Category Archives: Professionalism

Myths vs. Facts: The Truth About Landing a Job in Media

 

Myth #1: Careers in media often involve partying and meeting celebrities.

Fact: While working in media may give you exposure to exciting opportunities to meet a variety of people in the entertainment industry, when working for a media company, you are expected to remain professional at all times. Additionally, extensive hard work goes into events, and festivals including plenty of strategy meetings to ensure everything goes according to plan. Make sure to set your expectations accordingly!

Myth #2: You have to spend a long time in unpaid internships or in assistant roles.

Fact: These days, forward thinking companies recognize the value of young talent with fresh perspectives. Basic administrative tasks are part of any role, particularly those at entry level. However, it is worth doing research through sites like Glassdoor.com and using your network to learn about these innovative companies that are willing to include interns and entry-level employees in career development activities. Voice your interest in participating in creative initiatives and be ready to jump at any opportunity to partake in strategic meetings.

Myth #3: The only way to a media position is through connections.

Fact: It is true that networking is extremely important in searching for positions in the media industry, and it is common for students to find positions through alumni, professors, friends, and previous colleagues. However in the media industry, creativity and innovation trickle down through the structure all the way to the hiring process. Although connections may serve you well, creative and innovative companies such as the ones that exist in the media industry use social media to find new and interesting talent. Curate your social networking platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and Linkedin to help build your online presence.  Additionally, build your brand by developing an online resume to advertise your skills with links to your various online portfolios to provide readily accessible work samples. Social media is becoming more and more popular in the media industry to discover new talent, so ensure you are maintaining your networks accordingly!

Myth #4: Careers in Media are just about TV and Film.

Fact: There are a number of valuable career opportunities in media in additional areas such as print, journalism, magazines and publishing. Although you may not be as familiar with these industries, go outside your comfort zone and expand your job search to encompass these companies. Maximize your potential by exploring companies outside of those you might typically consider as ‘in your field’.

 Learn more about the hospitality industry by attending this Wasserman Center event:

All About Books: Panel on Writing, Publishing and Multimedia – Monday, April 20, 2015, 6pm-8pm, 20 Cooper Square, 7th Floor. 

Professional Millennials and Super-Powered Smartphones are Changing the Working World

Alex Dot.png

Alex comes from a background rooted in internet policy, external relations, community affairs and digital marketing. Prior to running LiquidTalent, Alex worked for Google from 2005 to 2013. His career at Google was divided between the Sales and Policy departments. As External Affairs Manager, his duties included building relationships with government officials, managing an investment fund for nonprofit entities, and serving as the chief architect in developing eight Google sponsored outdoor WiFi networks; the most notable being the Chelsea CIC WiFi network, the largest contiguous NYC WiFi network ever created. He is a proud alumni of UC Berkeley and the Haas School of Business. Alex was born in San Diego, and currently lives in New York City. Alex is a committed optimist, a global citizen and a tough ping pong player.  Continue reading

Three Steps to Getting an Internship in Non-profit / Government

Deniz Duru Aydin is a senior at CAS, majoring in Politics and European & Mediterranean Studies. Originally from Istanbul, Turkey, she interned at various arts-related nonprofits and government organizations including the Lincoln Center and New York State Council on the Arts. She is currently working as a Policy Fellow with Access (www.accessnow.org), an international non-profit organization that focuses on issues at the intersection of technology and human rights. She is also involved in various projects on internet-related policymaking such as the Youth Coalition on Internet Governance and Freedom Online Coalition.

Three Steps to Getting an Internship in Non-profit / Government

by Deniz Duru Aydin (Peer in Career)

Whether you are a politics major who is dedicated to becoming the next President of the United States, or an environmentalist looking to gain experience while working for the advancement of a cause you are passionate about, an internship experience at a nonprofit or governmental organization is a great for your pre-professional development. Here are a few steps – all tested and verified – that will help you if your career search in the non-private sector:

1- Use NYU CareerNet with the right keywords and timing

You should know the best tags to filter from the hundreds of opportunities listed on NYU CareerNet. If you are interested in the non-profit sector and/or government organizations, using specific keywords including, but not limited to, “policy” “human rights” and “advocacy” will make your life easier.

Are you passionate about a specific cause? As the NYU CareerNet job search looks through job descriptions by default, you should also try searching for positions using specific policy issues. As an example, using “climate change” as a keyword will let you find internships posted by organizations working on environmental issues, including specialized governmental agencies. Alternatively, try to run your search using a geographical focus – ie. “Middle East” or “Latin America” – which will help you navigate the best opportunities that fit your academic experience or personal background. If you are an international student, remember to leverage your language skills by looking for opportunities in international organizations that require or prefer foreign language fluency.

Is there an election coming up? Use NYU CareerNet to look for opportunities to volunteer at an election campaign. Timing is definitely important when it comes to finding an interesting experience. As an example, I volunteered during the 2013 New York City mayoral elections to get a chance to observe first-hand how electoral politics work in the United States. Keep an open eye to what is happening around you and unleash your curiosity!

2- Take your job search to external platforms

Apart from NYU CareerNet, keep an eye on the websites of the organizations you are passionate about. Most nonprofits have year-round volunteering opportunities, as well as paid internship/assistantship options that they publish on their websites, mostly under “Careers” sections.

Another great resource for finding the right opportunity is Twitter! Most organizations publish their job advertisements on Twitter, as they think that it is an effective way to reach people who are most passionate about their work. Create a Twitter list that includes organizations that you would like to work/intern for. This way, you will not only have a great resource to check new opportunities in 140 characters, but also a personally curated list that will help you follow the updates on causes you care about!

If you are looking for a more aggregated job search platform, Idealist.org is very useful for finding nonprofit internships and volunteer opportunities, as its mission is “to close the gap between intention and action by connecting people, organizations, ideas, and resources.” In addition, most job search platforms such as indeed.com and LinkedIn job search have opportunities in the non-profit and government sector. Finally, remember to use more specialized resources such as usajobs.gov to find federal and state-level opportunities.

3- Develop new interests, network & network some more!

In today’s world and while you are in New York City, the opportunities for networking are limitless for all sectors, including nonprofit and government. Attending lectures outside your school at NYU would be a great idea to meet with influential thought leaders in the policy area you are interested in, as well as developing new interests. Use the NYU Events listing and keep an eye on the events calendars of interesting university-wide NYU institutions including but not limited to Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, Institute for Public Knowledge or The Governance Lab.

Events outside NYU are also helpful in finding your dream job or internship at a nonprofit. As an example, Dylan James Welch, a senior at NYU studying International Relations, found his current job through attending a TEDx Conference in his hometown Boston. After hearing about the organization, he got involved in its NYU Chapter, which led to an internship opportunity at the organization’s main office in New York City.

If you’d like to put your networking skills to the test, attend this popular Wasserman event featuring a number of non-profit organizations:

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

Thursday, April 2, 5:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. LOCATION: TBA (check CareerNet for the latest information) IN-PERSON REGISTRATION AND REFUNDABLE CASH DEPOSIT REQUIRED! Registration is first-come, first-served! 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 ESPN, Teach for America, Ernst & Young, PwC, The Walt Disney Company and more to practice these skills over a three-course meal! More information about in-person registration HERE.

Secrets to Successful Networking: Building a Personal Brand

Secrets to Successful Networking: Building a Personal Brand

By Andy C. Ng (Wasserman Peer in Career)

 During one of the city’s frigid, torrential downpours, I found myself with an old friend at The Bean in the East Village – try their dirty chai latte, you’ll become an addict, I swear. Catching up about our winter breaks at home (much needed quality time with family, food and SLEEPING), the conversation naturally led its way back to school and our professional endeavors. Both my friend and I have founded our own respective social ventures: his tackling the hunger space, mine addressing yet another facet of educational inequality. The past two years have provided an enormous wealth of business plan competitions, recruiting and partnership development, but I was anxious to pick my friend’s brain about the perpetual hot topic of “networking.” He said networking is “just being a person,” or in layman’s terms, be who you are and have a conversation.

Networking seems easy on paper: attend an organized event (like the employer presentations held at Wasserman), make a nametag, and mingle with some folks. But the pressure of making a decent first impression and possibly landing an internship or job weighs heavy on your shoulders, your rapidly sweating hands, and your sanity. Making a coherent sentence all of the sudden is more difficult than landing on the right side of a curve in your Calc class. The issue is not simply being a good speaker, but rather it comes from a lack of a polished personal brand.

Public speaking is a big passion of mine, and my knack for it lies in this understanding: say what you believe and believe what you say. As college students we all are masters of “getting by” with our words, but imagine the power in really believing and supporting what you’re dishing out. When talking about yourself, the more you understand your past experiences, dreams and working style, the more beautiful a picture you can paint for others.

Here are my simple tips for building a personal brand:

1. Build Out + Learn Your Resume

  • Chances are you already have a resume, which is great! If you don’t (and even if you do, really) visit the Wasserman Center and sit with a Career Coach. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to study the most important document of your life (at least up until now). And not just the boring logistics of how much money you saved the company or how many volunteer hours you accumulated. As Simon Sinek preaches in his TED talk, people don’t care what you did – they care about why you did it. Think about your motivations, what you learned and how it’s influenced or continues to influence you. Approaching your resume in this light will give you valuable stories and insights that you can share with others.

2. Hashtag It

  • Not literally. Can you imagine #AndyNgNYU on all my profiles? But really, I’m talking about social media (the Internet in general) and how it’s actually useful. When you type your name into Google, many things might pop up. So why not put things into your own hands and populate the search with viable, honest presentations of your interests, personal story and work? You can design, write and post to a blog (like this one!), retweet and follow news of companies you admire on Twitter, and my absolute favorite, make an extremely detailed LinkedIn profile. Keep in mind that your brand follows you and exists everywhere. The more you update and post, the more chances you create for someone to notice.

3. Make a House of (Business) Cards

  • You have nothing worthy of putting a business card? Nonsense. One, you’re a NYU student which holds value on its own already. Other items you can list are positions or titles held on campus or current internships, fellowships and even scholarships. For instance, mine says I’m a Dalai Lama Fellow and a Gates Millennium Scholar. While most people might not know what these things are, they are nonetheless good starting points for conversation and elaboration. Something else you might want to consider putting on a card is your answer to the question, what are you? Are you an entrepreneur, a coder, an engineer, actor or writer? I have several of these “careers or roles” on my card and when listed, it’s a very direct way of expressing to employers (or whomever might have my card) what my likely skillset and interests are. A plus side to a card is that it’s also easy to carry around while still being professional.

4. Dress It Up

  • Wearing your personality is a possibility, even in the world of pantsuits and overpriced ties. When I first began networking, I always wore appropriate clothes with a pop of color (POC) whether it was my socks or a bowtie. Along with a firm handshake and a cute smile, this was my way of giving an awesome first impression. If color’s not your forte, no pressure – just make sure that your personal appearance is up to par. Being “put together” does not mean being average or drab. Your well-fitted clothes and confident body language should draw you compliments from everyone in the room.

If you still need some tips, make sure to check out Wasserman’s Attire for Successful Hire event later this month on Thursday, February 12th from 5-7 p.m. 

Attire for Successful Hire, co-sponsored by Macy’s!

Thursday, February 12th 5-7pm, Seating is first come, first serve basis! 

Prizes, food, AND networking!

Don’t let the wrong outfit cost you the job! Be sure to join our Peers in Careers team and representatives from Macy’s as they offer fashion advice and showcase clothing trends that will help inspire the confidence you need to land that job or internship. You will also learn to decode terms like “business casual,” and figure out how to add variety to your professional wardrobe. You can RSVP via CareerNet.

• All attendees will be entered into a FREE raffle

• First 50 attendees will receive a Macy’s Gift Bag

• View Appropriate attire for your job search, internship, and full-time wardrobe

• Mingle with Macy’s Executives and Recruiters

• Free Food and Drinks!

Remember that networking does take practice and that the more events you attend, the more comfortable you get. And with those events you should start testing out some of these tips and see which areas of your personal brand are useful and which ones need more work. Getting out of your comfort zone always feels weird at first, but when it comes to networking, the more you know yourself and your needs, the more prepared you’ll be to brand and share that with the right people who can help out.

Andy C. Ng

Andy C. Ng is a Gates Millennium Scholar and senior studying English, Urban Education and Social Entrepreneurship. In addition to being a Peer in Career, Andy is Chair of the Greek Alliance, an Undergraduate Admissions Ambassador and member of the CAS Senior Leadership Board. Outside of NYU, Andy is involved with projects at Google, Harry’s and Venture For America, having previously worked at JPMorgan Chase and his own startup, Student to Student.

3rd Annual School of Professional Studies Networking Night

Networking Night 2014

On November 7, 2014, the NYU Wasserman Career Center, NYU SHRM Chapter, and NYU Integrated Marketing Association jointly hosted the Third Annual School of Professional Studies Networking Night. Over 100 NYU School of Professional Studies graduate students and 23 employers attended the event. It was a great opportunity for students to network with industry professionals and gain insights into these industries.

The event began by giving students time to develop their pitches, and then allowed for two 30 minute roundtable discussions with industry professionals.  Students practiced and received feedback on their pitches during these roundtables, and the event concluded with an open networking session. For a list of Employers that participated in the event, please click link…

As a first-time participant and volunteer, I enjoyed the event very much and learned a tremendous amount from the industry professionals. I am grateful that they took time out of their busy schedules to engage with students, answer questions, provide resume/interview tips, and offer opportunities to connect with them. It was inspiring to see some of these people were former M.S. HRMD program graduates, and hear them talk about how this degree enhanced their careers. I strongly recommend more students attend the event next year and prepare a great pitch.

The Quick Tips for Perfecting Your Pitch shared invaluable tips with the students:

The purpose of having a pitch during networking activities is to raise awareness of “your personal brand” in order to build authentic relationships with professionals and to share your abilities, skills and background.

Your professional pitch should…

  • Communicate your personal brand
  • Covey your unique selling point (USP)
  • Answer the questions “Tell me about yourself?” “What do you do?” and “What are you interested in doing next?”

To create your pitch, focus on…

  • Using the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to tell stories, rather than just telling facts
  • Tailoring your pitch for the audience and setting
  • Making it conversational; think of open-ended questions to ask the employer or contact 

Keep in mind these “Golden Rules”…

  • Be an authentic and genuine individual
  • Become your own subject matter expert
  • Personalize, prepare, and practice your pitch

Don’t miss out on our upcoming webinar, “Networking Over the Holidays” on Wednesday, Dec. 3rd at 12:00pm. RSVP here!

4 Golden Rules to Rocking Your Virtual Internship

By 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

Looking for a flexible way to explore a new industry or pursue a passion while at school? Consider a virtual internship! Check out the NYU CareerNet job board for current openings.

From campus ambassador gigs, to web development co-ops, to editorial spots, virtual internships are as limitless as ever before. These unique positions allow young professionals to gain valuable experience in chosen fields while still maintaining some flexibility in their crazy schedules. They can even be great ways to extend summer internships into the fall semester by doing work remotely from campus!

However, with this flexibility may also come a lack of structure that could derail your progress working away from the office. Heed these golden rules to get the most out of your virtual internship- just add WiFi:

  1. Set clear goals from the beginning: The best way to determine how much progress you’ve made is to measure against a fixed goal. Have a conversation with your supervisor at the start of your internship about what she would like you to accomplish, as well as the company’s goals in general. Keep these handy to reference when working and be ready to…

  2. Schedule regular check-ins with your supervisor: Plan 30-minute calls or skype sessions every month or after each project to get feedback on what what’s working and what can be improved upon going forward. This is a great time to get valuable feedback from your boss, but it’s also a chance for you to be honest about your experience so far and make sure that you are getting the guidance and mentorship you need as well.

  3. Keep track of your deadlines: When school and extracurriculars are also competing for your commitment, it can be easy to lose track of an internship assignment- especially when your boss is not personally there to make sure you get it done. Keep a shared work calendar on Google Drive with your team; break assignments into smaller tasks; set reminders on your phone- however you stay organized and keep your deadlines in mind.

  4. Stay inspired!: A virtual internship should be an organic way to pursue your passion wherever you are. Keep up-to-date on news in your field, subscribe to trade journals, and network with other virtual interns to share ideas and find inspiration when you feel disengaged.

Have you held a virtual internship before? What advice would you add to this list?

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. 

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:

A day in the life at Cognolink

By: Aris, Senior Research Associate, NYU Alumnus 2012

Aris graduated from New York University in 2012 with a Bachelors degree in Economics. During his time at NYU, he interned at several financial services companies, including, Merrill Lynch. Upon graduating Aris was looking for a dynamic opportunity for recent graduates and decided to join Cognolink, which is a Primary Research firm. Aris has worked at Cognolink for two years and is now a Senior Research Associate.

Upon graduating from NYU, I was looking for a dynamic position that would offer me exposure to a variety of industries including Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) industrials, healthcare, defense and financial services. I was also looking for a company that had tremendous growth opportunities, a lean management structure and a collegial, cultural environment. Cognolink embodies and epitomizes all these qualities. I started with Cognolink two years ago when the New York office was still in its initial start-up phase.  Immediately after joining the Firm, I realized that this is a company that encourages its employees to actively contribute and have a direct impact on the business- both in client services and firm development. Throughout all levels of the organization employees are expected to be heavily engaged and grow the enterprise.

To give you a brief overview of Cognolink- our clients are typically buy-side companies, such as hedge funds and private equity firms, but we also work with management consultancies. As a Research Analyst, a typical day starts with a scan of overnight communication from our clients – we are always looking out for urgent project requests. A client will typically approach the Firm with a project when they are interested in learning more about a niche topic in a specific industry.

For example, a client may be interested in learning more about the railcar manufacturing industry – companies that build tank cars for crude by rail. First, it is important for the Research Analyst to execute background macro research on the topic in order to develop an understanding of why the client is looking at this particular sector.  After extensively reviewing research reports, news highlights, and company presentations, the Analyst discovers that there have been some high profile derailments over the last year; as a result, Canadian and US regulators have heavily focused on the growth of the industry and are considering introducing new tank car design regulations. This will in turn negatively impact a railcar manufacturer’s bottom line. Once the Analyst understands the context for a project, the major players in the space and the unique structure of the value chain, he/she will begin to source and recruit industry experts who are best suited to comment on the topic at hand. A pivotal responsibility for an Analyst is to speak with industry experts over the phone, investigate and gain a clear understanding of their background and experience, while ultimately determining if the expert can provide the right insight and knowledge that will assist the client. After a thorough review, the Analyst coordinates a consultation appointment between our client and the industry expert.

As Research Analyst at Cognolink, recent graduates will have many opportunities to speak with CEOs, CFOs and Board Executives across a variety of industries and time zones every day. This unique experience enables an Analyst to develop a holistic view of all industries across the globe. From Day 1 you will realize that Cognolink believes their employees are their strongest asset.   To learn more about the Research Analyst position visit: http://careers.cognolink.com/usa

Want to Learn more about Cognolink? They will be taking over the employer twitter account on October 9th! IF you’d like to meet them in person, they will be a panelist in the What’s Next Economics event on Sept 23rd. RSvp here!