Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Connect with the Best!

Want to learn more about utilizing those you've networked with?  Check out this video featuring Keith Ferazzi, a world renowned expert in professional relationship development.  For the past 20 years, Ferazzi has studied the art and science of business relationship development and is now helping others build careers with his knowledge, inspiration and advice.  According to his Web site, "Both Forbes and Inc. have called him one of the world's most 'connected' individuals."

Posted by: Taylor Ray

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Managing Your Contacts

Asking someone for a favor isn’t always easy, and it doesn’t get any easier as you try and utilize the contacts you’ve made throughout college. 

One thing you can do to make this process a little smoother is to prioritize your contacts.  Create a list and rank them in order of the ones you are most interested in to least. Get in touch with your top contact and see if anything is available.  Once you hear back from them you can move on to the next.  This keeps you focused on one company at a time and prevents you from rushing through interviews unprepared. The key to networking is maintenance, correspondence and not using them all up at once.

Communication Etiquette 
Here are some tips to remember when contacting professionals you’ve built relationships with.
  1. Call first!   Stopping in is always pleasant, but a heads up is definitely appropriate.  If actually visiting the professional is difficult, always call before you would send an email.  If they don’t answer be sure to leave a message with your contact information and reason for calling.
  2. If you end up sending an e-mail you must proofread.  Believe me if there is an error, they will find it.  Be sure to double-check everything you write and check the layout for readability. 
  3. Always dress for success, even for an occasional drop in.  Dressing in business casual is absolutely appropriate in any setting.  It shows you are put together and on top of your game 100% of the time. 

Posted by: Taylor Ray

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Planning for Graduation: Start Now!

Take a deep breath, you made it!  It is a good feeling when you realize you have successfully taken all the required courses needed for graduation and you will be getting that diploma.  However, the stress of your collegiate career isn’t completely over just yet!  Graduation is definitely a time for celebration and remembrance of the supposed best years of your life, but some planning is needed to make sure your well-deserved day is great!

First things first, make sure you apply for graduation!  Just because you have taken all the required classes and even gotten the OK from your advisor doesn’t mean you are in the clear just yet.  Most schools will send out an email reminding seniors to apply and how to do so; usually it is via your school’s Web site.  The deadline date is always very early in the semester you plan to graduate so make sure you are on the lookout for the email.  Also recently, many schools have been enacting a graduation fee along with the application so make sure you are prepared for that as well.  I believe most of the fees are under $50 but in this economy, who knows!

After your graduation application is in, be on the lookout for another email regarding the graduation process and logistics of the event.  You will need to be aware of when your ceremony will take place, how many guest tickets you will receive, and what you are expected to wear.  If you are graduating from a university, make sure you know what college you are graduating from because the ceremonies are usually at different times.  If you need more than the allotted number of tickets available to you, make sure you start asking friends and classmates early so all of your family members can attend.  Also, once you know the date of the event you can make hotel accommodations for any family members who are traveling out of town.  I would advise making reservations early because a lot of people will be traveling into your town that weekend and hotel rooms will book fast!

Pat yourself on the back! You worked very hard for four years and now you get to celebrate!

Posted by Kayla Molczan

Network! Network! Network!

Finding a job equals a massive headache.  One way you can reduce the stress and anxiety of landing your dream job is to network as much as you can while you aren’t in a rush to find a job. Beyond maintaining relationships with professionals you have already made, it is also important to develop new ones with professionals at places you would actually see yourself working.  Try utilizing the informational interview to start these relationships. 

The Informational Interview:  Pick out a few dream job employers and contact them either via e-mail or phone.  If you are looking to meet a local professional, stop in their office and speak to them.  Be dressed appropriately and have your contact information handy to give to them.  Let them know you are interested in their line of work and ask for the opportunity to schedule a time to meet and pick their brain for ten or fifteen minutes max.  After the interview, send them a thank you card or e-mail and stay in touch over the course of your senior year.   In your thank you, refer back to an interesting topic you discussed in your meeting to remind them of who you are.    

Questions to Ask: Ask about what they do and how they came to be in their position. Ask them questions about their experiences, try to relate them to yours, and bring up your own to make yourself memorable.  It is also beneficial to ask about their hiring process so you are more aware of how things will run once you want to apply for a job.

Stay in contact with these professionals and maintain your relationships!

Posted by: Taylor Ray
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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Prepare Your Facebook for Visitors

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 25:  In this photo ill...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeOne of the key things employers look at before hiring or sometimes even considering to interview you is your Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and any other form of social networking site you use on a daily basis.  The trick to keep these pages active is to clean them up and use them just like any company or organization would, to market yourself.  Look at these pages as advertisements for you! 
Market Yourself: Always fill out the information about yourself, but remember to keep the important information somewhat confidential (full name, address, etc.).  This will help keep you safe from identity theft, creepy stalkers and those you don’t want to find you online.   
Be smart about your photos: If you’re over the age of twenty-one having a beer in your hand while smiling with your friends isn’t going to portray a negative image, however a photo of you falling over at bar with puke spilling out of your mouth is. Monitor the photo’s you upload and are tagged in.   
Be smart about what you write:  Whether it is a comment on a status, tweet or wall post be aware that everyone can read it!  While in an interview for an internship last year with a public relations firm, my interviewee pointed out to me that employers are digging deep into our sites and monitoring what potential employees are writing on others walls beyond. 
Set your security to HIGH: Facebook is constantly changing the security protocol of their site, so it is important to check your settings out every once in a while.  Go in depth to check who can see your posts, wall, information, groups, photo albums and etc. 
While these items may seem tedious and unnecessary they definitely are important to your success at landing that first job.  Remember to utilize your page to make you stand out, stay informed and connect with professionals and past colleges.   

Posted by: Taylor Ray
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Friday, September 24, 2010

Our First Post!

Hello everyone and welcome to Collegiate Connexion! My name is Kayla, and along with my best friend and roommate Taylor, are going to be your go-to source for figuring out life after college! Taylor and I are both current students at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio; I am graduating in December and Taylor is finishing up her degree in May.  As we begin to experience the adjustment period from student life to adult hood, we are going to tell you about it.   Tips, tricks, pitfalls and more, you will hear all the dish about what to expect on your road to "real life."  Check out the "About Us" section to learn more about our backgrounds!

My first word of advice to all you soon-to-be college grads out there is to make sure you are actually going to be putting on that cap and gown when you think you are!  All colleges and universities have required courses you must take and certain credentials you must possess before you are eligible to graduate and if it is anything like BGSU, you are pretty much on your own to make sure you meet these standards!  That being said, my word of advice to you is to BE IN THE KNOW.  As a student with a seemingly absent academic advisor, I made sure I had the check sheet of exactly what courses I needed to take and when, and I would personally check off course by course as I took them.  So, when I arrived on campus over a month ago and had to apply for graduation, I felt confident I was not going to get a call that had a "I'm sorry.  You actually have one more science pre requisite to take, fork over another semesters worth of tuition please!" ring to it.  Asking questions, knowing the system, and staying in touch with your advisor like you do your BFF from home is essential to graduating on time.

Posted by Kayla Molczan