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How to Market Your Time Abroad to Recruiters

By Mairead Tuttle

October 12, 2017

Time spent studying abroad teaches you so much beyond lessons learned in the classroom. You more than likely spent several weeks, a semester, or even an entire academic year speaking a foreign language, navigating a new city, and learning customs of a culture that might have been much different from yours. Your time abroad was invaluable, as you tell every person who asks you about it.

Unfortunately, not every potential employer will see you time abroad in the same way. The good news is that attitudes toward job candidates who have spent time studying away from their home countries are improving.

A 2011 report from QS Global Employers Survey found that American companies are increasingly looking to hire students who have had professional or academic experience abroad. 54% of American executives and managers surveyed said that they “actively seek or attribute value to an international study experience when recruiting.” Until that number reaches 100%, here are a few ways in which you can better market your study abroad experience to recruiters and potential employers.

Emphasize your foreign language skills.

As the global economy becomes increasingly interconnected, employees who speak more than one language are vital to companies that do business around the world. While almost anyone can learn a language in a classroom, living in a foreign city and speaking that language every day exponentially increase your language skills.

Include an anecdote about using your foreign language skills in an everyday situation in your cover letter or during an interview. Perhaps you negotiated down the price of a scarf at a local market in Rabat, or helped a native Parisian figure out why the metro wasn’t running on schedule that day.

Stories like these show potential employers that you not only have the ability to take initiative in unknown situations, but that you can also do it in multiple languages.

Talk about how you adapted to your new environment.

Whether it is a classroom or a restaurant, adjusting to the norms a foreign country can be difficult. For example, you might be completely unfamiliar with the format of economics exams in France to point where a professor refuses to give you credit for your work. Discuss with a potential employer how you put in the effort to speak with the professor about your work (which again reminds them of your language skills), learn about the proper format, and perform very well on your next exam.

The same could be said for adapting to your home environment. Whether you lived with a local family or rented your own apartment while abroad, you more than likely navigated a new cultural situation. This is direct evidence of your ability to adapt.

If you studied abroad in an emerging market, your new employer knows that will have an employee with direct knowledge of that market’s culture were they to hire you.

Acknowledge the challenges of studying abroad.

Some employers view a semester or year spent studying abroad as a vacation from academics. While almost anyone who has studied abroad knows that this is untrue, it is still a prevalent perception. When we talk about our study abroad experience, we are much more likely to show friends and family pictures from the wonderful excursions we took and tell stories about life-changing events we experienced than to talk about the difficult days when we wanted to go home or seemed to forget the language skills we had worked on for years.

Some of the most valuable lessons learned while studying abroad can come from hardships. By discussing these with potential employers, they are able to see that you are willing to put yourself into situations that you know will be challenging, and that you have the ability to work through them to find success.

Mairead Tuttle is from Pennsylvania and is currently a French and Economics major at Mount Holyoke College. Through her economics classes, she found a passion for business, and hopes to someday work on the management side of the fashion and beauty industries.

 

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My Summer as a Finance Intern at National Public Radio

By Megha Karthikeyan

October 5, 2017

This past summer I had the opportunity to intern at National Public Radio (NPR) as a Treasury and Risk Management intern. Working at a media company and doing financial analytics gave me a unique view of business in the media space. I got my feet wet in finance as a rising second year in college and learned valuable analytical skills through various computer tools.

The Application Process

The application to be a summer intern opened around the beginning of February and closed around the middle of March. There are about 50 interns at NPR with most of them being assigned to shows and podcasts. On the application portal, all the positions that were open were listed, and I found a few business-related positions that I was interested in, including Treasury and Risk Management. I had to submit a resume and cover letter, and then rank my preference of position from one to three (three is the maximum number of positions one can apply for). The cover letter is always important, but extremely important for a finance position at NPR. I think one of the reasons I got this internship is because of my strong cover letter which included why I wanted to work at NPR specifically and what skills and qualities I had that would make me a perfect fit for the job. I also had a very concise but informative resume that mentioned activities and skills that would make me qualified for the finance position.

After about two months, I got called for a phone interview with my future supervisor.  The main questions I was asked was why I wanted the internship and what skills and qualifications I had that would make me a good fit for the job. I was nervous because I was only a first year in college at the time and I knew that there would be many other qualified applicants who had more educational experience in finance. However, I spoke with confidence and mentioned that even though I was only a first year, I was a fast learner and had what it took to succeed in the internship. My supervisor then told me about possible projects that I would take on as an intern and how the Treasury and Risk Management internship worked. I made sure to ask him questions about his journey to NPR because this made the interview more engaging and conversational. I ended up being offered the job at the end of the call and accepted the offer a few days later.

The Internship

During the internship, I worked on a wide variety of projects including building a debt ratio database, completing an investment manager fee project, doing a credit rating peer analysis, and working with daily cash balances. I learned how to do Macros and analyzed data deeper using the graphing and charting tools in Excel. The biggest project I worked on was the investment manager fee project where I had to create a report to be presented to the NPR Investment Board about the fees NPR was being charged and the net return NPR was getting from its investments. I pulled financial data from over 50 investment managers and then input all the data into an Excel spreadsheet which I then analyzed. I also compared data from previous years and created a 5-year analysis about how NPR was doing financially. This was one of my favorite projects I worked on because I got to look at how NPR chose its investments and learned a lot about the sectors that it was investing in. I also got to learn about various investment benchmarks and how it applied to NPR’s investing strategies.

Other than the major projects I worked on, there were a few daily tasks that I assisted with like looking at the daily cash balances to make sure NPR’s reserves and working capital was strong. I also provided assistance to the accounting team by pulling audited financial data that pertained to the Treasury division. In this process, I learned more about how internal and external audits worked.

Fun NPR Events

One of the perks of being an NPR intern is being able to attend Tiny Desk Concerts. At these concerts, musicians perform songs that were produced for All Song’s Considered. One of the coolest musicians I got to see was Chance the Rapper. It was an intimate crowd of around 200 employees, so I got to hear him up close as he performed some of his most popular songs.

Being a NPR intern, you also get the opportunity to meet a lot of people in the media industry. We had weekly Brown Bag Lunches where we met with various producers and hosts of radio shows including Guy Raz from How I Built This and Audie Cornish from All Things Considered. Being able to learn about how they got into news and broadcasting was very interesting and it was a great way to network with people I may not have been able to connect with.

Tips for Future Interns

My general advice for interns, whether at NPR or any other company, is to ask questions. When I didn’t understand how to do a certain task after I had used all the resources available to try and solve the problem, I made sure to ask my supervisor for help. Asking questions not only helps you solve your problem, but it also shows your supervisor that you are involved in your work and can ask for help to make your work even better. As an intern, you can learn a lot from your managers, so asking questions early on and clearing up any confusion will save you a lot of time in the future and send a positive message to your boss.

Another piece of advice is have regular meetings with your supervisor or manager. I met with my supervisor many times to not only update her on my progress, but also ask her for input and feedback. During these conversations, we would end up talking about a new piece of technology or the news for the day. This helped me get to know my manager better, and she understood my background and interests. Getting to know you manager on a personal level is important and this can happen when you have regular meetings scheduled with your supervisor.

My NPR internship taught me so much about the treasury and finance industry and I learned so many new skills that I can use in future internships. I am very glad I got this incredible opportunity and encourage anyone interested in finance and the media to apply.


Megha Karthikeyan is from Vienna, Virginia and attends the University of Virginia. She intends to double major in Economics and Commerce at the McIntire School of Commerce with finance and information technology concentrations. Megha will graduate from UVA in 2020. She hopes to work in the finance industry as a finance or risk analyst, but is also looking at working in investment banking.

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10 Things to Do Right Now to Get Ready for Recruiting Season

By Keana Bloomfield

October 3, 2017

No matter what industry you want to go into after you leave college, sometimes it can be so overwhelming trying to find what your first steps should be.  While there is no right answer, this list provides some tips from interview help to social media management to help polish your brand as much as possible to shine in the job market. And, even if you aren’t a senior, but just looking for internships, this should put you at the forefront of the game, while also giving you a sneak peek of what’s just around the corner for you!

Take advantage of LinkedIn

Whether that means updating your profile with your most recent professional experience leadership position that you hold at school, searching for jobs or internships, or even just creating your account, making sure that your most adult-ready social media account is active and live can be one of the most, if not the most important step when it comes to not only learning about different opportunities that may be available based on your skillset, but letting employers know about you and what you can possibly bring to the table.

LinkedIn is also a great way to become connected with alums from your school, especially since there is a filtering option that tells you where former grads from your university work now, what year they graduated and where they are located.  Sometimes that one LinkedIn connection could be the stepping stone to your very first job.

Talk to the Career Services at Your School

You probably know of them and maybe even stopped by there once or twice, but the career services at your school can be one of the greatest opportunities to helping you to succeed in the 24/7 world of professionalism by helping to edit your resume, craft the most creative cover letter or help to initiate mock interviews with employers. If you simply don’t always have the time to stop by, email them and ask if they can perhaps help virtually.

But, just as you hope that they read your emails, make sure to take the time to read yours, with new opportunities always on the horizon, don’t miss them when they are literally right at your fingertips!

Research, research, research!

When looking for jobs and internships, the application/interview process just as much as about you interviewing the company as it is about them interviewing you! So, in order to make sure that you don’t your time, nor the company at hands, it’s best to do your research beforehand about the company’s locations, what the job really entails, the company’s culture and reputation in its’ respective industry and whatever else you would want to know about your potential employer. 

Think in a year’s time: if you are working there, what are the key elements you wish you had known?

Create an application spreadsheet

As you’re researching and applying to several jobs and internships, unless you have the memory of an elephant, you are more than likely not going to remember every company that you have looked into, application deadlines, the status of the application, the company contact or any other notes you took into consideration.  Open a blank Excel worksheet and create a chart that lists the names of the employers that you plan on or have applied to and list columns that have the info you want to know and remember—it’s a simple and organized task that you will be glad to have made throughout this process.

Start thinking of professors you could ask to write letters of recommendation

As letter of recommendation act as one of the most important elements in an application, deciding who to ask, when and how can be extremely crucial to whether or not you’re the letter might just be what’s needed to push your application over the edge.  Think about professors that you really felt you connected with and if the class they taught had a special effect on you. 

But, you could also go the alternate route and ask a previous or current employer, coach or advisor that knows you and can and speak to you, your performance and accomplishments.

Practice interview questions with yourself

We already know how stressful interviews can be and when doing interview prep, it doesn’t make that stress just automatically go away.  However, many issues that people have when interviewing isn’t so much more so the technical, but the behavioral.  Being able to effectively give an overview of life experiences, ranging from your working in a teamwork to times you faced adversity and overcame it to even answering the infamous, but dreaded “Tell me a little about yourself” ice breaker question.

Once you feel comfortable enough, work your way up the practice ladder, first with friends, then family then career counselors or even mock interviewers until the big day.

Make new friends at school, but keep the old ones

More than likely, you aren’t the only one at your school trying to get a head start on jobs so bond with new people, because you both may share different insights into the recruiting process and specific industries. Don’t forget to reach out to some of your other friends and keep them in the loop—someone might just return the favor.

Take time to learn outside of class

Depending on your school, what you want to do post-graduation, etc. sometimes regular classes at college aren’t enough. It might be worth it to audit or pay for online courses that may cover topics you won’t have time to take this year or might not even exist in your college course book, so try taking the initiative to find the correct resources out of the classroom.  Courses likes these also look good to employers who can see that you are hard-working and full of ingenuity to want to take matters into your own hands.

Clean up your social media profiles

Even if your LinkedIn is perfect, it’s always worth it to be safe and make sure your other Big 4 (no, I don’t mean the consulting companies) are representative of you.  It’s incredibly easy to find anyone these days thanks to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. and depending on what they find that can be a good or a bad thing. Don’t ruin your chances at being hired for a job because employers find your public persona embarrassing and potentially offensive.

Keep improving your resume

This may seem incredibly obvious but your resume is probably the most singular important job prospect item in your entire application (it’s also a single page itself).  Employers don’t spend that much time on it, but it’s also the very thing that can determine whether you end up in the “Interview” pile vs “Rejected”.  There are over a million tips that can be given for the resume, but when you submit it for a job, the only thing that you should be thinking is if you were the employer, would you call yourself back? If so, you might have the gotten this job hunting thing down. 

Now it just comes to waiting to hear back…

Keana Bloomfield is a senior at Bryn Mawr College, a liberal arts college located outside the city of Philadelphia.  An English major and Economics minor, Keana has completed journalism opportunities at KYW Newsradio 1060, WHYY and the Philadelphia Inquirer, while also having developed financial acumen as a 2016 Girls Who Invest Scholar, an organization dedicated to putting more women in the investment management industry, and as an Asset Management Intern at PNC Financial Services within their Wealth Management division. As she completes her final year as an undergraduate, she hopes to become further immersed in the finance and business industries for both her professional and personal development.

 

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Top 5 Tips to Stay Organized and be Productive this Year

By Megha Karthikeyan

September 21, 2017

Avoid stress and feeling overwhelmed—we’re here to help you stay on top of your fall semester.

Layout all your assignments and meetings in a calendar and check it regularly.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a system of organizing your life when you are in college. There are many different deadlines for papers and exams, along with club meetings, interviews, and spending time with your friends.

I recommend putting everything on a calendar (online or paper) or using the “Reminders” app on your phone. Make sure to do this for not only school assignments but for extracurricular activities as well. Many people will remind themselves to do homework but will forget to put that 6pm business club meeting on their calendar.

Showing up on time and being reliable is incredibly important, and you don’t want to miss something simply because you forgot. I find that having this method of organization makes me feel less stressed about the week because I know how to pace myself and can tell how much time I need to complete certain assignments.

Keep up with internship and interview deadlines.

In the finance world, the recruiting season is moving up every year and now applications are usually due by the end of September with interviews being in November. You must not only balance your new classes, moving into a new apartment, and starting up again on activities, but also the summer internship applications. This means you must keep track of all the deadlines.

I recommend creating an Excel or Google spreadsheet with a list of all the internships and programs you want to apply for along with their application timeline. This includes their application deadline along with when interviews are for the internship.

You’ll be able to prioritize which internships to apply to first and which ones can wait. Make sure to add this information to your calendar. Even if you have the spreadsheet, you want to make sure you remember to apply by adding it to your reminders.

Get ahead on assignments (especially readings) when possible.

Since most college professors give their full course syllabus at the beginning of the semester, you should try to get ahead on readings when you have free time. I try to read a class ahead during the weekends for my reading heavy classes, so I have more time during the week.

If I have a large chunk of time on the weekend, I will try to read two classes worth of readings in one sitting so that I am ahead and don’t have to rush the night before to get the reading done. This also helps in case an unexpected assignment or obligation comes up because then you have time to work on those assignments rather than keeping up with your readings.

If you have a paper due, make sure you start on the assignment early. This means going to your professor’s office hours in advance and not going when the paper is due because then you will be waiting in line with other students who also need their questions answered.

If you want to write a good quality paper, starting on it early and asking questions in the beginning stage is much better than waiting until the last minute to fix your paper.

Put away you phone while doing homework!

I know this is very hard to do. I find that even having my phone facedown next to me while doing work is distracting. Sometimes we want to give ourselves a study break and look at our phones, but a 5 minute break can turn into 45 minutes of mindless scrolling through our Instagram feeds.

I think the best option would be to put your phone in a place where you can’t easily reach it from where you are working. If it’s in a place where you must physically get up to get your phone, then you are less likely to break your concentration of doing homework to get it.

The reason it takes people such a long time to do work is because of how many times they look at their phones while completing the assignment. If you can maintain your focus on the task at hand and not look at your phone until you complete the task, you will get your work done much faster and won’t feel that you spent such a long time on that assignment.

Maximize the use of your time.

In college, classes are short compared to high school and students usually have gaps of time before their next class starts. I recommend using these gaps to do as much homework as possible.

Instead of watching Netflix or going back to your apartment to hang around, using that time to do readings, complete assignments or even apply to internships is a good use of your time. You no longer have to wait to get home to do your homework like in high school.

College gives you the flexibility to work on assignments on your own time so making use of any breaks you have to get ahead on assignments is very useful. This way, you don’t have a pile of homework waiting for you when you get back from your classes. It also frees up your evenings when you can attend club meetings and spend time with your friends.

Megha Karthikeyan is from Vienna, Virginia and attends the University of Virginia. She intends to double major in Economics and Commerce at the McIntire School of Commerce with finance and information technology concentrations. Megha will graduate from UVA in 2020. She hopes to work in the finance industry as a finance or risk analyst, but is also looking at working in investment banking.

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From Extern to Intern at Bloomberg

By Aury Cifuentes

September 19, 2017

I think we have all heard about how important the junior year internship is in terms of job prospects, but the truth is you can never start too early. In my case, I was exactly a year away from the all-important junior summer internship when I walked into the Bloomberg Princeton office.

My journey with Bloomberg LP officially began during the summer right after my sophomore year.

As an extern, our first day started with an introduction to the company values and where we would fit in within the culture of collaboration. The absence of cubicles and clear glass meeting rooms literally created an open environment—not to mention the number of people meeting in the pantry over an array of snacks.

The key purpose of day one was “Terminal 101.” Being comfortable with the terminal was significant for not only my time as an extern, but as an intern working on thesis and capstone plans over the summer. Out of the thousands of functions, the more you knew the better, as they could be used in conjunction with several layers of analysis simultaneously.

The second and third day prepped us for public speaking and the amount of teamwork needed at the firm.  At the end of the third day, an intense interview was scheduled with the top performers of each department for a chance to land an internship for the following summer.

My interview went well as I demonstrated that my interests aligned to where the company is rapidly making a mark. Technology, whether through coding, machine learning, or otherwise, is providing a faster way to not only understand client needs but create even more value within the firm.

My summer was an extension of externship in the sense that I was within the forecasting department. I spent the last month of my summer working extensively with my intern team of four engineers to launch a proof of concept for our final project that would transform one of the most popular functions on the terminal.

Overall, my advice for anyone who is tempted to start early in the recruiting cycle is to take chances and apply, apply, and apply!

Additionally, any tech skills today will transform your tomorrow so take advantage of all the great free resources online. Even if it is basic Python or C you will now be able to understand more in meetings, product launches, and networking opportunities—making yourself available to even more opportunities in the long run.

Aury is a very bubbly senior at The College of New Jersey. As an Economics major with a concentration in Social Justice she is happily working on a capstone project, internship, and thesis this year. When she isn’t studying, Aury is actively participating in the community through the Bonner Service program and working closely with her E-Board as president of Women in Business this year.

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Top 10 Communication Tips for Women

By Kelly Decker, Decker Communications

July 14, 2017

What’s the best way to get noticed, get into the up-and-comer pipeline and start to win more leadership roles earlier? Start by fast tracking your communication skills now—don’t wait for that big opportunity to project confidence and polish up your presence.

Before we dive in, an important disclaimer… men will benefit just as much from the advice below. We direct this to women to combat the stereotypes that can plague their progress.

1.  Speak with Purpose and Vocal Conviction

Women can boost their authority with their voices. The three key areas to consider are pitch, projection and pace. In a business environment where the male vocal range is dominant, sing-songy voices can get steamrolled in important meetings. With naturally higher voices than men, it’s helpful for women to push into a deeper register (read: lower their pitch.)

How do you do that?

  • Push your voice out. Think about activating your core—just like in Pilates. Be careful not to push it up, where it sounds like you might be screaming at your parents or sibling. It’s hard to slip into upspeak (ending sentences on a higher pitch as if there are question marks at the end of each declarative sentence - sounds unsure and tentative) or vocal fry (the low, creaky voice that sounds hesitant and faux-raspy) when you are projecting your voice.
  • End sentences at the same or lower tone than they begin.
  • When it comes to pace, pause to add emphasis. Don’t rush through your content quickly moving from one idea to the next. Instead, pause to let each idea sink in. Remember, it’s “Bond. James Bond.”

Who does this well:  Ginni Rometty, Kat Cole, Oprah

Who not to mimic:  Gigi Hadid, Kim Kardashian, Rachel Zoe

2. Skip the Filler Words!

Like, um, uh, ya know, actually, just, so, honestly, truly, literally… the list goes on and on. These pesky little words get slipped into our narratives, descriptions, presentations and daily conversations. All of us have at least one filler word, even if we don’t notice it, ourselves. It won’t take extra time to cut them out – it will just take extra effort.

Here are two easy steps to cut out your filler words:

  • First, find out what your fillers are. You can’t change a habit until you realize it’s there. Record a voicemail to yourself and then play it back. Take notes on what fillers you hear. Common fillers to watch for: “like,” “just,” “um,” “uh,” “actually,” “you know,” “honestly,” “literally,” and – of course – “so.” Chances are, you use some of the same filler words as people around you.
  • Then, practice pausing. When you pause, you’ll naturally drop the filler words. Record another voicemail, and be intentional about pausing. Challenge yourself to pause for longer than it feels comfortable. The average pause is only about half a second. Try and stretch that out to 2 – 3 seconds.

3. Own Your Space

Show that you own the room by taking up more physical space. Women have the tendency to want to look smaller and take up less space by crossing their arms and legs, hiding their midsections, and keeping everything close together. Instead, use purposeful gestures that take up space and draw attention to key content points.

How do you do that?

  • When you’re standing, drive home a point using big gestures, where your elbows are fully extended. It might feel outrageously big, but these large gestures will add authority if you use them with purpose, for example, when comparing and contrasting.
  • If you are seated at a table, move your weight forward, and keep your arms resting on top of the table.

Who does this well: Wendy Clarke, Sheryl Sandberg, Glennon Doyle Melton

4. Be Direct

We work with many women who have so many ideas that they come across as scattered. But what’s behind the scatter? They’re just trying to prove their credibility. By including their analysis, their research, their findings, rehashing and recounting their play-by-play… it quickly ends up being a message about them. It doesn’t have anything to do with the person to whom they are speaking. Instead, be declarative and direct.

How do you do that?

  • Get straight to the main point. Then, be brief, be bright, and be gone.

Who does this well: The writers of The Skimm.

You can do this with help from #5, below…

5. Bottom Line Up Front

What is the one thing you want your audience members to take away? What’s the big idea, the main point you want everyone in the room to walk away knowing, the goal of your entire presentation? This is your point of view. It’s the biggest change in how you want your listeners to think about or act on an idea. It’s the “ask” without showing your selfish ambition.

How do you choose your Point of View?

  • Find the lead of your story. Boil everything down to just one thing. Often, it’s a challenge, but you have to choose just one main idea and ruthlessly edit the rest.
  • That way, you can be declarative and direct. Your audience will walk away knowing your main point. 

Who does this well: Elizabeth Gilbert, Meryl Streep, Misty Copeland

6. Lead with Warmth

Women excel at connecting one on one. According to social psychologist and Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy, “Warmth is the conduit of influence: It facilitates trust and communication and absorption of ideas.” Women have an opportunity to leverage warmth and trust to connect with individuals. Leading with warmth and connection is a different brand of leadership than men traditionally use.

How can you add instant lightness?

  • Smile. It’s the gatekeeper to likability.
  • It doesn’t need to be a plastic ear-to-ear grin, but do turn up the edges of your mouth.

Who does this well: Gwen Stefani, Michelle Obama, Alicia Keyes

7. Open Conversations for Discovery

Including all viewpoints and perspectives is a core strength that women can leverage in times of discovery. Economists have found that women are more collaborative than men.

Gathering information is an important part of the persuasion and planning process. When collaborating on a project or developing a solution for a product, conversations for discovery can be especially helpful. They also allow for increased connection, which allows for more trust. It’s also a great way to share empathy. Empathy is the ability to imagine yourself in someone else’s position and to intuit what that person is feeling. Research shows that empathy comes naturally to women. Conversations for discovery and empathy are great tools for building connection.

How do you do this?

  • Ask each person in the group for her/his perspective on the problem or issue.
  • Try not to solve right away. Listen – and discover – more.
  • Determine how this impacts each person personally, and try to put yourself in their shoes.

8. Be unapologetic.

“I’m sorry.” “Oh, sorry about that.” “Are you okay?” Does this clip seem familiar? Women have a tendency to over apologize.

Saying “I’m sorry” too frequently doesn’t come across as overly polite. Instead, it weakens your overall message and presence. And at times, it can have an even bigger cost. If you’re asking for deadline extension, additional resources or even a raise, the last thing you want to do is start your pitch with an “I’m sorry.” While sometimes an apology is necessary (like if you spill coffee on someone during a meeting), most decisions and actions in business don’t need an apology. Instead, move on.

Here’s what to do:

  • Instead of relying on “I’m sorry,” say what you really mean. Try it out in a low-risk situation – like the next time your order comes out wrong at Chipotle. Instead of, “I’m sorry, but I ordered the chicken burrito, and I got the steak,” drop the “I’m sorry.” Try, “Can you fix my order? I ordered the chicken burrito, and I got the steak.”

9. Separate your reaction from the response.

Women often get cast as “too emotional” when they don’t separate their reaction from their response. Too often, our reactions are not influential in the way we want them to be. When we react, we jump to an emotional conclusion, triggering anger, disappointment, resentment, frustration or something else.

Here’s what to do:

  • When it’s time to respond— which might be right away—stick to the concrete details and action steps. What happened? What do we do now? (Save the “how do I feel about this” for another time.)
  • Don’t get defensive, and don’t blame someone else.

Who not to mimic:  Hope Solo, Paula Deen

10. Step up.

Don’t defer to someone else! Giving away the opportunity to speak, lead a meeting or present your work only gives away your power. Seize the opportunity to let your behaviors and content shine. Visibility leads to more opportunities.

Start Now.

Communication can win leadership roles, so make it a focus and a priority. Don’t wait for the opportunity to find you—get discovered!

A leading expert in the field of business communication, Kelly Decker is president of Decker Communications, a global firm that trains and coaches tens of thousands of executives a year. She coauthored Communicate to Influence: How to Inspire Your Audience to Action, which shares real-world stories and tips from the C-Suite that apply to us all. Kelly holds an MBA from the Haas School of Business and a BS in psychology from California Polytechnic State University.

 

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Three Classes You Should Take Next Semester

By Danni Ondraskova

June 1, 2017

If you’re reading this website, it’s highly likely that you are an economics, business, management, or related major who often spends a lot of her time tackling her internship requirements, especially if you are at a major research university. Maybe you want to take a break from economics problem sets or exams. Maybe you avoid essays like the plague and find solace in the clear math you do.

Either way, you should consider taking classes in very different fields than the ones you are currently in, particularly given the large scale economic, political, and social shifts that are occurring in many Western countries today. Here’s a list of three courses you should consider taking next semester to enhance your understanding of the world.

Globalization/Nationalism

The recent elections of populist candidates in the United States and Europe shows that many people are having second thoughts about some of the darker undertones of globalization. This is a megatrend that is worthwhile for every citizen to understand and respond to in whichever manner he or she sees fit.

In many of these countries, nationalism has emerged as a response to the increasing economic interconnectedness of the world, which began in the 1980s. Your college may have a class on free trade, the history of particular nations, or, as mine does, an advanced anthropological course on the history of nationalism in the world.

If those classes aren’t an option, nearly every institution of higher education has a course on political or economic theory. Even a class in sociology can teach many things about how individuals behave very differently in groups than individually—and one of the skills you need in any management or business-related field is to understand how people behave in different situations.

The Media

The media has gained an unprecedented role throughout the world as the great equalizer for nations, individuals, community organizations, companies, and tragically even terrorist actors. The emergence of the Internet has enabled a larger portion of the human community to share their ideas with each other than at any period of human history.

Through online or cable advertisements, small businesses and companies also can reach millions of people through their advertisements and gain funding they could have never possibly dreamed of a century ago. YouTube, Kickstarter and other ventures are also helping any “little guy” with a compelling story and the ability to write gain financial or other support from friends, family, and kind strangers.

Whether you take a hands-on coding or multimedia course or just a class on the history of the Internet, you can learn to harness this technology in many personal and professional situations.

An Uncommon Language

The Department of State, U.S. intelligence community, and of course many businesses are constantly searching for candidates who are fluent in crucial languages with few American speakers like Urdu, Russian, Arabic, or Mandarin Chinese. These language also come with vibrant cultures that can in turn teach you more about American culture.

While many of you are likely taking languages to satisfy a distribution requirement, consider taking an uncommon language to be able to serve people who need a voice for them when interacting with Americans. Plus, having an uncommon language looks great on your resume and is always an excellent conversation starter for candidates talking to recruiters. 

Danni Ondraskova will graduate in 2018 from Wellesley College. Danni plans on earning a dual degree in law and business and dreams of working for JP Morgan’s Global Investment Management division.

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You Didn’t Get That Summer Internship. Now What?

By Danni Ondraskova

May 30, 2017

It’s been a long semester. The flowers are finally beginning to come out, and the year is winding down to an end. But everything isn’t necessarily perfect—you haven’t received that internship offer yet. Maybe you’re waiting on a handful of places. Or maybe things just didn’t work out this year and you haven’t been accepted anywhere. Maybe you didn’t have time to apply because you’ve been so swamped by schoolwork, friends, jobs, and of course sleep.

Whatever situation you find yourself in, there is always something you can do to make the best of it. Read on for some advice for making the best of your summer, curated by whatever year you are in in college.

Current freshman

You’ve just gotten the ropes of college last semester and are steering your ship to the first phase of your career. You may be stressed out about not having an internship offer yet because some of your friends are working for small businesses, boutique firms, or other companies. Never fear!

In many years, freshmen are not expected to have internships, although some study abroad experience, internship, job, or other immersive summer will give you a leg up over people who don’t do anything in that time.

Feel free to look for seasonal jobs in your city or town and make some money (in many full-time jobs paid at minimum wage, you can make several thousand dollars over the summer). Many places have a quick hiring process, and it can’t help that the economy is recovering in many sectors.

You’ll have something to do over the summer, plus any money you make will be very useful if you work in high-cost areas in your later college years, have medical expenses, or want to pay some debts.

Current sophomore

Sophomore year is an odd time that can be described as twilight—many a fierce debate have been held on whether sophomores have to do an internship or job. In business or research related fields, many college students get their first professional experience as sophomores so they can get a leg up in the often more competitive internships for college juniors.

If you haven’t received an internship yet, email your professors and other social connections and ask if there are any openings.

Although there may be fewer business opportunities around this time, consider working for the government in a business related area (Capitol Hill has Legislative Aides that specialize in business in every Senator and Congressperson’s office who can mentor you and provide research opportunities) or a small business or local bank.

Current junior or senior

I put these categories together because in many cases in elite schools, graduating seniors pursue national fellowships or a full-time job rather than an internship. Both groups of college students have plenty of considerations of their post-graduate future to ponder.

If you haven’t gotten an internship yet, follow the advice for sophomores and note that your upperclassmen status will often give you priority for program or one-on-one college summer research. There are also many research opportunities at neighboring universities you can consider, especially if you are in an urban area.

Finally, if you’re applying to graduate school, you may want to take the summer off and study for your standardized tests full time in addition to starting your graduate school applications.

Danni Ondraskova will graduate in 2018 from Wellesley College. Danni plans on earning a dual degree in law and business and dreams of working for JP Morgan’s Global Investment Management division.

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