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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.

[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.

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!

http://www.eace.org/events/EventDetails.aspx?id=900745

http://www.eace.org/page/2016AwardWin

 

 

 

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.

[1] https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=372

[2] http://ns.eab.com/Student-Success-Collaborative-Major-Switching

[3] https://cew.georgetown.edu/cew-reports/valueofcollegemajors/

[4] http://dewey.pragmatism.org/creed.htm

[5] https://www.federalreserve.gov/econresdata/notes/feds-notes/2015/how-much-student-debt-is-out-there-20150807.html

[6] http://www.epi.org/publication/class-of-2016/

[7] https://www.newamerica.org/education-policy/edcentral/collegedecisions/

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

 

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

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!

 

Flipping the Classroom: Taking a Career Development Seminar Online

By Lauren E. Creamer, M.S., Co-op & Career Advisor, Wentworth Institute of Technology

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. Advisors were spending countless appointment explaining the same concepts time and again. In the fall of 2014, in an effort to meet the needs of the students, Co-op Institute was born.

What is Co-op Institute? co-op_institute_logo_rgb

Co-op Institute originated as a five-week, lecture-style seminar with a goal to disseminate information to as many students as possible in one place. Topics include resume and cover letter writing, networking, job searching, interviewing, and professionalism. Each semester material cuts were made to insure the class could run in the time allotted. And each semester we found ourselves saying “… but I want to teach more.”

In the summer of 2016 we decided it was time to flip the classroom. I led our advisor team in the development of this program, taking our existing lecture materials and turning them into short, narrated videos. This opened the instructors up to interact with the students in a more personal way, giving them the ability to facilitate activities and provide one-on-one feedback during peer-editing sessions.

The process was long, and not-too-painful, but it did involve vetting a number of different video platforms and much back and forth with our technology division.

Options We Considered

The only way I had made videos in the past was via iMovie and for a few weeks I was convinced that I needed a Mac to make any kind of video. Not so. iMovie is a great option and comes standard on Macs, but if you don’t have one don’t sweat it. Windows has comparable software.

We also considered Echo360, a screen capture tool, and a strong contender. The tool allowed users to flag material they had trouble understanding and allowed for built-in quizzes. It would have been great for the end user, but the set-up was complex and required more work than the advisors had time to offer.

Our Platform

As we utilize Blackboard to share our course materials, it was important that we use something compatible. We ended up choosing Kaltura CaptureSpace, a software that was already connected to our Blackboard system.

Kaltura is easy to use for screen capture and allows the user to add in questions (multiple choice) throughout the video. The downside is that you can’t flag areas of confusion and there is no option to stall the video if the user doesn’t get the questions right. All things considered, a perfect fit for our first run through. (And the Institute already paid for it).

recordscreen

Other Free or Low-Cost Options

For the budget-conscious team, consider using Facebook Live or YouTube to develop and upload content. The Haitt Career Center at Brandeis has been using Facebook Live for the past several months and it’s pretty cool. Lots of schools are using YouTube to upload original content (of course, this still means you need to have a webcam and a means of recording it).

There is a chance your school already pays for tutorial videos such as Lynda.com or Atomic Learning. If that’s the case, this could be a great idea if you don’t have the time to develop your own content. There are some quality career development videos on each.

If you’re not up for video, but your institution has a radio station and open air time, consider hosting a show. Our office also produces WITworks Radio – tune in Mondays at 1:00 PM!

Feedback from Students

We’re still sifting through the student feedback at this time (we finished up about one month ago), but a major trend seems to be that students really love the interactive nature of the class-time. Whether they love the videos as they are now remains to be seen. There is always room for improvement!

Bio:  Lauren is a 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 is responsible for executing and assessing Co-op Institute, a seven-week preparatory seminar focusing on applying to and interviewing for co-ops. This past year she led the advisor team at Wentworth in flipping the classroom for Co-op Institute, to allow for a more in-depth learning experience.

Launching Your Legacy with EACE

Jeffery Alston is the Assistant Director of Employer Relations, The College of Brockport, Office of Career Services. He received the EACE research grant in 2016 for work on “Ethnic Minority Student Usage of Career Services .” We can’t wait to hear more on Jeffery’s research when he completes the project at the end of June 2017. Until then read up on Jeffery’s thoughts and progress.

jeffrey-alston-headshotReceiving the EACE Research Grant is a tremendous accomplishment.  Creating content that contributes to the field of Career Services is exciting.  As I encounter students in various places on campus, I’m amazed at the questions that pop into my head.  One of those questions was how do ethnic minority students use Career Services on their campus.  Since starting my doctorate education at The University of Rochester, this has been a guiding question for me.

Currently, I am still in the early phases of the research study.  There is a group of people called “IRB” and sometimes they can be viewed as the rabbit hole of the academic research world.  I took the initial leap and I’m still tumbling down.  It feels like the rabbit hole because there are revisions or request for additional information.  I say to myself, “didn’t I already send you this” or I say, “I said this already”.  As I make the adjustments and continue on with the study, there is this other factor that creeps in; LIFE and this activity I do 5 days a week called my JOB.  

Although I’m experiencing these things, I understand it’s only making my research study stronger.  This experience is also providing insight into what life will be like as a scholar/practitioner.  The goal from this point is to pull myself up by the bootstraps and get through this IRB process.  Thinking about it, it might be challenging to pull myself up after Thanksgiving, but it will only make my research muscles that much stronger.  

Until next time EACE’ers.  

Submitted by: Jeffrey Alston

launchlegacyHow will you #LaunchYourLegacy? Learn about the Research Grant and Apply by March 1, 2017.   The EACE Research Grant is designed to encourage research and assessment within our field and share models that demonstrate design and outcomes.  The research grant, in the amount of $2,000, will assist EACE members in conducting research and assessment within the field of career services or recruiting. Proposals for the research grant will include an outline for the year-long time frame as well as a plan for execution of the research, and methods for assessment of outcomes.

 

Twitter Chats – Let’s Share Some Best Practices

By Patrick Young, Assistant Director, Employer Relations at NJIT and EACE Board of Directors, Technology

The Technology committee hosts a monthly Twitter chat on Career Services & College Recruiting topics of importance to our EACE membership.  In case you missed it, our November Twitter chat covered “Career Services Management Systems – Tips, Trends, and Best Practices”.  With over 15 EACE member participants, CSM systems represented on the chat included Symplicity, GradLeaders, Handshake, and Purple Briefcase.  Unique perspectives were shared on top features, creative uses of technology, mobile trends, and future needs to improve services for both students and employers.  Check out the full transcript of the November Twitter chat at https://storify.com/eace/november-2016-eace-twitter-chat/.

Our December chat will be held next Tuesday, December 13th at 12 noon with the topic of “Beyond Info Sessions – New Ways Employers Can Build a Brand on Campus”.  Simply access Twitter and follow along on the hashtag #EACE.  Join us to share your insights, learn from others, and stay connected with your EACE peers!

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