All posts by Jamie Ruden

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 Jamie.Ruden@mhc.cuny.edu.

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. firstname.lastname@gmail.com, not iamthebest123@gmail.com)
    • 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

 

Education

 

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

 

Experience

 

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

 

Skills

 

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.

 

Activities

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 Jamie.Ruden@mhc.cuny.edu

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 Jamie.Ruden@mhc.cuny.edu.

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 Jamie.Ruden@mhc.cuny.edu.

 

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.

 

Structure 

 

 

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. 

 

Stability

 

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

Jamie.Ruden@mhc.cuny.edu.

 

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 Jamie.Ruden@mhc.cuny.edu.

3 Tips on How to Cope with Imposter Syndrome

By: Anne Hwang ‘23

 

What is Imposter Syndrome 

There’s an imposter among us! As we work our way through finals, and approach summer internships or programs, you might find yourself doubting yourself. What if I’m not smart enough? What if I’m not right for the internship? You get the point— the list goes on. Yet what you probably neglect while you embark on a rabbit hole of what if’s, is that many of your fellow students probably share the same concerns as you. And what’s even more surprising is that oftentimes, these thoughts that undermine your capabilities and intelligence are probably not true. In fact, you’re more likely to be facing Imposter Syndrome than reality in these situations.

 

So what is Imposter Syndrome? Well, according to Verywellmind.com, Imposter Syndrome is an internal experience where an individual believes they are not as smart or capable as others may perceive them to be. In other words, Imposter Syndrome is when you feel like you aren’t as good enough and you’re an “imposter” or “phony” amongst others who are actually qualified and capable. Frequently, an individual who may have Imposter Syndrome will tend to be very harsh on their own performance, and often overlook successes they’ve accomplished by undermining them with failures or shortcomings along the way. Other forms in which an individual might experience Imposter Syndrome are in social situations where an individual may have social anxiety. Ultimately, Imposter Syndrome can encompass a wide range of symptoms, and if you’re interested in learning more about it, check out this article or speak to a healthcare professional! 

 

How to Cope

As college students, many of us are prone to encountering Imposter Syndrome at some point. Here are some tips that may help you cope with Imposter Syndrome: 

 

Acknowledge your feelings

One of the most important steps to overcoming Imposter Syndrome is acknowledging the way you feel. By recognizing the way you feel, you can then start to see what causes you to feel this way and also speak with others about your concerns so that they may be able to help you with the situation you are in.

 

Differentiate between facts and feelings

Individuals who have Imposter Syndrome often feel a certain way that may not actually be based on facts. By figuring out what is factual and what is emotional, this may help you to recognize that your success or accomplishments are truthful and not based on pure luck. 

 

Create a healthy cycle for dealing with both success and failures

By developing a way of handling the accomplishments and failures, you can provide yourself with a more solid foundation of how to react. This can help provide you with a structure so that instead of defaulting to feeling like an imposter, you recognize moments when you succeed and ways to react when you don’t.

Lastly, if you find yourself still struggling with coping, never hesitate to reach out to a healthcare professional. Here at Macaulay, we offer free mental health and counseling services. If you feel that you may be experiencing Imposter Syndrome, reach out to the Macaulay Mental Health and Wellness Center!

 

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 Jamie.Ruden@mhc.cuny.edu.

What is a Cover Letter?

By: Anne Hwang ’23

If you’re currently searching for an internship, program, or job position, then you’ve likely come across an application that has “cover letter” listed as one of its requirements. So what exactly is a cover letter?

 

What is a Cover Letter?

A cover letter, also known as a covering letter or motivational letter, is a letter of introduction that is intended to introduce a job applicant’s professional background, skills, and personal interests in the job. Typically, the cover letter is one page in length, and it is usually attached to a resume or CV, which allows for the job seeker to elaborate on the information that is included in these documents. Ultimately, the main purpose of writing a cover letter is to showcase your personality and explain why you would be a good fit for the position. Thus, it’s important to make sure that your cover letter is meticulously crafted so that it catches the attention of the hiring manager and gets your point across clearly.

 

Components of a Cover Letter

Since a cover letter tends to be one page in length, its components can be broken down into the following:

 

 

  1. Professional Heading

This is the section where you will include your name and relevant contact information. Underneath your information, you will list the name and contact information of the employer that you are addressing.  

 

  1. Greetings

After the relevant information, the next part of the cover letters begins like any letter— with a professional greeting. Typically in this section, you will see “Dear (employer name),” with either the employer’s first or last name, depending on how formal the cover letter is intended to be. Note that the employer name inserted here is the same employer whose contact information is listed above. To ensure professionalism, it’s a good idea to always double check who the employer or hiring manager is and utilize the appropriate name and pronouns if applicable. 

 

  1. Content 

Following the greetings, this is where the main component of the cover letter begins. Depending on the source, you’ll find that there are plenty of ways to construct the main content of the cover letter. In general, the content will include an attention grabbing introduction, followed by a relevant story or experience, and conclude with the reasons why the job applicant is a good fit for the job and how the applicant can contribute to the team. This portion of the cover letter is the most flexible component, as you can decide how you want to go about writing the cover letter. However, it is important to note that if you don’t have much experience writing cover letters, your best option is to follow along with a guide that will help you craft a structured and effective cover letter. 

 

  1. Salutations

Lastly, the cover letter ends with salutations, where you thank the reader and leave a positive note about your excitement and eagerness to hear back or further discuss the position. There are plenty of ways to sign off on a letter, but there are definitely ways to sign off that can make your cover letter stand out! 

To learn how to formulate cover letters and tips for making your cover letter stand out, check out these websites: 

 

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 Jamie.Ruden@mhc.cuny.edu.

Why Should I Attend the Macaulay Pre-Health Graduate School Fair?

By: Gennady Vulakh ‘22

Having the opportunity to help people get better when they don’t feel well is something many aspire to do. But the wealth of roles in healthcare can overwhelm and confuse those who want to get involved with health professions. 

 

This is made more difficult by admission requirements for the programs having different requirements. For example, some programs want to see a certain amount of courses, a specific amount of volunteer hours, and possibly even a standardized test. 

Your timeline of courses, applications, and balancing of other requirements like experiential learning or studying abroad may vary depending on the schools you choose to apply for, so knowing those requirements ahead of time is helpful.

Attending the Macaulay Pre-Health Virtual Graduate School Fair is a great way to learn about the various health professional programs you can apply to! 

 

 

Explore the Field

There will be many programs attending from varying fields within healthcare. You can expect to see representatives from medical, dental, MD/PhD, physician assistant, occupational therapy, physical therapy, optometry, pharmacy, public health, veterinary, and many more programs

 

Whether you’re looking at different fields or set on one, this is a great way to see what your pre-health studies can lead to. Given that the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced opportunities to gain insight into healthcare fields, the virtual fair can help you learn more about life as a healthcare professional.

 

Learn From the Programs Themselves

During the fair, you’ll have the opportunity to speak to admissions representatives and other staff directly from the programs you’re interested in. Speaking with the programs you get a chance to understand everything the program offers and what it requires. 

 

See the End Result

Often, the representatives sent by programs have completed the programs they are telling you about. You’ll thus have an opportunity to explore what the life of that health professional looks like, which can be helpful in making a choice to commit to a type of program.

 

Practice Making an Impression

You can learn how to ask questions about programs, put your best foot forward, and build a network of people to reach out to later in your career. Making yourself known to these program representatives can positively influence your application to the program because you will better understand the program’s mission and how you fit in it.

 

The Macaulay Pre-Health Virtual Graduate School Fair will be held on April 23rd, 2021 from 11am-2pm. Save your seat by April 16th by registering here!

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 Jamie.Ruden@mhc.cuny.edu.

 

What are Industry Talks and the Professional Lunch Series?

By: Anne Hwang ‘23

If you’ve kept up with Macaulay news or emails, then you’ve most likely heard of Career Development’s Industry Talks and Professional Lunch Series before. Both of these events are vital events that are hosted by Career Development year-round, and they can be of great help to students who are interested in learning more about a certain career field or networking with professionals. Learn more about both of these two events below!

 

 

Industry Talks

Industry Talks is a fairly new event that was developed in lieu of Career Fairs, an event we found to not be as effective for both employers and our students. Instead of inviting multiple companies from different sectors, each Industry Talks focuses on one specific field, and includes 4-6 panelists who are professionals from the field. Additionally, Industry Talks also provides a personal opportunity to network with a panel of professionals within a specific sector.

 

So, how does the event work? Well, each Industry Talks is usually about 2.5 hours. The event is broken up into two sections: the first half, which includes a moderated Q&A session, and the second half, which includes breakout sessions where students and attendees will have the chance to speak with each panelist about their own personal experiences working in the industry.

 

Lastly, the most unique part of Industry Talks is that since the series was created in lieu of Career Fairs, each Industry Talks also provides Macaulay Honor students with internship opportunities and/or entry-level positions with the respective companies from each panelist. Each panelist who attends Industry Talks will always bring along with them a job opening, and so Macaulay students who attend not only get to learn about the industry, but they also have the opportunity to speak with each professional about the job openings at their respective companies!

 

Check out one of our previous Industry Talks below:

 

Professional Lunch Series

Our Professional Lunch Series is similar to our Industry Talks in that the event focuses on a specific field, but rather than featuring a panel of professionals, the Professional Lunch Series features one speaker from the field. The main purpose of the Professional Lunch Series is to allow for students to gain an intimate understanding of our speaker’s career trajectory and experiences in the industry. Speakers for the Professional Lunch Series may not always bring a career opportunity with them, yet they come with many invaluable experiences and advice to share with students/attendees. Our Professional Lunch Series events also usually host a rather smaller audience, allowing each and every one of the attendees to be able to engage in conversation with the featured panelist and ask questions they may have. 

 

Check out some of our previous Professional Lunch Series!

 

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 Jamie.Ruden@mhc.cuny.edu.