By: Unknown Author at the Culture and Manners Institute

It was the dreaded day of the big layoff. One by one we were called into the office of a vice president of a company that had just purchased our company, to be let go by a man  we did not know. I had heard that a few people before me had lashed out at the him with angry words, some had burst into tears.

When it came to my turn, he looked like a man who had been through it. Instead of issuing a parting shot, I smiled and said to him, “I enjoyed my time here and I learned a great deal. I am grateful for the experience and I thank you for that.”  He was pleasantly surprised. We chatted for a minute, he smiled, shook my hand and I went on my way.

Though I left the company as a “coordinator,” I returned a few months later to interview for a managerial position. One of the people I had to interview with was this same vice president. When I walked into his office, he smiled and said, “I remember you.”  I got the job.

Build bridges, don’t burn them. Be nice to everyone, because the most unlikely characters may become the greatest asset to your career.

Courtesy of Culture and Manners Institute

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Loyola University New Orleans has been selected to host a Call to Serve Speakers Bureau member this semester to promote public service to Loyola’s students, alumni, faculty and staff.  On Thursday November 3, 12:30 p.m. in the Audubon Room of the Danna Student Center, the Career Development Center will host an interactive discussion with Lauren Donnelly, where she will share personal background and give insight into what it is like to serve in the federal government.

Lauren Donnelly is an Industry Economist with the Federal Railroad Administration, an agency under the U.S. Department of Transportation. In this position, she performs regulatory evaluations (Cost-Benefit Analysis) for railroad safety regulations. Additionally, she has worked on several special projects including one a high-profile project that involves evaluating grant proposals for $1.5 billion in discretionary grant funds to be dispersed for capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Prior to working at the DOT, she was a Contract Specialist with the U.S. General Services Administration, where she spent two years working on the City Pair Program negotiating prices for the Federal Government-wide mandatory airfare program, in addition to several other job functions. During her time with the GSA, she went to graduate school part time at The George Washington University and received her Master’s of Public Policy in May 2008.  She graduated from Bucknell University in May 2005 with Bachelor’s Degrees in Economics and Spanish, and a minor in International Relations.

In addition to the afternoon discussion, Lauren will also be participating in several classroom sessions and will be the guest for The Office of Student Affairs’ Sophomore Initiative lunch/dinner series.

The discussion is open to the Loyola University campus and is part of the Loyola Week festivities.  Contact Tamara Baker at for more information.

Events sponsored by the Career Development Center

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It’s halfway through my fall semester of my senior year and I can’t help but ask the question: have I done everything that I need to do to prepare myself for the real world? Well I definitely hope the answer is yes.

Among all of the things that Loyola has to offer an internship on or off campus may be the best opportunity you take advantage of as a college student. An internship not only provides a student with real world experience but it also allows him/her to build their network. Many students say that their number one reason for not being able to have an internship is because they have to work and would rather not work for free. To that I say: it is possible to have a job, go to school and have an internship. I’m not saying it is going to be easy but you can do it with a little time management and motivation. Making an income may be your top priority but in this job market having an internship on your resume may pay off in the future as you may have an easier time finding a paying job.

I am taking eighteen hours this semester, interning at ReadSoft North America and hold the position as Social Media Intern for the Career Center here at Loyola. Managing my time well didn’t come over night; it took a few weeks to get into the routine of where I should be when and what my tasks were for each of my internships. Oh and don’t forget to add in the task of remembering my assignments for my 6 classes. I’m not saying you need to go out and get two internships; I’m just demonstrating that balancing all of this is doable, and adding one internship into your schedule could work.

If you decide to take on an internship keep in mind school does always come first. Remember you can’t have the dream job without the diploma. Learning to balance the demands on your time is part of the value of taking an internship while in college.

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A number of fraudulent emails have been sent to Loyola University New Orleans students under the guise of offering some form of employment.   Although the majority of job listings are legitimate, you may encounter scams, falsified information, or situations that can be physically or financially risky.

The Career Development Center at Loyola University New Orleans encourages you to be cautious in all of your interactions with potential employers, whether or not you learned about them through the Career Development Center.  If you receive a suspicious email, please contact the Career Development Center and we will be happy to help.

Some tips to keep in mind:

  • Do not provide anyone with your social security number, personal checking or banking information. This information is not needed for any step of the job search process.
  • Beware of ads that make outrageous claims, don’t specify job duties and don’t require that you send a résumé. Legitimate employers are seeking candidates with specific skills, knowledge and education. Watch for ads, even for entry-level jobs, that use the phrase ‘no experience necessary,’ especially when there is a promise of big money.
  • ‘Work from home’ is not a job title. If it appears in the ad header, there’s a good chance it’s a come on. Scammers can rarely resist including it in the header — it’s the bait of their ‘hook’ as they fish for people to reel in.
  • Do not give out personal information online or over the phone. Personal information such as height, eye color, ethnicity, etc. does not pertain to the job search.
  • Be sure the e-mail address to which you are sending information has the same domain name as the organization. For example, if applying to “Organization X,” the e-mail address should have “@Organizations X” somewhere in the address. Be wary of sites/organizations where much of the information is “under construction.”
  • Research the organization to be sure that it is legitimate.
  • Be especially cautious when dealing with organizations outside of your own country.
  • Always use good judgment in ALL of your interactions with employers.  The Career Development Center suggests that students request business references for unknown organizations before interviewing with them off campus.
  • Be cautious when posting your resume online. Research the site to learn if it is legitimate. If you are unsure, limit your contact information on the resume and use generic job titles if yours are unique.

Remember: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

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The Career Development Center will be hosting Laura Dodd, a New Orleanian gone big, author of the newly released book Dig this Gig. In Dig this Gig, Laura maintains a collection of inspirational stories of 20- something’s finding their place in the world of work. 

What:  Dig this Gig:  Find Your Dream Job – or Invent It

When:  Tuesday, September 27

Doors open at 5:00 p.m./Presentation at 5:30 p.m.

Where:  Audubon Room – Danna Student Center

Official PACKport event

*Refreshments provided*

**Book signing immediately following presentation**

Laura received her graduate degree from Columbia University’s School of Journalism and her undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis.  Before moving to New York, she lived in Los Angeles for six years working in television and film production. 

After watching scores of young adults struggle with the loaded question, “what do you want to do?,” she set out to provide a text, offering honest insight – good and bad – about what jobs are really like.  Come and hear Laura’s advice to college students and young graduates about finding your voice and making informed career decisions.

All members of the Loyola community are invited to attend.  For more information about Laura visit

Contact if you have any questions.

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Nothing pains me more than to hear someone say, “I did not go to that event, because I did not have anyone to go with me.”  Sometimes you have to go it alone.

Enter the networking event with confidence:
Shoulders back
Glass in left hand, shake with your right.
Self-stick name tag just below your right shoulder, because that is where a person’s eye goes when shaking your hand.
Do not scan the room like a lion looking for a fat zebra. Make eye contact with the people in front of you.
Introduce yourself.
Start and keep conversations going by asking others about themselves.
Hand your business card to people with the words facing that person.
Follow up by phone or by personal note.

Now get out there and network.

Courtesy of Culture and Manners Institute

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I recently spoke to a friend whose brother-in-law refused to wear a tie for interviews, because he was a computer programmer and programming is a casual-attire industry.  He believed that to look like he would fit in, he must dress casually.

He has been out of work for three years.

Dressing up for an interview or for a meeting with a client shows respect for that person.  Even casual clothing industries expect people to dress up for an interview.

This includes non-profit and artistic organizations.

Courtesy of Culture and Manners Institute

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Transitioning from the college world to the office world can be a trying experience and there are bound to be mistakes made.  Errors in judgment can range from an inappropriate email address to spending too much on a business trip.  Some might be even more drastic.  Regardless of how significant, most newcomers to the “real world” hit a few bumps in the road–finding they missed something everyone else seemed to know implicitly.  Luckily, there are a few common sense actions students can take to make the transition to professional a smooth one:

Graduate in Fountain1. Follow all instructions.
Be sure to read the entire employee handbook at your new job and perhaps the instructions for any electronics you’ll be expected to use.  Employee handbooks are instruction manuals from employers, providing information on how to dress, how to correspond with clients, and proper office etiquette.  They also tell you what not to do.  If you break the rules, you can lose your job; and “I didn’t know I couldn’t do that” isn’t enough.  If you’re unsure about something you should–or shouldn’t–be doing, or how to do something that wasn’t outlined in the handbook, ask someone.  But beware: sometimes, in the corporate world, there are stupid questions, so make sure you ask the right people or observe other employee’s activities much more closely and follow suit.

2. Take notes at meetings. Whether you’re in a casual talk with your supervisor or a 20-person meeting with a potential client, taking notes will equip you to follow up and address any issues that arise.  Transcribing every discussion verbatim isn’t necessary, but jotting down any action items and a few thoughts on what’s said is of high importance.  And taking notes doesn’t mean you won’t be able to participate.  In fact, it’ll probably make you a better participant.  You’ll be better able to refer back to earlier comments and you won’t lose your thought process if someone gets their word in before you do.

3. Be nice to everyone. Whether it’s a receptionist or CEO, be sure to be polite and courteous to everyone in your office.  Don’t scream or yell at anyone–even if it’s just on the phone to the cable guy, plumber or another service person that would drive anyone else crazy.  In fact, don’t allow your personal life to affect your work life at all.  So, if you get into a fight with your boyfriend or girlfriend, make sure you avoid having that argument spillover into the professional realm.  Displaying your “dark side” to anyone can leave a bad taste in people’s mouths and negative impressions and perceptions of you can hurt your career.

4. Don’t complain. Even if you hate the project you’re working on, complaining to your manager won’t get you anywhere.  Complete the project with a smile and then suggest a project you would like when the opportunity arises.  If you complain about your work, co-workers or office environment, you’ll gain a negative reputation and it will hurt the dynamics of the team and jeopardize any opportunities for a promotion or raise.

5. Networking isn’t becoming best friends. When getting to know your co-workers and managers, whether in the office or off-site, remember to put your best professional foot forward.  Telling a manager about how drunk you were over the weekend won’t win you any fans.  Focus on talking about your skills and achievements.  If you have extracurricular activities that apply to your career or are simply “rated G”, feel free to share.  Also, everyone likes talking about themselves, so if you don’t know what to say, ask questions.  Being known as a good listener will get you far.

Links not working for you?  Log in to your CareerInsider/Vault account (all Loyola students and first year alumni have active accounts) here:

Vault’s Careers Blog:

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In tough economic times, a more affordable alternative to in-person interviewing is phone interviewing.  Here are some tips for how to make a great impression, and make your phone interview as powerful and effective as an in-person interview.

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By now, everyone knows drunken party photos on a Facebook page, or other social media, leave a bad impression on employers, clients and other stakeholders. But do you know what else your employers, that crazy person after your job who always tries to embarrass you in meetings, or snoopy neighbors might be looking for? 

The times you are posting messages on your page or friends’ pages. Are you posting during work hours (when you should be, say…working?) Are you posting at 2 AM? (Nothing good happens on the Internet after Midnight) Think twice about when you post, as well as what you post. 

Courtesy of Culture and Manners Institute

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