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Career Success News

Bridal Show

Stevenson University’s Fashion Design program and the Cherie Amour boutique located in Savage Mill, MD collaborate on "A Bridal Party," a display of one-of-a-kind, re-purposed bridal gowns.

Service-learning connects classroom learning with meaningful community service which not only benefits the students, but is equally valuable to professors and community partners.

Students are able to gain real-life experience while applying knowledge learned in class to a critical social issue. For example, in class a student may learn about the history of homelessness and then volunteers at a homeless shelter twice a week for the semester.  

In this scenario, the student is both learning and serving. The real-life experience in the homeless shelter is just as important as the knowledge gained in class.

Through this service, students are learning about various perspectives, as well as honing their leadership, cultural competency, communication, and interpersonal skills. These are all abilities that cannot be taught out of a book but rather gained through experience.

Service-learning can also help students choose a career path. Once working with a certain community, it can confirm or challenge their dream of working with this particular population. Devoting time at a certain community organization also allows a chance for networking and possible jobs in the future.

Professors also benefit from service-learning as they are able to establish a stronger relationship with their students and community partners by working closely with each of these groups. Also, it is easier to reach students when what they are learning is applicable to their future career aspirations. Professors often feel greater satisfaction when students are able to connect the learning with real life and service. Professors are better able to facilitate learning and mentor their students and thus teach through both knowledge and experience. This approach allows professors to gain insight into different learning styles of students and properly grade the students on what they have actually learned whether in the classroom or in the community.

For community partners, students taking service-learning courses offer free labor and time. Student volunteers provide extra hands that enable the organization to complete tasks that may not otherwise get done. Meanwhile, the organization can focus on bigger issues such as building organizational strength and capacity.  In addition, the organizations are also able to network with the students and gain employees who are passionate and knowledgeable about the company. Lastly, the community partners are teaching students about their organizations and those students are most likely talking about the company to their friends and family, therefore receiving free exposure and publicity.

The benefits of service-learning are abundant and applicable to all students, faculty, and community partners. Service-learning makes education interesting and meaningful. Combining education with real world experiences greatly enhances the experience for everyone involved.

Download the Benefits of Service Learning Chart to learn more. 

The Office of Career Services strives to engage students and prepare them for the workforce giving Stevenson University students endless possibilities and opportunities. It is evident that career education is a top priority on campus.

Within career services there are industry specialists and liaisons for each of the six schools. Jennifer Marin, industry specialist for the School of Design, organized a flawless event, Steve Talks: Careers Worth Building, which brought guests from a variety of industries to interact and give advice to students on how to build a better professional brand.

This video created by students in the Film and Moving Image program highlights some key topics covered during the presentations.

Steve Talks featured short, ten-minute presentations from guest speakers who represented a variety of industries. Among the presenters was Matt McDermott, Creative Director at IDFive; Olivia Obineme owner of Strangers with Style; Sig Libowitz, Award-Winning Producer; Jen Herchenroader, Deputy Publisher and Design Lead for Bancroft Press; Jen Bloomer, Director, New Media & Creative Services at Maroon PR; and Stacey Chambers, Owner of Gogo's Retread Threads. 

After each presentation, students and employers worked together to complete short activities. The overarching theme of the event was the importance of creating our own, personal brand. We discussed our brands as well as how to answer tough interview questions and how to find opportunities that match our values.

As soon as I walked in, I was told to sit with people whom I had never met before. I sat at a table with two girls from the Art and Visual Communication Design program as well as a fellow Business Communication student. Todd Fidelman, Strategy & Creative Director of ADG Creative, soon approached us and sat at our table as well.

After introducing ourselves, we soon began talking about what careers we wanted to pursue and Todd was helpful, providing feedback from a professional perspective. Each activity was beneficial and educational. I realized I could learn something from every activity, every speaker, every guest, and every peer I interacted with.

Although I have over a year until I graduate, I feel that when that time comes, I will be prepared. By attending the event, I took the initiative to learn and grow as a professional. I was able to build relationships with my peers as well as employers and expand upon my skills.

After leaving the event, I felt prepared and qualified. I learned so much about how to represent myself, how to respond to tough interview questions, and even how to network. I left questioning what I have accomplished as well as what I hope to accomplish. Steve Talks was extremely beneficial to me as a student from the School of Design. The possibilities are endless, and I am glad I chose a school that prepares me to succeed in any career I choose.

Emma Ragon is an ambitious student majoring in Business Communication at Stevenson University. She is interested in community/public relations, marketing, as well as design and planning to explore careers in the Public and Community Relations industry.

Alumni Mentors

Are you an alum interested in sharing your professional background with current students? Would you like to discuss career pathways and have informational interviews? Do you have tools and resources to share that a student looking to break into your industry would benefit from? If so, you might want to consider becoming a member of the Alumni Professional Network through Stevenson Career Connections.

Current students enrolled at Stevenson have access to a list of industry professionals who have signed on to be part of this network. Whether they are looking for career guidance, insight into industries of interest, or general questions about their career path, Pro-Net connects students and alum, facilitating these conversations.

As a mentor, alum can choose how many mentees to have at one time and their preferred method of contact. The goal is to get a conversation started!

Tracey Cantabene, Villa Julie alum, and Events and Communication Coordinator for the Office of Career services at Stevenson, shares why she decided to become part of the Alumni Professional Network:

When people ask me about the school's name change, I often say that what has not changed is the genuine care and concern of the faculty and staff on campus. That environment is part of the reason I decided to participate in the Alumni Networking Program. This program allows students to network with professionals working in the field or within organizations they are interested in working for. Networking has always come easy to me, so this was an obvious decision.

Alumni participants are able to share industry knowledge, tell their personal career story, and influence future alums. My first mentee, for example, wanted internship ideas for the summer. I was able to suggest a variety of options and connect him with the Experiential Learning Coordinator in career services, Jennifer Wheeler.

Want to learn more? Read about the ProNet and the Alumni Mentoring Program.

Are you ready to join the network? Signing up is easy: Give back today.

Have you had a great mentor or mentee and would like to share your story? Email Jennifer Marin.

Book of ListsOn February 5, 2015 Stevenson University sponsored the Book of Lists Gala, an event hosted by the Baltimore Business Journal bringing together some of the most influential people in Baltimore to network and make connections. Stevenson University came well represented to the event, bringing along lots of Business Communication students to volunteer as well as have a chance to mingle with a crowd of very talented professionals.

As the career services staff moved along the crowds we asked ourselves what it really meant to network. Networking is an incredibly powerful tool for making new connections, finding new business, and landing a great job. But most of us have not been taught HOW to network, we’ve only been told the importance of attending events, meeting new people, shaking hands, and exchanging business cards.

In reality, networking is nothing more than making new friends and fostering new relationships. Networking is less about you, and a lot more about the people you come into contact with. It is easy to quickly become overwhelmed when you find yourself in an event with 300 well-dressed professionals. But networking is not about quantity, but the quality of the connections… here are some tips on how to work a room.

  1. Have an opening line. Walk up to someone and say hello, ask them why they’re attending. Yup, that’s it. Most everyone at a networking event is already prepared to talk to strangers, so you’re in luck! While approaching someone at the grocery store to ask them what they do might be seen as inappropriate, you’ll fit right in at a networking event.
  2. Be prepared to talk about yourself. Have you perfected your 30-second commercial? Being able to speak about who you are and what you do succinctly is key.
  3. Do Your Research. Find out who will be at the event, understand the issues relevant to the event and the people attending.
  4. Find something in common. Although most of us are passionate about our jobs, this is only one part of who we are as people. To get to know someone you need to learn who they are as a person, not just what they do for a living. Come up with a list of questions you would ask.
  5. Don’t underestimate the people you meet. Just because someone is not in your field or is looking for an opportunity just like you, does not mean that their connection is not worthwhile. You never know who someone might know. Referrals are just as good as meeting someone first hand. 
  6. Keep your word. People work with people they trust and find reliable. Your reputation is everything. Don’t overpromise and under deliver. If you tell someone you’ll follow up, do so! If you agreed to meet for coffee, make sure it happens!
  7. Pay it forward. By becoming a resource for your new contacts they will find the value in maintaining the relationship and will keep you in mind for other opportunities. It’s a two way street. Don’t expect your connection to give you anything more than their business card.
  8. Take notes. If you exchange business cards make sure to make yourself a note. You may collect a dozen business cards at one event, jotting down something memorable about the person or conversation will help jog your memory as you sift through the cards later.
  9. Follow-up immediately and check in! Just like you may forget all the people you meet, so will they. LinkedIn is a powerful tool for connecting with people as well as keeping notes on how you met them. A connection is like a plant, if you don’t water it, it will wither away. Periodically send them a note to say hello, update them on what you’ve been doing, share something of interest, invite them for coffee.
  10. Have an exit strategy. Make sure you know when to end a conversation and move on. “It was great meeting you, hopefully we can continue this conversation over coffee.”

Take a look at some of the photos taken at the Book of Lists. And remember, networking takes practice. The first step is to get out there and say hello!

When I say “test drive,” what do you think of?

Odds are you picture someone driving a new car – maybe yourself, in a new sports car, cruising down the highway on a sunny day. And for what purpose? To see how the vehicle handles; is it comfortable; does it feel like a good fit? Buying a car is a big investment, so you’d want to make sure it’s the right one for you, right?

We can spend hours weighing the pros and cons of different vehicles based on reviews and advertisements, but it’s normally in the test drive that we become sold on a vehicle or decide it’s just not what we’re looking for.

What if we could do the same for a career? What if we could test drive a job or company, then at the end of a set period of time determine if this is something you would like to invest in or return to the lot, and later test drive a different role or organization?

You can. As a student these career “test drives” are known as internships, and similar to vehicle test drives, these opportunities allow you to experience something new before making your investment.

Tara Shishmanian, a Senior Business Communication student at Stevenson, is currently participating in her 5th internship and can attest to the benefits of having multiple internships. As Tara knows, one internship is great, but participating in multiple internships is even better for a number of reasons:

1. Gain knowledge and experience. Test driving internships in different roles and organizations exposes you to new skills, job responsibilities and work environments. With each internship you will gain new technical skills relevant to your field of interest – maybe learning how to use a certain computer program or a piece of video equipment - in addition to improving your transferrable skills like communication, adaptability, and time management.  You will also become more comfortable working in varied work environments with different kinds of people.

As the duties of your position and the culture and structure of your work site change between each internship, you will learn what you do and do not like about a position or organization; this is very helpful to know before you commit to a full-time job! As Tara can tell you, one of the most helpful things about participating in multiple internships is that each experience can help you learn what sort of tasks or work environments aren’t a good fit for you. She knew early on that she had a strong interest in event planning, but wasn’t sure if it was something she wanted to pursue as a career, or what type of events would suit her best. To help hone her career interests, Tara explained, “I wanted to get started early in my college career and try out multiple internships in hopes of finding out where my passion truly lied.”  Now in her fifth internship, Tara has confirmed her passion for working in events, but has learned that working for a city office or a large corporation is not for her.  

2. Expand your professional network. Each new internship brings the opportunity to meet professionals in your field of interest that can give you insight, advice, and practical knowledge about your industry. Meeting and networking with professionals during your internship can also provide you with connections to future employment opportunities, as well as the potential for a long-term mentor.

Tara agrees that the growth of your professional network is a huge benefit of having multiple internships:

“Each of my internships have given me a great deal of insight, but being able to create a network as a professional is definitely the most beneficial aspect to participating in multiple internships. I have been lucky enough to work with individuals who hold diverse roles in organizations all over the United States and am confident that, as this network continues to grow, it will be extremely advantageous for me as professional.”

3. Build your resume; have a great interview. Each experience you have will give you new skills and material for your resume. Think about what you learned in your experience, the skills you gained, and the outcomes you achieved. The work you do in your internship is prime material for your resume and gives you great talking points in an interview. Recruiters will see many resumes with the same degrees listed – make yourself stand out with your internships and professional experiences. 

4. Make good use of your time! Not sure what to do during school breaks? Does the summer start to feel boring by the third week of June? Are you looking to get into something besides classwork during the school year? College goes fast – make good use of your time as a student and take advantage of experiences when you can. Now is the time to explore your options and figure out what you enjoy in a career. You can only sit through so many Netflix marathons before you decide it’s time to do something; why not search for an internship that lets you do something you enjoy while increasing your professional abilities?

5. Increase your odds of getting a job offer. According to “The Class of 2014 Student Survey Report” published by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 52.1% of job applicants with an internship received at least one full-time job offer, while only 38.6% of applicants who did not have an internship received a full-time offer.

In Tara’s experience, she has found that her role as an intern has led her to various other opportunities:

“I have not been offered any ‘full-time’ positions, but I did return to work for Vector Marketing for a second summer after originally working for them in 2013. Also, after working as the Event Planning and Social Intern for Angel Wings International for a semester or so, I accepted the position of Executive Assistant and Trip Coordinator for the non-profit organization. I am still currently in that role as a volunteer and could not be happier with my decision to accept their offer!”

The benefits of an internship continue to grow as you obtain more experience. Consider applying to an internship soon!

Have a Question?

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