September 2010 Archives

Welcome MIS Majors - Practical Tips

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Welcome to the Eberly Internship blog. I will start by sharing some of my thoughts on what you need to do in College to secure a job of your dreams when you graduate.

MIS as a discipline is inter-disciplinary in nature, and our objective here is to provide you with training that enables you to act as a bridge between IT and business. Your primary aim is to solve business problems using the capabilities offered by IT. That means that you have to be adept at both the technical aspects of IT and business concepts like finance, accounting, human resources, etc. If you do not understand the business, you will not be able to understand the concerns of businesses and solve their problems. At the same time if you do not understand technology, it s difficult for you to understand the capabilities offered by it. In the same vein your liberal studies courses expose you to certain aspects of culture, art, etc. which makes interfacing with different sorts of people, a pleasant and more relevant experience. For example if you know about world religions you may be more sensitive to let us say people from India who hold a certain value system. And most of you must be aware that there are a lot of folks from India in the IT area.

So in summary while in college:

  1. Be serious and diligent in all your courses whether business or liberal arts, since they are all relevant.
  2. IT changes very fast and we teach you the fundamentals in class. Keep building on your knowledge. Do things outside the class. Get a campus job or a off campus job dealing with IT. Read new things and experiment with them. Do not just rely on class content.
  3. Learn the concepts in your business courses. These concepts will usually be an integral part of your job description and a good understanding will give you an edge in your job. 
  4. Your liberal studies courses are important. They give you a platform to diversify your knowledge in areas like culture, geography, etc. They are useful in dealing with a diverse international workplace and at times give you topics for a good conversation. 
  5. Do an internship. An internship gives you an opportunity to apply your knowledge to a real life situation. It will also increase your chances of landing up with a job of your choice. Internships have been consistently stressed by executives who have visited IUP and talked to MIS majors. 
  6. Maintain your GPA. If nothing else your GPA demonstrates your capability for high and consistent performance at the task at hand which in this case happens to be learning a given course content.
  7. Widen your horizons and do not shy away from going away from your home and your comfort zone. IT is a global phenomena with a global reach. I know a lot of you want to stay around here but go out of the comfort zone and see the world. You can always come back when you just cannot stay away.
Please free to come and talk to me further about your questions/concerns. You can email me at pankaj@iup.edu or visit me at my office - ECB 207F.

Starting your Job-Search

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Many students ask me the question: "How do I get started with my job search?" Here is some advice for those who have the same question.

First of all, searching for a job is a full-time job, unless you are that SUPER student with lots of luck!  You need to start by introspecting your best case scenario as well as what would be acceptable to you--the type of work, the kind of organization, and the location. Be a little flexible while setting this agenda since the best case scenario may not work out all the time. More importantly, be realistic!

Once you get your resume and cover letter formats in order, launch a multi-pronged attack...there are a number of avenues that you should be exploring. A) Start with your network--family members, neighbors, contacts that you might have established through student organizations, recent alumni with whom you were friends with, etc. Don't discount the possibility of getting help from any corner. B) Identify about 25 organizations that are on your "A" list. Visit their web sites, learn about these organizations, and most importantly, monitor the job opportunities for recent College graduates on their sites.  C) Post your resume on all the reputed job-search portals and keep updating it. I have known many students, especially with some special skills or experience, getting interview calls after their resumes were picked up on Monster. com and similar sites. It may not work for all but certainly there is no harm in trying. D) Check the resources at IUP and Eberly. Pay regular visits to the Eberly Internship & Corporate Relations suite at Eberly (www.iup.edu/business) and the IUP Career Development Center (www.iup.edu/career/) in Pratt Hall. E) Keep your eyes and ears open for job fairs. There are some job fairs in other universities that you can attend for a nominal cost. F) Be in touch with your professors. From time to time, they get calls from employers asking for help in filling entry-level positions.

I think it was one of Dale Carnegie's quotes, and I paraphrase: "luck (or success) is the meeting place of opportunities passing by AND your alertness." So, be alert and be at the right place at the right time. Best wishes!

Prashanth

Visit Career Centers Across the Nation and Beyond

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As you approach graduation, or get ready for seeking an internship, it is a good idea to visit the Career Center of your University, and explore the help that is available to you. IUP's Career Development Center is situated in Pratt Hall. Their website URL is www.iup.edu/career.

Now, suppose, you are looking for an internship in New York City. You should also make an online visit to the career centers of all the universities situated in New York City. In this regard, the website of National Association of Colleges and Employers is very helpful. For this, you go to their website  www.jobweb.com. Click on Students, Career & Job Search Information, and Career Center Websites. Here, you will find the URLs of Career Centers of all the universities throughout the United States, Australia, Canada, UK and Europe. Of course, you will also find the listing of all of the universities in New York City.

Good luck in job hunting and internship endeavors!

Graduating Finance Majors

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If you are planning to graduate in December or May 2011, you need to get started on preparing
your resume if you haven't already done so. The CR-I team is ready to help. Dr. Bradwick and I will be presenting an hour long session on resume building and letter writing on September 22 starting at 12:20 in room 109. This session will be videotaped so you will be able to view it at your leisure. Because the job market has not yet rebounded, it is essential that you spend a good
deal of time on building a solid resume which reflects your strengths. Let us know if we can help.