In Case You Missed It: Day In The Life at Lynxsy

Did you miss Drew sharing his day as community manager at Lynxsy?  Click on the image below for a full recap!

Day In The Life at Lynxsy

Follow us on Twitter @NYUWassEmployer for tweets on a day-in-the-life of employees at different organizations. A professional will take over our account for the day and give you live updates about the projects they work on, meetings they attend, and the culture of their office.

Five Things You Need to Do Before You Apply for that Spring Internship

By: Janel Abrahami

Janel Abrahami

Janel Abrahami is a May 2014 graduate of NYU Steinhardt’s Applied Psychology program. She currently serves the NBCUniversal intern population as a Campus 2 Career Assistant and a catalyst for early career development. You can find her talking about all things work on Twitter and LinkedIn

So you found the perfect spring internship and you’re ready to apply! Or are you? Read on to make sure you’ve done these five things before you hit “Submit.”

Know your stuff

A hiring manager can tell immediately if an applicant is familiar with their company or not- and this can make or break their hiring decision. Do your extensive research on the company’s background, its clients, its leaders, its revenue sources- everything that makes a company tick. Not only will you be making a more informed decision about applying to this company (are you actually that passionate about their mission statement?), you will also be able to more effectively express the value you could add to the company in your cover letter or an interview.

Optimize your resume

If you are applying for a position at a large company, chances are high that they use an Applicant Tracking System to accumulate the hundreds of resumes that they receive. These are often referred to as “black holes,” and for good reason- it can be very easy for your resume to fall through the cracks and never see the light of day (or a recruiter’s eyes). But there is hope, and it comes in the form of keyword searches. Recruiters can search through pages of resumes to find those with certain keywords (e.g. “javascript” or “affiliate marketing”). Optimize your resume by including a few keywords from the online job description that are relevant to your experience.

Polish and shine

Once the content of your resume is ATS-friendly, make sure the format is recruiter-friendly. This means one-page of relevant experience, clearly defined sections for education and skills, and appropriate contact information (no email addresses from middle school or embarrassing voice mail recordings!).

Connect the dots

I don’t need to tell you that #networking is one of the best ways to get your foot in the door, but it is something that internship applicants often fumble with. First, use LinkedIn to see if you know anyone connected to the company you’re applying to. Once you’ve found them, either message them through LinkedIn or email them personally (whichever you think would be more appropriate). Briefly tell them that you are applying for X position at Y company, and ask them if they could recommend someone for you to send your resume to. Do not ask them to forward your resume themselves- if they are willing to do this, they will offer in their reply. Once you have a contact at the company, you’re ready to…

Make it personal

….reach out to them with a brief but personalized message expressing your interest in the position. Attach your resume and cover letter, and mention your referee’s name in the first line of your email. Then, relax with the assurance that you’ve already out yourself ahead of other applicants.

Do you have your own application checklist? Is there something else you’d include here? Share with us in the comments.

In Case You Missed It: Day In The Life at Dig Inn

Did you miss Margo sharing her day on the marketing team of Dig Inn?  Click on the image below for a recap!

Day In The Life at Dig Inn

Follow us on Twitter @NYUWassEmployer for tweets on a day-in-the-life of employees at different organizations. A professional will take over our account for the day and give you live updates about the projects they work on, meetings they attend, and the culture of their office.

How do I dress for a career fair?

By: Garvin Reid

Garvin Reid - Assistant Director at Wasserman Center for Career Development

“How do I dress for a career fair?”

A question so simple yet easily able to become complicated if you overthink it.

When thinking of what to wear for a career fair, think of it just as you would a social gathering in which that one person that you really want to impress will be there. The biggest difference is that instead of it being one person at a social gathering, there will be multiple people you seek to impress and it’s in a professional setting. As such, you want to be sure that none of the little things take you out of the running for the career of your dreams.

Just as you would ensure that your resume is primed and polished, it’s best to make sure that your appearance is as well. Appearing disheveled and messy could make an employer question your attention to detail. This is true for both customer facing and non-customer facing roles. Consider this: a recruiter may think “If this person did not notice their nail polish was chipped, how could they notice the extra 0 in the balance sheet?” Just as details matter in your cover letter, resume, business card, etc. you want to show that same level of care to how you present yourself.

What to wear

Similar to practicing your elevator pitch in the mirror, be sure to check your appearance in the mirror before leaving out for the career fair. Recruiters see attending a career fair as an opportunity to meet with a large amount of students with hopes of hiring a few or sometimes just one. With this in mind, you want your appearance to help rather than hinder you. 

Professional Attire

Suit

It’s always best to wear a business suit to a career fair. It shows that you are a professional and exudes confidence. Although you may be interested in a position at a company that you know has a relaxed dress code, you will never be overdressed when it comes to choosing a business suit for a career fair. What if you find out that the company with the relaxed dress code is no longer hiring yet there are multiple companies in your industry and all of their recruiters came in professional attire? Wearing a business suit allows you mobility at a career fair because wearing one makes you dressed appropriately to speak to anyone. 

In choosing your suit, you want to go for neutral colors (charcoal, navy blue, or gray). Black suits are difficult to make you stand out but if time or money is against you, there is nothing wrong with a black suit if accessorized properly (see below). It’s advised to stay away from the seasonal suits when attending a career fair. These are the seersucker, linen, tweed, etc. Seasonal colored and fabric suits are considered appropriate for a business casual setting rather than business professional. There is some leeway to this rule for women as colors are more acceptable. 

Get your suit dry cleaned and ironed before the career fair. A freshly pressed and cleaned suit literally fits as good as new. This also ensures that there are no stains on your suit just in case you had to get dressed in the dark because you didn’t want to wake your roommate.

Skirts

Ladies, when wearing a skirt to a career fair be mindful of the length. Anything higher than roughly two inches above the knee is considered inappropriate. When choosing a skirt to pair with your blazer you want to keep it professional. Think more “A line” or “Pencil” than “high low” or “mini”. 

Shirts

Your dress shirt is just as important as your suit selection. Consider neutral colors like white, French blue, or even a pale purple if you wish to show school spirit.

Ladies: You have more leeway in this area since you won’t have to worry about matching a tie to your shirt. If choosing to wear a button down shirt, it is important to ensure that it fits well. You want to make sure that it is not too tight which allows your undergarments to show between the buttons. Professionalism is the name of the game here.

Just as with your suit, a clean starched and pressed dress shirt says more positive things about you than a stained wrinkled one. I prefer to iron my shirts but if time is not on your side, you can drop it off at your local cleaner.

Ties

Now that you have your shirt selected, choose a tie that 1. Compliments your suit and shirt and 2. Stands out or has the ability to be a conversation starter. My personal strategy is to wear a solid gray suit; white or French blue shirt, and a conservative bow tie. I call this “Standing out while fitting in”. I’m no statistician but per my experience, if an event has 100 professional men, you are guaranteed to only see at most 10 of them wearing a bow tie. This creates a differentiating impression and also allows you to say “the guy with the bow tie” when you send your follow up e-mails (provided they complimented you on your bow tie of course).

If you’re not ready for a bow tie, fear not, there are other ways to stand out while fitting in.

Accessorize Accordingly

I remember being at a training led by Caroline Gundeck when I was an intern for Morgan Stanley in their Global Wealth Management Internship program. Caroline who is a Managing Director for Ultra High Net Worth Business Development spoke on ways to stand out at networking events. One thing that stuck with me since that training was to “wear a conversation starter”. Caroline explains it as something that is on you that may spark interest in the person that you are speaking to. For Caroline, that conversation piece is a broach, for me it’s been a bow tie and/or pocket square. You never know where that conversation may go or what that person’s perception of you may be after noticing it. The key here though is to subscribe to the mantra of “less is more”. If you are going to wear an interesting piece, let that one piece speak for you. With that said, also ensure that it’s professional.

Here are some examples of accessories you can wear to “stand out while fitting in”

  • Bow tie
  • Bracelet
  • Tie bar
  • Pocket Square
  • School Ring
  • Necklace
  • Silk Scarf
  • Lapel Pin
  • Hair Accessory
  • Broach
  • Earrings
  • Watch

Best Foot Forward

Gentlemen, it is important to ensure that your shoes are not only business professional but also shined and polished. This is particularly true for those of you with interests in the hospitality industry. Most of the customer facing roles within this industry grants their workers with the titles of being ambassadors of the brand. You want to make sure that brand looks neat, clean, and polished at all times.

Ladies, for you it’s not so much about the polish of your shoes as it is important that you choose the right shoe for the career fair. Consider going for the comfortable closed toe pump rather than a flat. With giving consideration to the weather on the day of, it’s best not to wear boots either.

Conclusion

When you think of a career fair, think of “The Hunger Games” you would like to do everything in your power to ensure that “the odds are in your favor”. Dressing the part is the easiest way to do so.  

Now that you know how to dress for a career fair, why not try out your new style. Attend the Fall 2014 NYU School of Professional Studies Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management Career Fair on Thursday, October 30th. RSVP here!

Employer Insight: Five keys to entrepreneurial success

By:  Blake McCammon 

Blake McCammon is the COO of ProtoHack, the only code-free hackathon. ProtoHack exists to show non-coders that they too can create something amazing from nothing. ProtoHack aims to empower the non-technical entrepreneur with the tools, knowledge and community to help you bring your idea to life and communicate it visually through prototyping.

Forming your first startup is not a task for the faint at heart. You think you have every piece of information and every problem solved, but once you decide to make the jump into entrepreneurship and things go awry, your true drive and ambition will either shine or fade into the background. The decision to step into entrepreneurship should be well calculated. According to The U.S. Small Business Administration, approximately 543,000 new businesses get started each month, with a third of those failing in the first two years and 60% finding they’re doomed by their fourth year in business.

Being an entrepreneur has high risks and high rewards. Stepping out into the world of entrepreneurship is something that can be extremely daunting and risky, so understanding how to be successful is imperative. Whether you’re a founder or co-founder, these five keys to entrepreneurial success will help you launch and grow your new venture. 

Mistakes happen, embrace them.
Almost every entrepreneur has had their fair share of mistakes when it comes to being at the helm of a company. Whether they drop clients because they’re frustrating, only to later regret it, or try to perfect the process early on within their own organization when they should be focusing on the bigger picture, it’s nearly impossible to get it right every single time. What’s important is that you’re able to learn from mistakes and use them to your advantage when you can. When you embrace missteps, you put yourself in the position to be able to grow and move forward.

Work with those who will challenge you.
This is one of the most important mantras an entrepreneur should have, not only in business but also in their personal lives. When you first start your own company, it’s important to surround yourself with people who really push and drive you to step up your game. If you work with those who don’t, it’ll eventually rub off on you. Working with people who are equally as passionate and driven as you will do nothing but set you up for success.

When choosing business partners and mentors, don’t just pick your best friend, pick someone who is going to push you, challenge you, and make you a better entrepreneur. With a partner like that, you’re less likely to lose the drive and ambition you started with.

Be smart about where you invest.
If you gained experience in the corporate world before you took the entrepreneurial leap, you know what it’s like to have access to tools and budgets that you don’t necessarily have when it comes to starting your own company. It can be a big culture shock when you can no longer afford the pricey but effective software programs or outrageous advertising budget you became accustomed to. Instead, you’ll have to get creative, such as using free or budget-friendly software before you’re at a point where you can start scaling your business. Find the tools you simply cannot live without and prioritize them. Invest when you’re financially ready and not a moment sooner.

Get out of your comfort zone and network
Getting out of your comfort zone is one of the most important things you can do as an entrepreneur. In fact, when starting your first business, referrals will go a long way. Networking is one of the most important aspects of an entrepreneurship because the connections you make will determine the strength of your network and ultimately could determine the success of your company. Going to events where the only goal in mind is to be pushing cards, shaking hands and making meaningful contacts is now part of your job. Understanding the value behind networking and doing a good job of it will take you far. Think about possible connections you have that need to be fostered and use them to your advantage.

Have fun, find what you’re passionate about, and don’t settle!
We’ve probably all seen others who settle because they’re not brave enough to take the leap of faith into entrepreneurship. We say they’re playing it safe but really what’s happening is that they are denying their own happiness and giving up the opportunity to have fun and live their passion. In short, they’re settling.

The amount of fun you have following your passion will be a determining factor in how much you excel at your new venture. Suddenly, working sixty to eighty hours a week isn’t so difficult when you’re doing it while exploring your passion.

Steve Jobs said it best during a conversation with Pixar CEO John Lassete: “In your life you only get to do so many things and right now we’ve chosen to do this, so let’s make it great.”

Settling isn’t something that should even be in your vocabulary as an entrepreneur. We only get one life, so use it, follow your passion and whatever your passion is, go for it.

Learn more about ProtoHack by visiting their website, then sign up for their free event coming to New York City on November 15. 

Hatstand Green Beret Program

Hatstand is a global financial technology consultancy with a specialist focus on electronic trading systems, connectivity, data management, risk, compliance and regulation. With offices in major trading centers in Europe, the Americas and Asia, we have launched the careers of hundreds of technology professionals, many of whom now hold senior level positions in leading financial institutions. 

Our Green Beret program focuses on talent development for technology professionals within financial services.  We select individuals with the right attitude, energy and enthusiasm, plus relevant technical experience, and combine this with bespoke training and mentoring.  Our junior consultants typically spend two years with one of our clients.

Gaurav is a Java Developer who recently completed his first year with the Hatstand Green Beret (HGB) program.  He is working with the Consolidated Alerts and Monitoring (CAM) team with one of our global investment banking clients.  Gaurav has shared a brief overview of his role, its challenges and his successes:

CAM is a global system requiring geographical distribution of resources.  It was conceived as part of Cash Equities in Investment Banking but its systems are responsible for trade monitoring activities for the entire investment banking group.  CAM systems receive client order flows from multiple systems and performs real time trade risk checks, monitoring and surveillance.  The main responsibilities in this role are application enhancement and development, testing and QA analysis.  There is no dedicated QA/testing team so it becomes the developer’s responsibility to ensure high quality of the software solution.  Developers also engage the business in requirements and testing and are sometimes required to provide L3 support. 

The team is distributed across US, Europe and APAC regions.  It is a growing team with many new people and senior developers with specific expertise in the design and implementation of high performance framework.  The team is faced with the complex and aging portfolio of software solutions.  As the number of applications has grown it has eroded the performance and stability of the system, so there is a need to review and refactor the existing system to improve performance.  Most of the development work is around application enhancements.  After every change in the application thorough regression testing needs to be performed, which is a time consuming and manual process.  I have built tools to automate certain parts of this process, which has improved overall productivity and turnaround time for regression testing.  

Before joining Hatstand I worked for two years in the software industry as a Java developer.  Through this role in the HGB program I have gained experience developing low latency high throughput financial applications, and knowledge of electronic trading in cash equity markets.  My technical skillset includes Java, databases, shell scripting and FIX protocol.  In the future I would like to continue to gain technical expertise in developing high throughput and low latency applications in the financial sector.

Want to learn more? Meet with Hatstand for a one-on-one informational interview through our Recruiter-in-Residence program on Tuesday 10/28 by RSVPing through NYU CareerNet > Events > Seminars today!

In Case You Missed It: Day In The Life at First Protocol

Did you miss Jessica live tweeting her day as an event assistant at First Protocol?  If so, click on the image below for a recap!

Day In The Life at First Protocol

Follow us on Twitter @NYUWassEmployer for tweets on a day-in-the-life of employees at different organizations. A professional will take over our account for the day and give you live updates about the projects they work on, meetings they attend, and the culture of their office.

 

Employer Insight: Skills Needed to Work for a Non-Profit

By: Turkish Philanthropy Funds

Non-profits are fast-paced and utilize nearly every skill you’ve learned throughout your educational career. They’re looking for highly qualified candidates who can keep up and help them realize their mission and goals. But this rapidly expanding marketplace requires a specific skillset that is lost in a corporate setting.

When you’re working on a small team, you’re expected to wear many hats. There may not be an in-house designer, so you better brush up on your Photoshop skills. There also may not be an IT Manager, so make sure you know how to troubleshoot your computer. Below is a compilation of skills that will be expected of any employee working at a non-profit.

Own Your Project – Your manager might give you a task that seems simple, but you should always take complete ownership of it. Ie. Give me a list of donors in Tennessee who have given over $1,000.  Think through every step of the task. What information is the reader looking for? What information do I think might be helpful? How would this best be presented? Triple check before completion. Because of the small staff, there is always a time constraint, listen carefully the first time and present a carefully thought out result.

Be a Self-Starter – Never say you’re bored, as there is always something to do. Employers like people who take initiative. If you finished a project and your employer hasn’t given you something new yet, work on something you’ve been meaning to finish or something you know will impress the staff. Also, if you have a great idea, run with it! Expand upon it and present your great idea to the staff. 

Keep a Positive Attitude – Your task might not always be as cool as attending a swanky cocktail, but we would love if you pretended it was. Some non-profits deal with some depressing issues on a daily basis, an employee with a smile on their face is always like a ray of sunshine.

Be Resourceful – Roll up your sleeves and dive into your project. Employers are looking for someone that is well rounded and knows how to use what’s available to them to be as efficient as possible.

Think Creatively – Creativity is at the core of the non-profit world. We are always thinking of new, innovative ways to achieve something faster, cheaper or more effective. Employees at non-profits should be no different. Think outside the box and challenge the status quo.

While these qualities might be overlooked in other office settings, they are revered in the non-profit world. If you’re interested in working towards impact in an open and transparent environment where you are recognized for achievements, you’re in the right field. Just make sure you brush up on that Intro to Accounting class, because you might need it!

Are you interesting in working for Turkish Philanthropy Funds? Check out their opening on CareerNet – Job ID: 950561

In Case You Missed It: Day In The Life at The Campus Job

Did you miss Ali sharing her day as a campus rep for The Campus Job?  Click on the image below for a recap!

Day In The Life at The Campus Job

Follow us on Twitter @NYUWassEmployer for tweets on a day-in-the-life of employees at different organizations. A professional will take over our account for the day and give you live updates about the projects they work on, meetings they attend, and the culture of their office.

Dine Your Way into Your Next Job or Internship

By: Diana Martinez

Congratulations on making it to the next round of interviews! Let’s go down the checklist: suit, portfolio, business cards, resumes, dining etiquette…wait, what? That’s right; increasingly employers are holding later round interviews or pre-interview sessions over full-course sit down meals. Definitely expect this if you will be interviewing with any large Fortune 100 or company holding super-days. 

What’s all the fuss?

Besides allowing you to network with prospective colleagues, it offers recruiters a rare opportunity to test your social skills, assess if you are a good match for the organization’s culture, and test how well you deal with stressful and social situations. To help you navigate the sometimes unavoidable mealtime interview, below are some tips to help you shine next time you have one.

Give Your Phone a Break

Turn off or silent your phone. No one likes interruptions. While we’re on the topic: no texting, tweeting, Facebook, or any other social media. Nothing says “I’d rather be anywhere else, but here” than spending more time with the phone than with your host. It’s rude and actually makes you appear antisocial. The focus of your attention during the meal should be your host. This is a great dating tip too!

Pre-Game and Food Selection

Have a small snack before going. If you’re starving, your attention will be on the food instead of networking and making a great impression. Select foods that are not messy and are easy to eat. Some recruiters intentionally select menus that have these danger foods to see how you will navigate this obstacle course. Avoid anything with sauces, anything that will require you use your hands to eat, can be messy, and salads! Yes, salads and foods like kale, and broccoli, can be tough to eat and can lead to awkward conversations when they get stuck in your teeth. There are times when you can’t avoid salads. In that case check out this great Table Manners 101 video on etiquette and other issues such as proper use of utensils and dealing with salads and soups.

Say No to Drinking…Alcohol!

Even if offered, politely decline any alcohol and select water, soda, or other non-alcoholic option. This is another trap! It is used to assess your judgment. And no one likes dining with a drunk, not to mention the smell of it during a professional event!

Mind Your Manners

One can devote an entire series of articles on just this topic. Here are the basics:

  • If you have more than one fork, begin from the outside and work your way in
  • BMW: Remember this acronym and you’ll never mix up your water, salad, or bread with your neighbor’s. Starting from your left is Bread and salad, in the center is your Meal plate, and to your right is your Water glass. This graphic is also helpful to remember.

 

  • If anything falls on the floor (napkin, utensils, etc.) it stays on the floor. It is acceptable to ask the wait staff for another one
  • Never talk with your mouth full
  • No slurping or blowing on your soup
  • Cut food into small bite sizes and bring them to your mouth
  • When you do speak and/or need to put down your utensils, never put them on your napkin or table — instead place them on your plate
  • Keep your elbows off the table
  • Leave some food on your plate at the end of your meal and never request a “doggy bag” to take home – no matter how much food is leftover or how delicious the meal is! 

Learn to Make Small Talk

Get this down and you’ll have a strong advantage. We all have stories where we just looked at another person across the table and smiled in awkward silence. Here’s how to avoid that: do your homework. Research the company, industry, and current events in news and other areas. This will allow you to discuss an array of topics. Unless you are interviewing for a position to be a lobbyist, stay clear of religion, politics, or anything that can be turned into a debate. Bonus tip: People love talking about themselves. So, you can never go wrong with asking someone what they do at their organization, how they got where they are, and why they work at that company.

Say Thanks

At the conclusion of any interview, you should ask for a business card and follow up within 48 hours with a thank you letter or e-mail. This is no different. Your host went through a lot of trouble; the least you could do is thank them! You would be surprised how many people forget to do it and this is the reason why they don’t get called back for a follow-up interview.

Those Who Invite Pay…To a Point

The company will pay for the meal. It is expected. So, when the bill arrives, no one is expecting you to offer to pay nor is acceptable to offer to split the bill or leave the tip. That said, this doesn’t mean you order the most expensive menu item. Follow your host’s lead. If your host doesn’t make a suggestion or asks you to order first (another clever pitfall), you can never go wrong by ordering meals that fall between the cheapest and most expensive. Bonus Tip: Since the restaurant’s name will be provided to you ahead of time, look it up online and review their menu and price list. Plan what you want to eat and have a back-up in case the item is not available.

Practice, Practice, Practice!

The great thing about a mock interview is you can rehearse interviewing and make mistakes in a safe environment. The same holds true for dining. One fantastic way is by taking advantage of opportunities to combine all your interview skills with small talk and dining. In November, The Wasserman Center will be holding its signature event: Dining for Success. If you’re serious about nailing that next job, attend this event. You can be sure your competition will!

Here’s more information about the event:

Dining for Success (For Juniors, Seniors and Graduate Students)

Thursday, November 6, 5:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m. The Smith, 55 Third Avenue, between 10th and 11th

IN-PERSON REGISTRATION AND REFUNDABLE CASH DEPOSIT REQUIRED! Dateline to register is Thursday, October 30th!

Enjoy a great three-course meal with top employers and the Wasserman Center at the Smith! Mastering interviewing skills is hard enough, but what about when your interview is over a meal? Don’t let your dining etiquette stand in the way of getting the job! Join NYU Recruiters from Ernst & Young, PwC, AOL, Peace Corps and more to practice these skills over a three-course meal!

Additional Resources: