Archive for the ‘career’ Category

Hoosier Daddy?

Over the last five weeks, I’ve traveled to Bloomington, IN four times for work. They’re one of my campuses I recruit at and I’ve gotten pretty familiar with the campus. I’ve seen more “Hoosier Daddy” shirts than I can count, and I’ve actually enjoyed my time here. By no means am I a travel guide, but for all of you who want the 5 cent tour of the city, here’s what I recommend doing in Bloomington.

1. Jared’s Subway

Jared (the Subway) guy spent his time at this Subway on campus. He actually lived in the apartments above the restaurant! If I lived above a Subway maybe I’d also be a skinny-minny (or constantly smell of bread and cheese; both are feasible)

2. Hobby Lobby

I realize that I have lived in the dark ages. I understand that the rest of you love yourselves some “Hob Lob”………..how have I lived without this store? If Home Goods, Michaels, and JoAnn Fabrics all had a messy relationship that produced a love child; I’m convinced Hobby Lobby would be it. I went there yesterday and saw 12 aisles of Christmas decor. HEAVEN. I’ve already looked and MN is clearly missing out on this biznass. Which is probably a good thing considering my monthly spending on ridiculous things is already at an all-time high.

3. Sorority Houses
IU is a sorostitutes dream-land. The houses are GORGEOUS. Some can have 90 women living in the house. Awesome. They’re beautiful.

Love Love Love beautiful old houses.

4. Nick’s English Hut and Sink the Biz

If you are into the nightlife, Nick’s has one of the best traditions out there. They’ve invented a drinking game called “Sink the Biz” that has put this restaurant on the map. Here are the rules if you want to recreate this bad-boy at your own ploace. They also have awesome pizza. Since I have only traveled to IU on work-related events, I have not yet been a participant. It’s only a matter of time……..

5. Jiffy Treat Homemade Ice Cream
An Indiana company that has frozen yogurt, ice cream, and mix-ins. Their version of the DQ blizzard is called a cyclone and is HEAVEN. And? They deliver! I feel slightly better about myself thinking that it was frozen yogurt, but considering I added 70 pounds of Reese’s Pieces; it may not have been the healthiest option. Oh well.
Love it. Couldn’t live here all the time, but it’s a sweet college town. Not a bad place to spend a work trip!

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My Grown Up Job

I have been CRAZY busy the last few weeks. That’s why I’m averaging a post a week, and generally speaking am just trying to keep my head above water. Any spare time I have is spent recovering from the last work trip and preparing to leave for the next one. I’m wrapping up my last work trip today, and I can tell you that this month-long stint in recruiting has been truly eye-opening so far.

I think I’ve found my calling. I love this job. I recruit for an entry-level position with my company, and I love interacting with college junior and seniors who are just starting out in the corporate world. Granted I have my fair share of crazy stories, but I also have seen amazing young leaders.

It hit me yesterday; I hold quite a bit of power to these young students. The only thing standing between them and an amazing job-opportunity is a 30 minute interview with me. Who in the world gave me this responsibility? I feel like just a few years ago, I was the one standing in line at the career fairs. My suit probably didn’t fit very well, and I probably bombed a couple of the questions in my interviews. I didn’t know how to hold my big bulky portfolio the right way, and was really overwhelmed by Minneapolis and corporate America in general.

Fast forward four years……. I see 400 resumes at every career fair. I interview at least 12 people per day when I’m on campus. It could be very easy to become relaxed or let my profesionalism slip up. But if I do that? I’m not only representing myself poorly, I’m representing my company poorly. All the time spent building that relationship and competing for great talent would be wasted.

I take it extremely seriously, and regardless of whether or not I’m offering the candidate the position, I treat everyone as though they could be my boss someday. They spend hours building their resume, researching my company, and practicing their interview skills.  The least I can do is give them 30 minutes of my undivided attention.

This week I got the opportunity to give out my first round of internship offers. I spoke with one young man who told me it was the best news he’d ever received. He talked about how his parents would be so excited for him and how thankful he was for the opportunity. I wish I could bottle up some of that energy and passion. To me, it was a 10 minute conversation that I had had 20 times before. To this young student? It was the door opening for him into an amazing new opportunity. I realized that this is an awesome profession. I love love love my job. It’s grueling and it’s demanding; but conversations like that make it all worth it.

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I’ve been CRAZY busy with work already. 10 days on the job; 8 days traveling to campus events. Pure insanity. I had this as my facebook status earlier because my friends LOVE hearing about the craziness that I sometimes see at work. Thought this would be applicable to all the job-hunters out there, but also provide some humorous insight into my life the last 2 weeks. Here you go!

Top 5 Ways to Guarantee I’ll ignore you at a Career Fair

5. Talk about how much you hated your last job: Great, clearly you don’t get along well with others, you have a negative attitude, and you tend to speak poorly about those you work with. FANTASTIC first impression.

4. Shake my hand with a sweaty/cold/clammy hand: There are ways to avoid this. While waiting in line, open those palms up! Don’t clench them, try to relax, and thing about something else.

3. Invade my personal “bubble”: I am a stranger to you. There is a nice, safe distance that we can handle. If I’m continually backing up during our conversation: YOU ARE TOO CLOSE.

2. Name drop your “really close friend” who works at my company, but conveniently forget that friends last name and profession: This is a doozy. I’m shocked at how many people attempt this and fail miserably. If you don’t know their last name, or even the slightest idea of what they do: DON’T MENTION THEM! I check up on these “references” and if that person doesn’t remember you, I will not call you back. You are mis-representing your relationship, and that damages your credibility. If you have an aquaintance that’s employed with our company, share what you’ve seen from their experiences; names might not even be needed.

1. Wink at me: NEVER APPROPRIATE. Winking to me makes my skin crawl. I think I can make a blanket statement and say that it is 100% never ok to wink at someone during a job interview (yet somehow this week it’s happened 3 times. GROSS)
Ahhhhh the life of a recruiter. I’m sure this list will continue to grow. Love it.

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Last week this girl got offered a new job! I don’t believe in over-sharing everything via the internet, so unfortunately I’d rather not tell TOO many details about the new gig, but here’s just a few tidbits of info. I’m staying at the same company, and will be in Recruiting. I cannot tell you how excited I am about the opportunity. It aligns perfectly with my passion for building relationships, developing talent, and marketing/sales.

More interesting though – this was an incredible lesson for me about the inner-networking that’s critical to achieving success in the workplace.

I’ve been working in training for almost a year and a half. During this time I’ve been on lots of projects and worked with people all across the company. Many of these interactions are with senior leaders and people I highly respect. Recently, one of these leaders had an opening on their team, and reached to my supervisor asking if I would be interested in the new role. Once hearing about it, I immediately said I would love to hear more, and it just snowballed.

That’s it. Not one hundred rounds of interviews. Not weeks spent scrutinizing over a resume. I was so surprised at how quickly things progressed. Within one week I had been told about the role, met with the leaders of the team, and was offered the position. They made it very clear that they were confident in their decision based on the interactions we’d had over the past year.

Everyday you’re at the office, you’re on. I walked into the interview with the Director of the team, and realized I’d been behind her in line at Starbucks that week. What if she’d heard me whining about my job, my boss, or the company? I doubt she would have considered bringing me onto her team. What if I’d been dressed unprofessionally? Had been rude to the employees at the coffee shop? She would have left with a sour taste in her mouth.

These are things that I see young professionals constantly struggle with! If you are within 1 mile of your place of employment, chances are you are surrounded by coworkers, or future supervisors. Those loud conversations on your cell phone or at happy hour all make an impression. Thankfully I’d left a good one!

Next Monday I start the new gig. I’m already booked to travel the first 8 of 10 days in role! I have tons to learn but am ecstatic about the new challenge this will bring. Can’t wait!

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Interview Advice

Today I spent the day at my alma matter; helping with on-campus interviews for my company’s summer internship. I saw some great candidates come through, and it was a cool experience to be on the hiring side of things! A few of you really appreciated the “What not to Wear: Office Edition” a few weeks ago, so I thought this would be good timing for some of my advice. Here you go! The Real Housewife’s Interview Advice!

1. Fake it till you make it
Be confident! If the thought of interviewing makes you want to die; PRACTICE! I practice for interviews all the time. I make my husband ask questions, he laughs at my answers, and then I get promotions say “what’s up now hubs”. Even if it means you practice sharing your experiences, just saying things out loud is very helpful. A girl today said, I worry that since I’ve never had a full-time job I won’t have enough job experience. I asked her a few questions and found out she’d babysat for many different families, she’d helped plan fundraisers for her church, and she’d worked in multiple group projects throughout school. She realized that she had TONS of examples of working with others, planning events, organizing resources and getting things done. I don’t care if you got your leadership experience from a sweet internship or from bossing your 10 siblings around. It’s all how you tell me about it!

2. Class it up!
Don’t come to the interview looking sloppy. This might go without saying, but you’d be shocked. Have someone else look at you before you leave. If you’re so nervous you’re sweating through your shirt? Stick some kleenex in your armpits and hope to god you’re blouse doesn’t show. Or better yet? Wear a jacket over that sweaty blouse so noone can even notice! (Clearly I’m passionate about the sweat issue huh?)

Also, don’t tell the interviewer that you’ve received feedback on your “lack of professionalism”. Ummmmm red flag. If I can’t trust that you’ll not be a hot mess at work? You’re the last person I’m going to hire.

3. Do your research
Today I was so impressed because a few of the candidates asked great questions about some recent news from our company. Clearly they had spent a little time online and found out what would be a big focus of ours in the next few months. This stands out so much more than “So why do you like your company?” or “What do you look for in an ideal candidate….” It shows you’re passionate about the position and eager to learn. Plus, it gets the interviewer talking. This is a great time for you to see if you like the direction the company is going!

4. Follow-Up
After the interview, send a quick thank you note to whoever you met with. I received 2 today and they were vastly different. One thanked me for being “really friendly” and making them less nervous. The other thanked me for my time, mentioned something great they learned about the company from our interview, and also mentioned how they are confident they’d be a good fit. Can you guess which thank you I was more impressed by? I mean I like being told I’m friendly, but the #2 had a little more substance behind it. Impressive in my book.

On another note, my friend Kristin is opening up her own coffee shop here in Minneapolis in a few weeks. She’s currently going through interviews to assemble her staff and has some pretty funny insight to share. Jump over to her blog to see her thoughts! And if you’re in the Minneapolis area? Plan on stopping by “Coffee Buzz” in March after they’re open!

For those of you hungry for more Africa stories? Click here to see my memories from this exact time last year. In celebration of it being one year since my awesome time there I’m reposting all the cool experiences. Enjoy!

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What Not to Wear: Office Edition

So today I had the biggest presentation of my career (thus far!). I had spent 8 months working on a project and today was the day I presented my recommendations. Never-mind the fact that I recommended overhauling an entire program that impacts my client group of over 300 people. Or the fact that I was presenting to our Vice President!!! It was a pretty big deal.

It’s funny but the first thing I thought about was, “What should I wear?” So many times I’ve been distracted while listening to someone solely because of what they wore. The color was too bright, it wasn’t a good fit, or they just didn’t look their best. I didn’t want anyone to pay attention to anything other than the words coming out of my mouth. Enter: the perfect suit

Now I know many girls my age dread the idea of rocking a suit at the office. Let me tell you, I’ve never felt more able to sit at a table with the big boys than I did today. I wore something really similar to this:

(necklace and all actually, pretty close match!) and buttoned the jacket. First off; it’s my favorite color: navy blue. The subtle pin-stripe takes it up a few notches, and with some sweet pumps? I was ready to go. I felt like a million bucks; and in turn…..my presentation kicked @$$. (I think!) I wasn’t fidgeting with my outfit, or worried about my buttons. I was able to focus 100% on the topic and my audience. From my vast corporate experience (just under four years but that’s a lifetime for some chicks) I thought I’d put together some of my recommendations for looking professional at the office. Now just a note: at my company it’s expected that you’re business professional, so we step it up quite a bit. These are just my suggestions.

1. The silk cami under the suit: DON’T
I’m confused if this is lingerie or a shirt. Not ever something that should happen in the office. Would you hire this girl if you could see straight down her shirt? Unless you are the new hiring manager at Hooters; I doubt it.

2. Brightly colored suits: DON’T
Unless you want to look like this girl (AKA. Miss America) leave the pastel and shoulder pads at home. It’s just too dated. And honestly, I have a hard time taking you seriously. Think of this as “Elle Woods” syndrome; only your name’s not Reese Witherspoon and you aren’t dating Jake Gyllenhall.

3. Too high Back Slit: DON’T
I like to think that this happens to most women by mistake. I can’t find an image but I think you all know what I’m talking about. If your skirt has a slit in the back: TURN AROUND IN THE STORE AND LOOK IN THE MIRROR. Or here’s another suggestion. Try walking! If you could do the splits and have your skirt not move; that slit is too short. Just yesterday I was walking through the skyway and saw a girl in front of me with a “too short in the back skirt.” I could see all the way to the control top part of her pantyhose! Hopefully you know what I mean. TOO SHORT.

4. Leggings as Pants: DON’T (sorry Fantasia)
Not ok. Wear them under a dress? It’s a whole ‘nother ball game. You are at work, not ballet class. Adjust.

Those are the biggest ones that drive me crazy. I might be able to add another addition after spending about 2 seconds in the skyways. More updates to come. Until then? Marinade on these; and go throw out those leggings.

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