Tag Archives: internships

Land Your Dream Job at the Fall Career & Internship Fair

With school finally being in full swing, it’s time to get out those planners and start planning out ttb10316your events for the fall. With doing so, make sure to add in the Fall Career and Internship Fair, occurring October 7 from 12:00p.m. to 3 p.m. in the SECU Arena. With over 200 employers, the fair is the perfect opportunity to explore various career options, network with professionals in your field and potentially land that dream job you’ve always wanted!

If you’re a senior you may be thinking that it is way too early to start job hunting; the reality is that it’s NOT. Many employers (particularly big businesses) look to hire for entry-level positions and internships as early as a year before they want you to start. You don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to work for your dream company by choosing to wait until the spring. By choosing to attend the fall fair you will also be avoiding the rush of students who will be scrambling to get a job in the spring to prepare for after graduation. The time is NOW, so make sure to attend.

Not sure how to properly prepare? The first step to being prepared for the fair is to determine your strengths as an individual. By discovering your strengths you will feel more confident in yourself while engaging in conversation at the fair and will be better able to discuss how you can add value to a potential employer’s company. StrengthsQuest is a quick and easy way to determine your strengths and is available for free to all Towson University students. 103163

Once you have determined your strengths through StrengthsQuest, it is important to incorporate them into your 30-second commercial. Your 30-second commercial should be a flexible statement that answers the request of “tell me about yourself.” It is basically a brief summary of your background, accomplishments, and strengths you have obtained via work experience, community involvement, etc. Use the 30-Second Commercial Worksheet (PDF) to best prepare your mini-presentation and always remember to PRACTICE for the big day.

Once it’s the big day of the fair, always make sure to dress to impress! Professional attire is extremely important so that potential employers take you seriously and know that you are taking the event seriously as well. When in doubt, always lean towards the more conservative side with clothing choices. The Professional Attire Worksheet (PDF) is a great resource to reference when deciding what to and what not to wear.

Lastly, make sure to have 10-15 copies of your up-to-date resume with you at the fair and try to research companies you are looking to talk to ahead of time so that you can impress thettb103164m with your knowledge of their company (employers love this). Most importantly, have fun when you are at the fair! The employers attending are friendly individuals who simply want to learn more about you and what you can bring to their company.

Ditch the nerves at the door and be confident and proud of your hard work during your time at TU!

Kelly Zindel

Career Center Marketing Intern

Bieber and Grumpy Cat: The Art of Networking No Matter Who You Are

If you haven’t heard of Justin Bieber or the infamous Grumpy Cat, then you’re probably the only one.

Whether you like him or not, Bieber undoubtedly rose to fame when he shared his singing talent on YouTube, which has since led to his strong online presence and worldwide recognition.

Grumpy Cat – a cat known for its grumpy expression due to a feline dwarfism – became an Internet sensation after its picture was posted to a social network. This cat has been featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal and the cover of New York Magazine, and now has a business valued at a million dollars.

Do you know what Justin Bieber and the Grumpy Cat have in common? Networking. Funny-Cats-Top-49-Most-Funniest-Grumpy-Cat-Quotes-2

Unlike Bieber and Grumpy Cat, it doesn’t take social networking to the world to make a name for yourself; however, networking does come in a variety of forms and can help you gain visibility, make connections, reach your goals, and ultimately land a job.

According to a survey by Manpower Group that analyzed 60,000 clients, networking is the single most effective way to land a job! Knowing the right person may not get you the job, but your resume could end up in the right hands, your credentials may get a second glance, or you may just be pointed in the right direction.

And networking is not as tough as you might think – it’s just being genuinely interested in others and building and maintaining relationships over time. It’s connecting with the people already in your life, who can then connect you with the people in their lives, and the system goes on and on.

Take a good look at the people around you and know that in some small way, they could potentially help you make great strides.

Faculty: They can connect you with former students, as well as to those in their own professional networks. By simply talking to your advisor, volunteering, or just getting to know faculty, you are networking and forming connections. Showing interest and staying connected with faculty can help you connect with potential employers.

Alumni: By connecting with TU alumni, you’re not only reaching out to someone who has “been in your shoes,” but you’re also finding out firsthand what it takes to network before and after graduation. You can connect with alumni via the Career Center Mentor Database through Hire@TU. Alumni volunteer mentors want to help you with your career, so take advantage of this great networking resource.

Associations: If you want to connect with future colleagues and established experts in your field, then your best bet is to volunteer on a committee. Every field has at least one professional association – most with state or local chapters. Students typically get a reduced membership rate while still gaining access to job/internship postings, mentoring programs, career information, and most importantly, networking opportunities.

Family and Friends: Don’t write off family and friends as networking connections just yet. You may know some of the most in-depth details about them, but that doesn’t mean you know who they know. Just asking if they know anyone in your field can help you connect with potential employers. Even the most random people you come in contact on a daily basis can have connections to other people who can help you.

LinkedIn: Move over Facebook; LinkedIn is the next big thing for networking, especially professional networking. By creating a profile and joining relevant groups, you can connect with alumni, professors and professionals in your field. They can then endorse you, giving you more connections!

Business Etiquette and Networking Dinner: The TU Career Center event you can’t miss November 5 from 5:30-8:30 p.m.! Enjoy a FREE, multi-course dinner while learning the “how-to’s” of professional networking and dining etiquette. Register by October 31 via Hire@TU.

Fall Career and Internship Fair: Get ready to meet over 90 employers who want to network with you October 21 from noon – 3 p.m. Dress professionally and bring plenty of resumes! Click here to view a complete list of Employers attending the fair.

Career Center Appointments: If you’re really unsure about networking, you can always schedule a Networking Appointment to help you expand your network, answer questions you have regarding professional etiquette in network settings, and give you experience with network conversations; or schedule a Social Media Consultation to receive guidance on developing a professional presence online.

Networking is not about asking everyone you know for a job. It’s asking for general job search advice, information, tips, and referrals. Start making connections today with the Career Center.

For more information about the Career Center visit www.towson.edu/careercenter or call 410-704-2233.

Sara Heilman
Career Center Marketing Intern

Do You Have the Experience Needed to Launch Your Career?—Get Started Today

MCC Career Fair
It’s that time of the year again! No, I’m not referring to the Super Bowl, rather the time of year when you can find the perfect internship to launch your career.

For me, my internship was a wonderful and helpful experience which allowed me to gain valuable skills along with the reassurance of knowing I enjoy my chosen career path. At the start of my senior year I began an internship with BrickHouse Books Inc., a small publishing press where I gained experience in different areas of publishing, including writing for social media and editing manuscripts. While I found my internship through my department’s website, I used many resources from the Career Center, such as a resume and cover letter review. After reflecting on my internship experience, I now realize how valuable it was for my career path. Not only do I now know what I want to do, but I also gained experience that makes me more marketable to employers.

There are many ways to begin searching for the perfect internship or job, and lucky for you, a major resourceMCC Logo is coming up…the MCC Career Fair Friday, Feb. 7, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Towson Center. This is an amazing opportunity to meet and network with over 130 employers from many different industries and organizations, including the Baltimore Orioles, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Northrop Grumman, Teach for America, and World Relief. To get the scoop on all the organizations attending the fair, check out the directory. There are opportunities for all majors, so don’t miss your chance to hand out your resumes and begin talking with employers about internship and job opportunities.

If you are reading this and start to freak out, don’t worry! Below are a couple of tips to help make sure you are prepared for the fair!

1. Make sure your resume is top-notch! If you haven’t polished up your resume lately, now’s the time to stop by the Career Center. You can make an appointment to meet with an advisor, or come in for a brief consultation during Express Hours (Monday- Thursday, 1-3 p.m.). Take an ample supply of resumes to the fair, and make sure they are perfect! You wouldn’t apply to college without looking over your admissions essay, so don’t apply for a job or internship without first looking over your resume!

2. Dress to impress! First impressions are critical, so ladies and gentleman make sure you dress in a conservative, tailored, well-pressed business suit. This isn’t the time for boat shoes, polos, and tight skirts. How you look will play a big part in determining employer interest, so make sure you are creating the best possible professional image.

3. Practice what you’ll say! Remember, employers won’t be able to talk to you for too long, so what you say in those few minutes really counts! Prepare an interesting summary of your background, achievements, and career interests to make a strong and professional first impression! For some great tips, check out the Preparing for a Career Fair video.

4. Social etiquette! Nothing kills a first impression quite like texting. Make sure your phone is off or on silent. This is your golden opportunity to build your network and land a job; not the time for Twitter and Instagram! Eye contact, a strong handshake, and a professional appearance really make a difference! Additionally, fresh breath is important, but make sure if you are chewing gum to spit it out before meeting employers. Remember, small things make a big difference.

I know searching for a job or internship can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be! If you are prepared and use your resources, it can be a pretty painless process. For more help, visit the Career Center.

Shelby Hillers
Career Peer Advisor
Career Center

Freaked Out by Networking? Join the Club

bag_people_networkingI have a friend named Mark. He’s a real entertainer, always at the center of any gathering.  Mark loves meeting new people.  Male, female, young, old—he doesn’t care. He’ll talk to anyone. He sometimes goes out on Friday or Saturday nights by himself, just for the thrill of it. When Mark encounters a room full of unfamiliar faces, you can just see him get all twitchy with excitement.

You probably know someone like Mark. (These people tend to have a lot of friends!) But let’s be honest: Most of us feel downright uncomfortable when we think about introducing ourselves to a bunch of strangers. Approach someone out of the blue? With no introduction? Without any friends for support? Nooooooo thanks.

In a structured college environment, it’s relatively easy to approach people for help. After all, a big part of the jobs of professors, advisors, counselors, and financial aid officers is helping students. But what happens when you need to start looking for internships or, especially, full-time jobs? You’ll need to seek help beyond the campus community—and that’s when things get complicated.

Networking is the art of initiating and maintaining relationships for the purpose of exchanging contacts, tips about available positions, and professional advice or opportunities. Nowadays that can involve online outreach through LinkedIn and resources like the TU Career Mentor Database.  Networking also involves getting in touch with everyone you already know. Relatives, family friends, and community acquaintances are all great sources of information about jobs.

Sooner or later, though, you’ll need to start networking within your professional community—strangers who work in your field of choice. And the best, most meaningful connections come from face-to-face meetings. As a student, you have many opportunities to meet local professionals. Some departments and student groups host alumni panels, and the Career Center coordinates all sorts of employer visits to campus, including Employer Mock Interviews on October 11 and the Fall Career & Internship Fair on October 24. (Keep an eye on our calendar of events.)

But what if you hate talking to strangers? How do you even begin to feel comfortable in a networking situation?

1. Figure out what you want in advance. Better still, practice concisely describing what you want. A job? What kind of job, specifically? What kind of employer do you envision yourself working for? Be ready to talk about it!

2. Know how to describe yourself. What interesting things have you done, or characteristics do you have? How might they relate, even loosely, to the career you’re looking for? (Contact the Career Center if you need help.)

 3. Don’t underestimate the obvious. “Smile, shake hands firmly, look ’em in the eye.” That is your mantra.

4. Start small. At your very first networking event, maybe you don’t try to win over everyone in the room. Maybe instead you chat with two or three people, then call it a day.

5. Ask lots of questions. It’s always easiest if the other person does most of the talking, am I right? Additionally, most people love talking about themselves and their career. They’ll be flattered that you seem so interested.

6. Instantly forgive yourself for mistakes. Did you stumble over your words or accidentally interrupt someone? Laugh it off, or just ignore it. No one cares if you’re a master networker. They want to see a good attitude and a little bit of personality.

7. End conversations gracefully. When you sense that the chatter is winding down and it’s time to move on, it’s fine to reach out for another handshake, make eye contact, and say warmly, “I’m so glad we had the chance to meet. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon!”

8. Embrace the awkwardness. Yes, some pauses will linger just a bit too long. Yes, your face will hurt from smiling too much. Don’t worry about it. Almost everyone else is quite literally feeling the same way you are—some just have more practice at hiding it.

Let’s say you take a chance and attend a networking event. Will you be nervous? Probably. Will it be worth it? Almost definitely—if only to experience those sweaty palms, those awkward pauses, and that feeling of relief when you realize this networking thing isn’t all that bad.

Kacie Glenn, Career Center

(October is Career Month! Check out our many cool upcoming events, including the fair. Attend three events to automatically receive a free, faux-leather business portfolio debossed with the TU logo.)

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