Focus on your Career Goals in Spring 2017!

By: Lakeisha Mathews, CPRW, CPCC, GCDF (Director)

Welcome to spring 2017!  As we wrap up with the winter season and prepare to enter into the sunny days of spring there is no better time to focus on your career goals.  This semester the Career and Professional Development Center (CPDC) has planned a great slate of events to help you explore your career options, connect with employers, and/or improve your workplace excellence skills.  Of note is the Maryland Career Consortium annual career fair being held on February 24th at Notre Dame of Maryland University from 10 am. – 2 pm.  If you are graduating and looking for a new job or hoping to secure a summer internship, we highly encourage you to attend.  Transportation is being provided by the CPDC from UB to Notre Dame.  More details are on our website here.

 

CPDC Spring 2017 Event Highlights

 

INTERNSHIP WEEK (Next Week)
Internship Week is geared towards students seeking to gain experience in their career field through for-credit, paid, or unpaid internships.  Students will gain a better understanding of how to find internships and make the most of their internship opportunities.  Events include:

 

  • Be Ready Workshop: Effective Resume and Cover Letter Writing
    Tuesday, Feb. 7, 3:45-4:45 p.m. (SC 301) (log into UBworks to register)
  • Special Virtual Webinar:  How to get Class Credit for an Internship
    Wednesday, Feb. 8, noon-1:00 pm (log into UBworks to register)
  • Internship Drop-in Hours
    Wednesday, Feb. 8, 3:00-5:00 p.m. (SC 306)

 

Maryland Career Consortium Career Fair

Over 100 of the region’s top employers expected.  Move your career in the right direction, seek out full-time, part-time, and internship positions.  For a full list of confirmed employers go to: http://marylandcareerconsortium.org/students/career_fair.

 

When: Friday, February 24, 2017

Time: 10 am – 2:00 pm

Where: Notre Dame of Maryland University (MBK Gymnasium)

*Transportation will be provided from UB (contact the Career and Professional Development Center for additional information)

 

Start-Up Networking Event

Wednesday, Mar. 29, 6:00-8:00 p.m. (John and Frances Angelos Law Center, 12th floor Reading Room)

Come meet the fastest growing startup companies based in Baltimore. Network with innovative entrepreneurs, discover internship and job opportunities and learn about the skills required to enter this specialized workforce. Business casual attire is required.

LinkedIn Photoshoot

Thursday, Apr. 6, 2:00-6:00 p.m. (UB Student Center, Room 306)

Come by the Career Center in your business attire and have your picture taken for your LinkedIn profile.

 

More Events

Professional Development Workshops

 

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Beyond Friending – Networking

By: Brittany Walker, Graduate Assistant

Imagine this concept: It’s months away from graduation and you receive an email notification. The email is informing you that someone new wants to join your professional network. Naturally, you quickly press “add” or “confirm” to accept this person, and that’s the last true interaction between you two. There isn’t much thought put into approving requests nor connecting beyond the brief acknowledgment.

Professional networking sites were created for more of a purpose than accepting requests. They are opportunities to expand one’s network while interacting with individuals immersed in their own career journeys. While connecting on these forums provides insight into the other’s career history, it is not a sufficient means of engaging a professional network. Below are three features that can enhance the user’s experience on popular networking site, LinkedIn, and offer more opportunities to build connections!

  1. Share Content!  The news feed is an effective mean to spread knowledge both related to one’s profession or any topic that incites creativity and productive discussions. A good article, picture, or video can break the monotony and spark interesting dialogue to learn more about those within your professional network.

  2. Profile BadgesProfile badges are a promotional tool to insert a direct link to one’s profile to be placed on a personal blog, portfolio, Facebook, and the list goes on. It serves as a subtle reminder that with the easy click of mouse, others can learn more about your talents, skills, and achievements.

  3. EndorsementsA recently added feature that allows users to endorse someone within their network of a skill advertised on their profile. It enhances the credibility of one’s profile and allows for real-time feedback on skills that have contributed to one’s growth as a professional. Instead of simply liking a component of your profile, they can endorse and/or add an additional skill you may not have mentioned!

These are just a few examples of ways to branch out through professional networking sites and remain proactive in building a dynamic network.

 

Mentorship: What is it and why is it useful?

By: Brittany Walker, Graduate Assistant

“My mentor said, ‘Let’s go do it,’ not ‘You go do it.’ How powerful when someone says, ‘Let’s!’”
— Jim Rohn

The above-mentioned quote illustrates the gift of mentorship because it addresses many students’ fears – accomplishing their dreams alone. Mentorship is a unique relationship between two individuals that encourages bilateral learning. The relationship involves a strong level of accountability and is not limited by time or even distance because the prime goal is optimal professional and personal development.

The mentor serves as a valuable asset because of their experience and expertise in the professional world. Individuals typically seek mentors to serve as a source of support and guiding them along their personal and professional journey. The role of a mentor can expand from knowledge sharing and general support to facilitating the growth of one’s professional network. Mentors also have more access to industry resources that could prove advantageous to one’s skill development and future success in their field.

As stated earlier, mentorship is not a one-sided relationship. Mentees produce a significant amount of change in the life of mentor’s as well. Mentee’s provide an opportunity for a mentor to develop leadership skills as they are now tasked with the duty to serve as a role model and effectively communicate the values of the field. Mentors also can develop a great sense of pride in their new role and as a result, improve work performance.

Mentorship fosters vital connections that will allow both parties to be engaged in the success of another. While many believe that the ladder to success entails greed and self-centeredness, mentorship allows individuals to be just as concerned about another’s success as they are their own. This is a progressive method to ensure that passionate individuals are investing their time and energy to protect the values of the field. As we begin National Career Development Month, remember that an essential step to building connections is to seek a mentoring relationship!

November is National Career Development Month

November is National Career Development Month and our theme is Creating Career Connections.  Join the Career and Professional Development Center at the events listed below to help you expand your professional network.  In addition, we encourage you to gain experience in your industry.  To learn more about gaining experience see the UB Career Cycle.

Government & Nonprofit Career Fair

Nov. 16; 3 – 6 pm
Bogomolny Room 

Come connect with employers in the government and nonprofit sectors seeking candidates for full-time positions and internships.

LinkedIn Photoshoot

Nov. 17; 3:30 – 6:30 pm (students, staff, and faculty welcome)
Student Center, room 306

Workshops (see the attached for details)
Writing an Effective Federal Resume (11/9)
The Federal Job Search (11/10)
How to Work a Career Fair (11/10)

Book of the Month: How to Win Friends & Influence People

By Lori Moss Bielek – UB Career Coach

Book written by Dale Carnegie

This month’s book is related to the third phase of the UB Career Cycle — Communicate Your Brand. In this classic best-selling book, Dale Carnegie encourages readers to think of ways that they can be more successful in developing positive relationships with others. Using his guidelines, you can seek to improve your ability to influence others’ behavior and get them to support your personal or professional goals.

One of the main themes of the book is that in order to win over others, you need to get to know them. In a nutshell, here are the six ways that Carnegie proposes to get people to like you:

  • Principle 1: Become genuinely interested in other people.
  • Principle 2: Smile.
  • Principle 3: Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
  • Principle 4: Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
  • Principle 5: Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
  • Principle 6: Make the other person feel important—and do it sincerely.

How could you use these principles in building and communicating your personal brand?Do you think these principles can be used when networking with others? Attending career fairs? Writing cover letters?

One tip for using the first principle is to remember to show genuine interest in a company and/or that particular position when writing a cover letter.  This will demonstrate to the employer that you are interested in them and not just seeking a paycheck.

Another big theme in the book is to avoid arguments and to not criticize others.  Instead, Carnegie recommends that you seek to praise others:

“Praise is like sunlight to the warm human spirit; we cannot flower and grow without it. And yet, while most of us are only too ready to apply to others the cold wind of criticism, we are somehow reluctant to give our fellow the warm sunshine of praise.”

Carnegie argues that no one wins in an argument.  Even if you are right, the other person is left unhappy and this harms the relationship.

Check out the book for a multitude of personal anecdotes and stories that illustrate several situations when Carnegie’s tips and learned wisdom have been useful to others.

Do you agree with Carnegie’s principles? Why or why not? Please comment below.

CIA Site Visit: A Student Perspective

(Below is an account of a student’s experience at a site visit to the CIA Headquarters in April 2016.)
Dear Fellow UB Students & Staff:

My name is Gina Torres, and I am a junior at the University of Baltimore pursuing a major in Criminal Justice and a minor in Victim Studies. On Friday April 22, 2016, I had the amazing opportunity to visit the CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia. To make things even more memorable, all of us who attended were the first students from the University of Baltimore to visit Headquarters. I was asked by Charles Jennings, Associate Director for Employer Relations at the UB Career and Professional Development Center, to write about my experience there, and since I love to write, I happily accepted. The Mission of the Central Intelligence Agency is to “preempt threats and further US national security objectives by: collecting intelligence that matters, producing objective all-source analysis, conducting effective covert action as directed by the President, and safeguarding the secrets that help keep our Nation safe”.  An interesting fact that was shared with us by one of the analysts is that there are jobs for any field in which you are interested.  Examples of available positions/focus areas include: analysts, business, IT & Security, Directorate of Operations (Clandestine Service), Language, Science, Engineering and Technology Positions.

Immediately upon arrival, we were given our visitor’s badge; the feeling of having that badged clipped to my cardigan made me feel important, as if I was a part of something big. We toured the facility and learned about the interesting history of the CIA.  Our tour guide, Fernando, was a retired CIA Officer who had been recruited to return to the CIA to give tours such as the one that we were receiving. Fernando was seriously the coolest guy ever!  Although he had a serious tone throughout his presentation, he had a sense of humor as well. There was an immediate connection between the two of us, probably due to the fact that we were both from Bayamon, Puerto Rico. One of the highlights from the tour that I will never forget will be when we came across an exact replica of a model. The second I laid my eyes on it, I knew what it was. I had seen the movie Zero Dark Thirty too many times to NOT know what it was…a model of the compound where Osama Bin Laden hid away for almost a decade.  It was an exact replica of the model that the CIA had made to present to President Barack Obama about Bin Laden’s whereabouts. Having the opportunity to see that in person is an experience that I will never forget.  It was amazing how detailed it was; not one thing was missing. We were also shown one of the many guns that was owned by Bin Laden in a display. Next to the gun was an actual Al Qaeda training manual owned by him. Being able to see those items was truly an intense experience.

I have always had dreams to work for the federal government (FBI or DEA). Before this trip, I had no idea if I would fit into this agency, even after stopping by the CIA visibility table, attending the information sessions and interviewing with one of the recruiting agents (all on campus). After the visit to CIA Headquarters, I realized that I could see myself pursuing career either as an analyst or a target officer.  Maya from Zero Dark Thirty was a target officer, and I was always inspired by how bad-ass she was. Although it was a movie, it was based on real events. Before I left Headquarters, I made sure that I walked to the seal, which is where new officers are inducted. Will I ever get to stand on that seal again? Maybe, maybe not. I don’t know where I will be a year and a half from now much less two or three. This trip inspired me to continue to keep doing what I am doing, working hard in school and to better myself physically and mentally to reach my goals. Nothing is going to stop me. No challenge or obstacle will ever be too big to get in the way of me achieving everything that I have, am, and will be working for.

Demystifying Cover Letters

By: Brittany Walker, Graduate Assistant, Career and Professional Development Center
In Celebration of International Career Development Month

What is it?  

Aren’t cover letters obsolete? What do they convey to employers that the resume can’t? Worry no more! Your guide to demystifying the relevance of a cover letter is here! Here are three important tips to remember when you’re prompted to create a cover letter for a position or you’re proactive in sending one to employers to complement your resume.

Three types of Cover Letters

All cover letters are not created equal. From communicating your interest in a position to requesting career advice, a cover letter’s intent and purpose range much like a resume. It is crucial that as an applicant, your cover letter’s structure best reflect your professional goal. There are three notable types of cover letters: letters of application, letters of inquiry, and networking letters. Letters of application are written as a result of a job posting in which the applicant is specifically expressing desire for that position. Letters of inquiry are used to express one’s interest in a position that has not been publicized on the company’s website or job board. Lastly, networking letters are used to ask for job search advice or potential employment opportunities.

Celebrate the Company

The cover letter is not only an opportunity to demonstrate why you’re an excellent candidate for the position, it’s also a time to prove that you’ve done your research. Be sure to compliment the company on a recent innovation or effective strategy that you’ve seen being implemented. Even mentioning some of their recent news or updates can demonstrate your interest in not only the position but the well-being of the business.

Universal Cover Letters Don’t Exist!

Cover letters are designed to be as specific as possible in relation to a job posting or an employer. They should include the hiring manager’s information as well as the company’s formal address. Be sure to make connections between your skills, talents, and abilities and what the position requires to illustrate how you’re a perfect fit!

Watch: The Cover Letter