Five Tips for Following Your Passion in NYC

Cara-Lynne Thomas is currently a graduate student at Bank Street College studying Museum Education. She is an educator at the American Museum of Natural History, and an intern in event planning for college students at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Cara is also an artist focused on sculpture, working and showing at the National Academy in Manhattan. She holds an MA in Classical Archaeology from Tufts University and a BA in Anthropology and Classical Archaeology from the University of Texas at Austin.

It can be daunting to follow your dream in New York.  Your “career path” may be so winding that you’re not sure where it’s headed, and you may feel uncertain about how what you love translates to a career.  Here are five tips that have helped me as I follow my passion in the city:

1. Volunteer

Is there an organization where you would love to work after graduation?  See if you can volunteer there now!  It’s a good way to build contacts and skills while you’re still in school, often with a low or flexible time commitment.  I have gotten several jobs out of volunteering!

2. Learn everything you can about your dream job

Do your research!  What’s the education background of people with that job?  What skills are necessary before applying?  Find people who have a job you want and look at their backgrounds (many CVs are available online).  If you meet someone with a job you would love to have, don’t be afraid to ask them about their backgrounds; many people are happy to help.  This way you have a clearer idea of what may be expected of you in the future, so that you can plan for it now.

3. Take time for yourself

Meditate, work out, walk in a park, binge watch TV.  Doing something just for yourself can help keep your head clear.  Additionally, find ways to make something you love even a small part of your day; give yourself little reminders for why your hard work is worth it!

4. Trust your intuition

Have a feeling in your gut that you should do something totally new?  Go for it!  The same goes for negative feelings, even if something sounds great, but you have a bad feeling about it, listen to yourself.

5. Become okay with failure

Your setbacks are part of your path, and you may find yourself with new (and better!) opportunities because something else didn’t work out. For people following their passions this can be extremely difficult, because we tend to place a lot of our self-value on our work and see professional setbacks as personal failures.  It’s cliché, but life isn’t about never failing, it’s about how you recover from failing.   It can be hard to remember that in the midst of a setback, but with resilience you can be successful.

Networking at Your Summer Internship

Professional schmoozing is one of the keys to turning a summer gig into a permanent job. Because networking (done right) leaves a great impression on the employer, it can lead to a permanent job offer or a handy recommendation. Here’s how:

Beef Up Your Memory. When summer interns bump into the same high-level manager on their way to get coffee the manager will be a lot more impressed if the potential employee remembers something about them, says Anna Mok, a Strategic Relationships partner at Deloitte & Touche. Mok suggests that interns should put in the effort to remember anecdotes and names of co-workers and keep notes on whom they’ve met.

Be Sincere. Kristen Garcia, a group sales manager at Macy’s West (M) says that her genuine interest in meeting others from the company got her the job offer after she interned at Macy’s two years ago. “I introduced myself briefly to someone who wasn’t my direct boss, and it got me to work on an advertising project that the rest of the interns weren’t working on,” Garcia says. “But I never misrepresented myself and was always sincere.” Butler agrees, “To be indiscriminate for the sake of networking is going to be a waste of your time and not get you what you want.”

Find Some Face Time. Online networking sites, such as LinkedIn, are great. But to truly build connections, Mok, encourages interns to join professional organizations in their field to get valuable face time. Especially for those in a large city, a variety of networking groups are available and organizers are often thrilled to get younger members. Dave Wills, vice-president of Seattle-based Cascade Link, encourages interested interns to join tech clubs and professional organizations organizations. “Through those clubs we’ve met people whom we’ve hired as interns or to work on other projects.”

Join in the Big Kid Activities. Interns don’t need to stick to their own kind. Instead, ask to play in the company softball league or volunteer with their charity of choice. For those willing to be more proactive it helps to create an activity others from the company would be excited to join.

Show Up Alone. If fellow interns at the company don’t join that optional lunch or head over for a few drinks at a happy hour—go alone and meet others at the organization. In fact, not bringing work friends to networking events helps guests leave their comfort zone and meet new contacts, according to a study by Columbia Business School professors Paul Ingram and Michael Morris.

Skip the E-Mail. Most key figures at a company are overwhelmed with their inbox, so instead of being 1 out of 200 messages, pick another way to communicate. Instead, a quick hello or a short chat goes a long way according to Wills. “A phone call is still appropriate,” he says and encourages interns to figure out a convenient time in the day. “I’m always booked solid in the mornings, but usually the afternoons for me are pretty laid-back”.

Save the Tough for Last. Reach out to those who are easiest to approach first—hold off on chatting with the heads of the company who probably know less about incoming interns. “Don’t start at the top of the food chain—network with people who can still identify with where you are as a student intern,” says Ken Keeley, executive director of the Career Opportunities Center at Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business. Going to the higher-ups later in the summer also increases the chance that a colleague will put in a good word about the intern before the actual approach.

Evaluate Them. Not only is networking a tool interns use to stand out, it’s also a way for students to find out whether they’re willing to commit to a full-time job. “Many times these organizations force students to make big decisions before campus recruiting, so the companies will know how much recruiting they have to do during the school year.” Garcia, who received her offer in September of senior year, agrees: “Not only did I want to make a good impression on the company, I wanted the company to make a good impression on me.”

Source: Dizik, Alina. “Networking for Interns.” www.businessweek.comBloomberg, L.P. 18 June 2007. Web. 04 June 2014

Halfway Through Your Internship Checklist

So, you’re about half way through your summer internship? How can you make sure you’ll stand out? Here are a few tips on how to shine for the remainder of the summer:

  • Reflect on your experience – if you’re happy with the opportunities you’ve had so far, ask for ways to become more involved in these projects. If you’re unhappy with the experience, you still have time to evaluate why and take initiative to make the most of the internship experience.
  • Schedule a formal mid-summer check in with your internship supervisor to evaluate your performance thus far. Ask about ways that you can continue to grow and develop professionally, as well as contribute to the team.
  • Stay busy – there is always work to be done! Ask your supervisor what he/she needs help with and volunteer to work on all types of projects.
  • Grow your network – ask colleagues out for coffee or lunch. Conduct a non-formal informational interview to learn about their career paths, experience within their roles, and for advice.

Make the most of the second half of your internship and stop by the Wasserman Center for Career Development to discuss your personal internship experience and career goals!

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

Did you miss a day in the life at Unilever?  Click on the image below for a recap!

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.

In Case You Missed It: Day In The Life at Time Inc.

Did you miss a day in the life at Time Inc.?  Click on the image below for a recap!

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 to Get the Most out of your Summer Internship

Kelly Goss is a rising senior at NYU in Global Liberal Studies with minors in Psychology and French. She has studied abroad at NYU’s campuses in Paris and London.  Kelly has worked in editorial, marketing, publicity, and recruitment roles, and she is now excited to be interning with the Human Resources department at Time Inc (@TimeIncCareers). Follow her on Twitter @kgoss12 or on LinkedIn.

On June 1st, I sat in the auditorium of the Time and Life building with more than 100 other interns who had been selected to participate in Time Inc. summer internship program. Chief Human Resources Officer Greg Giangrande (@greggiangrande) made us excited to begin what we knew would be an unforgettable experience. He encouraged us to make the most of our ten weeks at one of the most influential media companies in the world, and throughout my time working in the HR department of Time Inc. I have always kept Greg’s words in mind.

For all of you who are also pursuing your dream internship this summer, here are my top seven tips, based on my own experience, for making the most of your summer internship.

Write down one goal for yourself

Entering your dream internship may feel overwhelming on your first day. When I started working at Time Inc. this summer, our orientation leaders had us write down one goal that we had for ourselves as we worked got ready to tackle our new roles. Goals can be anything from wanting to get coffee with a manager and learning a new skill to figuring out what role this industry is the right one for you. Keep your goal with you at your workspace to keep you motivated and focused on what you want to achieve during your internship.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to a senior manager

While it may be difficult to imagine, even those in the highest positions at your company started off right where you are as an intern. Don’t be afraid to send them an email asking if they have a quick moment to talk with you about your career questions. These higher-ups can provide you with crucial advice as you enter your career and they will be impressed with your initiative.

 

Network with your fellow interns – they are your future colleagues!

When interns are encouraged to network, they often are told to reach out to managers. While this type of networking is certainly important, interns seem to forget that connecting with their fellow interns can be just as important for job hunting in the future. Those who you intern with will be your colleagues when you enter the workforce and are an essential professional support network. Make time to eat lunch with the other interns in your company and connect with them on Linked In.

Explore the city you work in

For many interns, the city they work in for the summer is not where they attend college or where their family is from. Don’t forget that not only is your internship an opportunity to discover if a specific industry or position is right for you, but it is also a chance for you to explore whether or not your new city is one where you would like to live and work one day. Take the time on weekends and after work to explore some of the highlights of your city and to get to know the people who live there.  Research what industries are the most prominent in your city and how you can learn more about them. Ask yourself whether you could see yourself living there in the next five years.

Get lunch or coffee with someone new each week

As the weeks progress in your internship, you will most likely be working with the same team of people, or one person, on a daily basis. Often we can get comfortable interacting only with those who we immediately work with. Research other positions on your team or even in another department and make sure to reach out to those you would be interested in talking with. The more people you interact with and the more perspectives you are able to have, the more prepared you will be to make bigger career choices down the road.

Take Initiative to Help Your Team

If you notice that your department seems extra busy with a big project or transition, or if you ever finish your assignments with time to spare, take the initiative to think of ways in which you can help and ask your supervisor for feedback.  For example, if you know that your team wants to improve its social media, come up with a list of ideas for how they can gain more followers and present it to your manager. Think ahead and show your team that you are aware of their projects and can take the action steps needed to be an asset for them to reach their goals.

Keep in touch after your internship is over

One of the most important ways to have your summer internship make an impact on your future career is to keep in touch with those you worked with – managers, fellow interns, informational interviews, etc. Send a personalized message to these individuals on LinkedIn letting them know that you enjoyed working with them and would like to stay in touch. Keep them posted every few months on your career advancements and utilize them as a resource whenever you have industry questions. If they have a job open in the future you will already be on their mind as a candidate.

Interested in working with Time Inc.? Check out these current entry-level opportunities:

Social Media Producer with Sports Illustrated

Integrated Marketing Coordinator

Networking at the Summer BBQ

So, with the long weekend approaching, and the weather warming up nicely, you may find yourself outdoors this weekend, enjoying a nice barbecue, picnic, or celebration. If not this weekend, you’ll definitely be outdoors in a social setting at some point this summer. In addition to simply relaxing and catching up with friends and family, you would be wise to take that time and use it to network and plan ahead in your career search. Whether you’re a recent graduate looking for full-time employment or still in school and angling for an internship, here are a few quick tips for when you find yourself gathered outdoors with potential contacts.

1. Go easy on the food & drink

Sure, you can grab something off the grill and have a refreshing drink. It’s summer, after all! However, be mindful of your intake when in networking mode. It’s not cool to be talking through your burger or to be expanding on your interests with mustard on your face. Similarly, it’s best to not excitedly slur your way through a conversation because you’ve had one or two too many beverages. Think in moderation!

2. Start small and don’t monopolize time

When you identify people that you’d like to speak with, make some small talk before delving into more job-related topics. Folks are in leisure mode and don’t want to be bombarded with anxious or overzealous interrogators. When the conversation turns toward business, ask a relevant question or two or showcase something specific from your set of qualifications. Avoid a rehearsed speech and don’t attempt to rehash your entire resume. Sometimes all it takes is a mention that you’re looking for work to get the ball rolling, so also make sure that you are honest and clear in your career intentions. Know when to wrap things up, too. If you’re around the same people for most of the afternoon, you won’t want to be talking shop all day. If that person is just making a quick appearance at the outing, you’ll want to allow them to make the rounds without you taking up all of their time.

3. Make the most of that time you have, though

Be sure to thank the person and ask for a business card or contact information, so that you can follow up at a later date. Perhaps you can meet up again for coffee or for a tour of the office? Hopefully, you’ll be able to send along your resume in a later email. Asking for contact information ensures that you’ll be able to take the conversation further! Plus, don’t forget to follow up with a thank-you email.

4. Continue moving forward

Hopefully, your conversations led somewhere. At the minimum, you should have probably received some insight or advice that compels you to further your research and career exploration. Add the people you spoke to on LinkedInGoogle their companies, and use sites like CareerNet and Vault to look more closely at the person’s day-to-day job responsibilities. Keep the motivation and idea gathering flowing!

Richie Karaburun, NYU Adjunct Professor
and Managing Director USA at Roomer

Richie is a travel industry executive and e-commerce expert with a BA and MBA in International Business.  He is sought out as a travel industry specialist and public speaker and has been an adjunct faculty member at NYU SPS Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism for almost 2 years.  Richie is married, has two boys and enjoys traveling the world with his family. He currently has an NYU intern and will most likely be posting another intern position for the Fall.

1.  What trends are you seeing in the online travel industry?

The online travel industry is rapidly changing to a peer-to-peer marketplace.  Millennials are having a strong impact on the industry and want a more personalized, localized travel experience.  The successes of Airbnb and boutique hotels are a response to travelers’ desires to feel the local flavor.  Travelers want to read reviews before they make purchase decisions as seen by the success of TripAdvisor and Uber.   CheckMate, a platform for mobile hotel check-ins, is an example of a company that has responded to Millennials preference to not have to wait.  With one click from the cab, en route to the hotel, you can check-in and order room service, avoiding lines and waiting.  Hotel designs are also responding to Millennials social preferences.  Hotels are now being built with more communal spaces for socialization and are moving away from the cookie-cutter lobby. Another trend within travel is the expectation that Wi-Fi is always available and free for guests.

2.  What led you to become Managing Director USA at Roomer and Adjunct Faculty at NYU?

I’ve been in the business for 20 years.  I’m originally from Turkey, and completed my undergraduate degree there in International Relations.  I earned my MBA in Los Angeles and rose through the ranks in a travel company over the course of 11 years.   I moved to New York and worked for GTA, owned by Blackstone.  Roomer, which is like StubHub for hotel rooms, approached me to open a New York office.  Being on a founding management team intrigued me and I left the corporate world.  As Roomer grew in the US, I was approached by the Tisch Center to give a class presentation.  Shortly after that speaking engagement I was asked to join the Tisch adjunct faculty.  I love teaching at NYU- taking my students on field trips and introducing them to industry leaders.

3.  What do you look for when you hire?

One of the first things I look for is a positive attitude.  As potential hires answer questions I can see how positive they are towards life, their education and their career.  I want to know how passionate they are about the industry.  I often ask,  “Tell me something that is not in your resume”.    When I interview NYU students I tell them that they have made it, they are at a fantastic school.  But I want to know something about them that I don’t see on their resume.

50% of getting the job is showing up, and showing up on time.  I recently invited 20 students for a group interview.  13 of them accepted and of those, 10 were on time.  I made note of those who weren’t on time.  I also take note of who follows up with a thank you note after the interview.

4.  What type of research do you expect a student to do before the interview?

Your preparation should take longer than the actual interview lasts. I expect you to have researched Roomer:  who are the founders of the company, who are our competitors?  When I’ve had applicants tell me they couldn’t figure out who our competitors were, I ask them if they called and asked the receptionist.  I expect that they have researched me as well; I look to see if they have viewed my LinkedIn profile.  By doing this they may be able to find common ground with me, which helps them stand out in the interview.

5.  What advice do you have for NYU students interested in working at Roomer?

Develop perseverance, demonstrate genuineness and have strong Excel and PowerPoint skills.   I want to see evidence that you don’t give up.  For example, even if you interview with me and don’t get the job- ask if you can continue to be in touch, ask me to keep you in mind for future opportunities.   I also expect you know Excel well, including the use of pivot tables and that you are able to put a deck together quickly using PowerPoint.  Overall, if you are being genuine and true to yourself that will come across in our interactions, it will be sensed.

In Case You Missed It: Day in the Life at Cooperatize

Did you miss a day in the life at Cooperatize?  Click on the image below for a recap!

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.

Throwback Thursday: #InternConfessions How to Socialize at Your Internship

Janel Abrahami, Steinhardt ’14, shared her #InternConfessions back in the summer of 2013.  Here is her advice on socializing at a summer internship.

Janel Abrahami is a rising senior at NYU’s Steinhardt School, majoring in Applied Psychology and minoring in Media, Culture, and Communication. She is interning in the communications department of an Israeli skin care company in Tel Aviv this summer.

One of the most important things to be aware of when first starting at a new internship is the company culture.  Are you working with a team that often goes out to lunch together, or do they bring food back to their desks to keep working? Do they share stories about their weekends, or keep conversations strictly professional? Each company and department has a different nuanced social code, so be perceptive from the start in order to get the feel for your team’s structure.

Once you’ve figured out the social climate and you’re ready to jump in, heed this rule of thumb: when first socializing at your internship, try to carry yourself one step more professionally than the rest of the team. Start making non-work-related conversations carefully and at times when co-workers are not busy, like in between meetings or in the company kitchen. Friendly and approachable can still be professional, and good supervisors will make you feel like part of the team from the get-go.

Like the winter holidays, summer is a prime time for company gatherings: potluck lunches and barbeques among the most popular this time of year. If you’re invited to one of these gatherings in advance, it would be nice to contribute something to show that you are invested in the team and grateful to be there. Keep it simple but thoughtful: desserts and finger-foods are virtually fail-proof. If you’re interning in the city, excellent desert options include Baked by Melissa and Billy’s Bakery.

After setting out your BBQ contribution, get ready to socialize! These get-togethers are meant to be asides from daily work conversations, so feel free to talk about your other interests, hobbies, passions, and weekend plans- just keep the language work-appropriate (and check for food in your teeth)!