Current Career Topics for Mount St. Mary's University Students
Posted by: Meghan Orner
Posted by: Meghan Orner
Contrary to popular belief, not all interviews or business transactions take place in an office. Many times employers will ask to interview you in a dining setting to see how you handle yourself in a different environment. Regardless of your professional field, there will always be events where you must prove that you know how to present yourself and your company in a professional manner. But don't worry - the Etiquette Dinner is one way to learn how to conduct yourself in this setting!
This semester's Etiquette Dinner will be hosted by Michael True, the Director of the Internship Center at Messiah College. He has been working in this field for 22 years now, and this will be his third year hosting this great event at the Mount. In the spring of 2010, Mr. True released a website called www.internqube.com, which is a website that helps students develop professional skills during their internship or co-op experience. Forbes magazine picked this website as one of the "top 100 websites for your career" for the second year in a row!
The Mount is obviously very excited to welcome back Michael True to host this great event, but what exactly will you learn? Michael True can teach you essential skills you will need in a professional dining setting, such as holding your plate and drink in one hand while shaking hands with the other professionals present at the event. It is also an important reminder to always have your nametag on the right side of your chest. When you shake hands with someone, their eyes are automatically directed to your nametag and they will associate your name with your face as you shake their hand.
Michael True will offer some other helpful tips that are important to know. For example, when rising from your seat, you should never drape your napkin over the back of your chair. Always fold the napkin and place it next to your plate before rising from your seat. It is also important to note that interviewers typically pay for the meal. With that being said, remember to bring cash just in case and always wait to see if the interviewer is ordering dessert before you order - it's just polite!
These small yet significant details can really affect your reputation as a professional mature adult in the business world, so be sure to be aware of them as you take your next step into the future. To hear other important tips from Michael True, sign up to attend the Etiquette Dinner at the Career Center. But hurry - there is limited spacing available!
The Career Center also thanks Enactus and Edward Jones for making this great opportunity available to students. We hope to see you all there!
Posted by: Meghan Orner
Every graduate school’s application process is different, but a common element among most of them is the submission of a personal statement. The main purpose of a personal statement is to convince the admissions committee that you should be chosen. Here are some tips so you can achieve that purpose!
The topic for personal statements really depends on the school – some require you to give specific information while others allow the applicant to address a wide range of matters that interest them. Some applications require one statement, while others require shorter responses to six or more questions. But regardless of the structure required by each school, it is equally important to realize that the significance of the statement varies depending on the school field.
When determining your purpose in writing the personal statement, remember that the content you choose to incorporate should be presented in a way that will unify the whole statement. You should strictly adhere to the purpose of your statement and always pay close attention to your audience. Before you begin writing, analyze the questions or guidance statements for the essay so you know the exact guidelines and can completely and succinctly answer the questions proposed without including irrelevant material.
Remember that personal statements should be both objective and self-revelatory. Even though this is not a research paper, it should still be specific and organized in a cohesive way. Personal statements are typically no longer than two pages unless directed otherwise by the school, meaning your statement has to be concise. Be sure to catch your reader’s attention early on and form conclusions that explain the value and meaning of the experience you chose to write about. When you have finished writing your statement, ask yourself the following question to put your essay to the ultimate test: Is this essay one that only I could write? Your goal is to stand out from among the other applicants, and since this is a sort of interview, provide some insight into your personality through this statement.
One of the most common mistakes made when writing personal statements is that you simply write an expository essay on your background and experience. Remember that a personal statement is not a resume. Avoid the “what I did with my life” or the “I’ve always wanted to be a…” approaches. You should not lecture the reader either – graduate committee members are not trying to learn about the field from applicants. Instead, try to focus on one or two specific themes, incidents or points and be creative with this – they are more likely to remember a creative personal statement than a generic one, and remember to let your personality shine!
If you ever need more assistance in writing your personal statement, see the Career Center for help.
Posted by: Meghan Orner
One of the most important steps in preparing for an interview or job fair is to make sure that you have the proper attire to wear when you meet your possible future employer. First impressions truly can make or break you, so be sure to put your best foot forward; here's how to do just that!
The most basic yet essential wardrobe element is the business suit. When shopping for suits, it is important to consider the quality of the suit. It is always best to purchase the highest quality garments you can afford. It is worth the higher cost to have a higher quality suit that fits and cleans well and that will last for a long time.
Men should purchase a conservative 2 or 3 button two piece suit in black, navy or dark gray. Men should have a white long-sleeved dress shirt along with a white undershirt. Men will also need a tie that matches the color of the suit in either a simple pattern or a solid color. Bowties are not appropriate for an interview or job fair setting. Shoes should always be polished and in good condition. Black shoes, not loafers, with laces are preferred with a leather belt that matches your shoes. It is also important to remember to wear dark socks that are high enough to cover your leg when you are sitting.
Women should also purchase a dark conservative two piece business suit in black, navy or charcoal with a 1 or 2 button jacket and a knee-length skirt that is at least 25 inches in length. Slacks are appropriate as long as they are tailored and dark in color. Women should wear a white or lightly colored long-sleeved blouse that is not too sheer or low cut. As for shoes, they should be black, well-polished shoes. Heels should not be more than an inch and a half heel and they should be without an open toe. Along with the shoes, it is important to remember to wear either natural tone or sheer black pantyhose to complete the look.
There are also some important accessories that go along with a business suit. Men and women should have a leather notebook, portfolio or briefcase that is large enough to hold resumes and notepads without folding them. Women can wear a conservative necklace or bracelet with one pair of earrings. Men should be clean-shaven with a nice haircut. For both men and women, nails should be trimmed and neat, and body piercings and tattoos should not be visible. The key is to look clean and smart, but not overdone. The final accessory is your smile. Smiling will make you look confident and will actually help make you less nervous for your interview.
If you have any further questions on how to dress to impress, contact the Career Center at 301-447-5202 or at Career-Center@msmary.edu.
Posted by: Meghan Orner
Just as there were several steps in preparing and applying for college, the same applies for graduate school. It is never too early to start preparing for graduate school, and the Career Center is here to help you at every step!
Similar to preparing for college, students interested in graduate school should start preparing during the fall and spring semesters of their junior year. Be sure to spend time researching various areas of interest, institutions, programs and national scholarships. Since graduate school is the next step in preparing for your future, be sure to take your time in analyzing the different options available. This is also the time to register and prepare for the appropriate graduate admissions tests since you will most likely take these tests during the summer or fall semester of your senior year. The test requirements are different for each school, so be sure to have an organized list of what each school requires.
The summer before your senior year is the prime time to complete the application essays and materials. And similar to visiting colleges, you should also try to visit those institutions that you are interested in, if at all possible. After all, you will attend the graduate school for a certain amount of years after graduating from the Mount, so you want to be sure that you feel comfortable with the campus' environment. But be aware that for medical, dental, osteopathy, podiatry or law school, you may need to register for the national application or the data assembly service. Again, it all depends on each individual school's requirements, which is why it is so important to have an organized and detailed list of the school's application process.
During the fall semester of your senior year, you should obtain letters of recommendation. These letters can come from a variety of people, such as teachers, employers or internship supervisors, but be sure to carefully select those who you have worked closely with and who are very familiar with your talents and skills. Now is the time to send in those applications on which you have worked so hard. But before you do, make sure that you include all of the necessary materials and actually check with all of the institutions before the deadline to make sure that your file is complete.
For more information, visit www.gradschools.com to view a list of schools by area, www.gre.com to learn about the graduate school assessment tests, and www.finaid.org to view a guide for financial aid. Remember that the Career Center is always there to help you create your future - whether you are an undergraduate, graduate student or alumni.
Keywords: grad school
Posted by: Meghan Orner
I am sure we've all heard that internships often lead to entry-level jobs, which is why it is usually the juniors and seniors in college who are striving for internships. There is so much competition for internships, and it can be difficult to achieve an internship, especially if you're a freshman.
But that is exactly what sophomore Eric Flockhart did at the end of his freshman year. As a communications major here at the Mount, Eric was an intern writer for ScoreGolf Magazine, which is one of Canada's largest golf publications. He knew of the magazine from his personal reading and his involvement in the golf world.
So how did Eric get this internship? During winter break, he brought his resume and writing samples to the office for ScoreGolf and asked to see the editor. Even though the editor was not available, a staff member agreed to pass on his paperwork. A few days later, Eric received a phone call from the editor to set up a phone interview. After their second conversation, Eric was offered an internship at ScoreGolf, where he was responsible for researching and writing stories in hopes of increasing their online presence through their web site.
Even as a freshman, Eric was excited to join the journalistic world as soon as he could. Hoping this internship would enable him to learn whether or not he was truly interested in journalism, Eric definitely found his answer: "The most beneficial thing throughout this experience was that it solidified my passion for journalism and helped me understand the basis of what I want to do as I grow older." Eric was even interviewed by U.S. News and World Report about his internship experience as a freshman.
One might be curious if the editors at ScoreGolf were concerned that Eric was only a freshman. But if anything, they admired his initiative and his writing abilities. Eric had previous experience writing for his high school newspaper, and the editor at ScoreGolf was able to guide him through the writing process at his internship. An important thing to remember about internships is that they are learning experiences. Mentors never assume that interns immediately have all the answers as soon as they begin their internship.
Even though it can be intimidating, Eric definitely supports the idea of seeking an internship any time throughout college - the earlier the better. Internships give students the opportunity to discover what they like and dislike about a particular field in which they are interested.
Looking to the future, Eric hopes to complete his education with a Master's degree and venture into the journalistic world in some form. He will always love and be thankful for having the opportunity to write. To view the U.S. News article featuring Eric Flockhart, please visit: http://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/articles/2013/09/26/land-an-internship-after-freshman-year-of-college
The Career Center congratulates Eric Flockhart on his accomplishments and encourages all students to take initiative in applying for internships.
Posted by: Meghan Orner
An important step in the application process that is often overlooked is the cover letter. Cover letters are the first thing an employer sees, even before they look at your resume, so it is imperative that you make a good impression through this letter.
Similar to resumes, cover letters have a specific format that all applicants should follow. Not only does the cover letter introduce your resume, but it should also capture the attention of the potential employer. The cover letter should contain all of the same information that is seen at the top of your resume, such as your name, email address and the addresses of your current and permanent residences. You should always include a specific name of the person who will be reading your resume, or at the very least, use a job title. Avoid using "To Whom It May Concern" if at all possible.
After the greeting section of the cover letter is the first introductory paragraph. These paragraphs should be clear, concise and convincing. This first paragraph explains why you are writing to the person or organization. If you found out about the specific position you are applying for from a personal contact within the company, it is important to mention their name in this paragraph as long as you have permission to use their name. It is also important to show a sincere interest in the company and to explain why you are a good candidate for this position. Remember, cover letters should be convincing, so be sure to have good reasons as to why you want the position.
The second paragraph should give a brief introduction to how your education has prepared you for this position, while the third paragraph should explain how your work experiences and skills can benefit the organization It is important to show your experience in the cover letter because your resume will expand on that information. Briefly describe what you have learned at previous positions and how you will bring those skills into the new work environment. In the final paragraph, you should mention that you will follow-up and remain updated on any other opportunities in the company. This shows an employer that you are being proactive in your job search and that you have sincere interest in the company.
Since they are clear and concise, cover letters should never be more than one page, and always let your personality show! If you have any questions or if you need assistance in formatting or writing your cover letter, please stop by or make an appointment at the Career Center!
Posted by: Naomi Ruth
Written by Meghan Orner
The cool, breezy weather of fall is not the only season we are experiencing here at the Mount. Along with the nice change in the weather comes Accounting Season. The Mount has been the host of several events over the past several weeks that have provided students majoring in accounting the opportunity to network and achieve an internship or job opportunity with several accounting firms in the area.
A few weeks ago, the Career Center held its annual Accounting Evening event where approximately twenty local accounting firms came to the Mount. Studentswere able to talk and explore various employment opportunities at those firms. Resumes were exchanged and connections were made, but that was only the first step. Most of those accounting firms who attended the Accounting Evening will be right here in the Career Center throughout the next several weeks. Students will be coming into the Career Center to attend interviews with these accounting firms in hopes of achieving a job or an internship with a specific firm. Professor John Sherwin, who teachers several accounting classes here at the Mount, believes this is a great opportunity for all students majoring in accounting: "Internships allow the accounting student to integrate the classroom theory to real-life experiences. It has numerous benefits to the accounting student including exploring the potential career field they have chosen and seeing for themselves whether or not this is the career path they want."
Local accounting firms have been attending the Accounting Evening for several years now. So what makes them keep coming back to the Mount? According to Britney Garver of McGladrey LLC, there is always a good selection of students to pick from here at the Mount: "When I look at Mount alumni, it spans all the way up to our partner group so I feel like we’ve had a really good relationship with the Mount.I think we’ve always had connections and touch points, and over probably the last ten years, we’ve had more opportunities to get out on campus."
Even students agree that this is a great opportunity for them. Benjamin McNamee, a junior who is majoring in Accounting with a double minor in Criminal Justice and Legal Studies, believes that the Mount has definitely prepared him for future internship and employment opportunities:"I found it to be extremely helpful that the career center sponsors the accounting event for accounting students such as myself. Without this event it would be harder and much more time consuming to look for firms and other entities that are looking for accounting students."
The Career Center wishes all of the accounting firms and students the best of luck as they continue in another accounting season, and the Career Center looks forward to assisting students throughout the year with events for all the other majors and fields the Mount offers!
Keywords: accounting interviews
Posted by: Naomi Ruth
Written by Meghan Orner
Today’s job market is full of competition as individuals struggle to rise in employment. Employers are flooded with tons of resumes every day, and unfortunately, they discard most of them. There's always going to be competition for a job, no matter where you apply, and so it is imperative that you create your own personal brand – now more than ever. Even though that may seem like a difficult task, the Career Center is here to help with a list of guidelines to follow so that you can create your own personal brand and stick out from among the crowd!
One of the most important steps is to look carefully at all of your social media accounts. Social media has obviously become such an integral part of our lives, but with that comes a false sense of security. A recent survey revealed that about 75 percent of employers are required to complete online research of candidates, so any inappropriate material on any of those sites could cost you a job or an internship. But a good rule of thumb to follow is this: If you would not want your employer, or even your parents to see it, then don't post it because what is posted on the web STAYS on the web.
Another important step that may surprise some students is to Google yourself. It should be the goal of every student to be on the first page on Google if you were to Google yourself. A relatively new tool that is useful for students is Google Alerts, which are email updates of the latest relevant Google results based on your searches. You can choose which search query you would like to monitor, such as your name for example. This is one of the easiest ways to see firsthand what employers see when they Google you.
There are several other important steps students must take in order to create their personal brand. The site LinkedIn, which is known to be the world’s largest professional network, is one of the easiest ways to show employers a detailed view of all your accomplishments. Etiquette is also very important for students to learn. Contrary to popular belief, interviews will not always take place in an office. If you ever attend an interview or a meeting over a meal, you need to know the proper etiquette for each individual situation. Even though these guidelines may not be commonly known to most students, it is important to know all this information so that you can be fully prepared as you enter your first job after graduation.
To go over all of this information and many more helpful tips, the Career Center is offering a Personal Branding Workshop this Thursday, September 26th at 11:00 AM in the O’Hara Meeting Room. Don't miss out on this great opportunity to learn how you can create your own personal brand!
Posted by: Naomi Ruth