Questions and Answers

Interviewing? Job Search? Soft Skills? International? Nerves? Networking?

INTERVIEWING

I am not confident I speak English well enough to be successful in a job interview. What Do I Do?

I will be attending an upcoming interview where I will be meeting with VP’s of the company.  I am really nervous to meet with VPs. What Do I Do?

What do I do if I get a job rejection?

What does the dress code Business Casual mean?

How To Follow Up After The Interview

Job Interview: Follow Up (2 Minute Video)

Why Didn't I Make It Past The First Interview?

Where can I find a list of sample interview questions, tips, and advice?

INTERNATIONAL STUDENT CONCERNS

Where can I find advice about when I should apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) or Curriculum Practical Training (CPT)?

Where can I find advice about getting a Social Security Number?

Who Sponsors Visas?

What is the process to look for jobs in the US?

Should I list my Visa status on my resume?

What questions are illegal for an employer to ask?

PRESENTATIONS

Can you provide an overview of how to create an effective presentation?

TECHNICAL

How do we prepare for a technical screen?

COVER LETTER

How to write a good cover letter?

How to customize cover letters? (Are they necessary?)

Who is the best person to reach out to? How do you find them?

How to find recruiters info when writing cover letter?

OFFERS

How to ask for travel expenses?

How do you know your base salary?

Can you consider other offers?

How do you evaluate two similar job offers? How do you deal with the gaps when waiting for offers? For example, A company is my first choice and B company is my second choice. I get an offer from B and it requests my response ASAP. At the same time I’m still waiting for A’s response. Do I need to wait for A or just go with B?

SALARY NEGOTIATION-SALARY REQUESTS

How to handle salary requests in early interviews/ online applications?

How to negotiate salary?

How to argue for salary?

How to negotiate offers?

Tax Treaties

International Taxpayers

Cost of Living Comparison Calculators

Basic Federal and State Income Tax Calculator

What is a 401K

Questions to ask when negotiating salary package

How much will the health, dental and vision insurance premium cost per pay?

How much are the deductibles and co-pays?

What is FICA

Ask the employer if there is room for movement on the salary.

How does the structure of evaluations, raises, and/or promotions work?

Are there any relocation resources?

HANDSHAKE

Differences between handshake and company’s website?

Why do we need Handshake if an external link should be clicked to submit applications?

Does applying through handshake provide us some advantage?

RESUME REVIEWS MOCK INTERVIEWS

Where to get resume reviewed and edited?

Mock interview with professionals?

COMPANIES – SKILL SETS, RESEARCHING

What skill sets are the companies looking for?

What is an efficient way to research about a company?

How do you avoid being pigeon holed into a CS job?

How to quickly find if company offers sponsorships?

REJECTION

How do you stay optimistic especially if you just got rejected?

How to cope from a rejection?

Can we argue for rejection? I didn’t think anyone would look at it?

BALANCING WORK SEARCH AND SCHOOL WORK

How do you keep everything in the right time line?

Which jobs are better for IS students compared to CS students?

RESUME WRITING

8 Things You Need To Know About Applicant Tracking Systems

How Do I Make Room On My Resume For Soft Skills?

Should I use a Passive Resume Database so I don’t have to actively look for work?

The competition is quite stiff. How can I best compete with my resume and cover letter?

Do employers really want soft skills on the resume?

Although we haven't gotten our data for the MPS project, I am wondering whether I can put something about the project onto my resume. If yes, could you please give some examples about what I can talk about?

How do we organize our resumes? How much to tailor apps/resumes/cover letters?

What kind of projects should be highlighted on resumes?

What are some important keywords to put on resumes?

How to write a resume specific to a job description?

How to write effective resume?

Shall we put relocation preference on resume? (Some companies might be flexible)

Shall we put non-related experience on resume/portfolio?

Should I start looking for job before I have concrete portfolio?

What to start first? Resume? Jobsearch? Networking?

For tech positions, what’s the best way to stand out when interviewing? (Feel too similar to others)

How to make them remember you (in interviews or networking situations)

How to pass automated resume sort?

What is an applicant tracking system (ATS) and how do I maximize my resume to stand out when I submit it through one of these systems? Do they use keyword search?

How to put projects on resume?

How to take advantage of Coursework/Projects during recruiting?

JOB SEARCH

I think many companies prefer students who have gained their undergrad degrees in America. To make up for this disadvantage and improve my chance for interview, what do you think I can do?

I aim to focus my job hunting next semester on two type of positions: risk management in financial industry and data analyst in technology companies. What kind of different strategies do you suggest for these two types? Thanks!

Years of Experience - Am I qualified?

What is an applicant tracking system (ATS) and how do I maximize my resume to stand out when I submit it through one of these systems? Do they use keyword search?

Where can I find additional information about searching for a UI-UX Career? 

Business Analyst; One Name Two Different Skill Sets

Is Your Job Search Stuck? 

Where should I look for work?

NETWORKING

I think small talk is such a turn off and might be perceived as fake. Should I do it anyway?

Why Should I Network?  

What are the benefits of someone talking to me?

How do I develop a Network?

I am an Introvert and therefore do not network well. What tips can you provide?

Can you provide specific networking strategy tips? How do I initiate the conversation?

What questions can I ask with new acquaintances?

What is the difference between networking and information interviewing?

How do I write an elevator pitch?

What do you do if they ignore your emails (i.e. follow up)? What to do with unresponsive comp.

How to keep in touch with recruiters you met at job fair by email?

How do you write/format a cold email ( i.e. if you can’t find application but know the job exists)? Where do you apply? Handshake? LinkedIn? Best Resource?

How to make networking less awkward?

How do I perform on networking events?

What do you do if they ignore your emails (i.e. follow up)? What to do with unresponsive comp.

How to keep in touch with recruiters you met at job fair by email?

How do you write/format a cold email ( i.e. if you can’t find application but know the job exists)? Where do you apply? Handshake? LinkedIn? Best Resource?

TIPS

How long should you stay at a company?

GPA

GPA on resume? Undergrad, and grad or most recent

THANK YOU NOTES

How to write thank you emails after the interview?

PORTFOLIOS

Do I bring my portfolio into interview?

Reference Checking

Who should I choose for references? How do I format a reference sheet? How do I ask someone to be my reference? Choose the right person and the right format.

How do I ask someone to be a reference?

REFERENCE - REFERRAL

Who to ask for a reference?

How to get an internal reference without knowing anyone in the company?

How to break the ice with professional via Linked In and get a reference?

APPLY

Can I still apply if I don’t meet all the qualifications in a job description?

Are there as many job opportunities during the spring semester?

Can you apply to multiple positions in one company?

How late is too late?

Best time to apply for jobs?

Timeline for application, is it too early now?

How to spot fake job posting?

UI-UX INTERVIEW

What’s the UX Interview like?

How to do UX Interview?

How do we prepare for a UX interview?

UI-UX PORTFOLIO

How do we prepare for a UX portfolio?

INTERVIEWS

How to communicate with recruiters when a recruiter showed a stone/poker face with no excitement or disappointment what should you do? What do I do if the recruiter seems not interested/sleepy in the conversation?

How to do a behavioral interview?

Interview Tips

Top Reasons People Don’t Get Interviews

Interview Tips

 Tips for the pre-interview dinner

How do you really know if a job fits you well or not?

How to prepare technical/coding interviews?

How to “standout” during group interviews? How to appropriately respond to questions in a group interview.

How to prepare for online recorded interview questions?

How do we prepare appropriate questions for “Do you have more questions for me?”

How to make them remember you (in interviews or networking situations)

Can you bring notes to interviews?

How can I prepare for phone/video interview?

Is it ok to make jokes in interview?

What should I do when I truly don’t know the concept in the question?

What should I do if I got stuck during the interview? What to do when you don’t know the answer in an interview?

How to prepare for interview? (Mock interview? Resource?)

How to prepare for interviews?

How do we best promote ourselves during interviews?

What do you wear to tech interview?

What should I wear for interviews?

Do you have to follow dress code?

How to reserve a room for interview?

How to prepare for phone interviews when I have a hard time understanding the interviewer or communicating with HR?

English Language Support Office

How to prepare/go through pre-recorded video interviews?

Who would be the best person to do the pilot for interviews?

Tips on answering interview questions?

Can you bring notes to interviews?

What do we do if we don’t know the answer during an interview?

What should I do when I truly don’t know the concept in the question?

What should I do if I got stuck during the interview? What to do when you don’t know the answer in an interview?

ALUMNI

How do you contact alumni and get their help/advice?

Using Cornell network Post Graduate?

How to reach out to alumni?

INTERNATIONAL CONCERN

More international student resources and tips

ISSO

US EMPLOYMENT VISA 101 (CPT, OPT, H1B, O-1, L-1)

What do I need to know to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN)?

INFORMATIONAL INTERVIEW

What are informational interviews?

INTERNSHIP

Is it possible to find a winter internship?

THINGS TO KNOW

Sometimes the transition to work is not what you expected.

The learning curve is steeper than I thought it would be in the following areas:

Culture

The workday

Vacation Time

The work

INTERVIEWING

I am not confident I speak English well enough to be successful in a job interview. What Do I Do?

It is indeed difficult and to get through an interview if you don’t communicate well.  

You may communicate better than you think but may lack the confidence to express yourself the way that you feel is proper. This happens to native English speakers as well as speakers where English is their second language.  One way to build confidence is to speak English whenever you are in class even though it is easier to talk with fellow classmates who have your same native language.  This will increase your communication skills a great deal in a short period of time. Another reason for speaking English in class is: when you speak a language other than English sometimes others feel like an outsider or do not understand what you are saying so they think you are talking about them. Sometimes they think this is rude.  This is especially important when you are at a networking event or info session with others who do not speak your language.

Another way is to practice verbalizing (out loud) answers to behavior questions. If you can practice with a friend this is helpful to see their feedback. You can practice with Optimal Interview available within Optimal Resume on Cornell Career’s website. You can even practice in a mirror, record yourself on your phone, or just practice speaking answers out loud to a blank wall. The first time you recite answers you will find it comes out clunky or not as smooth as you would like. It is important to repeat your answers until you can be fluid.

For additional resources on campus visit the ISSO webpage to see several programs that might be able to help you. ELSO Language Support Office (for graduate and professional students): http://cornellelso.weebly.com

http://isso.cornell.edu/life-cornell/practical-matters/english-programs

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Overcoming Nerves

I will be attending an upcoming interview where I will be meeting with VP’s of the company.  I am really nervous to meet with VPs. What Do I Do?

Titles can be intimidating and our brain tends to focus on negative thoughts.  Remember your strengths.  Most likely you are a brilliant, kind, and wonderful person besides being a technically talented.  You have many skills and you will be talking to people about what you know.  Understand it is normal to feel a little nervous. Even if I tell you to forget about the titles of the people you will be speaking to, your brain will want to tell me otherwise because it is normal to justify how important-seeming these people are.  Our brains says, “They are VPs for goodness sake!.”  They have already selected you because of your stellar qualifications. These are people who want to see you succeed as much as you want to succeed. Remind yourself of this.

Please realize it is also normal for VPs to be involved in the hiring decisions even for entry-level positions.  Lots of times a company might want the hiring to be a team effort so that all levels agree on the fit of a candidate.  Think of it as a team.  Different members of the team can see different things in a candidate.  There may be a few rare cases where a hiring supervisor may not want to be blamed for a bad hire and at other times the VP doesn’t want the hiring manager to get credit for the good hires. A cohesive team involving all levels helps to ensure consensus regarding candidate selection.

Likewise, you will have the ability to hear different points of view from different people and also see how they interact with one another. This is a very positive atmosphere for interviewing.  You will have a better understanding when you are done if the company is also a good fit for you.   

Amy Cuddy has a Ted talk about overcoming nerves in interviews. 

Here is an article in a blog that offers a few additional points on overcoming job interview fears. https://www.ziprecruiter.com/blog/overcome-job-interview-fears/

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What do I do if I get a job rejection?

See this article from Vault.com titled "What To Do If You Get A Rejection?"

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What does the dress code Business Casual mean?

Business Casual is business attire you are comfortable wearing. You might be most comfortable choosing something that is neither too dressy nor too casual. 

A male example: A pair of slacks and a nice shirt. Can be a dress shirt, sweater, or a polo shirt.  A suit and tie is not necessary but if you prefer to wear these it will be acceptable.  

A female example:  A pair of slacks and a nice shirt.  Can be a dress shirt, sweater, or a polo shirt.  A suit, skirt, or dress is not necessary but if you prefer to wear any of these it will be acceptable.  If you are planning to interview for a more business-professional position you may wish to bring a suit and tie. One website that might help you decide what to bring can be found at: http://jobsearch.about.com/od/interviewattire/a/interviewdress.htm or Google keywords like, “Interview Attire”, for additional information.

back to Interviewing questions

INTERNATIONAL STUDENT CONCERNS

Where can I find advice about when I should apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) or Curriculum Practical Training (CPT)?

Where can I find advice about getting a Social Security Number?

Cornell's International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) has many resources specifically for International Students. Be sure to check out their resources as they relate to working in the US. The process for applying for OPT, CPT, and obtaining a Social Security Number (SSN) can be found here. Visas After Graduation http://isso.cornell.edu/students/working-us/visas-after-graduation.  Please also discuss your work authorization needs with an immigration advisor at ISSO because many things can affect it such as your current visa type, your citizenship, and your discipline of study.  http://isso.cornell.edu/students/working-us Information about taxes can be found here http://isso.cornell.edu/financial/taxes

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Who Sponsors Visas?

Cornell students: http://www.career.cornell.edu/students/upload/InternationalStudentJobsxlsx.xlsx

H1B databases:

http://foreign-employment.findthedata.com

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What is the process to look for jobs in the US?

http://www.career.cornell.edu/students/upload/Intl-Curriculum-2014-Links.pdf

US Job-Search Tips in CCS Media Library addresses common challenges and troubleshooting approaches:

http://www.career.cornell.edu/career/customcf/iws_media_library/uploads/isso_job_spring2015_01_21_2015.pdf

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Should I list my Visa status on my resume?

Do not include your visa status on your resume. 

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What questions are illegal for an employer to ask?

What is your visa type, nationality, place of birth, date of birth, which country are you a citizen, what is your native language or, what language do you most often speak?

An employer MAY ask: Are you legally authorized to work in the United States, will you now or in the future require sponsorship for an employment visa, or which languages do you read, speak or write? (if foreign language skills are job related)

back to International Student Concern questions

PRESENTATIONS

Can you provide an overview of how to create an effective presentation?

The link below is from AMSTAT (American Statistical Association). “Guidelines for Preparing Effective Presentations”.  It applies across many industries and majors.

https://ww2.amstat.org/meetings/csp/2015/guidelines.cfm

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TECHNICAL

How do we prepare for a technical screen?

http://cis.cornell.edu/current-students/career-resources/professional-ma...

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COVER LETTERS

How to write a good cover letter?

The Cornell Career Guide is an excellent resource for tips on creating resumes and writing cover letters. 

https://www.engineering.cornell.edu/resources/career_services/students/r...

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How to customize cover letters? (Are they necessary?)

Cover letters are mandatory if the company is requesting one. If the company has stated they are optional, it is wise to send one.  It is one more place to show the company the skills you have for the position and the value you will bring. It also shows you are willing to do more than what is requested.

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Who is the best person to reach out to? How do you find them?

How to find recruiters info when writing cover letter?

Usually in Handshake you will find a link. Even if you are applying to an outside company you may want to check handshake as well. More at this link: http://www.businessinsider.com/figure-out-how-to-address-your-cover-letter-2015-12

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OFFERS

How to ask for travel expenses?

If going to an interview you will need to send an email asking if they are willing to cover travel expenses. If you are wondering about relocation expenses you will need to ask these in your offer negotiation questions.  The best way is to simply ask, “Do you cover travel expenses for this interview?” or “Do you offer relocation expenses for this position?”

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How do you know your base salary?

If you are referring to what you have been offered, you should have this in writing prior to agreeing to working.  

If you are referring to how to decide how much to ask when faced with the question, “ What are your salary requirements?”  then research is required. Go to http://cis.cornell.edu/current-students/career-resources/professional-ma... and click on “How to Negotiate an offer for a Tech Job” from the Balance.  I did not include a link here so that you can see other similar helpful links once you arrive at the link above.  You can also see the post graduate surveys at the same link above. You will also need to do research about the area in terms of cost of living.

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Can you consider other offers?

Yes if you are negotiating two at the same time. Otherwise Cornell’s policy states once you have accepted an offer you will no longer look for more and you will stop all other interviews that are in process.  See “We also expect our students to respond to your job offers according to the expectations we set forth in the On-Campus Recruiting and the Job Search Policies for Cornell Students, 2017-18.”

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How do you evaluate two similar job offers? How do you deal with the gaps when waiting for offers? For example, A company is my first choice and B company is my second choice. I get an offer from B and it requests my response ASAP. At the same time I’m still waiting for A’s response. Do I need to wait for A or just go with B?

This is a wonderful yet hard place to be in.  You may be able to negotiate this. First, call or email company A and ask them if they will be making their decision soon. You can also let them know how much you like their company and/or the value you bring, they are your first choice however, you have another offer which has a deadline and you were hoping to hear from company A soon.  Sometimes you will hear right away from company A and sometimes you will not. It is worth the trouble to contact them. Then call or email company B and ask them if you can extend the deadline to “x” date. This date is not usually too far away perhaps 2 weeks. At the time you are asking to extend the deadline you will also ask any other questions you might have such as how much is the health, dental, vision insurance, do they match the 401K? Do they have any room for movement on the salary? And other such questions. See negotiating link in the question above.

Cornell has policies for the employer about length of time for students to reply to offers as well as for students regarding reneging on offers.  Please read them here.

Cornell HIRING POLICIES (http://www.career.cornell.edu/employers/hiring_students/recruiting/polic...)

All employers—whether recruiting our students on campus or at their own locations—are expected to adhere to Cornell Career Services' Employer Offer Guidelines and Recruiting Policies.

We also expect our students to respond to your job offers according to the expectations we set forth in the On-Campus Recruiting and the Job Search Policies for Cornell Students, 2017-18.

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SALARY NEGOTIATION-SALARY REQUESTS

How to handle salary requests in early interviews/ online applications?

This question has gotten much harder to evade than in the past. I typically like to push back asking the company:  if they have a range I mind, let them know it is a hard question because you have not yet seen the whole salary package and you haven’t researched the area to determine the cost of living.   Sometimes this question cannot be avoided. Research and know what you will accept or not. Have a range of your own in mind. See more at this link:

https://www.thebalance.com/interview-questions-about-your-salary-expecta...

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How to negotiate salary?

How to argue for salary?

How to negotiate offers?

http://cis.cornell.edu/current-students/career-resources/professional-ma...

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Tax Treaties

https://www.irs.gov/businesses/international-businesses/united-states-in...

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International Taxpayers

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers

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Cost of Living Comparison Calculators

Find out what it will cost to live where you would like to work as compared to where you live now. Also good tools to find out the cost difference of two cities.  Let’s say you are considering moving to San Francisco or Boston. If you received the same salary in each city what are the differences in cost of living expenses such as housing, transportation, food, healthcare, etc…  One such calculator can be found here: https://www.nerdwallet.com/cost-of-living-calculator/compare/ithaca-vs-s...

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Basic Federal and State Income Tax Calculator

http://goodcalculators.com/us-salary-tax-calculator/

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What is a 401K

http://guides.wsj.com/personal-finance/retirement/what-is-a-401k/

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Is the employer offering any match?

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Questions to ask when negotiating salary package

https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/questions-to-ask-during-salary-negotiation/

First, understand what is in the package, what you will be expected to pay for, and what your net income will be. Different states and localities have different costs.  Understand what you will be actually receiving after taxes (Federal, FICA, State, Local) and insurance?

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How much will the health, dental and vision insurance premium cost per pay?

How much are the deductibles and co-pays?

HMO vs PPO https://www.humana.com/all-products/understanding-insurance/hmo-vs-ppo

Consider the total costs of health insurance measured against your personal needs:

Deductible. Co-Pay.

https://www.healthcare.gov/glossary/deductible/

https://www.healthcare.gov/choose-a-plan/your-total-costs/

Typically, you may be offered health, dental, vision, however this does not mean the company is paying for all of it. You will need to find out the cost to you.

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What is FICA

https://www.ssa.gov/thirdparty/materials/pdfs/educators/What-is-FICA-Inf...

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Ask the employer if there is room for movement on the salary.

Sometimes this is not negotiable and sometimes it is. I usually like to ask this question along with all the other questions about the offer at one time.  Sometimes it might be first and sometimes it might be in the middle or at the end of the list of questions. Be prepared to provide examples of why you are worth more than suggested.  You can also provide a link to the Post Graduate Survey which tells the average salary of the students who graduated in prior years. Research other salary survey’s but remember you may be entry level and not able to command the salary that is quoted in other surveys of people who may be more senior by 10-20 years.

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How does the structure of evaluations, raises, and/or promotions work?

Evaluations are common annually. In school we are used to having more immediate feedback when we receive grades. Often in the workplace direct feedback can be a little more vague.

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Are there any resources for future education, conferences, or memberships?

Are there any relocation resources?

Sometimes these could be in the form of a relocation professional or relocation bonus.

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HANDSHAKE

Differences between handshake and company’s website?

Most companies in Handshake understand they need to wait until graduation for you to start. Many companies will only accept new grads through their campus recruiting programs.  You will be able to apply to positions that may be open only to a campus cohort.

Companies may be able to track where their recruitment efforts come from. Companies often have separate applicant tracking systems to manage both their campus recruits and their experienced professional recruits.

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Why do we need Handshake if an external link should be clicked to submit applications?

Many companies will only accept new grads through their campus recruiting programs.  Companies may be able to track where their recruitment efforts come from. Companies often have separate applicant tracking systems to manage both their campus recruits and their experienced professional recruits.

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Does applying through handshake provide us some advantage?

You will be able to apply to positions that may be open only to a campus cohort.

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RESUME REVIEWS MOCK INTERVIEWS

Where to get resume reviewed and edited?

Career Services 103 Barnes Hall Cornell University Ithaca, NY 14853

phone: 607/255-5221 email: career@cornell.edu

You can also try Cornell Engineering Career Center

https://www.engineering.cornell.edu/resources/career_services/index.cfm

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Mock interview with professionals?

I’m not sure I understand this question completely. To my knowledge there is nothing planned along these lines if you are meaning that industry professional are professionals. You may want to check Handshake or student organizations to see if there are upcoming opportunities.  If you are seeking mock interview with Career professionals please contact either Engineering Career Center or Cornell Career Services (links above) for any opportunities.

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COMPANIES – SKILL SETS, RESEARCHING

What skill sets are the companies looking for?

There are plenty of studies that tell what companies are looking for. These include: leadership, innovative, creative, entrepreneurial, ability to work cross functionally, teamwork and others. However, it can’t be said enough that most important is to read and re-read the job description to see what the company is looking for that particular position.  There are some companies who are not looking for leaders for example they are looking more for good team members. Include examples of soft skills on your resume where the job description is looking for soft skills. These can often be found in the parts of the job description that we don’t usually look at. The about us, or about this position sections for example.

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What is an efficient way to research about a company?

There is not a real efficient way. I think this takes time.  The Handshake app (not the website) the app from your app store will separate those companies who are recruiting in Handshake.  If the company is public, looking at their 10k statement is sometimes valuable. See the several resources here: http://www.cis.cornell.edu/current-students/career-resources/professiona...

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See also these from Cornell Career Resources to research companies.

Uniworld has a list of companies that have branches both the U.S. and abroad.

Hoover's is another database that allows you to search by industry, location, and other keywords—and you can also find competitors for a company. 

Glassdoor allows you to review company reputation, salary, and interview questions.

Universumglobal.com provides employer rankings.

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How do you avoid being pigeon holed into a CS job?

I am wondering if this is a question from an experience at the career fair as I heard a few students who thought the recruiters did this. Sometimes recruiters are coming to the career fair with a specific objective and it will be up to you to explain what you are looking for, a job you recently saw on their website, and how your skills align with this.  Sometimes you will need to be the one educating if they are assuming they are recruiting for CS positions. In general, you will need to ensure you understand all of the job description and align your resume accordingly.

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How to quickly find if company offers sponsorships?

You can see if companies have sponsored in the past by doing a search at these links.

https://www.myvisajobs.com/

http://www.career.cornell.edu/students/international.cfm

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REJECTION

How do you stay optimistic especially if you just got rejected?

How to cope from a rejection?

Try not to take it personally. It is not always about you. You may not have done anything wrong.  There are several reasons you may not have gotten selected. Sometimes there is someone who has a particular skill or experience the company found valuable. Sometimes positions get filled from the inside yet the company needed to complete interviews.

http://www.vault.com/interviews/article/interviewing/what-to-do-after-th...

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Can we argue for rejection? I didn’t think anyone would look at it?

I’m not sure I understand this question completely. If you are meaning can you argue when you have been rejected from a job interview. Usually not.  I’d need to know more context behind this to answer accurately. See also what to do if I am rejected above.

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BALANCING WORK SEARCH AND SCHOOL WORK

How do you keep everything in the right time line?

Balancing job search and school work is definitely a challenge.  You will need to work on both but don’t stress too much if you are not as far along as your friends.  Some people decide to find work right away and some people decide to wait until their coursework is at a manageable point. I personally wouldn’t just put off the job search instead I think it is a good idea to work on your job search whenever you feel that you can.  Bookmark your favorite sites and check to see if any of your dream jobs have been posted. Send fewer more tailored resumes.

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Which jobs are better for IS students compared to CS students?

This is a question that will depend on each individual, their background, skills, and preferences.  There is not an easy answer. Some CS, IS, even Stats students are seeking similar positions. The best way to determine if a job is better for you is to research many job descriptions and align your skills with what they are looking for as well as do a gap analysis. If the job description is looking for many coding skills that you do not have perhaps it is better for a CS student.  There are times the company may choose the person with the best “fit” for the workplace and their needs. You will need to do some research to determine the best position for you.

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RESUME WRITING

How Do I Make Room On My Resume For Soft Skills?

The available real estate on a one page resume is a big issue for some people.  Write out the whole story and then keep editing to make it as terse as possible. Sometimes if you rearrange the sentence while adding just a word or two it will more clearly describe your skills, other times you need to add an entire bullet. Sometimes a different bullet will need to be removed to make space. Which bullet point to remove will depend on the job description you are sending it to. This is one reason a resume needs to be tailored for each job description. It takes time but is worth the effort.

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Should I use a Passive Resume Database so I don’t have to actively look for work?

Passive Resume Databases are often used where you might upload your resume and companies will be able to look for resumes where they have open positions. Sometimes these are useful but only if your resume reflects what you are looking to do and only if the company choses to search for candidates in this manner. 

There are certain filters in this type of database that a resume may need to pass in order to be noticed.  There are some people who may try to tell you they will critique or revise your resume in order to pass this filter.  Be wary of paying for services such as this as they may not be as useful as they seem.

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The competition is quite stiff. How can I best compete with my resume and cover letter?

Try to be as specific as possible when aligning your skills with those in the job description.

Your resume may be nice but you may want to include just a bit more information according to what the employer is looking for.  If the employer is looking for someone who can merge data sets and you have merged data sets (tell what types you have merged public, structured, unstructured and how you have done it (what programs did you use) Did you analyzed large data sets (tell how large and how you analyzed them.  Remember to include quantitative information.

You mention you developed tableau dashboards using multiple data sources to detect spot rates deviations.  Were the dashboards automated? Were they insightful? How? What types of data sources? Were they aggregated?

The job description states you will clean, manipulate, and analyze large data sets to create insightful reports. You may want to mention that you have cleaned and manipulated data and perhaps even tell how. What model did you use to choose the key variables?

The job description states several times that they are looking for someone who is insightful (if I was the employer I would want you to tell me how you are insightful or can solve complex business problems or how you have used your skills to leverage data and analysis to generate business impacts.  What were the impacts you made or the insightful answers to the complex business questions that you discovered.  For example: On  your resume you benchmarked 4 rail networks in Japan in terms of technical, financial, and ridership parameters in 3 days.  Can you tell just a little bit more so if I’m the employer I know how you did it and why it was insightful or what the impact was to the business.

The competition is quite stiff so it is better to be specific in terms of aligning your skills according to what the employer is looking for.

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Do employers really want soft skills on the resume?

It is difficult to say what all employers want but sometimes if the job description mentions specific soft skills over and over it is a good idea to add your related strengths to your resume.

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Although we haven't gotten our data for the MPS project, I am wondering whether I can put something about the project onto my resume. If yes, could you please give some examples about what I can talk about?

Yes. You should put your project on your resume.  It is a good idea to always look to the job description for the job you are going to apply for to see which of your skills should be put on your resume.  Recently I sent an email regarding putting project experience on resumes and I will cut and paste it below for you as well.  If you are not able to use the name of the client you are working with then you can use a description as in the example below or you could use a title similar like Course Project or MPS Team Project or something like this. 

As far as examples of what to ad again, look to the job description as it matches your experience.  You can see this a bit in the example below but you don’t see the job description. If for example the job description says they are looking for someone to do machine learning using random forest and you did this in the project then I would list it. If they are looking for client interactions or client focus then tell how you communicated with clients and what you accomplished.  Some people don’t think this should go on the resume but if you can closely match your skills to what the employer is looking for it gives you an edge over the competition.  If the job description is looking for teamwork, tell how you work with the members of the team. If the job description is looking for cross functional team work, meet deadlines, and quality tell how you communicated with each of the member of the team and tell what they did. “Communicated with people working on different areas of the project such as data cleaner, coder, client, to understand their perspectives, set project milestones, iterate, and meet deadlines without allowing quality to suffer.”  If in fact this is what happened on your project. You will need to write what you did.  In the resume it is important to say this is a team project which can be a bullet point or can be in the title. Then in the rest of the bullet points ensure that you are talking about what part of the project you did or what you learned or could accomplish on your own if you did not do it.   In the bullet points I would not use the word I or we.

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How do we organize our resumes? How much to tailor apps/resumes/cover letters?

What kind of projects should be highlighted on resumes?

What are some important keywords to put on resumes?

How to write a resume specific to a job description?

How to write effective resume?

See the resume writing information, tips, and additional helpful links at this link. http://cis.cornell.edu/current-students/career-resources/professional-ma...

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Shall we put relocation preference on resume? (Some companies might be flexible)

Leave it off unless you are unwilling to go anywhere else or unless the job description says to specify it.

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Shall we put non-related experience on resume/portfolio?

Not usually. See the information at the above link on Resume writing.

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Should I start looking for job before I have concrete portfolio?

Yes.  As you are looking you will find out what to include on your portfolio similar to knowing what to put on your resume. What to title or subtitle certain sections.  See also links on portfolio development. You will want your portfolio mostly developed prior to applying to positions requiring a portfolio submission.

http://cis.cornell.edu/current-students/career-resources/professional-ma...

http://cis.cornell.edu/current-students/career-resources/professional-ma...

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What to start first? Resume? Jobsearch? Networking?

Start looking at job descriptions first. I think it would be very difficult to write a resume without knowing what the job description is requesting. It is the easiest way to understand exactly what the companies are looking for.  While you are doing this you can also be networking but it is a good idea to have a resume pretty close to ready to go in case a person you are networking with would like a copy of it.

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For tech positions, what’s the best way to stand out when interviewing? (Feel too similar to others)

https://www.themuse.com/advice/16-quick-tips-thatll-help-you-stand-out-i...

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How to make them remember you (in interviews or networking situations)

By being yourself, asking good questions, and dressing appropriately

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How to pass automated resume sort?

The link below is where you will find the ability to compare the resume with the job description.  

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What is an applicant tracking system (ATS) and how do I maximize my resume to stand out when I submit it through one of these systems? Do they use keyword search?

This is an article about applicant tracking systems highlights what you need to know to help your resume to stand out when you submit it to an applicant tracking system. It tells you what an applicant tracking system is, how it works, and mentions several of the popular ones. It is another reason to support tailoring your resume to each job you apply for and provides helpful tips.

https://www.jobscan.co/applicant-tracking-systems?utm_medium=referral&ut...

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How to put projects on resume?

How to take advantage of Coursework/Projects during recruiting?

Ensure you understand what the employer is looking for and be able to speak to it from an example from your projects. Also see this similar question from CIS webpages.

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JOB SEARCH

I think many companies prefer students who have gained their undergrad degrees in America. To make up for this disadvantage and improve my chance for interview, what do you think I can do?

It is true that some companies prefer US Citizens.  Some companies may indeed have a preference for those who have gotten their undergrad degrees in the US but sometimes companies who are willing to sponsor International Visas are looking for the person who best fits the qualifications of the position. Some companies are very interested in your particular skills despite where you did your undergrad.  Although, it may or may not be a disadvantage, the best way to improve your chance for an interview is to allow your skills as they meet the job description needs to shine through on your resume and to apply for as many positions as you can with an updated resume.  Do not simply apply for lots of positions the easy way by using the same resume for all positions or by hitting the “apply now” with your profile button because they are not usually targeted specifically for a particular job description.  When you apply for “many” positions these should be quality resumes targeted for a specific job.  You could use the “apply now” button IF you have updated your profile to closely match the position ahead of time. The other way you truly stand out is in the interview.

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I aim to focus my job hunting next semester on two type of positions: risk management in financial industry, and data analyst in technology companies. What kind of different strategies do you suggest for these two types? Thanks!

What did you find they are looking for when reading the Risk Management job description? It is important to read the entire job description to understand what they are looking for in addition to the required qualifications, education, and technical skills. It is obvious to include these on your resume. In order to be more competitive for some positions such as these you will need to ensure your other skills are included where appropriate. In one Risk Management job description I found they were looking for someone who: focuses on and can produce high quality, can explain in a way that is quickly understandable, reliable and usable by senior management. They want someone to increase efficiency by contributing and supporting the design and change of scenario definition, calculation, and reporting processes. Someone who is comfortable with large amounts of data, supports management, addresses stakeholder needs. They mention the ability to explain results as well as producing and providing reports and analysis.

So… If I were a recruiter or hiring manager for this company I would be asking as I read your resume, “Does this candidate possess the skills for this position as described in the job description?”

In order to be competitive, you will need to add to your past experience, some bullet points to include skills the job description is asking for, where you possess them.  Sometimes you will find someone that mentions that soft skills are not necessary in a resume but for most positions it will be necessary to include them if they are seeking them in the job description.

Ask yourself questions based on what qualities and skills the company is seeking as is written in the job description.

If the company is looking for someone who can increase efficiency. Ask  yourself if there has been a time where you were able to increase efficiency? If on your resume you say you have you have reduced 40% processing time. (I would change the wording of this so it reads a little stronger and ensure it is clear – Reduced processing time by 40%...)

Have you ever created a high quality report?  If your resume states, “Generated 10 reports by creating views and using update, inner join, group by…”  Can you mention if the report was high quality, did you make the report understandable? If so, how?  Did you visualize results?  If so, how did you do this? Did it make it understandable?  Can you change the statement around or add descriptors to it to better show the company that you have the skills they are looking for?

If they are looking to see how you can explain to others that is quickly understandable. Have you done this? If so, include it.

If collaborating effectively with colleagues in a professional manner is also important because it is listed in the job description, add bullet points that talk about your teamwork and ability to collaborate with teammates. Not, “Collaborated with teammates” Tell HOW you collaborate with teammates.

If the job description is looking for the following, ask yourself if you have any exposure to the stress market risk scenarios, reporting analysis, stress testing, or regulatory reporting like CCAR PRA FINMA? Or Equity/Rates/FX/Commodity products risk dynamics, financial market risk concepts and theory?  Are you knowledgeable about what they mean?    If you know about any of these mention them on your resume.  If not, you may want to find out about them.

They often use the words quality, detail oriented and exacting? Where you have done something where you have had to pay attention to a level of detail or level of quality I would include this somewhere.

If you mention you presented the project in a high-level meeting including partners as a proposal for future investment you may want to tell HOW you presented or HOW you made sure it was understandable to the audience as well.

How big was the data set you mentioned? If you mention is was a time series over 46 year but also tell how many terabytes or how many data points? If you mentioned you“Tested stationarity assumption of the time-series data of monthly log CPI over 46 years” or "Forecast 120 months ahead based on ARIMA model and visualized the results". Tell HOW or WHY and how this made it able to be communicated if that is what the job description is looking for.

What do you see they are looking for in the job description? The first things you might find are: understand users point of view, collaborate cross functionally, combined technical, sales, and customer service acumen, big picture thinker, strategic leader.  You don’t have to match point for point what is on the job description with what is on your resume, but you should include those skills you possess where the job description is also looking for them.  This often means updating your job description for each position. 

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Years of Experience - Am I qualified?

The job description's qualifications require 3-5 years of experience. Unless the job description specifically states you need or must have certain experience in the field or in a certain industry or in production and the rest of the job description contains skills you have you should apply and let the employer screen you out..  There are some employers who will not look at your resume unless you have 3 full years of experience and there are other employers who say that the 3-5 years of experience is ideal but would accept someone who was a fit for the position and met most of the other qualifications.

You may feel tempted to not apply or feel you are not qualified just because you don’t have any “paid” experience. If you meet most of the other skills in the position you should apply.

There are employers such as the US government who will often state that a person would need a bachelor degree for a position or 4 years of experience in lieu of the degree. There are some employers who may also follow this strategy and believe that a bachelor degree would equate to 4 years of experience. We don’t know which employers follow this strategy and which ones do not.  Sometimes you can get clues from reading the entire job description. Use your best judgement and let the employer screen you out.

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What is an applicant tracking system (ATS) and how do I maximize my resume to stand out when I submit it through one of these systems? Do they use keyword search?

This is an article about applicant tracking systems highlights what you need to know to help your resume to stand out when you submit it to an applicant tracking system. It tells you what an applicant tracking system is, how it works, and mentions several of the popular ones. 

It is another reason to support tailoring your resume to each job you apply for and provides helpful tips.

https://www.jobscan.co/applicant-tracking-systems?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=comment&utm_campaign=comment-applicant-tracking-systems-2016-12-08&utm_content=page

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Where can I find additional information about a UI-UX job search?

Below are some book recommendations from a previous student. All books are short

Power Ties: The International Student's Guide to Finding a Job in the United States. It has excellent job searching tips that I would recommend to domestic students as well.

Don't Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability. From the one of the most well known usability researcher Steve Krug

It's a great book for students who are interested in UX research

It's Our Research: Getting Stakeholder Buy-in for User Experience Research Projects

The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

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Business Analyst; One Name Two Different Skill Sets

There is a difference between a Business Analyst performing statistical analysis using data to analyze specific needs of a business and one who is doing professional Business Analyst (BA) work to analyze business processes.  With the first, the job description the skills are usually statistical, technical, or data analysis in nature.    The second one is more about managing the processes of businesses where usually some data analytics knowledge may be necessary but the skills are more focused on workflows and understanding processes using  tools/approaches which may include skills such as fishbone charts, Six sigma and lean techniques and such to make the business processes more efficient..  The job openings for both often have the same job title “Business Analyst”. You may need to determine by reading the entire job description which skills the company is looking for and then determine if the position is in keeping with your skills and update your resume accordingly.  Other clues found in job descriptions tell you they might be looking for a BA are: analysis of the current or future state, document requirements to develop project plan.

I have included links below which may also be helpful in learning the differences as well as more about BA certification.

Business Analysis Guidebook https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Business_Analysis_Guidebook

This is helpful as it answers all of these questions and more! This is not intended as a training guide rather I’m sending simply as a tool to answer questions some of you have asked. 

From the Guidebook Introduction:

“This Business Analysis Guidebook is designed to facilitate a consistent approach in the use of the tools and techniques contained within the Business Analyst profession. The primary goal is to provide a simple "how to" guide for new and non-Business Analysts for gathering (eliciting) and documenting business requirements--whether they are at the process, project or enterprise level. The material linked below was initially authored by a group of Business Analyst professionals within NYS Government, and it is hoped that the list of contributors (included in later chapters) will grow. We are currently weaving our content together--so please pardon our duplication and inconsistent formatting. It is our intent to have this material be licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License and the GNU Free Documentation License, both to be included at the end of this document.”

This link describes a business analysis professional.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Certified_Business_Analysis_Professional

This link provides a good overview of the difference between CBAP and CCBA as well as links to CBAP/CCBA and PMI-PBA  https://www.watermarklearning.com/certification/business-analysis-training/

Here is the CCBA Certification Handbook: http://www.iiba.org/Certification-Recognition/CCBA-Certification/CCBA/CCBA-Handbook.aspx

Here is a link to the BABOK Guide BABOK® Guide v3 is the essential standard to help practitioners and their stakeholders deliver business value and create better business outcomes. BABOK® Guide is the most credible and authoritative source of knowledge and practices for business analysis. http://www.iiba.org/babok-guide.aspx

back to Job Search questions

NETWORKING

I think small talk is such a turn off and might be perceived as fake. Should I do it anyway?

Small talk breaks the ice. While some cringe at the thought of engaging in small talk it is effective.  Approaches you can take are: 1. Figure out what you could ask someone that you would be genuinely be interested in. Listen to the individual. Pick up clues of something where you have a mutual interest. Look around their office is there a photo or piece of art or something you are also interested in. 2. Ask questions that get people to talk about themselves. People like to talk about themselves. 3. Try to be natural and honest. 4. Find out what they might need. What skill do you have that might help them.

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Why Should I Network?  

You can gather sound career advice by networking to help you explore and clarify your career path. You can learn more about a company, an industry, or trends, inside facts, the organizational culture, and what employers are looking for in successful job seekers. 

You may receive referrals to other professionals and resources. It is appropriate to ask if your contact knows someone who might be able to answer your questions or someone else who might help you gain additional insight.

Networking is an oppotunity for others to learn from  you.

Sometimes you can uncover unpublished job openings or potential future opportunities. 

I don't want to bother people and I am afraid they will be annoyed if I ask for help.

The key to contacting people is in the approach.  Act professional, be conscious of their time, be careful not to monopolize but mostly listen by asking open-ended questions about them, their likes, their career, and possibly their needs.  Often there may be way to might be able to help them with their needs. It is important to not ask for favors, do not assume anything and do not ask for a job or begin a conversation asking about job opportunities.

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What are the benefits of someone talking to me?

People like to talk about themselves and their work. They might have an open position they need to fill. Alumni enjoy staying connected to Cornell and their program. They gain satisfaction from helping and giving advice. They may want to expand their network too. You are valuable to them and their network (they may need something that you mgiht be able to thelp them with).

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How do I develop a Network?

Start with those you know such as your family and friends, professors, teachers, classmates, alumni, undergrad alumni, join clubs, and activities. Reach out to companies, attend info sessions, previous employers, career fairs, do information interviews, social media such as LinkedIn or Meetups, and through professional associations and organizations. Then begin strategizing how to connect withthose you don't know yet. 

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I am an Introvert and therefore do not network well. What tips can you provide?

An introvert gets their energy from time spent alone or with few people. An extrovert gets their energy from being around many people. Most people are a combination of both and some people are sometimes more introvert and sometimes more extrovert. You do not need to be an extrovert to be good at networking. You do need to learn how to create effective, meaningful relationships. If you know you are an introvert or are shy there is lots of advice out there (the links above on networking for introverts has some wonderful tips). Some extroverts are shy but cover it well. If you are shy look at some of the tips on interview confidence building as these may be helpful to you as well. Know that it does get easier with practice and experience. You do not have to have a huge network to do it well. You do not need to attend a speed networking event to network. Networking is about creating meaningful relationships and you may be able to do this one at a time while doing things you enjoy. Focus on what you are good at in setting you are comfortable in. 

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Can you provide specific networking strategy tips? How do I initiate the conversation?

Start with "Hello" and then some: smile, keep it a short conversation. Flattering words do not hurt. Find commonality and seek mutual benefits by asking questions. Remember the goal is to cultivate a sincere connection which may lead to a meaningful relationship which may lead to mutual benefits. Focus on the person you are with and stay in touch. 

Don't expect to get a referral or a job offer immediately. Building trusting relationship takes time. See Vault.com for lots of Networking tips. Sign in at the Johnson Library site here your Cornell Net ID if you have not yet done so. 

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What questions can I ask with new acquaintances?

First, break the ice by extending a genuine compliment, ask genuine open-ended questions. If you know a person is a classmate or alumnus you may want to ask what made them decide to major in x. If you knwo a person works in an area you are interested in you may want to ask what made them decide to join y company. If you know where the person works you may want to ak them how they got their job or if they have any advice for courses you may want to take to better position yourself for a role in their company eventually.  You could ask if they netowrked formally and how they did it. You could ask what they like about what they do. If you can think of a specific question which won't take much of their time this might be helpful to them. Provide them with enough background about yourself so they can best answer your question(s). Check the links above for additional advice and questions. 

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What is the difference between networking and information interviewing?

Networking is the overall process of meeting people, building relationships, and asking questions to build rapport.

Informational interviewing is a piece of the networking process. It is a planned and prepared approach to gain career or job fit information.  See the section on informational interviewing for additional actions you can take and questions you can ask.

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What do you do if they ignore your emails (i.e. follow up)? What to do with unresponsive comp.

If you have emailed to follow up and they ignore your emails ensure first that they received them. You can do this by making a phone call. If you have tried unsuccessfully then it is time to move on. Many companies will not respond to you unless they are interested in bringing you in for an interview.

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How to keep in touch with recruiters you met at job fair by email?

First, send them a nice thank you note from your previous interaction. Then ask a simple genuine question. From here then follow the informational interview or networking tips http://www.cis.cornell.edu/current-students/career-resources/professiona...

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How do you write/format a cold email ( i.e. if you can’t find application but know the job exists)? Where do you apply? Handshake? LinkedIn? Best Resource?

The answer will depend partly on how you know the job exists. You may want to contact the person or place where you found out about the position to see how they suggest you apply for the position. Before applying, you may want to ask for a formal job description if you have only “heard” about an opening.

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How to make networking less awkward?

How do I perform on networking events?

http://www.career.cornell.edu/resources/media/networking.cfm

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What do you do if they ignore your emails (i.e. follow up)? What to do with unresponsive comp.

If you have emailed to follow up and they ignore your emails ensure first that they received them. You can do this by making a phone call. If you have tried unsuccessfully then it is time to move on. Many companies will not respond to you unless they are interested in bringing you in for an interview.

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How to keep in touch with recruiters you met at job fair by email?

First, send them a nice thank you note from your previous interaction. Then ask a simple genuine question. From here then follow the informational interview or networking tips  http://www.cis.cornell.edu/current-students/career-resources/professiona...

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How do you write/format a cold email ( i.e. if you can’t find application but know the job exists)? Where do you apply? Handshake? LinkedIn? Best Resource?

The answer will depend partly on how you know the job exists. You may want to contact the person or place where you found out about the position to see how they suggest you apply for the position. Before applying, you may want to ask for a formal job description if you have only “heard” about an opening.

back to Networking questions 

TIPS

How long should you stay at a company?

This will depend on many factors.  Often people change jobs more than they did in the past.  If I throw out a number it may not be the right number for your situation.  I would need to know more about your particular reasons for asking. If you are asking because you don’t want to change too often for fear your resume will look like you are a job hopper it may be important to show growth or progression in your career. Sometimes the way to move up is to move on.  https://www.thebalance.com/how-long-should-an-employee-stay-at-a-job-205...

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GPA

GPA on resume? Undergrad, and grad or most recent

There are pros and cons to this. Many times a company will require it.  If it is required it must be on there. Some companies do not care as much about GPA as they do that you have the skills for the position.

In Handshake you will find many companies that require to know GPA. It is difficult for one-year Master students to add GPA in the fall semester when they don’t have one and will not receive one until late in December.  I encourage people to reach out to the recruiter with the question as to what they prefer to see on the resume or how they would prefer to handle it when a student does not have a GPA yet. Some may say to use ugrad GPA, some may prefer you to submit the resume without it and some may prefer you to send to them once you receive your master’s.

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THANK YOU NOTES

How to write thank you emails after the interview?

Remember to get the names and email addresses of the people you interviewed with. It is much easier to ask for them upfront than it is to try to find them out later.  Simply ask, “May I have your names and email addresses in order to send you a thank you note.”

http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/5578-sample-thank-you-letters.html

https://www.thebalance.com/thank-you-email-messages-for-a-phone-intervie...

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PORTFOLIOS

Do I bring my portfolio into interview?

Yes.  You may not need it but you will look prepared and you will have it if you need to refer to it. Also bring copies of resume.

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Reference Checking

Who should I choose for references? How do I format a reference sheet? How do I ask someone to be my reference? Choose the right person and the right format.

The best candidates to be references are usually defined by what the employer asks for so please read carefully about the type of request. Do they want personal references, work references, past supervisors, professors, or do they not specify?

If they do not specify, consider asking someone who can speak well about your skills as they related to the position opening. 

Always ask people if they would be willing to be a reference for you before you list them on a reference sheet. It is nice to also send a copy of the job description and remind the person about the skills that you have that relate to the position so they can provide the best reference.  Make it easy for them. Here is a link to one resource. http://jobsearch.about.com/od/gettingreferences/qt/who-to-ask-reference.htm

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How to ask someone to be a reference https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-right-and-wrong-way-to-ask-someone-to-be-a-reference

back to Reference Checking questions

UI-UX INTERVIEW

What’s the UX Interview like?

How to do UX Interview?

How do we prepare for a UX interview?

http://cis.cornell.edu/current-students/career-resources/professional-ma...

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UI-UX PORTFOLIO

How do we prepare for a UX portfolio?

http://cis.cornell.edu/current-students/career-resources/professional-ma...

http://www.cis.cornell.edu/sites/default/files/media/Personal%20Web%20Po...

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APPLY

Can I still apply if I don’t meet all the qualifications in a job description?

Yes. It will depend on what qualifications are missing.

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Are there as many job opportunities during the spring semester?

It will depend on the nature of the company and their business needs. When looking at the Post Graduate Survey results it is typical to see more students accepted offers in the Spring semester than in the first Fall semester.

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Can you apply to multiple positions in one company?

Typically you can apply to multiple positions and if you cannot, the job description will usually state you cannot. However use caution because you don’t want to be seen as someone who is scattered and doesn’t have focus or know what they want to do.  

https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-times-you-think-applying-to-two-jobs-at...

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How late is too late? I’m not sure I understand this question but if you mean are there as many job opportunities during the spring semester then this would be my answer.

It will depend on the nature of the company and their business needs. When looking at the Post Graduate Survey results it is typical to see more students accepted offers in the Spring semester than in the first Fall semester.

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Best time to apply for jobs?

Not to be funny, but the best time to apply for jobs is when you see the opening, especially if it is your dream company.  Often when a position is posted outside of Handshake it may be closed before you determine it is time to apply. Good idea to keep an eye on the openings so that when your dream opening occurs you can apply.  There are usually a few openings at a company at any given time due to any number of instances that may occur: business need changes, retirements, firings, and vacancies due to advancements and promotions. You can look at the Post Graduate Surveys to see when past graduates have typically found their jobs but the circumstances may not be the same today as last years.   Some companies are willing to wait for you and some have an immediate business need. Usually students ramp up their applications outside of Handshake after the fall semester and during the winter break and continue until or after graduation.

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Timeline for application, is it too early now?

Jobs found in Handshake will need to be applied for by the posted deadline. Many of these companies realize they are recruiting at a University and will need to wait until you graduate.

Jobs found on-line may or may not be able to wait. If you find your dream job then it is a good idea to apply for it as it may not come open again during your timeframe.

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How to spot fake job posting?

These are often times difficult to spot.  Sometimes there are companies that are not legitimate. You will need to do your research to find out if they are legitimate.  Some companies post jobs that are already allocated to an internal person. They will interview you with little intention of hiring you because the spot is already filled.  This is unfortunate but it does occur.

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REFERENCE - REFERRAL

Who to ask for reference?

Use this link and scroll down to references section. http://cis.cornell.edu/current-students/career-resources/professional-ma...

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How to get internal reference without knowing anyone in the company?

https://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2015/10/07/7...

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How to break the ice with professional via Linked In and get reference?

https://blog.linkedin.com/2016/12/06/introducing-conversation-starters-o...

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INTERVIEWS

How to communicate with recruiters when a recruiter showed a stone/poker face with no excitement or disappointment what should you do? What do I do if the recruiter seems not interested/sleepy in the conversation?

Keep on answering questions to the best of your ability in your regular voice. It is challenging when someone is not reacting to you with reciprocal conversational mannerisms. You will not know if the recruiter is giving a test of your reaction to stress or if they have simply had a tiring day.  

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How to do a behavioral interview?

It is a good idea to have studied the job description as well as understand how your experiences best relate to the job description. See also these links:

https://www.thebalance.com/behavioral-job-interview-questions-2059620

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Interview Tips

Be careful using the following phrases:

I think I’d be a great fit

I think I could…

I will try my best..

Whenever you say “I think…” or “I will try…” during the interview, the employer can be thinking… “Try? Can’t they already do this? Or they think they can? Does this mean they can’t?”  It just doesn’t show confidence. Just tell what you did.

We first did this, then we did this, next we did that

When you include everyone as we have been taught, the employer can think, “Can’t they do this themselves?”  You will need to tell what you did.

Don’t ramble, or use words such as: Like, Um, You know.. very often.

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Top Reasons People Don’t Get Interviews

Using Profiles and Apply Now Buttons without updating for the position

Not taking the time to update a resume

Using one resume for all positions

Not reading closely enough or understanding what the employer is seeking

Listening to one person and applying their advice in all instances

Listening to too many people and getting confused

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Interview Tips

Be sure you understand a long or complex question before you answer. Don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.

Take time to think about your answer before you begin; short pauses are acceptable.

Learn to generate answers that are neither too long (over two minutes) nor too short (under twenty seconds).

Frame your answer with introductory words when appropriate, for example, “I see three main points that relate to this issue. First, ...”

 http://www.career.cornell.edu/story/interviewing/questions.cfm

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 Tips for the pre-interview dinner

http://www.thebeancounter.com/all-posts/pre-interview-dinners-social-icy...

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How do you really know if a job fits you well or not?

This is a tough question to answer. First you need to know yourself and what you like and don’t like. When interviewing take time to listen to clues about those things you cannot live with or without. Ask good questions. Research the company to understand better about the culture. https://www.forbes.com/sites/markmurphy/2017/02/01/dont-get-stuck-in-the...

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How to prepare technical/coding interviews?

http://cis.cornell.edu/current-students/career-resources/professional-ma...

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How to “standout” during group interviews? How to appropriately respond to questions in a group interview.

https://www.themuse.com/advice/standing-out-from-the-crowd-how-to-nail-a...

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How to prepare for online recorded interview questions?

http://cis.cornell.edu/current-students/career-resources/professional-ma...

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How do we prepare appropriate questions for “Do you have more questions for me?”

How to make them remember you (in interviews or networking situations)

By being yourself, asking good questions, and dressing appropriately

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Can you bring notes to interviews?

It is a good idea to know yourself and your skills well enough from memory. You can bring copies of your resume, portfolio, or other materials if you need to share with the interviewer(s), https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-tips-for-reaching-out-to-someone-you-ad...

How can I prepare for phone/video interview?

http://cis.cornell.edu/current-students/career-resources/professional-ma...

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Is it ok to make jokes in interview?

https://www.recruiter.com/i/5-ways-to-use-humor-effectively-in-a-job-int...

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What should I do when I truly don’t know the concept in the question?

Be honest and say you don’t know but if there is a related skill you can tell about that one as it relates to the question.

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What should I do if I got stuck during the interview? What to do when you don’t know the answer in an interview?

https://www.popsugar.com/career/What-Do-You-Cant-Answer-Interview-Questi...

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How to prepare for interview? (Mock interview? Resource?)

Mock interviews have been available at Cornell Career Services, Engineering Career Center and other workshops. If you missed the sessions please practice out-loud with a friend. The first few times you answer an interview question orally (not in your head) it usually comes out clunky.

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How to prepare for interviews?

How do we best promote ourselves during interviews?

http://www.cis.cornell.edu/current-students/career-resources/professiona...

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What do you wear to tech interview?

What should I wear for interviews?

Do you have to follow dress code?

Yes. It is a good idea to look as if you are interviewing to show the hiring manager you are taking the interview seriously.

http://www.career.cornell.edu/story/interviewing/attire.cfm

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How to reserve a room for interview?

Contact either Cornell Career Services or Engineering Career Center

Career Services 103 Barnes Hall Cornell University Ithaca, NY 14853

phone: 607/255-5221 email: career@cornell.edu

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Cornell Engineering Career Center

https://www.engineering.cornell.edu/resources/career_services/index.cfm

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How to prepare for phone interviews when I have a hard time understanding the interviewer or communicating with HR?

It is a good idea to practice on the phone with someone.  You may get better with practice. It is ok to ask them to repeat themselves. It is ok to tell them you are not able to hear them very well. It is ok to ask them to slow down.  You may not want to use all these things during the same interview however. You may want to begin with, “ I’m sorry, I am not hearing you very well, would you mind repeating that?” or “I’m sorry, I did not understand that would you please repeat it”  Also good idea to tell the truth and say you are having a hard time understanding them when you ask them to speak a little bit slower. You may want to try repeating back what you heard and ask them if that is correct.

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English Language Support Office

EnglishLanguageSupportOffice(ELSO) offers writing and speaking support to international graduate and professional students. 

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How to prepare/go through pre-recorded video interviews?

http://cis.cornell.edu/current-students/career-resources/professional-ma...

at this link http://www.career.cornell.edu/ go to optimal resume button and then optimal interview follow the links to the case interview where you can record yourself. All of the questions may not pertain to you but you will get to see how you look, how you answer some basic questions, and what it feels like to talk to the computer.

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Who would be the best person to do the pilot for interviews?

Mock interviews have been available at Cornell Career Services, Engineering Career Center and other workshops. If you missed the sessions please practice out-loud with a friend. The first few times you answer an interview question orally (not in your head) it usually comes out clunky.

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Tips on answering interview questions?

http://www.cis.cornell.edu/current-students/career-resources/professiona...

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Can you bring notes to interviews?

It is a good idea to know yourself and your skills well enough from memory. You can bring copies of your resume, portfolio, or other materials if you need to share with the interviewer(s), https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-tips-for-reaching-out-to-someone-you-ad...

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What do we do if we don’t know the answer during an interview?

What should I do when I truly don’t know the concept in the question?

What should I do if I got stuck during the interview? What to do when you don’t know the answer in an interview?

Be honest and say you don’t know but if there is a related skill you can tell about that one as it relates to the question.

https://www.popsugar.com/career/What-Do-You-Cant-Answer-Interview-Questi...

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ALUMNI

How do you contact alumni and get their help/advice?

Using Cornell network Post Graduate?

How to reach out to alumni?

Try googling, LinkedIn, Cornell MPS IS Alumni, try also reaching out to alumni of your undergrad. They might not be doing the same thing you are looking for but they may know of someone who is.  Try googling, Cornell and the company you are seeking to find a contact with. By googling this you may get outside of your LinkedIn network and might have more luck.

Be cognizant of their time. Some will want to help and some will not have time.  Please also see the link on informational interviewing. Remember to not ask for a referral.

Cornell is piloting a platform as I write this where linking between alumni and students will become much easier. This is not ready yet but hopefully it will be by summertime. Unfortunately may not be ready for you at this time.

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INTERNATIONAL CONCERN

More international student resources and tips

http://www.career.cornell.edu/students/international.cfm

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ISSO

When considering applying for jobs in the U.S., we highly recommend meeting with an advisor at The International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) to determine your visa requirements for your internship or full-time job after graduation

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US EMPLOYMENT VISA 101 (CPT, OPT, H1B, O-1, L-1)

The School of Hotel Administration, SC Johnson College of Business created the following five videos to help you better understand US employment Visa options. For more information, please contact ISSO.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for full-time students on the F-1 Visa

Optional Practical Training (OPT) for full-time students on the F-1 Visa (OPT STEM Extension)

H1B Visa: Non-immigrant work visa for professional occupations in your specialized fields

O-1 Visa: Visa option for individuals with extraordinary ability or achievement

L-1 Visa: Visa option for an intracompany transferee, executive or manager

Please also visit the ISSO webpages for additional information on Visas after graduation.  

http://isso.cornell.edu/students/working-us/visas-after-graduation

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What do I need to know to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN)?

http://isso.cornell.edu/financial/social-security-number

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INFORMATIONAL INTERVIEW

What are informational interviews?

At this link you will also find a great article on 75 questions to ask which should also help when asking companies questions at interviews.

http://cis.cornell.edu/current-students/career-resources/professional-masters-students/interviewing-and-networking-0

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INTERNSHIP

Is it possible to find a winter internship?

For the MPS Applied Statistics and MPS Information Science degrees it is not typically recommended to do a winter internship. There is usually limited time and most students will be working on their final project during this time.

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THINGS TO KNOW

Sometimes the transition to work is not what you expected.

Here are places that students have told me they struggled.

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The learning curve is steeper than I thought it would be in the following areas:

Culture: I was used to a diverse environment however it wasn’t diverse in age. In school everyone was the same age as me and now where I work I am the youngest person in my team. There is not the same comradery as in school. Everyone in school helped each other and at work, while we work on the same team there is a bit more competition. Since I am the youngest person on my team my most of my other colleagues have been in the industry for a while and have slightly different work style than mine. They are supporting and balancing their family lives and working extra hours or during different timeframes than mine takes some getting used to. One person is close to retirement and it is great because they know everything about the history of the company and why things are done the way they are. I talk with this person every chance I get. There was a coffee pot in the break room that I thought was shared by everyone but I found out after having a cup it is only for those individuals who contribute to the coffee fund. Give yourself time to adapt and learn the workplace culture. Ask lots of questions. Learn from the people who have been there awhile. If you can adopt a mentor it is great to help negotiate workplace culture.

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The workday: The workday is very different than my days in school. In school I scheduled classes later so I could sleep in and sometimes I missed the first class if I had a cold and wanted to rest. I do not have this luxury at the workplace.  Tardiness is not tolerated at work. Being late can get you fired. Deadlines are stricter at work. I am paid for an 8 hour day but since my lunch is one hour I am truly at the office for 9 hours. I usually work 8-5 but the days are often long because I must focus on work the whole time. At school, I could go home at lunch time or go to the gym during the day to give myself a mental break.  Sometimes we need to work on projects that have a deadline and I need to work late in the evening. I often have days where I work 8am-8pm. I must say though that compared to the curriculum, homework, and projects at school it’s a welcome relief to be able to go home and not have to have homework.  

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Vacation Time: In school, I was used to having summers off, a long vacation during the winter, a week during the spring, along with several other mid-semester breaks.  At work I am allowed two weeks and ten vacation days but I am not able to choose when I can take them as it is determined by a particular day, seniority, or is based on business needs.  If the business needs me I need to be there and if someone more senior is requesting the same time off as me then I will need to find a different time off. This is not difficult but takes much more planning on my part. I have found it necessary to keep myself healthy while my body gets used to working without as many breaks as I had during school.  The vacation time accrues at a specific rate. I am not allowed to take any time off until I have been with the company 6 months. Once I am employed for more years the accrual will be at a higher rate. After 5 years I will get three weeks off.

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The work: I have found that when working I need to complete tasks I once thought that someone else would take care of such as making the coffee, cleaning the pot, or ordering supplies.

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