Congratulations SPEA December Grads…

The SPEA Career Development Office wishes you well for a successful and bright future.    Here are a few tips to help you get a great start in your first post-college job.   After you settle into your new career, please consider becoming a networking resource or mentor for other SPEA students.

Remember, if you still need help with the job search or have any career questions, the CDO is here to help you.     You can still access the job board,  or e-mail         or call  812-855-9639  for career advising appointments. 

If you are away from Bloomington we can conduct phone or SKYPE advising sessions.

Again, congratulations on your achievement!

The CDO Staff:  Mark, Alejandra, Glenda, Katie, Marlene, Melodie, Rhiannon, Scott, and Susan


The Helicopter Parent Graduates… and Gets a Job?

This morning, an article titled “Helicopter Parents Hover in the Workplace” on caught my eye. It caught my eye because in my nearly four years of working on a university campus, I have dealt with more helicopter parents than I care to count. Working in career services, particularly during my time working with the internship requirement here in SPEA, I was a special target for parents. At least once per month (more during the summer months), I would have a parent call me either on behalf of their child or without their child knowing it, to check on the progress of their student in their internship OR to complain about the evils of paying for college credit so that their kid could do an unpaid internship. Being empathetic while as helpful as I possibly could be, I found, was the best tactic.

Many of those students from the past couple of years have graduated and moved on. Needless to say, they took their parents with them.

So what does this have to do with the article? Well, many of those parents have followed their children right into the workplace… regardless of whether or not the child wanted them to come along. So, how have employers been dealing with this?

Turns out, my tactic of listening to the parents, addressing their concerns head on, and trying to ally yourself with them is EXACTLY the tactic that most employers are also taking. Huzzah!

I will not walk you through the nitty-grittys of the article. You can read it yourself.

What should students learn from this article? Well, first off, if you want your parent to intervene on your behalf, that is fine. Just be sure that you know what kind of impact that leaves with university staff as well as employers.

Do you want to know what staff and faculty think when a parent calls to ask a question for a student? “If the student wants to know, they should either call or come in and ask the question themselves. They are adults.”

There is something to be said for the students who are proactive and take charge of their education and their employment. Just take a look at the last line from the article, which is a direct quote from an employer. I believe it sums up my thoughts perfectly.

” ‘While we appreciate what you’re trying to do,’ she says, ‘actually your son [or daughter] would be much better off by showing the initiative, and focusing and committing to their career search themselves.’

A solid job hunting tip for both generations.”

The Chicken and the Egg Dilemma

As you can imagine, most students come to visit me this time of year because they want help searching for an internship or a job. The first thing I always ask is, “Have you been networking?” The answer is either “yes” or “no.” There is no gray area here. The interesting part comes when students say “no,” and I ask them if they have been talking to anyone, friends included, about job searching. They almost always say “YES!” which means, you HAVE been networking! You just didn’t know it.

Now, most of the time, the most effective networking comes when students have been talking to people within the industry they wish to intern or work. This is where the dilemma occurs. Unless you know someone working in your desired industry, how the heck do you break in? And in order to know people with whom to network, don’t you already have to be working or interning in it?

What now????

Well, all is not lost. If you are really, super outgoing, you can always pick up a phone and start cold-calling people. Ask for informational interviews. People love to talk about themselves. If you are outgoing but not a phone person, you are in luck! A lot of networking these days is taking place online.

Here are some starting points I tell my students about (and these really only work if you are an IU student… so if you are from outside IU, be sure to check with your university or Alma Mater for similar things).

***REMEMBER: These are just online starting points. There are a lot of things you should be doing in person as well, but that is something you should come in and talk to us about***

LinkedIn – If you don’t have a profile, GET ONE. Once you have one, join GROUPS! Groups can be in your interest area, colleges, high schools, etc. Our Career Services office has one. Join it. Trust me.

Twitter – People have started using Twitter to network. Follow businesses in your industry area. It will keep you up to date on relevant news and trends. Again, follow us! We are at spea_ocs

IU Alumni Association – Use the alumni database to search for alumni in your interest area. Once you find them, email them. You are a part of a larger community. Use it while you still have access.

If you have trouble with any of these websites, remember to come talk to us. We will be more than happy to help you out.

Until next time…

Self-Destruct in 3….2….1….

Life has a cycle. We are born, we grow, we learn, we experience the world, we grow old(er), we retire (please, please let me be able to retire!), … you know the rest. It seems that everything has a cycle.

Did you know that internship recruitment has a cycle, too?

It does!

I have had students talk to me already who are panicked that they do not have an internship for summer. Before you self-destruct, please read the rest of this post.

January is just the start of what I like to call, “Peak Internship Season.” What does this mean?

It means that everyone is returning to their offices after a nice holiday break and they just start thinking about hiring interns for the summer. Postings will go up, people will recruit, and students will start landing internships. Watch for postings and announcements through January, interviews in February and March, and offers in April and even May.

Yes, you read that right. May. Now, if you have been really proactive and networking since September, you should hopefully land something before May.

What is the take-away of this post? Don’t panic. That is the worst thing you can do. What you should do is review the resources available on our website, talk to older students about their internships, talk to your faculty, go to the Internship Fair on January 26th (Alumni Hall, IMU), and visit us in Career Services. Have us look at your resume and talk to you about your strategies.

When should you panic?

If you have been applying to places for internships and networking proactively, but are getting NO positive responses by mid-February, please come and talk to us. We will look over your documents and talk about what needs to change. That is what we are here for.