Sean O’Keefe is a University Professor and the Howard G. and S. Louise Phanstiel Chair in Strategic Management and Leadership in the Maxwell School. O’Keefe served as administrator of NASA during the George W. Bush Administration. In a recent op-ed…
Syracuse iSchool sponsors Professional Development Series for students
Every Friday at noon, students stream into Room 111 in Hinds Hall, eager to eat pizza and hear advice on improving their job searching skills. The presentations, known as the Professional Development Series, are co-sponsored by the School of Information Studies (iSchool), the Center for Career Services and the Center for Advanced Systems and Engineering (CASE).
“The Career Development Series is aimed to help iSchool students be as prepared as possible for all aspects of their job search,” says Roseanne Ecker, associate director of Career Services. It appears to be working well, as iSchool undergraduates have a 92 percent placement rate and the highest reported starting salaries among 2008 SU graduates of bachelor’s programs, according to Career Services placement surveys. The iSchool’s graduate students have historically strong placement and salary numbers as well.
The development series is a six-week-long series. Each week, representatives from the University’s Center for Career Services come to the iSchool to give an hour-long presentation that is geared toward a specific aspect in job searching, including succeeding at a career fair, researching potential employers and learning to use the Mentor@SU Program to network.
On Sept. 25, there was not an empty seat in the room as David DiMaggio, program manager for the CASE Center Industry Co-op Program, and Ecker presented that week’s topic, “How can you best showcase your soft skills in an interview?” Together, DiMaggio and Ecker described to students different strategies on how to succeed in an interview.
DiMaggio stressed to the students that every question in an interview has a purpose and students should take time to think about their responses before answering. Ecker outlined the three C’s that she said advance a career—content, clarity and character.
Joel Fernandes, a graduate student in information management, says the development series is particularly helpful for international students; he and his fellow classmates go every Friday. “The program provides advice regarding current scenarios,” he says. “It shows how things are done in the corporate environment.”
During the presentations, students shared their experiences in previous job and internship interviews. The students received feedback on parts of their interviews that went wrong and learned some tricks on how to gain control of an interview.
Fernandes said the feedback the students receive is very beneficial to preparing for future interviews.
Future presenters for the Development Series include Chuck Reutlinger, associate director of information resources and services for the Center for Career Services, on Oct. 2, and Kelly Lux, alumni programs coordinator for the Center for Career Services, on Oct. 9. The events are open to all iSchool students interested in developing better job searching skills.