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The Millennial Journey: College internships are hardly optional.

By Gorick Ng

I applied for my first job at the age of 12 to support my family. I applied to housekeeping jobs, burger flipping jobs, grocery bagging jobs, and clerical jobs – and tried (poorly, in retrospect) to obfuscate my age and lack of work experience with sized-13 font and overly generous spacing for the “References Available upon Request” section in my resume. While I was all-around unsuccessful in securing a job using the resume I frankensteined together (and, instead, resorted to mowing lawns), little did I know that that experience would help me build a decade-long head start in the art of resume writing and resume building.

Ten years later, as I was writing what seemed like the hundredth iteration of my resume and cover letter in search of a full-time job after college, the edge I had built up became increasingly apparent: after having interned or worked with over two-dozen organizations from middle school through college, I was not only armed with a resume filled with work experiences, but I was also ready to pounce on any question interviewers could throw my way.

Meanwhile, to this day I see resumes from brilliant college seniors filled with demanding courses, but little substance in their experience section articulating their leadership and problem solving skills. Worse, the useless “References Available upon Request” section is somehow still present in all too many resumes I come across.

Reality struck: if you want an edge in the post-college job search, start resume-building in college.

Indeed, of the attributes that employers look for in job applicants, internships and employment ranked the highest, while college GPA and college reputation ranked the lowest.[1] With nearly 60% of graduating seniors having held at least one internship, [2] not having any work experience effectively puts you in the bottom half of the application pile – a place you do not want to find yourself.

Importance of Attributes in Evaluating Graduates for Hire

Unfortunately, such guidance too often falls on deaf freshman ears despite college career offices’ repeated attempts. Of the dozens of career counselors I have spoken to, too often do they see seniors floundering just days before commencement. One college career center I interviewed even sets up a booth adjacent to the commencement lawn.

So what’s to be done?

The message has to get out – and from as many trusted sources as possible: internships are hardly optional.

Just as Millennials find online user-generated content (messaging from peers rather than authorities) 50% more trustworthy than other (traditional) media,[3] the college career center should be but one of many bearers of this message: the message also has to come from alums, parents, mentors, and peers not in the form of a formal workshop, but rather as an insider tip on “what I wish I had known.”

Work experience matters – and having it on your resume is just as, if not even more important than good grades. Pass it on.


[2] (links to 2016 report)


Gorick Ng helps companies work more productively with Millennials. From his work Gorick has spent thousands of hours understanding the experiences of Millennials, career counselors, and employers – and the “soft skills” and “hard skills” gaps that exist in the transition from school to work.

Gorick is pursuing his MBA Harvard Business School and is a graduate of Harvard College, where he now serves as a Resident Tutor leading pre-career advising. He was the first in his family to attend high school and college and is passionate about helping young people pursue their dreams.

More on Gorick here:



At the EACE Spring Meet Up, A is for Awesome Assessment Track

Meaningful and innovative are two words that I would use to describe the work that the Outcomes and Assessment Committee has been doing since it was established in July 2016.  The Outcomes and Assessment Committee is currently working on several projects that will provide members with programming, practical information, and a space to contribute and retrieve materials focused around assessment effective practices for career services and recruiting professionals. The Outcomes and Assessment Committee has several sub-committees who are looking at: Professional development and programming, certifications, annual conference pre-conference programming, and technology and web resources. With each sub-committee there is a level of intentionality on how we can deliver meaningful information and content to EACE members.

I’m sure you are wondering, “What does all of this really mean for me?” Over the next few months, the committee will be sharing professional development opportunities and new tools focused on assessment through social media and the Trending Blog.  I am excited to be sharing this introductory blog, and to tell you about an upcoming event.

On March 14, EACE will be hosting a Spring Meet Up in Philadelphia at St. Joseph’s University. The Spring Meet Up is a single day professional development opportunity for EACE members. This year, the Spring Meet Up will feature an Assessment Track.  Janet Long and Debra Klokis from the Outcomes and Assessment Committee have developed a set of presenters who bring a diverse set of experiences with assessment.

The first session is called, “Make Assessment Engaging – Be Part of the Process.” Facilitated by two well-known faculty members and assessment leaders from Drexel University, the interactive session will feature the “Wizards of Assessment” (think Dorothy and the Scarecrow!) in a unique format that makes the assessment process both meaningful and – dare we say — fun. Janet Long shared that the session is, “designed around a familiar theme to make the material more accessible and less intimidating.” Attendees of this presentation will be given an assessment scenario and will work with a group to address an assessment related challenge.  This session will be helpful for recruitment and career services professionals.

The second session is a panel discussion called “Overcoming the Fear of the “A” Word (Assessment).” The panel will consist of Jennifer Grauso, representing best assessment practices at St. John’s University, and Dr. Jocelyn Manigo and Janet Long, both representing Academic Support Services at Widener University. Debra Klokis of The College of New Jersey will facilitate the panel which will include ample time for audience participation and questions.

We hope that you’ll join us for the EACE Spring Meet Up and Assessment Track. There’s still time to register!

Read more about the mission of the Outcomes and Assessment Committee.

Written by Dorothy Hayden with Janet Long

It’s Not Personal, It’s Business” Wait, Yes It Is!

By Jennifer Serra, Westfield State University

We frequently teach our students the importance of networking, making connections and making it personal, but how often are we practicing this? We take the time in our one-on-one appointments, however students at our presentations and campus programming don’t gain that same quality individualized time. We set aside time to contact employers after a job fair and should try to do the same with the students we meet.

Something I’ve done to reach first and second year students in presentations is having them write their name, email and what their goals are/dream job is on a notecard along any other question they have but might be too afraid to ask. I have a feeling I’m not the only one that hears crickets when I ask if there are any questions. I collect the notecards and send them a personalized email within a week. I know what you’re thinking. When am I going to find the time to send out individual emails? However, I only do this with presentations to first and second year students and in smaller classrooms. Since they are settling into campus life, visiting the Career Center is probably not a priority at this point. I am committed to sending them the email and addressing their job or question they had wrote down within that week time frame. In the email, I include helpful links that I reviewed in the presentation and our Steps to Success 4 Year Plan handout. The links direct them back to our website and get them familiar with our online resources. When I present, I usually don’t see students jotting notes down so this is a guaranteed way to get them the appropriate information and establish myself as a resource they can go to for help down the road.

In the Chronicle of Higher Education article Small Changes in Teaching: Making Connections by James E. Lang, he discusses a few ways faculty members can help students’ link course content to the world around them. This holds true for those of us teaching Career Development as well. The best connections and relationships usually begin with an in-person meeting rather than a phone call and with students it’s no different. Presentations and programming get us in the door and from there we need to make the connection. We can promote our resources and social media networks all day long but they first have to see the value in what we’re doing and have to offer them.

As we know, students are bombarded with mass emails. The personalized email is sure to stand out to them! My hope is that the students find the emails helpful and it’s extremely rewarding to receive that response from them letting you know that it is. If we can engage them early on and develop a helping relationship, the end result benefits the entire institution.


Lang, J. M. (2016, February 08). Small Changes in Teaching: Making Connections.

Jennifer Serra is a Career Counselor at Westfield State University in Westfield, MA

New Member Spotlight – “We Are EACE” – Meet Kimberly Helmle, Talent Acquisition Specialist at Enterprise Holdings

EACE has been asking new members to share some fun facts about themselves. Here we get to know Kimberly Helmle from Enterprise Holdings

Where are you originally from?
Springfield, PA

Where do you live now?
Downingtown, PA

Outside of work, what are some of your favorite things to do?
I love to use my time by spending it with family or friends. I think it’s important to have an experience and share with those that mean the most to you. That way, you can create memories to recall those moments in the future. I also love to travel!  I’m always trying to plan weekend adventures or put thought into a destination that I’d like to cross off of my list of places to visit. Lastly, I love things vintage that has a story behind it. On the weekends, I venture to different Antique Stores and to find hidden treasures anything that have a piece of history associated with them.

Why do you do what you do?
I enjoy recruiting and would like to continue a career path revolving around my role, but ultimately to advance in a leadership position as a Talent Acquisition Manager. I feel much fulfilled in my job. The chance to meet people, share my story, make a connection all with the hopes of giving someone the same amazing opportunity that Enterprise gave to me 10 years ago when I started in our Management Training Program.

What is your educational background?
I graduated from Shippensburg University in May of 2006 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication & Human Studies. I decided to continue my love of traveling by studying abroad my Junior Year of College at the Leicester University, UK where I completed a minor in Sociology.

What was your first job?
I’ve had a strong work ethic instilled in me from a young age. My father owned his own cleaning business so technically, aside from working some odd side jobs, babysitting or helping him after school I’ve learned the value of making money early on. My first official job was working at Drexeline Supermarket in their corporate office. I had advanced from a front desk representative to handling and quickly transitioned to their Cash Department handling the company’s revenue. With some more work experience from there I advance quickly and assisted the Owner of the company with other office responsibilities pertaining to the business. I adapt quickly, and like a challenge, which is a skill that has helped me throughout the years. I’ve never turned down an opportunity to learn something new and grow personally and professionally from it.

What is the best advice you ever received?
I’ve been given a lot of wonderful advice over the years from my several mentors that I’m very grateful for and believe that feedback is so important. I’ve always remembered one resonates with me, which was to be selfish. At first, I thought well that’s terrible. Why would I be selfish? My job is to help people. I’ve always been a hardworking and humble person. I enjoyed putting others needs in front of my own or saying “Yes” to too many things. I’m passionate about being a team player and making my business successful. All things that I’m extremely proud, but at  that particular time in my career I never realized that I needed to also make myself a priority. I being selfish can be positive when it comes to your career desires, pursuing goals and how you have made accomplishments to your business and impacted people along the way. You have to BRAG Book and convey those things.

For someone starting in your field, what advice would you give?
I would tell a person starting out to not be afraid of making mistakes or to fail. For it is in those moments of weakness you find your true strength. You make the decision and how you want to react to it. Will you let it define you or use it as an experience to learn from? I would say that life happens at the end of your comfort zone. So, don’t take it personally and get uncomfortable…You might just surprise yourself.

What is something that might surprise us about you?
Some fun facts about me… I love art and have been drawing or practicing art from a young age. I have a twin brother and 1 of 5 siblings. At the age of 17, I was nominated by my high school choir director and made my first trip oversees. I traveled to 5 countries to perform with the American Music Aboard program. As I’ve mentioned earlier, I’ve also had the privilege of backpacking through Europe for 3 weeks at the age of 21. Aside from those experiences, one of my many favorite memories was skydiving in the Swiss Alps. You feel so small with the world around you.

Lastly, at the University of Leicester, UK I was the only American student apart of LUST (Leicester University Student Television) as their on campus TV Host. I was able to get into their venues and interview students and special quests. How ironic. I love to make people laugh, so I can always be counted on to brighten anyone’s day when they need it even if it’s at my own expense.

Cranky Director’s Corner – I’ve Got Your Ban Right Here

I’m particularly cranky today. A pair of posts I’ve been laboring over just aren’t coming together. That’s on top of the last few weeks of political theater. And by theater I don’t mean something as refined as opera or exotic as kabuki. Something more akin to a few kids with a bed sheet as a backdrop, only without the potential charm.

The travel ban has been the most curious and troubling. One could go on about the failure to form and leverage a serious and well-informed advisory group, the incompetency of the rollout, and overall just horrendous display of the worst bits of American behavior. Let’s be clear, this ban is nothing new. We’ve long been a nation that’s demonstrated less than welcoming attitudes towards those seeking our shores (not to mention those found along our shores and already living inland). It’s just a new iteration of a sourness and fear with deep roots. Much has already been said and written on this front, though. And while it impacts us as Americans and likely impacts us through our institutions, that topic is not the focus of today’s grumbling.

Let’s turn our eyes to the corporate response, led by major tech companies. The New York Times points out that at some companies opposition to the ban is driven by rank-and-file employees, and that’s great. A read of the amicus filed jointly by the companies leads with the impact on recruiting. Not surprising. Our major technology companies, as well as those with significant technology components to their operations, have longed bemoaned the challenge of maintaining their talent pipelines. Specifically, the US does not produce enough (pick one: engineers, programmers, computer scientists, etc.) to meet their needs. Now I’m a big fan of open, legal immigration. But if US tech companies are focusing on pulling talent from off shore, isn’t that essentially the same as US companies a century ago plundering raw materials from other countries? Natural resources, human resources, we treat both as though it’s all the same. Take what we need, when we need it, while minimizing impact on the bottom line.

Meanwhile our country has inner city and rural schools struggling for resources, with kids fail to receive adequate modern education and do not have access to opportunities. I’m a big fan of teaching kids to code, regardless of what they ultimately major in or do in their careers. Knowing at least the basics of how all the machines, devices, and gadgets in our lives work affords an extra bit of power over our own lives.

So here’s an idea. Instead of focusing short term efforts on plundering the talent of other countries, I’d like to see our tech giants invest in our disconnected urban and rural communities. How? Reach out to communities with struggling students and schools, fund a computer lab and pay for a staff member to teach code as an after school program. (This is about adding to curriculum, not supplanting it.) Build in an incentive program so as they progress through projects and improve their skills kids earn their way towards the prize of their own computer . Network the classrooms so kids in rural Texas are engaging with kids in Oakland, California, Gary, Indiana, etc. End products: strong, deep talent pipelines for companies; improvement of education quality; integration instead of marginalization of populations historically disconnected from opportunity and power; encouragement of entrepreneurialism; alleviation of poverty; and, as a bonus, keeping kids busy with constructive activities is demonstrated to keep them out of a host of problems that have long term degrading effects on their lives and options. Sure things like this are happening, here and there. Time to step it up.

Panacea? Not by a long shot, but it’s a big step in the right direction. So US companies, please stop putting a friendly face on that old school American corporate imperialism and actually invest in American students for the long term. Being socially responsible doesn’t begin and end with filing amici or addressing the problems only your organization finds interesting, it means addressing the real problems and sharing your power.

About the Author:  The cranky director will deliver rants on the economy, technology, social engineering, lack of a really good nearby falafel place, and idiot politicians (broadly defined)  to your computer desktop of preferred mobile device the fourth Friday of every month.

5 reasons why you should nominate someone GREAT today…

Submitted by the EACE Awards and Research Committee

Each year EACE recognizes outstanding members in the industry and our association through EACE Service Awards and EACE Innovation and Leadership Awards. Nominees are members within the EACE community deserving of public recognition for what they have achieved.  Please take a moment to self-nominate or nominate someone who really goes above and beyond for EACE, the profession or within their own organization.  Hurry…the deadline for nominations for the 2017 EACE Awards is Wednesday, March 1, 2017.  With the help of several past winners – here are 5 great reasons to nominate someone:

“Reason 1: It’s easy and online
Click here for the nomination form and directions.

“Reason 2: It’s exciting”
nancy-eace  Nancy Bilmes, University of Connecticut for Career Development = 2016 Award Winner of the Innovation in Diversity and Inclusion Award.  “When I received notification of my award from the EACE Awards and Research Grant Committee, I was excited and very pleased.  It is great to have your hard work recognized by a wonderful organization like EACE.”

“Reason 3: It’s meaningful and an honor”
francine-eace Francine Blume, Career Development  – Member of the 2016 Innovation in Program Development Award Winning Team from the Office of Career and Alumni Services, University of Maryland University College.  “We in career services are a small, expert community doing our best in constantly changing environments. Our students and alumni sometimes appreciate us, but to be recognized by colleagues from the field is especially meaningful. What an honor!”

“Reason 4: Colleagues appreciate being recognized”
jennifer-eace Jennifer R. Barr, Haverford College – 2016 Outstanding Member Award Winner.  “It was an honor to be nominated by my peers and selected as an Outstanding Member from the Awards Committee and Board of Directors. EACE has meant so much to my professional career, and the award was definitely a highlight of many years in the organization. All of the EACE volunteers – from committee members to Board President – dedicate so much time and energy to help further our collective professional mission, and I would encourage you to reward your colleagues with a nomination. They will appreciate the recognition!”

“Reason 5:  Nominators will be automatically entered to win a $100.00 Amazon gift card”

Award winners will be recognized at the 2017 EACE Annual ConferenceSo DON’T HESITATE – NOMINATE a champion today!




New Member Spotlight – “We Are EACE” Meet Claire Kilbourne, Armstrong World Industries

EACE has been asking new members to share some fun facts about themselves. Here we get to know Claire Kilbourne from Armstrong World Industries:

What do you do in your current position?
I am the Talent Acquisition Manager. That means that I work with a fantastic group of people to bring outstanding talent into the organization.

Where are you originally from?

Where do you live now?

Outside of work, what are some of your favorite things to do?
I love to read! I work out faithfully, which I really enjoy. I’m a huge Phillies fan so go to games as I can. My favorite thing to do is hang out with family and friends whether it’s here or we’re taking trips together — especially in warm weather!

Why do you do what you do?
Because I think it’s the best job in the company! Being able to find great people for the company and see how those people grow and contribute is so exciting!

What is your educational background?
BS degree in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Human Resources Management and Industrial Relations.

What was your first job?
Well, when I was 14 I had my first job at a farmer’s market vegetable stand. My first “real” job was an account payable clerk.

What is the best advice you ever received?
Never compromise who you are. If you give that up, you will never be happy or successful. That has been true in my work and life!

For someone starting in your field, what advice would you give?
Be open to anything! If you’re in HR there are so many possibilities. Explore as many as you can. And learn, learn, learn!!!

What is something that might surprise us about you?
I graduated from Barbizon School of Modeling when I was 43. And in 2015, I became a certified bartender.

clk  Claire Kilbourne has worked in human resources for over 25 years. Since December 2015, Claire has worked for Armstrong World Industries as Talent Acquisition Manager. In this role she is responsible for overseeing the team that recruits great people into the company. This also includes building and executing a university relations strategy. Also in her role, Claire facilitates leadership training for teams across the company. Prior to Armstrong, Claire worked at The Hershey Company in a variety of roles, the last one being Manager, University Relations. She has held roles in Employee Relations, Training, and Talent Acquisition as well as HR Business Partner roles supporting HR and North America Manufacturing and Supply Chain. She was also an HR Manager at the Hershey Plant for 5 years. Prior to Hershey, Claire was the Manager of Staffing at Book-of-the-Month Club. She has also held positions in Sales, Accounting and IT.

Claire received a Master’s degree in Human Resources Management and Industrial Relations from St. Francis University and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Ball State University. She also holds the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR)/ SHRM-SCP certification.

In addition to her work at Armstrong, Claire is involved in her community. She currently serves on the board of the Red Land Community Center, supporting a $3.1 million capital campaign to build a new community center. She is also involved with the Capital Region Partnership for Career Development and is a facilitator for the Lancaster SHRM study group. 


The Millennial Journey: We Need to Help Students Think Long-Term

By Gorick Ng, MBA Student, Harvard Business School

Should students pick majors based on employability?

US colleges educate over 20.5 million students each year,[1] of which 75-85% will change their majors at least once.[2] The choice of major is no easy feat: for most students this will be the first consequential decision of their lives, second only to their choice of college. It is for good reason: from a future earnings perspective, picking one college major over another can yield a lifetime earnings differential of up to $3.4 million.[3]

But employability should not be the primary purpose to going to college… or should it?

There are compelling arguments on both sides: on one end are the likes of John Dewey, who in 1897 suggested that education “is a process of living and not a preparation for future living.”[4] On the other end are those, who, facing over $1 trillion in student debt[5] and discouraging levels of college grad underemployment,[6] are looking to college not for intellectual stimulation, but for a job. Indeed, 91% of matriculating college students rate “to improve employment opportunities” as their reason for going to college.[7]

“I really want to study history, but studying economics will lead to a job. Which should I choose?” asked Andrew, a pragmatic college sophomore.

Then there is Margot, a college junior, who told me that “I like to read and be surrounded by books so I majored in English.” No doubt Margot would have sided with Dewey.

I have seen students like Andrew who choose a “practical” major, only to later regret the decision after showing little interest in the common post-grad paths available. I have also seen the likes of Margot later struggle marketing their English degrees to employers and who wish they had more rigorously evaluated their options earlier.

While Andrew and Margot took opposite approaches to deciding their majors, they share one commonality: they could both benefit from more visibility to the long-term implications of their decisions.

Employers, educators, and parents all have a role to play:

Educators, who are under more pressure than ever to show graduation rates and post-college job placement statistics, have a responsibility to better reveal the post-grad pathways and “value propositions” of their programs.

Employers, especially those who are experiencing a skills shortage, must more clearly articulate the skills, competencies, and knowledge they expect of new hires to take the guesswork out of applying for a job.

Parents, who may ultimately be on the hook with tuition bills, need to consider the long-term return on investment of a given program – both immediately after college and longer term.

For those who would argue that looking at college majors in isolation is overly simplistic – I am on your side. After all, former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner majored in Asian studies and former astronaut Sally Ride was an English major – and many more of us are in fields that have nothing to do with our college majors. But there is little doubt that one’s major matters – and students need our help in thinking long-term.








Gorick Ng helps companies develop tactical skills training to accelerate the learning curve of new hires. From his work Gorick has spent thousands of hours understanding the experiences of Millennials, career counselors, and employers – and the “soft skills” and “hard skills” gaps that exist in the transition from school to work.

Gorick is pursuing his MBA Harvard Business School and is a graduate of Harvard College, where he now serves as a Resident Tutor leading pre-career advising. He was the first in his family to attend high school and college and is passionate about helping young people pursue their dreams.

More on Gorick here:


Introducing “The Millennial Journey”

By Gorick Ng, MBA Student, Harvard Business School

EACE is pleased to introduce “The Millennial Journey”, a monthly segment featuring the research of Gorick Ng, a Harvard Business School MBA who specializes in the transition from school to work. Over the past year Gorick has interviewed ~200 employers, students, and career counselors to understand the pain points – and opportunities – in today’s hyper-competitive economy.

Each month we will feature a new step in “The Millennial Journey”, each with a thought-provoking headline question for our community to consider.

We will begin with a Millennial’s first steps on a college campus – all the way through to when a Millennial enters their first job out of school. Our goal is not to “average” our students down to a size that fits no one; it is to share the cross-cutting emotions and pain points observed through hundreds of conversations with Millennials from all walks of life.

This monthly segment is meant for career counselors, employers, parents, and students alike. We hope there will be something for everyone.

Let’s have a substantive conversation!

About the Author:  Gorick Ng helps companies develop tactical skills training to accelerate the learning curve of new hires. From his work Gorick has spent thousands of hours understanding the experiences of Millennials, career counselors, and employers – and the “soft skills” and “hard skills” gaps that exist in the transition from school to work.

Gorick is pursuing his MBA Harvard Business School and is a graduate of Harvard College, where he now serves as a Resident Tutor leading pre-career advising. He was the first in his family to attend high school and college and is passionate about helping young people pursue their dreams.

More on Gorick here:

Happy New Year!! What is Your Resolution?

By Christine Cervelli, Assistant Director of Career Services, NJIT and Sam Moore, Assistant Director of Communications and Virtual Resources, Temple University

As the New Year approaches, we often take time to evaluate our lives, both personal and professional, and set a “resolution.”  Wikipedia describes a New Year’s Resolution as “a tradition, most common in the Western Hemisphere but also found in the Eastern Hemisphere, in which a person makes a promise to do an act of self-improvement or something slightly nice, such as opening doors for people beginning from New Year’s Day.”  We often have the best of intentions to keep these promises to ourselves, but sometimes life takes over and the resolutions slip out of our minds.

We all want to keep our resolutions, but studies suggest that only about 8% are successful.  So how do we increase our success rate?  Common advice is to clearly define goals, track our progress, and to be accountable to each other.  This year, EACE wants to help you to keep your resolution!   We will be sharing our resolutions through social media this January so we can all support one another (and maybe even win one of two $50 Amazon gift cards.)  Friends and colleagues can help check up on our progress and help provide reminders, support and encouragement as needed.   Think about your goals or any change you want to make in 2017 and get started on making it happen!

Whether you are planning to exercise more, learn a new skill, or eat healthier, we want to hear about it! Share your #EACE  #NewYearsResolution with @EACEPR starting Jan. 1st – 20th and you will be entered to win one of TWO $50 Amazon Gift Cards! That’s right, not only can you get into shape or finally learn how to make paella, but you can get rewarded just by telling us! Our lucky winners will be selected on Tuesday, January 10 and Tuesday, January 24, so by sharing your Resolution with us by January 10 you will double your chances to win. Holiday shopping doesn’t have to end in December, just make sure you tag @EACEPR with your #EACE #NewYearsResolution and you could win big!


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