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Career Corner

Current Career Topics for Mount St. Mary's University Students

Keyword: career center

One of the trickiest things to tackle when preparing for an interview is what to wear.  Professional attire is always essential.  Being undergraduate students we know that it is important to budget our money for the future.  Professional attire can be costly, but if you know what pieces to get, you can get your money’s worth.  Before shopping for professional attire on a college budget you will need a few things: a solid list of what to buy, where and when to go, a good eye, and comfortable walking shoes (very important!).

Creating a list of things to buy is important because it keeps you focused on what to buy.  It is easy to get distracted while shopping to buy other things, but having a list helps prevent that from happening.  It also helps you remember what you need to buy. 

 Before you begin to go shopping, know what stores sell good priced business clothes.  Also, remember to take your body type into consideration.  For example, if you are a woman 5’3” and under, you may consider buying things in the petite department because they tailor to your height.  Always be on the lookout for sales and discounts.   Remember to take your Mount Card when you go shopping.  Some stores offer a student discount; all you have to do is ask!  Some stores also offer a military discount.

Here are a few things that should be on your list: Main pieces in neutral colors, business appropriate shirts, sweaters, and shoes.  Main pieces, meaning pants, suite jackets, and skirts should be in black, blue, grey, or tan.  This will allow you to mix and match between different pieces.  Often times buying a suit is seen as very costly, but it is a great investment.  Buying a suit ensures that both your suit jacket and bottom piece match exactly, whereas if you buy suit separates the colors may be slightly off.  For women, you could buy a pant suit or a skirt suit.  Remember that skirt length should range between below to right above the knee.

Now that the main piece is picked out, it is time to dress for underneath the suit jacket.  For men and women it is important to buy button-front shirts (oxfords) in an accent color that would match your suit jacket. An accent color is a color that highlights what you are wearing.   A good selection for both women and men for an interview would be a light blue or white oxford for their interview.

Women can also buy blouses or knit tops for their choice of layering underneath their suit jacket.  Men should pick out ties that complement their shirts.  It is a good idea to buy patterns that are not too distracting.  Stripes, argyle, and plaid are great business tie patterns to wear.  Also, men can never go wrong with a solid colored tie as long as it accentuates their button-front shirt. 

It is now time to pick out business shoes.  Two important colors to have in business shoes for both women and men is black and tan.  Black goes with your black, tan, and grey suites.  Tan shoes go with your navy suites.  Business shoes for both genders should be leather.  For women, buying a pair of plain flats in both black and tan is necessary.  Buying heels is also an option for women.  They should be in the same color and also plain with no designs on them.  The height size of the heel should be no more than about two inches.  Stay away from high-heels and height-heels with an extra platform on the base of the foot. 

For men, buy shoes in leather that are either brown or black.  It is a good idea to have two pairs of shoes, one in each color.  Dress shoes should be simple with no designs on them with only four or five lace holes.  Penny loafers are also an option for men’s business shoes.  Remember to not wear ankle or athletic socks with the business shoes. For interviews, plain black socks that go above the knee are the only option for men.  For other business events it is acceptable to wear some patterns such as plaid, argyle, and stripes. 

Excellent! Now that the business attire is properly picked out remember to iron the clothes before wearing them.  Pay very close attention to the care instructions found in the label of the clothes.  Some business clothes are dry clean only.  Putting them in the washing machine and dryer may cause damage to these clothes.   If you have any other questions regarding professional dress, the staff is willing to answer any and all questions about career development, including business attire.

Looking for a potential job or internship can be stressful to say the least.  Finding time to search for a potential job or internship is very hard while studying in college.  It is important to set aside a set number of hours every week to search for a potential job or internship.  Searching for a potential job or internship is easier now than years ago.  We do not have to drive around and actually look.  We are fortunate that we live in a society that is easily connected and where technology is advanced. We are even more fortunate that we go to school that offers free services to help us plan for our futures.

If you have no idea what type of job or internship you want, it is important to visit FOCUS.  FOCUS is an online self-assessment of your interest, values, and skills.  After completing your self-assessment, you can see how the results relate to majors and potential careers.  To access FOCUS visit www.msmary.edu/focus.  The access ID is: themount.

Now that you have an idea what type of job or internship you want, it is now time to search for one.  One easy way to do this daily is by always checking your email.  Look for Career Center updates via email, especially the Career Center Career Round-ups.  These are bi-weekly emails sent out about on-campus recruiting, on-campus interviewing, information sessions, recruiting tables, or information tables in Patriot about potential jobs or careers.  These resources offered are in a variety of fields.  This week alone the fields include: accounting, law enforcement, a consulting firm, and a CPA firm.  The Career Center is also on Facebook (Mount St. Mary’s University Career Center) and Twitter (@MSMCareer).   By staying connected with the Career Center via social media you will receive updates as well. 

If for some reason you cannot find a job or internship that is fitting for you via email or social media, it is time to go College Central Network.  College Central Network is free to students, alumni, and employers.  Approved employers may post jobs on College Central Network.  To access College Central Network, go to www.msmary.edu.  At the top of The Mount’s website go to the tab that says “Student Life” and then click on “Career Center.”  Next, either click on College Central in the left hand menu, or scroll all the way down until you see the College Central Network logo.  The symbol is a square that has purple, red, green, and blue in it.  After you click on the College Central Network symbol, you get to logon to your account for the first time.  The only thing that you will need to log in to your account is your student ID number.  Remember that your student ID number is the last six digits found on the back of your Mount Card.  The first time access password is “mount”.  If for some reason that does not work try clicking on the “forgot my password” link.

After entering into College Central Network you can fill out a profile.  Filling out the profile helps because it can find jobs or internships that match your interests or major. On College Central Network you can search for opportunities posted to your school.  You can also search for opportunities listed in areas of your interest.  The really neat thing about it is that you can narrow down the search to a specific location.  You are also welcome to upload your resume.  This way, employers may view your resume.

If College Central Network does not help, remember that you can always come to the Career Center to make an appointment with our insightful staff.  You can also call 301-447-5202 to make an appointment.  The Career Center is open Monday through Friday from 9AM-5PM with drop-in hours on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 1-2PM.  The office is located in Upper McGowan past the Mail Room - just look for the Career Center sign down the hallway.  Opportunity is knocking here at The Mount.  It is important to take advantage of these helpful resources to better increase your chances of success.

It is hard to believe that summer has ended and the fall semester has begun.  It seems the older you are the faster summers go by.  My name is Yuengling Trinh.  I Yuenglingam a senior Business Management major.  As I intern with the Career Center this semester, I am excited to be sharing Career Center news and updates.

As undergraduate students, we are all eager to jumpstart our futures with whatever aspirations we may have.  The Career Center gives us many resources to power our futures in a variety of ways.  One of the ways that the Career Center powers our futures is giving us the opportunity to meet with future employers or internships.  Luckily for us, there is an amazing opportunity in the near future!  The Career Center is having an Accounting Evening today, September 10, 2014.  The event will begin at 3:30 in the Athletic Recreation Convocation Complex (ARCC) Concourse (the hallway when you enter from the main entrance).  This event is open to all sophomores, juniors, seniors, and MBA students.  No specific major is needed to attend this event! It is a great opportunity to be able to connect to twenty different employers.  The twenty employers at this event are very diverse.  They represent both public and private organizations.  Many of the employers are also Mount Alumni.  Some will be returning to The Mount for on-campus recruiting. 

The Career Center had two prep. sessions to prepare attendees for The Accounting Evening.  If you missed these prep. sessions, feel free to contact the Career Center.  Here are some tips that can help you as well.  Before Accounting Evening: remember to bring twenty copies of your resume to the event.  When printing out your resume use a heavier bound paper or resume paper to add uniqueness.  Business attire is required for Accounting Evening.

 For men, select a conservative-colored collared shirt and tie for under your suit jacket.  Make sure your dress shoes are polished and socks are matching dress socks.  Do not wear athletic socks.  For women, your two-piece suit can include pants or a skirt.  If you choose to wear a skirt, make sure that it is knee-length or rests no more than 2 inches above the knee.  Closed-toe dress shoes are preferred.  Choose a conservative blouse for under your jacket. Neutral, sheer hosiery can be worn with skirts. 

During Accounting Evening: when meeting with the twenty companies at Accounting Evening remember to have eye-contact with the person you are speaking to.  Always remember to smile.  It is important because it will help you to stay relaxed and positive.  The way you introduce yourself is very important. You may want to say your name, your year here at The Mount, and what your major is.  It is crucial to have a strong handshake with a firm hold.  Be sure to hang onto the handshake for about three or four seconds.  When you release the person’s hand do not do it abruptly.

Again, feel free to stop by The Career Center with any questions or concerns you may have.  Please consider this opportunity and the numerous career development programs that will power your future.

With the amount of snowfall we received this past semester, I’m sure we all thought summer could not come soon enough, and here we are preparing for final exams.  It is hard to believe, but yet another year has gone by so quickly here at the Mount.  As we all prepare for summer, it is just as important to reflect on this past academic year and view it as an enriching learning experience.

A great learning experience for me was my journalism internship at the Career Center.  Through this internship, I was given the opportunity to improve my writing and editing skills by writing weekly articles for the Mountain Echo newspaper and the Career Corner blog, and I was also able to learn more about basic marketing principles.  I feel that I was able to learn and grow so much throughout this whole experience, and I could not be happier with my decision to intern at the Career Center.            

This internship also provided me with a very deep insight into the inner workings of the Career Center, and I was given the opportunity to understand more about professional marketing, promoting, and event planning on a daily basis.  The Career Center sponsors a variety of events throughout the entire academic year, and one of my favorites is the Etiquette Dinner.  The host Michael True is both entertaining and informative, and the food served is always delicious!  I loved attending this event, and I encourage everyone to attend this event during your time here at the Mount. 

I would like to thank Clare, Matt and Naomi for giving me this great opportunity, and I look forward to seeing how this experience will help me in my future career.  I encourage everyone at the Mount to consider interning at the Career Center.  It is such a great work environment, and just like any other internship, it was a great learning experience!  I also hope all students will take the time to make an appointment with the Career Center.  The professionally trained staff can really help you at any stage of your career development, so be sure to take advantage of this great resource!     

Good luck on your finals, and I hope everyone has a nice and relaxing summer!  Congratulations to the Class of 2014!

Another year gone.  It is hard to believe, but all too soon finals will be over and seniors will be graduating.  We hope that all students have had a fulfilling and enriching year, and for seniors, your time here at Mount St. Mary's University will undoubtedly be an important chapter in your life.  Whether you are moving onto graduate school or entering the workforce, remember that the Career Center is still here to help!

Many of the services available to students are still available to you as alumni.  Alumni can use College Central to search for job opportunities 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Career Counseling is also an option for alumni.  You can continue to visit with a counselor for individual assistance with career planning and decision-making, along with taking a career interest and personality inventory.  Not only are you encouraged to make appointments with a career counselor, but you are also invited to all the events the Career Center sponsors.  Alumni are welcome to attend the workshops, seminars, on-campus recruitment and Career Fairs that are held throughout the year.  There are various ways for you to give back to the Mount too.  Serving on an alumni panel or offering internships or jobs at your place of employment are just some examples.

A service exclusively for alumni is the Mentoring Network.  This gives alumni the opportunity to mentor fellow Mounties and network with alumni on various career levels.  To register, visit www.msmary.edu/mentoring and select “Join Our Mentoring Network.”  Director of the Career Center Clare Tauriello encourages alumni to take advantage of these services: “The Career Center welcomes the opportunity to assist alumni in their career development.  You may be graduating, but our services continue!”

Remember that you can always contact the Career Center at 301-447-5202 or Career-Center@msmary.edu.  Once a Mountie, always a Mountie!  On behalf of the entire Career Center staff, we congratulate the Class of 2014 and wish them the best of luck as they begin their next chapter in life!

Whether you are preparing for a job or internship, it is very important to consider workplace etiquette.  Since every work environment is different, consider how well you fit within the organization, and these tips on workplace etiquette may help you make an easier transition into the workplace.

One of the easiest ways to smoothly transition into a new workplace is to make positive first impressions.  Learn the names of your coworkers and learn them quickly.  Since this can be a bit overwhelming on the first day, a good tip to help you remember someone’s name is to use their name about two times in your first conversation with them.  It is also important to realize that it’s sometimes not what you say but HOW you say it that matters.  Always be kind and courteous to your fellow employers, and remember to smile.  Not only will it make you feel more comfortable with your new coworkers, but it may also make you an even more productive worker!

Some other important things to remember when incorporating workplace etiquette into your new work environment simply involve common courtesy.  For example, be sure to return all phone calls and emails within 24 hours of receiving them.  Even if you just respond saying that you will have more information at a later date and will contact them as soon as you can, it is very important to do so.  Not returning an email or phone call is seen as unprofessional.  It is also important to always adhere to deadlines.  Many work environments are fast-paced, and so deadlines are essential to the flow of the workplace.  If you do not think you will have enough time to complete a project or task before the deadline, speak with your supervisor immediately.

 A final thing to remember is that if you have any questions about your workplace’s etiquette or protocol, simply ask your supervisor.  You will be more successful in the workplace if you follow these etiquette tips.  For more tips on how to adjust to a new work environment, contact the Career Center at 301-447-5202, Career-Center@msmary.edu or simply stop by the Career Center to make an appointment.

Especially in today's world as technology rapidly advances, employers are conducting digital interviews instead of meeting with applicants in person.  Although this can be more convenient with no travel required, a two-dimensional interview makes it much harder for the applicants to connect with the interviewer since they are not in the same room.  But as digital interviews become increasingly popular among employers, it's essential that you learn how to make this type of interview work for you!

In order to successfully prepare for a digital interview, the first thing to consider is the quality of your camera.  It is important to ensure that your camera provides the professional image required before, not during, an interview.  To do so, simply practice using the camera with a friend to make sure everything will run smoothly during the real thing.  The setup of the camera is also important.  Eye contact is key during a digital interview, so be sure that the camera is at eye level so you can look directly at the camera, not just at the screen.

The background is another important element to the digital interview because you do not want anything to distract interviewers from the main focal point: you.  Backgrounds should be bland and neutral, and the easiest way to have a professional background is to purchase a large poster board.  The other option is to reserve an Interview Room by contacting the Career Center at 301-447-5202 or career-center@msmary.edu.  Most digital interview software like Skype require a username, so be sure to have a professional username and picture so you can make a great first impression with employers – even before they see you in the interview. 

Although you are talking to the interviewer on a screen, it is important that you talk to them, not at them.  By talking to them as you would if you were having this interview face-to-face, it will be easier for the interviewer to connect with you.  You should always maintain good eye contact with the interviewer.  By avoiding eye contact you appear to lack self-confidence, and it actually distracts the interviewer from focusing on what you are saying.  Don't forget that you are on the air throughout the entire interview and that everything you do will be perceived either positively or negatively by the interviewer.

A final thing to remember is to always wait five minutes before shutting down your equipment.  Although this type of interview can be stressful and you're glad that it is over, don't rush away from the camera.  Wait until the interviewer's computer is shut down, take the time to reflect on how the interview went, and congratulate yourself on completing a digital interview!

The Career Center is very excited to hold the annual Student-Athlete Career Week from March 30 to April 4.  This week is especially geared towards the career development and considerations of the Mount’s athletes.  Together with the assistance of Chris Stack, coordinator of support services for student athletes, and Kaitlin Hallahan, the assistant director of the Office of Alumni Relations, Student-Athlete Career Week is one way to give back to those athletes who continuously represent the Mount.   

The second annual Alumni Career Panel will take place on Tuesday, April 1 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. in the O'Hara Dining Room.  Even though this event will have more of an athletic focus, this is great opportunity for all students to hear from alumni about their experiences in various career paths.  There will also be time for refreshments and for students to have one-on-one conversations with the alumni, so don't miss this chance to learn more about the transition from school to work and to network with alumni!

Wednesday’s event will feature a lecture presentation given by the President of Hanover Capital Management, Mark Riggs: “Get A Hold of Your Financial Footing.”  As a member of the class of 1998 and the MBA class of 2002, Riggs is very familiar with the Mount and he hopes to offer students advice on how to handle finances before and after graduation.  Along with his presentation, there will also be time to socialize and network, so be sure to attend this lecture on Wednesday, April 2 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the Horning Hospitality Suite. 

The final event of Student-Athlete Career Week is the Etiquette Dinner on Thursday, April 3 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the O'Hara Dining Room.  Director of the Internship Center at Messiah College Michael True will once again host this semester's Etiquette Dinner to teach Mount students the essential skills needed 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.  

If you have any questions about any of these upcoming events, contact the Career Center at 301-447-5202, Career-Center@msmary.edu or simply stop by the Career Center to make an appointment.  Remember that the Career Center is here to serve all students, and we hope to see everyone at these great events!

As many of you know, one of the biggest events sponsored by the Career Center is Internship and Job Fairquickly approaching: the Internship and Job Fair! It will take place on March 19 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in Patriot Hall. This annual event gives students the opportunity to network with approximately 35 local companies and organizations right here on campus. But to get the most out of this great event, here is a list of things to prepare so you can make the internship and job fair work for you!

It is very important that you research companies BEFORE the event. On March 14, you will receive a guidebook via email listing the companies and organizations that will be present at the fair so you will have plenty of time to research potential employers. After going through the guidebook, make a list of employers to visit and come up with questions to ask. Employers are looking for students who are genuinely interested in their organization, and asking questions is one way to show your interest. Be knowledgeable about the companies and organizations that interest you. But it is also important to remember to be open to any company or organization - many hire a variety of different majors!

On the day of the fair, be sure to dress professionally. First impressions are key, and the way you dress really does affect the employer's view of you as a potential employee. Men should wear a 2 or 3 button two piece suit with a white long-sleeved dress shirt and a tie that matches the color of the suit. Women should wear a white or lightly-colored blouse with 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.

It is also important to bring plenty of resumes and business cards with you to the fair. More is always better than less, and you want to make sure you have enough to give out to the employers in whom you are interested. Also, remember that it is normal to be nervous, but don't let your nerves keep you from networking! Be confident in your skills and be proud of who you are. If you show your personality, then you will stand out among the crowd - literally!

If you have any further questions or concerns about this event, contact the Career Center at 301-447-5202, CareerCenter@msmary.edu, or simply stop by the Career Center. Be sure to check out the Job Fair Preparation Workshop on March 11 at 3:30 p.m. in the Career Center Seminar Room. We hope to see everyone at the Internship and Job Fair on March 19!

As college students begin applying for internships and college graduates begin applying for full-time jobs, an important thing for both groups to consider is the future. You need to consider how every experience, whether it is an internship or a job, affects your future plans and goals. Employers are also very interested in your future goals, which is why a very common question for employers to ask in an interview is "Where do you see yourself in five years?" The whole purpose of this question is to show employers that you are focused on the future, so keep reading to learn how you can prepare!

Whenever you are asked this question, it is very important to demonstrate how the position for which you are interviewing fits into both your short and long-term goals. Be ready to explain how you hope to progress within the company in the future. However, even though this question requires you to clearly explain your future plans, it is just as important to be practical and realistic about those goals. Before the interview, be sure to research the structure of the organization itself in order to identify where and how entry-level employees progress. If you have a contact within the company you are applying to, respectfully ask them about this and other topics in order to get a sense of the overall structure of the organization. Remember that it is always better to have more background information on an organization than less when applying for an internship or job.

When answering this question, a common response from recent college graduates involves graduate school. Although this is obviously such a great path to follow after graduation, you may not want to immediately tell your employer of these plans during an interview. Oftentimes, a company or organization has a program that supports young professionals in achieving their master's degree, but educational benefits are typically discussed after an offer of employment has been made. So before you share your graduate school plans, be sure to research if the employer supports further education.

If you have any questions concerning any of this information, contact the Career Center at 301-447-5202, Career-Center@msmary.edu or simply stop by the Career Center to make an appointment. The Career Center offers interviewing tips and mock-interview sessions to help students be as prepared as possible for the interviewing process, so be sure to take advantage of this great resource.

 
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