recruiting for. Check out their Web sites to see what departments or opportunities may be available.  For example, one technology company is hiring for a marketing/communications position and one public policy research employer is looking for an editorial and marketing intern.  Go beyond the obvious and look.

    Myth 2: “The Career Fair is a waste of time because the employers won’t take my resume and they will just tell me to apply online.”
    The Reality: Since 2006, there are federal regulations that define what a job applicant is and how employers must manage applicant data. Some employers choose not to collect résumés at career fairs because of their interpretations of that law.
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    5 Things You Should Know About Information Sessions

    September 9th, 2010, 2:46 pm

    Information session season is upon us. Throughout the year, employers send representatives to campus to tell you about their organization and what  career opportunities they offer. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of these information sessions.

    1. They are for you! Regardless of your class or major, information sessions are a fantastic way to learn about a company or an industry. You don’t have to know all about an organization in order to attend an information session. In fact, the whole point of the visit is for employers to introduce themselves to you and get you excited about their organization.

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