July72014

My Own Way- Peter Jeffy

So, I had this dream the other night. It was as if I was swimming on top of the world looking out into space. I was enjoying the view of the sparkling cosmos, but for some reason I told my self “it is time to go back down.” So I dove down and I was free falling to the ground. I had no parachute or any type of equipment so I thought, “what am I going to do?” after a short period I started falling near a group of sky divers.

So, I come into work and I tell my co worker this part of the story. He then proceeded to drop some knowledge on me: “Oh wow…maybe it means that for a while you were doing really well, like you felt you were on top of the world. Then something happened and you realized that you didn’t have the necessary equipment to handle the transition.” “Wow Alex”, I said “that was deep”. I then explained to him the rest of the story:

"I was not scared when I was falling. It was more the fact that everyone had parachutes and I didn’t so I wasn’t sure what to do. Yet, when everyone else deployed their parachutes, I realized I was descending the same speed as they were. Then as abruptly as I began to fall I was suddenly in a party dancing and having a good time with the same people that were falling beside me."

After I told Alex the ending of my dream, he replied “well maybe it means that even though you don’t the same things as other people you will still get to the same destination.” “Wow!” I shouted to Alex “you’re good.”

…..

I learned some important things from my interaction with Alex. First, he is an expert dream interpreter. Like seriously, he should have his own show or something. Secondly, it is okay if you don’t have a parachute (figuratively speaking only). Most of us who are seeking a job or career, their is a traditional path. For student affairs, most people start by getting a Master’s degree sponsored by a paid Graduate Assistant position. Sadly, I did not obtain one and I related Alex’s analysis of my dream to this. 

As I was applying for graduate schools I made a few mistakes. long story short, I wasn’t getting accepted to some of the places I was applying to. When I did get into a program I liked, I had missed my opportunity to obtain a  GA position (Graduate Assistantship). Now this may have been me falling. The parachute would be the GA position. Though I wasn’t in an ideal position, I ended up getting a scholarship at Kent State within a program that is even more catered to my passions than the higher education program.

For those out there who feel like they are off course with their dreams, don’t panic. Stay calm and remember there are always multiple paths to your destination. Secondly, the destination might change. It may be a brief detour, or you might realize that that is where you were supposed to be all along. Regardless it is your journey and you should enjoy it for what it is. Once again this is Petey reminding you to “never give up Just Believe!

June302014

The First Three Questions- Peter Jeffy

Hey everyone! I’m Peter Jeffy - the career services intern at the University at Albany. I am a recent graduate from the The College of Wooster (it’s in the middle of Amish country Ohio). Next year I will be beginning a Master’s program in Cultural Foundations of Education at Kent State University (also in Ohio, albeit a more populated area). 

Now when the conversation of “What are you doing this summer?” arises, I naturally say “I will be the NUFP summer intern in Career Services at The State University of New York at Albany.” This is almost always followed  by a raise in the eyebrows and a variation of ooooooh cool -

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(you know the expression when some one literally has no idea what you are talking about lol). Needless to say, I usually get three questions within the conversation:

1. “How did you get that?" Well, kind anonymous voice, I applied through the NASPA  Undergraduate Fellowship Program (NUFP). 

2. “Whats that?” Well, NASPA is a professional organization for student affair administrators in higher education. Student affair professionals can span the departments of student involvement/leadership, multicultural/diversity centers, student organizations and clubs, to even even campus wellness or career services (shameless plug). NUFP is simply a program where undergraduates can get involved and be mentored on a potential journey to be a student affairs professional.

3. “What will you be doing?” This was by far my favorite question because I could always respond by saying “I really don’t know yet.” Don’t get me wrong, I read the job description and my supervisors were very clear with what I should expect this summer. I would be working the front desk answering phones and setting up career counseling appointments, I would be tabling during orientation, and shadowing professionals to develop career counseling skills. I answered “I don’t know” because my employers also gave me space to tailor this internship to my liking.

I knew I wanted to come out of this summer with social media experience, HTML experience, and a job come fall. After meeting with my supervisors and sharing my goals,  we decided that I can be trained in their social media outlets and post career related material. I will be trained in HTML and Dreamweaver so I can be able to manage a website. Furthermore, through shadowing, I will learn how to properly sell myself as an incoming professional in the field of student affairs.

…..

Why is anything I said important to you? Well if you’re someone looking to break into a field you can learn a lot from the questions people asked me. Firstly, I got this opportunity through a professional organization. I can almost guarantee that the field you are looking into has some type of organization that you could be a part of even if you aren’t a professional yet. If there isn’t one, start one. It could even be a student organization (that would look awesome on a resume).

Secondly, get an internship. A lot of students don’t look for summer internships because they don’t want to be stuck doing grunt work or worse…not getting paid to do grunt work. However, It is always good to get your foot in the door. You may realize that this is the type of field you like or completely despise. Either way some experience is better than none. Hopefully you will have some room to tailor at least a portion of the internship to fit the needs of your personal and professional development.

Sorry for the super long introductory blog. I will try my best to keep them more concise. This is Petey Jeffy (Peter or Petey is fine with me) signing off. Never give up Just Believe!

May62014

Finals- Joey Ciampa

Finals are an extremely over whelming time for all of us. Studying, writing papers, and creating presentations are all things that make us go crazy around this time of the year. I have four finals to study for and one writing portfolio for my finals. What do you guys have to do? The purpose of this blog post is to talk about finals and making sure you finish the year with a clear mind and a nice GPA.

One thing that I always mention is planning. Planning is super important when approaching finals. Know when you are going to do something, and allow enough time to accomplish it. If you maybe need a lot of time, and a lot sessions to complete something, make sure you allow yourself enough time to do everything. This does mean doing things ahead of time, whether it’s the due date or the day of the final.

Another thing is study more for things that you need to study for. Everyone has a class or two that they aren’t too stressed about. Maybe they already have an A in the class, and doing super well on the final won’t make a huge difference. Other classes might be the opposite. Where you’re at a B+ and doing well enough on the final will get you that A or A-. Study more for the classes that you are worried about, and less for the ones you feel confident about. For me, I have to study a lot for my human evolution and calc tests. My past test grades in both classes haven’t been my best, and need a good grade on the final to bring it up where I want it to be. My computer science and history classes are both classes I’m comfortable in and don’t need to spend as much time studying for them. This also goes along with planning, knowing what classes you need to study more and less for.

Lastly, don’t get too stressed about it. Finals aren’t always easy, but if you apply your knowledge of the subject and work hard at it you’ll be golden. On top of that, you have a lot to look forward to when you finish, a nice ~three month vacation away from school sounds really nice right about now doesn’t it?

April302014
5PM

Study Abroad (Maddi)

One of my biggest regrets is not studying abroad during my college career. So, I’m telling you all to learn from my mistakes and go abroad! I guess I’m just bitter because I had a lot of close friends study abroad this semester and they just got back. Now I have to listen to all their stories, look at all their pictures and just sit there in jealousy. I messed up. I should’ve went abroad. But, just because I didn’t doesn’t mean it’s too late for you!

 If you’re considering going abroad a great place to start is the Office of International Education Study Abroad and Exchanges (jeez, long name) located at G40 in the Science Library on campus. Here they’ll help you browse the study abroad options UAlbany offers as well as other SUNY schools. Luckily for you being a SUNY student you have the option to go to any SUNY school study abroad program, not just UAlbany’s. With over 65 programs abroad your bound to find a program fit for you.

 One of my main concerns was I wasn’t sure if I wanted to leave for a whole semester. This really shouldn’t be an issue though. There are year long, semester, summer, and winter programs offered so you can find a travel length you’re confortable with.

 So, now that I’ve gone over study abroad options I’ll tell you why you should decide to study abroad. There are the obvious reasons like it’s such an amazing experience and you get to see a new culture first-hand. However, there are other benefits besides just the experience. Not only do you get to travel and do things you would on a vacation, but also earn college credits while doing them! Also, studying abroad looks great on a resume.

 I’ve included a link to the UAlbany study abroad website. Do yourself a favor and check it out!   

http://www.albany.edu/studyabroad/index.html 

April292014

Interviews: Presentation – Joey Ciampa

Hey guys! Hope everyone had a good weekend. Today, I’m going to talk a little more about interviews. Last week I talked about how being prepared for an interview was key, and today I’m going to talk about presenting yourself. This does go in line with being prepared, but presentation is a very important part of being interviewed, and deserves a whole separate blog post.

In an interview you are presenting yourself to a potential employer, and that presentation is very important, so you need to make sure everything is perfect. Presentation is also about being self-aware. Knowing what’s happening to yourself and around you. You want the interviewer to remember you, and you want to make sure that they remember you in a positive way.

To make sure you are presenting the best possible you, pay attention to the small things. Make sure you have a nice outfit picked out. Everything matches, your tie is tied correctly, and nothing is wrinkly. If you look your best, you will feel much better about yourself and the interviewer will really recognize that. Another thing is having resumes printed out and organized. I have a leather portfolio/folder with a note pad, pen, and pocket for my printed resumes. This little addition makes your look a lot more professional and organized to the interviewer. It also helps to make sure your resumes are printed on nice paper, I believe they call it “fine business paper.” Adds a little bit of a flare to your presentation.

Your appearance and how you act tell the interviewer a lot about you. Being self-aware is very important in the work place, and making sure you have the little things in check will make you look a lot better.

April282014

The Amazing Career Race! -Samantha

So I bet you are all wondering why I’m posting on a Monday. Well I’ll tell you!

I just participating in an event with Career Services that I figured you should all know about- the UAlbany Amazing Career Race.

The idea is simple: take the premise of the reality TV show The Amazing Race (teams of two completing to complete challenges to get clues to the next step), and blend it with some of the useful resources our own Career Services has to offer.

And, I have to say, it was a ton of fun!

The competition started off with the  Professional Attire round, where teams got penalties if they weren’t dressed ready for an interview (my team got a 2 minute penalty for my partner’s choice in pants. Hint: NO DENIM!). Next was a resume critique, followed by testing skills of using UAlbany’s Career Path website- a helpful tool to allow students to search for jobs and internships through UAlbany- followed by a food etiquette challenge, for those tricky dinner interviews. Next, a mock interview and rapping it all up with a thank you letter challenge.

There were a variety of prizes for the first three teams, as well as a raffle for everyone. I, myself, walked away with an awesome goodie bag (including a portfolio- SWEET), and a $25 dollar gift card to DSW.

Not only was the competition fun and exciting, but it highlighted just some of the really awesome resources students on campus have access to FOR FREE at Career Services. From help with resumes to mock interviews to finding the right major/career, there is no way to be unprepared if you utilize Career Services.

If you’re bummed you missed such an awesome event, make sure you get the updates. Like Career Services on FaceBook, and follow them on Twitter. Not only would you hear about the fun events they have, in addition to career fairs and workshops, but the twitter account even posts job openings! Talk about well rounded.

Until next time,

Samantha

April242014

My First Interview, and My Last Post (Mohua)

To my fellow PCB readers and bloggers,

This is my last post as I am officially graduating and entering the real world! So far my prospects are looking good! I just had an extremely positive interview experience and I am confident that I am going to get the job! When they ask for a follow-up interview that tends to be a very good sign. They were kind and I maintained a professional yet somewhat chipper attitude. That’s just who I am, and it never hurts to be optimistic. The interview was two hours and I didn’t even notice! When they keep you for that long you can also take that as a good sign because they want to make sure everyone in the office knows and likes you. When you are enjoying the interview process and think it’s going well you can already assume that the position is a good fit for you.

If you got an interview coming up don’t be afraid! Preparation is key. If you have some means of access to career services please take advantage of it! I could not have been successful with this interview had it not been for their help and advice on resume building, how to write cover letters and thank you letters, and how to have a successful interview!

An interview is not a test. Being professional is a given, but asking a lot of questions and getting to know the work environment personally is always a good thing to get out of the interview. It also doesn’t hurt to research the position before hand. It’s a wonderful feeling to find a job that really fits your personality, and helpful people to guide you along the way. The real world can be terrifying sometimes, but the best thing to do is keep moving forward.

I have really enjoyed writing for this blog. I have made friends and gained some wonderful writing experience. I have learned so much on this adventure and I enjoyed sharing my lessons with you. I will continue to follow the blog in the future, and I hope to see plenty of students learn from each other.  

Sincerely,

Mohua Chakraborti

April232014

Ugh, Finals Already? (Maddi)

We are coming to the end of the school year, and you know what that means! Yup…finals. I swear, as I get older it seems like finals approach faster and faster. Now that I am finishing up my sixth semester at Albany (OMG I’m so old), I can finally say I’ve had my fair share of finals experiences. On top of that I have also learned a lot about what to do and what not to do when it comes to finals.

Freshman, I understand your pain. I remember when I was a freshman I completely panicked when I realized ALL my huge test were only days apart from each other. It didn’t make sense to me, why do it all at the same time? This must be some kind of sick joke, right? Nope. Unfortunately it’s not a joke at all and you do have to take it seriously. So, learn from my mistakes and listen to these tips on how to ace your finals.

The most important thing I’m sure all of you have heard over and over again. Just in case you haven’t heard it enough I’m going to drill it into your brain some more… Don’t procrastinate! When you procrastinate you end up cramming. It’s inevitable. This is honestly the worst thing you can do. Pulling an all nighter and studying 10 hours straight does not equal studying a total of 10 hours across the week or so before your test. When you cram you don’t leave yourself enough time to review. Also, cramming leads to losing focus and ultimately, not picking up the material your studying.

Moral of the story: Just don’t procrastinate.

Next major tip is don’t study in a group unless you know it is necessary and that it’ll actually benefit you. Personally, I learn a lot more and study better alone than in a group. It’s really easy to get off task and just end up chatting and messing around when you’re studying with friends.

While we’re on the topic of friends comes the next tip, make your own study guide. It might seem helpful if someone else sends you a study guide they made or finishes the professors given study guide and shares it with you. Realistically, this is not helping you as much as making your own study guide will. Everyone has different ways of studying and different ways of writing notes, answering questions, different formatting, etc. Also, when you’re looking for the answers yourself and physically writing them you’re learning in the process. Sometimes after making a study guide I don’t even really have to review it because I’ve learned so much just making it.

Ontop of these tips there are many, many more. A lot of study tips you’ll find are repetitive, like get a good nights rest, eat a good breakfast, blah blah blah. But, there’s a reason for this… they actually help!

All that being said, good luck on your finals. May the force be with you.

April222014

Know Before You Go- Joey Ciampa

Hey guys! Today I’m going to help you all prepare for your next interview. I’m going to list and talk about some common questions that one might be asked in an interview. Potentially knowing what the interviewer might ask before you get interviewed can be extremely beneficial. It can help your confidence and really set you apart from other applicants.

A vast majority of the questions that you would be asked in an interview would be about yourself. Questions like “Tell me about yourself,” “Why did you choose your major,” or “Tell me about the class you’re taking.” I’ve personally been asked both of these questions in interviews. The point of an interview is for the interviewer to learn more about you as a person. So they are usually going to ask you questions about who you are as person, to get to know you a little better before hiring you. Talking about yourself can be very difficult, so make sure you prepare what you what you might say if you’re asked about yourself.

Some of the other questions are usually about the job. Questions like “Why do you want to work for us,” or “What made you apply for this job.” These questions are geared to understand your enthusiasm for the job. Interviewers want to know that you want to work for them and for their company. They ask you questions about the job, to see how interested you are in working for them. To prepare for these questions gain some general knowledge on the job and company. Know what you are going to do and who you are going to do it for. Having this little bit of excess knowledge can give you an upper hand in the interview.

Being prepared is the key. If you are ready to be interviewed, and know what the interview might ask, you’re golden. Like I said, know before you go.  

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