Archive for February, 2013

“Harlem Shake” as Corporate Strategy?

February 27th, 2013 by mklync13

It appears that Baauer’s mega hit song “Harlem Shake” is the new “Call Me Maybe” or “Gangnam Style” of 2013, as the broadest spectrum of people have been posting renditions on YouTube, boosting the song to #1 on I-tunes. Although many may brush aside “Harlem Shake” as another fad of pop culture, several businesses are maximizing the hype with their own versions of the dance.

According to an article by Stephanie Gaspary of Career Builder, companies’ “Harlem

Shake” videos are being carefully deployed as corporate recruiting strategies. How & why? Even for entry level jobs, companies are selling themselves to you just as much as you are selling yourself to them. They want to hone top talent to maintain top tier work. Numbers aside, compatibility between candidates and employers is essential and the character of a given company plays a big role in that relationship. If you’re a company, what better way to break the “big scary business” stereotype and flaunt your character than to make your own Harlem Shake video?

So far, all sorts of corporations have jumped on the bandwagon from PepsiCo to Intel. Outside of the commercial milieu, everyone from soldiers in the Norwegian Army to the Kansas University Men’s Basketball team completed “Harlem Shake” videos as a platform to broadcast their culture to the world.

INC.com claims companies with their own versions of the “Harlem Shake” are spreading the message that their business can fulfill the essentials needs of its employees, which are “to feel, connect and belong to their company.” Thus, “Harlem Shake” videos not only serve as a recruiting tool, but also as a method of increasing company morale.

For students and future employees, “Harlem Shake” and its surprising strategic use reminds us to think outside the box…. Sometimes weird methods have the biggest payoff!

P.S. We are sorry to report that Holy Cross Career Planning will not be releasing our own version of the “Harlem Shake.” Try to contain your disappointment, Crusaders.

Alumni Guest Post: Ty Shaw ’09

February 25th, 2013 by mklync13

Kicking off our Alumni Guest Post series for the Spring Semester, Ty Shaw ’09 discusses how his post grad life led to his current role as a Business Development Consultant at Oracle!

Ty Shaw '09

Job prospects were few and far between when I left “The Cross” in 2009.  America was in the midst of the modern day great depression.  I soon learned the importance of humility, perseverance and strong networking–or as I say, making new friends and embracing old ones.

During my senior year I had one solid job prospect in an industry and location I didn’t want to be in after college, so instead of taking the job, I chose to go back home to Denver, CO.   At the time I was so wrapped up in my own ego and my sense of entitlement that I could not truly understand how tough the economy was.  I was fixed on the thought that I had a great degree from Holy Cross (which I did), and that was all I needed to land a good job.  I was sadly awakened when I spent almost my first year after graduation working with a staffing firm (temp. agency) to keep my resume/skills current.

During that year with the staffing firm, I was humbled.  I could not find permanent work, and I had sent in around one hundred applications and hadn’t landed any interviews.  My dad soon came to me and said “Son, you have to get around the movers and the shakers.”  So that’s what I did, networking became a part of my daily routine.  And I can’t stress enough how important it is to meet people doing things that you think you may be interested in because most companies don’t waste their time looking at resumes where there is no referral with it.  I began to connect with Holy Cross alumni in Colorado that I found off the Holy Cross alumni website, and I joined meetup groups (meetup.com) so that I could mingle with people that were doing the work I wanted to do.  Each networking experience helped me to realize that the best networkers are those that make genuine friends.  In this world we can never have too many genuine people in our lives that want to help and are open to being helped.

After networking in Colorado (and a few jobs later), I thought getting back to HC for a spring football game would be a good idea for me to reunite with old friends and teammates.  And I was right! Going back to HC is what led to my current opportunity at Oracle.  A Holy Cross teammate and friend told me about openings at Oracle and how he was recently hired—and this connection helped lead to my current job.

In my role, I am working as a Business Development Consultant (BDC) for Oracle.  I am responsible for prospecting into companies that have technology issues.  On a day to day basis, I perform in-depth research on these companies to gain a deep understanding of their business.  Also, I am researching to see how Oracle can add value to what they do.  Most of the companies I work with are public so I am able to read their 10k reports to understand their business and see if we can help.

Once I’m done researching companies online that I want to call into, I find people within the company to speak with.  There are a plethora of prospecting tools Oracle has available to BDC’s to use in order to find the right person in a company to speak business with.  The number one goal is to first build rapport with the prospect, and after connecting on a humanly level, I go on to better understand that person’s role inside the company they work for.  Then we get down to business, I ask questions to see if we can add value, and if there is a business pain I proceed to set up a next call to help facilitate the sales process.  My main job is pre-sales, so I do the research, find the business problem and build the relationship before facilitating the rest of the sales process with my sales team.  I also provide advice to my sales team on how we can drive business in their territory based off of the research I find.  Ultimately, I am in the business of helping the customer first and driving revenue second.

My opportunity at Oracle wouldn’t have been possible without my new-found sense of humility, perseverance, and the Holy Cross Alumni community.  The lessons that I have learned are things that I hope that you all can take with you before graduating.  Think long and hard about what you want to do, what will fulfill you, where you want to live, and what kind of work you will be proud of.  In nearly being out of college four years, I’m just now feeling like I’m heading down a path to fulfillment.  A Chu!  Chu!  Rah!  Rah! For Holy Cross!

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Learn more about the opportunities at Oracle here.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

February 14th, 2013 by mklync13

The holiday of hearts has rolled around once again. Whether you are planning something romantic, headed to the theaters to see Safe Haven with a box of tissues or are happily apathetic to V-day, we think you’ll enjoy a few career topics related to this notorious holiday.

1.) “We Found Love in the Workplace” via CareerBliss

We found love in a hopeless place.   According to CareerBliss, the workplace is not a place devoid of romantic opportunities. The 6 featured couples demonstrate how everything from a mutual love of quinoa to activities on a company retreat sparked romance between co-workers. Check out their stories and, who knows, maybe you’ll meet your special someone in a future career venture!

2.) “It’s Valentine’s Day…Go Hug Your IT Guy” via Forbes

Forbes proclaims Valentine’s Day isn’t merely a day to show love to family and friends… share the love with your co-workers too! As another opportunity to pay it forward, reach out to someone and make someone’s day with a simple compliment. If you really want to stay true to the article, head to HC’s IT department and let them know you appreciate their work!

3.) “Networking is like Dating: 6 ways to succeed in both arenas” via PR Daily

It’s all about who you know, right? Check out the 6 witty ways Samantha Hosenkamp of PR Daily connects successful networking and dating opportunities. Basic idea: Put your best foot forward!

4.) “10 Jobs Where you’re most likely to Fall in Love” via Huffington Post

Want to see if your career path could be pointed towards a romantic job? Here are a few to start: #10 Computer & Information Managers, #9 Mechanics Managers, #8 Human Resources Specialists. Make sure you follow the link to see the rests of the vocations and which job snagged the number one spot!

5.) “Happy Valentine’s Day Playlist” via Career Builder

Sometimes, all you need is a good old fashioned V-day playlist. Career Builder put together a Spotify playlist to get you in the holiday spirit!

Happy Valentine’s Day, Ho Cro!

Slaying Zombies & Success in the Real World

February 7th, 2013 by mklync13

Recently, I found myself hooked on AMC’s hit show, The Walking Dead. I’m not sure whether it was the adrenaline of a good zombie-human throwdown or the perplexing amount of questions I had about the cans and cants of a Zombie Apocalypse, but either way I was hooked.

So as I anxiously await the midseason premier February 10th, I couldn’t help but consider the wide set of skills & dashes of luck you need to subsist on a zombie infested planet. Sure the average person can survive Season 1 without much dexterity, but you have to be a pretty resilient and crafty walking dead slayer to endure until Season 3.

  • Now you may ask: Why is the intern rambling about Zombies on a Career Planning blog?
  • The answer: I couldn’t help but draw a parallel between the skill sets of survivors and people who have forged successful careers in the real world. According to a recent Forbes article, “Super Achievers” share 10 major characteristics, which also match those on the Walking Dead. Let’s explore…

1.)  Dedicated to a Vision: For the leader of the pack, Rick, the survival and betterment of the group marks his top priorities and focused vision. Successful corporate figureheads also maintain a vision built on short and long terms goals.

2.)    Intelligent Persistence: Forbes differentiates between dedication & blind

persistence, noting that success is bred by people who are determined, but can also think outside the box from unique angles. Considering that the onset of a Zombie apocalypse is not something most people anticipate, the leading survivors embody endurance and the ability to be shrewd in new situations. We’ve seen Rick & the gang do everything from donning zombie guts to blend in Season 1 to transforming almost any normal object into a weapon in order to maintain their goal of survival.

3.)  Fostering a Community: On The Walking Dead, surrounding yourself with a trusting, varied community is essential. We tip ours hats to Rick for being a police man and somehow scooping up a doctor and a slew of other skilled peeps on his travels. Super Achievers also know how to surround themselves with talented people. The best actors boast top managers, publicists, assistants and connections to top tier directors and studios. Although only one name may see his/her name in shining lights, the best rise up by working with the other talented people.

4.)    Listening & Remaining Open: Success does not solely hinge on delegating tasks and having your opinion heard, it also depends on listening. Thriving leaders share the ability to hear others’ opinions and remain open to changing their ideas. As the big cheese on The Walking Dead, Rick must account for new ideas from the group, especially when trying to escape dangerous situations. When Carl is injured early in Season 2, Rick remains open-minded to the medical options Doctor Hershel provides him. In a broader sense, if you aren’t willing to listen and try new things in a Zombie Apocalypse, you’re as good as gone. The same is true in business!

5.)    Good Storytelling: During a Zombie Apocalypse, holding on to your sanity and positivity means having people around you who can remind you of the past and communicate positively about the future. And if nothing else, since there is no more television or internet (AHH!), compelling story tellers act as your saving grace from perpetual boredom. Take Zombies out the equation, the ability to entice and entertain people is crucial to building networks of people and making success seem easier than it looks.

6.)    Testing Ideas in the Market: Super Achievers possess good instincts and the

fortitude to carry their instincts out. Forbes discusses Bill Gross, the founder of CarsDirect, who followed his gut and tested his online car site—before they even had inventory, four cars had been purchased! We will have to be a little looser with the concept of “market” in the world of Zombies, but Rick marks a prime example of someone who always throws new ideas on the table and tries things out in order to progress. For instance, pushing the group to find the CDC in Season 1 was something that had to be put to the test in order to learn more about the pandemic and better predict survival.

7.)    Managing Emotions: Tom Hanks was pretty spot on as he spewed “There’s no crying in baseball” in the movie A League of Their Own. Although you definitely don’t want the water works streaming in most jobs (well, unless you’re a drama film actor), managing other negative emotions like anger or frustration is equally important, as it reflects the composure shared by most successful leaders. Warding off the walking dead also beckons a sense of calm intensity. Although it is totally understandable to scream when a flesh eating creature is storming your personal space, stay as level headed as possible and the Zombie will be as good as dead… umm again.

8.)    Constantly Evolving: Adaptability is key wherever you are in life. You’re baking cupcakes for a bake sale and the store is out of eggs? Adapt. You’re about to land a multi-million dollar deal and the terms change? Adapt. You’re cornered in a high school gym filled with carnivorous walkers? Adapt… really fast. Thinking on your feet is part of continually yielding successful results.

9.)    Practicing Patience: Although trusting your gut is crucial, Super Achievers also know when to wait for certain opportunities. True go-getters complement their short and long term goals, meaning inaction can signify strategy not unwillingness. Similarly, deciding when to travel and when to stay somewhere during a hurricane of Zombies reflects the virtue of patience as well.

10.) Pursuing Happiness: Empty success equates to nothing in the end. When Super Achievers find happiness in their success, that happiness can propel further success, creating a wonderful cycle. Although portending misery tends to consume most people entrenched in a Zombie Apocalypse, the small instances of optimism tend to be the fuel that keeps Rick and his group going. This may be a relative sense of happiness, but it works!

…So the take away message?

Develop or identify some of these 10 attributes in yourself and you just may flourish in the double benefit of finding success in the real world & surviving if the Zombie plague ever dominates our civilization. Until then… keep coming to Career Planning & keep watching The Walking Dead!

Happy Zombie hunting, Holy Cross!