Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Tips for One Last Winter Break

As the fall semester comes to an end, I'm reminded once again of just how much of a senior I am. I'm not just talking about my lack of motivation or crippling need for sleep (for once). I'm also referring to the latest in a string of "lasts" that began recently and will continue until graduation: last fall gala, last college football game, and now last winter break. The idea of one final month-long break before I say goodbye to the sweetness that is the college calendar is enough to send me off a cliff of emotion. But, I'm instead going to remain calm and try to make the most of break, with a specific focus on preparation for life after Tufts, a reality that is approaching far too quickly for my liking. Outlined below is my plan for winter break, senior year edition:

First and foremost, get all of the sleep. ALL OF IT. This semester has been ridiculously busy for me - between two jobs, an internship, a full course load, and trying to juggle homework, clubs, friends and relationships, and my own personal happiness, I've been just a liiiiiittle bit completely overwhelmed. At some point, I just put my head down and barreled through the weeks, like a Greek soldier who fearlessly charges into the enemy's phalanx. Now that I've emerged from the fray, bruised and in extreme pain but somehow still alive, I am going to celebrate my survival by slipping into the state that most closely resembles death: sleep. (I should probably be concerned by how great that sounds right about now, but instead I think I'll just make another cup of coffee.)

Liz Lemon continues to inspire me.
Apps on apps on apps. After I wake from my week-long slumber, my top priority will be to fill out some job applications. I've tried to deny it until now, but there's no running from the fact that I'll be graduating in just about 5 months, and I should probably find something to do after they kick me off of this campus. What exactly will I do? Well, I could tell you, but I think instead I'll give the answer that I gave all of my relatives over Thanksgiving: "it's a surprise!" (Stay tuned for an actual answer to what I'm planning to do after graduation!) Jumbo Jobs is a great place to start.

Get all dressed up and talk about myself. The annual CIC Career Fairs - held in Boston, NYC, and DC - are coming up! These great events have a Career Fair in the morning and pre-scheduled interviews in the afternoon. The DC and NYC events will also lead into a Tufts Alumni networking event, featuring Jumbos who relocated to each city. I'll be at the Boston and NYC Fairs, and I'll hopefully see a few fellow Jumbos at these events. Interview pre-select deadline has passed, but you can still register for the morning career fairs where you may even land an afternoon interview! Be sure to check out these events if you're an underclassman interested in working in Boston, NYC, or DC!

Finals week spirit animal.

Need even more ways to fill up your winter break? Check out the Career Center's winter guides for all class years (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior) for inspiration. The Career Center will also be open over break! Drop-ins are on hold, but you can make an in-person, phone, or Skype appointment 9-5 on weekdays.

Now is the time to not only take a break from school, but to focus on your long-term plans while you're not bogged down with homework. Get lots of rest, and I'll see you next year for one final semester of blogging! (*sheds first of many tears*)

Until next time,
Sean Boyden
Class of 2017

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Just Keep Swimming: Advice on Staying Motivated in the Homestretch

We are officially in my least favorite part of the school year: the weeks between Thanksgiving and winter break. With a taste of vacation fresh in our memories, the thought of returning to schoolwork before we have four weeks of uninterrupted couch-sitting is a real dream-killer. As the title of this post suggests, my SWUG-ness has reached an all-time high, and I'm finding it more difficult than ever to stay on top of my game as the semester grinds to a halt. But, since I'm the one with the blog password, I have to keep my motivation levels at least above minimal, for everyone reading this as well as for myself. From a now-seasoned college student, here are a few of my tips for staying strong in the weeks ahead:

Keep focused. I know how hard it is to stay motivated in the last weeks of the semester. Being in my seventh round, sometimes I feel more ready than anyone to just give up and let finals happen. But the one thing that keeps me going through times like these is the thought that when it's all over, I'll be able to go home and do what I want to do for four whole weeks - no homework, no papers, no responsibilities. But this is a reward, and it must be earned. So just get through it - we're all right there with you.

Prioritize your well-being and happiness. Short, cold days + finals-week homework + finding time for clubs, jobs, and friends = stress. There's no doubt that lots of Tufts students will be reaching for their squishy balls in the weeks ahead as work and stress pile on. But we all know that this is ridiculously unhealthy, and that nothing should come before our personal happiness, right? Right?? Whenever someone asks me how I de-stress, I always tell them that I take lots and lots of breaks. Not only do they recharge your brain for its next cram session, breaks also keep you from getting overwhelmed and exhausted, things we definitely want to avoid right now (and hopefully always). Whether it's a 4-minute dance party in your room (I'm a big proponent of these, personally - I have a playlist on my phone called Dance It Out) or a mindfulness workshop for the Senior Launch Lunch Series, be sure to take a break before winter break!

Start planning your winter break. At this point in the semester, winter break is a lot like the North Pole for me: rumored to exist, most likely very cold, but I would go there even if it meant eating nothing but whale blubber the entire time. While my break will definitely contain copious amounts of Netflix and curling up with my dog on the couch, I'm also going to try to get a few productive days in. At least two of those days will be at the upcoming CIC Career Fairs, which are happening in New York City, DC, and Boston - if you're going to the NYC or Boston fairs, you can catch me sweating in a business suit.

Or check out the Career Center's "Winter Guides", custom tips and advice for first-years, sophomores, juniors, seniors, and grad students! This advice doesn't only apply to career planning - map out a weekend trip with your best friend from home, or plan to reconnect with someone you lost touch with while you'll be in town. Planning a fun outing makes for a great study break!

Alright kids, it's time to get off the Internet and get to work, for you and me both. The next few weeks will be tough, but you've overcome academic challenges before and come out on the other side with at least one college acceptance letter, so I have faith in you. If you see me around campus, be sure to (a) look beyond my sweatpants and generally unkempt appearance and focus on my sparkling personality, and (b) remember this post, and that we're all going through it together, but it'll be over soon. Take care of yourselves and each other, and I'll see you on the other side.

Until next time,
Sean Boyden
Class of 2017

Friday, November 18, 2016

4 Ways to Boost Your Career Search Over Thanksgiving Break!

It can be hard to find time for career exploration over the short Thanksgiving Break, so here are four quick and easy ways to stay on top of it in between Thanksgiving festivities!

                         Source                                             Source

1.      Explore the Career Options for your Major   

What Can I Do With This Major? is a great database to learn about the typical career areas and the types of employers that hire people with each major, as well as strategies to make you a more marketable candidate. Whether you’re exploring multiple majors or just jobs specific to your field this database can really help boost the process!

2.      Update Your Jumbo Jobs Profile

Search hundreds of opportunities with Jumbo Jobs, our recruiting platform to connect students and employers for jobs, internships and career events. Set up search agents using custom criteria, perfect your resume with the Career Center’s guide, and then upload your resume for employers to view.

3.      Spotlight On Careers

Spotlight on Careers is a career development website for liberal arts college students. Use its flexible search functions to sample employers in different industries, gather information on select jobs and get career-specific interview tips and resume advice (log in with username: spotlightpass and password: liberalarts2017).

4.      Check out the TIP (Tufts Internship Profiles) Book!

The TIP book is a collection of summer internship summaries and advice provided by Tufts students for Tufts students. After reviewing the internship profiles, students can contact fellow students through the Tufts directory for more information. This is a great inside peek at many internships done by Tufts students, and a valuable resource for you in your internship search.

And as always, visit the Tufts Career Center website for lots of great career resources, advice, and events! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving break! 

Hewot Getachew
Tufts University
Sociology, Communications and Media, 2017

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Ready for Takeoff: Notes from the First Senior Launch Lunch Series

Friday, 11/4 was the first installment of the Career Center's Senior Launch Lunch Series, a year-long series of workshops exclusively for Tufts seniors. Traditionally, Senior Launch has been a day-long event, but this year we decided to change things up to make it easier for seniors to attend. The first seminar was on negotiation in the workplace, and how it can be used to secure a fair starting salary/benefits package and more. Facilitated by Farzana Mohamed, a renowned negotiation expert and co-author of the book "How to Negotiate Your First Job", this was an event jam-packed with incredibly helpful and informative advice. In case you missed it, here are my key takeaways from the workshop:

Can I negotiate? The answer is usually yes. An overwhelming majority of young professionals, women, and people seeking their first job do not negotiate their salary or benefits. If asked why, people will often say that they didn't think they could or they feared it would be construed as aggressive or overzealous. The reality is that many employers expect some amount of negotiation from all newly-hired employees - and as such, they frequently low-ball new hires so that they can negotiate up to an amount they were willing to pay all along. It's important to do your research beforehand - whether it's through online databases like Glassdoor, or through personal networking - and be informed about the appropriate salary for a position you've been hired for. Then, be brave, put your game face on, and ask for what you deserve.

Trade on differences. One of the most interesting points that Farzana brought up was trading on differences - a synergistic move in which both parties are able to converge on a mutually beneficial solution. Since that phrase sounds very jargon-heavy and overly-professional for my normally cool and casual self, I'll explain what I mean using an example Farzana gave. She was negotiating for a job that would involve travelling to India several times a year. The pay was slightly lower than Farzana wanted, but she thought of a solution that both she and her recruiter could agree on: in exchange for a slightly lower pay, Farzana proposed that every time she traveled to India, she could take a few days off in London to visit her family. As Farzana explained, she received invaluable time with her family while her employer didn't have to scramble for more money. Synergy. Boom.

Negotiation is more than getting your ideal salary. I used to think of negotiation as something that only high-powered financial executives use to get a multi-million dollar salary; one of the biggest lessons I learned from this workshop, though, is that negotiation is so much more than that. When you are at the point of negotiation, the employer has already hired you and you have accepted their offer - in other words, you've both made it clear that you are invested in one another. Negotiation is your first chance to begin building a long-lasting relationship with your employer. Instead of thinking of it as two competing interests on opposite sides of the table, consider negotiation to be a cooperative process for two parties with common interests. When you go in for a negotiation meeting, take the time to ask the other person about their professional path, and why they enjoy their work for your employer. You might learn about something the employer wants that you can provide (e.g., a person with graphic design skills), and you can make yourself even more valuable to them. By forming relationships early, you will get the most out of your position and your employer.

There's no doubt that negotiation is is an unavoidable part of the professional world. Still, it's often a point of confusion or anxiety, especially for first-time job seekers. Hopefully after reading this post, negotiation has become a little less scary (and maybe even a little more exciting - more money, more benefits, meaningful relationships! All exciting things!). When the time comes for you to enter the workforce, make sure that you are prepared to have the negotiation conversation.

Until next time,
Sean Boyden
Class of 2017

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Internship Resources Every Tufts Student Should Know About

Last week, the Career Center hosted an internship workshop, which I co-facilitated as a Career Fellow. Although these events are always popular, last week's workshop had over 130 students in attendance, which according to our staff shatters any past record. Because of the high interest level, I'm beginning to think that driven, motivated Tufts students really want to know about internships, and the internship resources available to them. So, I present here a few of the resources we walked through during the internship workshop (along with advice from a senior who's actually used most of them!):

April Ludgate: most relatable college intern ever.

This should be the first stop for any Tufts student looking for an internship. JumboJobs is a database filled with job and internship listings from employers specifically looking to hire Tufts students. You can scan through listings using a variety of search criteria (location, field of interest, position type), upload a resume/cover letter, and even apply for interviews or on-campus recruiting events. Another great aspect of JumboJobs is access to recruiters' contact information, usually listed in the job description. Another Career Fellow, Shivani, told a story about how she emailed an employer after finding their email address on JumboJobs, and ended up getting an internship. There are so many ways to use this site - be sure to advantage of them all!

Tufts Internship Profiles (TIP): The TIP books are put together by the Career Center every year because we know that one of the best resources for Tufts students is other Tufts students. TIP books are databases of your fellow Jumbos' past summer internships: each listing includes the student's roles/responsibilities, how they found their internship, and (most importantly) - every student whose name is included in the TIP book has agreed to be contacted by any other student. So don't be afraid to reach out to someone who's had an internship you want.

Jumbos help each other out.

Liberal Arts Career Network (LACN): Jim, a Career Center Assistant Director and the facilitator of the internship workshop, described LACN as "JumboJobs on steroids". This database is a lot like JumboJobs, except that it's shared between Tufts and many other universities in the US. By pooling resources, liberal arts colleges are trying to provide their students with as many internship opportunities as possible in a wide variety of fields and geographical locations.

Networking: Arguably, networking is one of the most valuable resources in your internship search arsenal. While combing databases is a great way to find internships, a lot of postings never make their way to these databases. Shivani, Jim, and I all recounted anecdotes from our professional lives in which networking landed us a job/internship. If you're unsure about what networking means, be sure to check out our website, or attend some networking events on or off campus (I just attended one of these last week - read about my experience here).

You may be thinking that November is a little early to start looking for summer internships. Truthfully, it is early - but that's a good thing. The sooner you start thinking about it, the sooner you'll start searching, the sooner you'll apply, and the sooner you'll find a meaningful experience that will further your career journey.

Until next time,
Sean Boyden
Class of 2017

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Looking for a Mind at (Net)work: Notes from Medical Day on the Hill

I will take any chance I get to incorporate a Hamilton reference into my posts (Listen to the Schuyler Sisters if the title confuses you.)

Last Thursday, I attended Medical Day on the Hill, an annual networking event hosted by Health Professions Advising. The evening featured a panel of Tufts alumni now in the medical profession as well as a buffet dinner where current students had the opportunity to speak with more Jumbo-docs. This was the first professional networking event I've attended (for personal rather than Career Center-related reasons, that is), and I found it so incredibly motivating and illuminating that I knew I had to write a post about it. Here are my key takeways from Medical Day on the Hill:

You get what you work for. Every speaker on the panel iterated the importance of hard work in reaching their career goals. While this is certainly true of the medical profession, the same could be said for any field. The sentiment wasn't surprising to me, but it was a powerful message all the same: no one got to where they are today by being really really smart, or being the Surgeon General's daughter, or getting lucky. If you just work at it, you can get there.

Go at your own pace. A common topic of discussion among students and alumni was the idea of a gap year - or "growth year" as Health Professions Advising has begun to call it. All three alumni on the panel had taken at least a year in between undergraduate and medical school, along with the alumna sitting at my table, Marjorie Affel (A'03). Everyone had different reasons for their gap year, but I related best to the one that Marjorie gave - a desire to enjoy senior year of college and avoid rushing into medical school too fast. Taking a gap/growth year is a growing trend, especially in medicine, and it's an option that everyone should at least consider when deciding what to do after Tufts. Personally, I've already made up my mind to take a gap/growth year - stay tuned for updates on my search for a job/fellowship to fill it!
Me, every day.

It's a balancing act. Work-life balance came up a lot throughout the evening - probably because medicine is a field notorious for historically overworking its members. (Marjorie attended the event with her 3-month-old daughter in tow - as she put it, a clear sign that balance is something doctors "struggle with.") However, this doesn't mean that work-life balance is impossible to achieve; the panelists stressed the value of their support network of friends, family, and colleagues that keep them going through crazy times. Marjorie also gave our table some advice that really resonated with me: people (especially women, who often feel greater pressure to prioritize their personal lives over their professional ones) need to stop feeling bad for enjoying what they do. If you work a 60-hour week because you love every minute of your job, that's reason enough. If you want to cut back on hours to stay home with your kids, that's equally valid. While there's no one-size-fits-all approach to a perfectly balanced life, it's possible to find a balance that works for you.

Networking always seems intimidating to college students, but a lot of us don't realize that it's basically just talking to people. I had a great experience at my first networking event, and hopefully I can attend more like it in the future! Be sure to check the Career Center calendar and e-News to be informed about events on and off campus.

Until next time,
Sean Boyden
Class of 2017

Friday, October 21, 2016

Introducing the 2016-2017 Career Fellows

Now in its second year, the Career Fellows program is once again bringing "by-students, for-students" service to the Tufts community! Career Fellows are professionally-trained students who have been hired by the Career Center to increase awareness of and participation in the programs and services offered by the Career Center. Fellows can meet one-on-one with students by appointment or during daily drop-in hours to discuss finding internships, resume/cover letter writing, and navigating Career Center resources. Career Fellows are an entry-point for Tufts students into the Career Center, and can provide guidance from a peer's perspective - they've been in your shoes before, meaning they can combine their personal experiences as a Tufts student with their professional training to provide unique and high-quality advice on your career journey! Here's a look at the Career Fellows team this year:

Drop-ins schedule:

Tufts Career Center, Dowling 740
Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday: 12-2pm
Wednesday: 5-7pm

Name: Jorge Antón García

Class Year: 2017

Major: Computer Engineering

What’s the most exciting thing about being a Career Fellow?

Being able to talk to students about the awesome things they have been part of and have accomplished. I love digging into their experiences and listening to their amazing stories about what makes them passionate. In doing this, I begin to get to know them and they can also appreciate what they have achieved.

If you could give any advice to a Tufts Student, what would it be?

Have a good mix of classes within your major and some outside of it. Try out new things by joining clubs and realizing what work you like and do not like. This experience is very valuable personally when looking for jobs as you can get a clearer idea of what type of jobs you may be interested in. At the same time, within clubs you gain valuable work experience.

Name: Sean Boyden

Class Year: 2017

Major: Biopsychology, Community Health

What’s the most exciting thing about being a Career Fellow?

I love being able to spread awareness about the Career Center and its wealth of resources and services throughout the Tufts community.

If you could give any advice to a Tufts Student, what would it be?

You’ve only got four years here, and it goes by too fast. Take advantage of every opportunity, savor every moment, and make sure you leave here with no regrets.

Name: Sabrina Chishti

Class Year: 2017

Major: Biology and Political Science

What’s the most exciting thing about being a Career Fellow?

I’m really excited to meet and talk with so many different people!

If you could give any advice to a Tufts Student, what would it be?

Take advantage of everything that Tufts has to offer. From cool clubs, to interesting classes, to fun events—there is always something new and different happening on campus, and participating in them leads to a better Tufts experience.

Name: Anna Linton

Class Year: Senior, Class of 2017

Major: English, Psychology, Judaic Studies

What’s the most exciting thing about being a Career Fellow?

I am thrilled to have the chance to play even a small part in my peers’ professional journeys. Venturing outside the world of Tufts into the world of the professional can seem daunting, and totally overwhelming; but, as students set goals, make important career decisions, and take risks, I feel so lucky to have the resources and opportunity to help provide them with an approachable support system that can help break down intimidating goals into practical, manageable, steps.

If you could give any advice to a Tufts Student, what would it be?

It is so important that students know that we are here for them! No matter where someone is on his or her career journey, from prepping for a second round interview, to taking a first stab at putting together a resume, students should never hesitate to ask for help. Both at the Career Center and beyond, there is no pressure in asking for help, no expectations, and it is so critical to remember that no matter where you are, there are people who are willing and able to help out. There’s really nothing to lose!

Name: Shivani Shendye

Class Year: Senior

Major: International Relations and Economics

What’s the most exciting thing about being a Career Fellow?

I love that being a Career Fellow allows me to meet students that I may have never met before, and to offer them advice that helps demystify the internship or job search process. I truly believe in the importance of fostering student-to-student relationships especially in the realm of career planning because we have much that we can learn from each other.

If you could give any advice to a Tufts Student, what would it be?

My advice to a Tufts student would be to be a sponge. Not in the literal sense of course, but make it your goal to absorb as much as you can during your four years here. Take a class that you are curious about even if it has nothing to do with your major. Make it your goal to get to know all of your professors. Join as many student organizations as you can handle. Your experience here will truly shape what you decide to do after you graduate.

Be sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter (@TuftsCareer), and check our e-News and Calendar to stay up-to-date on what the Fellows are up to this semester!