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Career Corner

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

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.

It is hard to believe that the Fall season is upon us.  As the leaves begin to change and everything becomes pumpkin flavored everything, the time can only mean one thing… Fall Break is coming!   There is always great anticipation leading up to Fall break.  The stress of midterms before Fall break makes it effortless to depart from resident halls as fast as possible.  When students arrive home or the place they are going to stay for break, it is also easy for them to check out mentally to relax their mind, body, and soul from all stress. 

It can be helpful to leave campus to relax.  Taking a mental vacation where no production work is done is not the best idea.  With Fall Break lasting a week, it is a great opportunity to research potential careers or internships.  Fall break gives the opportunity to students to devote all their time into career related research.  Doing this during a break is less stressful because of not having to worry about homework deadlines as much.  Career searching seems like such a big task within itself, even if a student has a full week of research.  It is important to remember to break the research down into smaller pieces. 

 Step one: Dedicate a specific time and place every day that you will do your career search.  Start with a little self reflection.  Reflect on things such as: what career or internship is best suited for you, what skills can you contribute to a specific field, and ask yourself what you want to gain from an internship or work experience.

Step two: Now it is time to work on your resume.  Remember to avoid using a set template on your resume.   It is better to have a clean and easily presentable resume without designs distracting the employer from the things found on your resume.  Remember to have consistency within your resume.  This means: using the same font throughout your resume, using the same amount of space between different lines, making sure that your name stands out and that are your margins are fully aligned with one another.  Proofreading is crucial for a resume.  Remember that even though you are home on break the Career Center is still willing to help.  If you have any questions regarding your resume you can email the Career Center at

Step three: With your finished resume in hand, start to contact employers.  Remember that you can search for potential jobs or internships on College Central Network.  It is a good time to get creative in researching opportunities.  Remember to think about the connections that you already have and if those connections know of any internship or career opportunities available.  Remember that you are not limited to simply searching on the web for a career or internship.  If there is a specific company that you are interested in working or interning at, get in touch with them.  Sometimes, opportunities on job search engines might not show up.  It is important to check organizations’ websites for openings or contact information about possible openings.

Now that you have researched and prepared yourself well in the career search, you can return to campus with a clear idea of what you want.  This would be the perfect time to schedule an appointment with The Career Center located in Upper McGowan past The Mail Room.   Look for The Career Center sign down the hallway and turn left.  The Career Center is open Monday through Friday from 9 AM-5 PM.  The Career Center offers drop-in hours with no appointment necessary on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 1 to 2 PM, and can also be reached by calling 301-447-5202.

Beginning a new internship and job is always exciting.  It is exciting because it is another chapter in your life with new opportunities and new beginnings.  But what happens when your new internship or job is not everything you expected it to be? Sometimes you get a gut intuition on the first day that the job simply is not for you.  This is often a hard thing to accept because you were so happy to be given a new opportunity.  If this happens to you, remind yourself that you are not a failure.  The job simply is not for you.  You have to remember to do what is best for you.  There will be other opportunities out there, better fitted with your personality.  Sometimes you have to let go and let God.  In other words, put faith in God that He will take care of you.  Often times a prayer of faith can help you discern what the right decision is.  You also have to faith in yourself.

Facing this road bump in life can sometimes be avoided.  Doing thorough research of a company and what your job description will be is one way you can avoid facing conflict and disappointment.  You can do this research online.  You can also get in contact with people that have previously worked or interned with a specific company.  If you do not know anyone that has previously worked or interned for the company, going to The Career Center is one way to try and get connected.  The Career Center regularly interacts with current students, alumni, and employers, so it may be possible to receive contact information for a company. 

Also, it may help to consider what the opportunity may cost.  Often times you get so caught up in the moment of being given such an amazing new opportunity that you do not see the downsides.  You start to not see the true opportunity costs (especially the negative ones).  You start to have a mentality that everything will turn out great because you just got hired.  It is important to take time to make a list of your opportunity costs.  Things such as the commute and being away from your support group (family and friends) are things to be considered.  Try to really picture yourself in your new job or internship and if it will help you reach your goals. 

One last thing to consider before accepting a new job or internship is not settling for less than you deserve.  This can be very challenging to do because often times we need to get a job or an internship.  You should not accept an internship or job simply because it is your only offer.  You should accept an internship or job because it will be beneficial to you.  This requires a lot of self reflection.  One question you always have to ask yourself before accepting a job or internship offer is, “is this truly for me?”  The answer simply cannot be yes or no.  Remember to reflect on what you truly want in life.  Reflect on what your morals and values are.  Reflect on what makes you truly happy.  This is essential in finding the right fit for you in an internship or job.   

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  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  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.

“Sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination.” –Drake

We all had our own experiences in the workforce.  I started to work when I was fifteen years old at a grocery store.  I started off as a bagger and eventually moved my way up to a cashier.  I met a lot of interesting characters while working at a grocery store, from the regulars to my coworkers.  After working at the grocery store I moved on to a few retail jobs.  I worked at a department store and as a front desk clerk at The Mount Post Office.

            In life, we often get caught up in our destination.  Our destination is usually our big goal in life, our dream careers.  For the longest time my main destination in life was to become a merchandise buyer.   I picked up these retail jobs because I needed extra money.  I believe that it is our experiences during our journeys that give us life lessons.  We learn so much more than we expect from our journeys.  Sometimes experiences from our journeys can do a complete 180° turn on us.  Experiences are not just limited to jobs.  Experiences can also be gained from sports, clubs, service, or extracurricular activities. 

During my sophomore year at The Mount, I started to get involved with an immigrant youth led organization.  I got involved with this organization because both my parents and many of my friends are also immigrants.  While being a member in this organization I realized I had a passion for helping others.  That summer I got an internship with a labor union.  The labor union I interned with dealt with grievances and arbitration for numerous diversified workers.  At my time at the labor union, I started to find who I was.  I started to put my passions together, which is working for rights of immigrants and helping people.  This was when I realized that I want to go to law school to study immigration law. 

Waiting until we arrive at our destination is hard.  It took me twenty one years to figure out what I want to do with my life.  We are all anxious to arrive at our destinations.  The reason for this is because it is exciting thinking about our future careers.  Also, we always get that daunting question from our professors and peers, “So what do you want to do in life?”  During our journeys, it is important take it all in, one day at a time.  It is a great time to reflect on your life.  Journeys enlighten us on our traits that we may not have been aware of.  A journey in a way is our search to finding our destination. Luckily, here at the Mount we are given many insightful resources to help us along our journeys.  One out of many resources that the Career Center offers is FOCUS.  FOCUS helps students learn more about themselves as well as majors and careers which may fit their interests, values, and personality.  To gain access to FOCUS you can visit  The access ID is: themount.

 Remember during your journey that it is okay if you do not know what you want to do right now.  Spending time talking about these issues with others is what career development is all about.  It is a lifelong journey.

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 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  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, 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  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!

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