Being able to listen and speak to your supervisors and colleagues is an important part of being successful in your career. It will allow you to meet the expectations of your position, while helping you to build relationships and a professional reputation. Ultimately, having strong communication skills can lead to other opportunities in the future. So regardless of whether you are working as a camp counselor, caddy, office assistant or intern, be sure to communicate professionally.
One of the most common reasons that students give us for not actively exploring careers is that they don’t have time during the school year. Now that the school year is over, use the upcoming summer months to examine potential careers. In addition to jobs and internships, informational interviewing is an extremely valuable tool to help you learn more about a career field or organization. If you follow the steps below, you’ll be able to conduct one informational interview a month and have three completed by the time you return to PC in the fall.
- Create a LinkedIn profile
- Use LinkedIn Alumni Pages to find alumni in a desired career field
- Connect via LinkedIn and ask to conduct an informational interview
- Set time/date for a phone or in-person informational interview (in person is always better!)
- Refer to the Networking and Informational Interviews guide in eFriars for help conducting the informational interview
- Show up on time, dressed nicely for interview, conduct interview, and thank them for their time
- Send follow up thank you note or email
The outcomes of an informational interview include learning about the preparation and education needed for a particular career field, gaining an understanding of the daily work that is done, and making a networking contact in that career field that may be very useful later on. If the interview results in turning a you away from that career path, that is still a very valuable learning experience. Don’t let disappointment overshadow the value in learning that a desired career field isn’t a fit for you after all.
The Center for Career Education is open all summer and students can call and speak to a Career Advisor for help with any of the above by calling 401-865-1290 and setting up a phone or in-person appointment.
Don’t Wait! Don’t let the summer go by without conducting at least one informational interview. You’ll be glad you did!
My niece is a junior at Salve Regina and she recently asked me for some resume advice, so I had her email me her resume so I could take a look. I’m so glad she did. She was still using the template she’d used back in high school and it didn’t do her any favors. It didn’t highlight the clinical rotations she’d done as a nursing student, nor the various jobs she’d held during and since high school. Sure it listed them, but it didn’t highlight the skills she’d gained from them. There is a big difference. If she had sent this version out to potential employers, I wonder what kind of response she would have gotten from them, if any. I re-formatted it, edited the statements, asked her questions and sent an improved version back to her, which she is currently working on.
But it made me stop and think.
How many seniors do I have out there in Friartown that are still using resume templates from high school, and like my niece, may not realize these templates aren’t doing them any favors? It pains me to think that they won’t have Jen’s instinct to reach out to someone for help. There’s no shame in not knowing how to do a resume. The shame is not asking for help and sending out a terrible resume that you don’t even know is terrible, and then wondering why you aren’t being considered for jobs. No one is born knowing how to write a great resume. Almost every professional you ask, will tell you they received some type of resume advice they incorporated along the way in order to improve their resume. And while you may not have an Aunt who reviews resumes for a living like Jen does, you do have 8 Career Advisors in Slavin 108 wanting, willing and able to help you. All you need to do is ask.
Come in during daily Quick Question hours with a resume or call 401-865-1290 to make an appointment with a Career Advisor today!
P.S. There is a resume guide in the Resource Library found on the home page of eFriars. And there is still plenty of time to get help before graduation!
Guest Blogger: Griffin Young ’15. Griffin is a senior management major with a minor in Labor-Management Relations. He is also a Career Assistant in the Center for Career Education and Professional Development, Chair of the 2015 Commencement Core, former Coordinator for New Student Orientation and member of the executive board for Special Olympics on campus. He is from Sandwich, MA on Cape Cod and is currently in his job search for an entry level role in the Human Resources Field.
Just before Providence got walloped with all this snow, the Center for Career Education put on three student-alumni Networking Nights in the hubs of Boston, New York, and one right here in Providence. Over 150 alumni participated, and 325 students used their networking skills to build connections with valuable alumni. In January there was an article in The Cowl titled “Expand the Network at Networking Nights: Provide More Connections for English Majors.” The article called attention to the lack of alumni that were in attendance at the Providence event that had careers for Liberal Arts majors. While it is imperative for the student body to let Institutional Advancement, the Center for Career Education and SAA know what it is they are looking for in these networking nights, we also have to recognize that it is ultimately the alumni’s decision to attend these events or not, and it is ultimately the students’ responsibility to take control of our own career development. If we don’t find what we want at one event, we need to seek out other resources and services that will help us. For example, we can use the services that the Career Education Center offers such as quick question hours, individual counseling appointments, the “how to” videos online, and so on. There are probably a lot more resources out there that the school has than you may think.
Networking is a much underutilized, yet extremely powerful tool that students can use at any stage in their college career. Now that the formalized Networking Nights have passed, there is still a plethora of ways that you can continue (or start networking). Here are five ways I’ve built my network, in addition to the networking nights:
LinkedIn is arguably one of the best tools out there that can help you network your way into a job. The “Find Alumni” function can sort alumni based on geographic region, company, job type, and even their undergraduate major. This list of people can be used for informational interviewing or for potential job shadows. If you are thinking to yourself: “That’s so awkward! Why would I message someone I don’t know about a job that they have?” Take my word for it, it’s not like that at all. As much as you and your friends love PC, chances are that the alum loved PC just as much and most of them love to hear from current PC students. Putting yourself out there and asking the alum for career advice or asking to shadow them to see if you would like their job or not, shows your commitment to taking control of your career. Who knows, it may lead to an internship or a full-time offer down the road!
Because I’ve had an internship in human resources, some of my friends have asked me if recruiters even look at LinkedIn profiles, or if that’s just a myth.” Well, it isn’t a myth. At my internship, the company’s entire recruiting strategy revolved around LinkedIn. Very rarely do they post jobs and have people apply to them online. Having a robust and comprehensive profile on LinkedIn will put you at the top of the list when recruiters are searching for candidates. This past week alone, I have had two different recruiters reach out to me about potential opportunities for full-time positions after graduation. If you need any pointers on using LinkedIn, stop in for Quick Question hours or check out this link on building a LinkedIn profile. If you need a professional picture for your profile, the Spring Career Expo on March 4th from 2-5 in Peterson Center is offering free headshots by a professional photographer to the first 200 students who want one!
- Winter Break Shadowing Program
I had the opportunity to shadow two PC alums over this past winter break. This program is a great opportunity that gives you the chance to not only build connections with alumni, but also figure out if the career that you thought you wanted was all you hoped and dreamed for, or on the other side, if it was not what you thought it was going to be. Regardless of the outcome, both results are OK! I have had both results this past break, which has ultimately helped be narrow my job search down to a career path that I now know I want.
- Volunteer at PC
Have you ever been asked by your professors to help outside of class with a special project or research? Or asked you to be a part of a panel during an Accepted Students Day? Or maybe even asked to volunteer at an event off-campus? Whatever it may be, always say yes! You may meet someone there that you get talking to that may have a lead for a job or internship. This past weekend I was selected to speak on a panel of seniors for the Career Education Center. At the end, one of the parents came up to me, who coincidentally was an alum, and told me about an opportunity that he had at his company. Had I not been at that panel, I would not have had the chance to be approached. Showing that you want to be as involved as you can and availing yourself to opportunities like these just may lead you to your next job or internship.
- Get involved
Every year seniors graduate, right? Right. They are also involved in various clubs and organizations throughout campus, right? Right. Of those seniors, some of them may be in a career field that interests you immediately after they graduate, right? Right. The more you are involved on campus, the more chances that you get to meet people outside your class year and major, with which you might share a similar interest. As a result of my own involvement in various clubs, I have gained connections at different companies, including EMC, Liberty Mutual, and at a large hospital in Boston. The people that I have met in those organizations have given me the opportunity to network and get my foot in the door at each of those companies.
- Don’t forget the people you know at home
Over Christmas Break, I was lucky to see most of my extended family for a few days. One of my uncles, who I do not see that often, is a Vice President at a large, multi-national company. He asked me what my plans were after graduation and to forward my resume so he could send it to some people he knew. Although I did not pursue the opportunities that he was able to get me into, it was good for me to remind myself to utilize my family and friends from home as I look for opportunities after graduation.
For those of you who attended the Providence Networking Night, the keynote speaker, Mary Fox ’84, told a story about how she got one of her jobs while hosting a pizza party at her house. One of her son’s friend’s parents started talking to her and it was brought up that she was in transition between jobs. Low and behold, she landed the job. You never know what type of interaction may lead to a job. Whether it be online, by shadowing an alum, volunteering at an event, in a student club, or from a pizza party, be prepared to give your “elevator speech” because who knows, you may be talking to your future employer!
Stacey Moulton, Associate Director, Career Education Center at Providence College. Received B.A. in Philosophy & Criminal Justice from Stonehill College and Masters in Information Age Marketing from Bentley College. Previously worked in Marketing and Securities Lending at State Street Corporation.
Two words. Two Syllables. Two minutes. That is all it takes to thank someone properly. So why do so many people forget to do it? It is easy to remember to thank someone when you receive a tangible gift. However, when someone gives you time, a piece of advice, a professional contact, a verbal thank you simply isn’t enough. It is much more powerful to also send a thank you note. Here’s why.
As you prepare for your future career you want to build your network. To do that, you need to make connections and develop relationships. Speaking with someone, saying thank you, then moving on doesn’t achieve that. Your connection is over. By speaking with someone, then following up with a thank you note (or email) you are showing that you value their time. You are making a positive impression while demonstrating your professionalism. You are “meeting” them a second time and creating an opportunity to build the relationship. The person you met with, may have been thinking about your interests and may now have a suggestion, or possibly a contact to give you, and your note just made it easier (and important) for them to pass this information along to you.
Sending a thank you matters. Take time to master the art of saying thank you.
Last week I accompanied 11 PC students to Los Angeles, on our 4th annual PC in Hollywood trip. The program brings students to Hollywood in order to meet with various alumni who are now working in the entertainment industry, and learn how they went from PC student to successful entertainment professional.
The people we met with varied from those just starting out as assistants, to well established agents, producers, writers, and directors. While it was fascinating to meet with each person, and hear how they got to where they are today, it seemed every person had the same secret to their success. And while they were talking about working in Hollywood, their message applies to any student starting out in the professional world.
1. Work hard
2. Go above and beyond
3. Treat people well along the way
Work hard: Go in early, stay late, don’t call in sick unless you truly are sick, no matter how trivial a task may seem do it to the best of your ability, do all that is asked of you, take initiative and always follow through.
Go above and beyond: Give 110% everyday, ask what more can be done when you finish your work, help co-workers with their work when appropriate, be a team player, have a positive attitude.
Treat people well: Be nice to everyone you come in contact with, treat everyone as if they will be future references, don’t burn bridges, be grateful for opportunities, don’t talk about others or cut them down to get ahead.
Network: Use your connections in terms of learning from them, take people to lunch or for coffee to pick their brains, you can learn A LOT from those who are already working in a field you are interested in, think about your personal, school and professional relationships – chances are you already know someone who knows someone you should be connecting with.
The reason these seemingly simple pieces of advice work, is that not everyone will act on them. It isn’t easy to put them into action everyday, but if you do, and do it well, I have no doubt that you will stand out and move up.
Three Resources of the Career Education Center I Wish I Took Advantage Of as an Undergraduate Student
GUEST BLOGGER: Allie D’Aprile ’13, Intern, Center for Career Education & Professional Development at Providence College. Allie received her B.A. in Psychology from Providence College and will be completing her M.Ed. from Providence College this May. Additionally, she is a Graduate Assistant in the Office of College Events, and has loved every minute of her time as an undergraduate and graduate student at PC.
As a graduate student and former undergraduate student of PC, one would think that by now I know all of the ins and outs of the College. I can tell you that you can rely on McPhail’s for a really great milkshake, you should avoid Concannon Fitness Center between the hours of 2p.m.-5p.m. if you want to get a treadmill, and that going to a professor’s Office Hours are actually worth it. And now, I can also tell you all about the ins and outs of the Career Education Center!
During my time as an undergraduate, I was by no means a “frequent-flyer” of the Career Education Center. It was not until now, in my 6th year at PC (because of the amazing opportunity I have to work towards completing my internship for my Master’s degree in Counseling in the Career Education Center at PC) that I am able to tell you what a fantastic resource this office truly is! Through this experience and my own, I present to you: Three Resources of the Career Education Center That I Wish I Took Advantage Of as an Undergraduate Student
Though I used this particular resource as an undergraduate, I wish I went back for follow-up appointments regarding my resume. The staff in this office are truly dedicated to helping students develop a strategic and competitive resume that highlights your skills in relation to specific jobs in which you hope to apply.
- Bring a draft of your resume to your scheduled appointment. I found that going through my resume bullet by bullet with my Career Counselor to be the most beneficial to the development of my final resume.
eFriars in my opinion, is the hub of internship, job and interview searches, postings of Career Workshops, and Events that are hosted by the Career Ed Office!
- Within the job, internship, & interview tab you can not only look for jobs that have been posted on eFriars, but also jobs on indeed.com, and internships through internships.com.
- Employers frequently come to campus for info sessions about their companies, and the Career Education Center also hosts educational workshops and career development opportunities. Under the Career Events & Workshops tab students are able to see a listing of these events with time, date and location information.
The Career Education Center offers three main assessments that allow students to take a deeper look into themselves, what strengths they have, and which careers may align with their work interests.
- The Myers Briggs Type Indicator is a personality assessment which can help students with career planning at every stage. Knowing one’s personality type is a practical tool for investigating what works for you, then looking for and recognizing work that satisfies your natural preferences.
- STRENGTHS QUEST
- Strengths Quest is an assessment that allows students to gain insights into how to use their talents to achieve academic success, to explore careers, and in leadership development by learning about their top five strengths.
- Focus combines self-assessment, career and major exploration, decision making and action planning in one comprehensive website. Customized with PC’s majors, students’ assessment results are matched to career options and majors/programs offered at PC. FOCUS guides students through a reliable career and education decision making model to help them select their majors, make informed career decisions and take action.
REMEMBER: Don’t wait, Slavin 108!
“I don’t have time to _________.” Fill in the blank.
Right now mine would read, “I don’t have time to blog.”
I received an email from the “blog police” at PC, (you know who you are) letting me know it had been something like 4 weeks since my last blog post. It was a gentle reminder, but I could read between the lines. She was telling me “THE TIME IS NOW” to blog. No more excuses. At the time I was shocked to learn it had been that long since I last blogged. Where had the time gone?! And that was two weeks ago…
The good news is, the world didn’t end. People’s lives weren’t turned upside down by my lack of blogging. No one complained to my boss. I guess that’s why it’s the thing that I let slip, I knew deep down that more important things needed my attention. And that’s pretty much my time management strategy right now. Do the most important things, and get to the others as you can. The trick is knowing which things are important, hence my true blog topic below.
“It’s now time to __________.” Fill in the blank.
Right now mine would read, “it’s now time to blog.”
For most sophomores and juniors, yours should read, “it’s now time to begin looking for a summer internship.”
For many seniors, yours should read, “it’s now time to begin my job search.”
If those statements seem overwhelming, don’t worry. I’m going to break it down into steps to help make it less daunting.
Create or update your resume. Go online or come to Slavin 108 and get a resume guide first.
Have your resume checked during daily Quick Question Hours before sending out to an employer.
Decide where you are in your job or internship search. I find most student fall into one of two categories.
Category 1. I just need to start looking at job or internship openings and network with others in a career field or organization I am interested in, so I can start applying.
Category 2. I have no idea what I want to do, where to start looking, how to start looking, why to start looking, who I want to be, what I want to do with my degree…etc.
No matter which category you find yourself in, the best thing for you to do is call the Center for Career Education & Professional Development at 401-865-1290 and make an appointment to see a Career Advisor. That’s it. Just come in and talk to us. We will give you the tools and knowledge you need to get started, no matter where you are in your search.
This is entirely dependent on what you do after your meeting with a Career Advisor. It could be LinkedIn, eFriars, Indeed, Idealist, ONET, Alumni-Student Networking Nights in January, Gradschools.com (because you realized grad school was an option!) and the list goes on. The point is we can help you get to step 4.
Right now, all you have to do is get started on Step 1 and 2.
THE TIME IS NOW.
And for those of you like me, who look ahead to the few weeks or months and think, “How am I going to get everything done that I need to do???” I’ve listed some resources on time management below that may be helpful.
1. Office of Academic Services has some great time management strategies on their webpage.
2. Book by Jill Farmer that’s supposed to be life changing, called “There’s Not Enough Time…and other lies we tell ourselves.” It’s been on my reading list for over a year.
I bookmarked all of these so I can read them when I have time…
1,100 students attended the Fall Career Expo last Wednesday, which featured our Major/Minor Fair, Internship Showcase, Graduate School Fair and Career Fair.
The feedback from employers is that they were thoroughly impressed by the student participation and their preparedness for this event!
The big question is, now what?
1. If you haven’t yet, follow up with any/all employers or graduate school representatives with whom you had conversations. If you have their business cards/contact information, email them a thank you for attending the expo. If you want to stand out, mail them a handwritten thank you note.
- Reiterate your interest in their company/position and what your next steps are (will you be applying online? attending their information session? awaiting job or internship postings on their web page so you can apply? taking a course that will make you better suited for their industry? etc.)
- Keep it short and to the point, use proper greetings and grammar (an informal, poorly written email can ruin that professional image you want to project) and try to refer to the conversation you had at the expo to help them remember you.
2. Apply to any positions that you learned about and were interested in, whether that’s via eFriars or on the company’s webpage.
3. Email the recruiter you met at the expo if you’ve applied to their open position and let them know that you did so, and that you look forward to a personal interview. Thank them for sharing the information about the company/position with you as it helped you better understand what type of candidate they need.
4. Save that recruiter’s contact information. You may need it in the future, don’t be afraid to use it!
Remember that if you didn’t find what you wanted at the Expo, we want to meet with you individually to help you find what you need. Call 401-865-1290 for an appointment with a Career Advisor.
SAVE THE DATE: Spring Career Expo is March 4, 2015!
The feedback we receive most often from students regarding our annual Fall Career Fair boils down to two major issues:
1. “I’m too busy to attend”
2. “There’s nothing there for me”
Please know that we heard you, and the Fall Career Expo being held in Peterson is our solution. We’ve combined our major Fall events into one big Career Expo to give you one stop shopping. Students of all ages and majors should attend this event, as it features something for everyone.
1. MAJOR/MINOR FAIR – 2-4pm: Freshmen and Sophomores can explore majors and minors at PC by talking to professors and students from each academic area
2. INTERNSHIP SHOWCASE – 2-4pm: Speak with fellow friars who’ve completed internships. Get insider information on how they obtained them & what type of work they did. Many students find their internships as a result of this student to student networking event.
3. GRADUATE SCHOOL FAIR – 2-5pm: Over 30 graduate and professional schools will be in attendance. If you are considering graduate school you should speak to the representatives and ask what they are looking for on your grad school applications and explore what types of programs they offer.
4. FALL CAREER FAIR – 2-5pm: Over 100 organizations will be in attendance recruiting PC students for jobs and internships. It is recruiting season for accounting and finance companies so yes, there will be a lot of them there, however we have made a concerted effort to attract other companies like Hasbro, American Greetings, Care New England Health Systems, Eliot Community Human Services, NBC Universal, The Kraft Group, the FBI and more. Please see eFriars for complete list of attending organizations.
And the secret thing about career fairs that you don’t know until you attend? Employers give away tons of free stuff!
See you there!