A Different Kind of Relationship Building for February 14th

By Natalie Hansen

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and your time is probably spent thinking about what to do for that special someone. If you’re single, maybe you’re more focused on taking the day for yourself. Regardless of your love life status, as a business student you should take this time to reflect on a different type of relationship – the kind that sets you up for success.

You’ve probably heard the phrase “it’s all about who you know” more times than you’d like to remember. Cliché or not, it’s true – your education and work ethic are your solid (and necessary) foundation, but your network is how you eventually land that dream job, according to LinkedIn. Take this Valentine’s Day to implement the top five ways the CSU College of Business has developed to strengthen your network and lay the groundwork for your future:

1) Send “thank you” cards to professors, supervisors and other professionals who have helped you grow.

Networking expands your support system.

You’ve hopefully been able to use your college career to build relationships and find mentors whomyou admire. It’s not only about who you know – it’s also about who THEY know. Professors you’ve connected with, bosses who taught you valuable skills, and professionals you’ve met through classes and recruitment events all know numerous other people who may be your ticket to a great job. These are also the folks you want on your side when it comes time to ask for letters of recommendation. Choose a few who’ve made a great impact on you, and send a thank you card letting them know how they’ve helped you. Try for a hand-written note instead of an email. They’ll remember you and be willing to put in a good word for you when you need it.

2) Learn how to use LinkedIn to your advantage and update your profile.

LinkedIn is a necessity in your social media repertoire. Even when you have a steady job, maintaining your LinkedIn page can connect you with numerous other professionals. Those leaders you sent thank you cards to? Make sure you’ve added them on LinkedIn, and ask for a recommendation on your page. Use the site’s tools to upload examples of your work to your profile. Undercover Recruiter recommends staying active in groups and discussions, having a professional (no bathroom pictures, no pictures with pets) photo, and personalizing your URL.

3) Bring treats to work on Friday and show appreciation to co-workers.

Valentine’s Day is a source of major sales for the candy industry – Business Insider notes that Americans will spend over a billion dollars on sugar and chocolate this week. Use the excuse to indulge and bring treats to share with your co-workers. Co-workers can often be valuable references when applying for jobs. When they have a successful career, they’ll be able to connect you to valuable resources. Show your co-workers how much you appreciate them and make an impression by bringing in cookies, candy or baked goods (bonus points if they’re homemade).

4) Take care of yourself.

Taking time to de-stress is important; it can help make sure you’re in top form for your classes, internship, job and networking events. If you’ve been wanting to splurge on a massage, now is a great time. The Student Recreation Center has some affordable options. You can also treat yourself to weekend excursion out of town, extra time at the gym, your favorite dessert or even just some alone time with a good book. Whatever it is, carve out some time to relax.

5) Learn how to talk to recruiters on Thursday, Feb.13.

Students and recruiters mingle at the 2014 Spring Job and Internship Expo.

Knowing how to present yourself to recruiters and potential employers can be intimidating. You only get one chance at a first impression. Understanding how to put your best foot forward is important. The College of Business Career Management Center is offering some tips this Thursday, Feb. 13th. Learn how to talk to the companies and recruiters that visit campus at the Bohemian Auditorium in Rockwell Hall West from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

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As business students, the relationships you have in your network can make all the difference in your career. During this holiday for relationships, make time this week for your professional connections. What networking tips and tricks have you discovered?

Internships: More than Copy Machines and Coffee Makers

By Courtney Grogan

The cool, fall breeze signals the beginning of football season for many people. For me, it means continuing the internship of a lifetime. This will be my second season working with the Denver Broncos.

CourtneylinkedinAt the end of my sophomore year, I was browsing CareerRam for a summer internship. I thought it seemed too good to be true when “Denver Broncos Marketing and Promotions” appeared on my screen. After submitting my resume, I soon forgot about the job, thinking that it would be a complete long shot. After a couple of months, I received an email asking if I was still interested, and would I like to set up a phone interview for the job. I wondered if anyone would say no to that. That afternoon, I had a phone interview with the Promotions and Marketing Coordinator and nervously waited for a response for over a week. After a long finals week awaiting a phone call from the Broncos, I finally received an email asking me to be part of the marketing and promotions team.

The 2012-2013 season was a legendary one for the Broncos. It was Peyton Manning’s first season with the team, taking them all the way to the playoffs. Many said that the team was Super Bowl bound; the only team standing in the way was the Baltimore Ravens. It was -10 degrees on the field during that game, but everyone was so excited at the prospect of advancing in the playoffs that they didn’t mind. The game did not go as eager fans had hoped. The devastating loss to the Ravens that night was one of the top five worst days of my life. Seeing the team and staff work so hard all year, only to have it end so suddenly, was difficult to experience. We all left the stadium in silence and hoped that the following season would be better.  The experience showed me what it is like to work for an organization where everyone is completely invested in its success. The same principle can be applied to any company, sports related or not.

So far, the 2013-2014 season has been shaping up to be another big year for the Broncos. I was chosen to do the Coca-Cola Coin Toss at each game, which involves escorting a special guest as well as an alumni player out on to the field for the coin toss. Staying professional and keeping my composure is a huge part of my internship.

Terrell Davis signing an autograph for a fan

Terrell Davis signing an autograph for a fan

A lot of people ask me if I get player autographs and pictures, but I think the best part is being able to see behind the scenes and talk to players as people and not celebrities. Meeting and escorting Broncos legend Terrell Davis during the NFL season opener versus the Ravens was a huge moment. The Broncos won the game and gave the organization the redemption it had been craving for eight months.

The College of Business Job & Internship Expo is this Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 18 and 19.  I encourage you all to go out and talk to companies that you might not usually consider. Internships can be more than making copies and getting coffee for the office. Your personal interests can lead you to a rewarding internship that makes you look forward to going to work each day.

8 Reasons to Attend the College of Business Job & Internship Exposition

By: Annie  Burnham

Welcome back, College of Business Rams! I hope your summer was relaxing, productive, and that you set and met some short-term goals. Now that the new semester has started, setting a few more short and long term goals (even if they are just in your head) is important to your success this semester.

One of your long term goals is probably to get a job after graduation. Well, there’s no time like the present to start working toward that goal. And here’s one of the best ways you can start – the College of Business Job & Internship Expo.

This event will be held on September 18 and 19 from 4-6 p.m. in the foyer of Rockwell West. The event is taking place two days in order to split up the concentrations. Marketing, Management, Master of Management Practice, Master of Business Administration, Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise Master of Business Administration students are invited to attend the Wednesday session, and

Computer Information Systems, Accounting, Finance, Real Estate, Master of Accountancy, and Master of Science in Business Administration for Computer information Systems, and Financial Risk Management, students are invited to attend Thursday. Register with the Career Management Center today.

Now, why should you go to this event, you ask?

The Career Management Center has eight good reasons students should attend.

  1. You can increase your network. 80% of jobs are found through a personal or professional connection. What better way to start making those connections than in an environment designed to cultivate those relationships? LinkedIn is a great vehicle for these relationships to be formed as well. The COB Job & Internship Expo hosts more than 50 employers and a number of great contacts that are looking for someone like you.
  2. It gives you a reason to dress your best. Your professional appearance makes a difference. Put on your nicest business attire to make a lasting impression. It is always better to be a little overdressed and show that you want to make a good impression rather than look like you decided attend this expo last minute.
  3. It is an opportunity to learn about a variety of companies. Take every opportunity to attend company or industry meetings, conferences, and events. The Job & Internship Expo provides you with a unique opportunity to have one-on-one conversations with a number of recruiters who can tell you firsthand what working with their organization is like. Come prepared with questions and research companies beforehand.
  4. Get a job/internship.  More than 50 employers will be in attendance. They are all seeking College of Business students. Start the career process early and meet with a number of companies one-on-one.
  5. Employers want to meet you. This one goes with No. 4. These employers will be prepared to conduct on the-spot interviews with the candidates who offer the best value to their organizations.
  6. Get a professional photo. Have your photo taken by a professional photographer to use on social media sites like LinkedIn. This is another reason dressing your best will be important. Your selfie in the bathroom mirror should NOT be your LinkedIn profile photo.
  7. Gain experience in career fair settings. Careers fairs can be intimidating – start early in college and learn the best ways to attract employers attention. You can also watch others interacting with employers and take some mental notes.
  8. Discover new companies and opportunities. Chances are you will not have heard of every company that is in attendance. This is a chance to find some companies that you might want to research later on about employment opportunities.

Although you might be a few semesters away from graduating, it is never too early to start thinking about what you want to move on to next. The Job & Internship Expo is a great way to meet new people and learn about opportunities to take advantage of now.

Q&A with a Recruiter

employment stock photo

by Tim Pate

Wouldn’t it be nice to know what the person who may or may not hire you is looking for? I thought so as well; that’s why I contacted Mandy Dicker, national sales recruiter for Total Quality Logistics and friend of the College of Business. I asked Dicker exactly what makes her notice a potential hire – and what puts resumes on the fast track to the trash.

Read our conversation below to learn how you can capture the attention of a recruiter and land your next job.

Q: Generally speaking, what characteristics do you look for in the ideal candidate? 

A: Confident, hardworking (worked while in college, played sports or involved with organizations/clubs), energetic, and positive.

Q: What in a cover letter grabs your attention? 

A: Short, concise, and directed specifically at the position and industry.

Q: What is the most common mistake applicants make on their resumes? 

A: Applicants don’t align their objective statement to the position they are applying to. I would recommend removing the objective statement if applicants are applying to too many positions to keep track of.

Q: Many jobs have hundreds of applicants. What makes individuals stand out above the crowd? 

A: Tailoring the resume to align with the specific position they are applying to. If they are given a chance to interview, it’s important to be conversational and make themselves memorable during the interview.

Q: What is the most common mistake applicants make in interviews? 

A: Applicants don’t prepare for the interview with any research about the company or position. As a result, they don’t have any questions for the interviewer which shows an overall lack of interest.

Q: What would you say to job seekers who are feeling discouraged? 

A: Keep trying, try to get as much feedback as possible, and learn from this feedback.

Are you a recruiter? If so, what makes a candidate memorable? If you are not a recruiter, what have you done to make your cover letter, resume, or interview one that sticks in the mind of the recruiter? 

Become a Consumer of News

By Tim Pate

GlobeNothing is isolated any more.  Last semester I took my business minor capstone class, Contemporary Business Topics – International Business, taught by Asad Aziz, a lecturer in the Department of Management. At the beginning of each class session, Aziz started by running through a list of what he considered to be the 10 most important news items of the day. Often these headlines didn’t appear to have any connection to the business world, but Aziz asked us why they might be important for a business person to know. What Aziz taught me was that being aware of news from around the world is essential making informed decisions, and I’d like to expand on that idea in this post.

The world is growing ever more connected, and what happens across the globe has increasing potential to affect you at home. As U.S. businesses develop in markets outside of the States, they must diligently pay attention to world events. However, the ripple created by these events extends beyond international businesses. A technology invented in India could change your daily routine. The United States’ relationship with a European nation could impact how you vote. The political climate of a country you’ve never visited could change your investment decisions.

You know that T.Rowe Price commercial that says, “…we understand the connections of a complex, global economy”? Well, it’s important that you do, too. Maybe you don’t need to have the same depth of knowledge as an investing firm, but at least being aware of what’s happening in the world is sure to serve you in your decision-making process.

The best part is that this information is readily available to you. The news doesn’t only come to you in the morning in the form of a paper on your doorstep – it’s everywhere. This also means that it doesn’t take extraordinary effort on your part to gather the information. Follow a few news sources on social media, read blogs, tune into news channel every now and then – these are all easy ways to gain this critical information, even if only by osmosis.

It’s important to follow news that goes beyond your field of interest, as I discussed in regard to Aziz’s class. Certainly stay up-to-date with trends in your industry, but also make sure that you know about the big happenings that could potentially affect your business in an indirect or unexpected way. News aggregating sources such as Feedly, Pulse, and Flipboard make browsing all kinds of news easy, and I highly recommend utilizing these resources.

As business students and professionals, being informed is paramount. What sets many business leaders apart from the crowd is that they can see the relationship between seemingly disconnected events and apply that knowledge to the decisions they make. If you make a habit of building your database of knowledge, you’ll just be one step closer to achieving that success.

Business students and alumni: What do you do to stay informed? How has it helped in your business or personal decision-making process? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

What to do while you’re living in your parents’ basement

By Tim Pate

What NOT to do as a job-seeker

Graduation is looming, and you don’t have a job in line yet. No need to fret; you’re not alone. Plenty of college students spend a little time unemployed before finding that elusive position. Graduates who find success in their job search aggressively seek opportunities and make the connections that others miss. So instead of becoming a master video-gamer during your time off, here are some tips for finding that job as quickly as possible. You and your parents will thank me.

1. Improve your social media presence.

Facebook and Twitter have been fun channels through which we have interacted with friends throughout college, but now it’s time to use these platforms and more to your advantage. First, clean up your personal sites: take down your party pics, commit yourself to clean and sophisticated language, use a professional photograph for your profiles, and sculpt your biographies so that they reflect the best version of yourself.

Then start posting content that is relevant to your interests and the career you want to pursue. Employers want to see that you actually care about your career – demonstrate your passion over social media.

Once you’ve done that, think about exploring other social media sites and learn how they can further serve you in your job hunt. Use LinkedIn as an online resume. Post pictures relevant to your career goals on Pinterest. Showcase your photography on Instagram. Keep a blog that documents your job-seeking activities. Do whatever you think might help you stand out in the eye of a recruiter.

2. Continue self-educating.

Just because you’re done with college does not mean you’ve finished learning. No matter how great your education, remember there is a world of information waiting to be discovered. Read industry magazines and blogs (and share and comment – see advice above!). You can also read up on fields that are only peripherally related to your focus – you may end up diversifying your knowledge and skills.

Another great way to learn and stay fresh on what you learned at Colorado State University is to pass your knowledge along. Offer to tutor students studying what you studied and you’ll retain that information. Tutoring also gives you experience to add to your resume, thereby making you a more desirable candidate for recruiters.

3. Freelance or volunteer – it’s all about networking!

You can also add experience by doing freelance work or volunteering in your desired industry. Say, for example, you’re a marketing graduate but you haven’t found a full-time marketing gig. Who’s to say that new restaurant in your hometown couldn’t use some discounted marketing work? There’s no harm in offering to work a freelance job, and you might even make a few dollars while you’re at it.

More importantly, you continue to build that ever-important “Experience” section of your resume. Doing freelance work shows initiative to employers. You may even make a connection through your freelance work that leads to the full-time job of your dreams.

4. Make applying a full-time job.

As I said at the beginning of this post, jobs come to those who work for them. If you are not actively and determinedly reaching out to employers, they won’t notice you. While some people are lucky enough to find a job with the first company to which they apply, it takes others dozens of applications and interviews before opportunity knocks. Don’t get discouraged. Your hard work and your investment in an education are on your side. Being patient can be hard, but complacency won’t make the time pass any faster. Go find the job you want and don’t stop proving why you deserve it.

Remember that the College of Business has resources to help you find your first job. The Career Management Center is a great place to find job postings and other tools to help you showcase yourself for employers.

How is your job search going, graduating seniors? What are you doing to prepare for the real world? Do you have any advice for underclassmen that you wish someone would have told you? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

Millennials don’t deserve their negative reputation

by Tim Pate

Some business leaders are scared of hiring Generation Y employees. That is the unfortunate truth. Many companies have been led to believe that the Millennial generation – that age group ranging from approximately 18 to 34 – is composed of unreliable, lazy, naïve workers, too incompetent, too care free, or too self-interested to do an effective job.

Take, for example, this article by Hollis Thomases on Inc.com: “11 Reasons a 23-Year-Old Shouldn’t Run Your Social Media.” A post that garnered much feedback on both sides of the debate, Thomases’ piece paints a picture of Generation Y that is anything but appealing to an employer. This pervasive conception and regard of Millennials is not only detrimental to the success of members of Generation Y, but also to the potential of the companies unwilling to hire the youngest members of the workforce.

Image credit: Calita Kabir, Flickr.com

With our (and yes, I am among the ranks of the Millennials) strange, fleeting trends, our deep involvement in social media, and our love for music that sounds more akin to the belching of a robot than the artwork of a master composer, I can sympathize to an extent with the apprehension displayed on behalf of experienced managers of the older generations. After all, we tend to fear that which we don’t understand.

However, I believe that it’s time that recruiters and interviewers stopped judging applicants based on a preconceived notion of what it means to be a Millennial and instead evaluated prospects by their merits. As part of my position with the College of Business Department of Communications, I get to profile exceptional students at Colorado State University who absolutely shatter the image of a typical Millennial as proposed by people such as Thomases.

One need only look as far as the News & Events section of our website, where these students are highlighted each month for their extraordinary work – academic, professional, and humanitarian. Click the link for the story about Collin Brown, and you will discover a young man exploring the intricacies of the Internet Protocol system, a highly technical concept foreign to many people across generations. Brown’s youthful curiosity and dedication to discovering the latest in technology bolstered his academic and professional success – it did not hinder it.

Or you can browse the work of the Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise MBA program in the College of Business, where young entrepreneurs are developing sustainable business ideas to improve lives through ingenious business ventures. The work of these students crosses boarders, brings communities and cultures together, and creates opportunity to address global issues in innovative ways.

Thankfully, there are people out there (of Generation Y and outside of it) who are defending the integrity of the Millennials. Publications such as Forbes and Ragan’s PR Daily have published articles reinforcing the ability and aptitude of young workers, and I speak on behalf of most Millennials in saying that I appreciate their efforts.

In CSU’s own College of Business and across the country, young, aspiring students and professionals are looking for the chance to demonstrate the impressive feats of which they are capable. They have been equipped with skill-sets that prepare them to face challenges that doubters say they are incapable of conquering. I say it’s time to give Millennials the chance to prove themselves – I hypothesize that the results could surprise us all.

What are your thoughts? Do some businesses underestimate the abilities of Generation Y? Or are people justified in being cautious about hiring Millennials? Submit your opinions in the comments below. 

Top Three Reasons to Attend the College of Business Career Expo

By Annie Burnham

Tomorrow, February 6, the Career Management Center is hosting their semi-annual College of Business Job and Internship Expo. From 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. join more than 50 different companies for networking in the Rockwell West Atrium. Why, may you ask, should you take advantage of this? Because graduation will be upon us before you know it and looking for potential jobs now will save you a lot of stress later. And if that isn’t enough to convince you, here are the top three reasons why you should sign up to attend the Career Expo tomorrow:

  1. Distribute your Résumé: You have the potential to get your résumé submitted for dozens of jobs. This will require you to do some research tonight and tomorrow morning. The Career Management Center has a list of the employers coming, so go ahead and browse the ones that appeal to you. See what positions they have open that you can fill. You might have to tailor your résumé a bit for specific positions but the fact that you prepared ahead will demonstrate your attention to detail.
  2. Networking Potential: Not only will this help with your possibilities for careers but also it will allow you to explore different options to meet your needs and interests. The more network connections you have, the more likely you are to get a job after graduation. The saying “It’s all about who you know” nine times out of ten is correct. Be confident and assert yourself. What do you have to lose?
  3. Free LinkedIn pictures: You will already be dressed up to present yourself to companies, so you are bound to look professional in your LinkedIn profile picture. This will help your page viewers see that you are able to present a professional image of yourself. Updating your LinkedIn page often is a good plan to increase your chances for landing a job.

Red, white, and blue balloon to make its second landing at CSU

For the second year in a row, Dave and Gail Liniger will make an appearance at Colorado State University to talk with and inspire students. Their area of expertise: real estate. The Linigers are the co-founders of the world’s top-producing real-estate network, RE/MAX, and they will be sharing their story with interested CSU students on November 29 at 10 a.m. in the Bohemian Auditorium.

Dave Liniger

Dave Liniger, co-founder of RE/MAX, speaking at CSU last year.

RE/MAX, which now boasts a network of more than 100,000 agents in 82 countries, was not always the successful company for which it is renowned today. You can expect Dave and Gail to share stories of their own failures and what they learned from their experiences. For example, Dave failed out of college – a result, he says, of having no goals. However, Dave would later go on to be named one of the “50 Most Powerful People in Real Estate” in 2010.

Gail Liniger

Gail Liniger, co-founder of RE/MAX, speaking at CSU last year

Gail too faced difficulties through the growing process of RE/MAX. While Dave was in charge of recruiting agents to get the company running, Gail maintained the duty of keeping their creditors at bay until they had the funds to pay their dues. But In 1989, Gail was awarded the “Entrepreneur of the Year Award” for the real estate and construction category in Colorado in 1989 by the international accounting firm Ernst & Young and Inc. Magazine. Hard work and perseverance always delivered for the Linigers in the end.

Tales of their struggles, triumphs, and more can be expected during their presentation. As a Denver-based company, RE/MAX has shown a tremendous amount of support in helping CSU to cultivate a culture conducive to the success of business and real estate students. Attending the event is free and open to students, and the College of Business highly encourages interested students to take advantage of this opportunity.

The College of Business presents: The Interview of Horror

 

by Tim Pate

HalloweenBuster had recently graduated from college, and he was ready to make it big in the real world. He had been highly successful during his four years at school, and he knew that he had a lot to offer his future employer. After browsing through the local paper for job openings, he found a company hiring for an entry level position in his field of interest. He sent the company his resume and cover letter, and was lucky enough to be granted an interview the following week. Little did he know that he was headed straight for what would prove to be one of the most terrifying experiences of his young life…

On the morning of his interview, Buster peered through squinted eyes at his alarm clock only to find that it had never gone off. His interview was only 30 minutes away, and he had no time to shave or shower. He hastily donned the first dress shirt he found in his closet, neglected to select a tie, kicked on a pair of tennis shoes, and sprinted out the door and into his car. His hair in a state and his breath quite foul, he started the engine and raced to the interview.

Despite his hustle, Buster arrived at the company’s offices five minutes after the interview was scheduled to start. He tried to flatten the wrinkles in his shirt and to press down his unruly hair, but his efforts garnered no results. He caught the elevator to the company’s floor, all the while trying to calm his rapidly beating heart, and then stepped out to greet the receptionist.

The receptionist summoned the interviewer, a well-dressed and confident-looking woman from the HR department, who arrived with an all-too-obvious air of frustration to meet Buster. She greeted him briefly and ushered him into a conference room, where he sat and faced the woman.

The company for which Buster was interviewing was well-known in the area, so Buster had neglected to do any research the week prior to his interview. He figured he knew as much as anyone else about the company, and elected not to worry about analyzing the company thoroughly. Buster was then surprised when the interviewer started asking him about specific business practices of the company and how the company had interacted with certain clients. Buster had no way of relating to the questions that the interviewer was posing to him, so he instead blabbed about himself in an effort to demonstrate his own credibility. Like water flowing over a boulder in a river bed, Buster’s words gushed from his mouth but failed to move the interviewer.

At the end of the interview, Buster was asked if he had any questions for the interviewer. His mind still in a tizzy from the disastrous proceedings of the previous 45 minutes, Buster shook his head no and thanked the interviewer for her time. He stood up, shook her hand, and walked out of the office without saying another word. The receptionist said goodbye, but Buster ignored this nicety as well.

In his car, Buster punched the steering wheel in frustration. How had he been so foolish? Why hadn’t he taken the opportunity more seriously? He started the car and tried to forget the whole experience. This was a day he never wanted to relive. By the time he arrived back at home, he was thinking of his plans for the night, as he was sure that he could use some fun to wash the taste of the interview from his mouth.

A stack of thank-you letters lay unopened, untouched, and unused on the desk in his bedroom. He never heard from the company again…

THE END

Happy Halloween!