3 Reasons You Need To Stop Making Fun Of People’s Majors

With the Class of 2013 accepting their degrees and striding into today’s job-market, I’ve noticed a trend that is not only rude, but probably a waste of time: This trend is belittling what our peers chose to study in college. It’s important to remember that what you chose to study was a personal decision, and it should be respected as such, and just because one person may not end up with a job in the field of study they choose to pursue is no reason to mock them for it.

In a recent article by Buzzfeed, the validity of the private school education was openly mocked, displaying ‘uses’ for degrees that were not only degrading, but not in any way funny (My degree has not been used as a doorstop, window prop, or laptop coaster, I can assure you). What we need is to inspire students to pursue their dreams, most specifically the ones that inspired them to go to college in the first place. So without further ado, here are 3 compelling reasons you need to stop making fun of people’s majors:

  1. They might get hired before you do. In a 2009-2010 publication by Anthony P. Carnevale, Ban Cheah, and Jeff Strohl, it was estimated that recent graduates faced a 8.9% unemployment rate (mind you this was 2009-2010). However of these, the recent graduates of the Arts, Architecture, and Humanities faced the most difficult unemployment rates among their peers (9.4-13.9% unemployment rate). Similarly Yahoo took a closer look at the census materials used in the aforementioned article, and found that some of our favorite major fields of study to mock had the lowest unemployment rates: Agricultural Science ranked 3rd and Communications ranked 4th (surprise to no one, Health ranked 1st). Statistics aside, if someone you mocked gets hired and later you have to use them as a connection for a job, that could be rather awkward.
  2. There are more constructive things you could be doing. In the time it took you to look up an article mocking someone’s major study, you could have perused a Mashable job board, applied to a position on LinkedIn, searched for alumni/alumnae from your college to connect with, or even given your resume spa treatment. There are a plethora of places you can send off your resume (like a message in a bottle) but sometimes it can be tricky to get started. Before you send your friend pictures of your resume being used as…anything other than wall decoration…take a look into some great places to start, like this handy writeup from CareerBuilder.
  3. Your might not work a job in your major field either. When you begin your precarious job search (I say precarious because it can be scary), identifying your true passion and where you aspire to work can be just as difficult as when you were deciding on a major field of study (if not more so). While you may have had an undying love of architecture, or a passionate love of fine art…you may find yourself making a 180 degree departure from what you studying to pursue something similar or bearing no relation to what your read about in textbooks. You may find that your studio arts passion is enlivened by graphic design…or you may find yourself in love with the competitive nature of sales. You may even find that you want to go back and reinvent yourself and go headfirst into philanthropy or non-profit work. Whatever the case, spend your energy focusing on your career path, not nitpicking the lives of others.

Hope this helps, and good luck class of 2013!

Dear Class of 2013

By now you have probably received your fill of guidance from major influencers such as Richard Branson, Tom Keene, and Gary Shapiro (and so many countless others); told you must follow your dreams, forget your dreams, be very afraid, be confident, be passionate…be a lot of things to succeed in the environment in which you are about to embark.

It’s going to be a bumpy road.

I’m not Richard Branson, but I’ve seen a plethora of mixed messages being hurtled at the upcoming class of graduates: everything “You’re going to be great! Take risks” to “You’re totally screwed, be very very afraid” and I thought that perhaps it was the right time to throw in my two cents.

So here’s my loose change.

So class of 2013 (most notedly from Goucher College, my alma mater) what advice I have to give to you is cut through the clutter of mixed messages and focus on what you want to do and who you want to be. The best advice ever given me, was to seek a culture I wanted to be apart of above a listed job position; rather than scan through massive lists of uninspiring job listings, look for that one special listing that speaks to you from that one company you would kill to be a part of. You might not get it off the bat, but keep it in mind when applying to you second choice (kind of like you did in college). Similarly, when looking for advice and scanning other articles titled “Class of 2013” only read the articles from the influencers whose accomplishments speak to you most.

The only thing they don’t teach you in college.

College is great for a whole lot of things; you learn a plethora of information, introduce you to new life experiences, and for the most part college is what you make of it. But there is one essential element in life that college will not teach you, and neither your parents nor your friends can instill in you. Passion has to be a part of yourself you develop throughout your college experience and you must demonstrate to those around you. It doesn’t matter how perfectly white and well-laid out your resume is, or how perfectly put together you look in your interview; your passion for what you do needs to outshine your patent loafers.

To summarize:

  • Focus your search
  • Find your niche
  • Wear your passion on your sleeve
….And breathe!
Hope this helps!

A Word on Transparency and Professionalism

 

 

The word ‘transparency’ is thrown a lot in the social media world, a tantalizing buzzword meant to embrace authenticity, or put simply ‘realness’. In terms of brands, companies, and influential professionals, this means being accessible to others by what you share on your media platforms of choice. Put simply, transparency could be characterized as being truthful and genuine to the outside world, or appearing to have nothing to hide.

And transparency is a beautiful thing.

Until it isn’t.

In a 2013 report from Fox Business, it was estimated that Americans in particular spend approximately 16 minutes of every hour on a social media site (like Facebook, Twitter, etc.).  The more readily available social media has become, the faster we embrace it, spending more and more time sharing our lives with the outside world. And this is a great thing in principle, giving us an inside look into some of our favorite celebrities on their own terms separate from the invasive lens of the paparazzi. At a glance, social media enables even the most distant figures of our world accessibility like never before. For example, did you know you could tweet at the pope, the president, and Oprah with just the touch of a button?

There is a Downside

I’m not sure whether our ability to share has prompted us to share more, our defenses have been lowered by promises of confidentiality, or whether younger adopters of social media have less inhibitions, but transparency has shown a darker side to those we share the Internet with.  Where before, it was common for users to adopt a ‘if you wouldn’t want your mom to see it, don’t share it’ policy, many users now share images that could greatly negatively impact their future careers; drinking pictures from high school and/or college, explicit photos and video, and even viciously hateful remarks about others via Facebook, Twitter, and the newly adopted Snapchat apps.

About Snapchat…

You may or may not have heard of the app recently applauded as ‘the new instagram’, but if you are a parent, you probably should. The app’s primary function is to send and receive videos and photos, which self-destruct after 10 seconds. As you might imagine, like with the ‘confidentiality’ claims of Facebook, this isn’t entirely true; with the right smartphone, its possible to take a screenshot of a compromising image and publish it to another social media website, often with dire consequences.

Going Forward

If you choose to be transparent on social media, make sure you make smart decisions about what you post, where you post it, and what the implications might be. If you are seeking a job, or maintaining a professional presence, it may be wise to avoid posting compromising photos involving alcohol, illegal activities, or that portray you in a way that could be easily misconstrued. It’s also important to note that ‘protecting’ your tweets on Twitter, creating a ‘limited’ profile on Facebook, and even trusting in Snapchat’s ‘vanishing’ images will not prevent someone from finding images that could put you in a compromising position. The safest way to use social media is by always putting your best face forward and presenting content about yourself and others in the best light possible.

In fact, maybe even show your mom before you post it, because chances are she’ll eventually see it regardless of what privacy settings you have.

Hope this helps! 🙂

Sources:

http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2013/04/26/social-media-addiction-study/

http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/03/tech/mobile/snapchat

http://gawker.com/5967303/snapchat-sluts-shows-why-snapchat-isnt-the-consequence+free-sexting-app-wed-all-hoped-for

3 Easy Things To Consider For Interviews

Here’s another short and sweet how-to for the week: What are three things you should consider before walking into an interview? Well, what I can relate to most is comparisons, here are three comparisons that might help you out:

  1. If you wouldn’t say it on a first date, don’t say it in an interview. As weird as this may sound, oftentimes the things you wouldn’t be caught dead saying to an interviewer are similar to things you’d never want to say to a first date (especially a blind date). If you don’t think you should open a date with “I’m too attractive for you, but I can settle” similarly, maybe don’t start with its equivalent”I’m too qualified for this job, but you should hire me”.
  2. If you can’t say it to your most conservative family member, don’t say it. If talking about gay marriage and pro-life gets your in-laws, grandparents, uncles, etc upset, don’t spring it on your interviewer. For all you know, they could be pro-gay marriage, anti…or not even care that much. It’s not something you want to find out when trying to impress them and land a job.
  3. If you think a hipster would say it, don’t say it. Oddly enough, this one works too: if you were planning on opening with “I worked for company X, but you’ve probably never heard of it” DON’T. A better way to introduce a small company is to mention what they do, what drew you to them, how much you learned working for them, etc. Insulting your employer’s intelligence and being offended that they don’t recognize the name isn’t going to get you any brownie points.

I hope these help! Now go forth and nail your first date…er… I mean conversation during thanksgiving with your conservative relatives…er I mean…interviews.

(These also work great for conversations during Thanksgiving & on dates btw…feel free to try them out and see how it goes!)

3 LinkedIn No-No’s

Hey guys! So for the weekend, I am going to share some helpful things you shouldn’t do on LinkedIn. I’ll keep it short and sweet:

  1. Don’t ask for a job. Seriously. If you are planning on connecting with an alum in a powerful position, they probably get emailed a lot about jobs, job offers, job opportunities, etc. Just don’t do it. Instead, ask them if they could give you some career advice, or maybe as if you could grab a coffee and gain some insight into life after college. Better yet, ask them about their career or their major.
  2. Don’t make your status unofficial. If you are a student, your status should be ‘student’. Not ‘philosophical goat-herder’, ‘bohemian’, and especially not ‘funemployed’. LinkedIn is for professionals, so keep it professional.
  3. Don’t post statuses you wouldn’t want you mom to see. This means no ‘Sh-ts’, ‘f-cks’, or ‘sh-tf-cks’; no exceptions. Post articles you like, articles you’ve written, or things you care about. Keep it classy.

Hope this helps! Happy job hunting!

Words of Encouragement

Apologies (again) for my lateness (again). As a llama in a silly hat once said: “I’m in the wrong here, I suck”

(in case you don’t get the reference, watch the video below)

Anyways moving on, this week I want to hand out a bit of advice on keeping the faith. And by ‘faith’ I don’t mean any religious sort of faith (unless that’s your thing). I mean faith in economy, the job market, and your life in general. Here are three things to tell yourself when life gets a little too real:

  1. It’s going to be ok. No matter what is happening in your life, try to remain calm and remember that it can always be worse: if you are reading this on a computer screen, remember that there are people out there that don’t have computers or cars or food and are having a worse life than you. If you have a roof over your head, food in you stomach, and the drive to get back into the swing of things, you can and will do it. It’s going to be  ok.
  2. Karma does exist. Good things come to those who wait, and if you hang in there just a little longer, things will look up. Often when things don’t go as smoothly as we’d like them to, our first reaction is to lash out and be angry (I’m guilty of this too). Instead, just keep putting the time and energy in…and wait. You might be surprised what happens with a little time and hope.
  3. There is no harm in being charming. This might seem a bit odd in this list, but never underestimate the power of flattery. Whether its taking the time to learn what makes your boss tick, studying up the company you’ve always dreamed of working for, or even just holding the door for a flustered businessman, be prepared to have your kindness pay off. Sometimes knowing that your boss loves orchids, or that your favorite company roots for the New York Red Bulls, or even that you just held the door for a former Google executive can come in handy.

I promise the next two posts will go up in timely fashion this week!! I think 3 per week seems rather reasonable, no?

Three Reasons You Should Consider Startups

Hello again! So many readers may have noticed that I am a cheerleader for startup companies, and love the culture surrounding them. Why? Well unlike more traditional spaces, startups have a very different kind of vibe. So what are some reasons you should consider working for a startup? Here are 3:

  1. Opportunity. Unlike more traditional settings, working for startups can facilitate more learning opportunities, by offering opportunities to learn through hands-on experience. Instead of being part of a larger corporate body, small startups offer a chance to get your feet wet by oftentimes engendering a more tight-knit community of like-minded individuals. While more classic internships sometimes rely on only learning one department’s procedure, startups often allow interns to experience different department’s procedures and gain more diverse experience.
  2. Diversity: Because startups are created by a wild variety of founders (young, old, corporate, post grad, etc.) no two startups are ever the same. Sometimes in more traditional companies, their culture can be lost in corporate policy, professional procedures, and a visible ‘stiffness’ in company culture. In many of the startups I have worked with, there is a clear culture to each startup, one which is influenced by an incredible teams from a plethora of backgrounds. This leads to an engaging and diverse ‘voice’ or ‘face’ of a company, which many others can relate to and interact with.
  3. Pace. Because startups are usually new and on the rise, the pace of a startup company can be very challenging and demanding for recent graduates. While some may find the quick pace of a startup too brisk, I’ve found personally that the faster the pace of a startup, the more quickly I am able to learn and expand my skill set.

Whether you decide to try out startup culture or not, I hope your job search is fruitful and fulfilling!

Harnessing LinkedIn

Hello Again!

Did you miss my actually helpful posts? Well good, because I’ve done away with Viral Monday and the lot, and I’m just going to stick to NYC updates and social media helps and how-tos. ENJOY!

So as I’ve been navigating today’s job market, I’ve started to pick up on some valuable networking strategies that should absolutely be at your disposal as you navigate the tricky prospect of getting hired in 2012. Previously I’d mentioned specific job sites (or job boards), learning social media, etc; what I want to really hammer home today, is how to effectively utilize one major tool for employment, LinkedIn.

Continue reading

Unwanted Visitor Mishap

So I should have expected that at some point during my lovely stay in New York, that I would come face to face with a few ugly mugs. I’ve seen rats in the subways at night, I’ve sat next to smelly people on the subway, and I’ve even encountered a handful of unpleasant cat-calls…all with some respectable level of grace. However I do have one kryptonite: when I’m tired, I don’t really handle bugs well, much less cockroaches.

When I rolled in from Electric Zoo on Saturday at a staggering 3 AM, this hideous thing greeted me by jumping out from under the shower curtain, scurrying into the vanity mirror, and scuffling around the sink.

I should be noted that I was at Electric Zoo from 11 PM until close, had probably lost 10 pounds of water from dancing and screaming like a crazed fangirl, and had only had some meatballs and a hummus sandwich. My reaction to the hideous little nasty was probably more comical that effective: I sprayed at it with bathroom cleaner, yelped when it charged at me from the sink, and tried to swing at it with my face towel (not a brilliant idea in retrospect). Too exhausted to deal with it, I ended up chasing it with a plunger in the bathtub and hissing at it. I decided it would be smart to document its existence just in case, and snapped a picture of it before capturing it under the plunger. After I’d finally gotten something to eat, I managed to hit it with end of my loofah stick and promptly threw it in the garbage before taking a much-needed shower, hissing at it again, and going to sleep.

Reblog from Unbridled blog. Topical, because it is a NYC misadventure.

Unbridled

As you may have heard, Columbus Circle experienced a bit more drama then usual when a draft horse named Oreo bolted into traffic, dumping his carriage and passengers. The terrified horse made it to 9th street before being caught.

For a long time, many equestrians have questioned the safety and ethics involved with city carriage horses. Though the rustic charm often sways people’s opinions on the topic, something we must ask ourselves is how many cases like Oreo’s happen and end differently? In several instances rather than simply ‘clipping’ cars and trucks, horses have completely collided with them, often causing life-threatening injuries or death. Certain lawmakers have called for a ban on horse carriages in New York City, while others maintain that it is a necessary tourist attraction.

As the 13th accident in the past 12 months, perhaps enough is enough.

View original post