Tag Archives: nyu students

How to “Wow” Your Interviewer

Claudia Enriquez is a second year student receiving her Masters in Public Administration from NYU Wagner. She currently works as a Graduate Program Assistant at NYU Wasserman. She is a New Yorker at heart, growing up in Long Island, then moving to upstate New York to attend college, and now she’s back downstate and enjoying her time at NYU.

You landed the interview, now it’s time to bring out your A game and really ‘wow’ your interviewer. Follow these simple steps below and prepare to land that dream job/internship!

Research, Research, Research

Did I mention research? Check out the company’s website. Review the company’s mission statement, values, culture, goals, achievements, recent events, and the company’s products/services.  If you know anyone who works there – ask him/her to give you the inside scoop!

Practice Makes Perfect…Or at least Preparation!

Be prepared to the job interview. Practice general and challenging interview questions with your peers.  Practice in front of a mirror – don’t be shy! The more prepared you are, the more confident you’ll feel, which will come off during the interview.  While you should practice, be authentic during the actual interview.

NYU Wasserman has plenty of great career resources.  Swing by during walk-in hours for a mini mock interview, or make an appointment with a career counselor. You can find other helpful resources on CareerNet, under the Career Resources tab. Check it out!

Get Ready and Be on Time

The night before do the following:

  • Have your outfit picked out (rule of thumb: dress one or two levels up)

  • Pack your bag

  • Print out extra copies of your resume

  • Get directions to your destination (Check alternative routes)

  • Relax and have a good night’s sleep

The day of the big interview give yourself enough time to arrive. Arrive between 5-7 minutes early. If you’re too early walk around, grab some water, etc. As soon as you walk through the door, all eyes are on you – that means, be polite to everyone, from the receptionist to the person interviewing you.  Remember to put on your best smile!

How to Answer Questions During the Interview?

During the interview make eye contact and answer questions with confidence.  Use the STAR method:

  • Situation – Describe the situation you were in (e.g., the name of the internship or course you were taking)

  • Task – Identify the specific project you were working on and briefly discuss what it entailed

  • Action – This is the most important element! Specifically identify what YOUR action was related to the question that was asked

  • Result – Close the question by stating an outcome to your situation

If you ever find yourself stuck on a question, that’s okay! Say to the interviewer ‘that’s a good question, let me think about it.’ Pause, breathe, think, and then give your answer.

Ask Meaningful Questions

At the close of the interview, the interviewer will always ask if you have any questions for them.  Have about 5-10 questions prepared, but of course, don’t ask questions already answered during the interview.

Below are good examples of what to ask the interviewer.

  1. What qualities do you think are most important for someone to excel in this position?

  2. What do you personally like most about working for this company?

  3. What would be one of the greatest challenges a person in this position would face?

  4. Can you tell me more about the team I’ll be working with?

  5. What are the next steps in the interview process?

Follow Up

Send a thank you email or a letter to your interviewer(s) 24-48 hours after the interview. If you interviewed with more than one person, send tailored individual thank you notes. Reiterate your strengths and your interest in the company. This is also an opportunity to add anything you did not discuss during the interview. As always, thank them for their time and the opportunity.

Good luck!

Student Perspectives: Social Media + Networking for the Job Search

by: Lauren Stewart

Lauren S. Stewart

Lauren S. Stewart  is a current 2nd year MPA in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy candidate, with a specialization in management at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Lauren is currently a program assistant for multicultural career programs at NYU’s Wasserman Center for Career Development and an intern at Kenneth Cole Productions in their Corporate Citizenship department. With a passion for philanthropy, corporate social responsibility, and social entrepreneurship, Lauren plans to utilize the skills learned at NYU Wagner to influence society to focus on social responsibility as a top priority within any industry. Lauren is originally from Midlothian, VA and received a B.A. in psychology from The University of Virginia.

I (heart) LinkedIn!

Moving to the big city from Virginia was quite the experience. As plans came together with starting graduate school at NYU Wagner, finding housing in Harlem, and securing a graduate program assistant role at NYU Wasserman, I believed that I was on the fast track to success. I’m sure you’re waiting for the but…

Well, I really was on the fast track to success until I sat in on NYU Wasserman’s annual Business Bootcamp. One of the speakers spoke about the importance of networking and Linkedin. Yea, I had heard of it. I thought it was just for old and established career professionals. I never understood the value in just another Facebook. Yes, I now know that Linkedin and Facebook are completely different! It’s amazing how you underestimate certain tools when you do not truly understand their purpose or their value! When I expressed to my colleagues that I didn’t have a Linkedin, their expressions ranged from shock to pity. They pretty much made me create an account that day and reiterated the opportunity it could bring.

I am now in my second year at NYU Wagner & NYU Wasserman. Linkedin was once a platform that I knew nothing about. Now it has become my favorite social network! Funny right? I enjoy making new professional connections, reading industry articles, and staying up to date with jobs openings so that I can connect friends and family to various opportunities. This semester, I received my first InMail from a recruiter. (InMail = email for Linkedin users for all you novices out there.) She viewed my profile and believed that I would be a great fit for Kenneth Cole’s Corporate Citizenship Department. I will now be an intern in the department this fall thanks to LinkedIn! 

Don’t have a LinkedIn? It’s time to get one!

Want to learn about other ways to network? Attend one of the upcoming Social Media + Networking for your Job Search seminars:

How to Make the Most of Your Time Back Home

By Hillary Lee, CAS 2015, Peer in Career

Finals are done, finals are over!  Time to go home, relax, and hopefully enjoy spending quality time with your family!  But wait, while you’re home, you should still be thinking about how to take advantage of all that free time you have and use it to prep for the job search process.  Taking advantage of your time at home?  It’s only a month, what could there possibly be that you can do?  Oh, but the opportunities are limitless.  In this post, I have listed 3 basic, easy, simple things you can do over break to help prepare yourself for the job search process during upcoming semester and beyond.

Add Experience to Your Resume:

Just because winter break is about a month long doesn’t mean you can’t make it a productive one.  There are many things you can do over break to add more experience to your resume.  Possibilities include volunteering at a local organization or shadowing a professional in the field you are interested in.  This way, you can test if a specific field is actually what you are interested in before dedicating a summer (or lifetime) to it.  There are even some select companies who offer short internships over winter break that you can apply for (but this also requires research in advance). Fortunately, there’s CareerNet to help!

Maintain Connections and Continue Networking:

Never lose touch with the people from your past!  Meet up with old high school friends, see how they’re doing and where life is leading them.  Keep those old connections alive! Just because you only see each other a few times a year does not mean they are not important.  Another way to maintain connections is to visit your old high school.  Catch up with with your old teachers, thank them again for all they have done for you and for those recommendations that got you into NYU.

Prep Yourself:

Winter Break is prime time to prepare for the job market.  Without the stress of school or other responsibilities, you can dedicate more time to improving the way you represent yourself to employers.  Don’t just review and edit your resume, have others look at it too!  Ask your family or friends to take a peek at it and tell you what they feel. You can even let your old teachers to look over it as well.  Having multiple sets of eyes on your resume can never hurt.  Break also gives you time to practice your interview skills.  Explore CareerNet and test out all the neat features you can use, like Big Interview or InterviewStream.  Now is the perfect time to practice in front of the mirror, because for the next month, you won’t have roommates who will judge you as you talk to yourself.  You can also use this time to do more research on the field you are interested in.  What jobs do you want to explore in the future? What are the qualifications for those jobs?  What can you do to improve your qualifications?  These are all questions you will have time to explore and answer over break.

These are just some examples of how you can make the most of your break from school.  Don’t just sit there are watch Netflix on your bed the whole time! Remember, you are limitless.

On-Campus Recruitment (OCR) Survival Guide

By Dario Salvato NYU CAS, 2014

My name is Dario Salvato, and I just finished my internship at Goldman Sachs, where I received and accepted my full time offer in Investment Banking Compliance. Let me start off by saying that if you are using OCR, you are in the right place. All the companies that recruit through our OCR program do it because they specifically want people from our school to work for them. This can greatly work to your benefit if you put in the time and effort to capitalize on the opportunity.

In the remainder of this post I want to give you a bit of advice, first on the OCR process, and then on getting the full time offer once you have your internship.

OCR Process

When I arrived on my first day of work on May 30th after receiving my internship offer through OCR, they told me that “I was one of the only people they interviewed who they knew hands down they were going to extend an offer to for the summer,” and looking back on my OCR experience, I think I know a few of the reasons why, and I want to pass them on to you so that you can focus on those aspects of the process:

-While your resume is extremely important for getting the interview, it won’t get you further than that: Your resume is no doubt the single most important thing for getting you the initial interview you want, so you really need to perfect it, but you also need to realize that once you have the interview, your resume will not help you get the internship–how well you interview will get you the internship. So realize that once you get the interview opportunity, the work isn’t over, it has just begun; now you just know what company/position you need to focus on preparing for.

-Prepare, prepare, prepare: I cannot emphasize enough the importance of preparation. Learn everything you can about the company and about the position–why is this company different from the others in their industry, and what is unique to this position within this company. If you are honest with yourself, you probably aren’t inherently very interested in the actual work of the position, so become interested, by learning about it. In your interviews, you probably won’t have to use 95% of the information you learn about the company and the position, but just knowing it makes you visibly more comfortable, confident, and engaged, which is extremely important for a successful interview.

-Prepare for the inevitable questions: There are a few questions that are inevitable in any OCR interview, and because you know they are coming, they are actually a huge opportunity for you to shine and set yourself apart from the other candidates. You should know what these three crucial questions are:

Tell me about yourself/walk me through your resume

Why do you want to work at [Company Name]?

Why do you want to work in [Position Name]?

Prepare for these questions until you know the answers like the back of your hand–rehearse them in the mirror, record yourself on video, etc.. whatever works for you.

-Prepare for that first question “tell me about yourself”: This is by far the most common interview question, and it is also most likely the first one they will ask you. That means you know it’s coming and you know that the answer you give is going to be their first impression of you. Your first impression is incredibly important, and it also sets the tone for the rest of the interview, so prepare your answer to this question.

So there you have it, prepare your way to an internship offer. Other than preparation, just be polite, smile, and sit up straight in your interviewing chair!

Getting the Full Time Offer at the End of Your Summer Internship

I actually received an “unofficial” full time offer almost three weeks before the end of my internship, and like with OCR, I think I know a few reasons why, and want to pass that insight on to you so that you can succeed in your internship as well.

While your internship really is like a ten week interview, what it takes to be successful during your internship is different than what it takes to be successful in the interviews.

There are four things that I found extremely important for receiving a full time offer:

-Hit the ground running: Just like in the interview, first impressions are crucial. And while it is natural to want to ease yourself into your new position–and a lot of interns do–don’t. Be the intern that starts at 100%, doing excellent work from day 1. Making that first impression will put you ahead of the game, and make your life easier when all of the other interns are trying to make their impressions starting week three and four.

-Be like a sponge; absorb everything you can: As an incoming intern they do not expect you to know much about their business, but they do expect you to have a huge learning capacity. Showing your capacity to learn over the course of your ten week internship is crucial if you want a full time offer–they want to see that you know significantly more at the end of the summer than you did at the beginning. So once again, be like a sponge.

-Go above and beyond what is asked of you, and anticipate the future needs of the people you are working for: If you are asked to do A, do A+, and also do B if you know that you will be asked to do that next. Doing just A (the thing you are asked to do) makes for an average intern, doing A+ (the thing you were asked to do, but exceptionally well) makes for a good intern, and doing A+ and B (the thing you were asked to do, but exceptionally well, and the thing you know you will be asked to do next) makes for a truly exceptional intern.

Networking is important, but it should absolutely not be a focus of your internship: A couple of interns I worked with fell into the trap of getting too absorbed with networking, and they ultimately did not receive a full time offer. Yes, it is important to meet the people at your firm, talk to them, and make good impressions, but the fact of the matter is that meeting people will not get you a full time offer–the exceptional quality of your work will get you the full time offer. Would you hire someone “because they are good at networking”? No. You would hire someone because they are good at their work. So remember, your number one priority is doing you work, and doing it exceptionally well. Networking is useful, but its importance is minimal when compared to the quality of work you produce, and in my opinion it should fall lower on your priority list than these next points as well.

Be personable and be likeable: You want the people you work for to like the work you produce, but you also want them to like you as a person. One of the things that are important in hiring someone is whether or not people will actually enjoy working with you. Do you have a positive attitude? Are you polite and kind to people?

While these things alone will not get you a full time offer, they are a great supplement to producing excellent work.

Lastly, be humble: Let people brag about your work for you. Positive talk about your work sounds better coming from other people than it does coming from you. Doing excellent work and being humble about it is not easy, but it is another thing that will set you apart from the majority.


That’s all I have for you. And I would say best of luck with OCR, but after reading this post, you probably know that I think luck has little to do with it!

#InternConfessions: How to Socialize at Your Internship

Janel Abrahami, Steinhardt ’14

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

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

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

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

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

 

Insights from an NYU Graduate

With Commencement right around the corner, I haven’t been able to stop myself from reflecting and reminiscing on the last four years that I’ve spent at NYU.  Not all of my memories are happy ones (i.e., writing research papers until 5 AM), but I can say with confidence that I’ve learned some useful things inside and outside of the classroom that I’ll be taking with me as I move from college to the start of my career. Here are the Top 10 things I’ve learned:

1)     Uncertainty isn’t always a bad thing.

While it’s definitely nice to know what you’ll be doing work-wise after college, that’s just not the reality for each and every student.  If you find yourself in that situation, you can use the time to continue cultivating your interview and networking skills while considering possible career options and opportunities.

2)     Explore the unknown.

At NYU, this meant traveling during the year I studied abroad in Madrid as well as taking a variety of classes.  At my new job, it’ll mean allowing myself to experience things that may be outside of my initial job description or relocating to an area I’ve never lived in. Don’t be afraid to explore new opportunities!

3)     Know your limits and push them wisely.

This one is pretty self-explanatory, but it’s always great to remind yourself that you can only do so much. Get involved, but remember: committing to a million and one things will not only stress you out, but it could also keep you from getting done what is necessary for your career.

4)     Make long-term goals but don’t lose sight of the present.

Just two weeks ago, I was so excited planning for Commencement that I nearly forgot about a final assignment that I needed to hand in!  Looking at the future is fun to do (and necessary when planning out your career), but don’t take for granted everything that you’re doing now.  You build a career, meaning it’s a process so even if you have your eyes set on a higher position in the company, keep in mind that you can learn transferable skills in any assignment.

5)     You’ll never know until you ask.

Whether you’re in need or a due date extension for a paper or seeking a pay raise, you’ll never know until you ask! If your employer doesn’t know you’d like something to change, odds are that your situation or problem will stay the same.  Be vocal!

6)     Reward yourself.

Whenever I receive a great test score that I know I deserve because of all the studying I’ve done, I like to treat myself to something small, like a cup of fro-yo at 16 Handles or an afternoon of Jamba Juice-filled people-watching in Central Park.  In your career you should also take the time to reward yourself when you’ve completed a tough assignment.  Celebrate your victories and use them as reminders/motivation when you’re faced with a difficult task.

7)     Don’t network just for the sake of getting business cards.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t network, but the situation is a lot less awkward and much more personal when you approach networking as a conversation rather than a business opportunity.  People (especially your potential higher-ups) are much more likely to remember you down the road if you make a unique connection.

8)     You can never say “Thank you” enough.

I’ve given a lot of thanks lately—to my parents, siblings, friends, coworkers—for all of their help with getting me through the late nights of thesis writing and tough midterm weeks over the last four years.  Showing your appreciation for someone not only makes that person feel great, but it also reminds you to never be too proud to ask for help.  Plus, it follows the Golden Rule: Do unto others what you’d wish done unto you.

9)     It never hurts to be nice.

Going off of my last point, manners will always go a long way, whether you’re a Sternie going into Investment Banking or approaching a career in Social Work. It could be as simple as a “hello” and a smile you give to the security guard at your workplace or a “congratulations” email to a coworker receiving a promotion, but people (especially those in New York!) will remember that act of kindness.  And who knows, that one running person for whom you held the elevator might just be on the board that determines whether or not you get that promotion and raise you’ve been wanting.

10)  Always remember where you’ve come from.

Don’t forget your family or the friends you made in college; they’re the people that helped you get to where you are today and the people that’ll hopefully be there to celebrate all of your future success, in both your career and personal lives.

With that, I’d like to end this post with a special congratulations to all of my fellow graduates.  I wish you all the best with your future endeavors!

Guest Blog: Peer Presepective on Volunteering

I have found my experience as a volunteer and more importantly as an advocate for social justice to be overwhelmingly rewarding . Upon being admitted to NYU and receiving a Martin Luther King Scholarship, my thirst for social justice has only increased.  Throughout my 4 semesters at the university I have completed  the Resolution Assistance Program with New York City Housing Court, volunteered with New York Cares, and participated in community service days organized by the NYU Black Student Union and Academic Achievement Program (AAP).

Through AAP’s World Changers Program I currently serve as a mentor to high school and middle students. My most profound volunteer experience, however, has been with the Brooklyn Young Mothers’ collective. This agency seeks to meet the educational and emotional needs of young mothers in order to position them to lead healthy and successful lifestyles.

I began working with BYMC to assist with administrative tasks throughout the office including filing, updating fundraising data bases, and contributing to the blog and newsletter. Today I am the agency’s  Volunteer and Donations Manager. This position requires me to recruit, research, and hire new volunteers, and coordinate the donations of material goods.

In addition to learning and understanding the stories of phenomenal young women, this position allows me connect with a New York City community outside of NYU.  While my volunteer experiences have allowed me to make an impact on various communities it has also enabled me to clarify my career goals.

I learned that I am most fascinated by the operations of businesses and non-profit organizations. My experiences at BYMC assisted me in receiving a position as an Operations Intern at the financial technology company LendKey during the Summer of 2013. Volunteering has enriched my educational experience, my personal career development, and has allowed me to make a difference within the social justice issues that matter to me the most.