All posts by Emily Jimenez

So, Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years? 4 Guiding Points to Help You Tackle This Question

So, Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years? 4 Guiding Points to Help You Tackle This Question

By: Samantha Fang ’23


Woman sketching a business plan on a placard at a creative office

“So, where do you see yourself in 5 years?”


While this is one of the most common interview questions used by hiring managers, it can also be one of the most challenging ones to tackle. Maybe you have not thought too far in terms of long-term goals. Or maybe the immediate answer that comes to mind might not be the most appropriate one to give your interviewer, such as seeing yourself pursuing a better opportunity at another company. Below are 4 guiding points to help you effectively answer this question and understand how to best present your future goals!

  1. Think about how this position aligns with your career goals overall. 
Beginning startup to success concept and challenge investment idea


Employers want to understand what you would like to achieve and hire someone who is proactive, motivated and career-driven. Hence, it is important to understand how your current experiences will help propel future goals. How will the opportunity at this particular company help you achieve your longer-term goals? In other words, how will this position fit into your career trajectory? Be sure to discuss all goals you have within the context of the company and the position you are applying for.


 2. Where do you see yourself in terms of professional growth?

It is completely normal if your future careerpath is still uncertain. Even if you don’t  know exactly what you want to do or where you want to be, it is critical that you make it clear how this experience will help you grow or help you understand where your interests lie. Make an effort to be focused and to have some sort of plan even if this particular position is in an industry you are exploring amongst many others! It may be helpful to discuss some transferable skills here as well. This makes it easier for employers to understand how this particular opportunity fits into your future plans. Think about what exactly you would like to achieve at this company. Do you want to take the lead on more projects? Or maybe you hope to take on more responsibilities related to a certain topic or industry!


3. Don’t be too specific! It can be a red flag.

exclamation sign isolated on white

It is definitely okay if you have super specific goals for yourself, whether that be owning a luxury car or having a position that pays a 6 figure salary. However, these may be seen as unrealistic given the position you are applying for and make you seem unfit to take on the role! A good strategy is to keep your answer relatively general. This is the safest way to tackle the question, especially if you do not know what a typical employee’s path at the company looks like. 


Your answer to this question may also initially be that in five years, you hope to be at another company, pursuing a better opportunity, or even becoming CEO of the company! However, these are not the most appropriate to state in a job interview. The employer wants to know that you are willing to commit to the job and put in the work, not about your plans to take over the company or move on when a better opportunity comes around.


4.  Understand your idea of success. 

Female professional giving a high five to her colleague in conference room. Group of colleagues celebrating success in a meeting.

A great way to understand your future goals is to come up with your own definition of success. This could be a good opportunity to describe why this company’s values and mission specifically align with your own!


Think about: 

  • What motivates and inspires you? 
  • What is your vision for yourself and for your future employer?
  • What is most important to you in your career? What will make it most fulfilling? 


Interested in writing a blog for the Career Development blog? It’s open to Macaulay students

and alums. If you would like to contribute or have any questions, feel free to email:

Championing Inclusive Language in the Workplace

Championing Inclusive Language in the Workplace

Portrait of diverse creative team looking at camera with cheerful smiles while posing in office, wheelchair user inclusion

By: Maria Jose Larrea ‘23

More than ever, we are witnessing a diversification of the workforce. Recruiters are increasingly on the lookout for fresh talents of culturally diverse backgrounds and experiences, hoping to hire promising creatives with novel ideas to augment their company’s reach and influence on its corresponding market. 

As for us, future professionals, more than ever, we are responsible for using, promoting, and championing inclusive language in the workplace. Beyond seeking to develop healthy relationships with fellow co-workers, we ought to understand that the significance of inclusivity lies in ensuring that each individual feels welcome from the moment the conversation starts. It only takes a few words.


What is inclusive language?

It is language that refrains from reproducing and/or perpetuating stereotyped, prejudiced, and discriminatory beliefs of particular groups of people. By scrutinizing language and employing neutral words that prevent assumptions and generalizations, inclusive language recognizes that language, as we know it, often excludes, intentionally or unintentionally, certain people or communities that have been historically marginalized due to their identity (i.e., race, gender, sexual orientation, immigration status, ethnicity or ancestry, and disability status). Here lies its substance.

Think back to when someone made an assumption about you based entirely on a single encounter. How did it feel? Aggravating, one may assume. Now, imagine everyday conversations thrusting assumptions (often prejudiced and unfounded) your way merely because of your identity, never mind a single display of your character. Unfortunately, this experience is commonplace in the absence of inclusive language. 

Speech Bubbles


Why does it matter? 

To be precise, the absence of inclusive language gives way to our normalized exclusionary speech, loaded with its intrinsic biases that ostracize individuals of marginalized communities and produce what one may call death by a thousand paper cuts. A single offense may have indistinguishable consequences, but several seemingly innocuous “cuts” lead to more profound injuries. In the workplace, this manifestation occurs as dejection, demotivation, and an overall sense of not belonging. 


If there’s one thing inclusive language makes us aware of, it is that words matter. Depending on how we use them, they can bring us together or drive us apart. Inclusive language is the nondiscriminatory thread that binds us to one another regardless of what sets us apart. Its importance resides in its immediate effect on an individual and its subsequent impact on a community. 


Utilizing inclusive language honors diversity and welcomes members of communities that would otherwise feel excluded by a language system that inherently benefits only a select group of people, primarily heterosexual, white men without disabilities and in positions of power. 


So, what can we, as future members of the workforce, do to promote inclusive language?


learn to unlearn – advice or motivation words on a sticky note against burlap canvas


Self-reflect, recognize, unlearn

Before advocating for inclusive language, it is imperative that we assess our very own unconscious biases. Although it is a difficult conversation to have with yourself, it is necessary to acknowledge that the language we use routinely is charged with sweeping generalizations and harmful presumptions that reinforce a pre-established social hierarchy. 


Much of the exclusionary language we commonly use results from our socialization and decades of prejudice against marginalized individuals. Remember to have compassion for yourself throughout this process of self-reflection. Understand that it is possible to unlearn exclusionary language and rectify a situation in which you used it by mistake. Check out Deloitte.’s infographic on “What to do if you SAY a non-inclusive word or phrase” for more information. 


Here are a few things to keep in mind:


  • Gendered or gender-biased language is one of the most common forms of exclusionary language. It locates men at the forefront of the conversation, virtually erases any trace of female involvement and assumes a gender binary. To promote inclusion:

    – If you have not had the chance to learn about your co-worker’s pronouns, consider using “they/them/theirs/themselves” instead of the traditionally binary pronouns “he or she.” For example: “They joined our team last week.”

– Avoid using feminized nouns (i.e., actress instead of actor) and gendered terms that add nouns at the end of words, like salesman or saleswoman. Find gender-neutral terms instead. For example: “She is an incredible salesperson” or “Their work as a sales representative is outstanding.”


  • Heteronormative phrasing is typical in most everyday discussions both in and out of the workplace. Use gender-neutral language when inquiring about someone’s “spouse,” “partner,” or “parents” (as opposed to wife/husband, girlfriend/boyfriend, mother/father).


  • Ableist terms and misused descriptors about mental illness are overwhelmingly present in our day-to-day conversations. Think critically about the casual usage of phrases such as “turn a blind eye to,” “are you crazy/demented/psycho?” and words like “deaf,” “lame,” “OCD,” and “bipolar,” and find more sensitive alternatives.  
  • Some idioms and terms that are seemingly neutral and largely widespread carry prejudiced and outright racist connotations. Consider, for example, the implications of someone being blacklisted vs. whitelisted. There exists an unconscious negative bias that may appear inoffensive to most but may just as well ostracize a Black colleague. Other phrases include: “divide and conquer” (think colonialism), “peanut gallery” (racist undertones), and “pow wow” (appropriated from Native American communities). Always contemplate the historical context and implications of commonly used phrases and ask yourself if it’s truly necessary to use them or if you can find a more inclusive – and culturally sensitive – alternative. 


For more information on terms to reconsider and their neutral alternatives, check this article by HubSpot: “Inclusive Language: How To Use and Promote It at Your Organization.”


A high-angle shot of a group of male and female colleagues putting their hands together in an office. They are dressed in fashionable business clothes. Their faces are not visible, only their arms. Horizontal daylight indoor photo.


Visualize people as individuals

To avoid sweeping generalizations, we must learn to visualize each person as an individual first. In recognizing and honoring diversity, it is crucial that we ask how someone would like to be addressed before making assumptions based on their outward appearance or what we assume is their identity. 


As a general rule, you should not bring up someone’s race, ethnicity, country of origin or immigrant status, sexual orientation, and disability status unless it is relevant to the conversation or that person has made it clear they are comfortable with being identified by any of these factors. 


When addressing someone with a disability, chronic illness, or mental health condition, listen carefully to that person’s preferred terminology and use it when talking to or about them, if relevant. Some people may prefer person-first language, in which the person is emphasized (i.e., “person with a physical disability”). In contrast, others may favor identity-first terminology, by which the person reclaims their disability and chooses their identity (i.e., “a physically disabled person”). In writing, it can be appropriate to use both person-first and identity-first language to overcome the negative connotations either terminology may betray. For more information, you can refer to the APA bias-free language guidelines for writing about disability or advocacy groups in your community and online. 


In short, these are a few things you can do:

  • Ask politely about someone’s pronouns during an icebreaker or introduction
  • Ask politely about someone’s preferred terminology (in reference to identity), if relevant
  • When in doubt, research and use the widely-accepted terminology by the individual or community concerned


Take the initiative

If reflecting on your language choices and unconscious biases was the first big step to take, the next one is perhaps just as important. It follows your everyday practice and strengthening of your inclusive language capabilities. You need to take the initiative.


Bring your inclusive language abilities to the workplace by setting an example. “How?” you ask. It’s as simple as mentioning your preferred pronouns (if you’re comfortable) during your self-introduction. It will put the necessary pressure on some indifferent colleagues to do the same and empower or comfort others who may not have felt encouraged to share that part of their identity. 


You can also work to generate an inclusive environment by sharing your learning – and unlearning – process with your colleagues when the conversation is relevant. You can initiate the dialogue when one of your co-workers uses, mistakenly or not, exclusionary language. An example is asking your colleague to cheer “Well done, everyone!” instead of “Well done, guys!”


Remember to be forgiving, as most people are unaware of the negative connotations and exclusionary nature that some of our everyday words and phrases carry. Check out Deloitte. ’s infographic on “What to do when you HEAR non-inclusive language” for reference. 


Moving forward


Finally, to ensure that your communication is inclusive, it might be helpful to ask the following questions before making targeted statements: 


  • Is it a sweeping statement, or am I making assumptions due to unconscious bias?
    Consider the preferred terminology or language (i.e., pronouns) for the person/community you are trying to address. If you have any questions, research or ask respectfully!
  • Is it (race, gender, age, sexual orientation, ethnicity or ancestry, disability status) relevant to the conversation?

Allow people to decide which parts of their identity they want to share.

  • Is there a more inclusive way I can phrase my statement? 

Think critically about what you have learned today about sweeping generalizations and involuntary bias. Always opt for neutral terminology.


For further reading and more comprehensive information, check out:

Interested in writing a blog for the Career Development blog? It’s open to Macaulay students and alums. If you would like to contribute or have any questions, feel free to email

My Disability Employment Story

By Stephanie Montalvo ‘ 19


My name is Stephanie Montalvo and I am hard of hearing. I lost my hearing at a very young age but I was never apprehensive about it. This all changed when I started working at a preschool.


A cute little girl with a big smile holding abc blocks on top of her head in her classroom at school.


I have always known that I wanted to be a teacher and when I finally landed the job that gave me the opportunity to fulfill this dream, I was so happy but also very terrified. The reason for this is that I became a preschool teacher in the middle of the pandemic!

Although I was already employed at a school before the pandemic hit, I was working as a classroom aide and that was already hard enough! One of the things that made it hard was that although small children can be very loud, some spoke very softly and it could get difficult to listen to what they  were trying to say when there was a lot of noise from other students in the background. As a teacher, it is important that we are able to hear them because having a conversation is very important to their development at this age. Additionally, we need to be aware of what is going on in the room and make sure the children aren’t saying anything bad or mean things to each other. What helped me survive was lip-reading. I would look at the children and my coworker’s lips as they spoke. This would help me understand what they were saying to me.


A multi ethnic group of preschool children are laying on the floor int heir classroom while sharing a book to read together with their teacher.

But now the pandemic changed everything. I was starting a new position as a lead teacher and everyone had to wear a mask! Unfortunately, this made it really difficult for me to understand them clearly. So to help combat this concern, I asked my two classroom aides to speak louder and use hand gestures. I even gave them small softballs to gently toss at me to get my attention if the noise level in our classroom was really loud. With my new students, I sat them all down and spoke to them about my hearing disability. I showed them that I wear a hearing aid in my ear and explained that I sometimes have a hard time hearing. I explained that when they want to tell me something they must speak loudly and clearly. I also explained that if they all started screaming, I won’t be able to hear their friends and that it can hurt my ears. This helped my students understand how to use their inside voices and also helped the shy children to become more confident with speaking aloud in class. I even went as far as teaching them small sign language such as a bathroom, sad, mad, happy, and thank you!


Little girl learning sign language on the sofa

This experience taught me that we shouldn’t be ashamed of our disabilities or let it stop us from doing something we love. Instead, we should educate others about it and show them that we can do things just like them but in different ways. Educating our workplaces and the people around us will help bring awareness and harmony for everyone. It is important to create awareness so that our workplaces become a safe and inclusive space for all.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1-in-4 adults in the United States live with a disability. The more people who are educated about this, the better the work environment will be for everyone. There will be less discrimination and fewer hate crimes. 

There are a few tips I would like to provide for anyone who might encounter someone with a disability at school or work:

First, get to know the person! Never judge a book by its cover. Ask them what they like or even ask if it is ok if they would like to describe their disability. Secondly, ask them if there is anything you can do to make them feel comfortable in the office, such as if there is accommodation that needs to be implemented. Third, treat them the way you would treat anyone else; make them feel included in conversations or activities. Lastly, when possible provide training on how to make the workplace safe and inclusive for all. 


For additional information and resources regarding how to support those working with a disability, check out the following links: 


Interested in writing a blog for the Career Development blog? It’s open to Macaulay students and alums. If you would like to contribute or have any questions, feel free to email


Job Hunting 101: How to Handle Multiple Job Offers

By: Michael Tamsuriyamit ‘23


Imagine this: you’re a new job applicant who has just been accepted to three out of five job opportunities you applied to for the summer. Concerned you weren’t going to get in anywhere, you were over the moon about your job offers, but the joy is short-lived. You start to feel overwhelmed and ask yourself: which opportunity should I choose to pursue?


While job hunting, it is very common for people to get accepted to multiple opportunities. For new applicants, however, receiving several job offers – let alone one – may initially seem daunting.


Below are some next steps you should take when handling multiple job offers:


1) Express Gratitude, But Don’t Commit Right Away


When you receive a job offer, you should always follow up with the recruiter as soon as possible – in this day and age, emailing is the norm. 


In your email, be sure to thank the job recruiter for the offer as well as show initial excitement about the prospect of working with their company/organization. When you’re dealing with multiple job offers, however, it’s important that you refrain from immediately accepting one offer over another, especially if you’re still waiting to hear back from some opportunities.


Instead, be transparent by telling them you are currently considering several opportunities, and then ask when they would like to know your official decision. Oftentimes, people will ask if they can have a bit more time if they know they’re supposed to hear back from another job in the near future.


Here is a sample response from The Balance Careers on how to “express enthusiasm without saying ‘yes’”:


Thank you. I am so excited to receive your offer! I believe this position is an excellent fit for me at this point in my career. When do you need to know my official decision? I will give this my utmost attention and get back to you by Wednesday.


2) Revisit Job Descriptions: Weigh Out the Pros vs. Cons

Every job is different, including the amenities (i.e. benefits and perks) it has to offer to its employees. When deciding between multiple job offers, it’s important you define what you’re looking for vs. what the job is offering.


A simple way to do this is by creating a list detailing both the pros and the cons of each job offer you receive. Compare this list to the things you value when looking for a job, and then ultimately rank and decide on your offers accordingly. 


On another note, if you have any questions regarding the job itself, it is best that you clarify those questions with the recruiter before giving them your final decision.


Some common factors that people consider when weighing different job offers include:

  • Salary
  • Possibility of Insurance Plans (e.g. health, life, etc.)
  • Work Schedule Flexibility
  • Location of Work
  • Compensation for Transportation to Work
  • Company Culture
  • The tasks you will be doing as it relates to your career aspirations


3) Get a Second Opinion

Although you will be the one who has to make the decision in the end, it never hurts to get a second opinion while you are still considering your job offers.


For many people, this means reaching out to a career counselor who has experience in giving job advice. For others, this may mean reaching out to a colleague with similar career interests or someone who works in the field and can give you the inside perspective. Some people may even ask their family and friends for their opinions about the job. 


4) Notify Recruiters Your Final Decision


When you have finally decided on which job opportunity to pursue, it’s important that you notify recruiters of your decision. You should notify both the recruiter you are accepting a job offer from, as well as those whom you will be declining offers from.


For more information on how to format a standard job acceptance/rejection letter, check out the following articles from The Balance Careers:


Article 1: Job Offer Acceptance Letter and Email Examples

Article 2: How To Decline a Job Offer


For additional information on how to juggle between multiple job offers, check out the following links:

Vault: How to Handle Your Job Offers

The Muse: A Guide to Juggling Multiple Job Offers and Coming Out on Top

The Balance Careers: How to Handle Multiple Job Offers

Indeed: Tips For Handling Multiple Job Offers


Interested in writing a blog for the Career Development blog? It’s open to Macaulay students and alums. If you would like to contribute or have any questions, feel free to email 

The Inside Scoop: How to Negotiate a Job Offer

By: Michael Tamsuriyamit ‘23


The act of negotiating is a skill that can be applied to many different aspects of life. In fact, it is more than just bargaining – it involves finding common ground/interest by promoting productive discourse between two or more parties.


In the world of work, negotiation can happen when a prospective employee is not fully satisfied with the terms of their work contract, and so they try to “negotiate” with their employer. 


In reality, however, people often have the tendency to accept job offers without truly knowing what they are getting themselves into. They fear that if they don’t accept the position right away, the recruiter will pass them up for another applicant. They choose to prioritize securing the opportunity over securing their benefits and perks as an employee. 


Below are some practical tips on how you can effectively negotiate a job offer:


Do Your Research


If you want to effectively negotiate a job offer, you need to know what is on the table. 


You probably have done some research already about the job for your interview – now you need to do a bit more. Consider doing some research into past and current employees with similar work experience and what type of job offer they got. For example, you may want to look into how much people were offered in terms of their starting salary.


Knowing how other people fared when they received their job offers is extremely helpful and can help you negotiate more effectively – you don’t want to propose a counteroffer that is outrageous and not within reason. 


Focus on Your Value, Not the Negotiation


One of the reasons why you may be negotiating is because you feel you are being undervalued by the job offer itself.


When negotiating a job offer, it’s important that you stay focused on what’s truly important to the company/organization that’s hiring you: your value to them. Negotiating is less about what you’re asking for and more about why you are negotiating in the first place. It means making sure you justify your counteroffer by stating the research you’ve collected as well as emphasizing your potential as an employee.


Be Confident, Yet Flexible


When negotiating a job offer, you want to have the mindset that you are capable of persuading your employer why you deserve what you’re asking for. 


You need to be confident that you can effectively negotiate with them without turning the discussion into an unproductive and heated argument. Additionally, consider treating the negotiation as a conversation rather than a confrontation, but you still want to keep it professional though.


At the same time, be prepared to face pushback from your employer, because not every negotiation ends up being in your favor.


Consider the Entire Package


People often conflate negotiating a job offer with merely negotiating one’s salary.


Although the salary is one aspect to a job offer, it isn’t the only thing that’s negotiable. In fact, negotiating just your salary can arguably put a negative image in your employer’s mind. They may start to think that you’re only working for them for the money and don’t care about other attributes of the job. 


Effective negotiation, therefore, isn’t just about getting a raise – it’s about trying to secure other perks and benefits that you may currently not have access to. Some perks and benefits that are often negotiable include work-schedule flexibility, travel compensation, insurance plans, and opportunities for growth and promotion.


For additional information on how to negotiate job offers, check out the following links:

Interested in writing a blog for the Career Development blog? It’s open to Macaulay students and alums. If you would like to contribute or have any questions, feel free to email

Resume 101: Its Main Components and Some General Advice

By: Michael Tamsuriyamit ‘23

Building your resume is one of the most important parts of the job application process. 

Your resume is a mini portfolio, bundled on a piece of paper that you have on standby ready for a job recruiter. Your resume is also a constant work in progress. Throughout life, you will gain numerous valuable experiences and skills that will make your resume stand out, but in order to showcase them, you will have to “retire” some experiences and skills already on your resume that are no longer applicable. 

Below are some of the most common sections typically found in a standard resume, as well as what to include in them:


Contact Information


Your contact information should at the top of your resume and should include:

    • Your Full Name (should be in bold and slightly bigger font size)
    • A Phone Number (preferably one that you use daily)
    • A Professional Email (i.e., not
    • Your General Work Location or Address (whichever one you feel more comfortable giving)
    • OPTIONAL: Link to LinkedIn Profile, if you have one
    • OPTIONAL: Links to professional social media handles and/or online portfolios




Job recruiters also want to know where you are getting your education from. In this section, be sure to include:

    • The Full Name of Your College/University (e.g. Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College)
    • Your Degree, Major, and Expected Graduation Date (e.g. Bachelor of Arts, Journalism, May 2023)
    • Your Current, Cumulative GPA (e.g. GPA: 3.85)
    • OPTIONAL: any honors or achievements you may have attained at this institution, including their names and the date (usually month and year) they were received




The “Experience” section will most likely take up the biggest portion (i.e. the most space) of your resume. This section highlights jobs, opportunities and internships you have completed or are currently working on, as well as a list of individual tasks for each experience. This section will constantly undergo revision as you start to accumulate more work experience.


For each job experience, be sure to include:

    • Name of Job Position (e.g. Content Intern)
    • Name of Company/Organization 
    • Work Location (i.e. City, State)
    • When You Worked There (e.g. June 2021 – August 2021)
    • A Bulleted List of Your Most Important, Individual Tasks




This section should feature a combination of both hard and soft skills, including one’s proficiency in them. 


Hard skills are ones based on technical knowledge that may come in handy for a particular job opportunity. Some examples of hard skills include knowledge of:

    • Software programs (e.g. Microsoft Office, Google Suite)
    • Computer/coding languages (e.g. Python, Java, C++)
    • Photo-/video-editing software (e.g. Adobe Creative Cloud, Final Cut Pro)
    • Website builders (e.g. WordPress, Wix)
    • Foreign languages & proficiency (e.g. Spanish (Novice))


Soft skills, on the other hand, are more qualitative and are meant to reflect the job applicant’s personality and overall character. Some examples of soft skills include: 

    • Experienced in public speaking
    • Being a team player
    • Ability to quickly adapt under deadlines


For more information on the difference between hard vs. soft skills, check out this Indeed article.


Additional, Optional Sections to Consider


Volunteer Experience/Community Service

People often like to separate work vs. volunteer experience on their resumes. Opportunities listed under the “Experience” section may emphasize more technical tasks and abilities, whereas the “Volunteer Experience/Community Service” section may highlight more qualitative attributes.



This optional section includes a list of hobbies and interests that you have recently pursued or are currently pursuing. Although this may not be relevant to the job you’re applying to, this section gives the job recruiter a sense of who you are beyond just being an employee. “Who is [your name] outside of the workplace setting?” is the question that this section seeks to answer.


Some General Advice on Building Your Resume


Try to limit your resume to one page. Although you will certainly have more than a page’s worth of experience sooner or later, the point of a resume is to highlight what is most relevant to the position you are applying for. It’s important that you sit down and assess which experiences are worth highlighting for different opportunities.


List out experiences and skills in a separate document as you gain them. Because you will have to choose which experiences to highlight for a given opportunity, having a document containing your past experiences will allow you to more easily assess and pick out which ones you would like to include in your resume.


Periodically review and update your resume. Resumes can become quickly outdated when you are continually gaining valuable work experience. Be sure to edit your resume from time to time so that it stays looking up-to-date.


Proofread, proofread, proofread. Although people like to think that they can proofread themselves, we often need a second pair of eyes to catch the mistakes that our own eyes may unconsciously glance over. Oftentimes, people will enlist the help of their colleague or an academic/career advisor to read over their resumes. Having someone else proofread your resume lowers your chance of having careless mistakes.


For additional information on how to build your own resume, check out the following links:

Interested in writing a blog for the Career Development blog? It’s open to Macaulay students and alums. If you would like to contribute or have any questions, feel free to email

Ghosting from Employers: Why it Happens and What to Do Afterwards

By: Michael Tamsuriyamit ‘23


Have you ever left an interview feeling confident about the conversation you had with a job recruiter, only to have them never contact you afterwards?


In a time when people are mostly getting hired and recruited online, ghosting has unfortunately become a common experience for many job applicants. Especially in the digital age that we live in, the internet makes it very easy for employers to leave job seekers “on read” after conducting interviews with them.


This blog post will address the following questions that job applicants may have about ghosting: What exactly is “ghosting”? Why does ghosting happen? What should I do if I think I have been ghosted?


What exactly is “ghosting”?


According to Adam Popescu of The New York Times, “ghosting” is when “someone cuts off all communication without explanation.” Although the term was originally meant to describe when a person abruptly ends a relationship with someone, and subsequently stops communicating with them as well, the definition for ghosting has since expanded to account for various social contexts.


In the case of the job recruitment process, Andrew Seaman of LinkedIn News says that it is important to know “what is and what is not ghosting.” 


“While people may argue over the specifics, many job search experts agree that ghosting occurs when a hiring manager or recruiter fails to respond after you’ve had some initial contact,” Seaman said. “You have not been ghosted if you haven’t heard back after submitting your resume or application.”


Ghosting in the world of jobs, therefore, refers to the situation where job applicants are left hanging after they have already established communication (i.e. had an interview) with recruiters. 


Why does ghosting happen?


There are several reasons why you may be ghosted by an employer. Some possible reasons include:

  • You may have missed an important step of the application process. An example of this could be them asking you to send them a list of references to verify your job experiences and capabilities. If you’ve missed a step and the employer explicitly stated it would not review any incomplete applications, they have no incentive to follow up with someone who did not follow instructions. 
  • The recruiter became overwhelmed with other job applications. Especially if you are applying for a job at a well-known company, it is most likely that you are one out of thousands of job applicants. Because you may be one of many applying for the same position, recruiters can unfortunately lose track of its applicants.
  • The employer managed to fill the vacant position internally. This means that the employer was able to find someone already working for the company to assume the role. This may not be the most ethical way an employer goes about hiring, but because you as the job applicant cannot see what happens behind the scenes, you will not know they did so until that someone has publicly been named for hire. 
  • The company believes no response is better than sending out a hard-to-swallow rejection. It is an indisputable fact that you will get both acceptances and rejections throughout the job application process. When you are rejected from an opportunity, it is often because the employer managed to find a candidate other than you who better suits the job criteria. Although arguably unprofessional, some employers tend to think that by not saying anything (i.e. ghosting), it prevents any conflict that may arise if they were to have sent a message saying you were indeed rejected.


What should I do if I think I have been ghosted?


1) Reach Out and Send a Follow-Up Message

Like everyone else, employers can become very busy, especially if they are actively recruiting people to fill vacant positions. As said before, it may become so overwhelming that your job application gets lost amid the countless other applications waiting to be reviewed.


By sending a follow-up message, usually by email, it shows job recruiters that you have not forgotten about them – it politely and indirectly reminds them that you were expecting a response from them, especially if they said they would get back to you.



2) Review and Reflect

As mentioned before, sometimes the job applicant is at fault for being ghosted, especially if they missed an important step in the application process. Other times, they may not be at fault, but they tried following up with the employer and still did not receive a response back.


Reviewing and reflecting on why you may have been ghosted is a good practice for all job applicants. It shows that you are actively trying to figure out what the potential reasons were for ghosting, and can also help you better prepare yourself for applying to other opportunities in the future.



3) Just Breathe and Continue Moving Forward

It is very common for people to feel heartbroken after being ghosted by an employer. If you are ghosted, it is important to remember you are not alone, and that countless other prospective job applicants have or are currently going through the same experience. 


If you have concluded that a recruiter has stopped communicating with you for good, take some time away – but not too much time! – from the job application process. After you have cleared your mind, jump back into the groove of things and start applying to new opportunities with the mindset that this time, things will be different.


It’s like that famous motto once said: you can’t change the past, but you can change the future.


For additional information and advice about what to do when you are ghosted, check out the following links:

Interested in writing a blog for the Career Development blog? It’s open to Macaulay students and alums. If you would like to contribute or have any questions, feel free to email

How To Stay Productive While Still Working From Home

By: Michael Tamsuriyamit ‘23


As the country slowly starts to reopen and return to normalcy, many people may be working from home for the very last time. While stuck at home, many have found it difficult to stay as productive as they were in the workplace before the pandemic. Now that it’s summer, some people may find it even more challenging to complete the work they need to get done.


Below are just a few tips on how to maintain one’s productivity while still working remotely:


Getting Your Day Set-Up


Completing one’s morning routine is essential to staying productive at home. Although you may not be traveling to school/work, little things such as getting out of bed, brushing one’s teeth or having your daily cup of coffee indicate that your day is about to begin. In fact, actions like getting dressed motivates you to get into work mode. “The simple act of changing clothes serves as a signal that it’s time to wake up and get things done,” says Regina Borsellino from The Muse.


Choosing Your Workspace


Finding a quiet place to work inside your home may be challenging yet very important. Your workspace should not be your bed, but rather a table where you have ample space, a source of lighting, outlets for any electronic devices (e.g. laptop), as well as any other amenities you may need to help you get work done for the day.


Once you have found your spot, try to stick with it. Laura Mae Martin, a productivity advisor for Google, says that “By working in the same space each day, your brain starts to associate that spot with working.”


Outlining Your Day’s Goals, and Then Accomplishing Them


Although some people may try to make a mental note of everything they need to get done, it’s good practice to write down what you want to accomplish on a daily basis. You can do this by using a planner or even a notepad where you can write down all the individual tasks you plan on doing that day. Be sure to check/cross off tasks as you completed them in order to keep track of your progress.


Scheduling Time for Yourself & Taking Breaks



Working from home over time may become a bit monotonous. It’s crucial you take breaks throughout the day so that you avoid experiencing burnout.


Breaks can consist of many things, including but not limited to: getting up from your chair to stretch or exercise, taking a ten-minute walk around your block, or even going on your phone to check your personal messages or watch some YouTube. Also be sure to schedule time to eat breakfast and lunch – it is not healthy to skip meals just so you can finish your work.


Other Useful and Miscellaneous Tips


  • Distributing Your Time to Various Tasks: You may easily find yourself working on one particular task longer than you expected. Try setting a timer (i.e. designating specific periods of time) for different tasks, and when the time is up, work on something else. The Pomodoro Technique has helped many people improve their time management and work productivity.
  • Limit Distractions: While working from home, it’s easy to become distracted by the news on your TV screen or the notification sounds coming from your phone. Try to minimize any disruptions to your workday so that you can stay concentrated.
  • Finding “Accountability Partners”: Some people may find themselves to be more productive within a group setting. If you’re not required to be on a work call 24/7, try finding colleagues to do work over zoom with. It’s a good alternative for those looking to keep themselves accountable by working with people other than their family members and coworkers.


For additional tips and advice on how to be productive from home, check out the following links:


Vault: 8 Tips to Stay Productive When Working from Home

The Muse: 7 Essential Tips for Working From Home During the Coronavirus Pandemic

The Balance Careers: How to Optimize Productivity While Working From Home

Time: 5 Tips for Staying Productive and Mentally Healthy While You’re Working From Home

Interested in writing a blog for the Career Development blog? It’s open to Macaulay students and alums. If you would like to contribute or have any questions, feel free to email


Differences between Corporate and Startup Companies

By: Anne Hwang ‘23


From BarkBox to Bloomberg, you’ll find plenty of businesses and companies within New York City that represent both startups and corporations. While it’s often easy to pick out which companies are which, you may not necessarily understand the differences between the way in which these companies operate and what it’s like for employees at the companies. Here’s a simple breakdown of some of the key differences between working for a startup versus a corporation and things you should consider when deciding which one is right for you. 


Roles and Responsibilities


When comparing job positions at a corporate versus a startup company, one of the most notable differences is the roles or responsibilities. In a corporate setting, when you’re hired for a specific position, you tend to stick to tasks and responsibilities that were listed in the job description. Since corporations already have a very well-established structure, you’ll be focusing on set skills and tasks that were defined for your position. On the other hand, working in a startup often means that you may find yourself with responsibilities that weren’t necessarily included in the job description.

Since startup companies are often very new, their employees tend to take on tasks that may cross into another department or field outside of their own. It’s not uncommon for startup company employees to be working on projects that are far from their job position, yet it’s quite rare to see employees in corporate companies working on tasks outside of their job title. Thus, depending on whether you prefer a more rigid or dynamic work experience, you may be more inclined towards either a corporate or startup position.





Similar to the roles and responsibilities, corporates and startups also have drastically different structures within their respective companies. In a corporate structure, there usually exists an established hierarchy with more clearly defined roles and responsibilities. Therefore, you’ll find you may not have much influence over the decisions that are made. However, since employees at startup companies often balance multiple responsibilities both within and outside of their fields, working at a startup tends to provide you with a bit more influence over the final decisions that are made.

Based on your preferences, if you are more comfortable with having a set structure, you’re more likely to favor corporates, but if you enjoy the flexibility of tapping into many skills and projects while having more of an impact with your opinions, then startups are the way to go. 




Last but not least, stability between corporates and startups can also vary. Since corporations have been around for a longer period of time, the companies already have a system in place as to how the entire corporate structure functions. As a result, you’re usually to have more stable hours and set time off. For startups, because the companies are still often very new and working to establish a structure and efficient system, it’s very likely that you’re going to be working more unstable hours and time off may be less predictable.

Ultimately, there are pros and cons to both the corporate culture and startup culture, but one of the main differences to consider is whether you prefer a set and rigid structure or a more flexible structure. If you’re unsure of which to pick, it’s always a good idea to reach out to alumni and/or professionals from both fields. For networking opportunities, feel free to check out Macaulay’s LinkedIn groups! 


Interested in writing a blog for the Career Development blog? It’s open to Macaulay students and alums. If you would like to contribute or have any questions, feel free to email


How to Support The LGBTQ+ Community in the Workplace

By: Michael Tamsuriyamit ’23


With Pride Month fully underway, it is important now more than ever that people work to support members of the LGBTQ+ community. Whether it’s at school or at work, measures can be taken by both colleagues and employers to ensure that everyone is treated the same, regardless of one’s gender and sexuality.


The following are practical tips that you – yes, you – can use to help promote a more inclusive and equitable work environment:


Reviewing Your Company’s Policies – Are You Working for an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE)?


When you apply for an opportunity, you may come across a line in the job description that states the company is an “equal opportunity employer (EOE)” or that the company provides “equal employment opportunity (EEO).”


Title VII of The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination against current and prospective employees based on their race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. In a landmark ruling last year, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that, although not directly stated, Title XII prohibits employment discrimination based on one’s gender identity and sexual orientation.


Knowing that your company supports the employment of all groups of people is an important step towards supporting your fellow LGBTQ+ colleagues and coworkers. It means that your company is dedicated to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace where everyone is given the same respect and benefits as everyone else.


NOTE: If you work for an EOC but feel like you are being treated unfairly, check out your workplace rights and possible next steps here


Pronouns: If You Don’t Know, Ask!


It is very common nowadays for people to introduce themselves with their pronouns either verbally or even in the signatures of their emails. In a time when people are exploring their gender and sexuality more openly, assuming that someone uses either he/him/his or she/her/hers pronouns is not only obsolete but can also be very offensive.


Asking someone for their pronouns is a good practice that helps to promote a more inclusive work environment. It shows your fellow colleagues that all pronouns are welcome, and helps you avoid the awkward situation of having that person correcting you for misgendering them. If you’re ever in doubt or forget someone’s pronouns, use gender-neutral language (e.g. they/them/theirs) and then follow up afterward. 


For more information about pronouns and the terminology surrounding them, check out the following resources:

NPR: A Guide to Gender Identity Terms 

LGBT Life Center: Understanding Pronouns

GLSEN: Pronoun Guide


Treat Everyone Equally


It’s one thing to ask for someone’s pronouns, but it’s another thing to treat them respectfully and equally. You should treat your LGBTQ+ colleagues no different from your straight and/or cisgender coworkers. They should not feel as if their presence is unwanted, nor should they have to put up with insensitive remarks made by their coworkers. 


Actions That Do Not Promote Equality in the Workplace Include:

  • Making offensive remarks/jokes (E.g. “That’s so gay!”)
  • Giving fellow LGBTQ+ colleagues a glare or funny look when they walk past you
  • Gossiping about your LGBTQ+ coworkers
  • Only talking about personal questions when conversing with your fellow LGBTQ+ colleagues, especially ones relating to their gender identity or sexual orientation
  • Intentionally ignoring the presence and/or viewpoints of your fellow LGBTQ+ colleagues


Speak Up, Speak Out


Supporting the LGBTQ+ community also means defending them from any hateful or biased treatment directed at them. For example, one may defend the LGBTQ+ community by telling their coworkers to stop making anti-LGBTQ+ jokes. Another person may address any anti-LGBTQ+ bias in the workplace by bringing it up at the next team meeting, or even reporting it to Human Resources.


In the past, you may have looked the other way when a fellow LGBTQ+ colleague experienced unsolicited or unwanted “banter” in the workplace. It is important, therefore, that you speak up for them, especially for those who may have not publicly come out yet. 


Speaking out indicates that you understand there is a problem, and you are attempting to address it by sticking up for your colleagues using the privilege that you have as a straight and/or cisgender person in the workforce.


Moving Past “Performative” Allyship


The term “performative” allyship is used to describe people who support the LGBTQ+ community – and other socially marginalized groups of people – for misguided reasons. It often  describes a type of allyship in which people will support different groups of people when it’s beneficial to them, but otherwise stay silent.


For example, someone may post pictures of them at a recent pride parade in celebration of Pride Month, but will not talk about or denounce attacks on the LGBTQ+ community. Another example could be someone posting a picture of a rainbow flag on their social media because all their friends are doing it. In other words, performative allyship is showing support towards a movement that in the end doesn’t result in any tangible, positive change.


The next time you want to show your support, be sure to ask yourself:

  • What is the purpose behind me publicly showing my allyship for the LGBTQ+ community?
  • Am I doing this because everyone else is doing it, or because it will truly help spark change?
  • What will my actions do to help the LGBTQ+ community?


Instead of engaging in “performative” allyship, consider doing one of the following actions:

  • Having serious and open-minded conversations about gender and sexuality with your loved ones and friends
  • Directing people on social media to resources, including links to petitions, links to informative & educational web pages, or gofundme campaigns assisting LGBTQ+ people
  • Listening to your LGBTQ+ colleagues about their experiences, and then speaking up for them if any problems arise at work thereafter


Educate Yourself: Identify Implicit Biases & Mistakes, Confront Them, and Move Forward


Everyone has arguably done something that they’re not proud of, and we may often look back with regret and wish things turned out differently. Maybe in the past you were a passive bystander when your fellow LGBTQ+ colleagues were put in uncomfortable situations and conversations. Maybe you even worked for a company that unconsciously expressed anti-LGBTQ+ bias. 


Although you cannot erase the damage that may have been inflicted, you can always learn from your mistakes. Identifying and confronting your past mistakes is arguably the most important step that you can take to support the LGBTQ+ community. It shows them that you are aware you did something wrong and that you are actively trying to be a better person.


Becoming a better person also means identifying your implicit biases on various things, including gender and sexuality. To get a better sense of your biases, consider taking some of Harvard’s implicit bias tests


For additional tips and advice on how to support the LGBTQ+ community, check out the following links:

The Muse: 11 Simple Ways You (Yes, You!) Can Make Your Workplace More LGBTQ Inclusive

The Muse: 3 Ways to Be a Better LGBTQ Ally in the Office

Insider: 5 Things Everyone Should Be Doing To Support Their LGBTQ Coworkers

Forbes: 8 Steps You Can Take To Support LGBTQ Colleagues This Pride Month


Additional Resources For Supporting The LGBTQ+ Community:

GLSEN: The Safe Space Kit: Guide to Being an Ally to LGBT Students

Great Place to Work & Pride at Work Canada: Beyond Diversity – An LGBT Best Practice Guide for Employers

Human Rights Campaign: The Cost of the Closet and the Rewards of Inclusion – Why the Workplace Environment for LGBT People Matters to Employers

United Nations Human Rights Office: Tackling Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, & Intersex People

Interested in writing a blog for the Career Development blog? It’s open to Macaulay students and alums. If you would like to contribute or have any questions, feel free to email