Category Archives: Career Learning

College grads, take heart: You’re entering a strong job market

The following is from the May 23, 2016, edition of The Dallas Morning News. Regina James, an associate director at SMU’s Hegi Family Career Development Center, and Bernard Weinstein, an economist and associate director of the Maguire Energy Institute at SMU’s Cox School of Business, provided expertise for this story.

By JILL COWAN
Staff Writer, Dallas Morning News

On a recent Tuesday afternoon, the denizens of Southern Methodist University’s campus seemed to move at a leisurely pace.

searchA few cyclists clicked along the pathways and the stately brick buildings, with their bright white colonnades, were quiet. Commencement had taken place a few days earlier.

But for Regina James, the busy season was getting into full swing.

“There are still students who are in transition. They’re either waiting to hear back about offers — there’s a little anxiousness there — or they’re students that maybe just didn’t get around to the search, so they’re starting to reach out and say, ‘I don’t have anything yet,’” she said. “Those students, we’ll be helping throughout the summer.”

James is the associate director for employer relations at SMU’s Hegi career center.

Experts say newly-minted college graduates in the Dallas area are entering one of the best job markets they’ve seen. But James said that’s no excuse to slack off in the hunt.

“We encourage students to have multiple internships for a number of reasons,” she said. “You’ve got to think about it as, not only are you competing against your peers here, you’re competing against peers from other institutions in the area, you’re competing against institutions nationally [whose students] may desire to live in the Dallas area.” . . .

In Dallas-Fort Worth — one of those metro areas with a low unemployment rate — there’s extra momentum, said Bud Weinstein, an economist and associate director of the Maguire Energy Institute at SMU’s Cox School of Business.

The region’s economy is more diverse than it’s ever been. And more companies are relocating or expanding in North Texas — in part because they’re attracted by the area’s talent pool.

“Dallas-Fort Worth probably has the strongest job market in the nation among large metropolitan areas — maybe not in absolute numbers, but certainly in percentage terms,” Weinstein said. “I think the job market has never looked better, particularly for college graduates.”

Read the full story.

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‘Just in Time’ Career Fair on April 12 at Hughes-Trigg

careerfairStudents should mark their calendars for the last Career Fair event of the academic year, sponsored by the Hegi Family Career Development Center. The event will take place on Tuesday, April 12, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Ballroom.

At the event, students will be able to network with employers who are recruiting for both full-time and internship opportunities. Students are encouraged to come prepared with resumes printed and research completed. Counselors at the Hegi Center can help students prepare for the event.

– Hena Rafiq

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Students present their research on SMU Research Day

SMU students shared the results of their research with other students and guests at the annual Research Day on Feb. 10. Learn more and see a list of winners at www.smu.edu/researchday.

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Make the most of SMU Career and Internship Fair

CareerFairPic1At the Spring 2016 Career and Internship Fair on Thursday, February 18, students will have the opportunity to network with over 75 companies, including Southwest Airlines, Peace Corps, EY, Epsilon and Sendero. Sponsored by the SMU Hegi Family Career Development Center, the fair is set for 4 to 7 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballrooms.

“Networking is such an integral part of the job process, and this event provides students of all majors with an open forum to do so on a larger scale,” says Regina James, associate director of the Hegi Career Center. “The Career Fair is a recruiting, networking and educational event, and we look forward to students taking advantage of that opportunity.”

  • Watch a Mustang Minute! video of the February 2015 Career and Internship Fair by Myles Taylor of SMU News.

Hegi Career Center counselors encourage students to view the Career Fair as their first job interview and to be prepared. Here are their tips to being a top candidate:

  • Attend drop-in hours at the Career Center from 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays and have a counselor review your resume. Bring plenty of copies of your resume to the Career Fair.
  • While you’re at the Career Center, you can take assessments to identify your values, interests, personality and skills.
  • Do your research. Review the list of participating employers, and learn more about the ones that interest you.
  • Download the new SMU Career Fair + app on Google Play or Apple Store to get up-to-date information about the fair and participating employers.

SMU students who serve as Career Development Ambassadors for the Hegi Career Center also have advice for students about the fair:

  • “The Career Fair can be crowded, loud and overwhelming. Make the most of it by preparing a resume and elevator pitch before attending.” – Katie Anderson
  • “Show your interest, and make a genuine connection. Collect a business card, and send a follow-up within 24 hours. Do this, and the recruiter will remember you when you turn in an application. Remember, a job search is a full-time job for some people. Put in the time to do it right, and you will be rewarded.” – Justin Wolfe

– Hena Rafiq

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Mustang Minute: SMU Career and Internship Fair

Students had the opportunity to meet with more than 90 employers representing a range of industries at the February 10 Career and Internship Fair sponsored by SMU’s Hegi Family Career Development Center.

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Students Can Make Connections at Career and Internship Fair

At the Spring 2014 Career and Internship Fair on February 24, students will have the opportunity to meet 117 companies and network with more than 225 employer representatives. Employers attending include the U.S. Department of Labor, Neiman Marcus, Peace Corps, McAfee Inc., American Airlines, KPMG, Citi, Ernst and Young, Deliotte, JCPenney and many others.

  • Watch a video of the February 2013 Career and Internship Fair by Myles Taylor of SMU News video

Sponsored by the SMU Hegi Family Career Development Center, the fair is set for noon to 4 p.m. at the Hughes-Trigg Student Center.

Darin Ford, director of the Hegi Career Center, says the event can open a variety of doors for students, whether it is their first semester or their last. “For the first time, we have partnered with eight SMU graduate school departments who will be in attendance recruiting students for graduate school opportunities on the Hilltop,” he says.

“Be prepared,” he adds. “Students who do their research always stand out above the rest.” 

To prepare for the fair, Hegi Career Center counselors suggest:

  • Dress for success by wearing professional business attire;
  • Print out and bring multiple copies of your résumé for the opportunity to network with multiple companies;
  • Research the companies that will be in attendance and choose the ones that interest you most;
  • Come early to meet with “fresh and ready” recruiters.

The center offers students and alumni multiple resources in addition to the biannual fair, including:

  • One-on-one meetings with counselors, career assessments and a four-year plan;
  • Discussions with industry panels composed of employers who provide professional advice;
  • Workshops on interviewing, résumés and other career skills;
  • MustangTRAK, an online database featuring hundreds of jobs and internships, and UCAN, or University Career Action Network, a shared internship database among universities across the country.

Alumni are invited to share their career expertise and mentor SMU students. Learn more at SMU Connection.

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Unique Networking Opportunities at Fall Career and Internship Fair

At the Fall 2013 Career and Internship Fair on September 19, students will have the opportunity to meet 112 companies and network with more than 270 employer representatives. Employers attending include the U.S. State Department, Neiman Marcus, Peace Corp, Scribe.ology, American Airlines, General Motors, KPMG, the FDIC, Ernst and Young, Deliotte, Hitachi Consulting and many others.

  • Watch a video of the February 2013 Career and Internship Fair by Myles Taylor of SMU News video

Sponsored by the SMU Hegi Family Career Development Center, the fair is set for noon to 4 p.m. at the Hughes-Trigg Student Center.

Darin Ford, director of the Hegi Career Center, says the event will open a variety of door for all SMU students, whether it is their first semester or their last. “Students are four times more likely to receive a job or internship offer if they have networked with someone in their dream company,” he says.

All majors are encouraged to attend the fair in order to gain real-world practice by using the skills and knowledge they’ve acquired in the classroom, says Ford.

To prepare for the fair, Hegi Career Center counselors suggest:

  • Dress for success by wearing professional business attire;
  • Print out and bring multiple copies of your résumé for the opportunity to network with multiple companies;
  • Research the companies that will be in attendance and choose the ones that interest you most;
  • Come early to meet with “fresh and ready” recruiters.

The center is offering extended drop-in hours – from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. – to help students prepare through September 18.

The center offers students and alumni multiple resources in addition to the biannual fair, including:

  • One-on-one meetings with counselors, career assessments and a four-year plan;
  • Discussions with industry panels composed of employers who provide professional advice;
  • Workshops on interviewing, résumés and other career skills;
  • MustangTRAK, an online database featuring hundreds of jobs and internships, and UCAN, or University Career Action Network, a shared internship database among universities across the country.

Alumni are invited to share their career expertise and mentor SMU students. Learn more at SMU Connection.

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Students Make Connections at Career and Internship Fair

The spring Career and Internship Fair sponsored by the SMU Hegi Family Career Development Center brought hundreds of students and alumni to the Hughes-Trigg Student Center to meet with more than 100 employers, including finance and insurance firms, technology and engineering companies, retailers, nonprofits and government agencies.

  • Watch a video of the Career and Internship Fair by Myles Taylor of SMU News video

Before the fair, the Hegi Career Center offers a Career Prep Day, where students participate with employers and alumni in events including Resumania and Speed Networking.

Career counselors encourage students to begin exploring internship opportunities and the career development process during their first year at SMU. “Today’s employers want to see not only solid GPA and campus involvement on students’ resumes, but also multiple relevant work experiences,” says Darin Ford, director of the Hegi Career Center.

The Hegi Career Center offers students and alumni multiple resources in addition to the fair, including:

Learn more about career development resources at smu.edu/career.

    • Alumni are invited to share their career expertise and mentor SMU students. Learn more at SMU Connection.
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Tips for the Career and Internship Fair from the Hegi Career Center

More than 100 employers are participating in SMU’s Career and Internship Fair on Thursday, September 20, from noon to 4 p.m. at Hughes-Trigg Student Center. Janet Lewis, assistant director of the Hegi Family Career Development Center, advises students to make a plan before the fair about the employer representatives they’d like to visit so they can use their time efficiently. Students can find a list of participating employers here.

“Do some research and find at least one thing that interests you,” Lewis says. “You can use that in your conversation with the representative. Employers are impressed by students who take the time to learn a little about their company.”

Hegi Career Center counselors also offered these tips:

“As part of your research before the fair, check out your target employers on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Social media may provide you more information about the company culture and what it is like to work there.”  – Guy Davis

“Dress in business casual clothing for the fair. Make eye contact and have a firm handshake when meeting employers for the first time.  These are simple yet powerful ways to be remembered.” – Darin Ford

“After the fair, if you met with a company that has a strong presence on Twitter or Facebook, tweet or post on its page about how great it was to learn about the company and its opportunities, and mention something specific that you discussed. The company’s social media team will be impressed and might even tweet back!”  – Allison Dupuis

“After the fair, make sure you follow up with employer representatives who provided you their contact information. Thank-you notes are always appreciated. Also, check the career center website to see whether the company will be hosting an information session that you can attend.” – Lisa Tran

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Hegi Career Center Connects Students With Jobs and Internships

After graduating in May, Laura Baez will begin training for her new teaching position in Memphis, Tennessee, with Teach for America. She was accepted into the competitive program after an intense application process, and she credits the Hegi Family Career Development Center with helping her prepare.

“The Hegi Center offered a session about what to expect during our interviews,” says Baez, a senior political science and Spanish major in Dedman College. “We had the opportunity to ask a Teach for America executive director and SMU alum questions directly through Skype, which eased a lot of our concerns. I don’t know where else I could have gotten that kind of preparation.”

Caryn Statman, assistant director of the Hegi Family Career Development Center, urges graduating seniors and other students who are seeking jobs and internships to make use of the career center’s resources. The center’s MustangTrak database, for example, features thousands of jobs and internships in Dallas and around the country. SMU also participates in a 21-school internship consortium called UCAN, where students can search for in-state, out-of-state and international internships.

“The latest numbers from the Labor Department show that more businesses are hiring, which is good news for our students,” Statman says. “However, competition is still strong, so students must remain persistent and be creative in their job searches.”

Here are more tips from Statman:

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