Monthly Archives: May 2013

25 Things Every Young Professional Should Know by Age 25

25 Things Every Young Professional Should Know by Age 25

Our friends at the Huffington Post recently posted an article with the 25 things everything young professional should know before they turn 25- around the age, if not later than, when they join the workforce. The list encourages involvement and etiquette personally and professionally. What do you think? Is there anything on the list we can help you with? What advice would you give?

Christina Daniels, Corporate Intern for Store Operations at American Eagle Outfitters

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So a few weeks ago I got an email.  It was from one of my former Aerie managers who had moved up to corporate offices with American Eagle.  I have LOVED working at Aerie, a branch store of American Eagle. It has taught me so much I wouldn’t even know where to begin!  Since I have loved working there so much and love their company aesthetic, I have always wanted to pursue and internship with them.  When I looked into it, I saw how great of a program it was and wanted it even more.  They provide housing, a mentor and not to mention it is PAID! So I applied for the internship and unfortunately didn’t get it.  So back to the email.  Madison (my former Aerie manager) had emailed me asking for my resume and links to my blogs with CollegeFashionista and Albright College.  I had no idea what it was for so I didn’t think much of it.  I sent her my information and asked what she needed it for, if she wanted a cover letter or anything else along with it.  She replies and says “Yea that would be great!  There is an opening for an internship position I thought would be perfect for you!  I’m pitching you to the communications team RIGHT NOW!” (Insert cry of joy here)  So as you can imagine, I was freaking out.  I didn’t have an updated cover letter OR resume so was rushing to get them to her.  I had my mom on the phone with me, who is always amazing with professional relations since a big part of her job is hiring new employees.  I was freaking out, rushing to send her my resume as Madison is simultaneously texting me “Soooo not to rush you, but I need that stuff like now….”.  But I had to get everything perfect! And then I had to get my resume back down to a page….it was a mess.  But I got everything in to her and about an hour later, I got a call from HR…..they wanted to do a skype interview! (Insert another high pitched scream here)  I am literally dancing around my store while I am on the phone with them.  I am not kidding.  

The following day our skype interview is almost here.  Then I run into yet another issue.  I forgot a few weeks earlier, my speakers had broken on my computer, which is sort of essential in order to skype with someone.  I had a semi-panic attack 2 minutes before my interview was scheduled.  But I was able to borrow one of my roomate’s laptop, download skype and set it up all in time!  The interview was focused alot on my experiences at Aerie and what the communications team does in terms of trickling down the line from corporate to stores.  I wasn’t sure how it went, so I talked to Madison after.  She seemed to think it went well from what I told her.  2 hours later, I got the job. Let me repeat, I GOT THE JOB!  I could not have been more excited.  I immediately called Madison and she was SO HAPPY for me! SHe told me she had spoke with my interviewers and they said I was the best interview they have had in a long time!  It was the best, most rewarding compliment EVER!!!!

 

So as I have turned that into the longest story ever, I am sure you can tell my excitement.  I will be working a full 40 hour week from 9-5 Monday through Friday.  I start on June 3 and I CAN NOT WAIT!!!!!  I’ll keep you updated!!!

10 Reasons Why You Need LinkedIn

10 Reasons Why You Need LinkedIn

In our office, we actively encourage all of our students to create a LinkedIn profile. It doesn’t take long to create, it’ll upload your resume for you, and it makes it so easy to network! Even if YOU don’t know anyone in your field or at your dream company- one of your connections might! Kristin Johnson at Profession Direction, LLC came up with this great list of 10 Reasons Why You Need a LinkedIn Profile. What do you think? Do you have any other reasons?

View from Mount Nebo overlooking Dead Sea and Jericho

This is such a cool picture.

Matt on Not-WordPress

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Wear Sunscreen

There’s a popular commencement speech from 1997 of which everyone seems to know at least one part. Often mistakenly attributed to Kurt Vonnegut, it was originally written by Mary Schmich for the Chicago Tribune. We’d like to dedicate it to all of our graduates! Congratulations and great job!

“Wear Sunscreen,” by Mary Schmich
Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’97:
Wear sunscreen.
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

 
Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

Copyright © 2013 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC

View from Burj Khalifa

Very cool!

Matt on Not-WordPress

124th floor, 1,483 feet.

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What SHOULD I ask them?!

Last week we talked about the questions you definitely should not ask during an interview. What did you think? Were there other questions you thought of that probably wouldn’t cast you in a good light during your interview?

Today, we’re going to follow up with that on 10 questions you should ask during an interview. You don’t have to ask all 10, but you can pick from the list and know they are “safe” questions. They are also questions that will provide you with more insight into the company and how it works. Remember, during an interview, you’re interviewing them as much as they’re interviewing you. Use the opportunity to ask questions of them so you can determine if it is really a place where you would like to work and feel like you could grow.  Asking questions during an interview also shows you are involved and WANT to learn more. Never walk out of an interview without asking any questions.  Finally, asking questions gives you the opportunity to reiterate your strengths. Ask your question, listen to their answer, and if the opportunity presents itself, follow up on their answer by indicating something that you can do to help with that. I’ll show you an example below.

1. How do you see your company growing in the next 5 years?
This will give you an idea of where the company is headed. Do they plan to expand to other states? Do they plan to hire 500 more people? Maybe they want to have a more active presence online. Use their response as a springboard to remind them that you enjoy training others or you have a lot of social media experience.

2. What opportunities are provided for professional development?You’ll learn whether there will be conferences to attended or if they participate in regular webinars. It shows that you want to keep learning and developing as a worker.

3. Is there a mentoring system in place here?
Mentoring is an important step in transitioning to a new job. It allows you to make connects and have someone you know you can do to with questions. If they don’t have one, that’s ok. Just explain that you were interested in meeting as many people as you could and, in turn, wanted the opportunity to give back and be a mentor to new people later on.

4. What is the most rewarding aspect of this position?
It’s nice to know you’ll get that warm and fuzzy feeling of accomplishment. Maybe you’ll get to help others reach a financial goal, or learn to read, or research results to a problem that affects many members of your community. It’s also an insight into how satisfied other employees are with their work.

5. What is the most stressful part of this position?
It’s also important to know if there will be a time when everyone is cranky or the workload will get tougher- maybe tax season, for example. You can also use this time to talk about your ability to handle stress and manage your time.

6. What is one word you would use to describe your ideal candidate?
I like using this question when you’re being interviewed by a few people at one time. Write down the words they use, and then give a clear example of how you are all of those things. You also get a better idea of whether you think you’ll fit their expectations and the rest of the personalities of the group.

7. What separates a good candidate from a great candidate?
You could ask this whether you’re being interviewed by one person or many people. Again, no matter what they say will make a candidate stand out, remind them of how you fit the bill.

8. How would you describe this company/business/school’s culture?
You get more insight on how everything flows, how people work, and whether you feel like it would be a good fit for you.

9. Why did YOU decide to join this company?
It gives you insight on the person who is interviewing you, and maybe they can tell you more about how the company was then versus how it is now.

10. What will the rest of the selection process be like?I think it’s always a good idea to ask this just so you know what to expect in the upcoming days/weeks/months. Get an idea of whether they’re interviewing more people, will there be more interviews after this one, and how long they think it will take before the make their decision.

What do you think? What questions have you asked that helped you stand out or really helped you make your decision about whether you wanted to work there? Let us know!

Bubbles in Paris

Super cool!

Matt on Not-WordPress

Followed by a great dinner with friends.

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