Posts tagged ‘IMHO’

I.M.H.O: You are NOT there for the food

I.M.H.O (In My Humble Opinion) is an ongoing series of posts written by guest authors who have been there, done that…and have great stories to show for it.

The Doctor is in! Michael “Dr. Woody” Woodward, PhD is a CEC certified coach trained in the field of organizational psychology. Dr. Woody is author of The YOU Plan: A 5-step Guide to Taking Charge of Your Career in the New Economy! He has appeared on CNN International, Fox News, Fox Business, Daytime, CBS, and the Bravo Network.

Yes, you might be a starving student and times are tough. I know that, particularly when someone else is paying the bill, it’s hard to resist the temptation to indulge. However, when it comes to the art of the lunch interview, trust me…you aren’t there for the food!

I’ll never forget a lunch I had with a former student of mine. She was a star student from a psychology class I taught. I was very excited to see her as she had recently started her first job out of school. She was just learning the ropes and wanted some advice on how to work in the business world. She was about to teach herself a valuable lesson.

Just a few minutes into the meeting I was quickly reminded of how new she was to this game. When the server came over she promptly ordered the restaurant’s signature “monster” burger loaded with everything… and then some. My immediate thought was “Good grief girl, what are you thinking!” As she was a somewhat dainty young woman, I knew this would present a unique impediment to good conversation. However, I decided to say nothing and let her learn for herself.

Needless to say, when this half-slab of a cow showed up oozing at all sides, her face was overcome with concern. Yes, the kind of concern that would be rather distracting in any scenario, but particularly a business meeting. For the remainder of the lunch the poor girl struggled to battle this hallmark of American fare, desperately trying to protect her white silk blouse. Ultimately, the burger won and the white blouse lost along with any hope of making a good impression. Fortunately, she learned a good lesson in the presence of an ally.

As you head to your next lunch meeting, remember–it’s not about the food, it’s about the conversation. And while this may prevent you from ordering your favorite option on the menu, it will allow you to carry on a conversation.  You know, without your mouth full.

Dr. Woody’s new book, The YOU Plan: A 5-step Guide to Taking Charge of Your Career in the New Economy! is now available in bookstores.

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January 24, 2011 at 9:56 am 1 comment

I.M.H.O.: From college…to college?

David Ross is an Associate Director in Career Services at the University of Pennsylvania.  His experience includes positions in employer relations in the MBA Career Management office at Georgetown University and at the Toppel Career Center at the University of Miami.  He holds degrees from Olin Business School and the University of Pennsylvania. David is an avid NBA basketball and NFL football fan and enjoys mysteries, comedies, music and investing in the stock market.

After much anticipation, the pieces of the puzzle slowly began to fall in place:  I finally decided what majors and minor to declare.  My interest in marketing inspired visions of an exciting and dynamic career.  All that was left was obtaining the ever-elusive summer internship.  I was a business school undergraduate and, according to conventional wisdom, my upcoming summer internship would greatly influence my future job prospects.  Reflecting back on that summer, my experience did just that – albeit in an unexpected fashion.

I was certain I’d make my mark in the corporate world and follow the path of many business school students from years past.  But as my luck would have it, I didn’t work in marketing or the corporate sector that summer.  I ended up working at a university in two different offices that would ultimately set the stage for a rewarding and meaningful career path.  All I can remember back then was thinking how trying something different was very risky – and believe me, I was risk averse.

Even though many of the details are now just a memory, my decision to spend that summer working in a university environment led me to my chosen profession.  My eyes were opened to the benefits of working in academia – even though the idea seemed too far-fetched at the time.  While I clearly found the atmosphere intriguing, I kept trying to convince myself to pursue other career opportunities with the caveat that maybe, just maybe, I’d be working in academia someday.

After working in university career services for several years, I feel fortunate to have found my niche.  I enjoy my job, the work environment  and continue to use my business education quite frequently.

So keep an open mind.  And think of your summer as a chance to have a different experience – who knows, you may just discover a new career possibility.

David is an occasional blogger for Penn & Beyond – the Career Services blog.

January 17, 2011 at 9:09 am 1 comment

IMHO: 3 tips from a young entrepreneur

I.M.H.O (In My Humble Opinion) is an ongoing series of posts written by guest authors who have been there, done that…and have great stories to show for it.

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This week we have a post written by Jeremy Levine, who has written for us before about his journey from Intern to Founder. Be sure to check out Jeremy on CNN , follow him @JerLevine and most importantly get trading on The Sports Stock Market.

3 Keys to Landing that Dream Internship (or Job) and Making the Most of it:

(1) Follow Your Heart
Find a company that is doing something you are passionate about. You are only going to love doing something you really care about, and it’s not worth doing something you don’t love.

(2) Hustle Your Ass Off
Once you find the company of your dreams, reach out to their leaders and be impressive. Don’t just send a resume, but prove you can help. Resumes these days mean next to nothing. You’re not going to get your dream job or internship by just firing off your resume and hoping. Learn about the company you’re interested in, make suggestions, be helpful, impress them, and be importantly be persistent. One email isn’t going to do it. Be aggressive and creative.

If you want to be a designer for a company, show them what you’d change and actually do it, impress them and they will want you. I know right now we are looking for a designer (hint hint) and if you were to send us a beautiful redesign of our splash-page, tell us why you think it would convert better and what you’d do to measure it I’d be damn tempted to hire you on the spot.

If you want a internship or job with a startup you have a much better shot by sending an email of feedback and linking to your profile on Twitter or Quora than you do by sending a resume. On that note, be thoughtful in the email you send. If you want to work at StarStreet tell me why. I want to hear that it gets you juiced up, and you should be sure to show me why we’d be crazy not to hire you.

(3) Be Open and Honest
Make sure the company/leaders you are working for know exactly what you want to get out of it. If they don’t know they can’t help you. I would love to have someone tell me “I want to be a founder, and I’d like to intern for 6 months to learn how to do it . (Oh and PS, I’m sure I can help you, here’s what I’d do for you…)”

Once you land that dream gig, make sure you are always communicating what’s on your mind. To often it’s easy to think people can read your mind. They can’t, so if something isn’t working be sure to get it out there as early as possible, no good can come from waiting.

Bottom line: Every company is always looking for all-star people. If you can prove to a company that you can help them they will hire you, simple as that. Now just prove it.

January 3, 2011 at 1:00 pm Leave a comment

I.M.H.O: Beware the Office Holiday Party

I.M.H.O (In My Humble Opinion) is an ongoing series of posts written by guest authors who have been there, done that…and have great stories to show for it.

The Doctor is in! Michael “Dr. Woody” Woodward, PhD is a CEC certified coach trained in the field of organizational psychology. Dr. Woody is author of The YOU Plan: A 5-step Guide to Taking Charge of Your Career in the New Economy! He has appeared on CNN International, Fox News, Fox Business, Daytime, CBS, and the Bravo Network.

The holiday season is in full swing, which means your office holiday party is likely just around the corner. These always seem like a great way to get on the management radar screen, particularly if you are an intern. The casual setting and festive atmosphere make for a great opportunity to strike up conversations with decision makers and influencers you typically wouldn’t get the chance to chat with. However, the holiday party can also be an opportunity to fall prey to some fatal missteps. So, when hitting that first office holiday party here are two common situations you should avoid:

“Free alcohol” doesn’t mean free-for-all: The open bar or unlocked liquor cabinet can be dangerous. Trust me… the first office party I ever went to is still a blur. The last thing you want is to wake-up to fuzzy memories of monkeying around with the photocopy machine or doing shots with the boss. Or his daughter. Bottom line, set your drink limit before you go to the party.

Avoid the office gossip column: This is a big one and often goes hand in hand with the first. I have seen many a colleague get baited into a conversation with the office gossip only to regret it later. Keep in mind these often engaging people are looking for allies to support their cause…and juicy tidbits to spread around the office the next day. Count on anything negative you say—about a colleague, a new project, your experience at the company–being shared out of context and in the worst possible light. Talk sports, holiday plans, food, whatever…but keep it positive.

Reputations have been shattered and opportunities have been lost all because of a little (or a lot of) holiday overindulgence. Again—work events can be a great chance to increase your visibility with management, but hopefully not in a way that would land you on the Fail Blog. Holiday words of wisdom: don’t get too comfortable, steer clear of the gossips, and go easy on the eggnog!

Dr. Woody’s new book, The YOU Plan: A 5-step Guide to Taking Charge of Your Career in the New Economy! is now available in bookstores.

December 14, 2010 at 10:00 am Leave a comment

I.M.H.O: Intern to Founder

I.M.H.O (In My Humble Opinion) is an ongoing series of posts written by guest authors who have been there, done that…and have great stories to show for it.

This week we have a post written by Jeremy Levine. Just over a year ago Jeremy was an intern for Accelgolf. Now he is the Founder of StarStreet – The Sports Stock Market, one of the hottest sports startups there is.  This is the story of his path and some of his tips on how to do it yourself. Be sure to check out Jeremy on CNN , follow him @JerLevine and most importantly get trading on The Sports Stock Market.

By the time I graduated college, I knew exactly what I wanted to do:  create a sports stock market. So I knew what I wanted to do, but had no idea how to do it. My entrepreneurship major wasn’t helping, I’m not technical, and I had no money or useful connections. I applied to a bunch of incubators (TechStars, Ycombinator, DreamIt), but being a single non-technical founder, I got rejected from each one.

I moved back home to Cambridge, MA, and decided I was going to go to every event I could and network as much as possible. I was lucky enough to meet Will Sulinski – the founder of AccelGolf – right as they started their great TechStars Boston program. Will offered me an internship so that he could “bounce ideas off me in exchange for me getting access to his whole network.” Of course I accepted! Throughout my time with AccelGolf, I was able to make essential connections, learn about how startups really work, and make more progress on StarStreet than I would have on my own. Becoming an intern was the best preparation to start my own company.

When my company really started to make progress, I left the internship to focus on StarStreet full time. Thanks to my internship connections, StarStreet got accepted into the 2010 TechStars Boston program and from there things started to take off.

From my point of view, there is a lot of power in the right internship. Just make sure you find something you are truly passionate about and know what you want to get out of it.

This post was written by Jeremy Levine the Founder of StarStreet – The Sports Stock Market.

December 6, 2010 at 3:36 pm Leave a comment

I.M.H.O: This is just a test.

I.M.H.O (In My Humble Opinion) is an ongoing series of posts written by guest authors who have been there, done that…and have great stories to show for it.

Meagan Johnson is a professional speaker and her clients include: Harley-Davidson, Dairy Queen, American Express, Loreal, Pepsi, Cadillac, Burger King, the C.I.A. and Bubba Gump Shrimp Company.  She is known as the Generational Humorist and she and her dad, professional speaker Larry Johnson, are co-authors of the book, Generations, Inc: From Boomers to Linksters, Managing the Friction Between Generations at Work. Meagan lives in Phoenix, AZ with her four dogs that have a total 15 legs (you do the math).

I agonized over choosing my major. I wasn’t a big fan of school to begin with. All I wanted to do was get it over as quickly as possible, but how was I going to do that if I couldn’t even choose a major?

One evening my dad called me out of the blue to see how I was doing. I told him I just didn’t think this was the right time for me to go to college because I couldn’t even figure out my major. He gave me some wonderful advice that shook me free of my paralysis and allowed me to enjoy college a bit more. My dad said, “What you major in does not matter.”

He explained that college is a four-year test. It answers the question for employers about whether you have the willpower, the problem solving skills and the stomach to get through college (and maintain your sanity).

Once you begin your career there are multiple opportunities, chance encounters and choices you will make that will take your career in directions you have never considered.

His advice allowed me to choose a major without worrying if I was making the “wrong” choice.

It also helped because when I was sitting in a class that bored me to tears (ahem, statistics) wondering “When will I ever use this in my life?”, I knew the answer.  That statistics course…and the accounting course…and even the photography course I took all contributed and to getting me my degree. The degree opened the door to my first job (which was during a recession) that lead to another opportunity that allowed me to create my own non-traditional career so that I get to do what I love to do everyday!

November 29, 2010 at 9:45 am Leave a comment


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