Page 1

CAREERS INTERVIEWING EMPLOYERS RESUMES


THANK YOU... ...to all the students for sharing your opinions in our survey! Also, thanks to all of our partners and universities for making this year’s survey a huge success! Want to know the results and who takes the prize of the most Ideal Employer of 2011? Visit www.universumglobal.com at the end of March to find out!


Letter

from the

editor

N o w w e k n ow w h at it f ee l s l ike t o b e t he loc al w eat he r man… Nobody wants to be the bearer of bad news, and for the past two-and-a-half years we’ve been forecasting little other than gloom and doom in the job market. But finally things are changing for the better. That’s what Signs of Life (page 28) is all about: Writer Liz Seasholtz spoke to career center reps and employment experts to get the inside scoop on what to expect from the 2011 job market and how to be savvy in your job hunt. You may not need your sunglasses quite yet, but there is reason to be “cautiously optimistic.” Despite indications the economy is on the mend, there are some out there who aren’t waiting for opportunity to come knocking— they’re creating it themselves. In our cover story, She Can Do It! (page 32), we highlight seven bold female entrepreneurs who have found success running their own businesses. Plus, you’ll find a couple more inspirational young women in What I Didn’t Learn in College (page 4): The founders of CitySlips reveal the lessons they learned on the streets of New York. Also, in the Insights section, you’ll find plenty of practical advice. In Laws of the Jungle (page 6), resume guru Don Goodman gives the lowdown on whether religion belongs on a resume and how to play up your strengths in an interview. In Grilling Your Interviewer (page 8), we’ll show you how to turn the tables, and on page 9, we put together a flow chart that answers the question, Should I Relocate? In Flat, Flexible, & Wired Up (page 36), we survey the changing landscape of the modern workplace. What does that mean, you ask? Among other things, it means you’ll be given a lot more discretion and flexibility than previous generations of workers—and that can be dangerous. Finally, turn to Exit Ramp (page 40) for a bit of wackiness with a Mad Libs (remember those?) cover letter. All in all, we hope you find this issue to be an uplifting one. It’s about time.

DENIS WILSON Editor in Chief

EDITOR IN CHIEF Denis Wilson Associate Editor Liz Seasholtz Staff Writer Dave Allen Web Manager Lindsay Hicks Art Director Michael Wilson Junior Designer Holly Siemon WETFEET MAGAZINE IS A MEDIA PROPERTY OF UNIVERSUM Universum's media portfolio also includes the WetFeet Insider Guides, WetFeet.com, Springboardr, InternshipPrograms.com, and CareerTV.

UNIVERSUM 1518 Walnut Street, Suite 1800 Philadelphia, PA 19102 215.546.4900 www.universumusa.com CEO Petter Nylander Global Director of Media Karin Almcrantz University Relations, Marketing, and Distribution Jonas Barck Kristina Matthews Kate Balog For information about advertising in Universum publications, please contact Merritt Carew at merritt.carew@ universumusa.com or 215.546.4900 ext. 107 SALES AND ADVERTISING Karl-Johan Hasselstrom Kortney Kutsop Roger Manfredsson Emma Moretzsohn Sara Ying Gao Entire contents copyright 2011, Universum All rights reserved. Universum’s goal is to improve communication and understanding between employers and young professionals. Our annual Undergraduate, MBA, Diversity, and Young Professional surveys are answered by more than 300,000 people in 31 countries.


Con t en t s SPRING 20 1 1

Insights 04 What I Didn’t

Learn in College

06 07

Laws of the Jungle

08

Grilling Your Interviewer

09

Flow Chart: Should I Relocate?

Summary Judgement

features 28 Signs of Life

With the economy in a slow-mo recovery, 2011 grads have reason to be cautiously optimistic.

32

She Can Do It! Seven rising female entrepreneurs share their secrets to success.

36

Flat, Flexible, and Wired Up The changing shape—and accelerating pace— of the modern workplace.

40

Exit Ramp Things got a little wacky when we filled out a Mad Libs cover letter.

SPONSORED CONTENT 10 Diversity Rankings 13 Employee Profiles: Goldman Sachs, Lockheed Martin, Merck, State Farm, UBS, Unilever, Verizon, Liberty Mutual

32 PAGE

cover and contents photos: Rayon Richards (www.rayonrichards.com)


INSIGHTS SPRING 2011

WHAT I DIDN'T LEARN IN COLLEGE Katie Shea and Susie Levitt AGE 23 and 23 TITLE Co-founders, CitySlips degree NYU, marketing and finance, 2009, and NYU, economics, 2009

D

uring college, Katie Shea and Susie Levitt were constantly on the move. They navigated subways and sidewalks, trekking from Wall Street internships, to dinner dates, to NYC night clubs— all while donning high-heeled shoes that were killing their feet. Neither were willing to give up their pointy-toe pumps and strappy stilettos, but they couldn’t bear any more ankle-twisting, blisterinducing journeys. So the two devised a solution. As seniors at NYU, Shea and Levitt invented CitySlips: foldable, lightweight, and durable ballet flats that fit into a purse, clutch, or jacket pocket. They launched their business in the summer of 2009, right after graduation. To date, their functional footwear has been picked up by major retailers, such as Neiman Marcus and Bed Bath & Beyond. One of the smartest things Shea and Levitt did during their senior year was seek advice from their professors. “We asked our accounting professor, ‘How should we do our taxes?’ and our business law professor whether we should we be a corporation or LLC,” says Shea. “These are professionals who could be charging so much money for their time, but because you’re under the umbrella of school, you can go to their office hours and get advice for free.” The duo has also learned a lot about running a company since graduation. “We have pretty good business instincts, but those instincts don’t help when you’re dealing with something like manufacturing and shipping for the first time,” says Shea. “We ordered our first 400 pounds of shoes, 1,000 pairs, and we had them delivered to my parents’ garage on Long Island. We got a phone call from the customs department at JFK airport, asking who our customs broker is. We had no idea what that even was!” Shea and Levitt say undergrads shouldn’t be intimidated by the idea of launching a business. “People usually think it’s a disadvantage being young, but our age has been one of our biggest assets,” says Levitt. “We’re able to use the college startup story and we have great energy.” Plus, the risks are lower when you don’t have a mortgage and a family. “We figured the worst that would happen is that we’d fail—but learn a lot in the process.” 

Photo BY M. Scott Whitson


INSIGHTS | SPRING 2011

YOU CAN READ MORE AT WETFEET.COM

WETFEET

5


INSIGHTS >I always trip up when I’m asked to describe a weakness in my interviews. How do I give a response that doesn’t come off as a cop-out? Giving answers like “I put in too many hours and have to be pulled away from the work” won’t cut it. Remember that people hire people they like, so your goal in the interview, besides letting them know you have the technical qualifications, is to build rapport. Be honest—but most importantly, indicate what you have done to overcome the weakness. For example: “I work at a pretty fast pace and sometimes, in the interest of meeting aggressive deadlines, there were small errors in the work and we had to make revisions. I learned to add an extra proofing step to ensure accuracy or ask a colleague to review it before completion.” It’s also a good idea if the weakness you highlight is not one that is crucial to the job.

Laws Jungle of the

Resume guru Don Goodman on how to use the “weakness question” to show off your strengths. Plus, whether religion and politics belong on your resume and how to make a career change.

> I have a degree in engineering, but I’m really interested in finance. What skills or areas should I highlight on my resume? Career-changers should start by identifying the five or so key skills that are critical to success in your newly targeted field—keywords from job posting will help with this—then show how you demonstrated these skills in your previous positions. For example, financial careers generally demand a high level of accuracy and attention to detail, and strong skills in analysis, project management, and oral and written communication. If you are coming from engineering, you can explain how you have demonstrated these talents: certainly you have had to be accurate and meet deadlines, learned technical skills and applied them on the job, and adhered to detailed specifications and standards. Also, understanding of financial statements and key accounting ratios is basic to almost all finance jobs, so you

Don Goodman is president of About Jobs (www.GotTheJob.com) and a nationally recognized career coach and resume writer. Don can be reached at dgoodman@GotTheJob.com. Have a question you need answered? Email it to: info@wetfeet.com

should be able to point to some training in that area.

> I was really involved in religious and political organizations in college, but I worry that might turn some recruiters off. Should I leave them off of my resume? This is tricky. If your work in these organizations showcase key strengths and skills the employer should know, then they should absolutely be on the resume. Employers aren’t concerned about your religious and political affiliations unless you plan on proselytizing in the workplace. So if you worked for a political party as an intern, then highlight what you learned, what skills you demonstrated, and what you achieved. However, it goes without saying that the organization should not be highly controversial; it’s not a good idea to indicate you were a member of a Taliban fundraising group. 


INSIGHTS

SUMMARY JUDGEMENT

LinkedInnovations 3 Tricks for Fine-Tuning Your Profile

Move the elements of your profile around by clicking and dragging. Put your best features—an Ivy League education, a prestigious

A GOOD LINKEDIN SUMMARY SHOULD MAKE A STRONG CASE TO RECUITERS

T

he traditional resume is all black and white, facts and figures. Quite boring, actually. ¶ But your LinkedIn profile offers so much more. It’s a customizable space that let’s you bring your best qualities to the forefront and show off a bit of personality while doing it. This is especially true if you make good use of the Summary section, a 2,000-character space to write whatever you want. “It’s an opportunity for more narrative stories and specific accounts, instead of just repeating the same data,” says Greig Wells, a LinkedIn trainer for JobSearchSmarter.com. ¶ Usually appearing at the top of a profile, your Summary should entice recruiters to read more about what you have to offer. Based on what you put there, recruiters will judge whether you’d make a good employee.

internship—at the top.

Post status messages to show what you’re working on, where you’re traveling, or what you’re reading. It shows you’re engaged and active, and adds personality to your profile.

You have an additional 500 characters at your disposal in the Specialties subsection. Use them to highlight special talents (“technical sales whiz”) or niche expertise (programming languages,

FIRST THINGS FIRST You want to be as accessible as possible—so either your email or phone number should be immediately visible to recruiters. Follow that with a tagline that expresses something unique about you. For example, Wells’ tagline says he “takes the time to respond personally to everyone.”

KEYED UP Load your Summary with keywords—the skills and qualities that make you valuable—to boost your standing in results when recruiters search for someone like you. Tap into the key terms that consistently turn up in job postings for positions you want.

BE BOLD You can’t format the Summary the way you would a resume, using bold or italics, but you can make it distinctive in other ways. Most recruiters are trying to glean what you’d be like to work with, not just your skill set, so allow your personality to shine through with your choice of words and the tone of your written voice. Your specific industry or field should inform how conservative you should play it.

One user used the summary to write a letter to her ideal employer.

ADDRESS YOUR AUDIENCE Offer targeted information to the different types of people that will see your profile. For your peers, tell them what you’re up to and the industry you work in. Show potential employers your skills and what you have to offer. “You get the best results when you tell people what to expect if they connect with you,” says Wells.

DIVIDE & CONQUER Separate the Summary into discrete sections: a tagline, your pitches to peers and employers, descriptions of your skills and experience, examples of what you do best. Then use asterisks, dashes, hyphens, and other characters to form lines to space out the summary and make it easier to read. PERFECTO! It’s just as easy to close a browser window as it is to throw out a resume, so take care that your Summary is equally flawless. Check your spelling and grammar thoroughly, then have a friend read it—then another. 

accounting certifications). WETFEET

| SPRING 2011

7


INSIGHTS

GRILLING YOUR

INTERVIEWER

3 Questions You Should Ask in an Interview

any candidates tend to wait until the very end of the interview to unload all their questions. But the smart candidate knows to pepper them throughout, engaging their interviewer in the two-way street of conversation. Taking this active approach will show you’re confident, informed, and sociable. Just make sure to do your homework and come prepared with the right questions. Here are a few to consider.

01 02 03 Thinking back to people who have held this position before, what’s the difference between someone who was good at the job and someone that was really great? › Recruiters love questions like this. It shows you are thinking beyond the interview process and visualizing yourself in the job. It also gets your interviewer to reveal details of how their best employees have performed, so you can emphasize the same points that translate into greatness in your own skill set.

8

WETFEET

| SPRING 2011

I read that your company recently merged with Company X. How has that affected your product portfolio/culture/ management approach? › Any question that shows you’ve done your homework and are well-informed about what’s going on with the company is a good one. Bonus points if it’s specific to the department you will be in.

What’s your timeline for hiring for this position? OR What are the next steps in the interview process? › You should always end the interview by feeling out how long the hiring process is going to take, and when you can expect to hear from the interviewer—it can range from days to months. By knowing this you’ll be able to gauge how and when you should follow up.

Five Questions You Should

NEVER Ask

What does your company do? Is it possible for me to get a small loan? How many warnings do you get before you’re fired? Is your receptionist single? Can I have a beer?


SHOULD I

RELOCATE? B

eing open to relocation will increase the number of positions you can apply for—and the chances of landing a gig. However, there is a lot to consider before you uproot your life. This flow chart will help you decide whether to hit the road or stay put.

INSIGHTS


PA I D A D V E R T I S E M E N T

TOP DIVERSITY EMPLOYERS

Diversity

M

ore and more, we hear that diversity is a business imperative because a variety of backgrounds is required to make informed decisions and serve a diverse and increasingly global clientele. On the following pages, you’ll find rankings of the employers diverse students would most like to add to their resume. Once again, Google is at the head of the class. Yolanda Mangolini, director of diversity talent and inclusion for the Internet giant, says “Googlers” thrive on the ability to have a challenging discourse with each other and that you only get that when you have a variety of viewpoints. “I would say we have an inclusive work environment, and it’s an environment where you can bring your whole self to work.” Last year, Google earned good press when it began covering the cost gay and lesbian employees must pay when their partners receive domestic partner health benefits, essentially reimbursing them for a tax that married heterosexual couples do not pay. Mangolini says actions like these help show students that Google is an accepting company, likely increasing their desire to work there.

Featured Companies P.13 Goldman Sachs 10

P.14 Lockheed Martin

P.15 Merck

P.17 P.18-20 P.23 State Farm UBS Unilever

P.25 VERIZON WIRELESS


2010 01

Google 2009 rank: 1

Top Diversity Employers

The Top Diversity Employers is a ranking compiled by research firm Universum based on a survey of 19,823 self-identifying diverse students from 139 U.S. universities.

02

32

Boeing 2009 rank: 30 23

03

14

Ernst & Young 2009 rank: 6

KPMG LLP 2009 rank: 15

Morgan Stanley 2009 rank: 28

04

15

24

U.S. Department of Energy 2009 rank: 26

Apple 2009 rank: 3

Teach for America 2009 rank: 14

American Cancer Society 2009 rank: 20

L’OrÊal 2009 rank: 34

25

34

Mayo Clinic 2009 rank: 24

McKinsey & Company 2009 rank: 35

J.P. Morgan 2009 rank: 7 06

Microsoft 2009 rank: 5 07

Goldman Sachs 2009 rank: 9

17

BMW 2009 rank: 23

18

27

Nike 2009 rank: 18

Bank of America 2009 rank: 21

10

FBI 2009 rank: 8

20

29

Centers for Disease Control 2009 rank: 27

IBM 2009 rank: 29

21 11

PwC 2009 rank: 12

Sony 2009 rank: 16

12

NASA 2009 rank: 11

The Coca-Cola Co. 2009 rank: 22

General Electric 2009 rank: 33

06 FBI 07 Ernst & Young 08 Apple 09 National Institutes of Health 10 PwC 11 Deloitte 12 American Cancer Society 13 Mayo Clinic

Lockheed Martin Corporation 2009 rank: 31

15 Centers for Disease Control 16 cia 17 KPMG LLP 18 Procter & Gamble 19 The Coca-Cola Co. 20 NASA

37

NSA 2009 rank: 46 38

Exxon Mobil Corporation 2009 rank: 45

42

Electronic Arts 2009 rank: 42

47

43

Coach 2009 rank: 37

U.S. Air Force 2009 rank: 54

39

Intel 2009 rank: 47

30

U.S. Dept. of the Treasury 2009 rank: n/a 31

22

36

28

Procter & Gamble 2009 rank: 25

09

Deloitte 2009 rank: 10

34

26

19

Cental Intelligence Agency 2009 rank: 17

03 Peace Corps

14 Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson 2009 rank: 13

08

U.S. Department of State 2009 rank: 4

33

16

Peace Corps 2009 rank: 19

02 Walt Disney Company

05 U.S. Department of State

National Institutes of Health 2009 rank: N/A

05

01 Google

04 Teach for America

13

Walt Disney Company 2009 rank: 2

Female

40

The Boston Consulting Group 2009 rank: 43

44

Major League Baseball 2009 rank: 38 45

Pfizer 2009 rank: 40

41

46

Amazon 2009 rank: 61

Time Warner 2009 rank: 48

48

Federal Reserve Bank 2009 rank: 32 49

Yahoo! 2009 rank: 40 50

The World Bank Group 2009 rank: n/a

wetfeet | Spring 2011

11


2010 employer rankings (cont.)

Physical Disability 01 Google 02 FBI 02 Walt Disney Company 04 U.S. Department of State 05 Apple 05 Central Intelligence Agency 07 National Institutes of Health

Asian/Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 01 Google 02 Ernst & Young 03 J.P. Morgan 04 Goldman Sachs 05 Deloitte 06 Pwc 07 Apple 08 Walt Disney Company

08 Mayo Clinic

09 KPMG LLP

09 American Cancer Society

10 Microsoft

09 Microsoft 09 Teach for America

American Indian/Alaskan Native

Latino/Hispanic

Asian-Indian

01 Google

01 Google

01 Google

02 Walt Disney Company

02 Walt Disney Company

02 Goldman Sachs

03 FBI

03 FBI

03 J.P. Morgan

04 U.S. Department of State

04 U.S. Department of State

04 Ernst & Young

05 Central Intelligence Agency

05 Apple

05 Apple

06 NASA

06 Deloitte

07 Ernst & Young

07 Microsoft

08 Microsoft

08 Walt Disney Company

09 Peace Corps

09 National Institutes of Health

06 Teach for America 07 Peace Corps 08 NASA 09 Apple 10 Microsoft

10 Teach for America

10 U.S. Department of State

Black/African American

Middle Eastern

GLBT

01 Google

01 Google

01 Google

02 Walt Disney Company

02 Ernst & Young

02 Walt Disney Company

03 FBI

03 U.S. Department of State

03 Peace Corps

04 U.S. Department of State

04 Walt Disney Company

04 U.S. Department of State

05 Nike

05 Goldman Sachs

05 Apple

06 Microsoft

06 Apple

06 FBI

07 Teach for America

06 Peace Corps

07 Teach for America

08 Apple

08 Deloitte

09 National Institutes of Health

08 NASA

08 National Institutes of Health

10 Johnson & Johnson

12

10 Central Intelligence Agency

wetfeet | Spring 2011

10 Teach for America

09 Central Intelligence Agency 10 NASA


PA I D A D V E R T I S E M E N T

TOP EMPLOYER |

Goldman Sachs

diversity

“One of the big ge misconception st s you have to be is finance majo a r get a job here to be successfu and l, but you don’t.” Key Facts

S

tephanie Roberts first heard of Goldman Sachs’ career opportunities at an information session during her sophomore year at Duke. As a psychology major, she wasn’t sure she’d fit in at the finance giant, but was quickly drawn to the bright, driven, and down-to-earth recruiters she met. Roberts decided to apply for Goldman Sachs’ Scholarship for Excellence, an award that encourages diverse students to apply to the firm. She won the scholarship, earning her a summer internship at the end of her sophomore year, and ultimately accepted a fulltime position in the marketing department. Q What surprised you the most when

you started? A The resources available here. When you

join the firm, even as an intern, you get a thorough orientation to the business, as well as opportunities to attend networking events and learn from senior-level managePHOTO: M. SCOTT WHITSON

ment. The company really invests in you and your career. As a psych major, I had no previous finance experience, so I had some initial anxiety about starting. But I quickly

We realize that in order to be successful, our employees need to reflect the diversity of the community and culture in which we operate. The Goldman Sachs culture is a culture of meritocracy, and built on teamwork and excellence. We need to foster an environment where everyone feels he or she has the opportunity to be successful, no matter their background. Q What is your advice to other students

who want to work for Goldman Sachs?

Stephanie Roberts • Position: Associate on institutional strategic marketing team, Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) • Education: Duke University, psychology, 2006 • Something I didn’t know about Goldman Sachs before I started: I didn’t know the extent of the different teams and positions offered here.

learned that the firm values on-the-job ex-

Q Why is diversity important at

perience and your ability to learn by doing.

Goldman Sachs?

A I think one of the biggest misconceptions

is you have to be a finance major to get a job here and be successful, but you don’t. More than a third of the firm’s typical analyst class that starts each year comes from a background other than finance and economics. The firm looks for core qualities: passion for excellence, belief in the power of team, integrity, leadership, desire to be challenged, and really, a desire to make a mark on the world. 

Before I knew it, I was really running with

A Diversity is not only important but a

FIND OUT MORE:

things on the marketing team.

business imperative at Goldman Sachs.

www.gs.com/careers

• Read More @ www.wetfeet.com

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm that provides a wide range of financial services to a substantial and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and high-networth individuals. Founded in 1869, the firm is headquartered in New York and maintains offices in London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Hong Kong and other major financial centers around the world. Employees: 37,500 worldwide Future Coworkers: We look for individuals who have intellectual curiosity, work with integrity, possess excellent analytical and communication skills and work well as part of a team. We welcome candidates from diverse cultural and educational backgrounds. If you are interested in the financial markets, have a strong academic performance and professional drive, we encourage you to apply, regardless of your major.

13


PA I D A D V E R T I S E M E N T

TOP EMPLOYER |

Lockheed Martin

diversity

“Our solutions to come from have ab set of perspec road tiv and you only es, that when div get ers is a part of th ity e way a compa ny operates.”

C

oming in to Lockheed Martin after college, Cory Weathers expected to work with smart people and use the latest and greatest technology—and his expectations have been exceeded. As a systems engineer, every day he’s helping to write proposals, define system requirements, build models, and craft training materials for virtual flight-training centers, logistics IT systems, and cyber security testing facilities. Q How did you first become interested

in Lockheed Martin? A

When I was in grad school at North Carolina A&T, Lockheed Martin sponsored a research study that I was involved with, on artificial intelligence in military logistics applications. That was my first exposure to the breadth of projects Lockheed Martin had, and it inspired me to look at other parts of the company where I could apply my skill sets. Q What project have you been the most

proud of? A I managed a project where we delivered a prototype system that’s called the virtual flight-training center. Our team used gaming technology to build a replica of the training center that will be used to train pilots and maintainers for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The program assigns each user an avatar, and they use the avatar to explore the

• Read More @ www.wetfeet.com

Cory Weathers • Position: Senior systems engineer and participant in the Engineering Leadership Development Program • Education: James Madison University, integrated science and technology, 2004; North Carolina A&T, Masters in industrial and systems engineering, 2006 • Something I didn’t know about Lockheed before I started: Martin Marietta (a Lockheed Martin heritage company) worked on America’s first space station, called ‘Skylab’, in 1973. NASA used Skylab to demonstrate that humans could work in space for long periods of time.

virtual training center. The exciting part was we finished the prototype before the actual center was complete—it’s being built at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. It’s amazing that we can enable pilots and maintainers to be familiar with this future facility before they actually visit it.

Q Why is diversity important at your

company? A The problems we help our customers solve are increasing in complexity all the time, and you can’t apply a narrow set of perspectives to solve these problems. Instead, our solutions have to come from a broad set of perspectives, with fresh ideas. You only get that when diversity is a part of the way a company operates. Q How does Lockheed Martin foster

inclusiveness? A Lockheed Martin provides support through employee resource groups, which are groups that serve as a meeting place for employees that have a similar background or interests. Many of the groups match mentors with mentees, host development workshops, or are involved in community service events. One cool thing about these groups is that Lockheed Martin executives often serve as sponsors to the groups and actively participate in them. When you see senior management leading employee resource groups, it becomes clear how important diversity is to the organization.

FIND OUT MORE: www.lockheedmartin.com/careers

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 132,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s 2010 sales from continuing operations were $45.8 billion. Employees: 132,000 Future Coworkers: Lockheed Martin offers a wide range of career opportunities to work on exciting challenges of U.S. and international significance. Lockheed Martin is interested in qualified candidates with the skills to meet our need for talent within the science and engineering fields. More than 80 percent of our skill needs are for technical talent in IT and engineering, specifically computer science and cyber security, systems engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and aerospace engineering.

PHOTO: ART BEAULIEU

Key Facts


PA I D A D V E R T I S E M E N T

TOP EMPLOYER |

Merck

diversity

“I’m proud tha work on some t I th that is directlying connected to t betterment ohe human health f .”

Key Facts

A

lthough he’s only been with Merck for three years, Samir Shaikh has accomplished a great deal. He started out at the company in Alzheimer’s research as a summer intern. Now, as a fulltime employee, he works on vaccines such as Gardasil and Pedvax. Outside of his day-to-day job as a scientist, Shaikh is the founder and president of one of Merck’s employee resource groups, is involved in Merck’s initiative to educate school children about science, and participates in three company sports leagues. He’s busy, to say the least.

Q How did you become interested in

Merck?

PHOTO: M. SCOTT WHITSON

A I had done a lot of academic research and even had a publication in the Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology during my sophomore year at school. At that point, I was looking for a new environment to take my experiences to the next level. I had a good friend who had done an internship at Merck, benefitted a great deal from it, and recommended that I apply.

Samir Shaikh • Position: Scientist, vaccine science and commercialization • Education: The University of Chicago, biological sciences, 2007 • Something I didn’t know about Merck before I started: Merck has its own Merck Acronym database with 5,844 words, facilitating better communication between all employees.

constant motivation, and is the reason I jump out of bed every morning.

Q What are you most proud of in your

Q You are the founder and president

work?

of one of Merck’s employee resource

A I’m proud that I work on something that is directly connected to the betterment of human health. I think it’s amazing to have an impact like that when you’re only 25. It’s self-fulfilling, provides

groups. What inspired you to create it? A I saw coworkers of different religions attempting to pray in random areas like empty conference rooms and many times they got interrupted due to meetings.

They couldn’t bring their whole self to work because they were unable to pray and feel at peace in the work place, and I felt as though this lack of inclusion impacted their engagement and productivity. I also saw that understanding faith could enhance Merck’s business strategy in a world that is becoming ever more diverse. So, with executive sponsorship and the support of HR, I developed and launched the Merck Interfaith Organization that has a mission and vision to fill those voids. As a result, I was recognized by Merck’s CEO as winner of the 2010 Global Diversity Leadership Award. Q Can you share an experience when

diversity had a positive impact on your work? A Merck’s Hispanic Organization offers conversational Spanish classes, which I had the opportunity to attend over the past two years. In fact, because of this particular diversity organization and my experience with it, I’m able to speak with some of Merck’s Spanish-speaking employees. I was isolated from those individuals until this program opened the doors of communication, literally and figuratively. 

FIND OUT MORE:

From developing new therapies that treat and prevent disease to helping people in need, Merck is committed to improving health and well-being around the world. We are inspired by the difference we can make in the lives of people around the world through the innovative medicines, vaccines, and consumer health and animal products we discover and produce. Employees: Approximately 96,000 employees Future Coworkers: We consistently seek undergraduates and graduates with varied backgrounds in the following disciplines/ areas: finance and accounting, public affairs, human resources, manufacturing and engineering, research, legal, sales and marketing, and IT.

www.merck.com/careers

15


So many choices. Not just one flavor … there’s more here than just insurance. And with all these options, I can choose the job I want and go for it. Later, if I’m hungry for a change – it’s all right here. Sweet.

Kirsten Claim Representative

Lots of sweet careers.

State Farm • Bloomington, IL

statefarm.com/careers

An Equal Opportunity Employer


PA I D A D V E R T I S E M E N T

State Farm

TOP EMPLOYER |

diversity

“State Farm is truly one comp a many careersny, and I think I’m , perfect exam a ple of that.”

Key Facts

D

ewayne McCarty originally joined State Farm as an IT intern after his junior year of college—and then came back for two more internships as a senior and grad student. With three internships under his belt, State Farm’s college recruiting team started pulling McCarty into their internship planning meetings. Human Resources was so impressed with his input, they asked him to join as a permanent member of the HR team. Q What surprised you the most when

you started? A

I went to school for IT but I’m now working in HR, so when I started I was concerned I’d get put on random tasks because my background isn’t in HR. That wasn’t the case at all, and in fact, they really allowed me to utilize my IT background by assigning me innovative, tech-related HR projects.

PHOTO: STATE FARM

Q Can you give some examples? A Back in November I helped develop and release State Farm’s mobile careers page—it’s a careers tab on the State Farm mobile phone page that allows you to see career content from your phone. There are not a lot of companies out there that offer that, so to be ahead of the game is something I’m proud of.

• Read More @ www.wetfeet.com

Dewayne McCarty • Position: Talent Management analyst in the Human Resources department • Education: Indiana State University, management information systems, 2008; Indiana University, Masters in information systems, 2009 • Something I didn’t know about State Farm before I started: How complex the company is. There are so many departments to work in, there are endless career opportunities.

More recently, I’ve been working on a project to figure out the best way to collect candidate information at recruiting events. At career fairs you’ll see companies collecting resumes, or writing down info on a candidate. What I’m trying to figure out is how to take

that info down digitally, through a tablet PC or smart phone. Q What role do you play in making State

Farm diverse? A I think being a young employee makes me stand out in the corporate atmosphere. I’m also from a tech background, and everyone else I work with is HR. A lot of time when we’re asking, ‘What do college students want? How do they want to be communicated with?’, I can bring in my perspective as a recent college grad.

State Farm® insures more cars and homes than any other insurer in the U.S., is the leading insurer of watercraft and is also a leading insurer in Canada. Our 17,800 agents and more than 66,000 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts—more than 79 million auto, fire, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 34 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. Employees: 66,000

Q What is your advice to other students

who want to work for State Farm? A Don’t be concerned about finding the perfect job. State Farm is truly one company, many careers, and I think I’m a perfect example of that. I have an IT background but I’m successful in a career in human resources. Being on the business side has given me a great background that I can take with me if and when I transition back to IT. 

FIND OUT MORE: www.statefarm.com/careers

Future Coworkers: One company, many careers—there’s more here than just insurance. At State Farm we seek a wide range of candidates with various skills and experiences to fill internships and opportunities ranging from entry level to management. From customer service to creative services find your path!

17


PA I D A D V E R T I S E M E N T

UBS

PHOTO: CHRIS GABELLO

“The most important thing for me is mentoring th students we’re e recruiting.”

R

aul Jiminian stumbled into investment banking. After transferring to NYU his junior year, he learned of the industry through networking events on campus and knew he’d found his calling. Jiminian made the tough decision to extend his course load into a fifth year, just so he could have an extra summer to snag an internship at a top investment banking firm. The decision paid off, and he landed an internship at UBS, where he’s now a second-year analyst. Q What surprised you the most when

you started? A

What surprised me was UBS’ focus on developing its talent—the firm makes sure there is continuous learning for all employees. At my first UBS corporate function, the speaker mentioned if you’re ever in a position in your career where you’re not learning, you should move on. If there’s one thing my parents have instilled in me it’s that I have to study to get anywhere in life. UBS makes sure you continue to learn, and that’s something that’s been important to me all my life. Q Why is diversity important at UBS? A

I think for the same reason diversity is important in general. If you have ten

• Read More @ www.wetfeet.com

Raul Jiminian • Position: Analyst within the Investment Banking Department, Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Group • Education: New York University, premed, economics, finance, and international business, 2009

people and they all come from the same place and share the same experiences, you’re only going to attack a problem from one vantage point. If you have people with different backgrounds, you begin to get a holistic view of how to solve a problem. In a global firm, your clients will be diversified and your workforce needs to mirror that. By way of background, I’m Dominican and Armenian. It was my ability to speak Spanish

that allowed my team to service clients in South America on multiple projects. Q What are you most proud of in your

work? A The most important thing for me is mentoring the students we’re recruiting. I got a late start on my career, simply because I didn’t know about the banking industry before my junior year. I think if kids were exposed to their full range of career options, they would have all the chances in the world. Not knowing your range of opportunities limits you. It’s like eating with a fork all your life and then you’re given chopsticks. It’s not that you’re a dumb person, it’s just something you’ve never experienced. I don’t think people realize that a lot of job-seeking skills—like the proper way to shake hands or write a thank-you note—are passed down from your parents. But if you don’t have parents with a business background, it can be daunting to learn—but not impossible. It’s a matter of taking the time to teach kids how to navigate the corporate environment, and I love that I have the chance to do that here. 

FIND OUT MORE: www.ubs.com


PA I D A D V E R T I S E M E N T

TOP EMPLOYER |

diversity

“I’ve been fortunate to learn and work an environmenin where I’ve be t encouraged en to be myself and give my opinion.”

Key Facts

W

hen Katie Layden was in college, her professors encouraged her to apply her economics degree towards a career in finance at a top financial firm. After doing some research, she decided UBS would be the best fit for her. Layden applied for an internship her junior summer, and then came back fulltime in the graduate training program after graduation. She’s now in her second rotation of the program, and works on market-driven transactions with financial advisors.

we’ve had a lot of visibility. We do fundraisers, we had a float in the Veteran’s Day parade, and we’ve had speakers come in and talk about their experience in the military. Although I wasn’t in the army, my family members have been, and one of my managers got me really involved in it.

Q What are you most proud of in your

success?

Q Has your diversity influenced your

work? A

PHOTO: CHRIS GABELLO

I’m proud of the progression I’ve made in the past seven months since I’ve started. My managers have allowed me to take on projects that have a tangible impact on the firm. I’ve also had the opportunity to participate in some fun projects. For instance, in my last rotation, I was invited to sit on an executive review committee with mutual fund specialists and learn how UBS makes decisions about what funds to include on our platform. That was an honor, to be chosen. Q What are your main career goals? A It’s important to me to find a job that is fulfilling and financially rewarding. That’s one reason the graduate training program has been a great fit for me; it’s

Katie Layden • Position: Analyst within the Wealth Management Graduate Training Program • Education: The College of the Holy Cross, economics, 2010

allowing me to try out other roles and get a feel for what I’d like most. My goal for the next five years is to find an area in the financial services industry that I enjoy and can make a career out of. Q What role do you play in making UBS

diverse? A I’ve become a part of our employee networks. I’ve joined the women’s network and veterans’ network and both of those aim to create awareness, provide support, and encourage cross-divisional partnering. The veterans’ network is a newer group that we have at UBS, but

A I’ve always been fortunate to learn and work in an environment where I’ve been encouraged to be myself and give my opinion. Because of this, I’ve learned the best way to reach success is to get opinions from a lot of different people and learn from their unique perspectives. Q How does diversity play a role in your

interaction with co-workers? A My colleagues and I are open and respectful of each other’s opinions. Although we may not always see eye-toeye, we’re able to collaborate and leverage our differences. This has proven to be the best way to come up with creative solutions when presented with challenges.

FIND OUT MORE: www.ubs.com

UBS draws on its 150-year heritage to serve private, institutional and corporate clients worldwide, as well as retail clients in Switzerland. We combine our wealth management, investment banking and asset management businesses with our Swiss operations to deliver superior financial solutions and manage CHF 2.2 trillion in invested assets. Employees: More than 64,000 globally, 37 percent in the Americas Future Coworkers: Our hires have degrees ranging from economics and finance to astronomy and political science. There is no one set of traits or background we look for as we have found that an individual’s education and experience are more important than a specific major.

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PA I D A D V E R T I S E M E N T

UBS

TOP EMPLOYER |

diversity

Key Facts

A

s a young woman and first generation American with parents from Ghana and Nigeria, working at a finance firm that values diversity was important to Jumi Falusi. She started off at UBS as an intern through the President’s Summer Internship Program, which recruits a diverse group of college sophomores to spend a summer rotating through different business areas at the firm. Now working in sales and trading at UBS, Falusi deals with electronic sales for equities, selling the firm’s suite of algorithms and direct market access platforms to hedge funds, institutions, and other clients. Q Has the job met your expectations? A

It’s exceeded my expectations. I don’t think college students can always tangibly identify what finance is and what the day-to-day entails, so you may only know the stereotypes about the long hours and stressful work. I’ve found there can be good work/life balance, especially in sales and trading. Additionally, I’ve found that the products I work on are complex, making what I do both challenging and exciting. Q Has your diversity influenced your

success? A Definitely—it’s because of the firm’s commitment to diversity that I’m here in

• Read More @ www.wetfeet.com

Jumi Falusi • Position: Analyst within the Securities Graduate Training Program, Electronic Equity Sales Group • Education: University of Pennsylvania, finance, management, and African studies, 2009

the first place. The sophomore program that I was a part of, The President’s Summer Internship Program, specifically recruited diverse students because UBS knows it’s so important to our business strategy. The program was led by senior people such as Robert Wolf, the Chairman of UBS Group Americas and President of

the Investment Bank, and Milton Irvin, the Americas Head of Diversity and Inclusion. When people so senior take the time to run an internship program focused on diversity, you know the firm is committed to hiring diverse individuals. Q Can you share an experience when

diversity had a positive impact on your work? A There are several employee networks at UBS. One that I am a member of is called LEAD, League of Employees of African Descent. During Black History Month, LEAD held a Cultural Expo at the firm and I was asked to put together a display on Ghana and Nigeria, since my family is from there. You wouldn’t believe how many fellow employees were intrigued by the display and took an interest in my background! I even had a conversation with the head of sales and trading about the political landscape in West Africa. That was a really awesome experience, getting face time with people and explaining who I am and where I come from.

FIND OUT MORE: www.ubs.com

UBS draws on its 150-year heritage to serve private, institutional and corporate clients worldwide, as well as retail clients in Switzerland. We combine our wealth management, investment banking and asset management businesses with our Swiss operations to deliver superior financial solutions and manage CHF 2.2 trillion in invested assets. Employees: More than 64,000 globally, 37 percent in the Americas Future Coworkers: Our hires have degrees ranging from economics and finance to astronomy and political science. There is no one set of traits or background we look for as we have found that an individual’s education and experience are more important than a specific major.

PHOTO: CHRIS GABELLO

“The products I work on are complex, making what I do both challenging and exciting.”


HispanicFund.org I Facebook.com/HispanicCollegeFund


PA I D A D V E R T I S E M E N T

TOP EMPLOYER |

Unilever

diversity

“We need inpu from employee t of all backgrou s so our produ nds can be the bects s they can be.” t

Key Facts

A

s an On-Shelf Availability Champion, Jonathan Joyce goes into large retailers to confirm that Unilever products like Bertolli, Degree, Ragu, and Pond’s are available to browsing consumers. If they aren’t, Joyce is responsible for devising process improvement programs that prevent shelves from being empty. In his current role, he is part of a global team and has opportunities to travel the world—which so far has included traveling around England for a month to learn about and import his current project to the US Unilever portfolio. Q How did you first become interested

in Unilever?

PHOTO: M. SCOTT WHITSON

A

I was an intern for a different company which wanted to evolve into an environmentally-friendly company, and every time they made sustainability improvements, they would compare themselves to Unilever. Working there, I became interested in Unilever, because it sounded like such a progressive and innovative company. Fortunately, when I returned to campus Unilever was recruiting, so I applied and got a job in the management trainee program. Q What role do you play in making your

company diverse? A

For me, it’s important to bring a new

• Read More @ www.wetfeet.com

Jonathan Joyce • Position: On-Shelf Availability Champion • Education: University of Tennessee, Global Policy, 2007 • Something I didn’t know about Unilever before I started:: The large portfolio of products. Before beginning my career here, I didn’t realize we made so many products including Dove, Hellmann’s, Vaseline, Axe, Ben & Jerry’s and Good Humor.

perspective to obstacles and challenges. My educational background is in politics and economics, which is different from the supply chain people I work with. Combining that with my ethnic background and growing up in Tennessee brings an interesting mix to the table.

Q Why is diversity important at Unilever? A

Unilever has the opportunity to sell our products all over the world, so we need to make sure a diverse set of people are developing, producing, marketing, and selling these products. We’re a global organization that spans over 150 countries, and we need input from employees of all backgrounds so our products can be the best they can be. Q What surprised you the most when

you started? A Amazingly, there is a ton of work that goes into making the products we take for granted. When I was in my first role here, as a procurement operations analyst, we had a situation where there was civil unrest in a country and I couldn’t source mushrooms for Ragu tomato sauce. I had to work with R&D, buyers, and marketing to gain approval for switching to another mushroom source. Consumers don’t realize it, but these problems are very common. To make sure you have that bottle of Ragu every day—it’s a lot.

FIND OUT MORE: www.unileverusa.com

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of fast moving consumer goods with strong operations in more than 100 countries and sales in 180. With products that are used over two billion times a day around the world, we work to create a better future every day and help people feel good, look good, and get more out of life with brands and services that are good for them and good for others. Employees: More than 13,000 people across North America Future Coworkers: Unilever recruits for both MBA’s and undergraduates. We look for students studying marketing, finance, logistics/supply chain management, business, IT, and the sciences.

23


NEED A SUMMER INTERNSHIP? FACT: More than three-quarters of employers said they prefer candidates with the kind of relevant work experience gained through an internship.* FACT: Last year, 30% of students started applying for internships early because they anticipated increased competition.**

Visit InternshipPrograms.com, InternshipPrograms.com, where you'll find hundreds of new opportunities every week.

*Source: NACE ** Source: WetFeet.com


PA I D A D V E R T I S E M E N T

TOP EMPLOYER |

Verizon Wireless “It isn’t just another sales job; it’s a good place to kick off a career in leadership.”

N

oel Tovar, a first-generation Mexican-American, didn’t really know much about Verizon Wireless when he graduated from college in 2008. He spent a few months job hunting and posting his resume on job-search engines, meanwhile waiting tables to support himself. His resume caught the attention of a Verizon Wireless recruiter, who told him about the company’s Retail Leadership Development program. Tovar is now in the fourth and final phase of the program, assistant-managing a retail communications store in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Q How does the Retail Leadership

Development Program work? A

There are four phases in the program. The first stage is in customer service. In the next stage, you become a sales rep, then a senior sales rep, where you learn the operational side of the business. In Phase 4, you become an assistant sales manager. Q Has working for Verizon Wireless met

Noel Tovar • Position: Assistant sales manager in retail sales • Education: Stephen F. Austin State University, international business, 2008 • Something I didn’t know about Verizon Wireless before I started: The company invests almost $6 billion every year to increase the capacity of its nationwide network and to add new services.

PHOTO: KAREN CAMPBELL

your expectations? A Yes, completely. It’s the best career move I could have made—I can’t imagine myself anywhere else. I like the many opportunities the company offers. They invest a lot in their employees and offer training and opportunities for career development.

• Read More @ www.wetfeet.com

Q What surprised you the most when

you started? A It isn’t just another sales job; it’s a good place to kick off a career in leadership. That’s because of the many development opportunities that Verizon offers its employees.

Q What was the most enjoyable project

you’ve worked on? A

The 45 Days to the Super Bowl XLV projects sponsored by Verizon. I had the opportunity to meet a couple of NFL legends from my home team, the Dallas Cowboys. Q How does Verizon foster

inclusiveness? A

One example is that for the seventh consecutive year, Verizon Communications was ranked in LATINA Style magazine’s “Latina Style 50” list, the magazine’s annual list of the best companies for Latinas to work for in the United States. The list was selected after 800 companies had been surveyed and evaluated based on workplace issues, such as, the number of Latina executives, mentoring programs, Latina board members, educational opportunities, alternative work policies, dependent child care support, employee benefits, women’s issues, job training, and affinity groups. FIND OUT MORE: www.vzwcampus.com

diversity

Key Facts Verizon Wireless provides 100 percent broadcasting bliss. 24/7. 365. We empower our customers to take their energy to the airwaves. To be the source of signal that screams with meaning. And moxie. We give people the power to Rule the Air. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, NJ, we’re the network that provides the power of transmission to all 99.7 million of our customers nationwide. We’re about cutting-edge devices that go beyond the common perception of the cell phone. Employees: 85,000 Future Coworkers: From our Leadership Development Programs, & entry level opportunities, to internships, college students and graduates will find award winning training so that you can always be learning. Always evolving and advancing. Our environment is one that thrives on diversity and collaboration, its one that inspires excellence. We offer a competitive salary and a benefits package that makes your professional goals and personal life paramount.

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PA I D A D V E R T I S E M E N T

Innovation

I

f one lesson can be learned from the truly innovative companies out there, it’s that good ideas can come from anywhere: Companies such as Facebook, HTC, and Amazon don’t look to the boardroom for their next big thing. They look down through the ranks to those working firsthand on new products and experimenting with new tools and technology. What’s also apparent is that for the same reasons, students are interested in making innovation part of their career and well aware that an innovative employer will create a culture that values ideas from all corners of the organization. According to a 2010 survey by research firm Universum, 21 percent of undergrads said a position where they can be entrepreneurial,

innovative, or creative is one of their top three career goals. Working with innovative products or services was also right up there. Clearly it’s important for you soon-to-be entry-level employees to know that if you come up with an innovative idea, it will be valued—or at least considered. It’s important to realize that innovation comes in many forms. It could be evident in the products a company sells, the type of work culture it offers (think Google), or the tools that employees use to get their job done. Apple has earned a lot of recognition for their innovative tech products—so much that it’s an event every time it releases a new one. For another example, look no further than Liberty Mutual, who has harnessed the flexibility and efficiency of internal cloud computing, accelerating its IT team’s ability to launch new applications. (Read more about Liberty Mutual on the next page).

Featured Company P.27 LIBERTY MUTUAL


PA I D A D V E R T I S E M E N T

Liberty Mutual

TOP EMPLOYER |

innovation

“The compan management y’s d an amazing jooes of recognizing a b rewarding emplo nd ye who go above es and beyond.”

E

dward Webb was never specifically drawn to a career in insurance, but after getting a taste for the industry through a six-month co-op at Liberty Mutual during his junior year, he decided to pursue a fulltime position after graduation. He earned a spot in the company’s Technical Development Program, a two year rotational program that provides exposure to a core business area, technical training, and the opportunity to work with a team to develop a real world software application. Webb is now on his final rotation, after which he’ll move out of the development program and apply his experiences to advancing his career. Q What surprised you the most when

you started? A Initially I was surprised by the size of

the company and our standings—we’re number 71 in the Fortune 500. It’s a big company and I was concerned about standing out amongst the other 45,000 employees here. Despite that population, the company’s management does an

PHOTO: CHRIS SANCHEZ

amazing job of recognizing and rewarding

Edward Webb • Position: Software developer • Education: Rochester Institute of Technology, management information systems, 2008 • Something I didn’t know about Liberty Mutual before I joined: In 1946, Liberty Mutual invented the first escalator emergency shutoff switch that is now a building code requirement for all U.S. escalators.

Q What makes your company

innovative? A Liberty has great leaders in IT, and because

of this, the company was on the forefront of enterprise applications while competitors struggled to move away from old systems. Liberty made the investment in web-based apps and shareable services well before they became the standard. Another thing I think is pretty innovative is Liberty’s internal cloud computing environment, which is really speeding up the time it takes to launch new applications. Q Is it important for you to work for a

company associated with innovation? A There’s a careful balance between

innovative ideals and proven solutions. In a world where information is so readily available and new products are released in rapid succession, it’s important that companies look toward the horizon without necessarily setting sail. Many technologies

employees who go above and beyond their campaigns. Liberty Mutual is the industry

pay huge dividends while others never

leader in affinity marketing, so I’m proud

seem to deliver. It’s critical to make the

Q What project are you most proud of?

to contribute to that. I also value the chance

correct decisions on when to act, and when

A The one I’m finishing up now. As part of a

to work with and be mentored by skilled

to let others forge the path—and I think

team of eight we consolidated numerous leg-

professionals. Especially with the affinity ap-

we do a good job of that at Liberty. 

acy applications (an application in our system

plication, we are impacting Liberty’s bottom

that has soon-to-be-outdated software) and

line, and at the end of the day that gives you a

FIND OUT MORE:

databases that support our affinity marketing

real sense of accomplishment.

www.libertymutualgroup.com/careers

responsibilities.

• Read More @ www.wetfeet.com

As one of the world’s largest property and casualty insurers, Liberty Mutual Group offers a wide range of insurance products and services. We help restore lives, and whenever possible, use our knowledge base, employee talent, and research capabilities to help prevent accidents and injuries from happening. Employees: 45,000 globally Future Coworkers: Liberty Mutual is looking for candidates with strong business and financial acumen, analytic thinking, leadership skills, and an understanding of a customer facing business.

27


s i g n s of

WF page 028


In recent years, graduating seniors have faced a job market nearing its death throes. But with the U.S. economy in a slow-mo recovery, there’s hope that 2011 will present healthier prospects.

by LIZ SEASHOLTZ


he past three years have been trying times for college grads. Record unemployment, mass layoffs at Fortune 500 companies, and limited job listings made it a disheartening time to enter the job market. ¶ However, there have been some signs of life in the past year: Recruiters are returning to campus and announcing ambitious hiring goals, the economy is slowly returning to its pre-crisis activity level, and hiring seems to be following suit, especially for entry-level positions.

The mood on campus is also brightening. Career centers are reporting the sense of panic they saw last year has diminished. “This group of grads is more optimistic; they aren’t as stressed about getting a job as last year’s grads were,” says Maria Stein, career center director at Northeastern University. It’s not all roses—seniors will still have to be tenacious if they want to land a job come May. They’ll be facing stiff competition from the rest of the 2011 class, as well as holdovers on the market since last spring. We spoke to career center reps and employment experts to get the inside scoop on what to expect from the current job market and how to be savvy in your job hunt. We Have A Pulse The general sentiment we gathered from university career centers is that the hiring outlook for 2011 grads looks “cautiously optimistic.” They’re reporting increased employer activity in job postings, on-campus recruiting, career fairs, and participation in workshops and networking events. Ramona Simien, assistant director of employer relations at Georgia State University, says there has been about a 25 percent increase in recruiters’ presence on campus from last school year. This kind of optimism was echoed in the words of Deloitte CEO Jim Quigley, quoted in a January Time magazine article as saying, “The thing that I’m excited about and delighted with is that our hiring plans in the U.S. are now back to the precrisis levels.” Statistics from universities across the country tell a similar story. A survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) revealed employers plan to hire 13.5 percent more grads in 2011 than they did in 2010. This is a continuation of positive hiring trends: A 5.3 percent increase was also seen in 2010. Phil Gardner, director of Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University, says employers realize

recruiting new grads is crucial to their bottom line. “In the past few years they’ve done pretty minimal hiring, and they’re going to start having workplace succession issues. They cannot sit on the sidelines anymore.” We’re not out of the woods quite yet: Though the general consensus is hiring is returning to pre-recession levels, it’s still not where it was three years ago. Unemployment is still at 9 percent, compared to 5 percent in January 2008, and the Congressional Budget Office projects it will bottom out at about 5.1 percent by the end of 2014. The Competition A high unemployment rate tells us two things: Seniors shouldn’t expect to have jobs handed to them after graduation, and there are a lot of other entry-level fish in the job pond. Besides the competition from the collective class of 2011, this year’s grads are also going to be vying against 2010 and even 2009 grads still looking for their first full-time jobs. Though it may seem daunting to compete with graduates who are seasoned job searchers, the fact is many recruiters specifically want the fresh perspectives and skill sets new graduates possess. “You have the opportunity to package yourself as a brand new grad, which is kind of a limited-time opportunity, so to speak,” says Rachel Brown, director of Temple University’s career center. “You’re approaching the professional world with a fresh energy, which is attractive to employers.” Unlike those who graduated in 2009 and 2010, this year’s grads won’t have the dreaded unemployment gap on their resume—and the larger this gap grows, the more leery employers become. This year’s grads should also learn from the missteps of their predecessors. “Part of the challenge in the past two years is that students didn’t engage because they kept hearing there were no jobs,” says Stein. “They were scared to engage and that hindered students.” This year’s


[ SKILLS IN DEMAND] Each year, NACE asks employers to rank the top five skills grads need to hone in order to land a job at their company. This years’ results reveal that employers are looking to hire 2011 grads with the following skills:

“In the past few years [employers have] done pretty minimal hiring…. They cannot sit on the sidelines anymore.”

1. Verbal Communication Skills 2. Strong Work Ethic 3. Teamwork Skills 4. Analytical Skills 5. Initiative

graduates should not be timid when it comes to job searching and should work hard to catch the attention of recruiters. The Doctor’s Orders There are some tried and true tactics that can help land a job in any economy. Additionally, networking—of the traditional sort as well as online social networking—seems to be particularly helpful at a time when official job postings remain relatively low. Start Early The earlier students start researching employers and refining their resumes, the more prepared they’ll be come graduation—perhaps even sealing the deal before turning their tassels. Ideally, this means starting to plot your career path as a freshman. Temple’s Brown says she has been surprised by how many freshmen have utilized the career center this year to get a head start on their job searches. “We had a career event for freshmen in the fall; we were expecting a turn-out of about 50 freshmen and we got 300.” Ideally, undergrads should start researching and applying for jobs during the fall semester of their final year. If you’re graduating this spring and still haven’t started your job search, you’re a little behind the curve—just don’t wait until you have your diploma in hand to start applying. Cast a Wide Net The 2010 grads who are still on the market probably haven’t been

flexible enough in their job search, says Georgia State’s Simien. “We are in a time where there’s no longer a luxury where you can pick and choose where you want to work.” New grads should consider boutique firms and large corporations, public sector as well as corporate finance, Cincinnati rather than just New York. Intern Studies consistently show interning is a great way to get your foot in the door with employers and make valuable connections. Forty-two percent of seniors who had internship experience and applied for a job received at least one job offer, according to a report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers last year. Only 30.7 percent of seniors without internship experience who applied for a job received an offer. If you’ve completed an internship or two while in school, follow up with your supervisors about full-time openings. If not, keep internships as a viable option after graduation.

a Meet Your Recruiter section for quick access to HR). “A lot of companies have reduced budgets, so it’s cheaper to do [recruiting] through social networks so there’s less traveling,” says Andrea Knocz, employment information manager at NACE. This means grads will need to get comfortable using these online tools to make connections, whether communicating directly with recruiters on Facebook and Twitter, through alumni networking sites, or gathering helpful contacts on LinkedIn. Keeping your online profile professional also becomes important. 

Face to Face The idea of networking can be intimidating to some, but it remains the best way to learn about unlisted job opportunities and land interviews. Besides just tapping into your network of family, friends, and former colleagues, you should make the most of the networking events hosted by your school. These events are chock-full of alumni eager to help new grads. Brown says Temple’s “networking nights” are a perfect opportunity for students to network with alums in an unintimidating environment. Get Online Employers are increasingly using online recruiting methods, connecting with talent through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or company websites (PwC has wetfeet | Spring 2011

31


by Dave Allen

7 RISING FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS SHARE THEIR SECRETS TO SUCCE SS

T

he influx of women into the workforce during the Second World War revolutionized the role of women in modern society. En masse, women entered positions typically held exclusively by men—jobs in factories, banks, and offices. Their mantra was “We Can Do It!” and the movement was personified in the feminist icon, Rosie the Riveter. Increased earning power translated into independence and economic mobility and, though manufacturing was scaled back after the war, women gained significant ground in the workforce. Today, with jobs scarce as the economy simmers, a second revolution of sorts is under way: Amid much uncertainty, a wave of young college graduates is turning to entrepreneurship to create opportunities for themselves.

What’s telling is that the new face of entrepreneurship is arguably female. Overall, the number of female-owned private firms is quickly approaching the share owned by men, and growth by female businesses is twice that of businesses in general. Women also make up nearly half of the Young Entrepreneurs Council, an influential nonprofit founded in 2010 to fund and encourage new ventures. Meanwhile, online communities are springing up to promote increased collaboration and networking between female entrepreneurs. From this crowd of rising self-starters, we asked seven women to share their advice for creating and sustaining a business, their visions for success, and the things they wish they had known before setting out on their ventures.


SHOW AND TELL COMPANY: Rent the Runway LOCATIONS: New York ESTABLISHED: 2009 FOUNDERS: Jenny Fleiss and Jennifer Hyman www.renttherunway.com Many women fawn over dresses found in the pages of Vogue—but with designer labels come designer price tags. That’s why fans of high-end threads have embraced Rent the Runway, which rents dresses and accessories typically priced out of reach for the average Jane. Hard work by founders and Harvard classmates Jenny Fleiss and Jennifer Hyman has yielded a prominent mention in the New Yorker in January, and a growing cache of customers renting dresses and the designers to provide them. Fleiss advises not holding on too tightly to your ideas for a new business. “The fear of sharing ideas only holds you back. There’s so much to gain by getting them out there.” And while you shouldn’t be stifled by negative feedback, you shouldn’t turn a deaf ear to it either: “If enough people tell you it’s a bad idea, there might be something to that.”


HELP YOUR SISTERS COMPANY: Second Glass LOCATION: Boston ESTABLISHED: 2006 FOUNDERS: Morgan First and Tyler Balliet www.secondglass.com

SCHOOL YOUR INVESTORS COMPANY: Miss O & Friends LOCATION: St. Louis ESTABLISHED: 2005 FOUNDER: Juliette Brindak www.missoandfriends.com

YOUTHFUL ASSETS COMPANY: Marketing Zen LOCATION: Dallas ESTABLISHED: 2008 FOUNDER: Shama Kabani www.marketingzen.com

FIND INSPIRATION COMPANY: Business Beware LOCATION: Venice, Fla. ESTABLISHED: 2006 FOUNDERS: Ashley and Robert Bodi www.businessbeware.biz

FLEX AND BALANCES COMPANY: Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour LOCATION: Plainsboro, N.J. ESTABLISHED: 2005 FOUNDERS: Sheena Lindahl and Michael Simmons www.extremetour.org

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WETFEET | SPRING 2010

Morgan First, cofounder and CEO of Second Glass, which promotes wine appreciation and hosts wine-tasting events in the Boston area, has brought on a lot of women to join the staff of her startup. “I work really hard in my office to empower women and make sure they know they can do anything. I think it’s just been fun to see how much having a strong, powerful leader inspires other women to follow their dreams.” Spreading the word about Second Glass has been tough, and First doesn’t sugarcoat it. “Hopefully people see me and think, ‘Wow, if she’s dyslexic and is kind of crazy and could start a company, then I can too!’”

No matter the business, investors need to understand who is going to buy your product. When she founded the news and entertainment site Miss O & Friends, Juliette Brindak had to educate potential backers about her niche audience: pre-adolescent—or tween—girls. Inspired by her sister and her preteen peers, Brindak had the first-hand knowledge to back her idea up. “They didn’t realize how important the tween years are for young girls, and how this time really sets the stage for the rest of these girls’ lives. By giving these people testimonials from girls and showing them research and evidence for why this time is so crucial, I changed their minds.”

When Shama Kabani founded web-marketing firm Marketing Zen, she kept her age a secret. At 23, Kabani, feared clients would write off a company with such a young CEO. “I later realized that clients came to us because they specifically wanted my expertise as a ‘digital native.’” Marketing Zen has become known as a “hip, young company” as clients look to Kabani to guide them in the era of digital marketing. With two successful years under her belt and clients on four continents, she’s much more vocal about her age.

Non-paying customers have always been a problem for smallbusiness owners. Tapping into this market, Ashley Bodi and her father, Robert, founded Business Beware, a site that allows businesses to share information about and avoid deadbeat customers. While Ashley’s father brought valuable experience from running a landscaping business to the table, her mother set the example of the resolve and determination it takes to run a business. “She never settles and is never afraid to go after something,” says Ashley. Outside her family, Ashley looks to Oprah Winfrey, Anne Curry, and Tina Fey. “They are all different, but they love what they do, they’re passionate, they’re generous, they rock at their jobs, they’re driven.”

For an entrepreneur, what could be a more fitting business than one that lets other entrepreneurs trumpet their success stories? Sheena Lindahl explored this niche when she started the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour, a speaking circuit for the Donald Trumps among us. It wasn’t her first idea, though: Lindahl started out wanting to publish books on entrepreneurship. “It’s good to have a plan, but it’s especially important to have the flexibility to veer from that plan when all signs are pointing in a different direction.” Another kind of flexibility has also come into play: She’s a mother of two small children, and running her own business has given her control over her schedule and time with her kids. In terms of work-life balance, Lindahl says, “You can have it all.”


THE BOTTOM LINE COMPANY: Her Campus LOCATION: Cambridge, Mass. ESTABLISHED: 2009 FOUNDERS: Stephanie Kaplan, Windsor Hanger, Annie Wang www.hercampus.com Many media companies have staggered or fallen in the wake of the recent recession. With a close eye on the bottom line, the founders of Her Campus have managed to turn their idea for a Web magazine for collegiate women into a tightly run venture and, in a little more than a year, a profitable one. Stephanie Kaplan recommends young entrepreneurs take a similar economical approach. “Keep your costs as low as possible, and don’t spend money on anything you don’t have to. If you are going to spend money on something, make sure that expense will somehow further your goals. If it won’t, don’t do it.”

WETFEET | SPRING 2010

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ND A — E PE F TH A SH —O G I N PAC EL AC E G N P HA TING ORK C A W E TH ELER RN E C AC M O D

By Dave Allen F YOU WERE to transplant an employee from a mid-’90s Silicon Valley startup into the modern workplace, his head might spin. He’d witness videoconferences on Skype, employees sending email through touch-screen smartphones, and people with Bluetooth headsets seemingly babbling to themselves. He’d puzzle at how computers are cruising the Internet at exponentially faster speeds and without the racket of buzzing modems. In terms of technology, we’re light years ahead of where we were two decades ago. On the other hand, that same fella from the dot-com era may find other elements oddly familiar. Quite a few of the management techniques spawned in Silicon Valley—often viewed as innovative, quirky, or both—have slowly crept into the mainstream American workplace. This is not to say companies across the board have adopted significantly progressive management styles. However, compared to a decade ago many companies have a markedly diminished sense of hierarchy, open floor plans that rail against cubicle farm isolation, and a culture that is very open in terms of collaboration and idea sharing. Some industries (tech, new media) and specific companies (Zappos, Google, etc.) are especially innovative in terms of management philosophies and workplace culture. After surveying the landscape of the modern workplace, we found it to be flat, flexible, and wired up. Read on to find out exactly what that means. ›


THE OFFICE IS FLAT

N MEDIEVAL TIMES, the king was ruler of all he surveyed. Few decisions were made without his blessing, from dispatching armies to raising the drawbridge. This is an example of vertical management, with a hierarchical reporting structure and central decision-making power. In the modern office, things have become much flatter. Management hierarchy hasn’t been eradicated. But, in many organizations, decision-making power has been decentralized, with individuals on lower levels of the food chain given more freedom to act independently. A flat structure allows subordinates to be more productive by avoiding decision-making bottlenecks caused by sending every problem up and down the chain of command, and it empowers those working directly on a given project. Richard Saavedra, professor of organizational behavior at the University of New Hampshire’s Whittemore School of Business & Economics, says that at the start of each semester his students consider the flat organization ideal. “I say, ‘Be careful what you wish for.’”

The reason for Saavedra’s warning is that while a flat structure sidesteps the mire of micromanagement, a team-based strategy sometimes creates the illusion that every decision will be reached by consensus. This is simply not the case in most businesses. When it comes to making the tough decisions, it becomes clear who’s in charge. A flat structure might help engage workers and build a sense that anyone, from the unpaid intern to a senior manager, can contribute a big idea, but young employees shouldn’t be shocked when their ideas are shot down. Flat can be a good thing because it’s a message from management that they want to hear suggestions from deeper in the organization, give greater autonomy to worker bees, and are willing to tolerate some “push-back” on their authority. However, in this kind of environment, it’s important for junior employees to realize what points are up for discussion, make their voices heard when appropriate, and know when to back down. Also, with less hands-on management from supervisors, young employees need to self-motivate, find their own solutions, and follow through without being prodded along at every step. For this reason employers prize workers with good interpersonal skills and a high tolerance for uncertainty, says Saavedra. That way your manager can feel confident he can step away and let you run with the ball.

GETTING PERSONAL ITH THE FLATTENING of the workplace has come a shift in the employee/manager dynamic. Increased approachability and availability— the idea that a low-level employee could IM someone several levels above him, or could drop by the CEO’s office unannounced—have blurred the line between who’s a peer and who’s a supervisor. The erosion of formality in the business world and the deceptive intimacy of social media have added further confusion for new hires. “I think technology, computers, and all those social media sites make us feel like we’re all friends,” says Vicky Oliver, author of 301 Smart Answers to Tough Business Etiquette Questions. You might think of yourself as on the same level as the bosses you happen to be friendly with, “but you need to think of them as work friends and in a different category.” You should restrict how you approach colleagues and managers on sites like Facebook. If your Facebook profile is a no-

holds-barred view into your personal life, you should think twice about “friending” or accepting friend requests from coworkers. That kind of vigilance applies to in-person interactions too. Oliver recommends keeping the workplace as professional as possible and using discretion when sharing personal information. Your family, pets, and where you went to college are fine, but hold back on bar-hopping tales until you know you are on firm ground and you can speak in confidence. Collegiate, familiar work culture also can be amplified by changes in the physical structure of the office. The trend now is toward shared open space, with laptop-toting workers plopping down and plugging in

wherever they can. In this environment there’s the constant threat of distraction: As chatter flies, coworkers strain to be heard through bad Skype connections. Plus, there’s a good chance your supervisor may be only a desk or two away. Be mindful that your officemates can overhear your phone calls and your computer screen is there for all to see what you’re “working” on.


WIRED UP

OU SIT DOWN at your desk to check an email and a text message pops up on your BlackBerry. You check that and an instant message comes up on your computer screen. While taking a call on the office’s landline, you have to respond to tweets directed at your company’s Twitter account, and you have multiple requests awaiting response on Facebook and LinkedIn. This is communication in the modern workplace—where you’re always accessible to colleagues, clients, and the world at large through multiple channels. One result of this tech obsession is distraction. With so many different media and methods of communication to monitor, there’s considerable potential to spend your time on things unrelated, or tangentially related, to your work. It’s equally a case of too much information and a lack of filtration. To stay afloat, you’ll need to filter and prioritize. Not every message sent through every medium requires an equal response, and if casual conversation over online chat develops into a more serious discussion, it’s best to take that discussion offline and continue it in person—or at least on the tele. And it’s up to you to gauge what tool is best for conveying different kinds of information: Quick questions can be dealt with over IM. Complex problems, especially those in which documentation will be helpful, are often better suited to email. And those sticky interpersonal issues—such as dealing with an office tiff or responding to a reprimand—sometimes call for the nuance you can convey only in person. Another antidote to the distraction problem is simply unplugging. It’s not as drastic as it sounds: Just a little time spent once a day or once a week with chat and email turned off and the BlackBerry on silent mode—well, it can be a breath of fresh air. It can help you buckle down on a project and maintain your focus.

ILLUSTRATIONS BY STEVE STANKIEWICZ

FLEXIBLE: THE WORKPLACE, ANYPLACE F COURSE, with the increased prevalence of remote working technologies, it’s possible you may never see your boss or coworkers, much less be in close quarters with them. These technologies include cloud computing tools (such as Google Docs and Salesforce) that keep data stored online and accessible from anywhere, as well as offsite access to servers and email that makes collaboration over distance a snap. As a result of this high degree of connectivity, many companies are relaxing the requirement that work is done in the workplace. This flexibility could translate into doing conference calls during your commute—safely and legally, please—or sending emails from the beach. These arrangements enable the kind of work-life balance young employees

especially value, though getting your work done without a supervisor watching every move requires a high level of time management and self-management. You’ll need to keep your own tally of where work ends and play begins. If you worry you’ll miss out on face time with the boss, video conferencing can help fill the gap. Ayelet Baron, vice president of strategy for Cisco Systems Canada Co., has been a teleworker for eight years, and she relies on Cisco’s three-dimensional video conferencing tool, TelePresence, to put her in front of colleagues all over the world. But Baron warns not to be over-seduced by

technology because there’s no true substitute for in-person contact when building professional rapport. “No matter what technology you have, it’s about relationships.” Even if you have a position that doesn’t require you work onsite, you should try to meet your colleagues in person when you can. “Every once in a while, people need to get together,” Baron says. “You still need that trust, and technology doesn’t replace that.”  JUNGLE CAMPUS

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SPRING 2010

39


Exit Ramp

April 1 ,

2011

Mr. Bu ck Presid y Rinkles ent Uncle Slappy ’s 500 M ake M Fish Stick E oney A mporiu New Y ve m ork, N Y 1104 nue 0

COVE R LE

TTER

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WetFeet magazine, spring 2011  

Introducing our first issue of WetFeet Magazine (formerly Jungle Campus)! Inside you'll find the info and inspiration you need to launch a s...

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