Tag Archives: mentor network

Mentor Spotlight Network: Derek

Derek Simon

Company: “The Americans” (coming to FX in January, 2013!)

Position: Assistant to the Executive Producer

College/University you attended: NYU Tisch

Major: Film and TV Production

How did you find your job? I was referred by a friend, who had been involved in the production of the series’ pilot.

What’s the weirdest job you ever had? I spent two years at the Howard Stern Show in various positions. Some of the weird things I had to do are definitely not appropriate for wide publication (but I’m happy to share them in private).

What’s the best career advice you ever received? It sounds silly, but you hear over and over again that it’s always “who you know.” It couldn’t be more true. Every job I’ve ever had came from a connection — be it family, a good friend, an acquaintance, or a friend of a friend of a friend’s mom’s brother’s babysitter. I used to be very awkward and uncomfortable with asking people for an opportunity, but — at least in film and TV — it’s really the only way to get the job you want, and people understand that — and are almost always willing to help.

What is the hardest interview question you’ve ever been asked? How did you answer it?
While this wasn’t exactly a “weird” question, I was once told prior to an interview by the woman interviewing me: “These questions are dumb, I don’t want to ask them to you and I don’t care about your answers, but it’s company policy, so…” It made answering them really difficult, because I wasn’t sure how seriously I should take them after that — too seriously, and I’d seem really awkward in front of this woman who told me they didn’t matter, but too lightly might seem that I didn’t care at all. I’m still not entirely sure if she was just trying to throw me off.

What part of your college experience prepared you most for the real world? Internships, internships, internships, internships.

If you could tell your college self one thing, what would it be? You really aren’t as busy as you think you are.


Mentor Network Spotlight: Kendra and Holley

Mentor Network Spotlight: Kendra

The Broadway League/The Tony Awards

Marketing Coordinator

College/University you attended:
NYU Gallatin

Individualized Major with a concentration in Theatre and Marketing

How did you find your job?
I had heard of the Broadway League through an internship I secured at Disney Theatrical Group. I googled the company and applied through their website. Eight months after I finished my semester-long internship with them and had graduated college, my former superviser e-mailed me saying they had an opening.

What’s the weirdest job you ever had?
I was interested in all aspects of marketing so I took a face-to-face marketing position as a promotional model for a liquor company. I gave out free samples of vodka and Bourbon in liquor stores far out in Brooklyn and Harlem. Most of my “customers” were not really interested in my marketing spiel on the brands of alcohol I was there to promote, but it was great interpersonal

What’s the best career advice you ever received?
Stay in touch! Many industries are smaller than you think and connections are immensely valuable. My social media habits and networking skills really came in handy when my current position became available and my former coworkers immediately thought of me for it.

What is the hardest interview question you’ve ever been asked? How did you answer it?
The hardest interview question for me has always been “Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?”. I have never had an idealistic occupational future in mind, but was fortunate enough to experience the helpful organic process of developing a path to my future through Gallatin. Fulfilling aspects of one course, job, or experience lead me to seek out those aspects in other areas. I have always answered this question with a description of my work situation or ideal industry, rather than a specific position. I let my interviewer know I want to be promoting what I love (theatre) in the most efficient environment possible, working for people I respect and aspire to be like and learn from.

What part of your college experience prepared you most for the real world?
The advisement I received throughout my undergraduate career was great practice for planning next steps for the rest of my life – practicing skills of communicating my individual issues and solutions was beneficial to most interactions I have in the workplace today. Additionally and of course, my internships in college taught me where real life applications for what I had learned in my courses would happen and how I could apply my personality and skill set to them.

If you could tell your college self one thing, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid to ask for more help! Independence is a great quality to have, but the resource of a large and talented faculty ready and willing to help you on anything is incredibly valuable.


Mentor Network Spotlight: Holley


Thomson Reuters

Marketing Associate

College/University you attended:
College of Arts and Sciences

Double major in Economics & Social and Cultural Analysis

How did you find your job?
Thomson Reuters’ career portal. A friend had just gotten a job there (in a different division) and recommended that I apply. I applied not really thinking it would go anywhere, but here I am!

What’s the weirdest job you ever had?
For two weekends during my freshman year, I worked at a custom print T shirt stand in the flea market on Broadway and West 4th. Working a hot press
did not really play well to my skill set so I babysat instead.

What’s the best career advice you ever received?
Create your own job. I used to think that this just meant to be an entrepreneur, but what I am beginning to realize is that you can create your own job while working for someone else. All you have to do is play to your strengths and
create your own niche within your firm. In my office, I have effectively taken over our marketing automation software; not because I was assigned it, but because I enjoy working with the software and spent time learning more about it and helping others in the office. Showing others what you are good at and helping those who need extra help will open up opportunities for you to expand and effectively create your own role in the organization.

What is the hardest interview question you’ve ever been asked? How did you answer it?
The question that always gets me is “tell me about yourself.” I always have trouble with this; how can I explain myself in three minutes or less. I always try to tailor the answer for the job that I am looking for. If I’m interviewing for a marketing position, I’m going to talk about my communication skills, event production and promotion skills, a few of my professional triumphs, and my passion for social media. If I was applying for a project manager job, I could still talk about these things but give them a different spin; perhaps I discuss the events I have produced from a logistics point of view rather than the communications aspects I would emphasize in the marketing role. You have to look at yourself through the lens of the position – how do you fit the criteria the company is looking for?

What part of your college experience prepared you most for the real world?
NYU’s emphasis on internships and deep commitment to being part of the larger New York community were two things that helped me get ready for “real” life. NYU has amazing connections with firms that very few schools have and you should take advantage of them! Furthermore, New York is unique in that it is not dominated by one industry; arts, finance, publishing, journalism, film, tech, etc. are all able to call NYC home. This malleability gives students the opportunity
to pursue their interests through many industries to find what fits. Where else can you transition industries with such ease?

If you could tell your college self one thing, what would it be?
Enjoy the journey; your college experience lasts generally only four years (and it goes by so quickly). You have your entire life to work, so don’t forget to stop and enjoy where you are now. Study abroad, spend time with friends, learn, and figure out who you are and what you care about. You’ll always have time to think and readjust, but you will not have the opportunity to do it like you can in college.


How to Tuesday: Socialize your Way to a Job/Internship! 5 networking tips

Yes, what you’ve heard is true: a majority of jobs are never posted. Employers often rely on employee recommendations to fill positions so meeting professionals is a great way to improve your chances of landing that coveted job or internship. Networking can be a scary concept. Don’t play hide and seek with the hidden job market – be constructive and effective with these  simple tips. :

1. Make networking a habit. You probably have the opportunity to meet someone new or strengthen a relationship every day. Networking is about building professional relationships with individuals working in a variety of areas. Make it a habit to engage with others even when you aren’t job searching. Offer to help others who want information about your career or connections with your contacts.

2. Talk to people you already know about your career goals. Even
if your friends, family, classmates, or colleagues aren’t pursuing the same profession, they probably have contacts in other areas. Be sure to ask them for introductions – in person or via email.

3. Build upon your current network. Make it a priority to attend events – at Wasserman and elsewhere – where you can meet professionals in your field of interest. Consider joining a student club or professional association to expand these opportunities.

4. Focus on gathering information. Professionals don’t always know about open positions and, even when they do, they may not feel comfortable recommending someone they don’t know. Instead of immediately asking for a job, start a conversation or ask for an informational interview. This strategy can get you insider information on hiring trends and companies in your industry of interest. Once you’ve made a good impression and started to establish a relationship, ask that your contact keep you updated if he/she hears of any openings in the industry.

5. Follow up, but don’t be pesky. There’s a fine line between being assertive and aggressive. After you meet a professional, it’s great to follow up with a brief email or LinkedIn request expressing gratitude for the conversation and/or asking for a follow up discussion. Sending period emails with relevant news articles or brief updates on your professional pursuits are great ways to ensure your contacts will think of you when a position opens.


How to Tuesday: Spring cleaning to-do items

Think spring break is just for fun in the sun, and jet setting off to an exotic location? Well, unless you find Union Square exotic, we at the Wasserman Center are still hard at work! As such, we want to introduce you to ways you can brush up some of your skills while you have the week off from school! Check out these top 10 things you can do to boost your career during Spring Break.

1. Revamp Your Resume and Cover Letter – use the resources at Wasserman to help you tailor your resume and cover letter to your industry and dream job. We’re here during walk-in hours everyday.

2. Brush Up on Interviewing skills – practice with your friend over a cup of coffee, use the Wasserman InterviewStream tool, or practice in front of the mirror- whatever you choose just make sure to practice! The more confident you are, the better you will do in a real interview setting.

3. Do Your Industry Homework – Research companies you are interested in and see what kind of candidates they are looking for. You can use tools like Hoover’s or Vault (found on NYU CareerNet)

4. Create or Update Your LinkedIn ProfileLinkedIn is a great tool to network and get your name out to industry professionals. Employers are also using LinkedIn to scope out potential candidates.

5. Informational Interviews – Find a mentor, talk to a counselor, alum, or an industry professional to speak with regarding your questions about your specific career. These insiders can help you understand your industry better and give you pointers. You can use the NYU Mentor Network to help you out, or even LinkedIn’s college platform to connect you to alumni!

6.  Update Your professional Website – Depending on the industry; professional websites are a great way to easily showcase your work. This break is the perfect time to update it and ensure that your website is running smoothly and is easy for perspective employers to see.

 7. Build Your Online Presence – Now more than ever employers are turning to the web to learn about job applicants. Building your web presence by ensuring that those party pictures stay locked in private, tailoring your social media accounts to your specific career interests, and ensuring to remove any blog posts or articles that may be detrimental to your chances of getting hired.

8. Learn A New Skill– Whether it’s finally getting a hang of that HTML/CSS coding or mastering the fine art of public speaking, adding a new skill to your resume will only add to your experiences.

9. Work on Your Writing Skills– Even if your career goals are geared towards science, business, medicine, or public administration writing is a crucial skill to have in today’s job market. Make sure you know the differences between you’re and your!

 10. “Know Thy Self”– Take the time to go over all our accomplishments and experience. Be sure you can speak to those experiences and accomplishments eloquently when faced in a networking or interview situation

We’re always here to help! Feel free to schedule an appointment via NYU CareerNet, grab your passport, and head to Palladium for some fun in the career center!

Don’t be like this guy – We don’t horse around here. Bring your resume and your cover letter when you come to meet with us!