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Career Corner

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

Job and internship interviews can be intimidating, but with proper practice and preparation they don’t have to be.  Here are a few tips to help you ace an interview.

Just like you would start studying a few nights before the actual exam, it’s a good idea to brush up on what you know about the company who is interviewing you.  This can be easily accomplished by going to the company’s website and reading through it, specifically the description of the position you are interviewing for. Jot down a few notes about the company and any potential questions you might have for the interviewer. 

Remember the basics: arrive 10-15 minutes early.  Any earlier than that can make you seem overeager or anxious about the interview. Be appropriately dressed and prepared, armed with a firm handshake and extra resumes neatly tucked inside a folder or portfolio. Please turn off your phone before you enter an interview. If it rings it will disrupt the interview.  Turning it off also means you are not as tempted to check it while the interview is going on. 

 Demonstrate a professional yet friendly demeanor.  Remember to smile. During the interview be sure to make eye contact, as it makes you appear confident and self-assured. Sit with a straight, active posture, which allows you to lean in slightly and be engaged in the interview. Remember to remain positive during an interview, even when asked tough questions or if referencing a former or current employer. Provide answers which show how you take responsibility for your decisions and actions. You should appear confident, not cocky, so refrain from coming across too strong about your achievements or experiences. Showcase them when appropriate during an interview.

Remember an interview is a two-way conversation so when the interviewer asks you a question offer greater detail in your answer than just a simple yes or no; be specific. In response to a question, try to back up your answers with clear and concrete examples of your work and experience. It’s okay if you are asked a curveball question.  Take it in stride.  If the interviewer asks you would you rather be a tiny rhino or a giant hamster, have an answer for them and support it.  It demonstrates not only your critical thinking and analysis skills but also your personality. 

Have a couple of questions prepared for the interviewer whether it be about the company or the position. This demonstrates your interest and proves that you have done your “homework.” Stay away from asking questions related to perks of the job such as salary or benefits. Those questions can be saved for after the interview. 

Send a thank you note to your interviewer promptly, a few hours after the interview is acceptable.  Not only is it polite, but it also shows that you are interested in the position. 

An interview is really about how you present yourself as a whole.  So take a deep breath, put your best foot forward and do the best you can. You can ace this interview!  If you feel worried about an upcoming interview or just want to refine your interviewing skills, stop by the Career Center and set up an appointment. The Career Center counselors will be happy to help you!

 
So you have an interview; the excitement has died down and the nerves have set in.  First take a deep breath and sit down. It is time to do some homework.
 
Research the position and the company
 
Start off by revisiting the initial job posting to make sure you know exactly what the job entails.  If you have any questions, make note of them. It is good to have a couple of questions for the interviewer about the job itself or the company. Having a couple questions is a way to demonstrate to the interviewer that you did your homework. 
 
Research the company’s website.  Most companies also have some sort of mission statement as well as other information on the company itself.  Familiarize yourself with the mission statement as it will help you understand the goals and ethics of the company.
 
 Also Google the company as a way to find out if they have been in the news lately or if they recently revealed a new product. Most companies also now have social media accounts like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.  See if they have a social media account and use the information you gathered to make you more informed on the current interests of the company.  Also, try to find out a little bit about the company’s backstory.  This research will let you know about the where the company started and where they are today. 

Use your network

If you know who will be interviewing you, Google them as well.  Social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn will have information on their backgrounds and interests.  This information could help you make more of an impression on your interviewer or help you connect with them. 

If you have any friends or connections to the company, utilize them.  Reach out to your connections to learn more about the culture of the company: what is it like working there, how do people dress, what is it like day to day? 

Research Yourself

Sounds silly, but take a few minutes to Google yourself.  See what comes up.  Is it all work appropriate? Are your social media sites clean? Chances are that whomever is interviewing you is searching your profiles online to see what comes up. Their aim is to see if you are professional and would be a good fit for the company. Be aware of what comes up when you google your name as they may ask you about it.  Also while you are at it, re-read through your resume. Is there anything there that you are particularly proud of and want to highlight?

Directions & Alarms

Use the night before your interview to determine transportation plans.  Knowing the phone number for the office where you are interviewing is helpful, just in case of an emergency.  That way you can let them know if you are going to be delayed or need to reschedule due to unforeseen circumstances. Choose the outfit you are going to wear for the interview the previous night.   Set more than one alarm to ensure you wake up early enough to get ready in plenty of time. You don’t want to feel rushed on an important day.  Try to go to bed early so that you are well rested and ready to go.

It is that time of year again, fall. Classes have begun and the Accounting Evening is right around the corner.  On Thursday (9/10), the Accounting Evening will be taking place on the Upper Concourse of the ARCC from 3:30-5pm. There will be nearly twenty employers there including; Ernst and Young, KPMG, McGladrey and Northrop Grumman to name a few. 

Sophomores, juniors, seniors and MBA students are invited to attend.  Any major is welcome, though all accounting majors are highly encouraged to attend.  There will also be numerous opportunities for students with other majors in the weeks and months to follow, as various employers are coming to the Mount.  This is just one of the first Career Center events of the year. 

The Accounting Evening serves as a great networking opportunity and a way to begin your search for an internship or job.  In order to make your Accounting Evening experience a positive one “take advantage of the great face-to face networking opportunity and talk to as many people as possible,” said Justin Byram C’16, McGladrey intern and employee post-graduation.

Before attending the Accounting Evening, here are a few things that you should know. Business professional attire is required. This means wearing, neutral dark-colored two-piece suits for both men and women and airing on the conservative side. Women may wear skirt suits, but the skirts should be nearly touching the knee.  Keep in mind, if wearing heels have them be no more than two inches tall.  Men, remember to wear a belt as well as dark dress socks, not athletic socks.  

Make sure to bring at least ten copies of your resume printed on resume paper. This paper is less flimsy than regular copy paper and therefore makes more of an impression. Resume paper can be purchased at Walmart. Also, bring a plain folder or portfolio to hold your resume in; it will help keep you organized and make you look professional. 

Sean McCann C’16 interned for KPMG over this past summer and has secured a job for post-graduation.  His best advice for the Accounting Evening is preparation. “Know the firms there, inside and out, and why you want to work for them. Always remember to follow up with the individual you talked to.” In an effort to make yourself more comfortable when talking to potential employers, be prepared and do your homework.  

In order to ensure you make a good first impression have a firm handshake when you introduce yourself.  Do not crush or limply shake someone’s hand.  Also, do not be afraid to smile.  It will make you appear friendly and more confident as well as at ease.  A good introduction would include: your name, major and year at the Mount, along with why you are interested in this particular employer.

Alana Tighe C’16, McGladrey intern, reflects on her experience at last year’s Accounting Evening.  “The Accounting Evening gave me a chance to meet and interact with potential employers and discuss career options. In my case, this resulted in not only a rewarding internship experience, but ultimately an offer of full-time employment upon graduation.”

Remember not only to represent yourself well but also to represent the Mount Community. These impressive employers return each year to Accounting Evening because they know the caliber and value of a Mount student.  If you have any questions or concerns please, feel free to stop by the Career Center for extra help.

Hello Everyone,

My name is Mary Kate Baehl.  I am a senior, communications major from Glen MK BaehlEllyn, Illinois a suburb of Chicago.  I am the Journalism Intern in the Career Center for this semester.

In addition to being the Journalism Intern in the Career Center, I am also General Manager of the Mount Radio Station (89.9 WMTB) and the Community Section Editor of the Mountain Echo.  I’ve been involved with the Lighted Corners literary magazine, Young Women’s Leadership Program (mentoring middle school girls from Thurmont), the Women’s Club Volleyball team and the Club Tennis team. I love to run and I recently ran a half marathon over the summer. 

As part of my internship, I will be writing the Career Corner Blog as well as contributing to the Mountain Echo.  I am incredibly excited to be interning in the Career Center and am looking forward to the semester sharing the news and updates of the Career Center with you.

As I look around and see the bright sun shining upon the lushest green grass, I find it hard to believe how much time has passed. It seems like just the other day I was walking into the Career Center on a cold January morning for the first day of the semester and my first day on the job. Now, only one week of class remains and summer break is upon us.

Coming into this experience, I had a few different goals for my Career Center internship. First, I wanted to learn more about higher education, specifically career services, by interacting with career professionals. Second, I want to enhance my writing skills through journalism-related tasks. Finally, I wanted to learn more about myself and where I am headed. Luckily, I can say that all three of these goals were accomplished.

I was fortunate enough to spend a large majority of the semester working with Career Fair 2015Matt Pouss, the Assistant Director/Internship Coordinator of the Career Center. I am very thankful that Matt allowed me to work with him on a number of different Career Center events. The LinkedIn Seminar, the Career Fair, and the Etiquette Dinner were a few of my favorite events of the year. Seeing how all of these events were planned, developed, and executed was a great experience for me.

 

Working in the Career Center has also taught me how important career services are at a higher learning institution. The end goal of every college or university is to prepare its students for success after graduation. The Career Center is the bridge between college and the real world for so many students. Being a part of the goals and missions of this office has truly been an honor and a privilege.

I feel that my writing skills have been greatly enhanced as a result of working at this internship.  Every week, I was able to cover a new topic related to careers. I enjoyed spreading the message of career development through my talents as a writer. I hope that others found my advice helpful and motivational as we all continue to seek out our vocation in life.

Finally, I have learned so much about myself through this internship. Four months ago, I had a very narrow view of the options that would be available for me after I graduate. Now, I am aware of the many options available, and I know how to find them. By researching topics like resume writing, choosing your major, and how to make the most of your internship experience, I have learned that there are so many opportunities for those who seek them out.

As student, I regret not using the Career Center’s services earlier in my academic career. There are truly wonderful people in this office that want to help you find happiness in your career search. You should never feel stressed out about the future if you are using the services that the Career Center offers.

For anyone who may be interested in interning at the Career Center, I highly recommend it. It is a great way to experience personal and professional growth. Also, the information you learn on the job will be invaluable no matter what career you pursue.

Luckily, I can say that this is not my final week in the Career Center. I will be returning as a summer intern where my major role will be helping to plan Accounting Evening in September. I hope that I can continue to assist the Career Center and students of this university through my efforts.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to check out the blog and read my articles in the Mountain Echo this semester. Be sure to stop by again in the fall for more career advice. Until next time, have a great summer everyone!

Time. It can be a great thing but also a very scary thing. It moves swiftly and waits for no one. We are all at Mount St. Mary’s University to undergo four years of growth and self-exploration. Before we know it, we will all be in a professional setting leaving a positive impact on the world in our own special and unique way.

If we ever feel lost in our journey, it is important to remember that we are all part of the Mount community, and there are so many people who are willing to help. Mount alumni are among the most knowledgeable individuals when it comes to transitioning from the classroom to the workforce.

This week, I spoke with a couple members of the Mount’s class of 2014 to get some perspective of how they are doing one year removed from college. Their advice can be very useful for those of us who are looking towards the future at the end of this academic year.

Maria Marinelli (C’14) currently works for Lockheed Martin's Information Systems and Global Solutions division as a member of the core management team on a large-scale software development effort. She thinks that the best advice she can offer to current Mount students is to seek out opportunities to develop strong communication and leadership skills. She was very involved on campus holding several leadership positions, actively participating in campus ministry, and working extensively with the SPARC festival.

“The SPARC fest taught me how to advocate for something I believe in,” Marinelli said. She believes that opportunities like this help to build your personal brand. She continued saying, “people put a lot of focus on picking the right major, but building your brand is so much more important.” When picking a major, sometimes students focus too much on what they want to do for a living. Building your personal brand allows you to find out who you want to be.

Marinelli said it was important to apply yourself both inside and outside the classroom. She went to the Career Center early on in her college career and took self-assessments so she could find her passions and strengths. Marinelli is very grateful for the Career Center’s assistance. “They definitely helped me with the first step sophomore year,” she said.

Drew Carrick (C’13, MBA’14) is another recent alumnus who has found early success out of college. He is currently an Audit Associate at Grant Thornton, LLP, the fifth largest public accounting firm. Like Marinelli, he thought that experiences are just as important as your major.

“Use your time wisely,” Carrick said. “Don’t just go to class and go back to your room. Get involved with activities so that you have an extensive resume that shows your ability to handle multiple things at once and willingness to possess more depth and versatility.”

Carrick took full advantage of all of things the Career Center had to offer. He scheduled several sessions with career counselors to improve his resume and searched for new job opportunities using career center resources.

“The career fairs and emails about new job opportunities always gave confidence that there were jobs out there to be gotten, and with the right drive I could get any one that I wanted,” Carrick said.

Time is one theme that our featured alumni stressed over and over. Live every day to the fullest and take full advantage of all of the opportunities that lie in front of you. If you do that, there is no doubt that you will find great success. Always fight for what you are passionate about because even if you fall short, there is no better way to live.

What is proper etiquette? This is the question that students were asking themselves on the night of the Career Center’s annual etiquette dinner. The event led by career specialist Michael True was held in O’Hara Dining Room last Thursday.

True is the president of Intrueition and the Director of the Internship Center at Messiah College. Under True’s direction, Messiah’s Internship Center is one of the top in the nation. Two of his publications, “Starting and Maintaining a Quality Internship Program” and InternQube: Professional Skills for the Workplace are used as references across the country.

The Mount community was very lucky to have a leading expert like True at the event.  He was a very engaging speaker who had many valuable tips to share about eating at a formal dinner.

One thing that True stressed from the start was that business dinners are not all about eating; they are about interacting with others. Knowing how to use proper etiquette eliminates any uneasiness about the experience so that you can enjoy it to the fullest extent.

Having proper etiquette at a dinner table begins with turning off or silencing your cell phone. True said, “Unless you are the President of the United States, you should not be answering a call when you are sitting at the table.” He said that there were exceptions to this, such as awaiting to hear news about a sick family member. However, you should inform everyone at the table of this beforehand.

After some initial introduction and brief storytelling, True got into the nitty-gritty Place settingof proper etiquette. This began with the napkin. He said that once everyone is seated at the table, you can pick up your napkin and place it on your lap. If you have to leave during the meal, leave your napkin on your chair. Do not leave your napkin on your plate until you are done eating. Doing so is a signal to the server that you would like to have it taken away.

Next, True taught the audience how to properly use the different utensils that can be found at a formal meal. True said that the key to understanding this was to “work from the outside in.” This means that if you are brought a salad first, you should use the fork that is sitting furthest away from the plate. Then, work your way in as you are given more courses.

The utensil sitting horizontally at the top of your plate is always for dessert. It can be a spoon or fork, which allows one to predict what the dessert will be. Usually it is just a fork or a spoon, but if it is both, True exclaimed, “It’s Christmas!”

The plates and glasses sitting in front of you can also be tricky. True gave students an easy acronym to remember what each plate or glass is used for – BMW. Moving from left to right, your bread plate is first, then your meal plate, then your water glass. He cleverly called the bread plate the “launching pad” because you move bread from the basket to this plate and never from the basket to your mouth.

If there is a saucer and cup for coffee or tea, and you do not wish to have any, simply flip the cup upside down on the saucer it is sitting on. This will be a signal to the server that you do not wish to have any. Also, as the plates and utensils are being collected, place your utensil on your plate at the four o’clock or five o’clock position so it is easy for the server to collect.

This is only a brief synopsis of the many different topics discussed at the etiquette dinner. The event was full of so much wonderful information, and I would highly recommend attending next year if you were unable to attend this year. Until then, be sure to stop by the Career Center for any questions regarding proper etiquette.

 
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