First Year Students: The Time to Meet with the Becker Career Center is NOW.

You may think that the Becker Career Center is only supposed to be used by Juniors and Seniors as they search for jobs, however students who begin using the Becker Career Center during their first year will be more prepared to gain employment in their desired career field upon graduation.

Are you wondering – where do I even begin? The answer is you should schedule an appointment with a career advisor as your first step. You can schedule an appointment by emailing the Career Center at careercenter@union.edu or calling at 518.388.6176.

Tell us that you’re just getting started and would like to schedule an appointment and then you can talk one on one with an advisor about personalized next steps.

It’s really that easy!

Dog Meme

 

Here are some things we might talk about in our first meeting:

Have you figured out your major? Do you know what Career Path you’re on?

We can consider doing an assessment that helps you identify interests and personal values that will help determine your academic major and career path. This is what we typically call the Career Exploration process.

Do you need to prepare professional documents to apply for an opportunity?

We can help you create or review your resume and cover letter while tailoring them for each internship or on-campus job, research or volunteer opportunity that you apply to.

Do you want to find an internship?

We can teach you how to effectively use online databases to search for internships. We’ll give you access to several internship search databases, including HireU, where employers are looking to hire Union students.

Do you need to learn how to use LinkedIn?

We will guide you to our next LinkedIn  workshop occurring throughout the year. Stop in to find out when our workshops are held or visit the calendar on HireU. You can also email Shannon Flaherty, flaherts@union.edu to schedule an appointment. P.S. Don’t forget to follow the Becker Career Center on Facebook.

 If you still don’t think you need to stop by before your Junior year, see what a recent Union graduate has to say:

As a first-year, now is the time to get started! Believe me when I tell you that it is never too early to make your first trip over to the Becker Career Center.  While the name may suggest otherwise, the office and staff work with students from all years and majors on all things professional development and self-exploration — not just careers. From discovering what major suits you to finding an internship for the coming summer to ensuring that your first job interview is stellar, the resources and counsel available through the Becker Career Center are invaluable.

The transition from high school into college and from college into your career both require patience, diligence, objectives, and good habits.  That being said, professional development is a long process and it is essential that you begin to recognize important aspects early in your collegiate career in order to create a path that will be most beneficial to you in the future.  However, the self-discovery process is a life-long one. And that begins here.

Lucas Rivers ‘2015, Former Peer Career Advisor & President of the Class of 2015

Congratulations on completing Fall Term!

Congratulations goes out to ALL students on the Successful Completion of the Fall term!

It flew by, as our trimesters tend to do!

Taking a little bit of a different approach to this weeks blog, we are looking for YOUR participation- We would LOVE to know what you are up to this break!

If you: 

Have secured a job offer– YAY congratulations! Let us know about it!

Have an internship for winter break, we’d love to know what you are up to!

Are headed to Graduate Schoolcontact us!

Accepted an internship for the summer of 2017! E-mail us!

Need help applying for jobs/internships/grad school, perfecting your documents OR prepping for an interview, we are here to help! 

Our office is open throughout break from 8 am- 4 pm.  We are happy to schedule in person appointments as well as appointments over the phone!  This is a PERFECT time to get a jump start on the job, internship and grad school search!

I know you are all looking forward to this time off from classes!  Enjoy, rest, relax and we look forward to seeing you in the New Year!

turkey

Happy Holidays!

The Becker Career Center Staff

Want to work in New York City?

If you were to take a look at top cities Union students live in after graduation, I don’t think anyone would be surprised to find out that New York City is a top hit.  Many of our students come from the area looking to go home after graduation while others are looking for big city living.   Keeping this notion in mind, our winter and summer breaks are filled with employer site visits to companies located in top priority cities like New York.   Not only do we make it a point to connect with companies for job and internship positions in The Big Apple, we also provide students several opportunities each year to meet and connect with employers located in NYC through career fairs and interview days.

New York City Meme

One of the many experiences our students have the ability to participate in is the New York Recruiting Consortium, also known as NYRC.  This program is an interview day that takes place in NYC on Friday, January 13th where students can apply to positions with the hopes of being selected for a face to face interview with an employer. These types of events are ideal for SENIORS looking for job opportunities in Law, Education, Finance, Healthcare, Marketing, Consulting, Insurance, or Language/ Client Services. There are TWO INTERNSHIP opportunities open to JUNIORS in the fields of Finance and Language/ Client Services.

The application period for this event is currently open and students can apply to positions until Thursday, November 17th  11:59pm. If you are looking for opportunities in any of these industries, don’t hesitate to reach out to Shannon Flaherty, flaherts@union.edu to learn about application instructions!

There are so many ways to get connected with employers in great cities like New York and this is no exception.  Students who take the time to make the trip to NYC, connect with employers, and sell their skill sets have a greater chance of making their big city dreams come true.   Take advantage of this great opportunity and start asking questions about these special events today!

michael scott

Resume Writing Pro Tips

Last year we reviewed the basics of Resume and Cover Letter writing.

You may have a basic resume already finished, but how do you take it to the next level and make yourself stand out?

Tip #1: Update your resume frequently.

If you are now on the E-Board of a campus club or just started your senior thesis, now is the time to revisit your resume to see where these new experiences fit. Have the Career Center review your resume each time you make changes.

Tip #2: Move sections around depending on the position you’re applying to.

If the internship position description tells you that the employer is seeking a candidate that has technical skills, now might be the time to move your skills section higher up in the resume. If your coursework highlights only courses in your major but an elective demonstrates an additional skill that the employer may be interested in, now is the time to re-visit the courses you’ve highlighted on your resume to include the ones that are most relevant to the position you are applying to.

Tip #3: Tailor your resume to your career goals.

Don’t just have a “Work Experience” section with every work experience from an internship at PwC to your time working at Dominos Pizza. As you tailor your experiences, tailor your resume. Separate these experiences into “Related Experience” and “Additional Experience” or “Engineering Experience” and “Additional Experience.” Check out the Resume Guide and review Johnny Cad, Anita Job and Eddie Vedder for great examples of tailored resumes.

Tip #4: Order your bullets from most to least relevant.

Keep in mind an employer will be skimming your resume in just 30 seconds. Under each experience, make sure the bullets that highlight the most important skills are listed first.

Tip #5: Keep it polished!

A little formatting goes a long way. As you edit your resume, make sure that the font type and size remains the same throughout. Make sure your spelling is correct. If you have a period at the end of one bullet, make sure it’s at the end of all the bullets. Keep it consistent and keep it pretty. The person reviewing your resume will definitely notice.

Your resume is one of your first chances to make an impression with a potential employer. Make sure it’s a good one!

Making the Most of the Winter Break

 The Union College trimester schedule provides you the time to dedicate to the career development process. What does this mean? You have the month of December to dedicate to gain experience (internship, volunteer, or job shadow), connect and/or start your search for summer internships or post-graduate employment.

This is applicable to all students; seniors, juniors, sophomores and freshmen. Everyone can benefit from being productive during their winter break.The Becker Career Center will help you strategize how to effectively utilize your time during Winter Break based on your own goals and objectives.


Gain Experience.

Proactive students dedicate their winter break to gaining experience in a chosen career field or position of interest. Employers prefer to hire students who have relevant experience. Oftentimes students find it difficult to commit to an internship during the academic year due to balancing academics. The solution is to gain experience over winter break.
Gaining experience over winter break will allow you to build your resume and become a competitive candidate for your internship search this upcoming summer as well as post-graduate employment.
 
How to gain experience over winter break:
  • job shadowing
  • securing an internship (paid or unpaid) 
  • volunteer at a non-profit or a local firm/company
  • part time/seasonal paid employment
You are strongly encouraged to make an appointment with a career advisor in the Becker Career Center to strategize how to conduct your search for winter break opportunities. We can discuss specifically targeting employers and professionals in your hometown/region, including identifying resources that would be the most effective for your search.
 
Connect.
Winter Break is a great time to set up meetings with professionals in your career field of interest. Connect with alumni, professionals in your hometown/community, or contacts you have identified through your own research.
If you have already made initial contact with professionals in your career field of interest,

continue to network with those  Union College alumni and employers.

How?
Informational Interviews. Schedule phone conversations with alumni and prepare a list of questions for the informational interview.
Meet them for coffee. If you are geographically close to your contacts, set up a time to meet in person for coffee.
Be sure that everyone in your circle (family, friends, community members, alumni contacts, etc.) are “in the know” regarding you. Communicate your interests, hopes for graduation, major, internship goals, etc. Even if your interests and major are changing, be sure that you are keeping everyone up to date. You would be surprised how many doors you may open by simply keeping your circle informed.
The connections you make now will undoubtedly help you moving forward throughout the remainder of the academic year as you prepare for graduation or a summer internship experience.

 

Start Your Search.

Summer internship opportunities and post-graduate employment positions are posted throughout the academic year. There is not always a rhyme or reason to the timing of recruitment for many employers. Winter break is an ideal time to catch up and learn about employers who are currently recruiting. You must be ready to search and apply so that opportunities do not pass you by! When the application deadline passes for a position, you can no longer apply.

Ask yourself the following questions to determine if you are ready to search and apply for positions of interest:
Do you have a resume? Has it been reviewed by the career center? If not, submit your resume for review today: careercenter@union.edu
Are you prepared to write a cover letter?
Do you know where/how to search for positions?
Are you familiar with the application process and what to expect?
Are you heading into winter break without a plan? If so, please connect with the Becker Career Center today, to prepare to make the most of your time.
Contact the Career Center at careercenter@union.edu.

The Value of Your Liberal Arts Education

As a Union College student, you’ve worked hard at your studies, taken advantage of extracurricular and leadership opportunities and had an important internship or research experience or two.  Now you’re getting ready to graduate and enter the work world.  You know what you want to do, you’ve got a solid resume and you’ve generated employer interest.  All you have to do is nail your interviews.  You’re not worried.  You’ve done your homework and feel prepared.  Besides, you’re a good talker so this should be easy.

On the day of your first interview you meet the employer who welcomes you and engages in some small talk, which is comforting.  She leads you to her office, sits down, instructs you to do the same, leans forward in her chair and says, “We normally hire students from the business school, you come from a liberal arts school, why should we hire you?

How do you respond?

Variations of this question include:

  • How has your Union College liberal arts education prepared you for this position?
  • How does your Union College liberal arts degree make you a better fit for this position than a student with a professional degree?

The reason the employer is asking this questions is that they want to know if you understand and can articulate how your Union College education has prepared you to do their job.

To help you answer this question we’ve developed and Acronym – EDUCATES – to remind you of the very important skills and competencies you’ve developed or strengthened at Union College. In the diagram below we’ve outlined the key skills and competencies associated with EDUCATES.educatesNotice that we’ve bolded four competencies.  We call these the core four – Unity, Communication, Analytical and Thinking.  These competencies are most often identified by our employers as particularly important.  As such, we want you to be sure to talk about the core four.  If you can add the other competencies you will further impress the interviewer.

Sample Response

You should hire me because at Union College I developed critical thinking skills that allow me to think deep (through studies in my major) and broad (through studies outside of my major), T-shaped thinking if you will; Through my coursework and research I have developed effective communication skills both orally and in writing, and strong analytical skills that have allowed me to identify relationships among seemingly disparate parts; Through my coursework and extracurricular activities I’ve learned how to work effectively in teams, and how to look at the world through others’ eyes and this ability to empathize will certainly help me when I deal with internal and external clients; Finally, Union has taught me the importance of ethics, engaging in and doing the right thing. Together, these skills will help me to effectively solve any problem I encounter now and in the future. That’s why I believe you should hire me.

REFLECTING ON YOUR SUMMER INTERNSHIP EXPERIENCE

Summer is an exciting time as an undergraduate student. It provides the opportunity for students to partake in an internship experience. So, what happens after a student has a great summer internship?

            Reflection.

reflection

Experiences teach us a lot about ourselves and help us to create hopes or goals for the future. Internships in many ways are a test drive for a future career.

We asked Union College students who completed their summer internships to reflect on their experience.

What did you learn about yourself through the internship?

  • “That I can and will be successful relying on myself.” – Katya Welch, Deutsche Bank
  • “I learned more specifically what I want to do. I want to travel for work. And that I love working for a big company.” – Kristy Landre, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)

How have your career plans changed (or remained unchanged) due to your internship experience?

  • “My summer internship in NYC was a great experience, both for the experience of working in a big Wall Street firm as well as living by myself in Brooklyn.” – Katya Welch, Deutsche Bank
  • “My career plans have become more defined as a result of my experience. Prior to the internship, I knew I wanted to work in financial services, accounting or consulting, but now will be going back to PwC full-time after graduation to continue in Risk Assurance.” – Kristy Landre, PwC
  • “I always wanted to work in an accounting firm. The firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers(PwC), is known as one of the Big Four accounting firms. Over the 8 week internship, PwC trained me well and had me do meaningful work for the firm and the client. I could see the value I was adding to the firm and I constantly received real time feedback that helped me improve myself and do even better. Through the internship, I gained a whole new confidence that has encouraged me to stick with the career path I have always wanted for myself.” – Rimsha Malik, PwC
  • “I am a political science major that has just always had an interest in finance. I’m one of those people that enjoys the information, but for whatever reason, being an economics major at Union just wasn’t right for me. An internship in finance opens up the door of possibilities as far as career opportunities go. Now this field is a valid and foreseeable option for me, when before it really wasn’t. In my opinion, regardless of major or course of study, if you are knowledge-driven, a finance internship is the perfect introduction to that line of work. It looks good on a resume, allows you to learn a lot, and makes post-grad opportunities possible. That’s what it has done for me.” – Baguidy Elien, Thomson Reuters

What is a standout memory or accomplishment from your internship?

  • “One standout memory from the internship is my shadowing experience. I got to shadow three partners of the firm. The experience provided me with a unique opportunity to get a closer look at the leadership that makes PwC the top professional services firm it is. While sitting through various meetings, I realized how these leaders view each situation as an opportunity rather than an obstacle and are always willing to embrace challenges presented to them. I admired their enthusiasm, values and extraordinary leadership abilities. The shadowing experience left me extremely motivated and excited.” – Rimsha Mailk, PwC
  • “I, along with two other interns, was able to establish a program at Thomson Reuters known as TR college ambassadors. We drew up a business proposal, budget and pitched the idea to our leadership. We received approval for our project and $10K in funding to carry it out. The sense of accomplishment was surreal and the term “value-added” had new meaning. I worked hard and the fruits of that labor were clearly visible in that moment. No greater feeling.” – Baguidy Elien, Thomson Reuters

The “post-internship time period” (aka Fall Term) is a time to de-brief on your summer experience. Asses what you liked and what you did not like. How does this impact your academic studies or your plans for the future? There are many worthwhile questions to ask yourself. Through the process of asking questions and reflecting, you will be setting yourself up for success.

Next-Steps:

  • Meet with a career advisor to debrief
  • Add your internship to your resume
  • Follow-up with supervisors thanking them for the experience and/or asking for a recommendation
  • Network with alum and professionals in your field of interest, sharing your summer internship experience with them (great conversation starter!)
  • Begin searching and applying for internships or post-grad positions

And as always, if you have any questions, ask the “Internship Lady” Keri Willis in the Becker Career Center, willisk@union.edu!