Friday, June 23, 2017

8 Tips To Help You Navigate Handshake

Finding a job or internship can often be like taking another class. Whether you are learning about job or internship opportunities, writing resumes and cover letters, or preparing for that coveted interview, there’s a lot that goes into the search process. Luckily, Tufts’ new job recruiting database, Handshake, is here to help!

Handshake replaced our old database, JumboJobs, on June 1, 2017, and includes exciting new functions that are aimed at helping Tufts undergraduate students, graduate students, and alumni connect to over 12,000 (and counting) employers and over 2,000 (and counting) jobs and internships.

Now you may be asking yourself “how am I supposed to navigate such an incredible database of jobs, internships, Career Events, and other resources?” Don’t worry; we at the Career Center are here with 8 tips to help you master Handshake.

1. It’s As Easy As An Upload
As a Tufts student, you already have a pre-loaded Handshake profile, but it’s up to you to enhance it with your education, work experience, organizations/extracurricular activities, etc. The best part about that? All you have to do is upload your resume to Handshake and it will populate those fields for you! While you’re there, make sure that your profile is public to employers (if you want it to be) and check out your profile from an employer’s view! 

2. Jobs And Internships Tailored To You
With your newly filled out profile (since you dutifully followed tip #1), you can start to explore a “newsfeed” of jobs and internships on the “Home” page of your account that match your expressed interests. This page will also display job and internship postings that Career Advisors have pinned to students with your major and interests. So whether you’re just starting out on your internship search or looking for a career change, your Handshake account can help you filter though the aforementioned 2,000+ jobs and internships!

3. Be In The Know About Can’t Miss Events!
If you’re anything like me, you hate to miss out on the season’s hottest events. Thankfully, Handshake makes it so that you won’t miss out on a Tufts Career Fair or on-campus interview ever again! Under the “Events” tab in the left navigation bar, you can see links to events held by the Tufts Career Center, in addition to notices about companies who are coming to campus for interviews.

4. Navigation Nation
Maneuvering around Handshake is made easy, with an intuitive interface that delivers custom content to you. Easily check your upcoming interviews and events, review results from your custom search agent, make an appointment with a career advisor, or access career resources.

5. Be Proactive In Your Employer and Job Search
Handshake makes it easier than ever to search for and find employers. On the left nav bar, go to “Search Employers” and type in a specific company name, or filter by location, employer size and industry. You can do the same for a job or internship search by going to “Jobs & Internships” and selecting from 18 different filters. If you find a set of filters you like, you can select “save these filters” so that next time you go to conduct a job or internship search, you can continue to browse without having to reenter your preferred filters! Find a job you are interested in? You can favorite it at any time so that it is easily accessed under “My Favorite Jobs.”

6. Handshake Help
Have specific questions about anything on Handshake? Check out the 2-minute training videos, and the student/alumni Help Center.

7. An Abundance of Employers
One of the perks of Tufts partnering with Handshake is that it is easier than ever for employers to connect with Tufts students. Handshake has all of the same great employers that were in Jumbo Jobs, plus more. Even better, they are specifically looking to hire Tufts candidates, so take advantage of the wide array of companies looking for candidates from Tufts! 

8. Beyond Handshake
If you are looking for additional career resources outside of Handshake, Handshake STILL has you covered! Under the Resources tab in Handshake, go to “Career Resources”. Here, you can find links to career development tools and other job search websites such as GoinGlobal, Focus2, Careers A -Z, SpotlightOnCareers, and more. These additional resources are free to Tufts students and alumni! 

We hope that these tips help to ease the transition from JumboJobs to Handshake, and don’t forget that you can always set up a 1:1 appointment with one of our Career Advisors to speak more in depth about major declaration, job & internship search, networking and much more! 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Build Your Own Story: Breakfast with Moises Cohen, A'11

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with alumnus Moises Cohen, a 2011 Tufts grad who is now in his first year MBA student at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Moises has a fascinating career path and offered some really valuable insights for all of the Tufts students in attendance, particularly graduating seniors who may be a little anxious about what the future holds. Here are a few takeaways from the morning that I think every Tufts student needs to hear.

There is no one path to success. Moises graduated from Tufts without a full-time job, and had many positions before going back to school at Wharton. He told us a story about how once, after making a big mistake at one of his first jobs, he called a Career Advisor from the Career Center and essentially asked, "What do I need to do to get into business school?" The Advisor gave him a piece of advice that he has really tried to live by since that day: there is nothing you need to do to get to your goal. You just need to focus on building a story that is authentic to you, and then you will get there. Through his work in non-profit fundraising, Moises not only found satisfying work, but was able to get to his goal of attending business school.
A GIF I relate to more and more with each passing day.

It's okay not to rush. One student at the breakfast asked Moises why he decided to wait a few years before going to business school, and when he decided it was time to go back. Moises explained that there was no rush for him to go to grad school right away - for many programs today, the average age of entry is somewhere in the late 20s, and graduate programs across all disciplines are increasingly beginning to value real-world, professional experience in their candidates. He knew it was time to go back, however, when he began to see a "learning plateau" coming at his job. In order to avoid hitting the plateau, and feeling like he had already gotten everything out of his job that he possibly could, Moises knew that he had to further his education.

Find a mentor. In his jobs after graduation, Moises was able to meet and work with many people who he referred as his "mentors" - people who do amazing work, who offer advice, and who inspire and help others succeed. A mentor is an incredible asset for any young professional to have, and I'm sure Moises would agree that maintaining positive relationships with your supervisors and colleagues, even after your time working together ends, could come in handy when you want to look for a new job.
Mentor/mentee relationship goals.

Work hard to get the results you want. In his time after Tufts, Moises worked with BUILD, a fundraising non-profit in Boston. He spoke briefly about how he struggled to adjust to this job at first, and about the challenges he had to face. But, once Moises really started trying his hardest - hiring interns, managing a team, speaking with other professionals in the field - he not only tripled the funds raised, but he came to love his job. He encouraged all of us to work hard and not to be intimidated if it doesn't click right away.

As you might imagine, Moises' story was great to hear, especially for those of us about to embark on our career journeys. He was very candid about his experiences, and how they may not have seemed like the straightest bath to business school, but he can look back and see that he has begun a story that is authentic to himself. (And, his story is a reminder that the Career Center is open even after graduation - don't lose touch!)

Until next time,
Sean Boyden
Class of 2017

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A Farewell Letter to the Career Center

To my dearest Career Center colleagues,

Three wonderful years have come and gone, and I truly can't believe I'm saying this, but it's time for me to say goodbye. I apologize in advance for how cliche this post may become, but I never fully learned how to process my emotions and I have been feeling a lot of them in the past few weeks.

More than anything, I want to say thank you. Thank you for believing in me as a young and awkward freshman, and hiring me to write for and about the Career Center even though I probably didn't deserve this job back then. Thank you for allowing me to refine my voice as a writer, for allowing me to write about my own experiences as well as the Career Center's services, for making me feel welcome from the very start of my work here. (I also have to give a special shout-out to my first supervisor and Career Center mom Nicole Anderson - Nicole, I cannot begin to express how grateful I am for everything you did for me.)

Thank you for believing in me again when you hired me as a Career Fellow a year later, and for your patience in grappling with my schedule as a dually-employed student who seemed to never leave the office. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to meet and work with students from all walks of life, for increasing my understanding of on-campus organizations and relationships, for teaching me how to write a resume that a recruiter once told me was "the most impressive resume for a 22-year-old that I've ever seen."

Thank you for your unwavering kindness, whether it was in the form of pleasant small talk in the office, a gift of free food (seriously, I would have starved to death junior year without you guys), or praise for my work even when I didn't think it was of the quality that should be praised. Thank you for becoming such an important part of my undergraduate experience, for giving me a confidence in myself that I so desperately needed, and most of all, for willingly tolerating all of my blog posts' outlandish GIF choices.

To all the current students who are reading this, I am obviously an extremely biased source, but I cannot stress enough how incredible of a resource the Career Center is. Every single one of us will need to get a job one day, and the Career Center is a resource for Jumbos now and after graduation. There is literally a team of professionally-trained, friendly people waiting in the back of Dowling Hall to help you in every way possible to get that job, find that internship, finish that resume. Do not be that person who waits until senior spring to walk in the door. It can be a 15-minute drop-in with a Career Fellow or a one-hour appointment with a Career Advisor - no matter what it is, you will get something out of coming here. Look at everything that I got out of three years of regular visits.

So, in a state of denial, I conclude this post, and with it, my time as a Social Media Intern for the Career Center. With bittersweet excitement, I look to the future, and cannot wait to start my own career, and to hear about how the Career Center grows and changes (and hopefully, in many ways, stays the same) as I do. Since my normal "until next time" sign-off may not exactly be appropriate here, I'll just say...

With deepest gratitude,
Sean Boyden
Class of 2017

Friday, April 14, 2017

The Final Countdown: Tips for Avoiding Senior Burnout

With less than a month left of the academic year, the class of 2017 is getting ready to say goodbye to Tufts. However, I think I speak for many seniors when I say that some goodbyes were said long ago: goodbye motivation, goodbye work ethic, goodbye ability to focus. Senior burnout - also known as senioritis, also known as "exhaustion due to 4 years of intensive academic study - is a pretty common phenomenon for college seniors across the nation. In my first post of the year, I wrote about embracing your inner SWUG during senior year, and trying to lead a worry- and regret-free lifestyle for the last year of college. While that still holds true, there's a very fine line between living up senior year and jeopardizing your GPA or future job prospects. Now is not the time to lose motivation, especially if you don't have a job yet. Here are some tips I'm trying to live by to ensure that I stay on track until the very end.
Leslie Knope in the episode where she gets recalled is me during senior spring.

Keep your eyes on the prize.
Right now, everything I do seems so insignificant. Why do I have to finish this problem set? Why do I need to write this paper? I have a job, nothing else matters! This may be true, and it's certainly okay to cut back a little bit on the stress of schoolwork, but I try to remind myself that the only reason I got a job was because of my commitment to my academics. If I let my GPA slip in the last few weeks of my college career, it could have long-term implications on both my career and grad school prospects. There's a light at the end of the tunnel, but I'll still have to work to get there.

Appreciate college while you can. There are times when I'm so over college - the erratic schedules, the constant workload hanging over your head, the STRESS - but there's a lot about the college lifestyle that is so unique, and that you'll never really get back. You're surrounded by people in your age group, who are all on similarly strange schedules that allow you to spend time with them throughout the week; you have (some) control over planning your schedule, and you can change it every few months; and you get to be immersed in an exciting and constantly changing academic institution that encourages you to think critically and actively about the world around you. I'm trying to embrace the full college experience, good and bad, before it ends.

Live a balanced life. With midterms weighing us all down, and finals looming in the not-too-distant future, we're all under a lot more stress than we'd like to be in our last weeks at Tufts. I'm trying to utilize all the time management skills that four years of college taught me to make sure that I'm staying physically, emotionally, and mentally healthy. Take lots of study breaks, try to do things that make you happy, and now that the weather is (finally) showing signs of spring, get outside and soak up some sun!

Find your people.  I have come to appreciate my friends so much in the past four years, but more than ever this past semester. In addition to being generally fantastic people, they're all experiencing what I am (at least, those who are seniors). Having people to talk about shared experiences is such an important part of getting through times when your motivation is low. And in the end, it's much easier to cross the finish line if you have someone to support you.

Alright, now that this menial task of writing a short blog post about myself is over, I'm going to take a quick 2-day nap. Keep up the energy as you head into finals, and to the class of 2017: we can do this. Look at how far we've already come.

Until next time,
Sean Boyden
Class of 2017

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Personal Finance 101: Notes from Talking Money, Part 2

Last Wednesday night, I went to one of the most informative Career Center events that I've ever attended - which is saying a lot, considering that I've worked here for 3 years now. Stuart Paap's second installation of his "Talking Money" series - a group of events focused on personal finance for recent college graduates - finally demystified some of those ethereal concepts that I've never really known much about, like "401(k)" and "investing" and "surviving on a first job salary". Stuart was not only an engaging speaker, but an incredible source of knowledge on subjects about which many members of our generation know little. Since some of this information is crucial to a healthy and secure future, I thought I'd share my biggest takeaways from the evening:

The extent of my financial knowledge before this event.

Allocate your income. When it comes to determining how much to spend and how much to save, it seems like everyone has a different rule: put 20% of every paycheck in the bank, put 30% of your income towards your rent... it's hard to keep up with all of them. Stuart broke it down pretty simply, and gave a few hard-and-fast rules that everyone could follow, regardless of income. He sketched out a rough breakdown of your income: 50% goes to necessities (rent, bills, food, etc.), 25% goes to priorities (paying off debt, saving up for big purchases, grad school nest eggs), and 25% goes to wants (things you could in theory go without). These percentages could change over time - for example, cut back on the "wants" spending if you're going through a tight financial period - but lay the foundation for keeping yourself in check when it comes to your income.

Start saving for retirement immediately. I've always heard my parents and other real adults talk about saving for retirement, and throw around seemingly random combinations of letters and numbers in reference to different ways of doing it, but I've never really paid attention to the conversation. Now that I'm on the cusp of entering the working world, I've realized how important it is to start investing in your future. Stuart encouraged all of the workshop's attendees to start putting up to 20% of our monthly income into a retirement account - whether it's a 401(k), a 403(b), or an IRA. (Google all of these to find out the differences and which one is right for you!) This is such an important action, particularly for our generation; now that people are living longer and retiring younger, and the future of Social Security is questionable with the aging Baby Boomer generation, it's more important than ever to ensure that you have money to live on in the last stage of your life.

A popular reference during the workshop - and a real fear of mine on most days.

Get insurance. Being of the "Young Invincible" breed that insurance companies and health policy professionals detest, insurance has always seemed like an afterthought rather than a priority. But Stuart put it this way: insurance is meant to protect you from devastating loss. That protection is worth more than spending money on frivolous purchases, or even saving up for emergencies (which you may not be able to cover with your savings alone). He encouraged everyone to obtain health insurance, renter's insurance, car insurance (if applicable), and liability insurance. It may seem like a drain on your income, but it will be worth it in a worst-case scenario.

As you might be able to tell, Talking Money, Part 2 covered a lot of ground, and I've just scratched the surface here.There's a lot to know about personal finance after college, but it doesn't have to be overwhelming. A 2015 Tufts grad came with Stuart on Wednesday, and she emphasized that small steps, one at a time, will get you to a place of financial well-being. To all the soon-to-be graduates like myself: make sure that you are educated on financial literacy before you enter a world powered by money.

Until next time,
Sean Boyden
Class of 2017

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

5 Reasons to Work for the Career Center

Welcome back, everyone! With spring break behind us, we are in that final stretch of the 2016-2017 academic year - and less than two months away from Commencement 2017.

While I'm so incredibly excited to graduate and enter the workforce and undertake a whole new adventure, there are a few loose ends that still need to be addressed before I can leave. One of the biggest is finding my replacement(s) for the role that allows me to type up my career-oriented thoughts every week in this digestible blog format. The Career Center is currently recruiting for Social Media Interns. The applications are due 4/14, so time is running out to apply! The Career Center is also hiring fall student assistants.

While I will maintain a deep state of denial towards my upcoming departure from the Career Center for a few more weeks, I do want to share why I've stayed here for the past three years. Here are (only) five reasons why I love working for the Career Center:

1. Get connected with the Tufts community. As a Career Fellow, I've been able to co-host events with RAs, Greek life organizations, and on-campus clubs. I've held drop-ins in dorms and several of the Group of Six houses, I've spoken at campus-wide Career Center events, and overall I have met, emailed, or interacted with countless members of the Tufts community. My blog posts have (hopefully) reached hundreds of Jumbos, and I still get the occasional recognition from a friend who comes across our blog. It's a really great feeling not only to be able to ingrain yourself into a unique space like a college campus, but also to be able to become an active member within that space. If you're searching for ways to get involved, I highly recommend connecting with the Career Center.

2. Apply what you do to your own life. You'll go through some serious training if you become a Career Fellow. Through workshops on resumes, cover letters, internship searches and resources, and choosing a major, you'll quickly become an expert on personal career development. While this will definitely prepare you for one-on-one meetings with students, you can also apply your knowledge to your own resume, cover letter, or internship search. One of the proudest moments of my life happened a few weeks ago, when during a job interview, a recruiter complimented me on how "impressively formatted" my resume was. For a resume nerd like myself, this was the equivalent of her telling me my child was adorable.

3. Join a collaborative and creative team. The Career Center is filled with some pretty incredible people. I cannot stress enough how much I've enjoyed working with and getting to know my co-workers, both adult and fellow student (an important distinction to make, in my opinion, since I still do not consider myself a real adult). Not only have I gotten some great career and life advice from my colleagues, but I've also been able to work alongside some supportive, friendly, and caring humans.

4. Utilize and refine your existing skills. I joined the Career Center back in 2014 because I wanted another avenue to pursue writing, something I've always been passionate about. My work has allowed me to maintain this passion while strengthening my skills as a writer - all while getting paid to do it. But don't limit yourself to the job description - if you have a certain skill set, don't be afraid to mention it on your Career Fellow application. We've had Career Fellows use their graphic design skills to strengthen our marketing materials, even though this was never something a Career Fellow was expected to do. There's always room for what you can bring to the table!
In this metaphor, "girls" is really "The Career Center," and "boyfriends" is "student workers".

5. Support your fellow Jumbos. At the end of the day, meetings with students are the bread and butter of a Career Fellow's job. Truthfully, I've found this part of the work to be the most rewarding. Since resume/cover letter writing isn't exactly a subject taught in school, almost every student is starting from scratch when they apply for their first internship. It's so gratifying to be able to help a first- or second-year student get that internship they have their heart set on, or to be able to see the relief a student feels after they've gone through a resume critique and finally know that they're on the right track. Not to mention that the skills you'll gain in interpersonal communication and rapport-building will assist you in any future career field.

In case you didn't get the message, I really, really, really love my job, and think that any student would feel the same. With the fast-approaching deadlines, don't miss out on your chance to enhance your Tufts experience and further your career journey.

Until next time,
Sean Boyden
Class of 2017

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Ready for Launch: Notes from the Young Alumni Panel

Earlier this month, I went to the last installment of the Senior Launch Lunch Series, and it may have been my favorite of them all. The event featured a panel of recent Tufts graduates offering advice to the current senior class as they (we) prepare for the big post-graduation leap. While the panelists had so many incredible pieces of advice to offer us, I took away some key themes common to all of their post-Tufts experiences, and I think that these themes are important for any Tufts senior to hear.
My thoughts on graduation.

Don't stress.
Of the four panelists in attendance, only one of them had a job the March before their graduation date. They all reassured us not to panic at this point - there is still plenty of time to find a job, get into grad school, or make a plan. All of the panelists expressed that regret over worrying away weeks of their senior year, only to have it all come together in the end (for one of the panelists, on the day of graduation). The effect of this message was like a collective sigh of relief from the entire room - let's try to keep that sigh going throughout the next few weeks.

Life after Tufts - there's a learning curve. One of my favorite questions that the panelists answered had to do with the transition from college student to full-time worker. To my surprise, everyone seemed to agree that working 40 hours a week is far less stressful than the college lifestyle. It's easier to leave work at work, to come home and relax without the constant specter of papers, exams, and assignments with fast-approaching deadlines. However, the panelists also agreed that too much free time can be a bad thing. They recommended finding some hobbies to ground your daily life in - whether it's running, regular meetings with old friends, or volunteering at a charity on the weekends. Being the overachieving Tufts students we are, it can feel uncomfortable to slow down sometimes - but there's more to do out there if you go looking.
Don't be a Patrick. Find some hobbies.

Your first job is temporary. Two of the four panelists had graduated last May, and already were into their second or third job. They both took jobs out of college that they thought would be exciting, or would lead to new skill development and networking connections, and realized that it wasn't what they wanted to do. But this wasn't a mistake in their eyes - they did learn a lot from the experience, and overall they felt that they needed to take that first step to know for sure that they wanted to do something different. We may feel like the next step is the endpoint, but really, it's just the beginning.

Maintain your connections to Tufts. One of my biggest fears about leaving Tufts is the imminent isolation - once college ends, we'll no longer be surrounded by people in our age group at all times, with friends whose schedules are as flexible as ours to enable frequent hang-outs. But, as the panelists so eloquently put it, you'll maintain the connections that you're committed to keeping. One panelist still contacts her professors regularly, and has frequently relied on them for recommendation letters and career advice. Another lives with a former Jumbo, who has since become a close friend."You may not miss everything about Tufts," one panelist explained, "but you will definitely miss the people you met and the friendships you made while you were here." So to all my friends and professors who think they'll finally be rid of me after May 2017 - you're dead wrong.
Sorry for all the Spongebob references - all this talk of the future has me nostalgic.
With less than 100 days to go, the launch into the "real world' is closer than ever. If anyone can prove that it's possible, however, it's those who have gone before us. If you know of any recent grads, reach out to them to learn any sage advice, or to reconnect with old friends. And, be sure to stop in the Career Center if you're still unsure of what the future holds!

Until next time,
Sean Boyden
Class of 2017