Alumni Perspective – “Find Your Marching Band”

The following is a contribution from alumnae Melissa D. Trahyn (Fordham), a 1998 graduate of the School of Music and current member of the TBDBITL Alumni Club’s Board of Governors. Read on to hear her advice on life, career, and remaining engaged with the alumni community – no matter where your journey takes you!

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I was a student at Ohio State in the mid-90s and a member of TBDBITL, playing trombone in Q-Row.  I went to OSU for the sole purpose of being in the OSUMB (and to study Music Education, of course) ….and I was cut my first year.  I worked my tail off and got in my sophomore year, spending the next three years in The Ohio State University Marching Band.  Three years that tested my perseverance, my endurance, my physical limits, and my mental capacity.  These three years thrilled me to no end and fed my love of performing.  I LOVED band and in particular, marching band.

Fast forward 23 years, 26 countries, one marriage, three kids, a master’s degree, and six jobs later…I’m now the voice and driver of the TBDBITL Alumni Club’s social media public pages.

Two years ago, I was attending a leadership course through Kelley School of Business at IUPUI, dissatisfied with my job (but not admitting it yet) when someone in the course, who had just met me asked me when the last time I was happy and involved in something that I enjoyed.  Without skipping a beat, I said “Ohio State’s Marching Band”.  He then proceeded to say something that has stuck with me to this day, “We need to find you your next Marching Band”.

Losing my job in April 2020 during the COVID-19 shutdown and pandemic was a blessing in disguise.  I started seeking meaningful connections, but the TBDBITL Alumni Club’s presence on Facebook and LinkedIn, the two social media platforms I engaged with, were slim to none.  How can you be involved if you don’t know how?

In September 2020, I was elected as an At-Large Member to the TBDBITL Alumni Club’s Board of Governors, with a desire for engagement and helping others engage.  See, I don’t live in Columbus, or even Ohio, which makes it hard (or so it seemed) to be involved in TBDBITL activities.  I didn’t even know that these leadership positions in the Alumni Band existed or that I could apply until I saw Past President Derrick Mills’ post on Facebook – and of course I immediately reached out.

I wanted to be involved, to be connected, to be engaged, and found a way to do it from Indianapolis.  Through my discussions with President Zacke Naughton and Vice President, T.J. Hersch, I found my voice and excitement for engagement, creating meaningful connections, and for reaching those who may feel like I did – far away and removed from TBDBITL.  I have a passion for helping people feel connected and in using my passion, I became connected!

As the voice of the Club’s social media, I have learned so much about social media in general, and the different platforms in particular.  I have re-engaged our public Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages and created our public LinkedIn page.  Since the revival and renewal of our public voice on social media in December 2020, we now have a monthly social media plan with regular posting, in addition to ad-hoc, in-the-moment posts.  In conjunction with our Awards Committee, we have established a new monthly Alumni Spotlight series, the “Best Damn Alumni”, which premiered in April 2021.   Our long-term goal for 2021 is to see 500 followers on LinkedIn and 1,000 followers on Facebook, our two primary platforms.  At the time of this article, we are at 215 followers for LinkedIn and 708 for Facebook…well on our way to meeting our goal by the end of 2021.

If I can say one thing to anyone out there who’s feeling disconnected and unengaged – “Find your Marching Band”.  It will make all the difference!

Why Network? – From the Director’s Desk

As career coaches, we often find that job seekers spend 100% of their time on job boards applying to as many jobs as they can. What they often don’t realize is that one thing has remained steadfast through ups and downs in the economy and job market. The fact is that 80% of how most people find their next role is through networking. And the 20% of job seekers who obtain a job through job boards also need to then network into an interview.

Why is that? Think about how many resumes HR professionals or hiring managers need to comb through to choose candidates to interview. Even if the organization uses AI technology to narrow down the candidates, there is still a human element in choosing the right hire. You can imagine that the hiring team welcomes a good reference or referral beyond the stack of resumes.

Building a network of trusted colleagues affords you two things. You may learn about job openings that are in the works and not yet posted. This gives you the opportunity to connect with people in the organization through your contacts. Or, if you have already applied for a particular job, your network can serve as a reference on your behalf. Either way, you get the scoop on the opportunity, the culture, goals, and mission of the organization.

Once you land your next role and join your new team, it is wise to continue to build your professional network. You can keep up on current industry trends, meet mentors and experts, or promote your business or product. Today, it is smart to take ownership of your career inside and outside of your specific job or organization. Increase your visibility, gain professional development, and advance within your industry.

On April 13, we will meet for our next session of Job Club. We’ll focus on the Art of Networking and the importance within your job search. We’ll discuss how to put together a strategy that is comfortable for you as you begin to network and build your board of directors. I hope that you join us.

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Marilyn Bury Rice, Director

Marilyn has 30 years of experience in the career management field within higher education, non-profit, and corporate settings. She has advised students and alumni at Purdue University, Hanover College, the University of Notre Dame, Ohio Wesleyan, and The Ohio State University. She had the privilege of assisting women in becoming financially self-sufficient as a career consultant for Center for New Directions (a United Way Agency). And Marilyn spent 15 years working with experienced professionals in career transition at Right Management, a global talent and career management firm.

Marilyn holds a BS in communication and psychology and an MS in counseling and higher education administration from Purdue University. She values assisting alumni
in their ongoing career development and connecting with fellow Buckeyes around the globe

The Other Side of Fear: Pivoting to Your New Role

Written by alumna Marissa Lee

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic tens of millions of people have requested unemployment benefits. According to David G. Blanchflower, a professor of economics at Dartmouth College, we might see an unemployment rate of 20%. That’s significant and rivals the unemployment levels attained during the Great Depression. With these numbers, it’s not a surprise that people are taking a “wait and see” approach to pivoting to a new opportunity. However, pandemic aside, LinkedIn Learning research shows that 47% of all professionals ages 35 – 44 say they aren’t sure what their career path should look like, even after spending more than a decade in the workforce. To take this a little deeper, research shows the average American has been in the same job for 9.88 years, rising to a substantial 13.91 years for professionals over 55 years of age. This can lead one to draw the conclusion that whether we are in crisis or in a season of certainty, people are averse and belated in moving to their next opportunity. One of the biggest factors holding people back is fear.

Fear is the feeling manifested because of the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or be a threat or detriment to your progress. Fear is an enemy of success. It causes you to second guess yourself. It makes you think of everything that could go wrong. It shows up in the form of an excuse. Fear has caused people to hide themselves since the foundation of the earth and continues to keep people from fully realizing their potential. When it comes a career pivot, fear usually reveals itself in four major ways:

  1. Fear of Failure
  2. Fear of Rejection
  3. Fear of the Ambiguity
  4. Fear of Falling Short

Fear of Failure is the fear of doing something and later finding out it doesn’t work. It’s not a good feeling so in an effort to avoid failure, people decide not try at all. They choose to play it safe and stay with what they know. It keeps the person stuck in that moment, space, or role and makes it difficult to move forward.

There are benefits in failing and they can actually help you conquer your fear of failing. Past failures hold the key to all the ways you shouldn’t be doing something. Ask yourself what are the biggest lessons learned and how you can use your learnings in the future. Another thing that can help you overcome your failures is showing yourself some grace and giving yourself space to fail. I’m not saying to go in with a mindset to fail. I’m saying to leave it all out on the proverbial floor and be kind to yourself if you come up short. This will help you get more comfortable with putting yourself out there.

Fear of Rejection is the fear of doing something and others discard it or cast away. Whether it’s a romantic or work relationship, it doesn’t feel good to be or be perceived as “unwanted.” A great example of this is applying for a job and receiving that “we regret to inform you email” or worse the company just “ghosts” you and you don’t hear anything. Often times people internalize this rejection to mean they aren’t good enough or they are lesser than and that hurts. Depending on the individual, rejection is processed differently and on a deeper level especially if encountered numerous times in the past.

If rejection is stopping you, you have to find a way to overcome it. First it’s important to understand what aspect of rejection is holding you back from pivoting to your next role. Are you worried about being told no or is it something deeper? You have to figure that out and further address those concerns. In addition to that, I would say keep things in perspective. Remember a “no” doesn’t necessarily mean a “never”. It mean a better “yes” is on the way. I’m a witness to this. Hindsight is 20/20 so I’d encourage you to reflect on the times you’ve been told “no” and write down the “yes” that followed or the things the “no” kept you from. I’m sure you will look at your situation differently.

Fear of the Ambiguity is the fear of the unknown. You may fret because you just don’t know how things will turn out. Most people who are scared of ambiguity worry if they take the leap and it doesn’t work out then they will have sacrificed their security. A sense of security is valuable especially at times like this so if people can’t identify a sure opportunity they usually decide to stay put. I’m going to let you in on a little secret…no role is 100% secure whether old or new. You can still be in a vulnerable position if you fail to position yourself appropriately and show your value. I’ve seen where people stay in a role for years and get labeled a talent “blocker” because they haven’t managed to demonstrate valuable contributions and they are preventing someone else from transitioning into that role who can make an impact. I say all this to say, the known can be just as much as an enemy as the unknown.

If you struggle with this fear really make an effort to embrace change. We all know what they say, “the only thing constant in our lives is change” and that’s true. When we started of 2020, no one was planning for a pandemic. It didn’t even cross our minds but it came and we had to adapt. Lean into change and exercise your resilience muscle to help you conquer this fear.

Fear of Falling Short is the fear of not believing in yourself and what you bring to the table. It’s a confidence thing. It’s the self-sabotaging and deprecating mindset that you don’t have what it takes especially when it comes to transitioning to a new role. It’s the constant questioning of your skills and abilities and not in a productive way. It’s believing that regardless of your accomplishments you are a fraud. Those feelings are known as imposter syndrome and according to research 70% of people experience these feelings so you are not alone. Even I have questioned my capabilities and competencies to be effective in one of the roles I had so I know what it feels like. I also know that it’s toxic and can stifle your career and wreck your career experience if you let it, so don’t let it.

If you struggle with the fear of not measuring up to the standard needed for a new role, remind yourself of your worth. Sit down and write out your accomplishments then celebrate yourself. Give yourself permission to be great! Come up with a mantra that encourages you. Hype yourself up! Do what you need to do to get yourself in the right frame of mind so you can articulate and position yourself for the role you want to pursue.

A couple of the things I cover in the SOW EVOLVE Bootcamp are mindset and toxic behaviors. Sometimes we have to unlearn and deprogram ourselves to preconceive notions and archaic beliefs to ensure we can position ourselves for success. Fear is one of the feelings you have to learn how to detach from if you want to take the leap and pivot to your next role. Once you deal with fear and other limiting factors you will have more clarity around if and when you should pivot. In my new eBook Pivotal Moves-Shifting to Your Next, I discuss some things you should consider while thinking about a pivot and even included a short assessment to help you go deeper in your evaluation. Once you determine if you want to pivot you have to understand what you want to pivot to, what transferable skills you current possess, understand how you need to reposition your personal brand and then actually pivot.

Final Thought

Your next role is waiting for you but it may be on the other side of fear. Overcome fear and you will have conquered half of the battle to making your next move. Don’t extend your stay in role because of fear. Don’t allow fear to make you forfeit your next opportunity.

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Marissa Lee is a global HR leader, career strategist, and author with a unique approach to helping us rethink the relationship between employer and employee. For the past 10 years, she has combined her passion for people and processes to provide strategic business solutions for Fortune 500 companies in the fashion and chemical industries. Marissa is the founder of SOW EVOLVE, a career and business consulting firm which helps organizations and individuals address contemporary culture and career ownership issues.  If you would like to connect with Marissa, you may do so via LinkedIn or email at Marissa@IAmMarissaLee.com.

Wow Them with Your Winning Elevator Pitch

One of the most important tools for a jobseeker to have in their job search toolkit is a strong 30-second commercial, also known as an “elevator pitch”.  This is a great way to introduce yourself to new contacts, and allows you to communicate professionally and appear polished when meeting new people.  There are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that your 30-second commercial makes the best first impression for you.  Read on below to find out how to create your own winning elevator pitch.

What should I keep in mind when developing my 30-second commercial?

PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! Your 30-second commercial should be conversational and natural. Although prepared in advance, it should never sound memorized. You want to appear confident, enthusiastic, poised and professional. Make it memorable but not outrageous. You are competing with many other qualified candidates. Your commercial should allow you to stand out a bit from the crowd. Whether it is the vocabulary you choose or a specific achievement you mention, you want to engage the listener and give them an opportunity to see your personality.

Questions to Think About in Developing Your 30-Second Commercial:

1. What is your career goal? (Frame it in the form of doing something for someone)

2. What skill, strength, or experience do you have that would help you realize that goal?

3. What accomplishment proves you have that skill, strength, or experience?

4. What are you searching for in a job?

5. How can you immediately benefit the organization?

How should I format my 30-second commercial?

First sentences: Include your name, where you are from, your alma mater and what you studied.

Middle sentences: Quickly summarize your relevant experience. Do not reiterate your resume. For example, mention your industry and your most recent roles, the key skills you use and developed as well as an accomplishment with results. Mention your future career goals. Try framing it as, “One accomplishment I am most proud of…” or “One key strength that I would bring to your organization is…”

Last sentences: Briefly relay how your background led you to your career exploration. If you are in an interview, explain why you are interested in the organization and this role.

Pro Tip:  Even though you may get the request, “Tell me about yourself”, this does not mean that you should share personal information about your family, marital status, health conditions, or negative stories about former employers. The employer or networking contact can get a sense of your personality by your responses and attitude regarding work. If you share personal information, it may be used against you in their decision to stay engaged with you as a candidate or networking contact.

We would love for you to join us at the April meeting of the Alumni Career Management Job Club, where we will be providing networking time for participants to practice their elevator pitches with one another live.  If you’d like to take part, register here.

Job Club FAQ – What You Need to Know About Our New Series

We in the Office of Alumni Career Management are so excited about the launch of our new series, the Alumni Career Management Job Club!  We know that the last year has been challenging for many, and in the constantly changing environment of the post-COVID world has many considering a career transition.  With that in mind, our office endeavors to assist job seekers through this transition.

Structured as a four-part series, the Job Club is an immersive and interactive career readiness program designed to give you the latest industry information and proven methodologies for landing your next role.  We will hold one session per month, with short presentations on a timely topic followed by Q&A and an interactive networking session. We will provide a certificate of participation for each session attendee, and those who attend all four sessions will receive a small gift from our office as a token of our congratulations.

Below are answers to your frequently asked questions:

1. – If I miss a session, will I be able to make it up?

Yes!  This is a series that we plan on making an ongoing effort.  We will be offering the four sessions this spring, and taking a break in July before starting again in the fall.  We will cover the same basic topics in each series, with some modifications based on industry trends at the time.

So, if you miss out on a session this time, don’t worry!  We will be offering it again in the fall!

2. –  Will we be doing anything outside of the monthly sessions?

Yes!  Although the sessions are monthly, our office will work to continue the conversation over the weeks between each meeting by engaging in discussion on AlumniFire.  AlumniFire is Ohio State’s exclusive professional networking platform – it is free to join and open to any member of the Ohio State community.  If you don’t already have an account, we encourage you to set one up here. If you are an alumni, staff, or student of Ohio State, please enter with that status. If you do not fall into those categories, please check Job Club member.

3. – Should I prepare anything for the networking session?

The networking sessions are designed to be a casual exercise in getting to know others in a virtual setting.  There will be facilitators in each breakout room assigned to help guide the discussion along, but the goal is for you all to get comfortable in conversation with strangers in a professional setting.

While you don’t have to prepare anything formal for this portion of the presentation, it might be helpful to practice how you would like to introduce yourself to others ahead of time.  Things to consider are:

  • Name
  • Educational and professional background
  • Industry or companies you are interested in

You might also want to have a notebook handy so that you can write down the names of people in your group that you want to connect with individually on either AlumniFire or LinkedIn.  This is a great way to open a conversation into a new connection that could very well turn into your next big opportunity!

4. – What are other ways that I can connect with the Office of Alumni Career Management for additional assistance?

Alumni Career Management has several resources available for you to utilize in addition to our Job Club.  The webinar archive holds dozens of presentations on various job search and professional development topics to support your career growth.  Career Corner, our official departmental blog has weekly updates with various timely topics, including alumni spotlights, a weekly hot jobs listing, podcast episodes, and more.

Finally, though we no longer offer individual coaching, we do have a dedicated email address where you can submit your questions.  We send weekly responses for alumni seeking guidance on a variety of job search topics. To submit an individual question to the Alumni Career Management team, email us at ADV-CareersOSUAA@osu.edu.

Introducing the Alumni Career Management Job Club!

Many in our alumni and friends community are currently in career transition, or are considering making a change in their career in the near future.  With that in mind, the Bill and Susan Lhota Office of Alumni Career Management is excited to announce our newest project for supporting you through your career development – the launch of the Alumni Career Management Job Club!

Structured as a four-part series, the Job Club is an immersive and interactive career readiness program designed to give you the latest information and proven methodologies for landing your next role.  Each monthly session will include a short presentation on a pre-determined topic, along with Q&A/discussion time, and a guided networking exercise. Those who attend each session will receive a certificate of participation from our office, and those participating in all four sessions will also receive a small gift as congratulations.

Although the sessions are monthly, our office will work to continue the conversation over the weeks in between each meeting through engaging discussion on AlumniFire, our Ohio State exclusive professional networking platform.  AlumniFire is free to join, and open to any member of the Ohio State community.  If you have not already made an account, we encourage you to do so here.

Dates and times for the spring Job Club series are as follows:

March 9, 2021 – 12 noon ET – Resume “Must Haves” in Today’s Job Market

April 13, 2021 – 12 noon ET – Networking in the New Normal:  Link In or be Left Out

May 11, 2021 – 12 noon ET – Interview to Win the Offer

June 8, 2021 – 12 noon ET – Salary Negotiation:  Don’t Leave Money on the Table 

Register for the Job Club meetings here, and stay tuned for more information about this exciting project. We are looking forward to connecting with you!

Alumni Spotlight – Melissa Wasser, Policy Counsel at the Project On Government Oversight

Recently, the Office of Alumni Career Management sat down with alumna Melissa Wasser to talk about her time at Ohio State, and how that has impacted her career since graduation.  Below are Melissa’s answers to some of our questions, as well as her advice for current and prospective Buckeyes considering following in her career path.

Melissa Wasser

Degree: J.D. & M.A. in Public Policy and Management
Graduation Year: 2017
Current Occupation: Policy Counsel at the Project On Government Oversight

  1. – What brought you to The Ohio State University?

I always knew I wanted to go to law school, but I still had an interest in policy work that I wasn’t able to explore during undergrad. Knowing The Ohio State University has one of the best dual degree programs in the country at the Moritz College of Law and the John Glenn College of Public Affairs was the main reason driving my decision to enroll at Ohio State. I wanted the opportunity to challenge myself at a top-tier university while building the necessary skills to enter the workforce as a lawyer.

  1. – How did your experiences at Ohio State shape your career path?

Ohio State gave me the opportunity to participate in the Moritz College of Law’s Legislation Clinic, which gave me clinical placement experience working at the Ohio Statehouse. Learning how to monitor and analyze legislative issues at the state level is valuable knowledge that I still use in my current role every day. I was able to work with state legislators, give input on legislative language, and see how the state legislative process really worked. Being able to have this experience in one of the few legislation clinics in the country really set me apart from my peers and I credit that experience for helping me realize what my dream job now looks like.

      3. – What advice do you have for OSU alumni and students interested in pursuing a career in your field?

If you’re looking for a career in the policy space, I highly recommend finding a mentor that can help guide you in your career. When I was searching for my current position, I reached out to mentors that I’ve had since college, mentors in law school, and other Buckeyes in this space to just ask for some advice. Find people who are where you want to be in 5 or 10 years and ask them how they got to their current position. Sometimes, all it takes is a random email or LinkedIn message asking another Buckeye for 15 minutes of their time to find the person who will make a profound impact on your professional life. Take advantage of resources at Ohio State that can connect you to alumni in the career field you want to be in! Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there to not only better yourself, but to find that next opportunity.

  1. – What is your greatest professional accomplishment?

My greatest professional accomplishment would be testifying before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet last summer on the federal judiciary during the COVID-19 pandemic. Being able to speak to members of Congress directly on how important access to the federal courts is, especially so early in my professional career, was challenging and highly rewarding. I’m very grateful that I was able to have this accomplishment just three years after graduating from Ohio State. I can’t wait to see what the next few years have in store!

  1. – What inspires you in your profession?

Working hard at work worth doing and setting an example for others inspires me in my profession. Whether it’s breaking down complex issues for Congress or highlighting government accountability options for policy wonks, I want to be able to champion good government reforms and make more people aware of how corruption and abuse of power hurts us all. It’s also very important to me that I set an example for those looking to get into the legal and policy fields, both in my work as a Policy Counsel and in the mentoring space. Knowing what it took to get here and being real about the struggle is something that I want to be able to give back to others who are just starting out. If I can lift up another Buckeye to join me in this space, it makes it all worth it.

For more information about Melissa, or to connect with her, please visit her online here:

Twitter@Melissa_Wasser (https://twitter.com/Melissa_Wasser)
LinkedIn: Melissa Wasser (https://www.linkedin.com/in/melissawasser/)
Instagram@Melissa_Wasser (https://www.instagram.com/Melissa_Wasser/)

 

Looking Back and Moving Forward – How Alumni Career Management Supports You from 2020 and Beyond

Wow… 2020 was really something, right?

The Ohio State University Alumni Association launched the Bill and Susan Lhota Office of Alumni Career Management in 2012, largely in response to a significant movement among alumni requesting career guidance following the “Great Recession” of the late 2000s.  For the last nine years, we have remained steadfast in our commitment to supporting Ohio State alumni in their lifelong career management.  We strive to provide assistance in career development and transitions through a robust variety of resources, keeping our clients abreast of current trends and dynamics within the industry.  Through a combination of relevant programming, original content, and other offerings, we have remained true to our goal of inspiring, motivating, and encouraging alumni in their journey toward finding satisfying and successful careers, all within a professional environment fostering a community of Buckeyes helping Buckeyes.

The goal of the Office of Alumni Career Management has always been to ensure accessibility to resources for every member of our 550,000+ strong global community of Buckeye alumni.  We are proud to have been pioneers in providing virtual career resources among alumni offices in higher education for several years.  When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the university, and the world at large, in early 2020, we were well poised to pivot to all virtual offerings, ensuring that we could meet the needs of alumni that we knew would need us now more than ever.

Although this is a scenario that no one imagined or could have been prepared for, the Office of Alumni Career Management staff was able to quickly assess and address the challenges stemming from our “new normal”.   The most urgent issue was the need to create programming and materials to guide alumni in navigating this new career landscape.

Looking Back – How We Adjusted to a COVID-19 World in 2020

In March of 2020, we began offering webinars tailored to topics immediately relevant to the COVID-19 crisis.  Our presentations, “Laid Off – Now What?” and “Career Pivots for Experienced Job Seekers” had more than 250 combined registrants – many of whom were first time attendees for an event hosted by our office.  Our presentation, “How to Optimize Your Job Search During COVID-19” featured alumna Marissa Lee, who provided invaluable insight as a human resources professional and career coach. We supplemented this with podcasts relating to topics including, “Managing Stress when Working from Home”, “Maintaining Connections Across the Digital Distance”, and “Work/Life Balance for Working Parents”.

In addition to reframing our existing webinar curriculum to reflect the new circumstances we found ourselves under in 2020, the Career Management team also launched a new initiative to assist the influx of new job seekers with their many questions surrounding the search.  Job Search Q&A sessions were held monthly beginning in May of last year, with a total of 724 alumni and friends registering for these events throughout the year, an average of 80 participants at each of these roundtables.   We also piloted a biweekly group coaching program for six months last year as we worked to phase out one on one coaching and were able to support a number of alumni in crafting an effective elevator pitch, learning to network in a virtual medium, and job searching in the hidden market.

All told, in 2020 the Office of Alumni Career Management website had a total of 435,600 individual visits to our departmental website, which includes invaluable resources for alumni and friends such as resume and cover letter templates, our webinar archive, job search tools, and our alumni-specific job board, Alumni Career Connection.

Our departmental blog, Coach’s Corner, also received significant attention in the last year, with more than 13,000 individual users visiting the site during the year from all over the world, including 14 countries other than the United States.

Moving Forward – What We Are Looking Forward to in the New Year

It is safe to say that the Office of Alumni Career Management was successful in pivoting our offerings to meet the quickly changing needs of the Ohio State alumni community over the last year, and we look forward to continuing to elevate our offerings as we move into 2021.  In February, we will launch Career Corner, a monthly newsletter curated to include relevant career content, advice, and events for alumni interested in job search or professional development topics.

In March, we are excited to announce that our office will launch a monthly Job Club series.  Inspired by our group coaching pilot last fall, the Job Club will be a monthly meeting that combines guidance on a specific job search topic and a guided networking experience for participating alumni. We look forward to engaging with you in a fun and interactive way that provides meaningful assistance to those alumni who need it most.

Other projects on the horizon for the Career Management team include the launch of three self-paced mini-courses on leadership and professional development, for which we will be offering a Certificate of Completion for alumni who participate in those modules, collaborative partnerships with our colleagues in the alumni association, around campus, and around our community to further the reach of our services and advice, innovative volunteer opportunities for alumni who would like to give back to the university, and engagement with companies seeking to connect with our alumni and our university.

Where We Need You

For alumni who have not yet taken advantage of the many resources offered through the Office of Alumni Career Management, we extend an invitation for you to do so now – there is so much that we have available, and it is our sincere hope that you will utilize these resources as you continue in your own career development journey.

We’d also like to lean on alumni in the coming year, asking you to weigh in with your own expertise as our subject matter experts in your individual fields.  We would love to see you engage with us on social media – particularly in our LinkedIn group or on AlumniFire – where your commentary can be seen by thousands of your fellow alumni, as well as current students.   If you would like information on how you can get involved with our office, and ways that you can contribute, feel free to contact us directly at lacount.7@osu.edu.

Buckeye to Buckeye – Top Free Career Resources to Help You Get Started

Below are just a few of the great offerings available to you through the OSUAA Office of Alumni Career Management. Your fellow Buckeyes have been utilizing these continuously in their own career search, and we invite you to take advantage of them as well.

  1. AlumniFire

AlumniFire is Ohio State’s premier professional networking tool that allows you to connect directly with other alumni and students, as well as employers seeking to fill positions with Buckeyes like you!  Here you can find people volunteering to give general career advice, resume reviews, relocation assistance, and other fun topics – you can also raise your hand to help another Buckeye in need as well!

  1. Alumni Career Connection

Alumni Career Connection is our Buckeye alumni exclusive job board.  With more than 20 new jobs posted every week from all around the country, you’re sure to find a position that fits what you’re looking for in terms of a next career move.

  1. HireOhio Virtual Alumni Career Fair

Ohio State’s biggest alumni career fair will be going virtual once again this year! Join us in June and November as we provide opportunities to get in front of employers looking to hire someone like you.  Upcoming career fairs are posted regularly on our departmental webpage in the “Upcoming Events” section.

  1. Goin’ Global

COVID got you thinking of taking a wander year somewhere outside of the United States?  As an alumnus of the university, you have free access to Goin’ Global, a database that contains country-specific career and employment resources for more than 90 locations worldwide.  Create a free account to access this resource and find your next great adventure abroad.

Pandemic-Proofing Your LinkedIn Profile

 

More and more over the last several months, we are learning the continuing value of developing and maintaining a strong digital presence.  As our world becomes increasingly reliant on virtual connection in the age of COVID-19, it is more important than ever to adapt and hone our networking and communication skills to meet these needs.

Whether you are currently in the job search, or simply want to keep your marketing materials sharp and relevant in the event of an opportunity presenting itself, one of the most important things that you can do in this time is refresh your LinkedIn profile.

This article from Business Insider demonstrates exactly why LinkedIn is such a great opportunity for jobseekers at the moment, and does an excellent job of showcasing how you can go about updating your LinkedIn profile to meet the needs of the “next normal’s” job market.

A few key takeaways:

1. – Shift your thinking of the LinkedIn profile to that of a resource, not just a resume.

Too many times job seekers are guilty of treating their LinkedIn profile like a static online resume instead of like a resource that can be used to demonstrate your areas of expertise and allow you the ability to communicate with your audience.

Instead of creating a standing resume, experts suggest that you work to communicate how you contribute to your teams/industry and share your expertise.  You can do this in a number of ways, including sharing articles, references, media, and more.

2. – Refocus your “About” section

Historically on LinkedIn, people have had a tendency to craft an “About” section that is nearly identical to the professional summary on their resumes.  Instead, think about the About section as a more organic way to tell your story – what is it that you want readers to know about you as a professional – what is your “remarkable difference”?

3. – Connect with others genuinely

This one kind of seems like a no-brainer, but in the age of COVID-19, where so many of us are adjusting to the idea that we are #AloneTogether – genuine human connection can be hard to come by.  Making an effort to use LinkedIn to create genuine connections and network with people on a deeper scale will help you really gain traction in building your network and opening yourself up to new opportunities.

If you’re interested in reading the entire article from Business Insider, you can do so by clicking here.  We hope that this has been informative in helping you think about redesigning your LinkedIn profile a bit, and also in helping you think about redefining the way you think  about LinkedIn as part of your networking and job search strategy.

Have a great day and Go Bucks!

 

Networking Tips for Introverts

 

We’ve all been there – the dreaded “networking” meet and greet situation.  Some of us – the extroverts – often find these situations easy (or even exciting) to delve into.  Others of us (the not-so-extroverts) can find these situations challenging, however.  If you fall into the latter category, this post is for you.  The following tips, originally published on GetFive, are an excellent starting point for someone finding themselves (possibly uncomfortably) in a networking situation.

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The annual Chamber of Commerce dinner is being held after work tonight. Does the idea of attending fill you with anticipation or dread?

Extroverts love the opportunity to meet and greet, make connections, and chat with new people. It energizes them and revs them up. Introverts, not so much. Even the idea of a room full of people at a chamber dinner can cause the energy to drain out of them. Schmoozing and small talk — the lifeblood of networking — is painful and awkward.

But, like it or not, when it comes to business and career advancement, networking is a vital tool. It comes naturally to extroverts, but with a little planning, introverts can navigate those events like a pro, too.

Here are a few tips:

Do some research beforehand

If you know who might be there — other members of the chamber, say — jump on LinkedIn and look them up. See if you have any shared connections and look for other commonalities in their profiles. That way, they won’t feel like complete strangers.

Come armed with questions (and follow-ups)

One stifling problem introverts have with networking is the dreaded conversation starter. You’re waiting for a drink at the bar, standing next to someone. What do you say?

Offering a handshake and introducing yourself is a great go-to icebreaker. The other person will respond in kind. Now what? That’s when it’s useful to have a follow-up question ready. A safe bet is to say something about the event. “Have you been a chamber member long?” “Have you tried the hors d’oeuvres?” “What did you think of the speaker?”

Another way to go is to look at the name tag and ask about his or her profession. “Oh! I see you’re in HR. How did you get into that?”

Plant “hooks” in your responses

To keep the conversation going, don’t give one-word answers to questions. Instead, say something that will hook the other person.

“Where are you from?”

“Minneapolis. Yep, it’s as cold and snowy as people say it is. We don’t mess around with winter.”

Give yourself a time limit …

Don’t go into the event thinking you have to stay for the entire time. Give yourself 30 minutes or an hour. That way, it won’t seem so overwhelming when you walk in.

… and a goal

You don’t need to come away from the event with a stack of business cards and email addresses after having worked the room like a seasoned politician. Give yourself the goal of talking to three new people, and once that’s accomplished, call it a success.

Using these tips, networking will be easier. We’re not going to say you’ll learn to love it, but you can make it work for you. And that’s the whole point.