Monthly Archives: August 2013

Twerking Hard or Hardly Twerking?

I am sure many of our readers saw, or at least heard about, the Miley Cyrus fiasco at the Video Music Awards. First of all, we hope no one aspires to “twerk hard” quite like Miley did. And if you do, we hope you keep it off national television.  Even better, keep it off Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. I want you to go to Google right now and search for Miley Cyrus. The first things that pop up are articles about her VMA performance. Even CNN is talking about it!  Now Google your name. There should not be any articles about you rocking out with Robin Thicke.  If there are, or if there is anything similar, you may want to reconsider what image you are projecting to the rest of the world.  When you think about it, is an employer really going to be interested in hiring someone like Miley? Would they want someone with that reputation to impact their reputation? If your Google results need a little cleaning, we suggest putting some privacy levels on your social media accounts. Ask a friend to untag you in your less-than-professionally-flattering pictures. Also, if you create a LinkedIn account, it will automatically go to the top of the search results. If it’s the first thing an employer sees, that will lead to a great impression! You don’t need to completely eliminate all of your social media profiles.  You can always use them to share your accomplishments (both personal and professional) and share your community involvement. But next time you go to get down, make sure you don’t let any moves- or pictures or videos- get out of control!

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LinkedIn Etiquette

LinkedIn Etiquette

It seems that on many social media platforms, etiquette has gone by the wayside. It’s all too common to use abbreviations, post drunk selfies or food pictures, and unfriend someone just because you don’t like what they post.  If you do these things on your personal site, that’s ok.  Unfortunately, if you do that on your professional LinkedIn profile, it’s not.   Careerealism has a great article on what to expect on LinkedIn and how to be polite about those things. Remember last week we talked a little bit about first impressions? For some people, your LinkedIn profile may be the only impression they have of you. You want to keep that wonderful reputation, right? So follow these rules and you’ll be shining in the spotlight!

Christina Daniels Corporate Intern for Store Operations at American Eagle Outfitters

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So my internship has unfortunately come to an end.  I have to say it was my favorite one thus far.  I was able to interact with so many different people in all areas of the company and really learn about the corporate end of retail (I have to say I like it much better than working retail!).  On internships as a whole, the biggest benefit is the experience.  In my internship with Firefly, a local baby boutique, I was able to do alot of visual merchandising and see how a boutique is managed.  From my blogging internship with College Fashionista (which is ironically doing another partnership with AE now), I was really able to hone in on my writing skills.  Writing has never been a passion of mine, but it is always something I have wanted to improve upon, I just didn’t have the motivation.  So writing a short blog each week was an easy way to help me further myself in that department.  And my internship at AE, was just amazing.  I was taught about all of the departments in a company (that you are supposed to “know” about but are never taught specifically) with the classes provided by AE.  I was able to see the entire production cycle for the retail environment and how it flows, all the way down to the store level (and the many disasters stores encounter that my department would deal with!).  I even took away , as stupid as it may sound, business etiquette. Whether it be how to sign your emails, how to set up a conference call with another department, or what phrases to use, I was able to learn first hand how to act in a professional business environment. Luckily I was able to go to my former Aerie manager, Madison with alot of those etiquette questions too!  All of these internships have helped me really develop academically and professionally in so many ways, and each one allowed me a different skill set and experience.

 

 

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I can not stress this enough, but GET AS MANY INTERNSHIPS AS YOU CAN!!!! Even if they are all completely different (like mine were) they will round out your experience and help you hone in on what you really enjoy doing.  I don’t think this was a lesson I realized until my third internship. I was just grabbing at whatever I could because my advisor told me to do so, without truly understanding the reasoning.  It all made sense, but once all my internships were done, it REALLY made sense.  And all these lessons, were things that I could never have learned inside a classroom.

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When Actions Speak Louder Than Words

When Actions Speak Louder Than Words

We often mention the importance of knowing what to say during an interview.  It’s always good to use positive words, have solid examples, etc.  However, what your body says is just as important as what your mouth says.  Folding your arms can make you seem closed off, and staring off into space and avoiding eye contact can come across as though you aren’t totally focused on the interviewer.  Careerealism has 5 things you should focus on during your interview to make sure your body language matches your verbal language.  Don’t forget, you only get one chance to make a good impression, and with some interviewers, your body language will be your first impression.  Don’t let fidgeting get in the way of a new job or internship!

No, I’m Not a Student- On Being Taken Seriously at Work as a Young Professional

VERY helpful for graduates!

Gen Y Girl

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Today’s Guest Post was written by Kelly Konevich. As a young career counselor, she’s encountered some older workers who…well…think she looks like a baby. And as a result, they often question whether or not she’s capable of doing her job. So in today’s post, Kelly offers a bit of advice on getting others to take you seriously…despite your Gen Y status.

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I’ve never been much of a suit kind of gal, and as somebody who works in higher education, unless I become a dean (someday…), it is not expected that I’ll ever really have to be, aside from the occasional employer meeting or as a conference attendee.  Although I do believe in the mantra “dress for the job you want, not the job you have” I tend to prefer bright colors, blouses and ballet flats to suit jackets, button ups and heels. But I’m sure to always present myself in…

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Abby Walke-Studying Abroad in Costa Rica

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So I’ve been back in the U.S. for a little over a week now and it’s been great! I finished off both of my classes with A’s and spent my last day in Costa Rica relaxing on a beach by the Pacific. I will definitely miss my host family and all the friends I made in Costa Rica! It’s so weird being back when I feel like I just got to Costa Rica yesterday. Overall, it was an amazing experience that I would do again in a heartbeat. I wouldn’t do much different except for probably going through a different study abroad program. I went through CIS abroad, without knowing that it didn’t go on as many weekend trips as the other programs. Everything else was pretty good though.

Overall, this summer was a once in a lifetime experience. The trip to Grenada was definitely my favorite because everything was planned out for my group to get the most out of the island and learn a lot about medicine in the two weeks. The professors were so knowledgeable and showed me how a medical school in Caribbean could be just as good, if not better, than most of the medical schools in the U.S. Although I don’t plan on attending St. George’s Medical School in the future, it is definitely a well-established institute and I made a lot of good friends while I was there.  We even have a reunion planned for next year at Disney World!

The trip to Costa Rica definitely taught me how to be more independent. In Grenada, we had RAs to sit outside the dorm buildings, curfews, and were assigned groups that had to have debriefings every morning. In Costa Rica, I was surprised on how much freedom we were to roam the city. We always usually travelled in groups anyway, but other times we were on our own. Luckily I never got lost! I will definitely miss a lot of things about Costa Rica. I already want to go back! I would absolutely recommend that anyone study abroad if they have the chance. After college, most people get a job and settle down, so during college is the best opportunity to travel and explore the world. Also it will give an amazing experience that you’ll never forget!

One of my zip-lining pictures:

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And a picture from this rock climbing gym that my friend and I found in downtown San Jose:

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Victoria Sweeney, Reutlingen, Germany

 

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I am down to my last week in Pennsylvania before I ship out to Germany until the end of the year. I spent my last weekend here barbecuing with my friends and family, and it was pretty emotional saying my “see you laters” with them. I fly out on Friday night and I am at my peak excitement level, along with being extremely nervous. My first two weeks in Germany will be spent volunteering at a children’s camp. There are normally about 140 kids, ages 7-14, that come to work, play, and enjoy their time. I have to say, I am pretty nervous for the camp. I know how fast kids around here talk, and now I have to listen to 140 of them speak German to me! It will surely be an experience!

After the camp I will then travel to my university and take a three week pre-semester German language course. Hopefully my four semesters of German classes at Albright will pay off! After that, my semester finally starts. I have a lot to look forward to in the next few months, and I can’t wait to share my experience.

Susie Benitez; ACRE Student: From Fleece to Yarn

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This summer has been so much fun. I am honored to have been selected to do an ACRE this summer. I learned so much about the spinning and wool industry. It is amazing how much work goes into spinning a piece of yarn. I love to knit and often go to the local fabric/craft store to buy yarn. I walk in and see aisles of different types of yarn. Before this project, I never really thought about how it was made. After visiting farms, washing and carding fleece, and learning how to spin, I definitely gained a new appreciation for the art form. I enjoy spinning and feeling that I am taking part in a tradition that has gone on for thousands of years.

            I would definitely recommend doing an ACRE to any student in any field. The ACRE program gives you the opportunity to do something that you never thought you’d be doing. I have heard about people spinning, seen spinning wheels, and learned about fibers and yarns in class. Because of the ACRE program, I was able to delve into a subject that had always sparked my interest and learn a new skill. This experience has been very rewarding and it is one I will never forget.

If anyone would like to hear more about my experience, please feel free to contact me at susan.benitez001@albright.edu . Thanks for reading!

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5 Reasons to Love Virtual Internships

5 Reasons to Love Virtual Internships

Once again, our friends at Careerealism have posted an outstanding article. We can’t emphasize enough the importance of an internship as a way to get hands on experience in your field. However, sometimes location and time don’t allow for a good fit within your schedule. Have you considered a virtual internship? It’s an internship you do remotely, over the computer and phone. Some people enjoy the flexibility it provides, while others prefer getting experience in the environment.  What do you think? Would a virtual internship be a good fit for you?

Christina Daniels Corporate Intern for Store Operations at American Eagle

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My final week at American Eagle has finally arrived….much to my dismay.  Unfortunately, my mentor is on PTO (paid time off) for my last week and will be vacationing in Florida for the remainder of my time at AE.  So I am left to my own devices!  

Exploring Pitts burgh has truly been amazing.  I have to admit, I wasn’t that impressed at first.  But once you get to know the city and delve a little deeper, you stumble upon the weekend craft fairs, pierogi hamburgers, and free concerts in the park (Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros anyone?).  Once my friends and I started to do some exploring, that where me and Pittsburgh’s love affair began.  And it has been a whirlwind. I have found the cure to boredom and it is Pittsburgh. I have been to the World Famous Falling Water, been to the first ever Primanti Brothers, went to Kennywood Amusement Park, kayaked on the scenic river,  thrift shopped and found some amazing name brand items (Diane von Furstenburg, Marc Jacobs, Kate Spade…as Rachel Zoe would say “I die”), had a pierogi hamburger, gone to a Pirates baseball game on the river, been to some amazing free concerts (Edwards Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros & Brett Dennon), and the list goes on.

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The amazing Falling Water

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I stumbled upon a Vintage Grand Prix going on in the park one day!

 

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My roommate and I kayaking on the river!  It was such a beautiful day!!!

 

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Only 1 of the 446 bridges in Pittsburgh…you can never have too many.

 

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My roomate and I heading out for a casual walk, if only it were a little nicer out…

 

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The famous images of Elvis Presley, silkscreened by  Andy Warhol.  We went and visited the Andy Warhol museum and it was very cool to see his work up close!

 

As far as my internship goes, I have continued to sit in on influential meeting and been able to see how issues are sorted out and what thought processes go into decision making down to the store level. I have even been featured on the American Eagle blog!!  ( http://www.ae.com/blog/ae-friends-family-meet-the-human-resources-store-operations-legal-and-supply-chain-interns/ )  Store Operations has been a great department to work in.  Every day at work has been different.  And I have also gotten insight into alot of other departments as well!  We have meetings with almost every department, so it has helped me learn more specifically about what each department does.  We have had classes on almost every department, which has definitely given me a more thorough view of how the company works on a broader scale. As I’ve mentioned before, we also have executive roundtables on top of our classes.  The most influential roundtables for me were with Cathy Unruh, the Executive Vice President- Chief Talent & Culture Officer and Robert Hanson our CEO.  They were both informative in very different ways.  Cathy Unruh gave amazing career advice.

Cathy’s Lessons:

1.Your first job will likely not be in the field or industry that will define your career; however, these initial experiences are a critical part of your career journey.

2.Passion for industry and alignment of company and personal values matter. Fit matters.

3.Leadership is not a straight line to the top. Be flexible and venturesome in stepping up to unexpected opportunities. Some of the richest experiences may come from those unplanned destinations.

4.Values form the basis for leadership, but you will not know what your true values are until they are tested under pressure. How you navigate obstacles brings out your character and defines your leadership brand.

5.Leaders make conscious choices. Sometimes the choices are really hard. There are sacrifices and tradeoffs. Make sure it’s what you want and that you understand what you have to give up.

6.Leaders cannot succeed on their own. They build strong support teams around them. They take the initiative to seek out mentors. They don’t wait for a formal program

Her career advice really spoke to me.  She made them personal and gave stories about her life related to each one.  And it was all advice that I had never heard before.  I had not really considered making sure a company’s values are in line with my own when looking into companies that I liked.  It is something I never considered, but it really does make a difference.  AE shares the same values I do and carries them out in ways that all departments and branches of the company are able to see, all the way down to our customer.  It is really their values that kept me working there year after year and to seek out opportunities to further my career with them.

 

Robert Hanson was extremely down to earth.  He was honest with us and gave us real answers to questions rather than “corporate answers”.  One of the pieces of advice I took away from our roundtable was to find time for yourself.  He meditates 15 minutes in the morning and again at night to keep himself grounded and relief stress that comes along with the CEO package.  He was also very driven when it came to evaluating his work performance.  Before he joined the company, there were no standards in place for evaluating a CEO with the board or with EVPs, so he put an evaluation sheet into place.  He is evaluated by the board every year, and by all of the EVPs every month.  The evaluations with the EVPs go both ways.  He evaluates and coaches the EVPs and they fill out the evaluation for him and go over any areas of improvement.  He said they usually last about an hour or hour and a half.  I applaud him for his continuous development.  When most people get to the top, they think “that’s it, I have nothing else to develop”, but there is always something you can do better.  So I think it is that kind of attitude that has helped drive him during the tough quarter AE had.

 

That’s all for now.  I will leave you with this wonderful card that my mentor gave me on his last day.

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