Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Here's To You, Class of 2013

A farewell note from Career and Academic Planning

Graduates of the Class of 2013,

You may not want to believe it, but the time has finally come. If it doesn't seem real yet, trust me, it will once you begin to see those fold-up chairs being lined up on the Quad. Graduation is bittersweet for anyone who has attended JMU. You've spent so many hours in the library, writing papers, studying for tests and completing projects, and you're overjoyed to be done with that. But the people you've met, the memories you've made, and (most importantly) the incredible food you've eaten will be missed.

As you graduate, you'll take the first step of your new journey into the "real world". This might seem scary, but you can be absolutely certain that your time at James Madison has thoroughly prepared you to be successful in your future. This is important to remember. Be confident that you have the skills and experience to thrive in the working world- you have what it takes, you are an all-star!

Whether you already have a job lined up after you graduate, or are still in search of the perfect career, remember that Career and Academic Planning is still here to support you throughout your life as an alum. Those resources that have been so helpful to you throughout your undergraduate career will ALL remain available to you for the next six months. This includes Recruit-A-Duke, Career Fairs, Resume Reviews and any services offered on the Career and Academic Planning website.

After this six-month period, you will still have access to several resources. Most importantly, your Recruit-A-Duke account is yours for good! You can continue to use R.A.D. as a job-search resource as long as you'd like. Career and Academic Planning wants to be absoultely certain that JMU students find the best careers for them, so we are here to help!

Already found your dream job? We'd love to hear about it! After you've spent a little time there, let us know how great it is, and you might be featured as our next Alum Spotlight! If you're interested, send an email to recruitaduke@jmu.edu, and we would be happy to talk with you!

Best of luck to you all in your future endeavors, and be sure to come back and visit- JMU loves its' alumni!

For more information on Career and Academic Planning's resources,  check out the Alumni section of our website at http://www.jmu.edu/cap/alumni/services.htm.

Best wishes to you always,

Kelly Gooch, Graduate Assistant
Career and Academic Planning
contact: goochke@jmu.edu

Monday, April 29, 2013

Recruit DC Alumni Only Career Expo

Are you a JMU Alum, or an upcoming JMU graduate looking for a job? If so, worry no more and mark your calendars for June 11th!

The Recruit DC Alumni Only Career Expo, presented by MyWorkster and The George Washington University, is open to only exclusive universities and their alumni. With a variety of employers and other organizations present, 57% of attendees have been reported to either land a job or interview. Furthermore, 92% of those in attendance agreed that this was an "excellent" event offering networking opportunities and job leads, and in fact 94% of those people claimed they would be likely to attend another MyWorkster event in the future. It is quite clear from these statistics that planning to attend this event would be a beneficial experience for any recent alumni of the above universities listed.

To register, please visit: http://hiredc2013.eventbrite.com/#

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Internship Inspiration

Searching for a summer internship? Already found one but curious about what to expect? JMU senior Julio Salinas shares his advice and experience with finding and taking on a meaningful internship.
      One of the most important factors employers are looking for in candidates for hire is their past professional experience. In order to attain this experience, students are taking on pseudo career opportunities- otherwise known as internships.  Internships can be structured in several different ways: long-term, short-term, paid, unpaid, full-time, part-time, etc. It is key for students to find internships that not only fit the structure for which they are looking, but also apply directly to their professional field of interest. Finding this perfect internship might be a challenge, but in the end it will be tremendously worthwhile.
      Julio Salinas is a JMU senior who will be graduating from JMU this May and embarking on his journey into the real world. With his interest in grassroots marketing, creative development and execution of events paired with his passion for the music industry, he was determined to find internships that would give him the experience he would need to thrive after graduation.  Salina’s first internship was for the College Marketing Department of Sony Music in NYC- right up his ally. He recalls his time with Sony as being “positive” and “valuable”. He notes,
      “Many believe that all an intern is responsible for are coffee runs and mundane errands. I was lucky enough to intern for a small department and I was in close contact with all four of my supervisors on a daily basis. Needless to say, I NEVER did a single coffee run for any of them. I learned valuable skills about online marketing and field marketing, and how to maximize productivity of promotion through college students on college campuses.”

      It was through this internship that Salinas found out about another opportunity to work as an intern for ‘stache media and RED Distribution. His supervisor at Sony put him in contact with the Lifestyle Marketing Coordinator for ‘stache media. A couple of months after sending his resume and participating in a phone interview with ‘stache, he was offered the internship as a Lifestyle Representative.
      Salinas describes his internship with ‘stache as “very hands-on and involved”. Some of his responsibilities as an intern include creating awareness between emerging artists, JMU students and members of the local community, raising visibility for various artists and bands, and providing marketing materials to local retail outlets to spread artist awareness.  According to Salinas, his favorite part about working for ‘stache media is that he has full creative control of his own marketing efforts. This enables him to be imaginative and inspired with the ways he chooses to promote an artist.
      With any great internship comes great challenges, and Salinas recalls some of the most difficult parts about working at ‘stache. He explains,
      “One of the challenging things about my most recent internship centers on the timing in which I scheduled it. Oftentimes students in their final year of college are focused on having as many of those traditional “college” experiences as they can before they graduate... I pride myself in always giving 110% of my efforts to everything I do. But I soon learned that 110% split three or more ways (school work, internship and job searching) left little to no time for Julio. It created a never-ending source of pressure, and yet I wouldn’t have changed it for the world.”
      Salinas is confident that the experiences he had both at Sony Music and ‘stache media have thoroughly prepared him to take on the real world. He plans to build upon the experiences that he’s already created. He hopes to continue chasing his dream of working in the music industry, and to surround himself with others who are just as passionate about it as he is.
      For those who are in the process of searching for an internship that is just as meaningful as Julio Salinas’s, he offers this advice:
      “Be very persistent but also patient…. You’re going to have multiple rejections before one or two people offer you a shot. Don’t internalize rejection but rather use it as a motivator to push yourself and try even harder. As cliché as it sounds, everything worth having never comes easy, and if you’re truly passionate… and your heart is in the business, then you will certainly find a way."
      For more information on the internship search, check out Career and Academic Planning's website.

Written by Kelly Gooch
Contact: goochke@jmu.edu

Monday, April 15, 2013

Alum Spotlight: Tom Flynn, Project Implementation Consultant, Wells Fargo; Freelance Journalist and Author of popular novel, Venable Park

Have more than one career path in mind? It turns out you don’t have to choose!
As a liberal arts university, JMU provides students with exposure to so many different areas of study and career paths. Often times it is difficult for students to choose a specific field to go into (ever declared “Undecided” as your major?). Then, when graduation jumps out from around the corner, students convince themselves that whatever their major is, they must go in that direction. Sometimes, this is only partly true.
Tom Flynn is a class of ’89 JMU alum who is a perfect example of how choosing one career path isn’t always mandatory. Tom graduated with a degree in finance, which ended up being very useful to him in several ways. He recalls memories of “trying to make my way through Dr. Carl Weaver’s thick southern accent in an 8AM finance class in Burruss Hall”, and having business law with Dr. Hamilton who “spoke in terms the students could relate to on material that could get pretty esoteric”.  These professors and the finance courses that Tom took for his undergraduate degree ended up helping him to find a full-time job. Following graduation, Tom moved to Baltimore where he used his degree from JMU to help him get started in banking (even though he graduated into a recession). Tom has held several finance-related positions over the past twenty-five years, and he currently works as a Project Implementation Consultant for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.
There is another side to Tom’s career, however, which all began through some history courses he took while completing his degree. Tom recalls his interaction with a graduate assistant in one of these classes, David Crossett, who had a major effect on his desire to write:
“As a finance major I was enjoying my history classes as a respite from the numbers, but didn't really think about my writing. One day, and he didn't know who I was at the time, Crossett started reciting one of my essay answers chapter-and-verse as the correct response to a test question, which of course caught my attention. It was a light bulb going off that my writing could stand out.”
Over the years, Tom has made a supplemental career out of his love for writing. He has contributed to news sources including the Baltimore Sun, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and the Denver Post. Additionally, in 2010 Tom published the historical fiction novel, Venable Park. This critically celebrated novel provides a rare look at the 1920’s in Prohibition Baltimore, through the eyes of a returned WWI veteran trying to get back into the swing of civilian life. As he attempts to return to reality, this character finds himself encountering events at a football stadium (at Venable Park) which threaten to throw him back into the misery that he encountered during the war. Tom’s novel has been praised critically by sources including Kirkus Reviews, Post Road Magazine, Seven Stories Press, and Urbanite Magazine.
While producing his writing materials, Tom has gained a lot of insight on how to improve his writing skills. For those who would like to pursue writing, he offers this advice:
“… Twitter and texting, etc., have students writing more than they ever have, but too much of either isn't doing a lot for your writing. Even if it's informal, it'll seep into your formal/professional writing, like it or not. Going the other way, I would say sticking to really solid news sources for online content is important. You'll pick up the writing mannerism of good content online if you read enough of it. 
Also, I've found a great technique for writing a good essay is to write long and trim back. In college, at least when I was at JMU, I heard '1,000 word essay' and just set that as my bar. You're better off once out of school overwriting and trimming back. It'll also make you a better self-editor, which is really critical.”
Tom also knows that this time of year can be very difficult for students when it comes to getting work done. As the spring season approaches in full force, he recognizes the urge to be outside at all times possible:
 “You knew spring was here when the sun drifted down and it got cooler, but some warmth stayed in the air and suddenly everyone was lingering outside and just happy to be at Madison. I lived on Campbell Street my senior year and we barbecued every night in the yard from March 1 through graduation, just to be outside."

Tom has a son who will be graduating from JMU in May with a degree in International Business and a German minor. To his son and all of the other seniors who will be graduating in a little shy of a month, he offers this encouragement: “…coming out of Madison you have the degree and the skills to distinguish yourself and then it's simply doing the work to set yourself apart from your co-workers. There's no substitute for it in any economy.”
Tom Flynn provides an exceptional example of how students should allow themselves to broaden their career interests, through considering multiple opportunities. Just because you graduate with a certain degree does not mean you are in any way limited. You career path does not have to be linear; you can decide to make it as complex as you would like!

Tom (left) with his father on the Quad, May 1989

To learn more about Tom Flynn or his novel, Venable Park, contact him at Thomas.J.Flynn@wellsfargo.com or check amazon.com.
Written by Kelly Gooch
Contact: goochke@jmu.edu

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Get the Recruit-A-Duke 4-1-1!

Need help with Recruit-A-Duke before the year wraps up? HURRY! Sign up for a RAD Chat, coming up on April 15th from 3-4 PM in Sonner Hall. Time is ticking!

You must RSVP in Recruit-A-Duke under the "Career Events" tab! Remember, bring your laptop/iPad and all of your questions for u
s to answer! 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Alum Spotlight: Courtney Wood, Clinical Care Options

A Career and Academic Planning Success Story

A first job doesn't come as easily to some as others, so persistence and the use of available tools are often key. Courtney Wood, a 2012 alumna and WRTC major experienced this first hand. Says Wood, "I had relocated from New Jersey to DC in hopes that a pursuit closer to the city would lead to more opportunities. Some days it felt like I was sending my resume into a black hole, though, and it was really easy to get discouraged. I had graduated and moved away from home- landing a job was the last piece of the puzzle, but it didn’t follow quite according to plan. The process wasn’t always fun, but it was worse when I was negative."
Courtney Wood, Clinical Care Options

After having some difficulty finding a job to fit her skills and interests, Courtney decided to go to Career and Academic Planning in hopes of receiving some guidance. She recalls her decision to approach CAP:

"I was struggling in my job search and decided to reach out to the Career and Academic Planning offices to see what they suggest for recent grads and alumni. An adviser thought I should update my Recruit-A-Duke profile with a recent resume and search for jobs through the site. The adviser also sent me a posting from Recruit-A-Duke that she thought matched my resume. One thing led to another and now I’m working for a fellow JMU alum! I owe a lot to the resources at JMU and the ever-growing Duke network for landing my job now."

Courtney now works for Clinical Care Options (CCO), an organization that provides clinicians with the latest medical information relevant to their field. While she utilized the many resources in CAP to find this job, she attributes her qualifications for and enjoyment of this career to her WRTC major. She says, "I majored in Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication which led me to a position handling  web content entry for CCO.  Majoring in WRTC set me up with the basic and essential communicative skills that apply to jobs in practically any field... in this field I was able to find the niche where my skills and interests fit, which I think is the best part of getting a liberal arts education. I wasn’t stuck following one career path and I’ve been able to forge one on my own."

From her journey to find the perfect career, Courtney has accumulated some useful advice to leave with those who will graduate from JMU in May:

"The advice that has helped me the most was actually unintentionally given by one of my professors in class. She said, 'You can never waste time, you can only spend time.” The journey doesn’t always go as expected and sometimes you’ll feel like you’re wasting your time.  Later you’ll look back and realize in some way or another, it led you to where you are now. While this quote can apply to just about anything, it’s helpful to remember as a recent grad since the future can be so unpredictable. It has helped me regain perspective again and again along the way."

For more information about the resources that Career and Academic Planning provides, see our website at www.jmu.edu/cap.

Written by Kelly Gooch
Contact: goochke@jmu.edu