7 Pieces of Career Advice from Success Stories

What do Lady Gaga, Steve Jobs and Warren Buffet have in common?  Their success stories all contain wisdom for undergrads starting out in the real world! Read on for some best tips from some of the best success stories.

The following article is originally from HerCampus.com and has been modified  for this blog.

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1. Steve Jobs: “You’ve got to find what you love.”
You’ve heard it time and again: find something you love and pursue it. Steve Jobs was taking a risk when he dropped out of Reed College and started Apple in his parents’ basement, but three decades later, he found himself at the top of a multi-billion dollar company that probably produced your computer screen. In his 2005 commencement speech at Stanford, Jobs didn’t speak so much about talent or resources or GPA, but instead told the graduates “to have the courage to follow your heart and intuition… everything else is secondary.”

2. Jennifer Hudson: Success is rarely instant.
Try to remember way back when American Idolactually mattered to the public and Jennifer Hudson was a contestant. She was eliminated before she even reached the top six singers of season 3—and yet, in the long run, she managed to outperform most of the show’s winners from every season. She’s won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in Dreamgirls, released a Grammy-winning debut album and landed several more roles in movies like Sex and the City and The Secret Life of Bees. Learn from Hudson’s story and don’t give up just because you weren’t noticed right away; keep working hard and you’ll earn recognition.

3. Mark Zuckerberg: Build and keep a solid network.
Creator Mark Zuckerberg has not only created an extensive network for the world, but for himself as well. Soon after finishing his sophomore year of college, he made connections with technology moguls like Sean Parker of Napster, Peter Thiel of PayPal, and Steve Chen, who later co-founded YouTube. And while Facebook was a smart idea to begin with, these people gave Zuckerberg the tools to materialize it and build the entrepreneurial empire he has today. Keep your eyes open and don’t be afraid to meet new people.

4. Barbara Walters: Keep your personal and professional lives separate.
Regarded today as a journalism icon and one of the world’s most influential women, Barbara Walters has dealt with the drama of marrying and divorcing four times, suffering three miscarriages, and raising a daughter off camera.  Walters kept it classy and managed her personal life without letting it interfere with her professional life, a skill that can help anyone’s career.

5. Barack Obama: No barrier is unbreakable.
No matter your political standing, you’ve got to admit that President Obama has made history by breaking the race barrier in the White House. Take his story as proof that you can take your career as far as you’d like it to go—no matter who has or hasn’t done so before you.

6. Warren Buffett: Be modest.
Warren Buffett has bragging rights others can only dream of: a net worth upwards of 60 billion dollars, a position as CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, and a standing as one of the wealthiest and most successful businessmen in the world. But despite his legendary status among investors, he is known and admired for his personal frugality, a career lesson we may not immediately consider but one to keep in mind. Buffett has nothing to prove and gets a lot of respect for his attitude. Celebrate your achievements, but skip the boasting. Your success will speak for itself.

7. Lady Gaga: Give back.
This year Lady Gaga topped Forbes’ Celebrity 100 and scored the eleventh spot in the magazine’s World’s Most Powerful Women list. Not only is she a favorite in the entertainment industry, but she is also quite the philanthropist. Gaga has become involved in various charities and benefits for the victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami, HIV/AIDS, United States immigration laws, and LGBTQ discrimination. And while the main function of Gaga’s philanthropy is benevolence, she has also broadened her fan base and gained respect from the public for her generosity. What’s the lesson here? It’s okay to be ambitious, but don’t forget the human side of things. Keep others in mind and they’ll do the same for you, too.


Environmental Services Alumni Career Panel Feb 27th

Environmental Services is one of the most important and diverse industries in the employment market.  Learn more about how you can make your passion for the environment not just a cause but a career.  Four Holy Cross Alumni will return to discuss their experiences pursuing a career in the variety of job opportunities that exist in this important industry. Returning alumni include:

Pat Austin ’77
Engineer Supervisor – Division of Water Supply Protection, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation

Paul McManus ’81
President and Owner of EcoTec, Inc.

Christina Imrich ‘07
Program Officer, Conservation Leadership Programme Wildlife Conservation Society

Lindsey Konkel ’07
Worcester based environmental journalist.  Published in Reuters, Environmental Health News, Scientific American, and OnEarth, the magazine of the Natural Resources Defense Council

22 Companies Hiring RIGHT NOW.

It’s easy to get caught up in the doom & gloom outlook on the economy, especially without a job offer in hand.  However, there are employment opportunities available across industry lines.  Many companies are still hiring and some, like the 22 listed below, in large volumes.

This list was compiled from listings on careerpath.com. According to the site, they are all looking to hire now, so stop by drop-in hours to polish off that resume and cover letter soon!

1. Starbucks
Number of jobs: 13,000 (retail) 400+ (professional services)
Sample job titles: Retail, information technology, supply chain operations and finance

2. Amazon.com
Number of jobs: 3,000+
Sample job titles: Software development engineers, product managers, operations managers, and communications and product marketing managers

3. The Boeing Company
Number of jobs: More than 500; expects to onboard about 11,000 people

Sample job titles: Engineering, airplane manufacturing, cyber security and intelligence and business functions like finance

4. Citibank
Number of jobs: 2,500
Sample job titles: Customer service, personal banker, home lending specialist, business development officer — commercial banking

5. Adventist Health System
Number of jobs: 2,500+
Sample job titles: Allied health professionals, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, registered nurses

6. Time Warner Cable
Number of jobs: 500+
Sample job titles: Direct sales reps, customer service reps, technicians and IT and engineering

7. State Farm Insurance
Number of jobs: 2,600
Sample job titles: Actuarial, agency department, banking, claims, creative services, customer service, information technology/systems, legal/litigation, public relations/communications, underwriting

8. Deloitte
Number of jobs: 3,300
Sample job titles: Client service professionals in all business segments including accounting, assurance and advisory, risk, tax, strategy, financial, technology and human capital

9. URS
Number of jobs: 4,300
Sample job titles: Engineering, logistics/supply/procurement, business operations/admin/IT, construction, project/program management, aviation, environmental/sciences, health and safety/homeland security operations and maintenance

10. ADP
Number of jobs: 2,000+
Sample job titles: Sales, implementation, JAVA development, client services, HR

11. T-Mobile USA
Number of jobs: 1,000+
Sample job titles: Retail sales, business sales, corporate and technology

12. Humana Inc.
Number of jobs: 2,200
Sample job titles: Various, including sales, pharmacy, nurses, physicians, service operations, IT

13. Bridgestone Retail Operations
Number of jobs: 1,000+
Sample job titles: Retail sales managers, service managers, automotive technicians, master technicians

14. Universal Health Services
Number of jobs: 1,500+
Sample job titles: Accounting, allied health, education, executives (CEO, CFO, CNO, COO), food and nutritional services, healthcare–rehab, ICU, IT, L&D, nursing and office/clerical

15. Koch Industries
Number of jobs: 1,000
Sample job titles: Engineers, IT, operations

16. Black and Veatch
Number of jobs: 500
Sample job titles: Mechanical and electrical engineers, project managers

17. Advanced Technology Services
Number of jobs: 1,000+
Sample job titles: Manufacturing maintenance technicians — field service representatives

18. Burns & McDonnell
Number of jobs: 300
Sample job titles: Civil and environmental engineers, project managers

19. Gentiva Home Health and Hospice
Number of jobs: 1,800+
Sample job titles: Home health and hospice registered nurses, home health and hospice LPNs, nurse management, nurse practitioners, occupational therapists, occupational therapist assistants, single site and multi-site operation management, physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, sales executives

20. USA
Number of jobs: 320+
Sample job titles: Install technicians, customer service, IT tech

21. Certified Payment Processing
Number of jobs: 366
Sample job titles: Sales/account management

22. Bayada Home Health Care
Number of jobs: 300+
Sample job titles: Nursing, assistive care, therapies, medical social work, rehabilitation, hospice, non-clinical support and marketing/sales

(Original source.)

Skype Interviewing 101

Whether you’re applying to internships while studying abroad or applying for a job far away, you may have to participate in a Skype interview this spring.  Skype is a great opportunity for connecting you to these opportunities, but it poses some unique concerns.  To address these issues, I turned to Jenny Foss of JobJenny.com, who describes herself as “Your job search BFF and tough love expert on finding career passion.”

Her tips for using Skype may help you move from a virtual interview to a real job offer!

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10 Tips to Shred the Competition in your Skype interview (by Jenny Foss)

You may already know this, but allow me to reiterate: corporate HR has discovered Skype. And they’re using it with increasing frequency to interview candidates. It’s cheaper than flying you in, and it’s more personal than a phone call.

Welcome to your huge advantage in the job search. Do use it accordingly. Even if you’re not job searching, these tips are helpful for any Skype calls you do, including informal interviews and networking.

If you’re competing with older candidates for your dream job, they may very well have the “years’ experience” edge. But if you’re already comfortable using Skype? You really, truly could outshine that senior level candidate if he or she is “green” with this technology.

Of course, you must then make this your mission. Outshine, friend. Outshine.

To ensure this mission is successful, here are 10 tips to help you shred the competition on your next Skype interview:

  1. When confirming the interview, provide your Skype account name. Show the interviewer that you’re comfortable with the technology right from the start. Also, ask if you are to dial them, or if they will call you. No sense starting off on this weird note.
  2. If your Skype name is cutesy or unprofessional, set up another account. And not MadSkillz or HireMaddie. Just your name, please. Or something close to it if yours is already taken.
  3. Practice first. I recognize that this might sound obvious, but you’d be amazed by how many people don’t do it. Dial up a friend, relative or professional mentor and run through a few mock questions. Check the audio levels, make sure the room lighting looks normal
  4. Get the eye contact thing down. This can feel a little strange on Skype, but eye contact is VERY important in an interview. Be sure and look into the webcam a large portion of the time. You’ll be tempted to stare at the screen, because that’s where the interviewer’s image appears. But if you look there the whole time? It will come across that you’re looking down the entire time. Eye contact. A must
  5. Don’t even think about doing it in a coffee shop. Quiet, clean room. Absolutely no environmental hustle and bustle, none.  Oh, and when I say “quiet, clean room?” Assume I mean “quiet, clean room with no weird crap in the background. (Editor’s note: Career Planning has rooms you can book to ensure you have a quiet space to conduct your interview!)
  6. Silence any other phone or potentially interrupting technologies before the interview. That’d be your cell phone, your land line and any other audible alerts that could pop up on your computer during the call.
  7. Go professional, but remember you’re probably sitting at home. Some professionals will argue me on this, but I think that, for most positions, it’s unnecessary to get all spiffed out in an “interview suit” for a Skype interview. “Hi, I’m sitting in my apartment in pinstripes. Just a regular old day here.” It just seems odd to me. Absolutely look polished, ironed and professional (and wear pants, for heaven’s sake,) but I say suit is not required (unless, of course, you’re in the running for some big Wall Street or CPA gig, then yes, probably.)
  8. Prepare in the exact same way that you would for a face-to-face interview. Research the company, the industry and the players with whom you’ll be interviewing. Come to the interview with thoughtful questions related to these. Listen. Listen. Listen. And then answer questions calmly and succinctly. Smile. Just like you’d do in person.
  9. Don’t panic if you have a dropped connection. More than likely, the interviewer already knows that this happens sometimes with a Skype call. In the event it happens on your interview? Take a couple of deep breaths and wait for him or her to re-connect. If five minutes passes and he or she doesn’t? Redial.
  10. Say thank you. And do so while you’re looking at that webcam.

Finally: pat yourself on the back when it’s over. Your comfort level with newer technologies like Skype may well help you land the dream job!

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More questions on interviewing? Check out more online resources on how to interview including behavioral interviews and interviewing for shy people. You can also set up a mock interview with a Career Planning counselor.

Article Source.

Aumni Guest Post: Matt Harper ’11

This semester we kick off the Alumni Guest Post series with a story by Matt Harper ’11, who is living and working in Belize as part of the International Jesuit Volunteer Corps!

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Matt Harper '11 (second from left) at graduation

I have been in Belize City, Belize (in Central America) for about four months as part of the international branch of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.  I work in the youth facility of the Belize Central Prison. My job description says, “Teach literacy and math.” It should probably say, “Be present, teach if you can.” Each day is an adventure and I am constantly learning.

How did I end up here?

It wasn’t until my senior year began that I realized I had much to learn and to experience about the world.  I neglected some very significant opportunities made available to me while I was at Holy Cross; I think my ego kept me from committing myself to the greater service of Worcester. I fooled myself into thinking I had figured something out which thus no longer required me to have direct personal experience with other people’s struggles, poverty and pain.

This was the kindling for my decision to join the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. Now, allow me to give a quick summary of the other factors that influenced my decision-making process:

I wanted to get involved with service work because I knew I needed to humble myself, needed to realize that I can’t always do or “fix” things.

I wanted to spend time abroad not because the US can’t provide what I’ve found in Belize but because I believed I would ultimately return home to address the many problems in our own country. I still believe I will return home in two years, but who knows where the whispers of God within me might call me.

I wanted something that focused on spirituality not because I’ve “figured” anything spiritual out, quite the contrary actually. We are spiritual beings and I wanted to finally take that part of me seriously.

I wanted something grounded in community because I often cannot see further than myself, and that hurts everyone. I believed there would be great value in the intentional challenge and support that real community could provide. (I was right!)

Finally, I wanted to improve my ability to see and work for justice in our world. I saw that justice is more about how a person views the world and the actions that come from this foundation more than it is about a person’s words – and I often have a lot of words! I knew I had to simply be with others and shut my yapper for a while.

Truth: I’m still working on all of this.

In addition to my work in the prison, I live in a community with six other people. We share our money, make decisions together, take responsibility for ourselves, each other and our house. We challenge and support each other (aiming to do so through love) in the hope that we can grow together as well as in our own specific ways.

In applying for IJVC, I wanted a challenge that would make it possible for me to positively “confront” all the many aspects of myself that I had previously neglected while simultaneously building relationships with those I am “serving.” Those two things are more interconnected than I could have imagined.

Leaving Holy Cross has made what it gave me all the more tangible.  I was supported and challenged by faculty, staff and students who constantly encouraged me to look a little deeper; I was given countless opportunities to take a stand for something;  I had unimaginable resources; I was asked to search for myself and to consider how I will serve the greater glory of God…the list goes on, and no words can capture fully what Holy Cross gifted to me. Each experience has been so important in getting me to this point as will each well into the future.

I have no doubt—and I feel peace knowing—that Holy Cross will be with me and I with it forever.

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Did this story resonate with you?

Learn more about the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.

Check out other volunteer opportunities with Career Planning.