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Wise Words: Christina Rossetti

“Can anything be sadder than work left unfinished? Yes; work never begun.” - Christina Rossetti

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Get Career Ready: Be of Service

By Angela Guido

April 24, 2016

Resumes are all about impact and positive contributions to meaningful outcomes. Want to have more impact and contribute more towards meaningful outcomes? It’s easy. Just ask yourself this one question: How can I be of service in my classes, clubs, internships, and part-time jobs?

Service happens at the intersection of what is needed and what you have to offer. Does the office filing system need a revamp? Does your club need a process for marketing to new members? Does your dance team need someone to coordinate travel for the next four shows? Does your professor need more people to raise their hands and add thoughtful comments in class? Does your study group need someone to catalog and share notes? Do it.

Be of service to the people around you and the organizations you’ve joined. The more you do this, the more you’ll positively contribute to meaningful outcomes, and the more you’ll effortlessly build your resume.

Our career tips are brought to you by Angela Guido. For more timeless wisdom and bright ideas for your career, check out her website, Career Protocol.

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Driving Forces: Balancing Leadership and Quantitative Skills

When Monique Benoit, 2015 Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business MBA, realized she could make a career out of her love for developing others, she determined pursuing an MBA was a great next step. “It would allow me to leverage my engineering background by applying some quantitative skills to a business problem, and then five years down the road I’d be able to lead a team to do exactly what I’m passionate about,” she said. She brought the great balance of leadership and quantitative skills she achieved during her MBA experience to her Merchandise Buyer internship at Target Corporation, returning there upon graduation.

Content courtesy of Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper School of Business).

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Get Career Ready: Launch Your Resume

By Angela Guido

April 17, 2016

Most people get resumes all wrong. They’re not meant to tell the whole story of everything you’ve ever done (fear not, underclassmen!). They’re not meant to list out all the skills or qualities you think you possess. A resume is meant to be an accomplishment brag sheet, a concisely phrased and well-formatted factual record of the tangible outcomes you have produced in the world. It’s about measurable impact, not colorful adjectives or overreaching verbs.

So whether you’ve had one job or five, joined one club or 10, you can create a compelling resume if you focus on what you’ve achieved. Scrutinize your experiences and see if you can discern your specific impact. For example, as part of a team planning a benefit for a club, exactly what role did you play? How did that specifically contribute to a successful outcome? What were the results? And how (if at all) did it surpass expectations?

Put all that together and you get something like this: “Led team of five in coordinating silent auction donations for Habitat for Humanity annual benefit, leading to record contributions and ~$4,000 raised, 20% more than prior year.”

Our career tips are brought to you by Angela Guido. For more timeless wisdom and bright ideas for your career, check out her website, Career Protocol.

Subscribe to Forté Driving Forces and get weekly tips on career prep activities, taking the GMAT and cool on-the-job profiles.

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Driving Forces: Turning Tragedy into Inspiration

April 17, 2016

When does a race end and a personal journey begin?

For Forté Fellow alumna Katherine Beaulieu, hers started just minutes after crossing the iconic blue, yellow, and white finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon. Less than an hour later, lives would be lost, families ripped apart, and plans for the future—once so sure and promising—altered forever.

Beaulieu, who finished the race 45 minutes before twin explosions rocked Boylston St., decided to use the tragedy of the marathon bombing as her motivation to do more—for others.

“After that experience, in order to honor and remember the victims, I decided to dedicate myself to making a positive impact in my community—as a runner, marketer, and business leader,” she said. “I became a marathon coach to help others achieve their goal of successfully crossing the finish line. I joined the board of Girls on the Run of Franklin County (Ohio) to inspire the next generation of female runners.”

“And I decided to return to business school to refine my skills and refocus my career on making a difference,” she added.

Beaulieu returned to The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business, where she earned her undergraduate degree in marketing, to begin work on her MBA. In 2014, she was selected to be a part of Fisher’s inaugural class of Forté Fellows.

“Fisher’s partnership with the Forté Foundation is just one example of the many meaningful ways students—particularly, female business students—can get involved throughout their educational career at Fisher,” Beaulieu said. “It meant a lot to me that my college and an organization like Forté were working together to increase the number of women with fulfilling careers in business.”

A 2015 MBA graduate, Beaulieu is now a part of BASF’s Leadership Development Program. Every day, she utilizes the key skills that are integral parts of the MBA and Forté experience—teamwork and collaboration.

While at Fisher, she participated in the college’s Global Applied Projects (GAP) program. She spent seven weeks working with a team of MBA students on a consulting challenge provided by Philips Healthcare. The experience culminated with the team spending the final three weeks of the program in Shanghai, where they presented recommendations directly to Philips executives.

“The product we turned out was superior to what they were expecting,” Beaulieu said. “The opportunity to not only present to leading executives, but also travel to and experience a culture halfway around the world was incredible and continues to shape my career.”

“Fisher and its connection with Forté provided me with the platform to find my voice, support my causes, and start the next stage of my career with a company that is dedicated to solving the world’s toughest problems,” she added.

Content courtesy of Ohio State University (Fisher College of Business).

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Wise Words: Lynda Barry

“Expect the unexpected, and whenever possible, be the unexpected.” - Lynda Barry

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How to Create Your Own Career Opportunities

By Alina Tang

April 12, 2016

Most colleges and universities have a career center or advising office that helps students with their professional development. However, these resources can only help an individual to a certain extent. In order to make the most out of your college experience, you must create your own career opportunities.

Below are five tips on how to maximize your chance of impressing a recruiter, standing out from the crowd, and eventually landing your dream internship/job.

Practice being professional.

It’s much harder to flip a switch and take on a more professional demeanor if you are not already used to acting polite, well-spoken, and gracious. There are some college students who curse or speak vulgarly on a regular basis, so once they are in a formal setting, they are more likely to slip. I also noticed that many of my peers and I frequently use “like” and other filler words in our casual conversation.

If you are more aware of undesirable habits like these, it will be easier to avoid them when you actually need to act professionally.

Invest in business cards.

My mentor told me to buy business cards (or make my own) the very first day I met her. She emphasized the importance of being able to keep your name fresh in someone’s mind, and the best way to do that? Print your name on something that you can leave with them.

I actually had the opportunity to use my business card once when I was on a flight. A recruiter happened to sit in the same row as me, and he introduced himself when he saw that I was wearing my USC sweatshirt. He was even more impressed when I mentioned that I was familiar with his company, and it was the perfect moment to share my business card with him after that

Befriend your professors.

Sometimes all it takes is one mentor or professor to recommend you for a job or link you with your next connection. However, can you imagine all the connections you could be making if you were on good terms with all your professors? This isn’t to say you should go to office hours just to get networking perks. Your professors’ expertise and advice will be invaluable regardless of whether or not they can help you land a position.

The primary focus is to build strong relationships with the people who have great knowledge and experience in your career field.

Ask someone you admire if you can shadow them.

It can be a mentor, a friend, a TA—anyone you admire, will likely be more than happy to let you shadow them for a day. The first time I shadowed someone was actually by invitation—he asked me if I would be interested in visiting his office and seeing his day-to-day duties. However, when I arrived, I not only got to see what he does, but I also got to talk to some of his colleagues and observe their responsibilities.

This is definitely a good visual way to confirm if you would fit well in a specific industry or work environment.

Keep your eyes out.

Finally, simply being alert about the opportunities around you makes a huge difference. I find it helpful to be subscribed to a variety of educational and career recruitment websites. While the educational websites keep me informed with current events (so I can hold stronger, more interesting conversations), the career ones email me weekly job postings and employment opportunities.

I also pay close attention to all the emails sent out from USC’s career center, business school, and different student organizations. My two most recent internships fell in my lap because I noticed their deadlines in an informational email that reminded students to apply.

At the end of the day, you have full control of the opportunities that cross your path. The best way to maximize these opportunities is to stay alert and proactive. Never stop looking for ways to gain advice, learn new skills, meet people, and make strong impressions and connections. Best of luck!

Alina Tang will graduate from USC in 2016. She is majoring in business administration and plans to work in the Management Development Program at Mondelez International and gain more experience in global marketing.

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Building a Winning Brand

By Valeria Tirado

April 11, 2016

I recently had the chance to attend Forté’s College Fast Track to Finance Conference in NYC on March 18, and I had a great time! I learned a lot from many successful women in business and met some awesome college ladies as well.

Perhaps one of the most intriguing speakers was Marjie Terry, who works for Great on the Job. Her presentation was called, “Building a Winning Brand,” and contained a lot of useful information that I’ll be using in my own job hunting.

Luckily, I took some notes and want to share some of the highlights of her presentation so that you can benefit from them too!

Own the room

Success = confidence = competence. These are the words that really kicked off Marjie’s presentation and they had a strong impact on the room.

Owning the room means making yourself stand out, in a good way, particularly when meeting potential employers and colleagues. Confidence is key when it comes to owning the room. Even if you don’t feel 100% confident, looking confident is what it’s all about. As the saying goes, “fake it till you make it.”

Be sure to have strong body language, stay open, maintain eye contact, and use gestures. When it comes to speaking, make sure you maintain your pace, avoid fillers, and avoid tentative language.

Have great content (your brand/pitch)

Ever heard of an elevator pitch? It’s basically a short summary of yourself, usually meant to persuade someone (like a potential employer) why they should be interested in you. They can be as short as 15 seconds, but some can be up to a minute long, although Marjie said 30 seconds is an appropriate amount.

I had some difficulty the first time I tried my pitch, but then Marjie offered us some great guidelines to follow. First, identify your areas of expertise; what can you talk about at length? Next, consider what you want to be known for; your ability to adapt, your ability to solve problems, being successful in the world of finance? Finally, think about how you can get there; getting an MBA, obtaining a job where your skills are challenged and can be refined?

Once you answer all these questions, you can use the answers to fill in this basic elevator pitch template: 1) destination (I’m interested in this position/career because…); 2) back story (I have these skills or experience relevant to this position…); 3) connect the dots (That’s why I qualify for this position…) - be sure to explain the connection between your skills/experience and the position/career in this part.

Make people love you

And the easiest way to do that is by being yourself. Nobody is going to want to hire someone who lies. If you don’t have much experience in the industry you’re applying for, then just be honest about it. If not, what happens when they ask you to work on a project they chose for you because of all this experience you raved about?

If they ask you a question you don’t know the answer to, don’t make things up, just say something like, “I don’t know the answer to that right now, but let me get back to you on that.”

Another easy way to make people love you is to be generous, and by that, I simply mean be generous with sharing information about yourself. Sure, people love to talk about themselves and being a good listener is important, but employers are also really interested in hearing about you too.

Last but not least, be transparent – speak your mind! It’s okay to disagree sometimes, in a respectful manner, and you’ll gain respect from your colleagues this way too. Nobody likes a yes-man, after all. Be your own person!

Be sure to look for any Forté events near you because I highly recommend you attend one as they are really informative and fun! Forté even offers a $250 travel stipend for their college events so you don’t have to miss out just because of money. I guarantee you’ll also make some new friends (I know I did) so you can’t lose!

Valeria Tirado is a senior at Rutgers University – New Brunswick with a major in Environmental and Business Economics. After graduation, she is interested in working with a non-profit organization like the World Wildlife Fund and eventually wants to go to grad school for Economics. Among the schools she is considering are NYU and Vanderbilt. Valeria can be found on Twitter at @valeriat94.

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