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What Does it Mean to “Lean In?”

By Aury Cifuentes

March 29, 2018

Leaning In has been a phrase used for a while in which there is suggested power dynamic to a woman’s role in the firm. Our Women in Business organization at TCNJ did a series of articles for Women’s History Month and there are various implications to what this phrase can mean in a collegiate setting. 

Last semester, Women in Business introduced “Lean In Bingo” as one of our icebreaker activities, but the takeaways were greater than simply networking. The bingo board was available online as a supplement for those familiar with Sheryl Sandberg’s book and her concept of creating mentorship “circles” for women and allies. During the activity, some of the squares were intentionally a bit more difficult but for a good reason. Squares such as “is looking for a leadership opportunity” or “knows how to write code” were among other quirkier ones such as “is a twin.” This simple game had research behind practically every topic on the board, and some of the statistics were truly eye-opening. 

For example, HBR explored how women tend to only apply for jobs in which they meet 100% percent of the qualifications while their male counterparts apply even when they just reach 60%. Thus the leadership square highlighted this disparity and the differences in approaching an application whether for a job, internship, or internal position. Further, the coding square represented the lack of women represented in the tech sector. The other day, Sandberg replied to a Quora question via her official account that she does not know how to code, but she is learning just like many women out there. Although non-profits like Girls Who Code and Black Girls Code are targeting the youngest demographics, in general, there can be benefits to anyone at any age that is willing to learn something new.

Ultimately, “Leaning in” can mean something different for everyone. To some, it involves redefining and challenging certain internal biases of yourself and others. While the unlearning and re-wiring can be difficult, it is unique for every individual too. We run the risk of not achieving our full potential if we are not regularly evaluating our strengths and weaknesses while remaining proactive even in the face of adversity. All of this is exhausting work and can carry an even more substantial burden on people of color who deal with additional systematic stressors throughout their lives. 

When negativity takes over, it seems like there appears to be little to no change in society, school, or the workplace but in reality, change is happening. That change will not only shape history but also inspire others to keep fighting the good fight regardless of the seemingly glacial pace. This change can be in the context of gender equality, environmental initiatives, or even the next unknown movement on the brink of being a national success; the fact that it is a different focus for everyone diversifies our chances of making progress toward the greater good.

Similar to the gradual preparation in studying for a big exam, while an all-nighter might seem lucrative when the alternatives to studying are much more appealing just because it works for a classmate does not guarantee similar results on your test day. It is important to realize that college is a time to find your learning curve and maximize your time relative to what you believe in, whether or not you agree with the message behind Sandberg’s movement.

Even though “Leaning In” is rarely talked about explicitly during lecture, various organizations on campus are hubs of not only social change but also professional development for those interested in turning the conversation into action. I encourage you to not only find that organization but also find your unique contribution as a member, alum, or naturally curious individual and share it with someone. Lastly, inclusion, whether on a collegiate, corporate, social, or political scale, can be created when everyone can promote equality at any level they can influence.

Aury Cifuentes 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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Tips for Networking

By Megha Karthikeyan

March 27, 2018

Business students have heard the buzz word “networking” plenty of times, but many don’t realize the significant role it plays in recruiting and getting internships. Big banks like Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, and Barclays travel to college campuses all over the country and the world and host information sessions, coffee chats, and even mock interviews. Many have “discovery days” where students can visit the offices and attend workshops with recruiters. A lot of this information is given at networking events, making them very important. It can be confusing to figure out what events to go to since college students are very busy, but if you have the time, it is beneficial to attend as many events as possible. There are ways to maximize your time at networking events which I’ve broken down below. 

Information Sessions

Information sessions can be hectic because there can be tons of students with a few recruiters. Usually recruiters will have a panel or presentation that discusses the company and different job functions with people giving their personal anecdotes of how they got to the company and why it was the best fit for them. This is the time to write down the names of the people whom you’re interested in talking to, along with some basic content that they said. If there are multiple panelists, it can get confusing to figure out which person said what, so bringing a notebook can be very helpful. 

After the presentation ends, recruiters will often talk about “discovery days” or conference programs they have that will give you greater exposure to the company. These require applications, so paying attention to deadlines and requirements is important. The recruiters may end by going over internship timelines along with how the selection process works, and then open the floor for questions. Although it is important to ask questions, in crowded events like information sessions, you may not be able to get your question in. Don’t worry if this happens! At the end of these events, there will be time to speak individually with recruiters or at least get into smaller groups to ask your questions.

When this happens, it can be stressful because everyone is vying for the attention of the recruiters and it can seem competitive. Be patient, listen to others, and feel free to chip in to any conversations others are having while being respectful and not interruptive. If you can get a few minutes of one-on-one time with a recruiter, use that time to ask any specific questions or introduce yourself. Start up a conversation to connect yourself with the recruiter, and at the end, ask for their business card. 

The key part of getting the business card is using it. Make sure to thank the recruiters you spoke with and even refer to specific points in your conversation, so they remember who you were amongst the many students that came. 

Coffee Chats

Coffee chats are by far my favorite form of networking. They are usually one-on-one with a recruiter or an analyst and you can gain so much information from a short, 20-minute conversation. When companies come to campuses, they will have sign ups for coffee chats, so sign up as soon as possible. They often have a finite number of time slots, so getting yourself time with a recruiter is important. 

I recommend bringing a copy of your resume to the coffee chat. Since this isn’t a formal interview, you can often ask the recruiter or analyst to look over your resume and ask them for any improvements or tips. It will show them that you are prepared and give you valuable insight. Since coffee chats are so personal, it is crucial that you come with questions in mind. From personal experience, these chats are driven by you, not the recruiter. They won’t have a presentation or elaborate talking points, so it is expected that you come up with good questions for them to answer. They can range from logistics questions about the application to division specific questions about company roles. 

Because this is a one-on-one conversation, making a good impression and building your connection with the recruiter is important. They will be more likely to remember you since you did a coffee chat than someone they met at an information session. However, this will only happen if you keep in touch with them after the coffee chat. Getting their business card, asking questions and getting them to put you in contact with other analysts is a good way to maximize your coffee chat connection. 

Mock Interviews/Prep

Some firms will offer interview prep sessions or even mock interviewers with recruiters. These are useful to go to because you get more insight into what interviews will be like and you get a chance to practice. If you’ve been to the information session, attended a coffee chat, and then attend the mock interview, you will be showing a greater interest in the company. Even though it is a practice interview, it is important to have some preparation done beforehand. You aren’t expected to ace the mock interview or be an expert, but showing that you are trying your best on the mock interview will send the signal that you are prepared and care about getting the internship. Some people are afraid of doing mock interviews because analysts or recruiters from the company are interviewing them and they don’t want to mess up, but these interviews are the time to get feedback and tips for improvement. As long as you try your best and seem prepared, you will come out with stronger interview skills and a greater connection with the recruiters. 

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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Conferences to Make You Stand Out

By Aury Cifuentes

March 22, 2018

The College to Business Leadership and Fast Track to Finance conferences were two of the many highlights of my sophomore year. Not only was I able to reconnect with old friends but also I got to take part in an inspiring environment filled with future leaders and mentors. If you have the opportunity to attend, please take a notebook and channel those nerves into excitement as everyone at your table will be just happy to be there as you!

Location is important and for me both of these conferences took place in the city. While I did have an later exam that same afternoon for one of them, experiencing the travel and early wakeup call was like a practice session if I one day decided to work in NYC. Once I arrived check-in was a breeze and I quickly obtained my nametag with various other goodies to find my table and start the day. Our keynote speaker was only a few years older than everyone in the room and it was inspiring to hear her story as she crafted her international schooling and language competencies from abroad to land her dream job in the M&A department of Barclays. While the old saying goes practice makes perfect, there was a range of activities from an IPO Simulation and elevator pitch with your table that prepared you for the ultimate networking session at the end of both sessions.

Everyone was prepped with resumes and a cute Forté tote to try and visit every table with a range of recruiters, deans, and analysts of well known companies. With all the practice from the morning and afternoon sessions, many of us felt much more confidant to go out and ask about the range of opportunities for the upcoming summer and even potentially after graduation. Quite a few MBA programs were represented as well as a range of industries from banking to product management. The best part of each experience is that Forté does not just make the introductions but instead the foundation helps you continue the conversations with the people you meet and friends you make. All conference attendees gain access to amazing online webinars during the rest of your undergraduate career as well as the career center online posting hub and blog! Thus the all-access pass behind each conference is true to its name and opportunities continue presenting themselves to take your involvement a step further whether as a Forté campus rep, becoming a contributing writer, or even engaging in the blog posts!

        Thus, if you are presented with the opportunity to attend or know someone who would be a great fit for the conference please spread the word as the deadlines for both conferences in different cities is soon. You do not want to miss what can be one of the many highlights of your college career and you may even meet your future employer before you know it!

Aury Cifuentes 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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Why Every College Student Should Volunteer

By Megha Karthikeyan

March 20, 2018

Doing community service is important, and here are my top three reasons why all college students should volunteer:

Give back to your community.

There are so many organizations that are centered around college towns that need extra help, so providing your time will go a long way. Joining volunteering based clubs is a great idea because you can pick the organization based on what need it addresses. There are so many opportunities to volunteer like tutoring young children, serving meals at soup kitchens, spending time with the elderly at nursing homes, and working at a hospital. At the University of Virginia, I volunteer for CASH, a tax preparation organization that does tax returns for free for low income individuals. Since I am interested in finance and business, this was the perfect volunteering opportunity for me because it not only combined my interests, but it helped me make a significant economic impact on the community. Getting to know the local community where your school is located through volunteering will help you understand what the culture is like outside of your college bubble and give you a chance to interact with people you would otherwise not have a chance to meet. 

Build teamwork and communication skills.

Many jobs look for teamwork and communication skills and it can be difficult to get those skills from your classes, so volunteering with a group can help with that. Putting on volunteer projects and working on an assignment can involve working with many different groups of people from the executive team, to school administrators, to other members of the club. Being able to communicate the needs of the project to all the people involved and then working together with them to implement the project can help you gain both communication and teamwork skills. Sometimes problems can come up while volunteering, so brainstorming solutions with other members of the team and helping each other out during those situations can build up teamwork skills. Additionally, interacting with different members of the community through volunteer work can open your eyes up to more perspectives and build your communication skills. 

Good resume builder.

Doing community service is a good way to build your resume because it can show your interests outside of your coursework and internships. There are also opportunities to have leadership positions in volunteer based clubs, which can be something you showcase on your resume. In behavioral interviews, interviewers can ask about activities on your resume and being able to explain how you made an impact on your community through volunteering is a great way to keep up conversation with them. In my Goldman Sachs interview this past October, I talked about my experience as a volunteer tax preparer and what impact I made in the local Charlottesville community. Many companies now focus on corporate social responsibility, so showing the company that you also believe in doing good for the community will help them see you as a potential employee. 

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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Internship Dos and Don’ts

By Casey Tsamis

March 15, 2018

Internships can be the greatest experience of your life and expose you to some amazing experiences in the real world. It’s great to have at least one internship before graduating, and
even better if you’ve had a couple more. Here is a full list of do’s and don’ts, from starting an internship to finishing it.

Do: Apply to a bunch

You have nothing to lose by applying to several internships. It’s good practice to send out a résumé and cover letter anyway.

Don’t: Try to get a paid internship as your first one

Look for experience first before money. That experience will eventually lead you to paid internships, and you’ll thank yourself for taking an unpaid internship.

Do: Ask questions during the interview

Ask what a typical day is like or what the dress code is. You want to seem interested in the job and ask important questions to your future supervisor. No question is a dumb question, either.

Don’t: Expect a virtual internship to be easy

Just because you can work remotely from your laptop doesn’t mean it will be an easy job. Make sure you give 100 percent to this and really plan your day to working on your assignments for the week.

Do: Tell your supervisor if you can’t get to something right away

If you received three different tasks you have to finish before lunch, and a different department asks for your help, it’s okay to tell them that you’re working on a couple other things, but can do it right after lunch. It’s better to communicate with people instead of promising something that you’re not sure will be done.

Don’t: Show up late

Especially in small offices, everyone will be able to tell if you come in late. If you know you’ll be a couple minutes behind, send an email and let them know you’ll be there as soon as possible.

Do: Stay connected once the internship is over

Keep in touch with people from the office once the internship ends, because you can use them as a reference once you start applying for jobs.

Don’t: Leave the internship without a thank you note

Buy a card for your supervisor and leave them a handwritten message on the card thanking them for their time and the wonderful experience you had. Also feel free to throw in a small gift if you’d like.

Casey Tsamis is a senior journalism student at Emerson College in Boston, MA. She is a Division III athlete as well as the Vice President of her sorority, Xi Gamma Nu. Casey spends her free time exploring the latest fashion and beauty trends, and her dream job is to work at Too Faced.

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Women in Crypto

By Aury Cifuentes

March 13, 2018

Cryptocurrency is considered revolutionary because it is a peer-to-peer network reliant on blockchain technology without a central governing authority. Besides its host of algorithms and ongoing debates about its merit as an asset class, the representative symbiosis between finance and technology is not going anywhere. Learning about crypto is also becoming increasing social as media giants like GirlBoss, started by Sophia Amoruso, have regularly published resources for women of all backgrounds to get involved either online or in person. 

Early last year, I kept hearing about crypto and how the speculation surrounding the hype was newsworthy. Although I did not jump on the bandwagon of crypto investing, I did invest some time with to a range of academic databases to start demystifying the headlines in the hopes of finding facts over bias. This research also overlapped with one of my other courses so I was not disappointed with what I found. In fact I was able to trace the original Bitcoin research piece published by a yet-to-be identified individual by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. Depending on your interests the article, “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”, has something for everyone as there is an emphasis on the mechanics, financial implications, and C commands behind any transaction. Needless to say there is a fixed amount of Bitcoin to be mined and the nuances of a fixed supply have a range of implications beyond the scope of this article.

Yet many women are already exploring those complex implications of a currency that did not seem feasible centuries ago. As college students were are constantly learning and becoming subject matter experts on anything including crypto is definitely possible. While there are many unknowns in a new industry, the benefit will go toward the pioneers who are trying to be one step ahead in thinking of the regulatory, entrepreneurial, and computational ventures within such a space. For example, Perianne Boring is an adjunct professor of Blockchain at Georgetown. She is also the founder of the Digital Chamber of Commerce in DC, which is focused on moving beyond the regulatory implications for business. For those in the area and interested, that could be a great place to start as well as the growing online groups on Facebook such as Ladies of Crypto. Another notable pioneering woman can include the online news hub co-founder Toni Lane Casserly. Before establishing CoinTelegraph, Toni had a vision to revolutionize regular financial journalism into a niche-reporting segment – cryptocurrency journalism. So whether it is in the media, financial service industry, or the tech space, women are changing the dynamic in a unique fashion that can benefit the relatively young and growing Digital Currency and Blockchain industry. 

The future for blockchain, barring from imminent regulations, has the potential to redefine relatively ancient industries like the media and music industries while changing the scope of social entrepreneurship ventures and technology among other things. All in all, whether you see yourself leading the next big ICO for your start-up or just adding a bit of background on the hype over brunch the future of finance is redefined everyday. 

Aury Cifuentes 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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Job Opportunities in Business that are Different from Investment Banking

By Megha Karthikeyan

March 8, 2018

There are many lines of work one can do in business, but the most popular job that people go into is investment banking. Banking can be a very intense job and people often think that it is the only job when going into the finance industry. There are many different opportunities to work in business that aren’t just investment banking like finance, risk, compliance, and operations. 

Finance

Finance can often be split into treasury and tax subdivisions in many companies. Treasury involves analyzing the company’s finances and looking at how the company is doing in terms of debt, equity, and general financial health. It is a very important job because they regulate the company’s budget and collaborate with other divisions. The tax subdivision makes sure that the company is following tax regulation and analyzes the profit and losses of the company. They are responsible for making sure the financial statements that are prepared are up to par for external and internal purposes. 

Risk

In some companies, risk is a part of finance while others have it as a separate division. In this division, you do a lot of risk modeling where you look at lending structures and measure liquidity and credit risk. A lot of the work in risk requires data analysis and research skills. Doing work in the risk division will give you a broader understanding of how the company runs and give you a chance to work with different people and on different projects. 

Compliance

Compliance often has risk modeling aspects to the job but also deals with regulations and the law. They make sure that the private wealth management, securities, investment banking, and other divisions are following SEC regulations and that there isn’t any insider trading going on. Compliance can have various jobs within it like anti-bribery units as well as teams assigned to look at cryptocurrency markets and cyber terrorism. It is a very broad division with many different job opportunities, so depending on what you are interested in, compliance could be a good option for you. 

Operations

Operations makes sure that day-to-day functions of the company run smoothly, so people in this division work with employees from many different lines of work. They focus on efficiency and streamline various business processes so that divisions can do their work. This job will be great if you want to have a wide variety of responsibilities from financial analysis to designing processes. 

These are just a few of the jobs that exist in the finance industry that aren’t investment banking. Although investment banking is a great opportunity to work on deals and learn more about mergers and acquisitions, there are also other amazing jobs out there that will let you work in the finance industry. 

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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Résumé Tips You Didn’t Already Know

By Casey Tsamis

March 6, 2018

It’s so important to have a solid résumé made before graduating college. It may be difficult when first creating it, because you may not have had much experience in the past, and that’s completely okay. Or maybe you’ve had a lot of experience, but are struggling with putting everything together and don’t know what to add or keep. Regardless, here are the best ways to really make your résumé stand out.

Need a layout? Try ​Canva.com

Canva.com has the perfect résumé templates, and there are hundreds to choose from. It also saves all of your designs with an account, so you’ll always have it and can refer back to it when necessary. Other templates like business cards, posters, and letterheads are available as well.

As for account options, canva.com has a free account plan and a $15 a month option, which would include more templates.

No need to put where you went to high school

If you’re currently enrolled in a university, you don’t need to have your high school listed. Make sure to list the school that you’re attending as well as your major and the degree that is being received. Also write your expected graduation month and year. For example:

Bachelor of Science, Major in Journalism
Emerson College-Expected May 2018

Have a section for achievements and awards

This is great especially if you’re feeling like your résumé has a whole lot of white space. If you made honor roll or dean’s list, definitely add that here. Scholarships are also great to include.

Make sure to create a section on related courses

It’s beneficial to the employer to see what you already know, so they don’t have to teach you later. If you’re applying for a public relations job and took a public relations or marketing class, add that into your résumé.

Use action-oriented words when describing your tasks at a previous internship or job

Action verbs are key to start with when describing daily tasks at a previous job. Action verbs like “Suggested, Developed, and Researched” are good examples of this. Another example:

-Pitched and developed content for magazine’s fall issue

Check out this page for 185 action verbs to use for a résumé. It’ll be super helpful when writing out your previous job description.

Lastly, be sure that your résumé is clean and is free of any grammatical or spelling errors. Use a font that is easy to read, such as Arial or Times New Roman. A 10-12 point font size is perfect.

Always send a résumé as a PDF file, so employers don’t have to download it and have it come up as a Microsoft Word document. A résumé shows off your talents and strengths, so make each word count and you’re guaranteed to get that interview.

Casey Tsamis is a senior journalism student at Emerson College in Boston, MA. She is a Division III athlete as well as the Vice President of her sorority, Xi Gamma Nu. Casey spends her free time exploring the latest fashion and beauty trends, and her dream job is to work at Too Faced.

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