IPG Diversity and Inclusion EventThe Interpublic Group (IPG) Speed Networking and Career Panel truly lived up to its intention. The event focused on promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace and included a panel of experienced professionals that accurately represented a diversity theme. The event created a unique environment for panelists to share their stories and advice, while simultaneously allowing students to discuss their own careers, thoughts and opinions. Throughout the event, there were eight ideas reiterated as ways students could promote their best self. I felt these points were relevant and worth sharing.

Tip 1: Promote your unique selling point (USP) – Your unique selling point (USP) is that feature that makes you different from others. Knowing your USP requires you to analyze your strengths and weaknesses to find what you do best. Think also about transferability and applicability when promoting your USP.

Tip 2: Prepare an Elevator Pitch / Personal Pitch – The elevator pitch is a 30 second to 2 minute infomercial promoting your best self. If you want to be remembered, you have to make your pitch memorable. Practice your pitch until it is the closest version to perfect. Always include your USP. Our Building Your Brand: The Personal Pitch workshop can assist you in creating a personal pitch.

Tip 3: Have a Business Card – A business card is a professional and relatively inexpensive way to provide your contact information. It saves you time and eliminates the awkwardness of sharing information. If you do not have a job title, I suggest you include your name, major, email, telephone and career interests.

Tip 4: Research Company – Knowing about a company is very important to your job search. Researching a company before submitting an application helps you to gauge cultural fit. In addition, researching a company prior to an interview helps you to provide informed answers and questions. You do not want to go into an interview and say something that is completely against a company’s culture and values.

Tip 5: Ask for the Job – This has to be the most unconventional advice I have ever heard, but, if you want it, ask for it and explain why you should get it.

Tip 6: Thank the Interviewers – Always thank an interviewer for taking the time to meet with you. It expresses gratitude.

Tip 7: Dissect Interviews – Sometimes interviews do not go as planned. As a personal development strategy, try to find out what you can improve and make the appropriate changes for the next interview.

Tip 8: Build Relationships – Saying networking is important is cliché but it is one of those necessary clichés. Meeting people is one of the surest ways to get noticed.

SCDC Correspondent: Meeckel Beecher, Marketing Communications Specialist
Meeckel is a Corporate Communication graduate student at Baruch College. His professional interest is in Reputation Management, Strategic Communication and Visual Communication. Meeckel is an avid reader, writer and lifelong learner. When not working, you will find him walking and happily getting lost on the streets of New York.


Taking the LeadRelevant, timely, applicable and pertinent are just some of the adjectives I would use to describe the STARR Career Development Center’s workshop Taking the Lead: Transferring Leadership Skills From Classroom to Corporation. Yes, these words are interchangeable, but because the information from the Target led workshop so accurately mirrored some of the questions I had about leadership, I thought emphasis by means of redundancy was perfectly acceptable.

Managing vs. Leading
The Target representatives, Alex Torres and Naanaba Panfor were engaging and personal. They used their own experiences to relate the importance of leadership in the corporate world. To get the students involved, the presentation started by differentiating between managing and leading. Managing is often about control and relies on rigid hierarchical structures and confirmation of status quo. Leading however is about facilitating employees, promoting equality and understanding, as well as empowering those you lead. A leader is supportive, open-minded and inspiring.

Applying Leadership Skills
The Baruch students attending the event identified themselves as caring, inspiring, ambitious, competent and courageous. These are all attributes Target listed as qualities of great leaders. The challenge for many students was how to identify their leadership skills. Alex and Naanaba suggested that students should start by identifying their strengths and weaknesses. The next step is to hone strengths and work on weaknesses. Alex Torres further mentioned to “lean on your strengths that can cover weaknesses” which is exactly what is needed to improve weaknesses while honing strengths.

Transferring Leadership Skills to the Workplace
Applying your leadership skills will definitely set you apart from others in the workplace. Think about this; if you were asked these questions in an interview how would you respond:

1. Give an example of a time when you played a leadership role in an event or activity?
2. Tell me about a time when you created agreement in a group that differed on the objectives?
These questions are created to measure your leadership skills and gauge how you will operate in a corporate culture. Alex Torres suggested that you create your responses by considering situation, behavior and results. Describe the situation; explain how you addressed the situation (behavior) and explain the results. These guidelines will help you to be more vivid in demonstrating your leadership skills.

To close, here are a few tips from Target that can help you seamlessly transfer leadership skills from classroom to corporation:
1. Carry yourself in the position that you want and show that you are ready for the position.
2. Demonstrate results, this is a great way to show your success and value within a company.
3. Establish a relationship with someone who can help you throughout the first few months on the job. Mentors are great people to bounce ideas off and learn from.
4. Remember that leaders develop commitment from their employees.
5. Effective leaders know themselves.

SCDC Correspondent: Meeckel Beecher, Marketing Communications Specialist
Meeckel is a Corporate Communication graduate student at Baruch College. His professional interest is in Reputation Management, Strategic Communication and Visual Communication. Meeckel is an avid reader, writer and lifelong learner. When not working, you will find him walking and happily getting lost on the streets of New York.


MLB Business Summit (Smaller size)The Major League Baseball (MLB) Diversity Business Summit could not have been held on better dates. Other than the glimpse of hope that spring had sprung, the second day of the Summit, April 15th, marked the 64th anniversary of Jackie Robinson becoming the first African American to play in the Major Leagues. MLB now annually commemorates April 15th as Jackie Robinson Day. This day symbolically represents the diversity and inclusion that MLB now holds at the core of its corporate culture.

Prior to attending the Summit, I created a job seeking strategy. The strategy detailed my objective, arrival time, the employers I would engage and in what order. My objective was to find an internship in corporate communication, specifically branding and reputation management. My research showed that MLB Network, the Commissioner’s Office, MLB Media and the Yankees were the best fit for my objective. These organizations became my target for the event. I had a strategy because I knew that career fairs were often crowded and pre-planning would help me maximize time, while reaching my target. I strongly suggest this approach to all job seekers attending career fairs.

With all the pre-planning I did, Murphy’s Law- if anything can go wrong, it will- affected my first day. I got lost on my way to the event. This is not the first time, in fact, when I first moved to New York, I got lost every day… everywhere. To mitigate this, my phone became my best friend and I would also visit interview locations prior to the interview. Somehow- probably because of my jaywalking abilities- I mistakenly thought I was a resident New Yorker and opted to not check and recheck the route. I arrived an hour late which affected my strategy. When I eventually got to the event, I was flustered and had to rethink my approach. Never let this happen to you; know the location of your interview/event prior to attending or travel at least 30-45 minutes ahead of schedule.

What is your Career Goal?
The most recurring question during the Summit was “what are your career goals?” At first, I doubted the relevance of the question, but I quickly realized that my career goals say a lot about who I am and my fit with a company. Career goals describe your intentions, qualifications, and skills as well as how you will transfer your skills and to what field. This information reveals your work ethic, likely contributions and value. Luckily, I knew my career goals and it was easy to demonstrate this to the recruiters. You should consider your career goals before interviewing or networking. Know what you want and state it succinctly and clearly. It demonstrates clarity, order, confidence and control.

Value Exchange
At the end of the event Frank Sanchez, President of the Boys and Girls Club of America said, “Business partnerships are about value exchange, the value you will gain for your value.” These words transcend traditional business partnerships and are applicable to individual careers. I felt that these words were important because job seekers often forget their value when searching for opportunities. All career relationships should be symbiotic. Know your worth, demonstrate your worth and never undersell yourself.

Overall, the MLB Diversity Business Summit was an excellent event that supported networking and confidence building. The Summit provided me with access to people I would not normally have been exposed to and I am grateful for that opportunity. Thank You SCDC.

SCDC Correspondent: Meeckel Beecher, Marketing Communications Specialist
Meeckel is a Corporate Communication graduate student at Baruch College. His professional interest is in Reputation Management, Strategic Communication and Visual Communication. Meeckel is an avid reader, writer and lifelong learner. When not working, you will find him walking and happily getting lost on the streets of New York.


A&S Panel PicThere is something liberating about the Arts and Sciences. Perhaps it is because these subjects are often passion driven and a decision to study any of them can be a cathartic response to naysayers who will ask, “What are you going to pursue with that degree?”. Or maybe it is because these subjects intrinsically promote critical thinking and communication traits that are vital for education and civic participation. Whatever it is, the Arts and Sciences is a field that is and will always be valuable.

The students at the STARR Career Development Center’s Arts and Sciences Career Panel demonstrated an eagerness to listen and learn. This eagerness is common among many college students, especially seniors who are probably thinking, ‘I almost have the degree, now what?’. It was no surprise then that the first question the moderator asked was, ‘What can you do with an Arts and Sciences degree?’. A resounding anything was the response from panelists Bryan Garcia of New York Needs You, Andrea Mele of Enterprise Holdings, Adriana Nova of VaynerMedia, Jonathan Jean-Pierre of Facebook, Mutiara Williams of Target, and Robert Pauley III of Citigroup and former employee of J.P. Morgan Chase.

As a communication student, I have worked in disparate industries that have all bolstered my career. My passion for words and images have transferred to creating video campaigns in the sports industry; my passion for representational and appropriate messaging has led to the creation of a children’s exhibition and my passion for authentic messaging and inclusion has led to my involvement with international bodies such as the United Nations and the World Bank.

The promotion of passion as an additional guide for your career is very good advice. I was particularly happy that the panelists went beyond identifying passion and encouraged students to embrace it and transfer that passion to enhance their careers. Embracing one’s passion can be a painful process of honing and applying it. Adriana Nova of VaynerMedia told the students, “You don’t have to know what you want to do but you should know what you love and embrace your passion”.

Identifying your passion does not mean locking yourself in a box. Think about the transferability of your passion to real life situations. One of the panelists, Robert Pauley III who I dubbed the poster boy for turning a passion into a career, went from being a History major at Baruch College to an Associate at J.P. Morgan in the Corporate and Investment Bank to a Business Consultant at Citigroup, Inc.. Pauley III advised students to “follow what they are good in and transfer it to what they want to do.” He went even further encouraging students to “know themselves, their strengths, what they have to offer, have the ability to step out of their comfort zone, and have a plan and keep learning.”

Workforce Characteristics
The panelists also encouraged the students to learn new skills, be flexible and practice thinking on their feet. This is important because these are qualities companies are looking for in new hires. Jonathan Jean-Pierre of Facebook spoke about the importance of networking and mentioned, “Students have to get up and meet people, have the ability to hold a conversation and find commonality between themselves and others.”

The Arts and Sciences Career Panel signaled the end of the SCDC’s Spring 2014 Career Weeks Series. The discussions were lively and the speakers were exceptional. Throughout the Series, students had the opportunity to network, and they acquired valuable knowledge which they can apply to their job search. I am sure many of the students left feeling reenergized and encouraged. I know I did.

SCDC Correspondent: Meeckel Beecher, Marketing Communications Specialist
Meeckel is a Corporate Communication graduate student at Baruch College. His professional interest is in Reputation Management, Strategic Communication and Visual Communication. Meeckel is an avid reader, writer and lifelong learner. When not working, you will find him walking and happily getting lost on the streets of New York.


CIS Panel Pic

When I was first considering what the most important take away from the STARR Career Development Center’s 7th Annual CIS & Entrepreneurship Panel was, the term “stick-to-it-ive” performed constant hippocampus gymnastics in my brain. I tried to ignore it, believe me; I did, because I kept saying stick-to-it-ive is not a word Meeckel. But the applicability and salient nature of the term “stick-to-it-ive” to the lessons from the panelists taunted and forced me to do what any well thinking student of Baruch College would; consult a dictionary. According to Dictionary.com stick-to-it-ive is the nature of being “tenaciously resolute and preserving”. Used in an example, “stick-to-it-ive people get ahead in life”. Yes, the word is informal, but it has great value in this context and that’s exactly why I just could not let it go.

Passion and Value
As an entrepreneur, you are essentially putting yourself out there by leaving the safety of a ‘9-5 to stay alive’, it is “a decision from your heart” Hide Harashima, CTO of engageSimply said. You have to be tenaciously resolute with a passion for creating and providing value added services that meet a gap in need or want. Baruch Alum and Kognito CEO Ron Goldman mentioned that your venture may be difficult, but it belongs to you and you have an additional advantage because it is much easier to create a start-up in New York today than it was 15 years ago.

Once your passion has become a tangible idea, remember that partnerships are important. All panelists suggested having careful consideration when choosing your partner. “Treat it like a marriage; your business partner must be equally as passionate about the venture as you are” Andrew Young of Start Up Weekend NYC encouraged students. Ron Goldman demonstrated the value of partnerships by telling the students that Kognito evolved from a partnership with his colleagues while he was at Baruch. “You have many students on campus with great ideas, what you can’t do another student might be able to” he told the students. This is important especially for students who say that industry professionals are hard to network with. Start by working within your immediate network to launch your ideas and create your project, but remember it is never about choosing the first person that comes along. Partnering requires considering complementary skill. Stanislav Mamonov, Founder of MintRight and Mintfinder suggested that first you must define your strengths, can you build or can you sell, these are the two main job functions in a start-up. If both, awesome, if one, then select a partner that can contribute to the area that you are weaker in.

Skills Building
The entire panel agreed that applicable practical knowledge of industry and technologies are important for hiring managers. You should know how to use the programs and you must be analytical. Companies are looking for people who can solve problems. Hide Harashima suggested that students should develop their skills through internships, their own projects, partnerships and volunteerism. It is, of course also necessary to network with people you would like to eventually work with, however when reaching out be prepared to be specific, the “Hi, how can you help me” line is never a good approach. Think about what you want and can offer, then plan and execute your approach. This tenacity that is required for success is exactly why stick-to-it-ive was doing a series of tumbling in my brain.

SCDC Correspondent: Meeckel Beecher, Marketing Communications Specialist
Meeckel is a Corporate Communication graduate student at Baruch College. His professional interest is in Reputation Management, Strategic Communication and Visual Communication. Meeckel is an avid reader, writer and lifelong learner. When not working, you will find him walking and happily getting lost on the streets of New York.


Mkt & Advtsg Panelist PicI am sure you have heard it many times before but I am going to say it again, networking pays-figuratively and literally. Networking is much more than attending short sessions, it is a process of building relationships and demonstrating your work ethic and abilities through volunteering, internships, and externships and of course the occasional strategic coffee invitations. No, I’m not this super brilliant career coach with an epiphany, but I did hear this advice from the expert panelists at the Starr Career Development Center’s 7th Annual Career Weeks Series Marketing and Advertising panel.

Personal Pitch
I will admit that networking isn’t one of the easiest things to do; I too have had those internal fights where my mind says “go be amazing” but my feet, the resilient naysayers disable me and refuse to move. Crippled by fear, I have lost many great opportunities, but thankfully there is a remedy. Jessalin Lam, Director of Marketing and Sales of SoundView suggested practicing a personal pitch that sells you. You are your brand; you know who you are, what you want and what you have to offer. Decide what you want to say and practice, practice and then be amazing. Ms. Lam also suggested that you keep the pitch concise and personal, long and generic pitches are no longer trendy, in fact I don’t think they ever were.

Proactive vs. Reactive
Now that you have got the pitch down, you need to be proactive in your approach. Scott Fogel Consumer Strategist Insight and Strategy at Initiative suggested job seekers should find hiring managers or HR representatives of companies they are interested on LinkedIn and invite them to coffee. Sounds absolutely bizarre but it is sheer genius and has worked for him and many others. This move sends the message that you are proactive and bold, characteristics many of the panelists say they look for in new hires. You can even go further Chaim Shapiro, President at Zorach Consulting and follower of BaruchSCDC on Twitter, suggested in the live tweet discussion “Identify on #LinkedIn, engage on Twitter and seal over coffee.” Technology is your friend, just don’t be creepy.

Resume and Your Brand
As a brand consistency is important. Your résumé represents you, pay attention to every detail. April Boykin, Associate Generalist HR Havas Health emphasized that the font, layout, spelling and other formatting features of your resume is just as important as what it says, be careful and spend the extra time to read and reread, prevent your résumé from becoming easily trashed. Ultimately, the advice of the panelists was timely and applicable. One of the students attending, Gai reached out on Twitter calling the event inspirational, I agree.

Picture above from L-R: April Boykin, Associate Generalist, HR, Havas Health, Jessalin Lam, Director of Marketing and Sales at SoundView Broadcasting LLC, Helen Lee, Account Director at Google, Scott Fogel, Consumer Strategist, Insight and Strategy at Initiative, Jennifer Ocean, Global Marketing Director, Godiva Chocolatier

SCDC Correspondent: Meeckel Beecher, Marketing Communications Specialist
Meeckel is a Corporate Communication graduate student at Baruch College. His professional interest is in Reputation Management, Strategic Communication and Visual Communication. Meeckel is an avid reader, writer and lifelong learner. When not working, you will find him walking and happily getting lost on the streets of New York.

Resolving to Resolve

Standing Out in a LineIt’s a new year and there is much talk of resolutions and improving yourself in a variety of ways whether its health, finance or attitude — there are constant reminders that we should be working on something. Life is a constant process of improving, but also appreciating what is in the moment, which is tough to balance.

If you are looking to make a change in your professional life, whether it’s a new position, your first position, a promotion, or addressing a longstanding issue at work, there are a few things that you may want to do to increase your chance of success.

  • Find a change buddy or more than one – support tends to make the change easier and groups can have a powerful effect on behavior.
  • Write out and make visible your goal. Having a consistent reminder of your goals keeps you focused and motivated.
  • Understand that the road to reaching goal is not a straight line. There are many twists and turns and you have to work your way back to being on track regularly.
  • Reward yourself for hitting mini-targets. Set little mini-goals along the way and celebrate those achievements in positive ways — not in ways that will set you back.
  • Set yourself up for success by not creating temptation around yourself.

Change is possible if you take the right steps to support it. So, create those resolutions or make those plans to reach the goals that you thought were out of reach. Go you!

Bring the Holiday Cheer to Your Networking

dreamstimefree_43256With the holiday season already started, this is wonderful time to think about building and strengthening your network. There are so many built-in opportunities to make the most of the events and increase the power of that all important professional and personal community. Here are some tips to make the most of spirit of the season.

  1. Organize a volunteer event. It is a great time to give back and organize an opportunity for your club, your class, your intern group to share what they have with others. Think about a relevant theme connected to your group. For example, if you are in a fraternity, it might be a great idea to find an opportunity to volunteer with a family-oriented organization, or to work with men or young boys. If you are in the marketing club, consider offering your knowledge to help a small non-profit or volunteer organization market their holiday/development events.
  2. Meet new people at holiday parties. Holiday parties can be a wonderful time to get to know new people in your organization, family or community. Branch out from your regular group and strike up positive conversations about the music, food, the venue. Remember to stay away holiday party alcoholic drinks as well as an alcohol induced activities or behaviors — never a good idea.
  3. Reconnect with colleagues, supervisors, friends. There are a lot of opportunities now to find a reason to reach out to people that you have fallen out of contact with. It’s so much better to rekindle a relationship when there is nothing for you to gain and it’s simply checking in.

There is no excuse not to build up your network especially with all the events happening around you. It’s a perfect time to network in a natural and organic way.

LinkedIn: Reducing Spam

LinkedInLately, many counselors at the SCDC have been hearing from students about receiving SPAM on LinkedIn. This phenomenon, while somewhat new to us,  has some simple solutions that will reduce your frustration and risk related to using the professional networking social media site.

Here are some easy to apply tips:

  • If you receive an invitation to connect that contains spam,
  1. Open the invitation.
  2. Click Ignore and select a reason why you want to ignore the invitation.
  3. Select Report as Spam.
  • If you find inappropriate discussions, content, or spam on a group,
  1.  Open the discussion and click Flag to notify the group manager that an item might be inappropriate, or that it may need to be moved to the Jobs or Promotions tab.
  2. Click the down arrow next to Send a Message or Send InMail in the top section of the member’s profile
  • If you find inappropriate content on a profile,
  1. Click the down arrow next to Send a Message or Send InMail in the top section of the member’s profile
  2. Select Flag as inappropriate.
  3. Select a reason for flagging the profile.
  4. Click Send.

In general, you also want to check your “Email Preferences” in the LinkedIn Account dashboard and make sure that you are set up only to receive the types of messages that you are interested in getting.

Seniors On Your Mark, Get Set, Go: The Mile Markers You Need to Hit This Year

800px-Marathon_RunnersWelcome to your senior year of college! I am sure that it will prove to be an exciting culminating year of your college career. This journey is a marathon and not a sprint. If you want to have a year that sets you up for a prime position after graduation, here are 26 mile markers that you need to hit over the course of this next year:

Mile Marker 1 Add your summer internship to your resume.


Mile Marker 2 Update your StarrSearch profile.


Mile Marker 3 Create a LinkedIn account and join the Baruch SCDC LinkedIn group.


Mile Marker 4 Reach out to previous internship supervisors. These are potential mentors and at the very least an integral part of your network that you need to keep connected to.

Mile Marker 5 Have all your materials reviewed (i.e., resume, cover letter)


Mile Marker 6 Create a list of the Top 10 companies that you are interested in and get started on your research file for each of them. It will help you not rush this research when you have an interview and it will also help you to develop company research skills which are a critical long term skill to have.

Mile Marker 7Develop your network. You should set a goal to meet 3-5 new people at various stages of their career each month of your senior year. A network is critical to your job search. The majority of job seekers find a position through a network, which is more than any other job search source. Attend a networking workshop if this sounds scary or impossible.

Mile Marker 8Set up a professional twitter account and follow relevant professionals and companies. It will help you stay in the loop and watch the trends in your field and it can help you build contacts. Be conscious about your postings because your social media will be seen an extension of your professional self.

Mile Marker 9Complete the OCR workshop to become eligible to participate in the On-Campus-Recruiting program.


Mile Marker 10 Start reviewing StarrSearch for OCR relevant positions once you are eligible.


Mile Marker 11 Attend all possible events geared toward your future career goals. Learn about companies by attending pertinent corporate presentations.


Mile Marker 12 Be able to fully articulate what position you are looking for and what will make you an asset to any firm. You will have to work eventually on tailoring this to each firm that you apply to.


Mile Marker 13Attend the Fall Career Day


Mile Marker 14 Participate in the a Career Day Prep Workshop so that you are fully prepared to make the most of the Fair.


Mile Marker 15 Start reviewing all potential career opportunities on Starr Search and other job search engines by the end of Fall.


Mile Marker 16 Keep a log/spreadsheet of all the positions that you apply for and the materials that you have sent.


Mile Marker 17 Develop a buddy system or group of other senior job seekers that will help you to stay on track. You need to serve as each other’s support system when things are tough and to celebrate each other when things are going well.

Mile Marker 18 By January, attend a job search workshop so that you are full-speed ahead on your search.


Mile Marker 19 Reach out to your references to formally request their support and ask them for a letter so that you have one on file. If you need one you don’t want to ask for one last minute. You can just ask them to update the letter with necessary contact information or personalize it any way needed.

Mile Marker 20 Have a connection with a mentor or career counselor to support you through your search. It’s much harder to go it alone.


Mile Marker 21 Update your information in StarrSearch when your grades come in for the Fall semester.


Mile Marker 22 Get involved with a professional organization outside of Baruch. You need to be able to establish your commitment to the field and belonging to a professional association and participating in their events is one way to do this. You should also consider taking a leadership role. Many of these organizations have seats on their board for Members-At-Large and students seats. It never hurts to inquire.

Mile Marker 23 Thank your references periodically. It’s important to realize the time and effort it takes to be a reference. It’s important that they feel appreciated.


Mile Marker 24 Do something for some of your networking contacts. It’s important that networking not be simply focused on “What can you do for me?” It needs to be reciprocal (i.e., supporting your network as much as you would like it to support you).

Mile Marker 25 Attend Spring Career Events.


Mile Marker 26 Finally, Mile 26, Celebrate Your Successes. Job search is a process and it can take a while. It has been said that it takes about 1 month for every $10,000 you are hoping to earn. You need to focus on cheering yourself on for getting out of your comfort zone, learning something new, having an interview, etc. All of these things are important to eventually finding your first job.

Not all of these items have to be completed in the order that they appear, but you should address them all if you’d like to find yourself with a position after graduation. Remember, it’s a marathon so pace yourself, stop at rest stops for water and celebrate crossing the finish line and all the mile markers in between.