The Career Development Center offers several opportunities to prepare first year students for career success.  Through focused career exploration activities and individual appointments the Career Development Center has resources, programs and services to benefit you.

As a first year student entering Loyola University, you – and possibly your parents – may find yourself questioning your choice of major.  Not to worry…it is natural for first-year students to revisit their decisions about a major or career path several times.  Deciding on a major is one of the many reasons to visit the Career Development Center.  Students can access What Can I Do with My Major- a valuable resource that offers insight into the most common career paths for graduates within specific majors, gives examples of employers who recruit these disciplines and outlines strategies for students to acquire marketable skills upon graduation.

Still have questions?  Use FOCUS2 to assess personal qualities that relate to careers and explore career fields and major areas of study that are most compatible with you. The assessment is offered online and is available to all Loyola students. FOCUS2is a self-paced assessment that provides you with results upon completion and matches your results to Loyola University majors. Continue with your exploration independently or schedule an appointment with your career coach to discuss your results and develop your next steps to career success.

Not ready to make an individual appointment but want to learn about exciting careers in a fun and interactive way?  Participate in the PACKPORT Spotlight: “ What’s My Gig?”–a program where teams of first-year students will compete to be the first to correctly identify the careers of local alumni. Prizes will be awarded, and refreshments will be provided.

There are many ways you can connect with the Career Development Center.  Check out our website for upcoming programs and services and to learn more about our individual services.  We look forward to seeing you in our office!

 

 

 

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You might have heard of the latest production by Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, aptly called, The Internship.  In this flick, the two actors find themselves without jobs or direction; they choose to apply for the internship program at Google, and gain much more than work experience.  Amidst the laughs, did you notice a few lessons to take with you?

1.      You Never Know Who You’re Talking To

Making assumptions about someone might be detrimental to your networking process.  Someone’s sitting alone at the dinner table?  Join them!  Someone needs a partner in a project?  Combine forces!  Be open to new people, new ideas, and new experiences.  You might be surprised what you learn about others – and about yourself.

2.      Think Sustainability

When working on a project at your internship, it’s always best to have a balance of the small details with the bigger picture.  Is what you’re working on going to last after you are gone?  Since internships are time-sensitive experiences, are your ideas transferable to the next intern? Or to your supervisor?  Or can you take the projects with you to your next internship site?  The team in The Internship kept this in mind, helping a growing company with tons of expansion potential, instead of a one-time-only venture.

3.      Losing The Battle But Winning The War

The Internship teams are given various assignments to compete against one another for the grand prize, a full-time job at Google.  It’s immediately obvious that Vaughn and Owen’s team is not gelling, and the likelihood of winning a challenge is slim.  So, instead of working on one given challenge, they take a night off and work on their team’s moral and cohesiveness.  They bond and come to understand each other better.  We learn here that always being #1 means nothing if you’re not in it for the right reasons.  So, check yourself: even if you don’t succeed at a task, did you gain something from it?  Did you learn something about yourself? About others?  About both your strengths and weaknesses?  Well, that’s a win in my book!

4.      Be Your Airport Friend

During the intern selection process, the committee says something that really moved me: “If you are stuck in an airport for 6 hours, who would you want to be sitting next to?” Whoever it is, be that person! Want to be fun and making jokes the whole time?  Or interesting and in deep conversation?  Or quiet, maybe reading a book?  How about nice, offering your muffin or chips?  Whoever it is, surround yourself with those people and align your own values to match.

5.      Find Your “Googliness”

The pinnacle concept addressed in this movie is one that everyone should know.  Google wants employees who have a certain “Googliness.”  It’s your own “Tom-ness” or “Karen-ness”. What makes you stand out?  What makes you different from everyone around you?  What is it about you that would make me want you on my team?  Emphasize those qualities!  Let them shine!

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Have you ever wondered if a particular job, company, or even industry would be the right fit for you? Use the CLAMPS method to figure it out!  CLAMPS is an acronym for:

Challenge

Lifestyle

Advancement

Money

Prestige

Stability

The CLAMPS method allows you to examine your desires and analyze your non-negotiables in order to find a profession/employer/industry that’s consistent with who you are and what you value most.  Watch the video below to learn more about the CLAMPS method and to begin examining career fit.

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A recent article in the Chronicle called, “How to assess the real payoff of a college degree” highlights a slightly controversial idea being discussed in higher education circles around the nation: the Return on Investment in Higher Education.  In other words, what is the “value” of college?  Is it worth it?

Proponents of this measure are looking at a college degree in terms of starting salaries after you graduate or potential earning in whatever field you’ve chosen, all in light of the rising cost of college, which contributes to the ever-increasing debt among students, and the economy, which may or may not be producing job opportunities to help you pay off all your debt.  On paper, this seemingly endless cycle seems pretty bleak and is not very promising for the future of higher education.

In addition, new efforts by our government are requiring colleges to report exactly what the return on investment will be for students.  The Student Right to Know Before You Go Act and President Obama’s College Scorecard are just two examples of how we are trying to hold colleges and universities accountable for their outcomes.

Here at the Career Development Center, it’s to everyone’s benefit that we track our progress and successes.  How many students walk through our doors?  How many of those students have interview and job offers?  How about our 2012 data which shows we posted over 1000 new jobs, had 150 employers to campus, held more than a dozen workshops and programs, and participated in 2 career fairs.  Those are pretty strong numbers if you ask me.

Which brings me to why I have chosen to respond to these ideas.  We are investing in your future.  It’s our job, in fact.  But – what are YOU investing in YOUR future?  Is it providing you the return you expect?

This idea of Return on Investment: let’s break it down.

First, you have your return.  So, what are you getting from your college degree?  How are you better off  now from when you began here at Loyola? Have you grown, developed, learned something about yourself?  College graduates, especially those with liberal arts degrees, tend to be more engaged in civic and community life; they tend to be curious, critical-thinking, culturally aware people; they are the folks who end up in the CEO positions.  Of course, many other factors influence this success, and it takes a long time to get there, but those are the returns that shouldn’t be brushed aside.

While at college, you learn how to learn.

A college education is not the same thing as job training.  You can learn specific skills and techniques of any career at any time, but the skills that employers really look for, such as communication, teamwork, critical thinking, leadership – those are the things that each of you can develop here at Loyola, and many of you have.

And what about those unmeasurable returns?  What about a biology student who goes on to medical school and practices in poor, underserved area?  What about a teacher at a low-performing school who encourages others to attend college?  These returns can’t be overlooked!

By far, employers report that they look for experience in job candidates.  Which brings us to the second part of our topic: The Investment.  Is what you’re putting into Loyola really only your money?  What about your time?  What about your energy?

Now, if you view college as a play, where you show up and watch, well then, it sounds like you aren’t investing too much, and so might not see too much of a return.  But, I’d like to spend my time talking about those of you who are investing more in your education.  Those of you who understand that a higher investment equals a higher return.

So, what’s your engagement here at Loyola?  Or in the community?  Have you used any of the campus resources, like the WAC lab?  The ARC? Or – hey! The Career Development Center? Have you introduced yourself to your professors? Have you volunteered to help them with special projects or research? Have you done an internship? Have you conducted any informational interviews with professionals you admire? Have you connected with some of those professionals on social media platforms such as LinkedIn? Do you even have a LinkedIn profile? Have you studied abroad? Have you participated in or attended some of the campus events, such as Take Back the Night or a volleyball game?  Have you put yourself outside of your comfort zone at least once?  Have you challenged yourself?

These are all examples of how to ACTIVELY invest in your future?  Investing in college is not a passive activity.  And guess what – the more you invest, the more your return will be!

The challenge is that you may not see the return on your investment immediately.  It may not even be a tangible return.  But, trust me – the return is real.  If you invest, you will have a return.  And here’s the awesome thing – you can all start investing now!  It’s never too late to invest!  Start now!  Make an appointment with the Career Development Center or with a professional you admire for an informational interview.  Email your professor and thank him or her for a great semester.  Send out a connection request to that professional you met the other day at a coffee shop.  Start investing!

I’m not trying to discount or ignore your mounting debt or your frustration with the job search.  I’m in the same boat, so I understand what you’re facing.  But, I also come from the mindset that you have the ability to determine your future.  Just because people keep talking about the tough economy or the rising cost of education, doesn’t mean you have to be a victim of it.

I’d love to hear about how you’re investing in your future.  Make an appointment, email or stop by for drop-in hours.  Have a great summer and start investing!

Kelly

*This is the text version of a Video-Blog that appeared on the EMPLOYOLA_Surge blog on May 8th.

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With graduation just a few days away, the Career Development Center would like to remind you that alumni are still eligible for CDC services.  Below are a few examples of the services young alumni utilize the most.

  1. One-on-one appointments- Call and schedule an appointment with a career coach to edit your resume, craft strategic cover letters, develop a job search strategy/plan, conduct a mock interview, or discuss networking for employment.  We offer these appointments in the Career Development Center as well as over the phone for alums living outside of the city.
  2. Employola– Even after graduation, Loyola alumni can access and apply for the job opportunities listed in our database.
  3. CareerShift- If you haven’t already, access CareerShift from the Career Development Center homepage.  CareerShift is a national job hunting and career management tool that will instantly streamline your job search. Even as an alum, CareerShift remains FREE for you to use.
  4. Social Media- Follow the Career Development Center on Twitter (@EMPLOYOLA_Surge) and like us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/EMPLOYOLA). The Career Development Center uses its social media platforms to advertise hot job opportunities and to provide students and alumni with useful career and job search tips and strategies.

To schedule an appointment with a career counselor, call the Career Development Center (504-865-3860).

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A recent article in the Chronicle called, “How to Assess the Real Payoff of a College Degree” begs the question: Is Return on Investment really the right way to judge the value of a college education?  Whatever your opinion on the subject, I offer my suggestion in the following video blog.  I urge you to, at the very least, re-frame your ideas of what you are investing and what your returns might be.

As I mention, take the summer to think about your ROI and then let us know your thoughts on the matter.  Visit the Career Development Center on the second floor of the Danna Student Center, email us, or stop by our drop in hours once you return to campus.

Good luck on finals! Have a wonderful summer! Start investing now!

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Did you know?
Seniors Alex Hillis and Michael Carney accepted full-time post-graduation jobs with Google after participating in the 2012-2013 Community Leaders Program, sponsored by Google.

The Community Leaders Program (CLP) is a year- long internship dedicated to working with students from universities across the city to improve the web literacy of New Orleans small business owners and community organizations.  Currently in its second year of implementation, Loyola University New Orleans had six students who were selected to participate in the 2012-2013 program.  Ethan Rosenberg, a rising junior majoring in Music Industry Studies, will return for a second year and serve as a group team leader.  Read on to learn more about how the experience impacted Alex Hillis’s career.

Q&A with Economics senior, Alex Hillis:
 
As a Community Leader, do you feel like you made an impact within the New Orleans community?

I know we have made an impact within the NOLA business community. Tech illiteracy is a huge problem inNew Orleans. Getting small business owners and community organizations online and removing any fears they have about the internet is a huge step towards alleviating the illiteracy problem while keeping New Orleans relevant in an increasingly online and rapid economy.

Do you believe that participating in the Community Leaders Program had a direct impact on you landing a job with Google?

Yes. Everything I learned with the CLP ties into my current position with Google and I couldn’t have landed this job without the help of the program directors for the CLP who were extremely helpful in coaching me and preparing for interviews. I owe a lot to them.

Any advice for the 2013- 2014 Loyola CLP applicants? 
 
As with any experience, you get out of it what you put in. The more time you spend thinking about new solutions forNew Orleansand moving forward on CLP initiatives, the more you will learn and develop. Showing that you are dedicated and care about your work is a great way to meet new people and get awesome recommendations.

Sam Bowler, Director ofthe Community Leaders Program, believes the CLP is making a positive impact on the community, while providing students with ‘real world’ experiences, in two ways. First,  interns work in diverse teams, with other students from Xavier University, Tulane University, Loyola University, Dillard University, and the University of New Orleans, which presents diverse experiences and perspectives that the students can pass on to community members. Secondly, the program presents participants with the chance to sit down with people who help to build this city and create meaningful change.

Sam’s advice to current applicants:
“If you believe in the power of strong relationships and committed, deliberate, educative action to strengthen neighborhoods, then you are in the right place. Be honest with that belief or the lack thereof and you will most definitely find yourself in the exact place you were meant to be.”

The deadline to apply to the Community Leaders Program is May 1.Apply Here!

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                 Jazz music. You either like it, or you hate it. Most people who hate it claim that they can’t make sense of the random, “squawking” notes they hear, but this could not be farther from the truth! A closer listen would reveal that there is nothing random about jazz and that each musical line, however disjointed it may sound at first, is one long, carefully crafted expression based on years of training, listening skills and artistry.  Jazz musicians hear chords as a landscape that they are asked to navigate with a well-crafted, improvised melody line.  They use their training to listen to the chords; the ones they just left behind and the chords which have yet to be, and they react accordingly to make a melody line that is all their own. That’s improv.

                The same can be said about a student freshly thrown into the job market. At first it all feels like random stabs in the dark; applying for what seems like a million positions, writing a million cover letters, and a million thank you notes, but we eventually learn to listen to the job landscape, pursue our talents, use them in new ways and begin crafting a career path which will hopefully look something like a beautiful melody line we spent our lives creating.

                As a jazz student, I learned to memorize traditional chord progressions and scales so that I could combine these all in a new creative, improvisatory way. At first I was completely flummoxed, thinking that I was grasping at musical straws, but I eventually learned that successful improv sections are far from random and often contain favorite scales and pieces of familiar musical phrases. I doubt he remembers it, but one of my favorite improvisation teachers said the following phrase, which changed my life as a musician and a business person: “There are only twelve notes in a scale. You can’t reinvent that wheel, but you can rearrange those notes to make a melody in your own voice.” Now I find myself every day listening and anticipating the chords and needs in my music and at work, and creating my own “musical line” through both. As students, you’ve studied “typical” framework of your classes and their core concepts, but once you graduate, I challenge you to go beyond this and find new and creative ways to pool your talents to craft your work career, whatever it may be, in your own voice.

                Part of what makes jazz so enjoyable is the suspense created when a true master stretches a melody line so far out from where it began that it seems like the ear will never come back, but in the next breath effortlessly bridges us back to the comfort of what our ears know. The world’s most successful people, regardless of industry, have ALWAYS stretched boundaries of society’s traditions and concepts to forge bold new pathways in their voice and to meet the needs of the problems that they see. How do they do this? They know their skills. They know their language. And they know how to “listen” to what has happened before and look ahead to “hear” and anticipate the growing holes in the market, adapting their skills to these needs.

                What chords will you hear and what needs will you answer? How far out will you stretch your gifts and skills? The world of work and careers is full of sounds that seem like jazz “squawks,” but take the time to hear the chords of skills you’ve learned here at Loyola and listen for what’s coming next and you’ll undoubtedly hear a landscape that will embrace your skills and navigate you through a rich career path. If you want to learn more about all of the possibilities and doors your skill set can open, please visit the Career Development Center website or visit us on the 2nd Floor of the Danna Center.

 

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Do you have a job or internship interview coming up? Are you unsure how to prepare or what to expect? The Career Development Center is here to help.  Review our five quick tips for interview preparation below and then schedule an appointment with a career coach to discuss specifics or to conduct a mock interview.

 

  1. Research the Company! It’s absolutely essential that you are knowledgeable about the company/organization you are interviewing with.  Run a Google Search.  Look up the organization on LinkedIn. Follow its other social media sites. Visit their website and review their mission statement.  Learn as much as you can before your interview.
  2. Get Your Outfit Ready. If you don’t already have one, get a suit as it’s a safe bet for most interviews.  Make sure your interview outfit is pressed and ready to go the night before your interview.  You don’t need one more thing to stress about on interview day.
  3. Prepare Your Materials. Print off several copies of your resume and reference list.  Organize a portfolio of your work (if necessary). 
  4. Rehearse Beforehand. Practice common interview questions.  You know they are coming so have strong answers and examples prepared. “Tell me a little bit about yourself.”  “What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?”  “Why did you apply to this position?” “Why are you interested in working for this company?” “Why should we hire you for this position?
  5. Plan Your Route and Arrive Early. Know how to get to your interview site and plan to arrive 15 minutes early. Always bring contact information for the company in case of an emergency.
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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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