Homework Over Winter Break? You Got That Right.

Ten Things Students Should Do In Between “Games of Thrones” Episodes
By Kate Szumanski

With finals approaching, now isn’t the best time for students – this means you – to think about your career and professional development is it? There are deadlines to meet, tests to study for, and papers to write.

But during winter break when free time’s a plenty, there is serious homework to be done, only this homework is ungraded and “counts” for much more than a grade on your report card.

There is career and professional development homework to complete, and winter break is the ideal time to focus on this area.

Here are the Top 10 things you should do during your winter break to be best prepared to hit those spring career fairs strong when you return to campus.

(And parents of college students who are reading this, you can help spread the word and encourage your son or daughter to take serious action before a new semester begins.)

  1. Create a killer résumé. It’s true: your résumé is your sales pitch. If written right, it has the power to convincingly “sell” your abilities, experiences, and skills to a future internship supervisor or employer. Review résumé samples. Identify what you like. Build your résumé to represent you.
  1. Memorize your elevator pitch. So we meet at a career fair and after we exchange pleasantries about the weather and if the Philadelphia Phillies will trade Cole Hamels, where does the conversation go? If you are asked about you – your interests, your focus, your mission, your purpose – what do you say? Write and memorize your elevator pitch, the 30-second introduction that will captivate and convince the person on the receiving end that you are a serious student with fascinating interests and tremendous value looking to build a career and contribute in meaningful ways to an organization’s mission.
  1. Google “common interview questions.” It might seem silly, but do it. Research the typical questions hiring managers’ ask during interviews and brainstorm compelling answers. Never be caught off guard again during an interview.
  1. Include an e-mail signature to all outgoing mail. After you sign your e-mail messages, do you include a professional signature line that directs recipient’s to your Twitter handle, Web site, or other relevant contact information? No? Do it moving forward. It’s like including a business card in an e-mail every time you hit “send.”
  1. Get a handle on Twitter. I’m consistently surprised by the low number of students who use Twitter to not only research industries, but also to build their personal brands. Twitter allows you to converse and connect with industry professionals, keep updated on trends in public discourse, and stay current on all things. Contribute to the conversations related to your emerging area of expertise by becoming active on Twitter.
  1. Write a cover letter template. Yes, all cover letters should be customized and tailored to each opportunity for which you apply. But that doesn’t mean you need to start from scratch each time. Build a meaningful cover letter that you can revise quickly.
  1. Create your Linked In profile. Perhaps you already have a Linked In profile, but you haven’t visited it in months. Or maybe you don’t have a Linked in profile yet. Now’s the time to edit it or create it. And with powerful resources like these at your fingertips, there’s no good reason to say you don’t know where to start.
  1. Cleanse your social media presence. Increasingly, employers, hiring managers, and interviewers will google candidates who’ve applied for positions before extending an invitation to meet. What does your public social media presence say about you? Does it convey a powerful image of a creative problem-solver and critical-thinker seeking to grow her professional career and take on the world, or does it convey an image of someone who’s been out too late at one too many parties? Remove inappropriate content. Enable the privacy settings on your Facebook page. Be smart about social media and understand its power to influence. It’s a hard truth: people will judge you without knowing you. Don’t give them any reason to judge you in an unfavorable light.
  1. Invest in stationery. When your Aunt Mary sends you a lovely holiday sweater, do you thank her in writing with a courteous and warm note? No? Well, you should. Rarely am I so forceful, but I encourage all students to be the one – maybe the only one – who sends a hand-written thank-you note to someone who has helped you, encouraged you, interviewed you, gave you a cup pf water while you waited for your interview to start, etc. Now, don’t go overboard and thank everyone for every common courtesy, but be smart and savvy. Express gratitude appropriately. If you are the candidate who sends the note, you’ll be remembered. And in our electronic age, those hand-written notes are all the more meaningful.
  1. Buy a suit. Are you comfortable in your interview attire? Right now, yoga pants and jeans are your staples, and that’s perfectly fine. But when you begin to interview for internships or jobs, you’ll need clothing that serves many purposes. You want to feel confident and comfortable in your skin. You want to send a professional message to the person across the table. For men or women, a suit that comes with its requisite component parts can help you begin to gradually build a professional wardrobe. Keep it on the conservative side. Black and navy blue are staples. Women easily can add a pop of color with an appropriate blouse, and men can add just a touch of color (again, think conservative here) with their choice of necktie. And you shouldn’t spend a lot of money here – there’s no need.

Whew. By now, you’re exhausted. You’re hoping to find the remote to see if Mom or Dad DVR-ed “Sons of Anarchy.”

Remember, no one said winter break homework would be easy, right?

And newsflash! Did you know that there’s extra credit available, too? Yes, I said extra credit.

For the ultra-motivated and ambitious, take on these challenges:

  1. Send your first Tweet.
  2. Connect with someone you know on Linked In.
  3. Research potential internships and apply to those that most interest you.
  4. Buy a roll of stamps.
  5. Write a thank-you note and mail it. (See #4 for stamps!)

Got it? Excellent. I know you do.

In the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Villanova University, and in the Office of Undergraduate Students, we teach our students – liberally educated young adults – to be adaptable, nimble, and flexible students and professionals who contribute powerfully to society.

We want our students to realize their full potential, to discover their passions and to pursue them with relentless determination. Maybe it’s through an internship. Maybe it’s through a professional development course. Maybe it’s through one of our many professional development events. Discovering who you are and what your impact can be should help define your Villanova journey.

When you return to campus in 2015, encourage our students to visit the Office for Undergraduate Students in SAC 107 often. Discover who you are and who you are meant to be. Let our office of dedicated professionals help you on your journey of discovery.

Kate Szumanski, ’95, ’97, is the associate director for experiential education in the Office for Undergraduate Students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Villanova University. Follow her on Twitter @KateSzumanski.    

With the Approach of Finals, Consider a Short Study Break: Focus on Your Future

By Kate Szumanski

With finals approaching, now isn’t the best time to think about your career and professional development is it? There are deadlines to meet, tests to study for, and papers to write.

But in these busy moments when you’re sleep deprived and swamped with work, I challenge you to take a deep breath, find a brief quiet time to reflect, and think about what all of this work is leading toward.

Maybe your dream is to become an emergency room doctor, triaging patients and saving lives. Or maybe you’ve always wanted to be a lawyer, fighting for justice in a court of law. Maybe you’re fascinated by operating systems and software advances, and a career in computer programming is calling to you. And maybe you are a whiz with numbers and seek to apply your strong analytical skills on Wall Street in finance.

Or maybe, just maybe, you’re not sure what “you want to be when you grow up.” And you know what, that’s perfectly OK. What’s not OK is not talking about your options, your strengths, and your passions, for therein this discussion might possibly be your professional ambition waiting to be explored.

What are you doing know to lay the foundation for your dream to be realized? What are you doing now to help discover what that professional dream might be?

After you think about these questions, go back to the books. You have finals to ace. But during your winter break, think more deeply about these important issues. Discuss them with people you trust. Think about how you will return to the University in January 2015 with a renewed focus on your professional development.

In the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Villanova University, and in the Office of Undergraduate Students, we teach our students – liberally educated young adults – to be adaptable, nimble, and flexible students and professionals who contribute powerfully to society.

We want our students to realize their full potential, to discover their passions and to pursue them with relentless determination. Maybe it’s through an internship. Maybe it’s through a professional development course. Maybe it’s through one of our many professional development events. Discovering who you are and what your impact can be should help define your Villanova journey.

I encourage students to visit the Office for Undergraduate Students in SAC 107 often. Discover who you are and who you are meant to be. Let our office of dedicated professionals help you on your journey of discovery.

Kate Szumanski, ’95, ’97, is the associate director for experiential education in the Office for Undergraduate Students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Villanova University. Follow her on Twitter @KateSzumanski.    

Penn Law Outreach Program “Applying to, and Succeeding in, Law School”

The Penn Law Outreach Program is designed to assist high potential undergraduate students from disadvantaged backgrounds with their preparation for admission to law school. Students must be enrolled with sophomore, junior, or senior status in a greater Philadelphia area college when they apply to the program. The program’s objective is to help these students acquire the skills necessary for:

• Successful completion of the bachelor’s degree,
• Competitive performance on the LSAT (Law School Admission Test), and
• Successful entry into law school.

This program begins in the second semester of the 2014-2015 academic year, and concludes with the participant’s completion of a “J.D. Action Plan” and application to law school. Participation requires a one semester commitment during the spring 2015 semester. Attendance is mandatory in ALL classes and presentations. At the end of the program, one participant will be awarded a Kaplan LSAT Prep course scholarship. Participants must be in good standing (i.e. have attended the necessary events) to be eligible.

The program’s academic-year components will consist of:
• A briefing by Penn Law Dean of Admissions on the application process
• A briefing by Penn Law Director of Financial Aid on financing a legal education
• A panel of current law students discussing the law school experience
• A mock class incorporating writing, analytical thinking, and logical reasoning
• A personal statement writing workshop led by a Kaplan representative
• A mock LSAT and exam review by a Kaplan representative
• A panel of alumni discussing different legal paths and careers
• Invitations to student of color events
• Mentoring with current Penn Law students
• Goal-setting and planning for academic success

The deadline for application is January 20, 2015. The program will commence on
February 7, 2015 and will end in mid-April 2015.
For more information, e-mail Allanté Keels at pennlawoutreach@gmail.com

Download and review the full application here: Outreach Program Application_2015

Villanova History Department inducts 2014 Phi Alpha Theta members

Sunday, November 9th may have seemed the same as any other around the Villanova campus, but a short jaunt away something special was occurring at the Overbrook Golf Course. That’s where the History Department celebrated the induction of new members into the Tau Phi Chapter of the national history honor society, Phi Alpha Theta. Sixteen undergraduates and one MA grad student joined the illustrious rank of scholars at this delightful brunch event (11 additional undergrads, and 2 additional MA grad students were unable to attend).

Craig Bailey, Ph.D. featured as the introduction speaker, kicking off a ceremony which included individual recognition for exceptional achievements. Caitlin Flessate was awarded the Procko Prize for best undergraduate paper, and Shane Sprandio was awarded the Carroll prize for best graduate paper. In addition, the Richard Bates Memorial Award for Outstanding Service was granted to Mary Katherine Hickey (who could not attend the event).

Photos from this tremendous event were provided by Dr. Rebecca Winer:

PAT inductees.JPG Dr. Winer with student and parents Dr. Rosier with parents

Think Internships and Join the #InternNation

By Kate Szumanski ’95, ’97

Internnationtag

Career-building, mentoring, networking. You’ve heard the terms over and over again. How can you as a student –right now – actually “do” these things?

Think internships.

Now more than ever, internships provide you with tremendous value. From gaining real-world experience in a variety of fields to collaborating with diverse professionals and expanding your network, internships allow you to experience the workplace as an insider – a true participant.

The value of an internship cannot be denied. You can experiment and test the waters. You can learn how to apply your academic experiences to a variety of careers, and begin to understand where you fit, what you like, and what you don’t.

In addition, many employers consider their own interns ideal candidates for full-time positions.

Where should you start your internship search? Visit GoNovaJobs. Here you’ll find opportunities and application instruction.

If you seek to earn academic credit for your internship, please visit me, Kate Szumanski, in the Office for Undergraduate Students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in SAC 107. I look forward to discussing with you everything you need to do to secure credit for your internship.

In the coming days, our office will host a series of Internship Workshops designed to fuel your passions and ignite you on your professional journey. Be on the lookout for those dates, times, and locations.

Kate Szumanski, ’95, ’97, is the associate director for experiential education in the Office for Undergraduate Students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Villanova University. Follow her on Twitter @KateSzumanski.    

Center for Peace and Justice Spring ’15 course offerings

The Villanova Center for Peace and Justice has kindly shared the full listing of their Spring 2015 course offerings with us, for perusal during the coming class selection window. For those so inclined, you can view their full offerings at this link: Peace and Justice Spring 2015 Courses.

Virtual Career Fair for People with Disabilities – 11/13

Virtual Career Fair Date: Nov. 13, 2014
Are you a person with a disability…
looking for a career opportunity or internship?

This Virtual Career Fair is FREE for students and alumni with disabilities to attend. This is a great opportunity for College Students & College Grads with disabilities to meet online with employers across the nation including American Transmission Co., ANSYS, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Enterprise Holdings, Epic, Genentech, KLA-Tencor, Lexmark, Verizon, & other Excellent Employers!

Students and alumni are invited to interact with employers via chat sessions.

CONNECT WITH EMPLOYERS LOOKING TO HIRE
PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

  • Access opportunities within a wide range of careers.
  • Chat with employers across the nation
  • Public and private sector opportunities

INTERVIEW WITH EASE

  • Participate from the comfort of your home,
    your dorm room or your favorite coffee shop!
  • Discuss careers and internships with multiple employers
  • End-to-end accessible technology platform

CAREER FAIRS WITH LESS HASSLE

  • Save time and money.
  • No business suit or travel required
  • No printed out resumes necessary

Register at www.careereco.com/register/disability

Deutsche Bank DB Achieve Sophomore Internship Program

DB

At Deutsche Bank, we believe that diverse teams are smarter teams. We believe that success comes from many perspectives – and that an inclusive workforce goes hand in hand with delivering innovative solutions for our clients. It’s why we employ 135 different nationalities. It’s why we’ve created our DB Achieve sophomore program which celebrates diversity in all its forms. And it’s just one of the reasons why you’ll find the working culture here so refreshing.

DB Achieve is an eight-week introduction to a career at Deutsche Bank designed for students who are diverse and/or students who can show a commitment to diversity. Join us and we’ll pack your summer with training sessions, challenging work assignments and networking opportunities. You’ll experience our commitment to diversity and an inclusive work environment first hand.

How to apply?
Submit your resume AND a 500 word essay telling us how your commitment to diversity makes you the ideal candidate for DB Achieve. Application deadline is Sunday, November 16, 2014 with interviews to follow in December. Only complete applications will be considered

Asset & Wealth Management
Apply Here

CB&S: Markets
Apply Here

CB&S: Corporate Finance
Apply Here

Discover something different at db.com/careers/dbachieve

Application Deadline Approaching – 2015 MultiCultural Advertising Internship Opportunity

Applications for the 2015 Multicultural Advertising Intern Program (MAIP) are now being accepted. This program is organized by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) and is a wonderful opportunity for students seeking an advertising internship. Please see links below for more information.

·         2015 MAIP Application (Deadline to Apply: October 15, 2014)

·         2015 MAIP Registration Link

·         MAIP Website

·         MAIP Facebook Page

If you have any questions please contact Shannon Galvin, Diversity and Inclusion Programs Coordinator, at sgalvin@aaaa.org.

Discovering New Possibilities at a Wonderfully Familiar Place

Discovering New Possibilities at a Wonderfully Familiar Place
By Kate Szumanski

While the old adage, “You can never go home again,” rings with truth, we convince ourselves otherwise. We say, “Yes, I can go back home, and everything that I left will be exactly the same when I return.” Somehow our memories freeze our past experiences in standstill motion, creating nostalgic feelings that comfort us in challenging times and reassure us when the frenzied pace of life overwhelms us.

But reality quickly sets in and thaws our frozen thoughts. The neat applecart is disrupted. Situations change. People change. Things change. We change. The one constant is change. And this is how it should be.

In the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Villanova University, and in the Office of Undergraduate Students, we teach our students to be adaptable, nimble, and flexible students and professionals who embrace change and progress. While it’s tempting to reject change, it’s important to view it as a positive force, an opportunity to learn, grow, and discover in ourselves what we hadn’t already known. We want our students to explore, experience, and evolve. Heck, it’s our tagline after all.

We want our students to realize their full potential, to discover their passions and to pursue them with relentless determination. Maybe it’s through an internship. Maybe it’s through a professional development course. Maybe it’s through one of our many professional development events. Discovering who you are and what your impact can be should help define your Villanova journey.

explore.  experience.  evolve.

Changes come in many shapes, sizes, and settings. Two years ago, I left the University to pursue new opportunities with my family in central Ohio. The experience taught my husband and children valuable life lessons, and after a year in the Midwest, we decided to return to the Philadelphia area to live closer to our loved ones.

We’ve changed. We’re different. Our worldview has widened, too. And these are all great things. Have we returned home? Yes, we have, sort of. We bring all that we’ve learned and experienced to our new adventures – to a new home that’s been reshaped by who and what we’ve become. While you truly can never go home again, you certainly can return to that deeply meaningful and familiar place with new eyes, wider vision, and, we hope, bigger and better ideas.

Working with students to help them realize their full potential as educated, responsible, and socially-conscious young professionals is a wonderful experience for me. The opportunity to contribute powerfully to current students at my Alma Mater not only is incredibly rewarding, but also incredibly humbling. A Villanova education is a gift that never goes away. It will live with you forever.

I encourage students to visit the Office for Undergraduate Students in SAC 107 often. Discover who you are and who you are meant to be. Let our office of dedicated professionals help you on your journey of discovery.

And when you graduate, your Villanova education lives on, never to be frozen in time but to forever evolve.

(Can you come home again? Sure, that’s what Homecoming is all about. Just know that campus will be different. You will be different. And that’s OK. It’s better than OK. It’s terrific.)

Kate Szumanski, ’95, ’97, is the associate director for experiential education in the Office for Undergraduate Students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Villanova University. Follow her on Twitter @KateSzumanski.