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Dining Etiquette 101


Hammed Hussain is from Pakistan and currently a Junior studying Math and Economics. He’s interning at a hedge fund and has previously worked at a tech startup and a macroeconomic database firm. Hammad is also a Wasserman Career Ambassador. He enjoys playing FIFA, football and sometimes table tennis with his friends.

So you’ve cold emailed NYU’s alumni network and heard back from someone who wants to chat with you over lunch. Congratulations on making it this far! Unfortunately, the battle is only half won. Don’t be misled by the word lunch. This is a huge opportunity for you to build your relationship with the professional. Charles Schwab’s CEO is famous for taking the company’s interns to lunch and messing up their orders to see how they would react (Hint: stay calm). Remember the Warren Buffet auction lunch that was bid up to $2 million. Turns out the person who won the auction twice by bidding over $2 million was offered to work at Berkshire Hathaway. A dinner with a professional is a chance for you to demonstrate to him/her why you’re excited to work in the industry, what sort of skill set you bring to the table and finally but most importantly it’s a chance for you to connect with someone who shares the same interests as you.

If you’re not super confident about American dining etiquette, then this guide will be very helpful for you moving forward.


1. Know what is yours and what is not
This may seem obvious but once you’ve sat down, chances are you’ll be overwhelmed by the wide array of utensils that are in front of you and you might make the fatal mistake of picking up someone else’s utensil. The picture is a good guide of what to expect at the table. Remember the fork is typically on the left side of the plate and the knife on the right. All things being equal those are the only two utensils you should care about.

2. Know what you eat
This should be obvious but never order anything that is likely to create a mess or is too complicated. This includes avoiding food such as burgers, spaghetti, ribs or anything along those lines; a salad should do just fine. Also, allow the host to take the lead when it comes to ordering, this way you’ll have a clue of what everybody is getting. Another tip, eat a little bit of everything you receive at the table, for example don’t just eat the steak and the potatoes without touching your vegetables.

3. Know your diet
I have seen people make this mistake so I will be direct about this one, don’t go to lunch/dinner with an empty stomach. It sounds counterintuitive but the main purpose of the dinner is for you to meet the professional. With an empty stomach, you’re more likely to concentrate on the food as opposed to the person you’re talking to. From personal experience and research, it is difficult to think clearly and have a conversation with someone if you’re hungry. My two cents: have a snack an hour before the lunch.

4. Know the person you’re talking to

If the person you contacted was willing to have lunch with you, clearly they saw some potential in you. Throughout the meal it’s essential that you come across as a professional. By that I mean you do not ask questions whose answers are Googlable; Try to do as much as research as possible by yourself to come across as intelligent. Side note: please don’t interrupt the person while he or she is talking; it is straight up rude and shows that you don’t have good listening skills.

5. Know what to do before, during and after
First off, come to the event in business attire to demonstrate your seriousness. Keep in mind the industry you’re aiming for, if its finance then your suit should be spotless, if you’re meeting a person in tech you can get away by going business casual. Be nice to the server, keep your elbows off the table and under no circumstances should you feel the need to use your phone. Finally, follow up with the person with a thank you note to show your gratitude.

As you can judge by the length of the content, this is by no means an exhaustive list of tips that you should keep in mind. The most important thing is to practice: this includes doing things such as learning how to use a fork and knife or how to engage in a professional conversation with someone.

Luckily, NYU has a great event coming up called Dining for Success that actually allows you to have dinner with a recruiter who will help you avoid the terrible mishaps that can happen to you if you don’t do your research. Due to the event’s popularity, interested students should go to the Wasserman Center to add their names to the waitlist, but don’t fear. This event happens in the fall and the spring!

Careers in Public Service: An Interview with Aimee Lauer of USAID

The Wasserman Center will be interviewing professionals working in public service to better understand how their careers have progressed. For our second “Careers in Public Service” interview, we are exploring international development, so we met with Aimee Lauer.

Aimee Lauer works in the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and is Division Chief for Program Support at United States Agency for International Development (USAID). In this capacity, she manages OFDA’s budget portfolio ($2.2B in FY15) and oversees annual spending, while also managing all staffing and recruitment requirements.

Wasserman Center (Wass): How did you get started in this field?

Aimee Lauer (Aimee): It certainly wasn’t a straight path. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Foreign Service, I applied to jobs in various fields. I secured a job at Accenture as an IT and Financial Management Consultant. It was a great company and I gained extensive hands-on experience in consulting, though I discovered my passion lied elsewhere. I knew that I wanted to do International Development work and realized I needed to get a Master’s to get into the field. I decided to go back to graduate school and earned my Master of Science degree in International Development from Georgetown University. I started working at USAID 15 years ago as a Presidential Management Fellow, spending 9 years in disaster response before moving into development work. During this time, I’ve led the DC-based components of OFDA’s responses to the Haiti earthquake, the Haiti cholera outbreak, and Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Through this work I have had the opportunity to work in a number of countries around the world including Haiti, Egypt, South Africa, Eritrea, Kenya, Namibia, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Thailand, and Nepal.

Wass: What skills/advanced degrees are required to enter the field?

Aimee: In addition to a Bachelor’s degree, a Master’s degree is typically required to get into the field. Communication skills are important, such as the ability to quickly convey points to leadership in a compelling and concise way. Strong interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence are also important.

Wass: What personality traits/characteristics do employers in this field value?

Aimee: Adaptability to consistent change is key! You need to possess the ability to work under intense deadlines with little or no guidance, and sometimes competing guidance. You should also be able to work well under pressure and be willing to learn as part of a team. Employers also value experience at NGO’s, and field time overseas involving disaster and domestic response work. It’s also important that you know yourself and what environments you work best in.

Wass: What are the typical entry-level positions?

Aimee: USAID offers every kind of entry level position to get into the field. In addition to disaster relief, international development also involves business processes and understanding and implementing policy. USAID has roles in Grant Administration, Finance and budgeting, HR, IT, Procurement, and Recruiting. You can learn more about working at USAID here.

Wass: What is an average day/week on the job like?

Aimee: There is no average day at USAID. Everyday is different and it always changes! Your whole day can turn around based on unexpected life events. For instance, when Hurricane Matthew hit we had to drop everything and spend all day drafting talking points.

Wass: What is the work culture like?

Aimee: Regardless of the department you’re in, we are all humanitarians dedicated to a common goal to save lives, alleviate human suffering, and reduce social and economic impact of disasters. We recognize our roles involve dealing with very critical world issues and our jobs are very demanding! But our roles are also very rewarding and we are here to support one another and ensure that we’re managing well.

Wass: What are the opportunities for in-service training/professional development?

Aimee: There is strong emphasis on professional development and learning in our organization. Many of the staff have a training budget in place they can use on supporting their professional development. We also have individual learning plans in place and recently revised all performance management tools. We dedicate a lot of time to an “After Action Review” after every response where we poll the staff on what worked well and what didn’t and then we pass that onto senior leadership.

Wass: What are the opportunities for advancement within this field?

Aimee: There is a lot of opportunity for growth within the OFDA. Many of our employees grow within the company, myself included. Some decide they want to work for NGO’s, but many have returned and bring back skills to apply to and grow our organization.

Wass: What’s the best networking strategy for this field?

Aimee: ​Certainly attend the numerous events and panels the Wasserman Center offers to students in your field! Always take advantage of an informational interview! This is a key networking, career exploration, and job-hunting tool available to you.

Careers in Public Service: An Interview with NYU Peace Corps Recruiter Helen Alesbury

The Wasserman Center will be interviewing professionals working in public service to better understand how their careers have progressed. For our first “Careers in Public Service” interview, we met with the Peace Corps. Over 1,000 NYU alumni have gone on to serve in the Peace Corps.

We spoke with Helen Alesbury, a current graduate student at NYU’s Graduate School of Arts & Science, who also happens to be the NYU Peace Corps Recruiter. She served in the Peace Corps in El Salvador as a Health Volunteer. Below is an excerpt of our interview.


Wasserman Center (Wass): What has your career path looked like? How did you get started in this field?

Helen Alesbury (Helen): After graduating from George Washington University I applied and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer working for 2 years in rural El Salvador as a health volunteer. After that incredibly formative experience, I worked for Peace Corps Headquarters back in Washington, DC​ on their Safety & Security team. After working there for a little over a year, I headed to graduate school here at NYU to get my master’s degree in Anthropology, focusing on forensics and to eventually use my skills as a forensic anthropologist to help war torn countries like El Salvador. While working towards my master’s degree I am also a part time, on campus recruiter for the Peace Corps, based out of the Wasserman Career Center.

Wass: What skills/degrees are required to enter this field?

Helen: To become a Peace Corps Volunteer you must have a bachelor’s degree and relevant work or volunteer experience in the field you would like to serve in (Health, Education, Youth, Business, Environment, and agriculture). Beyond that, you need a passion for learning about and experiencing other cultures.

Wass: What personality traits/characteristics do employers in this field value?

Helen: Peace Corps is the ‘toughest job you’ll ever love’ so having patience and determination are vital! To be an effective volunteer you have to be dedicated to working with a community and using your skills as they are needed, not necessarily doing what you think needs to be done. It also helps to have a good sense of humor about yourself and your failures. It is all about learning how to celebrate the little victories in life.

Wass: What are the typical entry-level positions?

Helen: All Peace Corps positions are “entry level”, but possibly the least “entry-level” type job you could ever imagine. As a volunteer you will be called on to help manage projects, lead communities, liaise with organizations, and represent the United States abroad.

Wass: What is an average day/week on the job like?

Helen: As a volunteer there is no “typical” day. Peace Corps is exactly what you make of it. Some days you will be teaching in a classroom, the next you may be hiking up a mountain to see if there are natural springs you can tap for the community. You may even be working as a translator for a group of doctors or dentists another day. It is the least typical job you could ever imagine.​

Wass: What is the typical work environment/culture like?

Helen: Peace Corps Volunteers serve in over 65 countries worldwide. Communities where Peace Corps Volunteers serve range from being in rural villages of a few hundred people, to larger urban areas of several thousand. ​

Wass: What are the opportunities for in-service training/professional development?

Helen: One of the best aspects of Peace Corps is the experience you get in all types of situations. Not only is it “on the job training”, but Peace Corps organizes 3 months of intensive training upon arrival in your country of service to instruct you in the local language, customs, and ways to manage projects. Throughout the 27 month service you also have ISTs (In-Service Trainings), that will help you develop your skills and workshop different situations you have during your service.

Wass: What are the opportunities for advancement within this field?

Helen: Peace Corps is a great first step to any career. Because it gives you experience in so many different ways, you can use it to your advantage. Volunteers go on to work in the State Department, the Foreign Service, international NGOs, MFA, and the UN to name a few. Not to mention the US Congress has several Returned Peace Corps Volunteers.

Wass: What’s the best networking strategy for this field?

Helen: ​Start by talking to me! I am NYU’s campus recruiter and can be reached at Coming to an info session is a great way to start getting information and figuring out if Peace Corps is right for you. Additionally, never shy away from an informational interview – it is the best way to get information and ask the questions you really need the answers to. Also make sure you come to career fairs and information sessions! They are the best tools you have to find what fits for you and to get as much information as possible.​

Helen, NYU’s Peace Corps Recruiter, can be reached at; she holds drop-in hours at NYU Wasserman every Wednesday, 12pm-2pm, or by appointment. The Peace Corps will be attending the upcoming NGO Forum on Friday, November 18th, in Washington, DC. NYU Wasserman will be providing a bus to and from DC, but you need to secure your seat ASAP! Find the details and RSVP information here.

How To Get An Internship + Be A Campus Leader


Jessica Yeh is a senior in the Hotel and Tourism Management program at School of Professional Studies, minoring in Marketing and Revenue Management and Japanese. She has been through five different internships since attending NYU, during semesters and summers. She is passionate about building an Asian American and Taiwanese American community. One of her proudest commitment, besides being a Wasserman Campus Ambassador (WCA), is being the assistant director of an upcoming Asian and Taiwanese American conference at NYU.

Infinite Opportunities Dilemma
Coming to college, do you ever feel like you want to do everything? For instance, when you are browsing through a club festival and going to a career fair, you may feel that there are so many things you would like to explore. There are so many opportunities to choose from.

My advice is… Just DO IT.

College is the best time for you to explore and to challenge yourself. However, you need to be smart about how you go about choosing your commitments.

Finding the Right Ratio
A general formula I would suggest would be:
1 Internship + 1 Leadership Activity + Academics
The general idea is that besides school, it would better to have two more emphases per semester. Of course, this is coming from my personal experiences and you are more than welcome to try a different mix. Just keep in mind that finding the right ratio is very crucial to your success. For example, my mix for this semester, without an internship, is the following:
WCA + Taiwanese American Conference + Academics

5 Tips for Getting An Internship
1. Secure a career coaching appointment at Wasserman. Let a professional help you find the right internship title to go for and prepare the most appropriate cover letter/resume. Remember that we have this resource open for you during the weekdays for the entire semester.

2. Attend a career fair/info session. You want to find out more about the position that you are interested with the company that offers it. A lot of the times, researching online is not enough. Even though you might not necessarily land on an interview or a job right away, you can have a feel of the corporate culture from the company representation (you will find out in your career later that corporate culture can make a huge difference when you are choosing the right job).

3. Use personal connections. If you have any personal connection in your respective field, don’t be afraid to utilize it. Some students I have come across said that they feel uncomfortable having to use personal connections because it shows incompetence. Now, remember, we are just starting out in our careers. It is okay to ask for help. Often times, professionals like to help because they were in your shoes before.

4. Talk to you professors. Your professors are teaching at NYU because of their accomplishments in their fields. They are very well connected and they can surely direct you to someone helpful at least. For example, I got my internship as a sales & marketing intern through my sales & marketing class professor. Oh, don’t forget to keep in touch with some of your professors (wink).

5. Conduct coffee chats. If you know any professionals by chance you can always ask for a coffee chat. If you don’t then you can try connecting with professionals via LinkedIn. 1 out of 10 invitations may be accepted from my personal experience. Coffee chat should never be about asking for a job. It is about asking questions about the professional’s everyday work life and corporate culture. If you manage to leave an impression, you may then be favoured over other candidates. (Business world is about human connections, so it doesn’t hurt to build the network earlier on.)

3 Tips for Becoming a Campus Leader
1. Find a cause that you are passionate in. I believe it is the same as finding a job. If you were not passionate about it, you would find difficulty in working for that cause. An example would be my working as a Wasserman Career Ambassador (WCA). I am passionate about helping students figuring out their school and professional lives thus WCA is not just a commitment. In fact, it is part of my interest. Therefore, I never feel constrained or obligated. It is just part of who I am and who I want to be.

2. Don’t be afraid to take on responsibilities. Students who take on responsibilities are more likely to grow because they are probably twice as much confident than those who don’t. That does not mean that they don’t make mistakes. In fact, taking on responsibilities is about making mistakes and knowing that you will not make them again in your professional lives later on.

3. Know that you are a student. So have fun! When you are working with students of your age, you might encounter disagreements and problems. However, try to resolve any kind of problem with emotional intelligence because your fellow students are part of your future professional network. Also, know that you are a student so don’t be too hard on yourself. Know when to enjoy yourself and when to take things easy.

The upcoming College to Career Boot Camp will help you hone in on those professional skills that you need to find your dream internship or full-time job. This one-day conference is for students from all majors seeking information on the transition to the “real world” of full-time work. This event provides undergraduate and graduate students with insight and practical knowledge about dealing with real world issues while venturing into the workforce for the first time.

Profile of a Wasserman Center Internship Grant Recipient


Nikita Trimbake is a first year Biotechnology grad student (NYU Tandon ’17). She is currently volunteering as a research assistant at the prestigious Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s disease and the Aging brain, Columbia University. She completed her undergrad degree in Pharmaceutical sciences from University of Pune. As an awardee of the WCIG, this aspiring young researcher shares her opinions on why it is essential to secure grants and the challenges she faced while pursuing her research.

Best part of winning WCIG: The Grant itself. Research can be unpredictable, in terms of outcome and duration. It is also a wise decision to secure as much financial support as possible. With finances taken care of, it became easier to focus completely on my work.

Challenges and rewards: The course of research is essential to be predetermined but also needs to be amenable till some extent. For the same, analyzing the methodology and trouble-shooting are crucial and were my biggest challenges. I was expected to perform animal survival surgery, which demanded skills, precision and a lot of patience. Alongside I completed few on-site trainings and online classes. Dedicated practice and study helped me fulfill the work demands with ease. Overall, it was a very enriching experience for me. Understanding the research, scientific thinking and asking questions in broader scope of the study are the highlights of my time at Columbia University.

Advice: Go for it! I think the process is pretty easy to comprehend. Selection being highly competitive, I would recommend to start working on the essay answers before-hand. Always keep your rationale behind choosing the particular internship very clear. That will get you the brownie points!

Survival tips 101: Ways to optimize finances is mostly an individual’s choice. Firstly, cooking at home is essential. Try to utilize as many free resources as possible which are provided by the university. Summer is a great time to explore the city. If wise enough, it can be done without spending a single penny. Purchasing a metrocard is indespensible, so make sure you plan ahead for the amount. And most importantly, don’t hesitate to flash your student ID with a big grin on your face and ask for discounts.

The Wasserman Center Internship Grant was established to provide financial assistance ($1000) to students pursuing non-paying internships within not-for-profits, the arts, education, public service and other industries that do not traditionally pay their interns. For more information, the application and eligibility criteria can be found on NYU CareerNet under Job ID #1040560. The application deadline is October 6th, 2016 at 11:59pm EST. Please keep in mind this is a competitive process.

Top 5 Networking Mistakes (and How to Fix Them)


Wheeler del Torro is a celebrity chef and serial entrepreneur. He is the founder and lead educator of The Rittenhouse Square Group, a think tank that teaches networking and other vital social skills to undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral students to help maximize their investment in higher education.

No matter what industry or job you are in, you will eventually discover how important it is to build a network of people around you.


These support systems determine how much growth an individual achieves. Because of the advantages an individual gets by having one, we know for a fact how fundamental networking is to personal development.

The truth is, people network for a number of reasons —from finding work to forming relationships to gaining support. Whatever angle you would like to come at it, one thing remains true: networking is about fostering deep human connections. When people relate with each other, there is an unspoken code of conduct that should be followed. Nurturing networks requires deliberate action, so it pays to think about it keenly. Here are the top five networking mistakes you may not know you’re making, and how to fix them.

1. Stating your agenda too soon.
People network because they want something. Your goal is probably to get a job, land a business deal that favors the handicapped, or get a referral for a specific venture in which you’re engaged.

To avoid appearing greedy and inconsiderate, never ask for what you need right at the onset. When you network, remember that you are dealing with people who are there for the same purpose as you. It is important to listen for and consider how you can help to meet their needs so that you can build meaningful relationships with them.

How to fix this:
If you want to nurse one disappointment after another, focus on what you want to gain from others. But if you want to succeed in building a powerful network, focus first on being of service to other people.

Everyone has something to offer, either materially or intellectually. Take it upon yourself to find out what you can share with others for their benefit, and vice versa. Cultivating a giving heart is the only sure way to establish beneficial relations.

Pretty soon, you will also find someone who will be committed to fulfilling your needs. Remember to appreciate the help of others because they are not obligated to offer you anything, even if they can.

2. Assuming that people care about your success.
It is not the responsibility of your parents, your professors, or your employer to ensure that you are on a trajectory to success. That responsibility is all your own. As such, it is important that you take the time to clearly plan out what you would like to accomplish and whose help you’d like to solicit along the way. While people cannot be expected to proactively advocate for your success, people are almost always willing to help out when presented with a specific request.

How to fix this:
Networking is about benefiting from each other. If members of your network no longer find use in being there, they drift away. If you want people to pay attention to your needs, then that’s exactly what you need to be doing for them. How do you do this? Concern is the strongest gesture of human relationships. Everyone appreciates being asked how he or she is doing. This is important to do for a couple of reasons. First, being in a network is all about looking out for each other. In fact, you probably understand each other’s struggles better than most people not in your line of work. In addition, if you care about the needs of others, they will often feel more inclined to return the favor. But someone needs to initiate the spirit of benevolence.

If you need help from an individual, try to know his or her life well. What does he or she like? What investments does he or she prefer? What kind of personality does he or she have? Imagine how embarrassing it is to seek financial help from someone who has just been declared bankrupt over local news (and you were completely oblivious to it)! An interaction like that would communicate that you only care about their financial muscle and what it can do for you. If the same interaction began by you expressing your sympathy and offering to connect that person to your contacts for business deals, they would find you to be an asset instead.

3. Going for quantity rather than quality.
There is nothing wrong with having a large number of friends and acquaintances. However, there is also little meaning in randomly handing out your business card to everyone within arm’s distance. A Time article puts it simply: “Networking needs to be about relationship building, not card collecting. It’s not and will never be just a numbers game.” (1) It’s true that there are opportunities everywhere and, the more people you know, the higher your chances of getting help. However, do not fall into the trap of relying solely on social media to nurture your relationships, even if you can have an unlimited number of followers there. The nature of social media encourages people to post mass updates about their life, but it is not as personal as catching up over coffee and having a real conversation face-to-face.

How to fix this:
Taking the shotgun approach rarely works for successful networking. Remember that you, just like everyone else, have a limited number of hours in a day. Business Insider posits that, “your mantra when networking should be ‘quality, not quantity’. The goal of networking is to forge meaningful relationships with select individuals — not to have superficial interactions with as many people as possible. (2)

Even if you wanted to, it is close to impossible to foster meaningful interactions with a huge number of people at the same time. Instead, think about the networks you want to build. Who are the types of people that can help you? How can they help? Then, find where these people are and spend your time meeting and building relationships with them.

4. Refusing to ask for help.
If we can accept help from apps and strangers, why do we struggle to accept help from our friends and family? It is most often about the fear of rejection or embarrassment, but the fact of the matter is that very few people who are asked for help will say no, particularly if they have the ability to help better another person’s circumstances. Unfortunately, most people who need help do not like to put their struggles out there for the world to see, so they tend to keep their problems to themselves.

How to fix this:
Be humble. Everyone has struggles. The difference is, the people who are successful are honest about their struggles and are unashamed to ask for help.

Be specific and strategic. In a piece on The Wall Street Journal, Market Watch reporter Ruth Mantell expands on this idea, “Networking requires strategy, research and social grace…. Tell network contacts about specific ambitions for your career or professional growth so they know how to support you.” (3) If you are trying to access benefits in a certain organization, ask people in your network if they know someone there who can assist you. If you are looking for a job in your dream organization, find out who you know on the inside and see if they have any tips on how to be a good job candidate.

Be attuned to technology. A lot of things today depend on what is happening on social forums. Stay in the loop about current trends, both in pop-culture and in your industry. In addition, new applications are continually being developed that allow people who cannot see to type, comprehend text, and even drive. Build yourself up to the challenge of asking people for help to use these programs. You can ask those who are already using them, or companies that develop them. Keep in mind that it would be awkward to ask help from someone if you have not spoken for a long time, so proceed only after you have taken time to catch up. Otherwise you will appear to be an opportunist.

5. Not knowing how to use your strengths.
We are often encouraged to reach for our dreams. Some get their big break by chance; most of us have to use our network as a stepping-stone to the top.

The reality of life is that people interact with each other because of the calculated benefit they assume they will receive from each other. Unfortunately, people who have not historically interacted with people with disabilities do not realize that they, too, have assets that can benefit the people in their network.

How to fix this:
It is important to first understand your unique abilities and the type of people who would benefit from being in your network. If you are unsure of your skills, reflect on your strengths in your current and in past jobs. Ask your friends and former teachers and supervisors. Come up with a list with which you feel comfortable, and then listen for a need for any of these talents when you are networking with new people.

Indeed, there are a lot of opportunities for individuals to improve their lives today than there were several years ago. Know your goals and how you intend to fulfill them, and then analyze the resources that you already have. It will only make sense to be in a network if you stand to gain more than what you can achieve on your own.

In order to prepare for any networking opportunity, be ready to socialize with your contacts. The worst experience you could have is to leave a meeting without establishing a personal connection with the people there. You can start by brushing up on current affairs and industry news that cuts across all sectors of the economy. Or, read up on sports and pop-culture. A well-rounded individual will have an easier time in starting a conversation, keeping it going, and showcasing their interests and expertise. This will create the possibility to find common ground with the person to whom you are speaking.

Remember, effective networking is all about being authentic. Whenever you feel intimidated, just keep this simple networking rule in mind from Fortune magazine: “Relax, have fun and don’t try to foster relationships that aren’t natural.” (3)


(1) White, M.C. (2015). “5 Networking Mistakes That Keep You from Getting Ahead”.Time Magazine.

(2) Mantell, R. (2012). “Networking Mistakes We Often Make”. The Wall Street Journal.

(3) Kriz, S. (2015). “5 Common Networking Mistakes You’re Making”. Fortune.

Join Del Torro and his team on Wednesday, October 5th from 5:00-6:30pm for Within Reach Networking Workshop. RSVP on NYU CareerNet.

Profile of a Wasserman Center Internship Grant Recipient


Audrey Deng is a third-year Comparative Literature major with a penchant for French literature and long-form journalism. She cultivated her literary interests at NYU by writing and working for various publications, including the Washington Square News, West 10th, Brio Literary Journal, and others. In order to gain a comprehensive education of the publishing industry, she spent her summer at Hearst Corporation’s in-house photography studio, where artistic choices, editorial voices, and commercial interests inspire each other.

Best part of winning the WCIG: The best part about winning the Wasserman Center Internship Grant was the sense that my university appreciated the work I was doing.

Most challenging or rewarding part of your internship: Interning at Hearst allowed me a firsthand glimpse at how their fleet of printed magazines was thriving in a largely digital environment. As a photography studio intern, my experience building photography sets and handling lighting equipment would be highly valuable to working on film sets.

Good advice for others applying for the WCIG: Be thorough—do not be afraid of math when specifying how exactly the grant money will be used.

Non-paying internship survival 101 tip: I found it best to regard my unpaid internship as a professional working environment where I could practice applying what I learned elsewhere to a new medium.

The Wasserman Center Internship Grant was established to provide financial assistance ($1000) to students pursuing non-paying internships within not-for-profits, the arts, education, public service and other industries that do not traditionally pay their interns. For more information, the application and eligibility criteria can be found on NYU CareerNet under Job ID #1040560. The application deadline is October 6th, 2016 at 11:59pm EST. Please keep in mind this is a competitive process.

Now is the Perfect Time to Freshen Up Your LinkedIn Profile


Genevieve Boron is an Assistant Director and Career Coach at the Wasserman Center for Career Development, School of Professional Studies Office. Before beginning in Higher Education she spent 18 years in K-12 Education and Nonprofits. She loves using the LinkedIn Find Alumni Tool and speaking with students and alumni about how their LinkedIn profile can best tell their unique professional story.

Welcome to a new school year and recruiting season! Take a few minutes to update the basics on your LinkedIn profile since last semester and summer–relevant academic project media, GPA, and any volunteer, internship and/or work experiences. Once that is complete, it’s time to review your Photo, Headline and Summary.

Photo: According to LinkedIn, profiles with a photo receive approximately 7 times the views of profiles without photos.
Ask a friend or family member to take a headshot of you alone and professionally dressed. Look out for the Wasserman Center LinkedIn Photo Booths offered throughout the year. Log in to NYU CareerNet and click Events–> Seminars–> and type LinkedIn to the search box.

Headline: According to LinkedIn, “your headline is a short, memorable, professional slogan.”
The headline is a phrase that highlights your professional value–think about what you are doing now and where you want to go next professionally. Not sure of the wording? View the profiles of other students or recent alumni from your program to spark ideas for your headline.

Summary: According to LinkedIn, profiles containing more than a 40-word summary are more likely to turn up in employer searches.
The summary is the space for you to confidently describe what you have already done and what you hope to accomplish, in a few paragraphs or less. Use the summary to highlight your strengths and help your future employer understand what they can expect from you. If you already have an elevator pitch for professional networking, use that to begin your Summary section.

If you are lost as to what to write here, take time for self-reflection. Ask yourself important questions. What words would managers, professors, and co-workers use to describe me? (If you are not sure, ask a former boss, professor or colleague what they see as your greatest professional and personal strengths.) What do I enjoy most about the work I do and/or my field of study? What do I want to be known for in my career?

Finally, download the LinkedIn Students app and schedule a career coaching appointment via NYU CareerNet to have your LinkedIn profile reviewed.

Making a Difference: Day in the Life of a Development Specialist


Noelle Aubert graduated from Bridgewater State University in 2012 with a Bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education and Sociology. She now works as a Developmental Specialist at South Bay Community Services.

Each and every day as a Development Specialist is special and unique in its own way. Just the other day, I got to witness the amazing privileges of my job after working consistently with a two-year-old boy diagnosed with Autism. For five months we worked on the use of sign language. On this day in particular my client finally used the sign for “more” without any prompting or assistance from me. I almost jumped out of my skin and screamed with excitement. I couldn’t contain my enthusiasm as I said to his daycare provider, “DID YOU JUST SEE THAT?!?!” She had also witnessed him use the sign and was just as happy and excited as I was. This was just one of my many proud and rewarding moments that I have had so far in my career as a Developmental Specialist and I can’t wait for many more to come.

I would have never have imagined I would have ended up in this career as I had always dreamed of being a teacher, all the way up until it was time to leave for college. As planned, I started my college career at Bridgewater State University studying Early Childhood Education double majoring in Sociology. I enjoyed college, especially my senior year where I spent my days studying learning strategies, tactics, and ways to differentiate lesson plans for young children based on their specific needs. I completed my pre-practicum in preschool and second grade, and student taught kindergarten and first grade. I came to know a multitude of different people including other teachers, children, and families. Behavior management, classroom organization, and differentiated lesson planning were only a few of the many skills that I acquired during this time; not to mention all of the children’s songs I learned.

After passing all of my MTEL’s and graduating with my Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education, I was under the impression that my degree only allowed me to be a classroom teacher. That led me to start my career as a preschool teacher in Quincy, MA. In this very diverse area, I met children and families from many different homes, cultures, religions, and ethnicities. During the three years that I taught there, I collaborated with Physical Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, Behavioral Therapists, and Developmental Specialists. Little did I know, in a short time, I would begin my career as a Developmental Specialist at South Bay Community Services.

In January of 2016, I left my job as a preschool teacher and accepted the job offer at South Bay and started my current position. Now my days consist of a car trunk filled with toys, a bag full of paperwork, and most importantly making a difference in the lives of each child and family I work with.

Each day starts off with me hopping into my car (with a large cup of coffee) and driving off to my first client’s home. When I get there, it’s a gamble of what kind of outcome I will receive from each child. It all depends on what has happened that day in the child’s life. For that hour that I am there “playing toys” with my client, the child could be learning a variety of different skills that are essential to their development. I may be working with a child on communication, whether it be getting them to use words, signs, or start to put 2-3 words together. The child may need help with their motor development, for example, walking. In this case, it may be an hour of encouraging a child to cruise along the couch with little support. In some cases, a child may need help learning to eat finger foods, so during my session, I encourage the child to use their fingers to eat desired food. All of these goals that I work on with the child are part of their IFSP (individualized family service plan) which the family and service coordinator create together. Many of these tasks may seem so simple to us but to these children the milestones are astronomical.

On top of working directly with my client, I also involve the parents or families. This could mean that I give mom a strategy such as using signs at home instead of words or giving a foster parent support on where to find ABA (applied behavior analysis) services for her foster child who has just been diagnosed with autism. All of these skills that I am teaching to my clients and families will be beneficial for them to know in order to participate fully in their daily routines and/or the community.

I am also a group leader of a toddler group at South Bay. The toddler group is similar to a daycare setting that occurs once a week for two and a half hours. Each child that is in the toddler group has qualified for Early Intervention services and is working on certain goals and outcomes. At toddler group, they have the opportunity to interact with other children and also work on these goals. The children get the chance to communicate with other children, learn independence, participate in circle time, sing songs, do art projects, and have snack with their peers. It is a great way to foster social skills and interactions with others.

In the short time of six months that I have been working at South Bay, I have already been rewarded in so many ways. Whether it be on Tuesdays at toddler group or Monday mornings working with my client with autism, I am constantly reminded that I made the right choice. While working with a team of other professionals, supervisors, and specialists who are always willing to offer their help in any way and learning new things everyday, I am seeing my efforts pay off in the lives of these children.

To learn more about Development Specialist positions and other rewarding careers at South Bay Community Services, visit

Career Fair Success Tips from Wasserman Career Ambassador

Rex Hsieh

Rex Hsieh is a sophomore studying Economics and Mathematics. He has a passion for studying businesses and macro-economics. When not studying, or working as a Wasserman Career Ambassador, he enjoys writing fiction and poetry, touring art museums, and solving mathematics problems!

Maybe you have been to a career fair before; if so, you know how it is: students and employer representatives, eager to showcase themselves, mingle with each other for an entire day, rambunctious rooms/halls, innumerable literature/employer materials, countless resumes, sundry “business casual”-styled combinations, colourful banners…even the air feels a little humid. The entire thing looks, and feels, like a vast chaos—only a well-thought-out one.

If you have not been to one before, here are two things you should know:

1. It is difficult to define what good that attending a career fair will give you. Because this is so frequently asked, it is important to know what a career fair is. It is an opportunity for two interested parties to know more about each other: students (who are usually vested in knowing more about job openings), and employers (who are looking for potential hires, sometimes with full-time opportunities). Both parties reap benefits from knowing more about each other. It is hard to know if attending a career fair will be good for you, especially for job-seekers (career fair does not guarantee one to be hired!), if you do not know it is essentially a gigantic networking session (more on this later).

2. And this almost goes without saying—everyone attending is well prepared. Imagine a meandering queue of dozens-plus students, all intent on meeting one employer representative (say, Delta Airline). Not only do you have to wait for your turn to talk to the representative (perhaps up to half-an-hour), you do so knowing that others—as well prepared and ambitious as yourself—are pitching to the representative as well.

However, these are not written to dissuade you from attending the career fair at Metropolitan Pavilion this fall; far from it! Anyone—and, really, everyone—can stand to gain from attending this event! There are a few things you should be actively planning from now on. Here, I have broken them down to “must-do”, “must-remember”, and “smile.”

1. Pick out formal attire to wear. Business casual will generally be okay. Professionalism is always a plus!
2. Read up on the employers who will be attending. About a week or two before the fair, Wasserman Center will have a list of participating employers. Study what they do. Know what you want to ask. Be as specific as you can when crafting your questions. Employer representatives will be genuinely impressed if you show interest in what they do, and who they are!
3. Print out copies of your résumé (and maybe business cards). Know that this is a mingling section; you want the employers to know as much as they can about you, as time permits. Giving them a well-written CV will help! Having a business card definitely adds to your professionalism (more on this later)!
4. Prepare a short pitch. In short: be ready to talk about your strengths, skills, interests—in addition to who you are, why you are here, and how much you welcome the representation to the N.Y.U. campus!
5. Plan out a number of options. Time is nobody’s friend; if you cannot arrive early (to the fair), think about whom you really want to meet, and prioritize them. If your original plan does not work, go for another one! Maximise your gains by planning out your options first!
6. Be ready to listen. What I have found to be unfortunate, especially at career fairs, is students’ reluctance to listen to others. Students generally have a marvellous speech planned out, so they do not want to be interrupted. The truth is, the employers may have impromptu, spur-of-the-moment questions for you! Listen to whatever they say. Be a good listener, because that quality appeals to everyone!
7. Take the employer pamphlets/literature. One important reason: you never know what interests you, or what openings an employer have. It is unlikely that the representative knows every opening there is; your best shot at knowing as much about them as possible is through reading their literature. After all, they are for you.
8. Follow up with employer representatives. It is important to treat the conversation you have with representatives as, perhaps, your opening conversation. Follow up with them, and discuss with them the opening(s) and why you would like to be considered. Important: network with employer representatives; do not interview them.

1. Know your directions at the day of career fair. The employers you want to talk to are unlikely the ones situated closest to the entrance. Be prepared to study a map of employers. Find them as soon as possible, when you arrive. This will alert you of the crowds or queues of people around employers! Again, this increases your flexibility on the day of the fair.
2. That you are unique. Someone is bound to recognise how special you are. Everyone has a unique value, which only he or she can bring to the table. Just be sure to talk about your extra-curricular activities, affiliated communities, work experiences, connections, and so on, when appropriate.
3. Career fair is a giant networking session. As mentioned before, career fair is essentially a networking event. The aim of a networking event is to know what you can offer to others—not what they can offer you. Think about what you have to put on the table for employers. Demonstrate what you can do for others. Be courteous with others, and be professional (because you also represent NYU)!

No one likes to associate with someone who is serious or rigid, especially when it comes to first impressions! Rather, put on a smile. And, use appropriate body language—like giving firm handshakes and making eye contact—while exercising restraint (i.e. don’t overdo anything). Always be aware that you should try and leave representatives the impression that you are a gregarious, warm person. Representatives are likelier to tell you tidbits, if they not only find you a good candidate for open positions—but also like you as a person! Smiling appropriately adds a touch of professionalism for you.

It is important to know that being at a career fair is, as the word “fair” suggests, like engaging in the sale of “goods.” Ask yourself what you have to offer—because employers are here with their job openings. If you try asking yourself the question hard enough, you will get the best answer there is. The hardest thing is always to put some effort before any result takes place. But once you do, you can, almost doubtlessly, expect returns. Start now. Yes. Don’t wait. Go ahead. And be at the fair this fall! See you there!

NYU students from all majors and programs can attend this year’s Fall 2016 Job and Internship Fair. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged. Find out more by logging into NYU CareerNet.