Step Up and Speak

By Christopher Woo, Peer for Career

Along with spiders, flying, and the dark, public speaking is one of the things that people fear most. Spiders and airplanes can be avoided, but unfortunately, a student can never avoid the anxiety and stress that is public speaking. Whether it comes to presentations, speeches, or networking, a student will eventually be required to get up and talk in front of a group of strangers. Although initially unnerving, there are many things that you can do (besides picture the crowd in their underwear) to prepare and make the whole ordeal of speaking to a room of glaring eyes a lot less daunting.

Prior to getting up to deliver your presentation or speech, there are a couple steps that you need to take. For one, know your material and practice, practice, practice. Some may think that they can wing a presentation, but that is never recommended. Knowing your material inside and out gives you confidence, and when talking to strangers, confidence is key. You will be able to answer any follow up questions and you can speak knowledgeably about your topic. Another thing you can do to build confidence is dress appropriately on the day of your presentation. Looking good will make you feel good, resulting in a higher level of confidence. Pay attention to your hair, makeup, dress, tie dimples, and whatever else it takes to make you feel good about yourself going into the presentation.

Time to present. Now during the presentation, there are some things that you want to take note of. Know your audience. Notice where the professionals are, where the professors are, where that kid in the corner dozing off is. Know who you are talking to and target your presentation to them in terms of language and details. You would use different vocabulary and details for a group of students than you would for a group of professionals in the industry.

While speaking, be aware of your tone of voice and the rate at which you speak. Some people tend to have a higher-pitched voice when nervous, and that is fine. Just make sure you speak at a tone and rate where people can understand you. Usually that means talking at a normal, maybe even slightly slower than normal, pace and enunciating your words. You can have the best ideas ever, but if no one can understand you, it won’t matter. Keeping eye contact with your audience will also help you appear more confident and gain the audience’s trust. Try not to stare at the floor or your notes all the time or the audience will think you have not prepared well and stare even more blankly at you.

Most of all, the key to public speaking is to relax. You prepared, dressed well, and you are the expert on the topic you are presenting. Even if you skipped a line on your notes or missed a sentence on a slide, don’t worry about it. Your audience does not know your presentation and won’t even realize the mistake unless you make a big deal out of it. As hard as it sounds, try to enjoy yourself and have fun. It is your time to command the room.


Networking Your Way to that Next Job

As originally published 10/28 in the Ticker,

 By Jessica Zukhovich, Peer for Career

Networking can be a daunting term, especially for those who are new to the task. But building a network is essential in order to succeed in any career. Here are a few tips to get you started:

1.When meeting someone new, always make sure to give a firm handshake and keep direct eye contact. Body language has a huge impact on first impressions.

2. Introduce yourself and provide a background of our professional experiences and interests, but also ask questions and engage in a conversation. Try to make yourself memorable by finding common ground or differentiating yourself.

3. ALWAYS follow up. Send an email the next day thanking the individual for taking the time to speak with you, and suggest that you meet again over coffee, catch up over the phone, or just stay in touch.

Remember that networking is about building a relationship, so it takes time. Make sure to stay in contact with the people you network with; update them with relevant news in your life, ask related questions or for advice, and catch up in person every few months. These relationships will be extremely valuable when it comes to recruiting season and your overall career.

Finally, reading tips on networking is beneficial, but the only way to really master it is by actually doing it! Attend events hosted by the STARR Career Development Center, student clubs, and companies themselves. The more practice you get, the more comfortable you will become with networking and the faster you will land that next job!

Lessons Learned: An International Student’s Story

By Jubi Gauchan, Peer for Career


My journey as an international student in the USA has not been easy. It has been a road fraught with difficulties and heartbreaks. In a world where many people come into New York knowing what they want to become, I was the exact opposite! I had just given up on my dream that I had since I was six, of becoming a doctor due to the enormous costs of medical school. Thus my first steps into NY: no idea what I wanted to major in, experiencing the brutal cold and not knowing anybody here. It was a start afresh after living for 18 years in Asia.

I was initially attending another college before transferring to Baruch during my sophomore year. Thus, I was one of the newest newbies you could find at Baruch: an international student and a transfer student!

Coming to Baruch was an eye-opener. To quote our President, we have our “own mini-UN” here, filled with people from all over the world speaking so many different languages! The potpourri was intimidating, but awe-striking. As a sophomore still, I had no idea what I truly wanted to major in. I was torn between accounting and finance. That first semester, I became a commuter student, going for classes and then heading back home. Time was just ticking by and I still had no clue as to what I wanted to major in. Also, I barely knew anyone. I knew that this soon had to change.

By chance, I happened to come across a brochure for the Rising Starr Sophomore Program (RSSP). I decided to challenge myself and break out of my comfort zone and applied. I had no confidence that I would even get in as they were targeting the best sophomores at Baruch. As luck would have it, I got into the program where I met so many bright people who were in similar situations as me (not knowing their exact major yet) but very much involved at Baruch. Looking at them as an inspiration, I took up the offer of joining Baruch’s oldest Honors society, Sigma Alpha Delta, in order to become more active on campus and get to know more people.

Long story short, one step led to another and I ended up joining T.E.A.M. Baruch. Through there, I met the most wonderful people on campus- people who are my closest friends at Baruch- and learned even more about leadership. After the general leadership training, I underwent another semester of rigorous training to be in the Peers for Careers program. Meanwhile, my year long journey with RSSP and the Starr Career Development Center helped me to decide upon my major.

It was a daunting task to finally decide that Finance was going to be my major. I was afraid. As an international student, it would be even more difficult to land a job in Finance, and all my international friends were pushing me to do accounting because of the perception that accounting is recession-proof. Regardless, I went with my gut and declared Finance as a major. Now came the tough part: finding an internship. With no prior finance-related work experience and little knowledge of the finance world, I took my major classes and went to events, workshops and career fairs. As I challenged myself more, I faced setbacks and triumphs and grew more as a person. Soon, after countless hours of preparations, I finally landed my first internship which then created even more opportunities for me.

Now in my senior year, as I look back, I see that all these years have been extremely challenging but equally as rewarding. In my journey as an international student, I have found these lessons helpful and I hope you find use of them too:

1) Never follow the path most traveled. Listen to your heart, find your own path and create your own opportunities. Believe that you can make it happen. Believe in yourself!

2) There will be days when you feel like nothing is going right in the world for you and everything seems to be unattainable. At that point, take a deep breath and just go do something else for that moment, such as watching your favorite TV shows, going for a long run, or talking with your close friends (which always helps!) Soon enough, you will find that the tasks you have to complete are not as daunting anymore.

3) Always be humble. There are so many people from different backgrounds that one can learn from, be they your professors, your peers, or the many people who keep our school running. Everybody has their own life stories that we can learn something from.

4) Do not burn bridges. Nobody will remain where they are at this particular point of time. Life is a roller coaster ride of ups and downs. There may come a day when they are in a more favorable position than you. At that point, it is not the words that you spoke that they will remember, but the way you made them feel.

5) Always be grateful for the opportunities you have. Take advantage of being in one of the greatest cities in the world and at Baruch! Also, never consider something as beneath you, for every experience- good or bad- helps you to grow as a person and leads you to the next step in your journey to success.
In conclusion, regardless of our backgrounds, in our challenging world today it is all too easy to get caught up in our fast-paced lives and forget that we do not live forever. Hence, live each moment to the fullest. I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes by Steve Prefontaine:

“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”


Upcoming Workshops: November 5

Please make sure to RSVP on STARR Search to guarantee a seat!


1) Mandatory On-Campus Recruiting Workshop

November 06, 2014, 12:30 pm – 2 pm

2-190 NVC

A program designed to help JUNIORS & SENIORS get a jumpstart on their careers.

Attend this event and get information on:

o The on-campus recruiting program
o Effective Job search strategies/presented by corporate representative

*** Attendance at this event qualifies you for on-campus recruiting ***



2) Thinking and Speaking on Your Feet

November 06, 2014, 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm

3-160 NVC

Guest Speaker: Target

Learn tips on how to create speeches. The recruiter will cover structure, outline, and content as well as how to present. This is an interactive workshop. 


3) Networking 101: Making Connections

November 06, 2014, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

2-190 NVC

Networking is one of the most powerful yet often under-utilized strategies in a job search. Learn the tools to develop and nurture a network of professional contacts so that you can find your next job like a pro and uncover the hidden job market. Discover the secrets of effective networking in this workshop, including how to develop and maintain a networking relationship, and utilizing social media for your networking needs. Students will have the opportunity to practice their networking skills.


4) Writing Winning Resumes

November 10, 2014, 1:00 pm – 2:30pm

2-190 NVC
Attend this workshop and learn how to develop and design a professional, marketable resume that will be well received. Format and content will be covered.


5) WEBINAR: Is Anyone Listening to You at Work? How to enhance your listening skills and improve workplace morale and productivity

November 11, 2014, 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm


Listening is rarely taught in school. We teach reading and writing and public speaking, but it is assumed that everyone knows how to listen. Ironically, we spend the majority of our day listening to others and don’t do it very well. Join this webinar to learn the barriers we face to effective listening and the steps we can take to improve your listening skills at work.


6) Social Media-Mini Workshop: Blogs

November 11, 2014, 1:00 pm – 1:30 pm

2-190 NVC


Social Media Minis are 30-minute workshops developed to give you an intensive brief seminar in the topic so that you can walk away with tried and true tips that you can apply immediately to enhance your social media presence for career purposes.

Learn about how you can use a blog to brand yourself, give yourself exposure beyond your current reach and establish some critical credentials no matter what field you’re in.


7) Social Media-Mini Workshop: Twitter

November 11, 2014, 1:30 pm – 2:00 pm

2-190 NVC


Social Media Minis are 30-minute workshops developed to give you an intensive brief seminar in the topic so that you can walk away with tried and true tips that you can apply immediately to enhance your social media presence for career purposes.

Twitter followers, hashtags, and lists may be the kick start you need.
From beginning to advanced users of Twitter, get your Twitter account working overtime for you in finding job and internship opportunities.
You are literally a tweet away from finding your dream opportunity.


8) Making the Most of Your Internship

November 11, 2014, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

2-190 NVC
In this seminar students will learn important tips on how to make the most of an internship. Many internship opportunities afford the possibility of leading to a full-time position. This of course depends on the company’s needs and most importantly is based on the intern’s performance. Find out about ways to stand out positively in an internship; learn the steps involved in establishing a good rapport with your supervisor; discover what NOT to do when interning; and more!

**Please note this workshop does not help you obtain an internship, it is going to provide tips to help you make the most of an internship once you land one!**



November 12, 2014, 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

This webinar will highlight the importance of virtual and in-person personal branding. Attendees will learn how to create and fine-tune a personal pitch for successful networking and to develop a strong and consistent personal brand.




10) Cover Letters & Other Business Correspondence

November 12, 2014, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

2-190 NVC

A cover letter serves as your formal introduction and first impression on a potential employer or professional contact. Attend this workshop and learn how to develop and design a professional, marketable cover letter that will get you an interview. Format and content will be covered.