Category: Resource

Getting Started with Handshake

September 12th, 2016 in Discovery, Make It Happen, Resource, Skills, Tips

MontanaroBy Corinne Montanaro, Recruiting Coordinator

Handshake is Boston University’s new online hub for career resources. With it, you can apply for jobs and internships, sign up for events and workshops, schedule career appointments, and more!

Check out the tips below for getting started with your new account.

Logging in to Handshake

Go to from any device. Click on the blue Boston University Student Login link and log in with your BU email address and Kerberos password.

Upon logging in, you will be prompted to choose whether you would like your profile to be searchable by employers. Keep the box checked and click SAVE if so. Uncheck the box and click SAVE if you would like to keep your profile hidden from employers. This setting can be changed at any time; find it by going to your profile and then the Account tab.

Setting Up Your Profile

After logging in, you will be prompted to fill out your profile. Select View Your Profile from the left navigation bar. Basic information including major, class year, and GPA will be automatically updated from the registrar.

You have the option to hide your GPA from employers even if you have chosen to make your profile viewable to employers. To do this, click on Primary Education within your profile. There will be a check box next to your GPA to make it viewable to employers. Uncheck the box to make it private. Be sure to click SAVE after making any changes.

Complete your profile by adding work experience, extracurricular activities, projects, courses, etc. Be sure to fill out as much information as you can.

The Documents tab in your profile allows you to upload resumes, cover letters, transcripts, etc. (click on New Document to upload). When uploading documents, you will have an option to make your resume public. Public resumes can be seen by any employer.

Be sure to clearly name your documents when uploading so that you are able to select the correct documents when applying to positions.

Click on the Account tab to set up your notification preferences. This allows you to choose how you would like to receive important messages from Handshake.

Indicating Your Career interests

Select Your Career Interests from the left-hand navigation bar. By filling out this section with what you want to do (internship, job, grad school, etc.), where you want to live, and more, you will receive more relevant search results. You can fill it out as much or as little as you want, and you can change your responses at any time.

The more complete your profile and career interests, the more Handshake can customize your homepage. Be sure to keep your information updated!

Navigating the Site

Your dashboard (homepage) features opportunities that are relevant to you, based on your activity, profile, and career interests information. It also contains information about upcoming events, appointments, and available resources.

The blue search bar at the top searches all of Handshake, while the left-hand navigation gives you access to specific areas.

We hope you find Handshake to be easy to explore and helpful as you plan your next steps!

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Relocating for a Summer Internship

March 31st, 2016 in Resource, Summer Experience

Samantha Stock 16By Samantha Stocksdale, Internship Coordinator

Summer is a popular time for internships. Students typically have more time to invest and more flexibility in terms of geographic locations. While some students pursue internships in Boston, others seek internships in/near their hometowns or choose another location altogether.

Relocating for a summer internship presents opportunities, but there are also some things you should take into account before making a decision.

Regardless of the location, internships are a chance to develop and hone your skills, learn more about a career field or job type, and apply your classroom knowledge to the workplace. Relocation may provide additional opportunities. For example, you can:

  • Explore a geographic area where you may want to live after graduation.
  • Build professional relationships at your internship site. Speak with colleagues for advice, take the opportunity to meet people outside of your department, and attend social events. This will broaden your professional network and be particularly helpful if you are considering a future job search in the area.
  • Network with BU alumni in the area. Join the BUAA Official LinkedIn Group. This can be helpful not only for researching industries, but also for speaking directly with alumni about their career paths and specific internship experiences. You might even be able to set up an in-person informational interview during the summer.

Relocating for a summer internship may be a big decision, particularly if you are not returning to your hometown. The following are a few factors to consider before accepting an offer:

  • Compensation: Is the internship paid or unpaid? Does it provide any non-monetary benefits, such as assistance with housing, transportation, and/or meals? Think about your financial situation, the internship’s compensation, and the cost of living in your desired location. There are tools online to help you research the cost of living (e.g., CNNMoney’s “Cost of living: “How far will my salary go in another city?”
  • Housing: Even if you do not know anyone in your desired location, your interviewer does. They might be able to share advice from former interns and/or personal experience. Colleges and universities often offer temporary, on-campus housing for summer interns.
  • Networking: Plan your budget ahead of time to make sure you are financially prepared for the internship. Consider what you’ll spend on rent, utilities, transportation, food, clothes, outings, etc. Stick to your budget throughout your internship. BU Financial Assistance’s Smart Money 101 provides online tools, information and other resources to promote effective money management. Check out the Budget Wizard, which enables students to create and modify customized budgets and download them as Excel spreadsheets.

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Reflection as a Career Development Tool

March 24th, 2016 in Resource, Tips

Lauren WebBy, Lauren Soares, Yawkey Internship Coordinator

The process of reflection involves taking time to think critically about an experience in order to identify areas of growth for the future. No matter where you are in the career development cycle, reflection can be a helpful tool for maximizing your interactions and experiences.

Here are two ways to begin implementing reflection into your career development:

Bust out that Business Card
When you receive a business card, jot down short notes on the back. These notes can summarize your connection to the individual and ideas to explore for continued or future collaboration.

Think about writing down brief answers to the following questions:

  • Where and when did you meet this person?
  • What did you speak about?
  • What opportunities do you see for connecting in the future? For example, could you see yourself applying for an internship at this individual’s organization?

Jump into Journaling
When you document your thoughts in a journal at the end of each day, you are able to reflect upon your progress throughout the internship, job, or other opportunity. This enables you to think critically about your day-to-day experiences.

Consider asking yourself questions to guide your journal entries, such as:

  • What happened at your internship today?
  • Why does what happened matter?
  • How can you apply what happened today to the future?

Revisit your reflection regularly. Utilize this information to create next steps for your own career development plan.

Bonus: keeping track of your experience and your contacts can be helpful when you are updating your resume, conducting an internship or job search, or preparing for your next interview.

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Setting Internship Goals

March 3rd, 2016 in Resource, Tips

Samantha Stock 16By Samantha Stocksdale, Internship Coordinator

Internships are a chance to explore and expand your skills, learn more about a career field or job type, gain valuable experience, build professional connections, and apply your classroom knowledge to the workplace. Once you have secured an internship, you will need to create more focused goals for your internship experience.

Setting Internship Goals
Setting internship goals helps you to maximize your internship. They can provide a sense of purpose and direction and can help determine what you hope to gain and accomplish during the experience. Your goals also serve as expectations for the internship, allowing you to evaluate your progress on an ongoing basis. Therefore, it is important to record your goals at the beginning, so that you can easily reference them.

Smart Goals
Make sure you are developing SMART goals, which are:

  • Specific: Be clear about what you want to accomplish and why it is important. This clarity and specificity will be helpful as you craft goals that are measurable, achievable, realistic, and timed.
  • Measurable: Determine how you will know when your goals have been met. Incorporate specific numbers. This will help you to track your progress.
  • Achievable: Set attainable goals. Identify small action steps that will help you to make progress. If you reach your goals, create new ones.
  • Realistic: Be realistic about what you can achieve given the available resources, time, and supervisor’s expectations. This will help you to move forward and keep you from feeling disheartened by unfeasible goals.
  • Timed: Establish deadlines for your goals as well as a timeline for smaller action steps.

Examples of SMART goals are:

  • Draft 10 Twitter and 10 Facebook posts that align with the organization’s social media strategy.
  • Conduct five informational interviews at the internship site to get a better sense of opportunities in the field.

How To Set Internship Goals
Prior to your start date, identify academic, professional, and personal SMART goals. Meet with your supervisor at the start of your internship to discuss your goals and to identify additional goals that your supervisor has for you.Work together to determine an action plan for achieving them. You and your supervisor should revisit your goals throughout the internship to evaluate your progress and the experience.

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Managing Stress

February 25th, 2016 in Resource, Tips

DevlinBy Donna Devlin, Staff Coordinator

Your college years are an exciting time full of change, new friends, and (for most students) living away from home for the first time. These years can also feel stressful and overwhelming. Some of the top stressors for college students include relationships, roommate difficulties, grades and exams, and managing both time and priorities with an increased workload.

High levels of stress on a regular basis can affect your physical and emotional health. The following are some of the things you can do to help manage stress.

Physical activity can help you feel better, less stressed, and more energetic. Find an activity you enjoy, and you will be more likely stick with with it.

Managing Your Time
Learning some time management skills will help you throughout your life. Make a schedule, get organized by using a planner, write to-do lists and cross off tasks as you complete them, take a large task and break it down into smaller, more manageable parts. Check out the Educational Resource Center to get help with this.

Sleep deprivation can increase stress levels, affect your immune system, and make it difficult to concentrate or learn new information. Getting enough sleep helps you manage stress, recharge, and focus. It is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.

Find time to take breaks, relax, and have fun. Listen to music, take a yoga class, get involved in clubs/groups with common interests, make plans with friends, or find a quiet spot for some time to yourself.

Talk to Someone
Changes in relationships, roommate difficulties, and worrying about exams may add to your levels of stress. Talk to a supportive family member, friend, or health professional. Seek help from an on-campus resource like Student Health Services when you need advice on coping with a stressful situation.

Be patient and don’t be too hard on yourself. It takes time to figure out what works best for you!

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Phone Interviews

February 18th, 2016 in Resource, Tips

JancourtzBy Deborah Jancourtz, Assistant Director, Counseling & Programs

Congratulations! An employer would like to interview you! However, they are not requesting an in-person interview but a TELEPHONE INTERVIEW!

Increasingly, employers are using phone interviews as a cost effective and efficient way to screen candidates before inviting them in for a longer in-person interview, which may involve meeting with many employees and/or managers. A phone interview is usually 15-30 minutes long and is conducted by a member of Human Resources department and/or the hiring manager. There may be only person interviewing you, or there might be several.

Most employers will schedule a pre-arranged interview time via email or phone. If an employer calls you unexpectedly to interview you on the spot, it is acceptable to say “now is not a good time.” Let them know you are eager to speak with them and ask what other time would work for them. This way you can prepare for the phone interview with an optimal outcome, an invitation for an in-person interview.

Before the Phone Interview

If you have a landline, use it to get the best reception. If you’ll be using your cell phone, make sure it is completely charged prior to the interview. Arrange for a quiet room, away from roommates, noisy backgrounds, and distractions. The Center for Career Development (CCD) has rooms available for telephone interviews. To reserve a room, call 617-353-3590.

As with any interview, take time to research the organization and the position. If you need help practicing for your phone interview, start with Handshake’s Big Interview. This is a 24/7 online tool accessible from the resources tab in Handshake. Also, our career counselors can help you sharpen your skills in one-on-one mock interviews. Jot down some questions you may want to ask at the end of the phone interview. Check out our website for suggestions of questions to ask.

During the Phone Interview

As in face-to-face interviews, the interviewer will not only pay attention to your answers, but also to your level of self-confidence, verbal communication skills, personality, and enthusiasm. Speak clearly and slowly and smile through the phone! Ask the interviewer if he or she can hear you clearly.

Set up your space 10 minutes before the phone interview with a few items in front of you. First, have a copy of your resume and cover letter so you can easily reference your experience. Second, have a pen and paper for notes and questions. Third, have your prepared list of questions.

Lastly, have a cheat sheet of the skills, accomplishments, and information you want the interviewer to know about you.

If you need a minute to formulate an answer, please let the interviewer know. Silence does not work well over the phone.

At the end of the interview, you will be given a few minutes to ask the interviewer some questions (the ones you prepared ahead of time!). This will show the interviewer that you have done your homework about the organization and the position and make you a stronger candidate. Before hanging up, let the interviewer know how much you are interested in the position and ask about next steps. Ask for the contact information (address, email, phone number) for all the people who interviewed you to send a thank-you note and/or email.

After the Phone Interview:

Write down any information that you will need to remember about the position or organization.

As with an in-person interview, write a thank-you note and/or email to all of the people on the other end of the phone. In addition to expressing appreciation for their time, reiterate why you feel you are a great fit for the position and that you welcome the opportunity for an on-site interview to further discuss your candidacy.

Phone interviews can be tricky since you are not able to see the interviewers’ facial expressions and body language. However, if you prepare well, you will certainly reach your goal: an in-person, on-site interview.

What’s the best thing about a phone interview? Not having to wear a suit!

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Resource Spotlight: GoinGlobal

January 21st, 2016 in Resource, Tips

BrillBy Martha Brill, Assistant Director, Counseling and Programs

If you are planning to travel, study, or work abroad, or if you are an international student wanting to stay in the United States, you should take advantage of GoinGlobal. GoinGlobal is a multi-functional system that offers updated, valuable information on worldwide resources for internship and job searches, cultural-specific advice by country and city, and an employer guide with a database searchable by location. You can access GoinGlobal by logging in to Handshake.

Country Career Guides
Each guide includes pertinent information to be used in making your global transition easier. Check out available topics including: job search resources, nonprofits and volunteer organizations, industry and employment trends, top companies, professional and social networking, embassy listings, work permits and visas, and more. There are guides for more than 40 countries, and each has been written by local experts for that specific country.

USA/Canada City Career Guides
If you are planning to stay in the United States, this section provides information specific to the city of your choice for more than 50 U.S. and Canadian cities. Each of guides includes a city overview, cost of living, industry and employment trends for that location, chamber of commerce information, and networking resources to grow your contacts. It also provides a list of location-specific organizations that have sponsored H1B visas.

Job Postings and Internship Listings
There are more than 16 million positions posted on GoinGlobal at any one time. The postings are updated on a daily basis and are gathered from numerous search engines. You can make your search as specific or open-ended as you like. Choose a city and country and search in English or the native language using key words. This will give you an idea of job titles related to your field of choice. You can also search by job title or organization name.

H1B Visa Info
The H1B visa section gives you information about organizations that have submitted H1B visa petitions (applications) to the U.S. government. This information is updated annually and comes from the U.S. Department of Labor. There are more than 400,000 records, which can be searched by location or sorted by company and number of petitions. For example, you can identify organizations that have larger numbers of submitted applications to help identify ones that might be willing to hire an international student.

Employer Directory
The Employer Directory is updated quarterly and includes more than 450,000 records. You can browse by U.S. state or by county. You can also search by keyword as well as organization name or size. You can also use a NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) number, which allows you to look at employers by industry classification.

GoinGlobal is a valuable resource for you to take advantage of and is a must for those planning to go abroad. If you are interested in knowing more you can watch a webinar that gives more detailed information about what GoinGlobal can do for you located in the training section. Enjoy your global exploration!

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