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Career Success News

Dependable Strengths is a peer-assisted career search workshop designed to help people find meaningful work. Through the use of storytelling, participants reflect on their experiences in life, identify their patterns of strengths, and learn how to talk about their Dependable Strengths in ways that demonstrate their value to an organization or community. This is a process that not only helps you clarify who you are at your best, but separates you from the rest of the crowd in a competitive job market so that you become a job magnet!

Lesley Bogash, a Certified Health Coach, attended the Dependable Strengths workshop in June 2014, here's what she had to say about the process.

Little did I know when I walked into that room how much that two day workshop would change my life. I was concerned that the college students in the Dependable Strengths Workshop who were also attending, would not really have anything to add to my life. There were some young students and then adults like me who were also looking to find themselves. Boy was I wrong about those young college students, some of the things they shared with me became the start of the journey I was about to embark on. They told me no matter what the situation I needed to believe in myself and basically not stay at a job that made me miserable and cry every single day. 

The Dependable Strengths Workshop is one that every single person, young or old should attend. The ways it can help you can’t even be explained. One of the biggest moments came when I looked at an activity we did that was basically black and white staring me in the face, all the jobs I have had for 20 years were not fulfilling me in anyway because I was not using any of my innate abilities.

Fast forward to now, six months later, I quit the job that was making me miserable. Now I have three jobs and they all fulfill me in some way and all use my inner strengths. Now that I am no longer miserable in my job and my family is no longer feeling the brunt of that misery, there are doors that are open to me that I did not even know existed. I have lost 65 pounds this year, I was finally able to stop gorging myself with food, because now my daily activities feed my soul and I no longer have to feed that empty void I have felt for so long with food. I needed those presenters in that workshop to teach me a new way of looking at what I could accomplish and the people that were attending the workshop to see my worth when for so long I could not see it anymore.

The workshop will be held on Friday, January 23 and Saturday, January 24, from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. in Wooded Way on the Owings Mills Campus.  Pre-registration is required.

Contact Tracey Cantabene at to sign up or call 443-352-4121

This blog post was originally featured in the Eastern Associaction of Colleges and Employers blog, May 2014

The long-standing institution of the Career Fair held on college campuses several times a year --- is it still viable in its traditional form?  How many times have you heard students say, “There is no organization here for my major”?  And the jury seems to be out on virtual career fairs, depending upon the audience and who is doing the hiring. We do know that career fairs serve employers well as a venue for organizational branding and a source of candidate volume. We also recognize that they serve as a source of revenue for college career centers that may rely on this income for operational costs. 

Where is the happy medium and how can we measure effectiveness? No doubt, there is no substitution for face to face networking and engaging conversations in a format that is not intimidating to the candidate. Professionals in the field have talked about career fairs possibly going away, but we have not actually seen a decrease in their numbers. Universities still host them, and employers keep coming. 

Perhaps we may ask the question of how they can better serve both students and employers in terms of actual hires. This is a relevant measure of effectiveness since universities are measuring this outcome and businesses measure for return on investment.  In surveys to employers, primarily distributed through professional organizations, there tends to be a preference for the customized, boutique networking event that target a specific audience. Students also feel that there is a networking event especially designed for them which may yield better attendance. Several of these boutique events strategically planned throughout the academic calendar, in collaboration with academic departments, may also yield the same number of employers overall per year with better outcomes for all constituents. 

Consider also including an engaging keynote speaker to kick off the event that will talk on a current topic of interest relevant to the targeted industry. This approach may also help with academic buy-in to encourage students to attend, and maybe even cost sharing. Another consideration is the actual set-up of the event. Although organizational booths may be convenient and assist with branding, brainstorm a layout and venue that would allow for more in-depth conversations between candidates and employers.  This type of dialogue may create a situation that is more memorable, for both parties. 

After doing a cost-benefit analysis and analyzing the hiring outcomes of the large, general career fairs vs. customized, boutique networking events you can decide for yourself the future of career fairs that will benefit your institution, as well as your employers.

The Office of Career Services would like to congratulate Ellen Olson for receiving the Stevenson University Pin yesterday at graduation. The SU Pin Award is the most comprehensive honor the university confers on one graduating senior whose total personal performance is meritorious, including academic achievement, independence, integrity of thought and action, reliability, respect for others, and involvement in university or community affairs.

Ellen has worked for the Office of Career Services for the last 3 years as a Career Peer Advisor and a Design Assistant. When she came to Stevenson’s Open House her aim was to become a paralegal, but after attending a presentation by the Visual Communication Design program she discovered a new passion and graduated with honors from the program yesterday afternoon.

This fall, we asked Ellen to share with us her personal perspective on the Career Architecture process:

Career Architecture at Stevenson University is a part of all aspects of student life, whether you know it or not. I knew enough to make the switch in my studies, and the confidence in my decision came later through Career Architecture.

The three key elements: Personal direction, discipline expertise, and professional know-how, are constantly being woven through the educational curriculum, opportunities on campus, and unique experiences of each student. From personal experience, I can say that each of the parts of Career Architecture have overlapped and built upon one another throughout my years at Stevenson, and will continue to grow long after I graduate.

The various organizations I joined and the opportunity to go abroad influenced my values and the things I will look for in my career.  My personal direction is a unique blend of the things I have learned about myself throughout my time at Stevenson, and how I want them to influence my future.  As a graduate of the Art + Visual Communication Design program, I have been able to develop my discipline expertise through class projects and interactions with my professors, and then apply that knowledge during internships.  The Office of Career Services has aided me in developing my professional know-how, by teaching me effective networking and communication skills that will be valuable wherever my career takes me.  Each of these pieces will continue to evolve throughout my career, but I am confident that Stevenson University has helped me to create a base from which to grow and explore the opportunities ahead. 

Congratulations to Ellen and all the graduating seniors. We wish you the success in all that you do. Be curious, be hungry, and don’t be afraid to fail.

…And remember that Career Services is available to you long before graduation. So stay in touch and let us know how you’re doing!

As I write this article for a blog post to be distributed to our career services professionals and employers, I am struck by how much we have come to rely on technology to communicate on so many levels. In fact, as I write this I have just received a text message from my niece who has just come back from a job interview and she wanted to let me know that she thought it went well. Mind you, we communicated back and forth for days on her resume and cover letter through emails and text messages.

Thinking back on this exchange, this probably could have been accomplished more efficiently if we had just talked face to face. Ah well, that is hindsight and we are both very busy, professional women on the go!

When it comes to the job search and doing business, we have a tendency to lean in to technology a lot for the sake of efficiency and necessity.

In the job search, the candidate looks for jobs through career services online systems and other job search sites. Check.

The candidate then fills out applications online and uploads resumes to company websites. Check

The candidate hopes to hear from the organization regarding their application.


What’s taking so long and why aren’t I hearing anything? The candidate has been told to apply online and does so, but where does conversation fall into all of this?

Some things do not change over time, and that is the art of conversation. No matter which you way you slice it, organizations would rather hire people they know or who have been referred. And how does this happen? Through conversation and relationship building. Networking and building contacts through conversation still remains the most effective way to find a job. 

The same thing holds true for organizations who want to recruit college talent. Simply posting a position may not yield the greatest results. The most successful organizations are those who build relationships with career centers, faculty, and student groups. They have a presence on campus and are involved in a number of initiatives with stakeholders.

This could look like providing special projects and oversight for capstone classes in collaboration with faculty, it could entail being a guest lecture for a technical talk, it might be serving as a guest during a student club meeting, or perhaps it is a networking symposium with alumni, faculty, and students. All of it involves human interaction and discussion, which is a great way to really get to know someone and where their passion and talent lies. 

This fall semester we are seeing very positive outcomes from these types of interactions as a result of the Senior Seminar, classroom presentations, the Dining Etiquette Seminar, and student organization meetings.  So let’s keep talking with each other in order to make meaningful conversation and solve problems together!

Chris JaegerChris Jaeger is a 2014 graduate from the Visual Communication Design program. After graduation he was hired by Tenable Network Security as a full-time employee. His supervisor and mentor encouraged him to go in for an interview during the end of his last semester, and he was offered a job the week before graduating. Currently, he is the Junior Graphic Designer creating collateral, apparel, advertisements, booths, illustrations, and motion graphics for the growing company.

Chris also designed the new poster for the Visual Communication Design program. You can check it out here.

When did you start your internship at Tenable Network Security, what was your position?
I worked as a Graphic Design Intern the summer before my senior year of college. It was a paid internship.

How did you find your internship? What did you need to do to get the internship?
I saw an email from Amanda Hostalka about the internship. At the time I was looking for paid internships for the summer. I applied to about 12 different companies and only heard back from two. Tenable being one of them....Click here to read more.

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