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Career Corner

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

Keyword: career center

It is hard to believe this semester is coming to an end.  As a graduating Mount Senior, I realized that there were many action steps I’ve taken throughout my time here to make it enjoyable both with friends and academically.  The Career Center also offers action step cards for each year, which may help guide personal career efforts to be prepared for when it is time to move on from The Mount.  These cards can be found in the Career Center or on the Career Center portion of the Mount website.  Here are some of my action steps I took during my time at The Mount, maybe they can help you think about your own action steps you would like to take.  

Freshman year: Make sure to keep up with all your Veritas Program assignments, both class-wise and portfolio wise.  Even though there is a resume workshop during orientation, make an appointment with the Career Center to build your resume.  The first semester of freshman year can be very challenging.  You are in a new environment, away from family and friends, and you are trying to adjust while trying to perform well in school.  An important thing to remember is that The Mount offers you a support system on campus with faculty, staff, and new friends you make.  One of the best things about attending The Mount is living out the community pillar. 

Sophomore year: Continue to work and build on all the things from your freshman year.  It is a good time to prepare or update your resume.  Meet with your academic advisor to discuss what major you want to declare.  Remember, you have until spring semester to do declare your major.  Many students come in with an undecided major, which can be helpful in discovering what major fits best.  Taking a self-assessment of FOCUS also really helps many students.

Junior year:  For many students, junior year is one of the hardest years at The Mount.  There are many academic and career challenges.  Junior year makes you realize that you only have one year left until graduation.  Take time to reflect about what you want as a career and what your last memories at The Mount to be.   By this time, you should be more confident with your resume and you should have an understanding of how to write a good cover letter.  Begin to research jobs or schools you want to attend after graduation.  Also, learn the application process of either the jobs or schools you wish to attend.  Get ready to prepare yourself for any standardized tests needed too.

Senior year: Senior year is the time to really focus on your resume and whether you want to extend your education after graduation or apply for jobs.  Check College Central Network for updates on jobs, internships, and networking opportunities.  Regularly check the Career Center website and your email about internships, jobs, and events.   The Career Center has resources and information on the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, and MCAT tests.   Finalize your resume and post it on College Central Network.  Reflect on what type of job you could see yourself in and the location you would like to live.  Be sure to make an appointment with the Career Center to discuss your plans and to work on interviewing skills through a mock interview.  Take advantage of your last opportunities to easily network with Mount alumni and potential employers.  With graduation on your mind, do not forget to stay connected with professionals in your area of interest. 

On behalf of the Career Center, I would like to take this time to thank anyone who has participated in Career Center events during the fall semester.  The Career Center will have many insightful events in the spring semester where you can come join and participate.  Planning for career development can be very cumbersome, but it can be less cumbersome if you do it as small pieces at a time.  The Career Center helps you do this while helping you discover your future.  Do not forget that there will be great opportunities to further your career development during the spring semester, especially through the Career Fair, the flagship event of the Career Center, taking place at the Mount on Wednesday, March 18, 2015.  Have a great break and see you in the spring!

Being given an opportunity at a new internship or job is always exciting.  As you begin a new chapter in your life, there are many hurdles that you must overcome at your new opportunity.   One of them is maintaining a professional relationship in the workplace.  This article will give you insightful tips of the dos and don’ts of relationships at the workplace.

DO: It is always important to remember that you are at work.  You should carry yourself in a professional manner at all times, because you never know who you are going to meet.  One of the key things is being polite to all of your coworkers.  This can be a challenge because it is within our human nature that we are not going to get along with everyone we meet.  Remember to be respectful of everyone’s opinions, even when you do not agree with them.  Also, it is sometimes best to remain quiet if you having nothing nice to say.

DO NOT: Share too much information about your personal life.  It is good to friendly and cordial, but don’t divulge every aspect of your life outside of work.  Sharing too much about your personal life to new people can make them feel very uncomfortable.   Another way to carry yourself in a professional manner is to not use vulgar language.

One big DO NOT in a professional setting is do not decrease your professional effectiveness through excessive drinking or similar behaviors.  Many times, if you are over the age of 21, alcohol will be served and offered at business events or dinners.  Sometimes, it is accepted to have a drink at these times, but remember to have self control.  Limit yourself to only one drink.  If you know you have no self control when it comes to alcohol, decline all drinks.

Through your time in an internship or job, you may grow closer to some colleagues.  A coworker may ask you to spend time together after work.  You may start to ask yourself if this is ok.  It usually is acceptable to make friends at work and to spend time with them outside of work, but it is up to your discretion.  Some people prefer not to socialize because they like to keep their personal and work life separate.  There is a balance that you need to find when having work relationships and personal friendships.  This balance is not the same for everyone.   It has a lot to do with self reflection and knowing what you want in your workplace. 

Above everything else, always treat others with dignity, respect, and professionalism.  These three things can mean a lot in building trust and understanding.  In working for a company, you and your coworkers are all on the same team.  Therefore, always put your best foot forward in building safe, productive, and inclusive environments.

There are many different aspects that come into practice as you begin your Career Development.  Before you begin any job or internship search, it is a good idea to clean up social media.  Remember that anything you post online is there for everyone to see.   Assume that potential employers can view your social media profiles and the way you represent yourself online.  You want to represent yourself professionally when potential employers may be viewing your social media profiles.  A good question to ask yourself is, “Am I representing myself professionally?”   It is time to delete unprofessional photos online.  If you are tagged in unprofessional photos, un-tag yourself, or request that it is removed.  It is also time to check your privacy settings and consider making your profiles private.                                         

When creating a resume, there are basic guidelines to follow.  First, remember to be consistent throughout your resume.  Use the same font, margin, and indentations throughout your resume.  A resume must be straight forward with nothing to distract the reader from your education and experiences.  This is why it is a good idea to avoid using resume templates.  Furthermore, it is a good idea to have your resume reviewed by at least three different people, including a working professional of your field if possible.

With a completed resume, it is now time to think about the interviewing process.  There are things that you should do before the interview to prepare yourself for it, such as reviewing your own resume and remembering to dress professionally by wearing a suit.  Be ready to elaborate on things on your resume, especially skills and experience.  It is a good idea to practice interviewing with another person.  Before the interview, formulate questions for the interviewer.  Questions are good because they show knowledge and interest in the company and position.  Questions also help you indicate if the position is a right fit for you. 

You now have your resume in hand and you are well prepared for your interview.  When you meet the interviewer remember to smile and introduce yourself.  When you reach in for the handshake, hold out your arm, making sure your thumb is pointing upward.  When your interviewer offers his or her hand you must make sure that the curves of your hands touch.  Give the interviewer a firm gripping, but gently squeeze, moving the hands in a slow upward and downward movement.  Remember to let go of the handshake after about three seconds.  Do not be afraid to have a strong and assertive handshake!

After your interview, it is a good idea to send a thank you letter to the interviewer.  This letter should be on the same type of paper that you printed your resume on.  It is a good idea to type the thank you letter if you have poor handwriting.  Otherwise, you can handwrite the letter.  In the thank you letter, thank the interviewer for his or her time; include what you got out of the interview, and how the interview made you more aware of how the opening is a fit for you.  You should wait about three days after your interview to send out your letter.

Please join the Career Center this week in celebrating National Career Development Week.  During this time, the Career Center will be hosting numerous events pertaining to the topics listed in this article and other topics as well.  With these helpful tips about your career development, get ready to go out and make greater strides in your career.  Contact the Career Center for more information about National Career Development Week and other Career Center events and services.

Overcoming the fear of social media, resumes, interviewing, professional dress, handshakes, and first impressions is challenging.  These many aspects of career development are overwhelming because there is variety of detail that goes into each one. With possible opportunities occurring during the spring semester, now is the time to overcome the fears that stem from career development.

 November 10th-14th is the National Career Development Week.  During this week, the Career Center will dive into various career development topics in more detail.  Celebrate National Career Development Week by coming to the Career Center’s events.  These events are made to help aid the challenging aspects of career development.

There will be a Career Center Awareness Table in Patriot Hall from 11AM-2PM.  This event is on November 10th.  The table is an excellent place to learn more about services provided by the Career Center and to schedule appointments with the Career Center staff.  The following day on Tuesday, November 11th, the Career Center will be having a Personal Branding Workshop at 3:30 PM in the Career Center Seminar Room.  There will be signs on the day of the event directing you to the room. This is a great event because you will learn how to market yourself professionally to potential employers.  At the Personal Branding Workshop, you will learn more in detail about: social media, resumes, interviewing, professional dress, handshakes, and first impressions.  On Wednesday, November 12th, there is a Frederick Campus Open House at the Frederick Campus from 3-6 PM.  Learn about the graduate programs offered at The Mount and meet some of the faculty who teach at the graduate level.  This is a great event to go to if you are thinking about graduate school.  You are welcome to ask the professors questions about class room structure, the classes offered, or any questions in general you may have about graduate school. An Internship Info Session will be held on Thursday, November 13th, at 3:30 PM in the Career Center Seminar Room.  This is a great event to attend if you are starting the internship search.  It will also help you understand how to register an internship for credit. 

One thing that everyone needs when applying for a job or internship is a resume.  If you do not have a resume at all, now is a great time to start to build your resume.  If you already have a resume, it is always suggested that more than one person reviews it.  The Career Center will be hosting Resumania on Friday, November 14th.  Resumania gives you the opportunity to get a professional’s view of your resume. Schedule a 20- minute appointment via resumaniafall2014.eventbrite.com.  Resumania is the last event for National Career Development Week.  Feel free to contact the Career Center if you have any further questions about the events.

This is a simple overview of all the events going on next week as part of National Career Development Week.  Come on out and learn about the extra things you can be doing with social media, resumes, interviewing, professional dress, handshakes, first impressions, and more.  If you have any further questions about career development, please feel free to make an appointment with the Career Center today.

Congratulations! You have just received a call inviting you to an interview from a potential career or internship.  After the excitement wears off you begin to prepare for your interview.  One of the steps of preparing for your interview is picking out what to wear.  This can be a difficult task because it is difficult to distinguish between business attire and business casual.  For most interviews, it is best to dress in business attire, but remember that some businesses have a more relaxed atmosphere which allows for dress in business casual for day-to-day circumstances.

Business attire for women entails a pant or skirt suit.  Remember that skirts should be right at or above the knee.  Shirts for underneath the suit should be a nice knit top or a button down (oxford) shirt.  Remember to color coordinate.  Shoes should be in plain leather with no designs.  Women can wear either flats or heels.  Heels should be no higher than two inches with no extra platform on the base of the foot.

Business casual for women consists of wearing everything you did in business attire minus the suit jacket.  If you have a knit top underneath your suit jacket which is sleeveless, it is best to add a cardigan sweater.  Business casual allows women to wear more versatile tops, such as long sleeve chiffon tops or nice sweaters.  Business casual also permits women to wear business dresses.  Business dresses should be the same length as skirts.  They should have no designs on them in a solid color.  If it has straps they should be thick straps, usually three fingers thick.  If you are confused on where to buy a business dress, it is a good idea to go into a department store that has a business attire department.  There you can find business dresses.  Then you can get an idea of what style and fit is best for you.

Business attire for men entails a suit jacket.  Men should wear an oxford shirt with a tie underneath the suit jacket.  Remember to button the top button. Ties should be solid colors that coordinate with your suit.  Some patterns such as stripes, argyle, and plaid are allowed.  Dress shoes should be leather.  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.  Wearing ankle or athletic socks in business attire or business casual is forbidden.  For business attire plain black socks that go above the ankle are needed.

Business casual for men involves wearing everything you did in business attire minus the suit jacket.  You can also go tieless sometimes; it all depends on the event. Business casual allows you to unbutton the top button of your oxford shirt.  Depending on the event sometimes business casual allows you to wear golf shirts instead of oxfords.  Business casual for men allows you to express your style more.  You can wear dress socks with patterns such as stripes, argyle, or polka dots.  You can also wear dress socks that are a solid color other than black.  Oxfords can have patterns on them or be in a more fun color.  Dress shoes can change in business casual depending on the event.  Occasionally at business casual events, men are permitted to wear boat shoes rather than dress shoes.

Wonderful! Now you have a concept of what is considered business attire and what is considered business casual.  You are now ready to dress for success.  Distinguishing between business attire and business casual can be very confusing.  Remember that the Career Center staff is willing to help you with any questions regarding what to wear to an interview or a business event.

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!

 
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