Archive for April, 2013

Alumni Guest Post: Tricia Dunn ’12

April 30th, 2013 by mklync13

To round out our Alumni Guest Posts for the 2012-13 year, we’re happy to present Tricia Dunn ’12, former HC Career Planning Marketing Intern (& Blogger!) and current member of the Human Resources team at Hanover Insurance Group.

Check out more about her job & advice for students pursuing a career at Hanover or in HR!
__________________________________________________________________________

Hi Crusaders! It’s hard to believe that almost a year has passed since I graduated. And yet, while it

Tricia Dunn ’12

seems like just yesterday I was enjoying Cape Week and pre-graduation celebrations at the Pub, so much has happened since then that I can’t believe college was only a year ago.

I’m currently going on a year at The Hanover Insurance Group, where I work in the Human Resources department and am part of the company’s Future Leader’s Program. I’ve been lucky to try a variety of projects during this year here and am learning a lot. While I have enjoyed this past year and the growth and change it has brought, I will admit I do get a little nostalgic for HC sometimes. So, in that spirit, let’s pretend we’re meeting up in the pub for a $2 beer (side note: do any of you realize how great this is?!) and I’ll share what I’ve been up to over the past few months.

How did I end up at Hanover?

 

I first learned about The Hanover as a junior looking for internships. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do and was applying to internships in a variety of fields and locations. Two young alumni had a lobby table in Hogan and were recruiting for The Hanover—with cupcakes.  No joke, I first learned about The Hanover due to my insatiable hunger for baked goods. One of them asked me if I was interested in applying for the internship program. Since I wasn’t really thinking about insurance, I didn’t take it seriously at first, but their enthusiasm for the company took me aback and I found myself connecting with a lot of the things they mentioned. The more I learned about Hanover, the more it sounded like a place I could like.

Fast forward three months and I returned to Holy Cross having enjoyed my internship and with an offer in hand for a full time position as part of The Hanover’s Future Leaders Program. While it was a little nerve wracking to commit to a company so soon into senior year, I was excited to join the program. I liked the idea of joining a training program in which I would be given more growth opportunities, mentorship, and cross-functional training.

Through the program, I’ll get a certificate in Business Analysis, learn about other business functions and get more access to leadership and mentoring opportunities than I probably would have otherwise. Also, I started with 40 other people – many of which I’ve become great friends with!

What do you specifically do there?

This is tough for me to answer because I worked on a diverse set of projects. I am currently in HR Operations, which supports and designs tactical solutions to get done in our department. In essence, we’re the back end people, on the ground, making sure everything runs smoothly. For example, I manage our relocation program; so when the company hires a new employee who needs to move for the job, I help set them up with our relocation vendor. I consult with the HR recruiters who are making the offer, manage vendor to ensure that it is meeting our employee’s need, pay invoices and run financial reports for our finance department.

I have also done some process improvement work for our Learning & Development group, which hosts and manages all of the enterprise-wide classes and learning programs. I took a look at how the operational work was being accomplished: how the online class sign up system worked, how the classes were being set up and hosted, etc., and was able to identify issues and and make recommendations to improve the user experience and improve efficiency. This project was fun because I got to do a lot of consulting work and the impact of my work was noticeable right away!

I think Operations was a good place to start because it provided me with foundational knowledge about

Co-workers decorate Tricia’s office!

the department and exposed me to all of the different areas within it. However, as I approach my one year mark with the company, I’m looking forward to trying something new. As of June, I will still be in HR, but I’ll be working with our Community Relations & Employee Engagement group. I’ve already begun to take on some more work in this area and am really enjoying it!  I am currently managing the redesign of our career site (stay tuned for improvements!), writing pieces for our internal company newsletter, and planning events with our community partners.  I’m looking forward to taking on more roles with marketing and helping others.

While I’m still not exactly sure what I want to do long-term, I am really happy to be where I am today. As mentioned, I am happy for my year in Operations, but I’ve always known I wanted to get into something more community-focused and more creative. Thankfully, I have had a lot of advocates at The Hanover who have mentored me and helped me get into this new role. As for long-term plans, I think the next year will be telling. I plan to continue to take on a diversity of projects to stretch my skills and interests in new ways. I think by doing this I will discern the next step most clearly and with the experiences I’ve had at HC and The Hanover I believe I’ll be ready to take it on!

Any advice for college students?

 

Yes! I have three that alumni have passed on to me and that I have learned in my one year in the proverbial real world:

1. Focus on the job role, not the job title.

Titles can be misleading and box you in to a job search. While titles hint at hint at what a job entails, there is usually more than meets the eye. It’s more accurate to approach a job by thinking about what you want your daily life to look like – do you like working with people? Doing something creative? Analytical? Are you passionate about research? Whatever that be, focus on those descriptive words and the type of work which you are seeking – rather than a title.

2. Advocate for what you’re interested in…

As a political science major and a studio art minor, I knew that Excel spreadsheets all day were not going to be my jam. Early on at my time at Hanover, I found myself enjoying my projects which were more creative, solidifying my interest in that area. I made sure my manager, mentors and others knew about it. As a result, I’ve been given more creative opportunities in my current position and will be transitioning to a more creative role full-time as of June.

3. …But be open.

As a newbie to the workforce, you’re bound to be doing projects and tasks you never thought you’d be interested in. Yeah, some of those projects are going to suck as much as you expected them to, but guaranteed you will learn something—and maybe even develop new interests—if you are open to it.

4. Drink more $2 beer.

Just kidding. Sort of. Have fun and enjoy the heck out of your time at Holy Cross! It’s a great experience and I encourage you all to make the most of your time there, in the classrooms, on the fields, in extracurricular and yes, even socially.

——————————————————————-

Connect with this story?

Learn more about the opportunities at Hanover Insurance group here.

 

Happy Earth Day!

April 22nd, 2013 by mklync13

Happy Earth Day, Crusaders! In the spirit of environmental sustainability, we decided to feature the top 5 environmental jobs in the current marketplace, some green trends in business and a couple of at home tips to show your Earth some love.

TOP TIER ENVIRONMENTAL JOBS

[via Investopedia, Updated Salary Stats from Indeed.com]

1.) Physicist: Work to improve green technology—especially solar panels. (Median Annual Wage: $106K)

2.) Engineer: This position can factor into a number of disciplines including civil, materials, chemical, industrial, electrical, mechanical and other engineers and revolves around green technology and the creation of green architectural structures. (Median Wage: $79-92K)

3.) Construction Manager: With the popularity of constructing green buildings, this position has the potential to rake in a greater income than some engineers. (Median Wage: $84K)

4.) Biochemist (or Biophysicist): As a broad field, this job can relate to many environmental agendas. As an example, a biochemist might look at the effects of environmental toxins and pollutants on human health. (Median Wage: $74K for Biochemist, $167K for Biophysicist)

5.) Geoscientist: As masters of the physical Earth, Geoscientists are key in locating natural resources and figuring out the most environmentally friendly ways to extract them. (Median Wage: $91K)

6.) Environmental Lawyer: As a growing field within the legal realm, environmental lawyers can work with a number of different clientele—including construction firm or businesses looking to adopt greener methods. (Median Wage: $93K)

LEED CERTIFICATION: Changing the Place of Business

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) has been providing third-party certification to buildings shaped around green design, construction and everyday operation since its creation in 1993 by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).

The Benefits of Businesses aiming for LEED Standards:  [via USGBC]

1.) It’s Economically Savvy: Decreases in operating costs & increases in occupancy and rent… Music to business’ ears!

Operating costs Building value ROI Occupancy Rent
New construction drop 13.6% rises 10.9% improves 9.9% rises 6.4% rises 6.1%
Existing building projects drop 8.5% rises 6.8% improves 2.5% rises 1% rises 19.2%

2.) It reduces Risk: Certification requires standards above the minimum building code requirements, which may help decrease the chance of building quality problems and subsequent lawsuits in the long term.

3.) LEED attracts Customers: Going Green is trendy. It may sound like a lesser point for argument’s sake, but clients or tenants care about sustainability.

4.) It’s Cost Effective: “On average, an upfront investment of 2 percent in green building design results in life cycle savings of 20 percent of the total construction costs — more than 10 times the initial investment.”

The Empire State Building, a US cultural icon, is currently the largest LEED Gold certified building in the United States & Western Hemisphere!

 

10 Easy Ways to Be Green [via Our Earth]

As college students running on college budgets, I think it’s safe to say most don’t have the economic capital to construct a LEED skyscraper…at least right now. Although it’s important for us to see the movement of the corporate world towards more sustainable practice, some of you might ask “What can I do now to be more Green?” Your wish is my command….

1.) Reduce – Turn off the lights when you leave the room, Take shorter showers, Print Double-sided, Walk when you can, Drink more Tap water and less bottled etc.

2.) Unplug Unused Electronics – 25% of electricity used to power home electronics is consumed when the device is turned off

3.) Recycle – As of today, Holy Cross uses Single Stream Recycling … so now you don’t even have to sort!

4.) Look for the ENERGY STAR Label – If it has the label, the product has a few baseline energy efficiency standards.

5.) Used Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs) – They use 75% less energy!

6.) Fix Leaks – A leaky toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water every day.

7.) Buy Recycled – Even some new school supply products derive from recycled materials

8.) Computer Power Management – Turn on Sleep Mode or turn off computers over night

9.) Properly Dispose Hazardous Waste – Don’t send old light bulbs, batteries etc. to the landfills… properly dispose of them at a local free collection box

10.) Fresh, Local, Organic – Support the local economy & eat healthier while helping the environment!

Lastly, here is this… just because it’s Earth Day:

Happy Earth Day, Crusaders!

…. Now go hug a tree!

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

April 17th, 2013 by mklync13

As summer rolls around the corner, many of you are preparing to leave the Worcester area. Whether you are heading home, studying on a Maymester program, relocating for a job or interning in a new place, there are many opportunities to explore during your summer vacation or time after graduation.

In the spirit of the classic Dr. Seuss book, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!, we’ve compiled a few stories on the best “places to go” (or live/work) and how to secure and maximize positions in these places…. Enjoy!

____________________________________________________________________________________

THE BEST PLACES FOR YOUNG ADULTS TO LIVE

A recent report by Business Journals named Austin, Texas the best city for young professionals, as it boasted top numbers in population growth in addition to long and short term employment growth.

San Jose, California steals the second spot with the highest percentage of young adults with incomes over $150,000. (Not Bad!) To round out the top three, Washington D.C. takes third with the greatest percentage of the population holding Bachelor’s Degrees in addition to high income levels.

Seniors, who are looking to relocate, consider these cities and the rest of the below list!

10. Raleigh, North Carolina
9. Denver, Colorado
8. Des Moines, Iowa
7. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
6. Durham, North Carolina
5. Houston, Texas
4. Boston, Massachusetts
3. Washington D.C.
2. San Jose, California
1. Austin, Texas

____________________________________________________________________________________

THE HAPPIEST PLACES ON EARTH & HOW TO INTERVIEW ONCE YOU’RE THERE

A recent book by National Geographic’s Dan Buettner concluded that Singapore; Arhus, Denmark; San Luis Obispo, California and Monterrey, Mexico mark the “happiest places on Earth” as people experience the best health, social networks and general well being in these four areas.

Based off of these results, Going Global contributor Mary Anne Thompson outlined several interview tactics job seekers should employ if pursuing careers in these happy cities.

Singapore:

  • Arrive 15 minutes early to the interview
  • Create a clean online presence (most employers tend to check social media here)
  • Appearance is weighed heavily, so dress your best!
  • The four major languages are English, Mandarin-Chinese, Malay & Tami… knowing two or more of these languages is very helpful

Arhus, Denmark:

  • One interview is standard for small companies (2-3 interviews for larger companies)
  • Business dress is fairly informal in Denmark, but it is important to dress up for an interview
  • Many interviews occur during a meal and etiquette is very important

San Luis Obispo, California

  • Phone & Video interviews are standard for pre-screening
  • Punctuality is valued, so arrive early!
  • Make direct eye contact with the interviewer to show confidence
  • Outline successes and ambitions to reflect experience and drive

Monterrey, Mexico

  • Keep interview dress conservative and formal
  • Interviews tend to last longer & may require longer waiting time beforehand
  • Maintain a good posture, do not lean forward toward the interviewer and keep hands relatively still throughout the interview

To find positions in these cities or abroad in other areas, visit www.goinglobal.com!

____________________________________________________________________________________

THE “PLACES YOU’LL GO” IN YOUR NEXT INTERNSHIP/JOB

No matter if you are a 10min drive or a 10hour flight from home, it is important to maximize your internship/job for your personal well being and the ability to move up in the given company or your career in general. In a recent article by Forbes, contributors outlined a few ways for individuals to make the most of their internships (also applies to entry level jobs):

  • Create a list of short term and long term objectives for yourself before the job begins
  • During your interview, make sure your goals and expectations align with that of the employer
  • Maintain a positive Attitude—even if the task is mundane
  • Ask for feedback from your boss or advisor
  • Try to meet and network with at least 25 people (for larger companies) in a department different than your own

____________________________________________________________________________________

As the end of the semester is quickly approaching, it’s time to start securing your plans for this summer. Whether you are physically going to a new place or trying to forge a new path in your career, now is the time to explore and take chances!

As the famous Doctor Seuss book says….

“Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away!”

As the famous Doctor Seuss book says, “Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away!”

April Career Advice: Salty Dog & Pong in the Interview Room

April 1st, 2013 by mklync13

How to transform your Salty Dog outfit into your Interview outfit in MINUTES!

  • Don’t bother spraying your shirts with Febreeze… employers are intrigued by the smell of booze on clothes. It shows initiative that you were even able to wake up for the interview after such an eventful night.
  • Girls: Take a tissue & wipe off the bottom of your eyeliner. Leave on the rest and it will look freshly done!
  • Boys (especially those interested in Investment Banking): The whole full suit stereotype is SO outdated… show those Wall Street studs your best going out tee and khakis.

The Art of a 10-page Resume:

  • Make sure to choose a very elusive font, as employers like a sense of mystery to draw them in. Recommendations: Wingdings or Simplified Arabic (Make ‘em translate!)
  • Another option is to hand write your resume. There’s a reason you spent so much time in school practicing cursive.
  • Include every club you’ve participated in since Middle School. How are employers supposed to take you seriously if they aren’t aware of your membership in Scrapbook Club during 6th grade?
  • Quantity overrules quality.
  • No need to proofread!

Spruce up your Facebook & Twitter:

  • Upload your best Beer pong match to YouTube ASAP.  Employers want to see your competitive edge. Bonus: If you are a regular champion…tack it on your resume!
  • If you don’t have a Red Solo Cup in your profile picture, you’re doing it wrong. Fill it up, snap a picture & show us your best Saturday 2am face. An employer’s dream.
  • Employers want entry-level employees who take charge of the company on Day 1, so show off your authoritative skills by cursing frequently on your public Twitter profile. Maybe throw in a disrespectful statement here and there to seal the deal.

Nail your Interview!

  • Always interview in a pairs just like Brennan and Dale from Step Brothers
  • Don’t bring copies of your resume… it looks like your trying too hard.
  • Always arrive 5 minutes late to the interview. If you are too punctual, they will always expect you to be on time.
  • Have your mother, father or sibling write a follow up thank you note—they love to see your family background prior to hiring

APRIL FOOLS, HO CRO!

P.S. If none of the above statements seemed out of place, please stop by Drop in hours ASAP (Every weekday from 1-4pm in Hogan 203) …We have some work to do!