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Radio Ga Ga

By Lauren E. Creamer, M.S., Wentworth Institute of Technology

WIRE – “Radio That Doesn’t Suck”

When I startedWIRE Logo at Wentworth Institute of Technology two years ago I never thought I’d be producing a radio show. Actually. I never thought I’d be producing a radio show.

But here I am. Mondays at 1 PM. Riffing with some of my favorite colleagues and talking careers.

Let me back up. Wentworth has this hip, totally accessible, award-winning radio station called WIRE (Wentworth Internet Radio). WIRE only lists a handful of their awards on their website, but every year they rake in the trophies – including, most recently, Best College Radio Station in Boston by Boston A-List. The coolest part about WIRE is they let staff and faculty in on the fun.

Enter my office, CO-OPS + CAREERS.

WITworks Radio

In an effort to get our message/advice/guidance out to the student body in a new and engaging way, our fearless Director signed us up for an hour a week. I can’t recall exactly how I was roped into this, but it’s definitely got something to do with my inability to keep my thoughts to myself.

How do you even manage a radio show?

We started out haphazardly. We’d brainstorm topics at lunch before our show – things that were relevant to whatever was happening that semester/month/week.

Then we started to bring in employers. This was a turning point for us – Google and Raytheon – these are our most-listened shows! (I guess that should have been obvious). Students can tune-in live, but they can also listen on-demand through the WIRE Mixcloud page. The numbers keep climbing and so we keep scheduling. To make it easier for everyone – when an employer requests on-campus interviews, we ask them to be on the show. Since then we’ve added four new employer interviews and no one has yet to turn us down. (And, everyone who has been on has been really excited about doing the show!).

Our summer plans: develop a schedule based on the office cycle of busy and quiet points, and the co-op season. We just completed a show idea brainstorm with the staff and I hope to poll our students, too.

Getting Your Message to the People

If you have access to a radio station on your campus (and the students are willing to let you on air) – definitely consider trying this out. Don’t have a radio station? Try podcasts. Or Facebook Live. (Check out Brandeis and their Hiatt Live videos… Career Cab is my favorite).

Bottom line? Try some out-of-the-box ways of getting your message to your students. They’ll start listening and you might just have some fun, too.

To listen to our show, check out this link and search “WITworks Radio”: https://www.mixcloud.com/WentworthRadio/

Lauren is the Senior Co-op + Career Advisor at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. She works with biomedical and electromechanical engineering, and applied mathematics majors. She has worked in higher education for five years in both career development and residential life. Lauren and three of her colleagues write and produce their career development-focused show, WITworks Radio. This is not what she had in mind regarding “other duties as assigned”, but is still jazzed about it anyway. 

Unpacking Power and Privilege in Pursuit of 21st Century “Super Skills”

By Jacki Banks, Manager, Industry Advising: Creative Industries, Georgetown University

Educators have identified four key skills students need to be successful in the 21st century. Commonly called the 4C’s or “Super Skills,” they include communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity. The “21st Century Skills” movement is fascinating, and you can learn more about it in the context of K-12 learning, or, more relevant for those of us in career services, against the backdrop of higher education.

As I was reading and reflecting on the National Education Association’s current guide to 21st century learning I recalled a workshop I attended, grounded in Peggy McIntosh’s research on cultural awareness, multicultural education, and relationship-building. Ms. McIntosh, a feminist and anti-racism activist, is the associate director of the Wellesley Centers for Women and founder of The National SEED Project.

During the workshop, I participated in a challenge by choice activity based on Ms. McIntosh’s essay White privilege: Unpacking the invisible knapsack. In a challenge by choice activity, a series of statements are read and participants are asked to stand or raise their hand when they agree with a given statement. To give you a sense of the workshop, read through the following statements and imagine when you might stand or raise your hand.

At my university, I can schedule meetings back to back, because I can get across campus easily
At my university, if someone says I’m articulate, it is an uncomplicated compliment.
At my university, my accomplishments are not perceived as representing the potential or the successes of my race.
At my university, it is easy to find mentors who share my social identity and understand the particular challenges I face.
At my university, if I am passionate about an issue in class or during a club meeting, I will not be judged “emotional” or “irrational.”
At my university, all documents, websites, and classroom management software are accessible to me, without accommodation.

As I held these four critical competencies in one hand and the ideas of power and privilege in the other, I realized that they cannot be siloed. They just can’t. If you don’t critically assess the lens through which you view the world, how can you effectively communicate or collaborate? In essence, you cannot achieve true mastery of these “Super Skills” without a healthy dose of self-reflection.

True self-awareness is a profound process. It’s not always easy or nice or fun. But, as career educators, isn’t it our obligation to help our students become better colleagues, better managers, and, ultimately, better leaders?  If the answer is “yes,” then we need to focus on developing partnerships with departments on campus that help unpack issues of power and privilege. A Different Dialogue is one such program on Georgetown University’s campus.  We should encourage students to actively engage in these opportunities so that they might become the compassionate leaders and global citizens that the workplace needs them to be.

Jacki Banks, LGSW, advises students in the creative industries at Georgetown University’s Cawley Career Education Center.

Cranky Director’s Corner – Hey, you got your electrodes in my gray matter!

I really need to change up my newsfeed to just pull in stories on kittens and sunsets. It’s not the political stories that I find agitating, it’s the stories on tech. You’d think that people like Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Ray Kurzweil, and other technology elites would have taken a few minutes out of their busy, social fabric re-weaving, world altering lives to watch Star Trek, Black Mirror, Terminator, The Matrix, or just about every other story involving direct brain-computer interfaces or unfettered AI. Clearly Elon Musk has either never seen The Outer Limits episode “Stream of Consciousness” or failed to get the point.

I do appreciate Mr. Musk’s concerns for the dangers in our headlong dash to develop AI. I am not so sure creating direct computer interfaces in our brains is the best way to respond. Maybe instead of trying to keep up with something WE ALREADY CONTROL we should slow it down. You see, a big part of the problem is the twin illusions of the inevitability of progress and that with more technology we can fix our problems.

Fortunately, none of this has anything to do with us. We’re not tech giants, venture capitalists, or government leaders. (Does the current administration know of any technology besides twitter? Would it turn down the opportunity to tweet directly into our heads? *shudder*) Since we don’t have a collective seat at the table, what’s the fuss? Simple. These undertakings need talented people to make them happen, and there’s a serious shortfall.

We stand astride that long term pipeline. We influence where our students look for work. We can also influence how they think about the work they’ll do. So, we come to a question for us as career development pros, what kind of programming do our offices offer to get students to think hard about the implications of the work they’ll do? How about your institution? Student initiated 1-on-1 sessions might be great, but we know that will hardly scratch the surface of our campus populations. I’m talking about solid, serious engagement with groups and classes, maybe even required curriculum. Ally with student groups, partner with similarly concerned faculty or administrators, research and recommend speakers, launch a conversation series, host panels to debate privacy or poverty or climate change and pair it with a networking event or mini career fair. Do something to raise the level of awareness on your campus and mark your office as one willing to tackle hard issues with your students. Our ethical instruction should not be confined to reneging on job offers and misrepresentations on resumes. Yes, this kind of behavior will make some of us politically unpopular on campus. Maybe there needs to be a reminder that our institutions are predicated on academic freedom and free discourse. Think students don’t care about this? Research on Millenials from Deloitte says otherwise.

Let’s be honest about our work. We’re helping people launch their careers. If we prepare students to write a good resume and run a good job search, but are not equipping them to assess the impact their work will have, are we really fulfilling our obligation to them and to society at large? Have we ethically comported our duties if we do not teach our students to ethically assess who will gain and who may be hurt by the work they do and the organizations they attach themselves to?

Frankly, I’m not terribly thrilled that we’re all in some half-baked social experiment run by Mark Zuckerburg or facing the prospect of AI controlled everything thanks to Uber, Google, and dozens of IoT companies. The same can be said of a lot of other organizations and industries. Just because an employer donates generously to our campus, offers great compensation packages, or sports a cool internal culture, it is not necessarily a good or healthy organization. I’m sure Enron was a great campus recruiter!

But if we as a profession not only enable, but encourage, our students to pursue these kinds of applications of their work blind to the larger implications, we are culpable for the future we’ll inhabit. If we don’t raise questions and consciousness because it’s uncomfortable or bad for our careers, what does that make us?

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.

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.

[1] https://chronicle.com/items/biz/pdf/Employers%20Survey.pdf

[2] http://www.naceweb.org/2012-student-survey.aspx (links to 2016 report)

[3] http://corp.crowdtap.com/socialinfluence

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: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gorickng

 

 

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.

computer-image

Source
Lang, J. M. (2016, February 08). Small Changes in Teaching: Making Connections. http://www.chronicle.com/article/Small-Changes-in-Teaching-/235230/

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

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.

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

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]

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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: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gorickng

Flipping the Classroom: Taking a Career Development Seminar Online

Co-ops and internships are integral to the success of students post-graduation; and the offices that support those programs must find effective ways to prepare them for these experiences. Our office, The Center for Cooperative Education and Career Development at Wentworth Institute of Technology supports nearly 900 students per year in their search for co-op, a graduation requirement for all majors.

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Membership Spotlight: Dawn Lazar

Excited for one of our 1st new #EACE member spotlights feat. Dawn Lazar of Cenlar FSB. #WeAreEACE

profile-pic_2What was your career path to get your current role? My career path is funny because I looped around a bit, but recruiting has always been the reoccurring theme.  As an undergrad at Florida State University (FSU), I had the unique opportunity to work in the admissions office as a telecounselor.  It was probably the coolest job ever at the time.  I called high school students and I spoke to them about the application process and why they should pick FSU as their school of choice.  From there, I did a stint in the staffing industry doing technical recruiting.  Agency wasn’t really my thing, so I moved back into higher education and spent 10 years of my career there focusing on admissions, academic advising, continuing education, and finally once I completed my master’s degree, I landed in career services.  After 5 years of building the undergraduate wing from the ground up as an assistant director in career services at the College of Business Administration at Florida International University (FIU) I felt it was time for a change.  I spent so much time advising companies on campus recruiting best practices, I wanted to switch to the other side and just do it.  I worked at BlackBerry running their US Internship Program for 18 months, moved on from there to start the university relations program for the Retail Marketing Division of Bluegreen Vacations and personal reasons brought me to the Northeast earlier this year and now I truly get to merge my experience advising, coaching, training, and developing young career seekers with my love for recruitment as the Program Manager – Talent Development for Cenlar FSB.  My primary responsibilities include overseeing all program planning, development, and recruitment for our Summer Internship Program and Leadership Development Program.

What was your first job?  First job out of college – Technical Recruiter for TEKsystems / First job ever – cashier at Publix (grocery store in the South)

Why did you choose this career?  I love working with people, helping them discover their passion and coming up with a plan on how to get there.  I am especially drawn to working with those early in their career, because I feel college students and recently college grads are at such a pivotal point in life where the possibilities are endless if they just take advantage of the resources allotted to them.

What is the skill that is most important in your current role?  Listening intently and then taking action.  It seems simple, but I feel it’s really important in any role, not just mine.

How did you develop this skill and how do you fine-tune it regularly?  In every role, not just in our field, it’s important to listen in order to truly help someone get to where they want to be and truthfully in order for everyone to win.  I learned early in my career that in order to successfully recruit, coach, advise, develop someone you need to listen to what their wants and needs are before acting, otherwise you will sell someone on something that they don’t really want and in the end everybody loses.  Life moves so quickly sometimes things happen that remind you to go back to this basic principle in order to stay on track, so yes I would like to think I’m constantly evolving and trying to get better with it.

Did you have a mentor? Yes, I have several.  I think seeking out mentors and accepting those that offer mentorship is a key ingredient in being successful.

What is your biggest career accomplishment?   Building a department that didn’t exist prior to my arrival in a position.  I’ve done this 3 times in my career (2 at the university and once in corporate).  I think being able to leave a legacy behind is something I’m most proud of. 

What is your advice to students looking for their first job?  Take full advantage of the resources afforded to you at your college/university career center and NETWORK!  Get involved in organizations both inside and outside of school that are aligned with your interests and career goals.

What is your advice to young professionals in the field who aspire to your current role?  Network, ask a lot of questions, join professional organizations get involved as much as possible, set informational interviews with those that have the position that you aspire to have, and continue your education.  All these things will make you more visible and more marketable in the long run.  Be willing to take chances and open to relocating. 

What was the best career advice you have ever received? You don’t get what you don’t ask for….this goes with everything in life and I really try to live by it.

What would you like colleagues to know about your organization? Cenlar FSB, is a national leading loan servicing provider, engaged in mortgage loan servicing and subservicing as a core business for more than 40 years.  Located in the greater Trenton area, we are an employee owned company, that is currently growing exponentially.  As a result of this, talent development has become a major organizational focus which opens doors for not only internal employees but for recent grads and other driven newcomers that wish to truly have a career path.  Two college programs that are a part of these initiatives include the Summer Internship Program and Leadership Development Program which start each May/June.  Feel free to reach out to me with questions.

Bio: Dawn Lazar has dedicated over 15 years of her career to career services, recruiting and talent development roles. She’s had the pleasure of working on both sides of the house, spending 10 years of her career in student/employer services at Florida International University and later taking a leap over to corporate managing the US Internship Program for BlackBerry, building the University Relations Program for the Retail Marketing Division of Bluegreen Vacations and now managing the University Talent Development Program for Cenlar FSB.  She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from The Florida State University, Master of Science in Adult Education from Florida International University, and holds the SHRM recognized, Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) Certification from HR Certification Institute (HRCI).

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