Category Archives: Career Learning

How to Prepare for the Career Fair

More than 50 employers are participating in SMU’s Career and Internship Fair on Wednesday, February 16, from noon to 4 p.m. at Hughes-Trigg Student Center. Caryn Statman, assistant director of the Hegi Family Career Development Center, says students should review the list of participating companies and their open positions before they attend the fair. The list is available here.

“I urge students to visit company websites and jot down a few notes so they can have informed discussions with the employers at the fair,” she says. “By gathering information beforehand, students will be more targeted and strategic in their approach.”

Other Hegi Career Center staff members also offered tips:

CareerFair.jpgAllison Rhodes, assistant director of operations:
Practice networking and getting your message across with career counselors, your parents or in front of a mirror before you get in front of an actual employer.

Marva McGrew, associate director of employer relations:
Arrive at the beginning of the fair, and know what employers you will visit. Recruiters are fresh and ready at the start of the fair.

Think about a typical day on the job: You arrive at 8 a.m., ready to go to work. You have had your coffee, and you are working down your list of “to do’s.” As you are wrapping up at 4:50 p.m., someone drops by to visit. Are you going to be focused on that individual, or focused on rushing that person out the door so that you can leave? Chances are it would be the latter. Well, so it is with the Career Fair. Recruiters are fresh and ready to go at noon when the doors open. Start early, start fresh!

Darin Ford, director:
As a potential colleague, display the confidence, enthusiasm and ability to think and speak “on your feet” – and under the microscope.

Janet Lewis, assistant director of career counseling:
After talking with an employer, jot down relevant information and repeat it in your thank-you note. This communicates interest and attention to detail, and also helps the employer remember you.

• Read about a Hilltop Ambassador’s internship plans here.

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Career Learning: Dedman College Students ‘Hit the Pavement’

Group%20Van.jpg SMU’s Hegi Family Career Development Center took 10 Dedman College students on a field trip in November to visit three Dallas employers: the Center for Nonprofit Management, Sewell Automotive and Southwest Airlines. The kickoff “Hit the Pavement” event introduced students to the organizations’ leaders, as well as career opportunities for liberal arts majors.

“What I liked most about the trip was having that close and intimate access to very influential and prominent people within the Dallas area,” says sophomore George Williams, Jr. “Also, I got to see a handful of current SMU students who are completing internships with Southwest, and hearing their success stories was a very neat aspect of the trip.”

The 10 Dedman College students were selected to participate in the event through an application and interview process. Jessica Lewis, assistant director at the career center, says the first “Hit the Pavement” probably won’t be the last.

“Students were asking me how they can help bring it back in the spring,” she says. “We’ve already had several students who said they will submit their resumes at some of the companies we visited.”

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Career Learning: Lessons on Social Media

The SMU Hegi Family Career Development Center’s “Careers and Social Media Week” October 19-21 gave students a new perspective on using online resources in their job searches and possible careers in social media.

The week included a workshop on how to use social media in a job search, a panel discussion on pursuing a career in social media and a luncheon workshop about creating a LinkedIn profile. Career Center Assistant Director Caryn Statman said she was pleased with the week’s events. “It went great,” she said. “There were lots of students interested in using social media for their job search or as a career.”

Continue reading below for a few important lessons students learned from social media experts:

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Career Learning: Social Media at Work

Career.jpg Social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn have become important resources for job seekers and recruiters. SMU students and alumni can learn more about these tools, as well as new job opportunities in the social media field, during “Careers and Social Media Week,” sponsored by the Hegi Family Career Development Center and BBA Career Services October 19-21.

“A recent study showed that nearly 80 percent of U.S. hiring managers and job recruiters checked out a job applicant online before making hiring decisions,” says Caryn Statman, assistant director of the career center. “But job seekers should know that 70 percent of them reported that what they found negatively impacted a candidate, so it’s important to know how to use these tools correctly.”

Statman recommends that job seekers begin by building a LinkedIn profile that features key accomplishments and experience, and then expand their network by joining professional LinkedIn groups, as well as SMU’s LinkedIn group for alumni and students. Job seekers can use Facebook and Twitter to follow companies and stay up-to-date on industry and hiring trends.

“But no matter what, job seekers today must never forget the value of a face-to-face meeting, a phone call or a handwritten note,” Statman says.

• Find the schedule for Fall 2010 events including “Careers and Social Media Week,” which features sessions on using social media, careers in social media with expert panelists and a “LinkedIn Luncheon.”
• Follow the Hegi Family Career Development Center on Twitter.
• Career counselors are open for questions and comments at smuhegi.blogspot.com.
• Alumni and students may contact the career center by email at careers@smu.edu, by phone at 214-768-2266 or by appointment at Hughes-Trigg Student Center

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Career Learning: A Four-Year Road Map to Students’ Future

CareerFair.jpg A successful career begins with careful and dedicated planning, and the SMU Hegi Family Career Development Center has developed a road map to help SMU students in their journey.

The career center’s four-year plan outlines steps students should consider as they prepare to choose a major, a career and a job. The guide, which begins in the fall of a student’s first year, shows it is never too early to begin preparing for a career.

“As with any big undertaking, making decisions about your area of study and ultimately your career takes planning, dedication and time,” says Caryn Statman, assistant director at the career center. “And all of these things are much easier to do when you are not rushed or under a fast-approaching deadline of graduation. So first-year students are highly encouraged to get engaged in the career planning process early.”

Statman said the plan is not necessarily a rigid set of guidelines, but a model for students to build on as they assess their individual needs. She says, for example, that some students are relatively certain of the career they will choose, while others are searching – and they are likely to take different paths.

An important part of the career plan is attending SMU’s fall and spring career fair prep days and career fairs. This fall, the fair is set for noon to 4 p.m. Thursday, September 16, in the Hughes-Trigg lower level, and more than 80 employers are expected to attend. The event is open to all SMU students and alumni.

Below is the career center’s four-year plan:

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Career Learning: Landing That First Job after Graduation

SMU’s Hegi Family Career Development Center is often asked, “What should I do to find my first job out of college?” This is quickly followed by the next request: “The Spark Notes Version, please!”

If your graduate is short on time or just needs a refresher course, the center offers this 4-step process to increase graduates’ odds of getting the career they want:

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Career Learning: Expanding Your Online Network

Nothing beats networking when it comes to landing the right job. Studies show that 80 percent of jobs are found through people the job seeker knows – or through people the job seeker’s family, friends, former classmates or colleagues know.

The Hegi Family Career Development Center offers students tools to build their networks online. While a face-to-face meeting is still the ultimate in networking, these online tools can provide powerful additional ways to make contacts and explore career resources:

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Career Learning: It’s Not Too Late to Find a Summer Internship

Good news for all of you procrastinators who have not yet begun your internship searches: It’s not too late! Here’s a look at the logistics and psychology involved with finding a “last-minute” summer spot.

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Career Learning: Center Offers Lifetime of Support

career-fair.ashx.jpgSophomore Andrew Hendrix has an impressive resume: University Honors Scholar; triple major in political science, public policy and economics with financial applications; internships with U.S. Senator John Cornyn and U.S. Representative Michael Burgess; an on-campus job as a Student Technology Assistant in Residence; and numerous activities and awards.

Hendrix built his resume with support from SMU’s Hegi Family Career Development Center, where counselors meet one-on-one with students beginning their first year to review their cover letters, portfolios and resumes.

“The counselors tie what you’re doing now with what you hope to be doing in the future,” says Hendrix, who is considering a law or graduate degree in international economics after he graduates. “They know how to market you.”

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Career Learning: Career Fair Do’s and Don’ts

(Or “Confessions of a former Job Fair Jockey…”)

SMU’s annual Spring Career Fair is set for February 19 at Hughes-Trigg Student Center. Do you ever wonder what happens on the employers’ side of the proverbial job fair booth? Let me give you a rundown, in hopes that it will help students prepare.

I’ve dissected the fair into three categories – pre-event, the event itself and post-event – and examined each category from the perspective of a job fair recruiter (that’s where the “confessions” come in).

Also find “Seven Lessons Learned” from past career fairs. Here we go:

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