A Freshman Year Retrospective

By Michelle Sheu, Peer for Career

Freshman year was a tumultuous trip that seemed to last forever, like the daze of a summer break, but ending all too soon.

It’s the same trite story played ad infinitum, like the new kid in the big city, nothing particularly unique or new in the “growing up” phase that we all succumb to. But these individual experiences shape a student’s perspective of the world and their outlook of the future. Although we’re no longer children on the jungle gyms, stumbling and fumbling through life in our adventures and mishaps, we as city students are in the midst of our core, everlasting memories.

Looking back at my freshman year as a current sophomore, I begin to recount the incredible people I met, the late night study sessions, the struggles to find comfort food that hit the spot, sneaking said food into the library and staying there until 12 AM, and hundreds more memories throughout the course of late August into mid May. I already miss my freshman status as an underdog, perhaps because I’m on the edge of the responsibilities my sophomore status brings forth, as I begin beefing up my resume with activities.

In my first year, I pushed myself to limits that I didn’t know were possible, fled from my comfort zone, and crumbled a few times — but in the most perfect ways possible. In between the awkward phases of meeting new people and throwing myself in unfamiliar situations, I learned an incredible amount about myself. By no means was this easy, but it was insanely gratifying to see who I really am, and finding myself through this difficult process.

At one point, I found myself overwhelmed, consumed with ambition, scraping by on bits of time, not getting enough sleep or meals in, weight dropping due to stress. I was that freshman who so desperately wanted to get involved, as if this was my first and last opportunity to do so. I was deeply immersed into the fast pace of the city life, that I had little to no time for myself to reflect. In a dramatic whirlwind of events, I found myself even hating Baruch, and as an arts and design major, I felt estranged from its business rooted nature.

And for a while, it stuck and stung. The school I was destined to spend the next three years of my life, only to feel pigeonholed and cast aside. I let myself stay stagnant during that period, but gradually crawled my way out. It was when I decided to take charge and assume control of my life that I empowered myself to disassociate from some stressors, and reach out for help and support from the amazing friends that I met at Baruch. I picked myself up, began interning at the Lawrence N. Field Center at Baruch College for 3D printing and technology research, started working at STARR Career Development Center as a Peer, and developed my own ad-hoc major in Transmedia Storytelling — I found belonging, contention and fulfillment at Baruch, reinstating my love and pride for my school.

The growing up story is cheesier than 90s Disney movies, but so important to one’s development of character, ambitions, and understanding of self through these low peaks. I might be a sophomore now, but I know that this year alone will bring forth more and more changes that I can’t even begin to anticipate. Days piling up into weeks, weeks into months, and so much more time in between to have my senses knocked out of me and develop thousands of new perspectives. New York City is mine to explore, and Baruch College is there as my support.

Upcoming Workshops & Events: April 21 – 30, 2015

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


1) CIS Career Panel

April 21, 2015, 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm

2-125 NVC

What to know which employers are hiring students with a degree in CIS?
Come and network with representatives from:
• BlackRock
• Uncubed
• Credit Suisse
• Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.


2) Researching Companies

April 21, 2015, 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

2-190 NVC

Research can mean the difference between knowing enough to apply and knowing enough to actually lock down a job. Come to this workshop and learn about how to improve your research skills.


3) Job Search Boot Camp

April 22, 2015, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

2-190 NVC

Week 3 of a 6 week series:

Seniors and recent alumni (1-3 years postgrad) who are seeking employment may join this weekly group to learn about the most effective job search methods, ask questions, and engage in activities to enhance their skills. Each week covers different aspects of the job search process, so participants are encouraged to attend all or as many sessions as possible.


4) Government and Non Profit Career Panel

April 22, 2015, 4:30 pm – 6:00pm

2-125 NVC

Thinking about a career in government and nonprofit? Great! Learn how you can build a rewarding and financially successful career working in the public sector from professionals who are doing so.


5) Mastering the Job Interview: Basic

April 23, 2015, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

2-190 NVC

How do you prepare a personal pitch? How do you respond to challenging interview questions? What questions should you ask and avoid asking? How do you close the interview? Attend this workshop and learn the steps to follow before, during and after the interview to increase your chances of landing the job you want.


6) Making the Most of Your Internship

April 23, 2015, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

14-230 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!**
7) Using LinkedIn for Your Job Search

April 27, 2015, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

2-190 NVC

LinkedIn is a powerful tool when you’re job hunting. With 95% of companies using LinkedIn to identify intern and full time candidates, it is essential that you know how to successfully navigate this social media platform. Come to this workshop and learn how to use LinkedIn to identify job and internship postings. We will also share useful tips on how to connect with recruiters, hiring managers, Baruch alumni and industry professionals through LinkedIn.

At the end of the workshop, you have the opportunity to take a professional headshot.


8) Financial Literacy

April 28, 2015, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

2-190 NVC

How financially savvy are you? Do your spending habits allow you to save money and enjoy your college life? This workshopis for students who want to begin creating a stable and successful financial future now. Students will perform exercises to begin constructing a spending plan and choose the best credit card deal. This workshop will teach you the basics of budgeting, utilizing credit wisely, and protecting your identity.


9) Job Search Boot Camp

April 29, 2015, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

2-190 NVC

Week 4 of a 6 week series:

Seniors and recent alumni (1-3 years postgrad) who are seeking employment may join this weekly group to learn about the most effective job search methods, ask questions, and engage in activities to enhance their skills. Each week covers different aspects of the job search process, so participants are encouraged to attend all or as many sessions as possible.


10) Mastering the Job Interview-Advanced

April 29, 2015, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

2-190 NVC

This workshop is designed primarily for juniors and seniors who have attended the basic interviewing workshops and desire more intensive training. It focuses on the second interview or the site interview, the group interview and strategies for success in behavioral type interviews. (Basic Interviewing is not a pre-requisite)


11) What are YOU Worth? Salary Negotiation

April 29, 2015, 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

2-190 NVC

Although discussing salary can be a nerve-wracking experience, it is important to understand the value of your experience so you neither get paid too little for your work nor make yourself too expensive as a candidate. Join us as we will share tips on how to review a job offer, information regarding benefits and strategies to negotiate your salary effectively.


11) Arts and Sciences Career Panel

April 30, 2015, 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm

14-270 NVC

Wondering what you can do with a degree in Liberal Arts? Then join the discussion and hear from professionals who have used their liberal arts background to work in all sectors including corporate and public.


12) Moody’s Corporation and Harlem RBI-From Classroom to Cubicle: Maximizing Your Work Experience

April 30, 2015, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

2-190 NVC

Join this workshop to come and learn the do’s and don’ts of your internship or job after graduation. Attendees will leave with a better understanding of how to prepare for a job, sharpen your networking skills, how to get noticed for all the right reasons and get the most out of the start of your professional experiences. We will discuss tips and tricks on how to maximize every opportunity you get in college and thereafter to help you succeed in your career.

Upcoming Workshops & Events: November 12

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


1) Diversity Pipeline Programs Panel Networking Event

November 13, 2014, 12:45 pm – 2:15 pm

3-150 NVC

Diversity Pipeline Programs Panel Networking Event
(In Collaboration with Baruch SEEK Program and the Urban Male Leadership Academy)

Learn about prestigious internship, fellowship, leadership, & professional development
programs for underserved/underrepresented students.

Guest Speakers include representatives from:
– America Needs You (formetly New York Needs You)
– Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT)
– The 4A’s Multicultural Advertising Intern Program (MAIP)
– Sponsors for Educational Opportunities (SEO)
– T. Howard Foundation

Co-sponsors: USG, ADS, ALPFA, Alpha Kappa Psi, ASCEND, BSA, BSU, FLP, G.L.A.S.S., Golden Key, MBC, NABA, Peers for Careers, RSSP/P2P, WIB, Women Empowered for Success, and others


2) Mastering the Job Interview-Basic

November 13, 2014, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

2-190 NVC

How do you prepare a personal pitch? How do you respond to challenging interview questions? What questions should you ask and avoid asking? How do you close the interview? Attend this workshop and learn the steps to follow before, during and after the interview to increase your chances of landing the job you want.


3) Building Your Brand: The Personal Pitch

November 17, 2014, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

2-190 NVC

Learn and practice how to give a short verbal “advertisement” for yourself to help with networking and job interviewing. This personal pitch can be used to introduce yourself to an employer at a Job or Internship Fair, to introduce yourself at a networking event or networking telephone call, to answer the typical interview question “Tell me about yourself,” and in many other circumstances.


4) Finance 201

November 18, 2014, 3:00 pm – 2:30pm

2-190 NVC

Are you interested in a Career in Financial Services? Do you want to understand what the difference between Sales, Trading and Investment Banking is? Finance 201 will take a deeper look at Careers in the Financial Services Industry and will give you some tips on what to expect when conducting a job search for these careers.


5) Finding Your FOCUS

November 18, 2014, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

This workshop will be held in NVC 8-160.

Are you concerned about choosing a major and or career? This workshop will help you Find your FOCUS. This hands on session will walk you through FOCUS 2 Online Career and Education Planning System. Come discover how the career assessments, up to date industry information and “what can I do with a Major in X” tools on FOCUS 2 will help you successfully navigate your college and career journey.



November 19, 2014, 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

2-190 NVC

REGISTER: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/903978122

Get ideas about how to give your resume a face lift and fix up your job search toolkit. Discover how to write a results-oriented resume and cover letter that reflect your relevant experience, abilities, and accomplishments. Find out how to present yourself on paper when filling out online applications, sending thank you notes, and more.


7) Build Confidence! Improving Your Interpersonal Skills II

November 19, 2014, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

2-190 NVC

Part 2 of 2 Build Confidence Workshops: This workshop focuses on the “what to” say and the “verbal content” in interpersonal skills. Wonder how others get ahead or appear to be confident when it is so hard for you? Learn the importance of interpersonal and communication skills. Learn effective strategies to build confidence. Being more assertive helps you in your interviews and job search as well as in school and in your social life.


How To Be Productive During the Summer

By Jiaxin Karen Lu, Peer for Career, Starr Career Development Center

After tackling a series of final exams, here comes summer! College students love summer because they get three months of free time which they could use for vacation, socializing with friends, or catching up on any great movies and books that they have put off during the busy academic semester. Besides rewinding and relaxing your mind and body in summer, it is also important for us to realize that summer can be a productive period which we can utilize to prepare for the upcoming fall semester, such as by taking one or two summer classes, interning at a company you like, getting more well-rounded by reading news and books daily, and researching the companies you are likely to apply to in the fall.
If you have an internship in summer, make the most of it by being a diligent worker. In addition, writing internship diaries at the end of the day will aid in the learning process. In the internship diary, make sure you capture the main responsibility you have been assigned and make sure you know the steps of completing the important tasks. Make yourself available as much as possible at work, and let the supervisor know that you are accountable and responsible to them by regularly updating your current progress on any projects you do. Essentially, make repeated efforts to show that you are an asset to them by contributing to the department to the best of your ability.
Secondly, if you happen to be juggling a part time internship and summer classes, your time management and ability to prioritize will definitely come into play. Since classes are accelerated during the summer, you will have to be on top of the materials by constantly reviewing notes and reading textbooks. Taking summer classes is a great way to learn subjects of interest that you might otherwise not have time for in the fall or spring semester.
Thirdly, summer is also a great time to get to know any companies of interest in more depth. Browse the companies and stay on top of their current events such as addition or change of service lines, involvements in the community, or expectation for the new hires. In addition, to better prepare ourselves for the fall semester, we can hone our transferable skills by attending the workshops offered by SCDC, such as Small Talk, Mastering the Job interview-Basics, Researching Companies, etc.
It’s important for us to be aware that summer is a great time for us to continuously make progress on our academic and professional journey. Taking the time to relax while still being productive in internship, work, and class prepares us better for the fall semester and will definitely give us a leg up in a competitive and fast-paced environment.