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Career Success News

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.

Wait.

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.

I have been working at Stevenson University’s Office of Career Services since July 2010 and have recently taken on a new role as the Industry Specialist for the Brown School of Business and Leadership. Through this role, I serve as the liaison for employers, students, and faculty in the accounting, business, information systems, and legal fields. Through one-on-one counseling and customized workshops and events, I help students understand their unique personal brand and connect them with employers who are a good match. 

In my previous and current role, I have had the pleasure of working with Daniel Waters, a senior Business Administration student at Stevenson University. Last month, Dan published an op-ed in The Baltimore Sun about his experience with our Office of Career Services and the Career ArchitectureSM process.

In his op-ed, Dan comments that Career Services is hard to ignore at Stevenson University as we begin our work with students during freshman year through our ICAP program and annual Lego Challenge. Our goal is to continue this work through additional one-on-one career coaching and customized networking events.

However, what many students misunderstand is that career development is not a passive process. As Dan mentions, “simply passing classes and graduating with a degree will not guarantee a job. But using the time and opportunities that college provides can help you create a path to the job or career you want.” 

Throughout his four years at Stevenson, Dan was proactive about his career development.  Dan set up an appointment to meet with me at least once a semester, and he would always come prepared with a list of topics to discuss. Sometimes our appointments were more structured like resume reviews and interview preparation. Other times, Dan would just set up a meeting to check in and update me on his life. 

By doing this, he made himself memorable. As the Industry Specialist for the Brown School of Business and Leadership, I have a clear picture of Dan’s strengths, values, and interests, and am to connect and refer him to employers that are a good fit. I am very proud of Dan and all that he has accomplished, and I am confident he will be a valued employee upon graduation. 

Patrick SmithPatrick Smith, a freelance photojournalist, covers the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan region and beyond. He was named 2014 Sports Photographer of the Year by Pictures of the Year International, and his images have been published by ESPN, The New York Times,Sports IllustratedThe Baltimore Sun, CNN, and Newsweek among others. A collection of Smith's sports photography is on display this fall in the St. Paul Companies Pavilion on the Greenspring Campus titled Sport: Near and Far.

Smith started working professionally while still a college student at Towson University, working for Towson's independent student newspaper The Towerlight, interning with The Baltimore Sun, and freelancing, all before graduation.

He's taken some time to answer a few questions and provide tips for breaking into the industry. ...Click here to read more.

So, What is ProNet?

ProNet stands for Professional Network and is an online tool where alumni are registered to help current students with career related questions. The tool launched last year and there are 108 alumni registered from a variety of career paths including Physicians, Analysts, Counselors, Teachers, Consultants, Attorneys, Managers, and many other occupations in a variety of industries.

Why is it important?

Students get the opportunity to network with alumni who have registered on our online system and ask career related questions and advice. This is a great way for students to connect with alumni and has value for both groups. Rather than matching students and alumni from our desks, we've put the power in the hands of our students to seek out grads in careers that interest them. Students are able to ask as many questions as they would like and alumni are able to choose the way they would prefer to communicate with the student.

Counselors at the Office of Career Services also use this tool as a way to show students the possibilities of career paths. Students often get excited, when they see an alumnus either in an organization where they are interested in working or in a role that a student is interested in pursuing. When, I am working with students, I often show them the alumni in the system as way of exploring what students can do, as well as connecting alumni to the students.

What advice do our alumni mentors give?

“Connect with people in the field that you are interested in, take in as much information as possible.” -  D’Juan Champan,  Document Analyst with the FBI,

“Stay focused and get work experience wherever you can. Manage your own cash position and always have a plan.” - Mary Spiegel Brown, CPA, Principal with Ellin and Tucker,

“Always keep your eye open and network where/when you can. Never burn a bridge as you may need to cross it again later in life.”- David T. Clarke, Programmer Analyst I, ViPS,

“If nursing is your focus of study you have chosen a wonderful career and have multiple areas to practice. Nursing is one area were one can reinvent themselves and practice in multiple areas within the field of Nursing. You can choose from being an ER Nurse or Operating Room Nurse or even a school nurse, just when you thought you would retire. One can practice nursing even past retirement and that's because you love your job and see the rewards it offers yourself and the public.” - Alfonzo NMI Daniels, Operating Room Clinical Instructor, Children’s National Hospital

Ready to give back and share your expertise?

If you are an alumnus and are interested in signing up to become a mentor, please register at www.stevenson.edu/alumnimentor. A guideline has been created for alumni, as well as an instructional video to help use the system, which will be sent once an Alumni registers.

To accompany this program, on November 11, between 5.30-7.30 p.m., The Office of Alumni Relations in conjunction with The Office of Career Services is hosting its inaugural Student-Alumni Mentor Mixer which will allow the Alumni Mentors an opportunity to come to campus and meet students to get the career conversations started. If you are an alumnus and are interested in attending please RSVP .

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