Connections

Tool Kit ConferenceTool Kit Conference
Every student will reach into her or his tool kit for help in seeking a job or internship.

Laura Chrissley ’12 knows the importance of the elevator speech – the quick, succinct summary of who she is and what she does.

“An elevator speech is one of the best tools to use when you first meet someone,” said Chrissley, a business administration major concentrating in marketing and management.

“It really gives another individual a look into the type of person you are and how effective you are at selling yourself.”

For Mark Rudovic ’13, knowing his strengths and presenting them in his resume is key. Using a workbook to evaluate himself on various skills and characteristics showed him what he should showcase on his resume.

“Writing a resume is not the easiest thing; however, evaluating our strengths makes it seem effortless,” said Rudovic, a business administration major concentrating in finance. Chrissley and Rudovic joined nearly other 100 students for a recent all-day career development workshop on campus that featured a guest speaker and networking event afterward.

“The Tool Kit” conference – open to junior, senior and MBA students – was designed to help them identify what they want out of a career and provide a path to get them there.

The seminar didn’t teach about writing a resume or a cover letter, said event organizer Jessie Stone He, the school’s Professional Development Coordinator. Instead, the seminar counted those skills as tools of an individual student’s brand.

“They are branding themselves every time they send a tweet, every time they post on Facebook, every time they walk into the School of Business,” said Stone He. “Students can’t let themselves passively be branded. They need to actively build their brand, and the time to take ownership of that brand is now.”

Guest speaker Rodney Miller – a human capital management specialist at Corporate Insights, of Purchase, N.Y., a firm comprised of consulting psychologists and management development professionals – conveyed the branding message. He also provided a 32-page booklet with self-assessment tests for the students. 

“You want to be known for something. What do you want to be known for?” Miller said.

“Like Ford or Chevrolet or other manufacturers, students can have a brand. They can be known as a go-getter, someone who gets along with people, who is highly analytical.”

He also emphasized that job-seeking students highlight their transferable skills.

“They have a lot more experience than they think they have, even if it’s not in the corporate world. In athletics, in service organizations, in fraternities and sororities, if they’ve been involved in fundraising or event planning or had leadership positions, that’s very important.”

Chrissley’s self-assessment showed she’s detail-oriented.

“I have known this for some time and enjoy making sure things run smoothly,” she said.

“My brand is a detail-oriented, creative, proactive individual.”

Through two contacts, Chrissley, who wants to work in fashion marketing or an associate buying position, has arranged an interview with Urban Outfitters. She used what she’d learned at the Tool Kit conference.

“When writing the cover letter, I kept in mind the various skills that I honed in on at the conference and believe those skills are what the CEO was looking for in deciding whether or not I was qualified for an interview.”

Rudovic seeks a career in finance. His brand? “I am one of the hardest working individuals you will meet,” he said. He lists his strengths as work ethic, organization skills, teamwork and communication.

At the networking event after the seminar, Rudovic spoke with William Currie, a Morgan Stanley Smith Barney vice president and regional manager in Ithaca.

“He really gave me some insight on what he does and I’m looking forward to staying in touch with him,’’ said Rudovic, who has experience as a global wealth management intern at Merrill Lynch.

He’s enthusiastic about how quickly he put to use some Tool Kit conference lessons:

“What was great about the Tool Kit was that it taught you how to interact with individuals you don’t know, and you had to tell them a little bit about yourself, the same thing you would do when approaching a professional at a networking event.”

 


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