Posts by smk

More success stories

Posted by on Jun 2, 2015 in Uncategorized

Each fall and spring since 2005, I have taught an undergraduate internship course for student majoring in any program within the NC State College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Students in the course are required to spend 120 hours at an internship relevant to their career interests, attend the class that I teach, and complete assignments pertaining to job search and application processes and strategies. The students must be either juniors or seniors when they take the class, and this past spring most of the students were seniors. After the semester ended, I asked them to write and tell me what they’re doing next—either for the summer or after graduation. I only heard from 10 of the 23 students—but they’re responses were pretty impressive, and they emphasized the value of internships. Six graduating seniors had secured full-time jobs, two of which were with the organization where they interned this spring, and three of which were directly related to the internship. One graduating senior will be working free-lance for the newspaper where she interned (and also waitressing to pay off some debt) and is planning on applying to graduate school for fall 2016. One graduating senior had been hired full time for the summer at the law firm where he...

Learn More

Now that you’re earning, spend wisely

Posted by on May 28, 2015 in Uncategorized

When you’ve been living on limited funds—whether an allowance from your parents, earnings from a part-time job, or some type of scholarship/stipend—it’s easy to go a little crazy when you start earning a decent salary in your first full-time job. However, a recent article from Yahoo Finance titled “10 ways recent grads waste money” provides a good reminder that financial security beings early! In today’s post I’m going to share some of the highlights with you, but I encourage you to take a long, hard look at the article to make sure that you’re not making mistakes you’ll regret down the road.,/p> One of the most important lessons from the article is that if someone else has been paying the bills all your life, you may not even know what reasonable expenses are. You may have shopped for clothing, but do you know what rents cost in the city where you live (or plan to live)? Do you know how much to budget for utilities? (Do you even know what utilities you will need? And if any of them will be included in your rent?) Do you know how to shop for groceries: how to choose a supermarket, how to choose healthy but reasonably priced food, how to choose...

Learn More

Let’s talk about negotiation

Posted by on May 26, 2015 in Uncategorized

If you’re like me, negotiating for a salary is not a task to relish. However, it’s important to recognize that when you’re looking for a job, your ability to negotiate can be very useful and have long-term repercussions. When you’re offered a job, most employers are going to expect you to negotiate for salary. Even if it’s your first full-time job, it pays to ask for a higher salary than what you’re initially offered. Keep in mind these key points when preparing to negotiate. You should begin your job search only after gaining a good idea of the typical salary range for that job in that geographic area. There are resources that can help you do your research ahead of time (including professional associations and websites such as, so that when you do get an offer, you’ll know if it’s reasonable. Make your request for a higher salary politely. You will want to first say that you’re excited about the offer and the opportunity to work with the organization (assuming that those are true statements) and provide evidence to support your request for more money. Your evidence should come from reliable sources, but it can also be based on your experience in the field. If it’s your first...

Learn More

More suggestions for networking

Posted by on May 14, 2015 in Networking

As I continue examining recent articles on networking to share with you, I’ve been finding really interesting advice that comes at the topic from a variety of angles. Today I’m going to briefly review and comment on three more articles. We’ll start with one that is applicable to everyone, a Forbes article titled “The Only Three Networking Rules You Really Need to Know.” You can read the article yourself to get all the details, but the basic “rules” are: Network “clean,” which is a very strange way of saying that you should think of networking as a way to make industry “friends,” not professional contacts. There’s a logic to what they’re saying, but I wish the advice had been explained more clearly. Own your value, which means don’t forget that networking is a two-way street. You’re not just looking for something from others, you have something to offer—so remember to put it out there! Farm strategically, which is a strange metaphor that they use to talk about networking in such a way that you will produce the result (harvest the crop?) that you seek. Despite any quibbles about how the article presents the information, it does contain some good ideas about networking effectively. The second article, “Networking When You...

Learn More

Networking on LinkedIn

Posted by on May 12, 2015 in Networking, Uncategorized

According to various sources, something like 90% of all recruiters are now using LinkedIn as a key mechanism for finding prospective hires. LinkedIn itself report that more than 30,000 companies use LinkedIn to recruit new employees. What that means for you (if you’re looking for a job) is that you really need to develop a lot of LinkedIn savvy. I am far from expert at using LinkedIn, although I have had a profile for many years and I do have about 750 connections. If I were a intending to look for a job, I would learn more about the subtleties of using LinkedIn to best advantage. But instead, I’m going to identify some resources that can help you use LinkedIn more effectively. Neil Fogarty, writing for Virgin Entrepreneur, provides “15 tips: How to get the most out of LinkedIn.” This is a great place to start because it gives you some very basic advice about how to set up your profile. The suggestions are concise and clear, and should help you get off the ground if you haven’t used LinkedIn before. HubSpot’s blog writer, Pamela Vaughan, wrote “How to Use LinkedIn: The Ultimate List of LinkedIn Tips,” and I found it to be a very detailed and thorough overview...

Learn More