Category Archives: Undergrad
By: Christina Giordano
The rule is simple: networking is the key to success. Networking takes many forms, including but not limited to, career fairs, grabbing coffee with others, informational interviews, through internships, or traditional networking events. If you’re nervous about talking to strangers, don’t fret. It’s totally normal at first. Here are 21 reasons how to overcome that fear. It’s okay to feel that way but the reality is that almost every job is in the people business. The world is becoming a more collaborative place and learning how to network is an important skill to practice.
Now, how do you find your passion through networking? Talk to people. I love hearing people’s stories because the only way to find out about different industries, jobs and opportunities is to talk with people who’ve lived in them. Of course, you’ll never know how you’ll do in a situation until you’re in that experience yourself, but people are your greatest resources. Fun fact: People love to talk about themselves. Yes, it’s true–they love to share their experiences and give advice to young minds. Also, it’s fun to listen to people who’re genuinely excited about their job. Here are some personal tips to successfully network:
- Use LinkedIn. Know a company you want to learn more about? Want to talk to someone who works there? Connect. Send them a message on LinkedIn. Share how you are a GW student interested in X field and want to learn more about [fill in the blank]. Ask for an informational interview. Boom. Use your network. Reaching out to 2nd degree connections could feel awkward but just think of the LinkedIn message as an abbreviated email.
- Tap into the GW alumni network. I’ve never run into a GW alum who is not willing to help. I even connected with an alumna “across the pond”, while I was studying abroad in Paris. Go to the Alumni Office and attend their events. Connect with an alum individually.
- Outside of LinkedIn, reach out for informational interviews. Whether this is with your professors, colleagues or supervisors. Pick their brains about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
- Attend a Fowler Career Center event. The School of Business has a lot of ways for you to connect. Take advantage of ALL the resources on the 5th floor of Duques has to offer.
There are plenty of ways to connect with people, especially with the rise of emerging digital platforms and the continuous updates to current technologies. Networking is an important ingredient to your professional success and happiness. It’s important to recognize, learn from and talk with the successful people around you. They can help you discover your passion and identify your purpose. Not all connections will necessarily be directly beneficial, but it’s about trial and error. Don’t forget that even if they aren’t able to be directly helpful, perhaps someone in their network can. And when you’re further along in your career, remember to pass along your words of wisdom to students seeking to network with you.
By: Corinne Casolaro
What does that mean? How does it affect my internship or job search? In the big picture of recruitment, it’s crucial to remember that the recruiter is a person first. You are a person first. Making yourself personable and differentiable is not about a variety of impressive internships, expensive shoes or a killer GPA. Make yourself stand out by remembering- this is all about people talking to people.
In certain fields, technical skills are highly valued, as they should! But more often than not we forget to emphasize soft skills, and it can be difficult to find opportunities to develop them as we get older. Soft skills are your communication, intrapersonal and decision-making habits. Are you flexible? Can you respond well in a crisis moment? Do you remember that the recruiter was from your hometown, and ask them about their favorite parts? If your soft skills can use a little work- that’s okay. Now is the perfect opportunity- it is rare that you’ll be in another time of your life where there are thousands of other students, just like you, willing and looking for ways to learn. There are plenty of spaces on campus where you can practice your soft skills. Going to a professor’s office hours is a great start; these are highly regarded professionals in their field and can ask you the technical questions about your career path while being receptive to a more personal interaction. Take advantage of career fairs that give you the opportunity to meet hundreds of professionals. When you’re in your next appointment with your career coach, ask him or her for personalized feedback on where you can improve.
Now that you know where to improve, I want to highlight some examples of where your personality can come into play. Part of being personable is in your body language, demonstrating good eye contact, smiling and actually (yes, actually) being engaged in conversation. Asking a question just to ask a question doesn’t increase your credibility with a recruiter, but intently looking for a response does. At one of the informational sessions for the company that I wound up interning for, the recruiter was bombarded with a line of at least 20 people. I noticed some bottles of water sitting to the side and got one to give to her. Why? Because I knew that after talking to that many people she’d be thirsty. While it sounds trivial, when she called to give me an offer she brought up that interaction. Looking for little ways to follow up about information that they have decided to share with you helps establish solid relationships.
Remember that recruiters are people first. This means that by establishing a human connection you will already set yourself apart in the crowd. You will be able to demonstrate that you are a person that wants to work for their company, while highlighting that you are somebody that they should want to work with. Try it out at your next professional opportunity- see how it goes. But at the core, just remember that people hire people.
By: Connor Johnson
For many, joining a fraternity or sorority marks the start of the quintessential college experience. Before we even set out on our first college campus tour, the benefits of joining these organizations are often extolled by an older friend or relative. They tell us about the sense of camaraderie, the brotherhood or sisterhood we’ll build, the networking opportunities with actives and alumni we’ll take advantage of, and the memories we’ll make that have and will continue to cause many to cite Greek Life as the highlight of their college years.
But what often gets overlooked until we reach college is alternative Greek Life, particularly the professional fraternities and sororities. GW is home to several chapters representing various interests, including business (Alpha Kappa Psi, Delta Sigma Pi), medicine (Delta Epsilon Mu), and foreign service (Delta Phi Epsilon), among others. With the exception of a few organizations, most tend to be co-ed and several recruit from all majors, creating an opportunity for anyone on campus to expand their professional development outside of their chosen field of study.
A professional fraternity’s primary focus, as the name implies, is to guide the professional development of its members, ideally towards a career in the field in which it specializes. Like traditional Greek Life, pledge programs vary from chapter to chapter. However, you can be sure that by the end of the process you will have gained skills that are vital to professional life. Besides being able to build an effective resume and learning about professional business attire, which you’ll learn in your FYDP or TSDC class, you’ll learn how to network in both work and social settings. After teaching you those skills, your new chapter will give you the opportunity to leverage them with an extensive web of brothers. From helping your fellow actives pursuing the same goals to connecting with established alumni in your industry of choice, the networking opportunities are endless. Aside from the professional aspects, the bonds and friendships you’ll make during your time as a member will also help you grow personally.
And if you were wondering about choosing between the different kinds of Greek Life, there’s no restriction on joining both a professional and a social fraternity/sorority. They both offer distinctive but hugely worthwhile experiences. If you think you might have the slightest interest in rushing, I would strongly recommend you do so. Rush is not a commitment, and you’re always free to turn down a bid if you feel it’s not the right fit for you. But if you do find that right fit, I guarantee you’ll look back on it as one of, if not the best decisions of your college career.
By Hannah Sassi
When you start to think seriously about your career search it can often seem overwhelming – especially when considering all of the other responsibilities students take on: from a full class schedule to on-campus leadership roles to part-time jobs. I know from my experience I felt overwhelmed by choices. It was overwhelming to consider the many career paths I could pursue but also difficult to come to the realization that in order to have a more focused business education I had to pick from a list of concentrations. I was worried that choosing a concentration would substantially limit my options of career paths and could potentially affect my ability to find the perfect career after I graduate. But it wasn’t until recently that I realized something that put these worries at ease: the perfect career is not chosen, but instead it is made.
When it comes to deciding what to do or where to start after graduating, I think it is most important to take the pressure off yourself and focus on exploring as much as you can while in school. Attend as many panels, career fairs and information sessions as you can and take some classes outside of your concentration or even the business school. Take self-assessment tests, such as the FDFCC’s Career Leader assessment, in order to learn more about your skills and interests. And once you approach opportunities such as panels and information sessions as more than just chances to network and eventually land a job, then you can finally start being reflective about what really appeals to you. I know from my experience that I have been to several information sessions and even interviews and realized a certain career or organization wasn’t right for me. During these moments I didn’t feel like my time was wasted but actually the opposite. I felt like I had made one more important realization about what does and doesn’t interest me. And the more often this happens, the easier it becomes to make decisions about your first job. Just being a student provides so many opportunities to try new things and learn more about the breadth of options out there and which ones interest you the most.
I think the best advice is to think seriously about what your passions are and consider the ways you can integrate a passion into a career, i.e. how to make the perfect career for you. It might not happen right away but thinking about this now could help guide your first career decisions. One great thing about studying business is that most industries, if not every industry, requires common business aspects such as finance, marketing, and general management. If you are studying accounting but love movies and television, you’re not limited because every show or movie out there has an accounting department. If you are studying marketing but have a passion for cooking, you can choose from thousands of jobs working in marketing for major food or cookware brands.
When it came to my own career decisions, I knew I wanted to work with non-profits and make a positive, meaningful impact in my career. I didn’t think I would be able to do so until later on in my career and I would have to have the typical financial job first so that I could learn the skills I would need to work as a financial officer at a non-profit. However, I was able to find an internship with Citi this summer that allowed me to build these financial skills but also work with non-profit organizations as some of my group’s primary clients. I am so excited that I have been given the opportunity to work there after I graduate and I already feel like I am on the right track for what I want to do. The reason I was able to identify this opportunity was because I knew what my passions were and what types of jobs to look for. I didn’t spend time focusing on the countless choices in front of me; I thought about what I wanted to do and how I could make that career a reality.
This year, think about how you can take your career search outside of the box. Don’t worry about confining yourself to a list of concentrations or a list of employers. Explore as much as you can, consider what your individual passions are, and most importantly, don’t put too much pressure on your first full-time job because the perfect career is made rather than chosen.
By Ryan Lasker
Yes, fall semester classes are just about to begin. Yes, you should be focusing your time on getting adjusted to your new classes, decorating your new room and reconnecting with friends you haven’t seen since May. But you also should be thinking about summer 2017, even if it seems so far away.
Internship application deadlines for next summer vary from early September (like one great program at Wells Fargo), to as late as May. With some deadlines approaching in just a few weeks, now is the time to get your resume updated with what you did last summer, and to start figuring out what type of internship or job you are looking for after the spring semester.
Here’s a quick to-do list to get you started:
- Do your own research
There is a myriad of resources online, like Internships.com and GWorkSB.com, to help you find the ideal internship. Make a list of the internships to which you’re interested in applying, and paste the links into an Excel spreadsheet along with the deadlines. Many applications for competitive internships have fast-approaching deadlines, so it might even be helpful to plant those in your calendar so you don’t forget to send off that resume and cover letter.
- Visit the F. David Fowler Career Center
The staff at Fowler Career Center can help students refine their list of dream companies. They’ll also look over resumes and cover letters and make sure students know how to nail the interview and get the job.
- Don’t panic
The world does not revolve around fall, spring and summer internships. This is not the time to apply blindly to dozens of internships every day. Companies will post their internship openings will throughout the semester, so there is still time to hit on finding the perfect summer internship. Make sure to keep up with any internships to which you do apply by following up with employers, but bear in mind that there are still more opportunities to come.
Start your semester out right by finding out what you’re looking for in an internship and letting coaches at the career center help you narrow your focus — but don’t forget that this is still the beginning of the semester, and summer is nine months away.
Class to Research Business Side of the Games
WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 14, 2016) — Lisa Delpy Neirotti, associate professor of sport management and director of the Tourism Administration Program, and 27 George Washington University School of Business (GWSB) students will be in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 5-15, as part of Dr. Delpy Neirotti’s “Behind the Scenes at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio” course.
While in Rio, the students — two undergraduates in the Bachelor of Business Administration program, the rest graduate students in the Master of Tourism Administration and Master of Business Administration programs — will conduct research on all aspects of the Games, visiting various event venues, and meeting with International Olympic Committee (IOC) members and staff, Rio Organizing Committee executives, U.S. Olympic Committee representatives, Olympic sponsors, such as Coca Cola and GE, volunteers and athletes. A major component of the students’ on-site experience will be working with the IOC on evaluating the usage of space at all 28 sports venues. They will also be conducting surveys of spectators and writing blog posts. Prior to departing for the Olympics, students attend on-campus lectures and are assigned a research paper on one of a variety of topics related to the event, including: financing the Games, security, licensing, sponsorship, media issues, ticketing, sustainability, and the Olympic legacy.
“Students will gain first-hand knowledge of how the Games are managed, how sponsors leverage mega-events and the Games’ impact on the host city,” Dr. Delpy Neirotti said. “They’ll also have a great opportunity to network with executives at all levels of the Olympic movement.”
This summer marks Dr. Delpy Neirotti’s 18 th time attending the Olympics, and her 14 th with a GWSB class. Follow the GWSB “Behind the Scenes at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio” blog at http://business.gwu.edu/blogs/. About the George Washington University School of Business
GW’s School of Business is an international leader in education and research, which prides itself on training future leaders to be global problem solvers and socially responsible managers. The school leverages its prime location—in the heart of Washington—by attracting visiting scholars and leaders in the business community to work, teach and engage with students on campus.
The depth and variety of its academic and professional programs, including five specialized master’s programs, provide rich opportunities for academic engagement and career development for students in the school’s core Bachelor of Business Administration, Master of Business Administration and doctoral programs. Visit: business.gwu.edu
Dan Michaelis: email@example.com, 202-994- 4413
Jason Shevrin: firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-994- 5631
By: Seth Kwiecien
I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the idea of passion recently. The idea that deep within ourselves as well as on the surface, there are small and large ideas, aspirations, and goals that result from the experiences we collect. As we collect this wealth of experiences, we’re supposed to find our passions; what drives us to get up each and every morning, to continuously work harder, do more, and hopefully someday change the world. While unfortunately no formula exists to make this an easy reality, finding passion begins and ends with the willingness to be fearless and explore the infinite number of opportunities that are available to us in and outside of the GWSB community.
Personal and professional exploration is difficult. From the moment we step foot in the halls of Duques Hall to pursue our dreams of becoming graduates of GWSB we are faced with a countless number of decisions that shape our futures. One of my clearest memories from freshman year in the business school came from the FYDP colloquium that was centered on the creation of resumes. The moderator called for example jobs that freshman students had worked in the past. Immediately, hands shot up all around me with people calling out that they had started their own businesses or had done a pre-college summer program on Wall Street. Up until this point, I had thought that I had a pretty busy and impressive life. I had spent nine years in competitive percussion, worked as a fish monger in a local seafood market, and volunteered extensively with my church and the American Cancer Society. But in that moment, my accomplishments didn’t seem as important as those around me and the activities I had thrown myself into didn’t seem to matter.
But every single one of my accomplishments and experiences does mean something, and so do yours. We are formed by our unique experiences and our passions grow out of them. What my personally labeled “unimpressive accomplishments” did for me was allow for the exploration of a variety of opportunities while keeping me engaged and excited about what I was doing and the people I was doing it with. Today, Brazilian and African hand drumming remains my greatest stress reliever, I love seafood with all my heart and have a deep appreciation for sustainable and ethical fishing, and my past volunteer work has set me up for a future working with non-profits helping them to grow their missions to a larger audience.
My challenge for all of you is to be fearless, take a risk, and explore the things that you truly care about in hopes that you find something new to fall in love with. From finance to volunteering to knitting, if you find something that drives you and makes you jump out of bed every morning, run as fast as you can with it and never stop. Take the time to step back from the monotony of the day to day and let yourself be vulnerable. Listen and learn to those around you and let those relationships grow.
We are the sum total of the people that come into our lives, and typically these people can help to nurture our passions better than we can alone. With the help of others, our passions are never as far away as we think they are. Don’t be afraid to accept a job because it outside of the norm. Don’t be afraid to stop doing something that is stunting your personal growth and passion development. And especially, don’t ever be afraid to explore the amazing world that we get to be a part of. I can tell you with confidence that while I have had many new experiences to add to my resume during my time in GWSB, the experiences and the people of my past continue to drive my passions and the experience and people of my present and future challenge my expected norms and help me think differently.
By: Yiqing Ye
As a freshman, I heard so many amazing stories from upperclassmen about their off-campus internships or their big-name summer internships. They all looked so experienced and ready for whatever real-life challenges were placed on them. I started to worry and became stressed out. At that point in time, I was a freshman who didn’t even know how to act at professional events or build connections with professionals. I would ask myself, “Will I ever get an internship? Will I need to worry about not having a job by graduation?”
However, as a person who is graduating in a month, I would suggest you relax and not be overwhelmed, but instead be proactive to look for different opportunities and gain different experiences. Keep exploring!
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Sometimes, you may feel that you know too little to talk to business professionals, so that you are not so motivated to attend professional events such as networking or info sessions. However, your freshman year is the “best” time for making mistakes and for getting “silly” questions answered, which is the best way to prepare you for the elevated path later on. Just follow what you learned in class, be prepared and participate!
Be a good listener. You don’t have to be a superstar in order to succeed in an event. It is great if you, as a freshman, can ask impressive questions and make good impressions on professionals. However, listening to how more experienced students ask questions and what answers professionals give are extremely helpful for learning about a particular industry and improving your own skills.
Talk to upperclassmen. There is always something you can learn from them – as simple as some mistakes they made or classes they have taken. Moreover, they can give you some idea on how to build your schedule at GWSB (recruiting season, what to do each semester, etc.).
Don’t focus only on “off-campus” “internships.” I understand that you all would like to have amazing working experiences on your resumes. As a freshman, I thought these terms were very fancy and seemed to be the only “correct” way to get prepared for the real world. However, I realized that it’s not about what you do, but it’s about what you learned. Interning at a company, although a great way, is not the only way to improve your communication, teamwork or problem-solving skills. Learning can happen anywhere at anytime. Stay involved on campus and get connected to faculty and staff at GWSB. Don’t miss out on a great number of readily available opportunities at GWSB (e.g. check out our Fowler Career Center!)
Should you intern in the summer before your sophomore year? People have different ideas on whether you should intern during that summer; many people might tell you not to worry if you don’t. I would suggest you be proactive and look for possible opportunities. After calling several firms for opportunities, I was able to intern at a small tax firm back in Beijing. I had a tremendous time there, was assigned various responsibilities and had a number of valuable hands-on experiences. Don’t think that since you are “only” a freshman that no one will hire you. Try your best and the outcome may surprise you!
Hope you find these tips helpful. Be confident, be proactive and keep up the good work!
When I came into my junior year at GWSB, I would have laughed if you told me I’d be in Amsterdam 5 months later. I didn’t want to go abroad, I thought it would inhibit my possibilities for future success later in my college career. Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong. I applied to the University of Amsterdam’s Faculty of Economics and Business back in October 2015 just to see if I could get in. Fast forward four months and I couldn’t have been happier with my decision!
The Netherlands is very different than the United States. First off, it’s an all-around very liberal culture. Coming from Washington DC, it wasn’t too much of a culture shock but the Dutch people live by the motto ‘I don’t care as long as it doesn’t bother me’. Very few people are uptight, everyone keeps to himself or herself, and I haven’t seen one person raise their voice. The laws in the Netherlands contrast with those in the United States. Instead of treating drug addiction as a crime, they treat is as a mental health issue. Hate speech is outlawed. Everyone in this country has health insurance, and if you want to undergo gender reassignment surgery the government will pay for it. As outrageous as it seems, the Netherlands actually has a much lower violent crime rate than the United States.
I had my reservations about studying capitalism in a socialist country. Most Dutch students that I come across do a double take when I tell them I’m from the US, and nine times out of ten, they’ll ask me something about Donald Trump. The marketing class that I’m taking right now is phenomenal. We have a large group project that we’re working on for the athletic brand, Asics. The top four groups in the class are going to be heading to Asics’ headquarters to present the marketing strategies we’ve created for their new MetaRun shoe collection, and I’m hoping to be among those top groups! I’m also interested in real estate, so I was able to take an ‘ecological and sustainable development’ course which focuses on urban planning. This past week, Nobel Laureate Dr. Joyeeta Gupta came to guest lecture our class. She taught us about the different environmental initiatives that have been passed since the Kyoto Protocol and the way that they affect businesses all over the world. Since the University of Amsterdam is on a block system, I’m only taking three classes at a time. Later on in the semester, I’ll be taking an E-business class and a ‘Development Economics’ class.
My program also takes day trips and company visits. A few weeks ago, we took a trip to the city of Utrecht, which is south of Amsterdam. We also took a trip to a start-up firm called Konnektid which helps connect teachers (or really anything) with students ready to learn. This can manifest itself in a tutor for class but also for finding a piano teacher or finding a cooking class. It was definitely a cool experience.
All in all it’s been a really fantastic experience thus far. Since I’ve gotten here I’ve made friends from all over the world, I’ve managed to stay out of the consistent rain, and I’m really starting to gain a global perspective.
Walker Smith is a junior in GWSB pursuing a BBA with a concentration in Information Systems and Technology Management. He is currently studying Business and Culture in Amsterdam through the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE). Follow him on social media at @walkersmith2 and read more about the program here.
Finishing up my third week in Vienna and can’t believe I’ve been here this long already! I’ve been participating in an orientation program the past three weeks including an intensive German course for three hours a day, four days a week in the morning and tours of Vienna and surrounding cities such as Linz and Graz in the afternoons and Fridays.
Coming to Austria, my main impressions were that I was going to study business and German and enjoy the high culture that comes with the Viennese lifestyle. Other than that, I had slim expectations for my journey, planning to travel to other countries across Europe and leaving Vienna often. Little did I know, Austria has a huge cultural and historical significance in the shaping of our modern world. During the orientation program I was able to visit Belvedere Palace (home of the most powerful Austrian general), the National Library (the world’s first public library), Austrian Parliament, the Musikverein concert hall, Schloß Schönbrunn (palace of the Austrian court) and also take tours of Vienna, Graz, and Linz. And on my own, I’ve visited Salzburg and the home of Sigmund Freud in Vienna.
Before I left for Austria, when telling some people I was going there, people mostly thought of the Sound of Music, some people knew about the culture, and others just knew Arnold Schwarzenegger. Learning so much about Austria over the past couple of weeks, I’ve gained tremendous insight into its very important part in world history. The Hapsburgs, Austria’s ruling family for 700 years, married all of their children off to world leaders to acquire land. Most famously, Marie Antoinette to King Louis XVI and Marie Louise to Napoleon. The Hapsburgs eventually fell when Archduke Franz Ferdinand (heir to the Austrian throne) was assassinated in Sarajevo and Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, starting World War I. Besides the country’s political/historical significance, the cultural significance is beyond important. Vienna is home of the world’s greatest composers including Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, Brahms, Strauss and more, the Vienna State Opera House, Painters such as Klimt and Schiele, and the father of modern psychology, Sigmund Freud.
Besides enjoying and exploring Austria, I am very excited to begin classes next week. Part of the reason why I haven’t started yet is because at my university, WU Wien, the professors can choose when they want to teach their classes and can teach them anytime between the official start and end of the semester. In this system, some classes meet 5 hours each session, 2 or 3 times a week for a month and a half long period and others meet 3 hours each session, twice a week, for 2 months and there are many other variations. This upcoming week, I attending my first Viennese Opera, Il barbiere di Siviglia by Rossini and traveling to Budapest for the weekend with the exchange students club on campus.
Peter Reiss is a sophomore in GWSB pursuing a BBA with concentrations in International Business and Finance, with a minor in music. He is currently participating in a GW Exchange program with the Vienna University of Economics and Business. Follow him on Instagram at @thepeterreiss and read more about the program here.