The Alumni Perspective

Being an alumnus, staff member, and now current student again; I’ve seen Georgetown from a lot of different angles.  In reflecting on these perspectives, it’s how I saw Georgetown as a student that always stands out to me.  In fact, I’d venture to say that this is true for most, if not all, of Georgetown’s many alumni.  It’s why alumni are so committed to helping the university succeed.

Of course, the idea of “Georgetown” is made up of countless different elements, with alumni being one of them.  I can very clearly recall the impression I had of alumni when I was a student.  For the most part, I was nervous around them.  The power dynamic was usually too much for me to feel completely comfortable.  I understood that these people had the keys to the jobs, careers, and success that I wanted.  Because of that, I walked on eggshells around many alumni when I had the chance to meet them.  I didn’t “want to bother them” or “take time out of their busy day.”  I thought that by merely asking for their help, that I was being a nuisance.

Now I realize that my perception was completely off base from the reality.  The truth is that alumni don’t just hang around campus or volunteer their time because they want to relive the old days (though that certainly is fun).  They do that because they care about Georgetown and ALL of its elements, the largest of which is the students.  Alumni want to see Georgetown students succeed and grow.  They are not at all scary, intimidating, or difficult to talk to.  In fact, most of them are excited to talk to you, learn about what you want to do, and help you somehow.  The alumni who have volunteered their time in Hoya Gateway are a great example since they have specifically signed up to be a resource for students.  They are not annoyed, frustrated or bothered when you contact them; it’s what they want!  Whether you have a question about their company, are looking at internships, or just want to talk about your major, Hoya Gateway volunteers are excited to talk!

So make use of this valuable resource, don’t be intimidated, and Happy Georgetown Day!

The Internship Hunt

As we approach summer, there’s a lot happening around campus.  With all sorts of events, athletics, and academic work, many of us find it hard to find time to even do something as simple as enjoy the weather.  But there’s no rest for the weary.  It’s also the time to find that summer job or internship!

This process can seem incredibly daunting, especially with all of this stuff happening at the same time.  Every student wants that perfect position that is going to be the launch pad into their dream career.  Many see their summer internship as the thing that is going to lock them into an industry for the rest of their lives and give them the skill set they need to succeed.  But the reality can be far different…

Here are a few things to keep in mind when evaluating your choices:

1)         This doesn’t have to be what you do for the rest of your life!

I know this seems obvious, but taking that first job or internship can feel like you’re locking yourself in!  Particularly for people who really aren’t sure what they want to do after graduation.  They see their friends go off to big financial institutions for the summer with the end goal of being hired by that company after the internship, and suddenly feel very far behind the 8-Ball.  It’s been very well documented by experts that most young people (millennials, if you will) are going to have a number of different jobs throughout their career.  This job-hopping can even be helpful is you do it properly (http://www.cnbc.com/2015/09/15/job-hopping-can-boost-your-career-if-you-do-it-right.html).  That means you don’t at all have to feel like your internship choice determines the rest of your life!

2)         Be Strategic About It!

Yes, it’s not the rest of your life.  But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t think through what the internship could do for you.  There are really two ways you can look at it: industry and function.  For example, you may know that you love journalism and want to be a writer.  In that case, maybe look for an internship with a newspaper or magazine.  It doesn’t have to be as a writer, but any role in the that industry would give you a taste for what that world is like and expose you to people who can help you.  On the flip side, someone else could love accounting and know that’s what you want to do.  In that case, you don’t necessarily have to get an internship with a big firm, but you could work in the accounting department in any industry.  In fact, both of these fictitious students could end up working for the same company, and be on their way to achieving their goals.  You have to build your own strategy after a bit of soul searching.

3)         Pay Your Dues!

I put the word “millennials” in parenthesis in my first point for a reason.  Like it or not, there is a perception around those in our generation (I’m still close enough that it applies to me too!).  The perception is that we aren’t willing to take our lumps and pay our dues.  The validity of this perception is a topic outside the realm of this post, but we have to acknowledge that it exists.  There are few things more satisfying than proving someone with that perception wrong, no matter what it takes.  Interns or summer employees find themselves towards the bottom of the proverbial totem pole, and are sometimes (often) given grunt work tasks.  Monotonous data entry, inbox monitoring, and even the dreaded coffee run could be assigned tasks.  Don’t see this as an insult to your talent, see it as an opportunity.  Show everyone that you take pride in your work, regardless of what that work is.  To add a personal anecdote, I once had an internship that required me to do the coffee/lunch runs.  Because I did it without complaint, remembered what my boss liked, and made sure I didn’t delay, I soon became the go-to person for these tasks.  But when my boss needed something important done, guess who he gave it to?  I also got access that few others got because my boss appreciated that I would do anything for the project.  Now I don’t think his thought process was, “He remembers my coffee order, he must be smart.”  But I do think it was, “He gets stuff done and is dedicated, I can trust him.”  Don’t be afraid to take a position like that if you think you might learn something along the way.

4)    Network, Network, Network!

Another fairly obvious point!  Use Hoya Gateway to get in touch with people in industries or functions you might be interested in.  If you find someone whose career interests you, ask them what they did for a summer internship.  Family friend work for a sports marketing firm that sounds cool?  Make a deal with him/her where they hire you for the summer and you coach their youth lacrosse team (did that once).  You’ll be amazed at the opportunities you can find as you talk to people!

Thinking through these things takes time, but they are important.  Carve out some time to plan out a road map for your summer, and pick three things you want to learn…then go get it!  Happy hunting!

Networking in Weird Places

I know for many students, spring break still seems like it’s far off.  Midterms, papers, and long nights at the library seem to be what’s filling our time at the moment.  It’s probably pretty hard to picture the week of relief that will soon be upon us.  But guess what?!  It’s closer than you think!

Many of us will leave campus for the week and enjoy a relaxing week at home, on campus, or even in an exotic destination.  Believe it or not, spring break can be a great chance to keep building a network!  Now I know that it’s hard to think about that when you just want to have fun, and it even seems a bit scheming to consider networking in a setting that’s not really designed for it, but every encounter you have with someone new is a chance to add another resource to your network.  Here are the top 3 things to remember about “networking” and how they translate to conversations outside a more formal setting:

1)         Networking is simply building relationships. 

Just using the term “networking” gives the activity a certain type of connotation.  But       when you just get down to the heart of what’s happening, all you are doing is forming a relationship.  Don’t be intimidated by the setting or the person, just learn something new and walk away with a new contact!

2)         Find Common Ground

In a more formal networking setting, that common ground is usually the industry or  career that the person works in and you’d like to get into to.  That still applies in less formal settings, but so does everything else.  And I do mean everything!  Movies, TV, sports, fashion, books…you name it!  Some of my most powerful networking experiences have been because we bonded over something other than “work.”  Living in LA at one point, I had a conversation about beach volleyball with a friend of a friend.  Three months later, I’m having lunch with Jake Gyllenhaal talking about a script he was considering. True story!  And all because I was a half way decent setter on the court!  You just never know where conversations might lead.

3)         The other person is getting just as much out of it as you are

No matter how old, experienced, or educated you are…you have something to teach others.  You should never feel intimidated or scared because you aren’t in the position of power.  The person you’re talking to can most certainly learn something from their discussion with you.  Now don’t let that go to your head and let it influence your humble demeanor, but keep it in mind during a conversation.  Your contribution is just as important as theirs.

So if you’re flying to your exotic spring break, taking a trip to the Big East Tournament, or just hanging around campus…make the most of those random conversations!

Hoya Gateway: New Years Resolution Time!

Happy New Year!  I hope 2016 is already off to a great start!

My name is Matt Kelly: a 2008 College alumus, current evening MBA student, and new guru of all things Hoya Gateway.  That’s me there…

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Gotta love the MSB headshots!

It’s a brand new year, and Hoya Gateway is ready with some resolutions!  Now personally, I’ve never been a big fan of resolutions.  I’m really not one to wait to make changes and I think I do a pretty good job on reflecting on what I want to change in the first place.  That being said, as I’m new to Hoya Gateway, this New Year gave me the opportunity to look at what I could change with our program.  So…here goes.

1) Create a 2nd Shared Experience

I have been involved with Georgetown alumni for quite literally my whole life since my parents are alumni.  When I think back on the conversations I’ve witnessed or taken part in with alumni, there is only one Georgetown experience  I can think of that every alum shares (other than graduation, of course).  That experience is an alumni interview as part of the application process.  I can still remember mine…

(If this were a movie/TV show, they’d have that wavy “looking into the past” effect right now)

My alum was a teacher at a somewhat-rival high school.  I wore a jacket and tie and was worried that the rival students would vandalize my car because it had my high school logo sticker on the back.  The interview was in the alum’s classroom and he could not have been nicer.  He had on a white shirt with a blue-green tie and khaki pants, classic high school teacher attire.  The interview was more of a pleasant conversation, not the intense interrogation I expected.  I left feeling great about going to Georgetown.

(Wavy effect again back to the present day)

Most students, but not all, take Problem of God.  Most students, but not all, go to basketball games.  Most students, but not all, frequent Tombs.  ALL students had to have an alumni interview to come to Georgetown.  I think there should be a 2nd alumni conversation that’s a shared experience.  What if every Georgetown student has at least one meaningful, productive conversation with an alum during their time as a student on the Hilltop?  Hoya Gateway is how we can make that happen!

2)            Not just About Careers

The Georgetown alumni network is fantastic for job networking.  I don’t think anyone is going to argue against that.  But for freshman and sophomores, career networking might not be exactly what they’re looking for.  Sure career is on their minds and maybe some have even visited the Cawley Career Education Center, but they have other big things to worry about first.  “What major should I pick?”  “Who are the professors I should take?”  “Why is Chicken Finger Thursday such a thing?”

Well, alumni have the answers there too!  The one thing we all love to do is reminisce.  We could talk about professors we loved, clubs we joined, majors we think made us successful, and experiences we had all day if someone just asked us!  Alumni can help students at every stage of their Georgetown careers…all you have to do is ask.  You can find those helpful volunteers through Hoya Gateway!

3)            Giving Students the X’s and O’s

Networking shouldn’t be a scary thing.  Yet for many students, it very much is.  Whether it’s because of the power dynamic in a conversation, not knowing what questions to ask, or just a general discomfort with talking about the future; we want to understand why it’s difficult for students and create ways to make it less so.  The Hoya Gateway system is unique in its compatibility matching, but we recognize that it is a tool that’s only as good as how it’s used by students.  This year, we want to work with our campus partners to educate students on just how to go about networking and prove to them that Hoya Gateway is a great tool to help start that network.

Happy New Year and see you all in 2016!

How To Survive (and Thrive) During Down Time At Your Internship


Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 5.14.11 PMAs we enter the dog days of summer, things in your office may seem to be markedly slowing down a bit as many of your coworkers begin drifting away – physically and mentally – to long planned summer vacations. Even on days when the office is fully staffed, there may be times when you’re on a roll and you zoom through all the work that’s been assigned to you that day – so effectively, in fact, that you still have time on the clock.

But before you’re tempted to pull out your phone and update your Facebook status or Snapchat your summer crush – and in the process risk earning the ill favor of your boss and coworkers, take a moment to regroup and consider these do’s and don’ts that will help you make the most of your downtime.

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It’s there. In your pocket or on your desk. And there’s that little voice in your head saying, “What’s the harm if I quickly check my feed?” In fact, there’s real risk here. Even if you are done with your work, having someone catch you on your phone makes you look very unprofessional. Remember, you’re still on work time. So save things that should be done on your time for when you’re off the clock (lunch is a good time to check your status/feed). To help resist this temptation, consider turning it off and putting it you bag.

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If you make the executive decision to head early because you think you’re all finished for the day, this isn’t likely to endear you to your supervisor. In response, your boss may ask you to double-check your work or task you will tidying up the copy room or other busy work. Remember, that this a j-o-b and that you made a commitment to be your workplace for a certain amount of time. Honor that commitment. Not only will this show your coworkers and boss that you’re dependable but it’s also great experience for the “real” job world and will help show future employers that you meet your responsibilities.

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You may have completed your tasks for the day but your neighbor in the adjoining cubicle might still be up to her neck in deadlines. So, while it may be fun to chat with your colleagues and blow off a little steam, make sure you aren’t distracting them from doing their work. Also, you don’t want to be caught chatting about your latest Netflix binge as your supervisor comes by. Even though your desk may be clear, they might assume your slacking off, a label you definitely don’t want.

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You landed this internship based on your skills and drive. So, if you’ve completed your tasks for the day, think about other things that could be done – for example task that may be slated for later in the week – and then take the initiative and start doing them. You may also consider reaching out to others in your department to see if anyone needs help with projects or other assistance. By grabbing the bull by the horns, you’ll likely get earn the good graces of your supervisor and coworkers which will help you get an excellent recommendation when the internship wraps up.

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Pour over your organization’s website, social media channels, and reports. Do a little digging and figure out who is your company following on Twitter/friending on Facebook and who, in turn, is following/friending them. Begin following any relevant organizations or people who they follow. Additionally, look at how they interact with their followers on these sites and how frequently they post. Also, read your organization’s annual report, strategic plan, and any other relevant articles and documents that will allow you to knowledgeably contribute to “the big” conversations with coworkers and supervisor.

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When you find yourself with a lull in the action, this is a great time to enhance or learn new skills that could be put to use by your current and future employers. From YouTube to Lynda.com to Udemy, there’s a universe of instructional sites online where you learn everything from web design to video editing to search engine optimization. By immersing yourself and becoming an expert in Excel, for example, you’ll not only be positioned to take on new duties at your job but you’ve also added a new bullet to your resume.

Five Great LinkedIn Do’s and Don’ts

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 3.57.20 PMLinkedIn is a unique social media animal. Whereas Facebook or Instagram might be the online equivalent of lounging around in your sweatpants bag of Cheetos in hand with your housemates, LinkedIn is more akin to put a crisp suit or best skirt and sitting down to a meeting with you boss all the while projecting an aura of confidence and poise.

So, when you’re thinking about penning your first LinkedIn profile or retrofitting your existing one, here are a dozen do’s and don’t that will help ensure that you’re using this powerful resource to its maximum potential.

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Your profile picture is usually the first things anyone searching your LinkedIn profile will see. Without a photo, you’ll be 11 times less searchable than your competition. But reserve the selfies for Instagram and Twitter. Make sure your profile picture is a simple, professional shot.

Also, think about customizing your headline. Rather simply saying your are “Social Media Intern at the Red Cross,” add information about you can help potential connections. For example, “Social Media Intern at the Red Cross, Adept at Creating Community, Breaking Down Barriers, and Moving People of Diverse Backgrounds to Action.”

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On LinkedIn, like in most professional interactions, time is often of the essence. While it might appear desperate or even creepy to friend someone on Facebook after only just meeting them, the calculus is different on LinkedIn. If you’ve just chatted up someone for the first time at conference or other professional gathering, ask if you can connect with them on LinkedIn before you part. The longer you wait, the less likely it is that you might be remembered.

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Just as in the real world, the personal touch means everything online as well. Bearing this in mind, you will want to customize your invitation when trying to connect with someone you may had have little or no existing contact with. For example, when you’re scrolling through LinkedIn’s list of “People You May Know,” you’ll see a blue box underneath each person’s headshot and title that says “Connect.” If you immediately click on this box you will NOT get a chance to customize your invitation. The same holds true if you’re looking at search results. You’ll see a blue connect box to the right of each person’s info. Using that button won’t allow you to make your request unique. The only way you can change the connection request is if you click “Connect” when you’re DIRECTLY on someone’s profile.

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To drive the point home, people are more likely to respond to your request to connect if you tailor the message to them. Simply using the default “I’d like to connect with you on LinkedIn” feels robotic and a bit lazy. Do a little digging. Did this contact recently post a new promotion, earn a degree or celebrate a work anniversary? If so, try building these elements into your connection requests. For example, “Dear Ms. Chen, Congratulations on publishing your new article in the Washington Post. I’m looking forward to reading your next piece.” Customized messages make people feel special. So, it’s worth the extra effort.

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You’ve no doubt heard the oft repeated phrase, “It’s not what you know buy who you know.” LinkedIn is a great to tool to get a referral to those people who work at your dream company. Say, for example, you wanted to work for National Geographic. Type “National Geographic” into LinkedIn and then fine tune your search by choosing to the option to see people currently employed by the company. If you’ve got a first degree connection, you’re way ahead!  Perhaps, you have a second degree connection. Reach out to your first degree contact and ask him or her for an introduction. If find that you don’t have any shared connections, don’t worry. Use LinkedIn groups to get around that problem. Click here for some great templates and strategies for all the scenarios presented.

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A great way to strengthen your LinkedIn hand is by having recommendation requests from past co-workers, supervisors, even professors displayed on your profile. Rather than using LinkedIn’s default: “I’m writing to ask if you would write a brief recommendation of my work…”, make your request personal. Be specific. For example, identify a specific project you may have worked on with the colleague you’re reaching out to AND be sure to identify why you’re looking for a recommendation from that particular person. Try to be as specific as possible. The more details you share, the easier your connection’s job will be. And don’t forget to thank those who have recommended you via LinkedIn message, by giving your own recommendation, or via a tried and true hand-written note.

How To Rock Your Summer Internship!

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Summer is just around the corner and, after countless applications and numerous interviews, you’ve landed that elusive summer internship! Whether it’s the job of your dreams with a Fortune 500 company or a gig with a sassy start-up boasting a staff of you can count on your fingers, here are nine ways to get the most of your experience this summer.

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You’re the newest to arrive on the corporate totem pole. So, even before you step through the front doors of the office, make sure that you know about your company; its mission statement, leadership, board of directors, professional leadership, goals and accomplishments, etc. This will give you the kickstart you need to get off on the right foot.

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While it’s normal to be nervous anytime you encounter a new endeavor, try not to stress too much. You’re likely to be confused, excited, overwhelmed, bored, and worried all within the space of a single work day. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, reach out and talk with your supervisor – just be sure to be respectful of his/her time.

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Businesses are made of individuals, with a diverse array of talents, pulling together for a set of goals. No one expects you to know everything. So bring all the skills you’ve accumulated up until now to the table and then – when you’re faced with a problem you can’t seem to tame – reach out and ask your supervisor and coworkers for help. Also, be sure to find a mentor. A mentor is someone at a higher level in the organization that looks out for you and makes sure you are learning what you need to know and accomplishing what you need to do – this could be your immediate supervisor or someone else in the company. Try to avoid the trap of claiming to know how to solve a problem or use a program/system when you don’t.

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Whether you use Evernote, Google calendar, or a paper “to do list,” write down your short and long term tasks. You don’t want to drop the ball on an important project because you forgot to note it down. Once you complete a task, check it off your “to do list” and bask in the feeling of accomplishment.

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Whether you’re commuting on the metro or grabbing a ride to workplace from a friend, there’s a few practical items to have on-hand: a notebook and pen, a snack to get you though the 2:00 p.m. sugar crash, cash, a metro/train/bus pass, and a phone charger. By having these thing on your person, you can avoid unnecessary stress, discomfort, and worry.

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Do you have some advanced Excel skills? Know how to code in Python? Can you copy edit like a champ? Let you supervisor know. And, if the opportunity presents itself, dive into a tough project problems and where your skill set can shine. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, 61 percent of students who had internships have job offers by the end of their senior year, compared with 28 percent of students who skipped the internship. Do yourself a service the best possible service by giving it your all.

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 2.53.26 PMAs an intern, you should check your pride at the door. Despite your tip-top grade point average or how many accolades you’ve racked-up at Georgetown, you may at times find yourself saddled with tasks that seem mundane, repetitive, etc. Ideally, 60% of your duties would be considered professional (blogging! marketing! event management! VIP outreach!) while 40% would be paraprofessional – those jobs that are part of the daily routine of keeping an organization running. That said, you’re still likely to find the overall experience valuable if you can remain passionate about it. So, when time is dragging on, take the long view and work through it. Ten years down the line when you’re successful, you’ll likely be able to look back and smile about the time when you had to race to Office Max to pick-up a printer cartridge.

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 2.52.45 PMDespite the proliferation of online job search tools (LinkedIn, Monster.com, Idealist.com, etc.) most people still find their jobs through in-person networking and referrals from coworkers. A 2012 ABC News poll found that 80% of people found their jobs through networking. So when thinking about your next career step – be it a new internship or a job upon graduation – it’s pivotal that you build relationships with your colleagues as they can turn you on to openings and provide job hunting tips and advice.

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 2.53.05 PMWhile you may be working an eight+ hour stretch and running to and from your train/bus/car pool each day, don’t forget to enjoy yourself. Yes, it is still a job but balance the demands of the workplace with the fact that it is still your summer. Go to lunch with other interns and explore you’re surroundings. Join your coworkers for after hours social gatherings. Remember, you had to jump through some hoops to land this internship so get the most out of it you can. There will be days that drag on. But when the final day of the internship ends and your thoughts turn to another semester on the Hilltop, you can hold your head high knowing that you accomplished more than you have before.

Hoya Gateway Celebrates Its Second Birthday!

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Blog Lead PhotoTwo years ago, Hoya Gateway was formally launched! Today, over 2700 Georgetown University students use this innovative, cutting-edge resource to connect with more than 1070 GU alumni for one-on-one career related conversations and create long-term mentoring relationships.

Jeff Blog“Hoya Gateway provides students an opportunity to learn about various industries and companies from alumni who have already successfully navigated their own career path. By connecting with alumni, students can expand their professional network while practicing their networking skills. Both students and alumni-mentors in the program experience what it means to be an alumnus. One of the best things about being a Hoya is the Hoya Gateway Program.” – Jeff Chapski (B’91), Founder of Hoya Gateway.

Julian Blog“Being the first in my family to attend college, I did not have anyone to turn to for help with a resume or how to prepare for an interview. Hoya Gateway provided me with the tools to prepare myself for the world of interviews and job searching. The alumni of the program helped me with my resume and became not only my mentors, but my friends as well. Thank you Hoya Gateway.” – Julian Martinez (B’15), Hoya Gateway Student Leadership Committee Co-Chair

Devi Blog“Serving as Co-Chair on Hoya Gateway’s Student Committee has been an invaluable and beautiful part of my Georgetown experience. I have had the honor and privilege to share my experience with hundreds of students of all years. This resource not only helped me choose my career path, but it also facilitated my growth as an individual and as a networker. Since I joined Hoya Gateway, it has grown tremendously in both its student and alumni base. I am excited to see where it is headed next, and look forward to now serve as an alumni on it!” – Devi Sahny, (C’15), Hoya Gateway Student Leadership Committee Co-Chair

Bryan Blog“Hoya Gateway is an important program that is quickly becoming monumental in the lives of students and those in the Georgetown community. The mentorship that Hoya Gateway provided me was crucial in my development as a professional and continues to be influential in my path post-graduation. Getting advice from and engaging with alumni who care is a defining attribute of what makes Georgetown one of the most well regarded universities in the country.” – Bryan Satterly (F’13), Chair of Student Outreach

Dash Blog“Hoya Gateway made me realize that I have a great support network at Georgetown from many successful alumni. The program is definitely my go-to tool when I need advice not only on jobs/internships, but also just general questions about college and life afterwards. Every Georgetown student should invest in Hoya Gateway and I guarantee you will see results!” – Dash Enkhbayar, (F’16), Hoya Gateway Student Leadership Committee Strategic Initiatives Manager

THANK YOU to all of those who have volunteered their time, insight, and effort into making Hoya Gateway such a success!

Demystifying HR & Executive Recruiting

HR & Executive Recruiting-4HR & Executive Recruiting is often overlooked by students. However, as a dynamic and growing industry, students do not realize the opportunity they are missing. Today, Hoya Gateway highlights a few of the excellent Georgetown Alumni involved in HR & Executive Recruiting and their experiences within the field.

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David Kaiser (B’90)

Executive Coach, Dark Matter Consulting

Why did you choose a career in HR? What unique aspects of HR have made it your career of choice?

First, I went into corporate training because in graduate school, I discovered that I love teaching and I’m good at it. For me, it was all about helping individuals to learn, grow and perform better. From there, it was a fairly natural flow into coaching, which I believe addresses the shortfalls of traditional training by providing a customized solution, across time, with accountability and support.

What is your biggest advice to job candidates?

Stop sending your resumes to websites. You’re wasting your time and it’s not going to pay off. Figure out what kind of work you want to do, figure out 20 firms that need someone like you, then reach out to friends and friends of friends, via LinkedIn, and start having coffee and lunch with people at those firms and in those industries.

Get specific, DO NOT “keep your options open,” you will NOT be heard above the noise. Do not assume that people will recognize your talent and plug you into their organization. Ask for what you want, specifically. That helps people help you, and it’s memorable, you have to be memorable. If you are not memorable, you will be forgotten.

Can you define the responsibilities of your current role?

I operate my own business. I am responsible for everything, although I don’t do everything. I sell, I provide coaching and consulting services, I’m responsible for the strategic vision and for executing on plans and developing products. It has been a great run!

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Dominique Taylor (B’00)

Vice President of Talent Management, EverFi

Why did you choose a career in HR? What unique aspects of HR have made it your career of choice?

I started my career in management consulting and then focused on workforce management, specifically recruitment and retention strategies and best practices. I loved helping companies figure out how to attract and retain top talent and eventually transitioned to an in-house recruiting position for a start-up. As the company has grown, so has my role and I’ve had the opportunity to expand my experience and skills as I work to support our team. I’m excited about how HR is evolving and gaining attention as a critical part of an organization because attracting, developing and retaining top talent drives a company’s success.

What are some firms you have recruited for? And positions? Any recruitment experiences that really stand out?

I’ve done front-line recruiting for Dedicated Advisor positions at the Advisory Board Company and for pretty much every role at EverFi. My favorite recruiting moment recently was last year when we launched a partnership with the NHL and expanded into Canada. It was exciting to work through the international expansion and the similarities/differences between the two countries.

What skills, academics, and experiences do you feel have best prepared you for this career field?

My undergraduate degree in business management and my initial consulting experience helped me develop core business skills which are critical for understanding how a business operates – both to be able to identify the best talent to ensure the company’s success and to gain the trust of executives and hiring managers. Additionally, the service ethic that Georgetown and the Advisory Board instilled in me has helped me exceed internal and external expectations throughout my career.

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Jamies Peretz (L’98)

Founder of 2MyCareer

What is a career in Executive Recruitment entail? 

Executive recruiters, or headhunters, are responsible for finding the very best candidates for a specific job. In that process, the headhunter spends a lot of time identifying the right candidates, persuading them to consider the opportunity, meeting and interviewing each and every individual, introducing the best potential hires to the client, overseeing the prolonged hiring process and finally, negotiating the employment agreement.

What is your biggest advice to job candidates?

This entire process has given me expertise about what candidates really need to get the offer. I have participated in innumerable hiring decisions, and have witnessed over and over again who gets hired and why. While a candidate must have relevant experience, that is only part of the equation. Successful candidates all have highly compelling narratives that truly distinguish them from their peers.

What skills, academics, and experiences do you feel have best prepared you for this career field?

While it is my experiences as an executive recruiter that are the most direct link to my current leadership role, all of my career, educational, and athletic experiences have combined to give me the ability to lead 2 MyCareer and effectively advise college students and recent graduates in order for them to obtain their first choice career.

The Real World: Putting Religious, Political, or Controversial Organizations on Your Resume

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Here in DC, we know better than most about the divided nature of our political, cultural, and religious landscape. Given this reality, when it seems every element of a person’s life is put under a microscope and judged faster than you can say TMZ, you might be asking yourself whether or not you should include your experience working or volunteering for a cause, candidate, or religious organization on your resume.

Here’s a few things to consider:

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Ask yourself: Just how important is this experience to my identity? If, for example, you’ve spent the last four years working tirelessly for a group working to combat climate change and the idea of working for an organization that isn’t “green” is unfathomable to you, then you should likely include it on your resume. Simply put, would you want to work for an organization that would discriminate against you because of something you feel so passionately about? If, however, the answer to this question is a half-hearted “meh,” it might be wise to this experience off.

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As you fine-tune your resume, ask yourself another question: Would I be comfortable discussing my experience with an organization during an interview with a hiring manager? Interviews are stressful to begin with. So, if you the answer is a clear “no,” you may want to think twice about including your affiliation with that group from your resume.

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Did you help organize and carry off a large-scale event? Raise significant amount of money your operating budget? Bring a national thought leader to campus? Design your group’s website? If you can honestly answer yes to these or other questions that show off a marketable or technical skill– particularly one that is relevant to the job you’re applying for – then it’s a good idea to include this experience on your resume. Focus on your accomplishments. On the flipside, be honest with yourself. If you just showed up for the pizza or because your crush was on the board and you have little to show for your time, it’s likely smart to not include this on your resume.

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In some states there are no legal protections for certain classes of people. Laws against employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, for example, exists in DC (and 12 states) but not Texas where it is perfectly legal for potential employers to ask if you’re gay, and then hire or fire applicants/employees based on their answers. Know what legal protections you do or don’t have depending on where the job you are applying for is located. Consider this fact when including experience with relevant organizations/groups.