Site Content

Heart of the Matter

Andy Chan's Blog for Parents, Mentors and Teachers

Blog

Leveraging LinkedIn

At Wake Forest, we are fortunate to have a very strong, supportive and connected alumni network. While the OPCD staff sometimes provides direct connections to alumni, we always teach our students how to make these connections on their own. With every student, we strive to fulfill the proverb, “If you feed a man a fish, he eats for a day. If you teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime.”

I asked one of our career counselors, Patrick Sullivan, to share his tips on how to tap into the Wake Forest network using LinkedIn, the network we have cultivated to include over 2,000 current Wake Forest students and over 18,000 alumni.

Clarify and broaden the “target contact” market.  When a recent graduate asked how to contact Wake Forest “alumni with architecture degrees”, Patrick asked the following questions to better understand what she was looking for and to broaden the potential market of target contacts who could be helpful to her.

  • Would she speak to Wake Forest alumni who are working architects (with or without a degree)?

  • Would she speak to Wake Forest alumni who are employed in architectural firms, regardless of role?

  • Who else might be helpful in providing her with useful information or connections to others in the architecture field?

As you can see, identifying contacts requires one to think like a detective. Work with your student to clarify the information she is seeking and brainstorm the largest possible ‘target contact’ market to pursue. This will play an important role in the way she searches for contacts and result in many more potential, and valuable, connections.

Create a great LinkedIn profile. We have found LinkedIn to be the most useful way to connect with, and ask questions of, Wake Forest alumni – there are over 4,000 in the Wake Forest Career Connectors group – a group we created specifically to provide guidance and connections for current students. If your student does not already have a LinkedIn profile, direct them to the OPCD website for specific suggestions on how to create a positive, professional LinkedIn profile.

Use LinkedIn Advanced Search. Here are three key tips to find Wake Forest alumni.  We’ll continue using the search for Architecture contacts in this example, but your student can apply the same approach to their area of interest.  Each of the searches will require your student to use Advanced Search mechanism at the top of the LinkedIn home page.

  • Tip #1 – Search using the School and Industry fields.
    Put “Wake Forest” in the School field and select “Architecture & Planning” from the Industries field.   This search returned more than 80 alumni working in the Architecture and Planning industry.

  • Tip #2 – Search using School and Title fields.
    Put “Wake Forest” in the School field and search for the term “Architect” in the Title field.  This search brought back a large number of results, including architects, but is made even more effective by adding the suggestions in Tactic #3.

  • Tactic #3 – Search using School and Keyword fields.
    Put “Wake Forest” in the School field and use the Keyword field to search for terms that are unique to that industry or profession.  In the case of Architecture, using the terms LEED or AIA would bring back relevant results.

Ask for advice, feedback, and suggestions.  Once your student has identified alumni of interest, encourage them to connect via LinkedIn, with the goal of conducting an “informational interview.”  Why should your student start by asking for an informational interview rather than for a job or internship?  Our experience indicates that alumni are often happy to provide information about their field, so taking the informational interview approach is likely to “open the door”.  Asking for a job or internship runs the risk of having the door close as the alumnus your student is targeting may not be in a position to hire, and the may reply with a simple “Sorry I can’t help you” or give no answer at all. Remind your student to highlight the Wake Forest affiliation and make it clear to the contact that their goal is to gather information and ask questions. Here are more specific suggestions on how to best approach and conduct informational interviews.

Plug into multiple networks.  Finally, while we strongly encourage our students to utilize the Wake Forest alumni network, it’s important to recognize that most students have access to other networks – friends and family, high school classmates and teachers, athletic teams and coaches, and many other affinity groups. Brainstorm with your student to think about all of the networks they could plug into (including your own) and help them identify specific targets to connect with.

Whether your student is conducting informational interviews, seeking contacts in a specific organization, or wanting to learn about career paths that may be of interest to them, encourage your student to think broadly and to fully leverage LinkedIn.

 

No Internship? Tips to Make the Most of Your Summer

Most students eagerly anticipate the summertime – warm, sunny days, relaxing by the pool or beach, and catching up with friends from home. But summer is a critical time for learning about the world of work, exploring possible career fields and building marketable professional skills. Some students will accomplish these things through internships, but there are many ways your student can do the same even if s/he has other plans this summer. Share these tips with your student so that s/he can make the most of the summer – and begin building the foundation for future college-to-career success.

  1. Volunteer. Identify organizations (for profit or non-profit) that you find of interest and inquire if they could use any help this summer. Suggest projects that you’d like to work on and can help you develop knowledge and skills in areas that interest you. Your initial good work could lead to additional projects, helpful connections and possibly even a small bonus at the end of the summer.
  2. Take on extra responsibilities. You may see your summer job as just a way to make a few bucks or possibly something that you have little interest of doing in the future. Explore the possibility of doing more than what you are hired to do. For example, if you are a waiter, lifeguard, or camp counselor, ask if you can help with the social media account or office operations or managing and training others. If the organization does not have social media presence, volunteer to create and run the account in addition to your other responsibilities.
  3. Take free classes. With a little digging, you can find free classes – either online or in your community – in which you can learn marketable skills or knowledge that will help you be more competitive in your future internship or job searches. Learning Excel, Powerpoint, Presi, Access, basic finance and budgeting or how to sell, market or negotiate will set you apart from others and increase your capabilities and self-confidence.
  4. Conduct informational interviews. Dedicate time this to learning about interesting jobs and careers and building your professional network. Beginning with your “Adult Fans” of family and friends, conduct informational interviews to receive insights, feedback and advice on careers and jobs that interest you. See the OPCD Informational Interviewing page for a list of good questions, an elevator speech worksheet, and a networking tracking tool, as well as what you must know before you enter each conversation.
  5. Job Shadow. Learn more about a particular organization, job or career field, by ‘job shadowing’. It’s a very easy and helpful way to understand what it’s really like and to get answers that are otherwise somewhat difficult to obtain. Ask a family member or family friend for an introduction to one of their friends who works in your area of interest and then ask to spend a half day or day shadowing her. Ask if she could arrange for you to talk with a few colleagues while you are there so you can learn as much as possible.

Save the Date – NYC Connects with Wake Forest!

New York City is always one of the most popular destinations for Wake Forest graduates. In fact 90 students of the class of 2012 (12% of those answering our survey), landed in New York for their first job out of college.

nyc

To help our students and recent graduates who want to live and work in New York, Wake Forest is hosting a networking event called Wake Forest Connects – NYC on June 5th from 6:00–9:00 PM at The Westin New York Grand Central hotel. This event is designed to facilitate connections between undergrad and graduate students, alumni, parents and friends who live and work in the New York area.

The event will kick-off with an industry panel who will share advice, tips and strategies for effective networking. The panel will consist of five Wake Forest alumni working in media/entertainment, finance, public relations, and fashion.

Alumni Panel:

  • Dave Hanson, ’05: Managing Partner, Hanson Wells Partners

  • Sheereen Miller-Russell,’00 Vice President, Ad Sales at Viacom Media Networks (MTV and VH1)

  • Laura Mills, ’05: Account Supervisor at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide

  • Caroline Naughton, ’11: Network and Digital Sales Assistant, Disney ABC Television Group

  • Pam Shively, ’08: Senior Account Executive at Foley + Corinna (Apparel & Fashion)

Following the panel discussion, students will have an opportunity to participate in structured networking in small groups of 8-10 with professionals representing a broader set of careers and industries. The evening will end with an open reception for all participants at the LCL: Bar and Kitchen , located in The Westin New York Grand Central.

Parents, if your student has a summer job in NYC this summer, encourage him or her to attend this event. Your student will receive valuable advice and connections that could help in securing a full-time job in NY. If you are interested in attending the event as an experienced networking connection, please contact Lori Sykes at sykeslh@nullwfu.edu.

Register here: https://secure.www.wfu.edu/alumni/clubs/?club=NY-NYC

Tips to Rock that Summer Internship

Internships play a critical role in today’s career development process. They serve several key functions that increase a student’s clarity about their fit in the world of work as well as making a student a more competitive applicant for full-time positions. Additionally, if an intern performs well, a full-time job offer may be extended at the end of summer. Even if an internship does not result in an offer, an intern’s co-workers and manager will be some of a student’s most important references when applying for other opportunities. For these reasons, performing well in an internship has never been more important. To help your child make the most of this opportunity, share with him this list of tips developed by Patrick Sullivan, our Associate Director for Career Education & Counseling.

  1. Work hard – Do whatever is needed and do not assume that your education equips you with so much knowledge that executing low-level projects is beneath you. Don’t be the intern that turns their nose up at the “little” jobs.
  2. Seek extra work – Show your willingness to go above and beyond the job description. Be proactive in asking for more projects and responsibilities. Look for opportunities to assist co-workers and volunteer for assignments that interest you.
  3. Develop your skills – Challenge yourself by helping out with projects requiring you to develop skills that you don’t use very often. Observe the skills used by people in the kinds of positions in which you envision yourself working, and polish those skills.
  4. Be a team player – In today’s workplace, more and more work is project-oriented, which means you will be working on teams. If you are a strong team player, you will be a strong intern.
  5. Seek feedback – Get a sense for what you do well and what you need to improve.  Ask for specific suggestions on how you can get better and make it a point to do so.
  6. Network with co-workers – Everyone you meet is a potential member of your network. The more people who know you and your work, the more support you will have when it comes to turning your internship into a full-time job. Some of these co-workers will act as workplace references for you should you decide to conduct your job search in another career sector or company.
  7. Find a mentor – A mentor can make a big difference. If you have the opportunity, try to develop a relationship with someone who can guide and support you in your internship, your efforts to secure a full-time offer and beyond. Ask to take that person to coffee to learn about their experiences and career path.
  8. Establish yourself as a leader  Some corporations offer structured intern programs that involve social and professional development opportunities in addition to work assignments. Why not take the lead on a professional development program for interns if your organization doesn’t have one? Set up weekly brown bag lunches that feature relevant speakers or informational sessions. You’ll not only expand your (and your peers’) experiences, you’ll make an impression as a leader and a go-getter.
  9. Don’t get ahead of yourself  When you’re already known as the rock star intern, it’s easy to get complacent or even cocky. Remember that you are always interviewing for the next level. Landing an internship and completing it isn’t enough, in and of itself, to convert the experience into a job offer. How you end an internship is often the difference between one summer’s experience and long-term employment.
  10. Stay in touch – Leave on the best possible terms. Always thank your manager for the internship. Connect with colleagues on LinkedIn. And if you are interested in working at the organization full-time, by all means, ask about openings.

For more tips, encourage your student to follow our new Professional Confessional blog. This summer, experts from the OPCD, employers, and current student interns will be providing guidance and advice to help current student interns make the most of their experience.

Students Helping Students

At Wake Forest, there is peer tutoring available for calculus, biology, Spanish, and British literature amongst other subjects; so why not for career related topics? Well, now there is.

Five senior business students are volunteering their time to assist underclassmen of all majors in their career development by connecting them with resources during evening hours on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights. These students are called the UBCC Fellows and will be assisting the Undergraduate Business Career Center counselors by sharing their job and internship search experiences, discussing the resources and strategies they used effectively, and examining the different business options available to students. There is one UBCC Fellow representing each of the undergraduate business majors.

  • Steven Millard – Finance
  • Jenny Turner – Business & Enterprise Management
  • Nick Stanzione – Math Business
  • Andrew Russell – Math Finance
  • Megan Mancosh – Accountancy

The UBCC Fellows will be available to answer questions students may have regarding: networking, resumes, interviews, the business school, or just share their experience with job search process. There is no appointment necessary so students are welcome to stop by Manchester 245 on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights from 8:00 – 10:00 PM.

Parents, this is a great resource for your undergraduate student who is hoping to learn more about the career process as well as business career fields. Encourage your first-year or sophomore student to stop by one night to discuss potential career fields and the steps necessary to get there.

Professional Development at Wake Forest

Like a train moving full steam ahead, so is the semester nearing its end, and Wake Forest students are getting excited about what the summer months hold for them. Whether they are embarking on their first job, internship, graduate school, or other experience, your students can and should start to prepare now by building important professional and life skills necessary for life outside of college. Thanks to the leadership and hard work of Allison McWilliams and Amy Willard, the OPCD has a robust Professional Development department that provides tools, resources, and a framework to guide your students in developing their professional selves.

According to the 2013 NACE Job Outlook survey, an annual survey of employers, the most sought-after skills (in order of importance) that they look for in recent college graduates are: 1) oral communication; 2) teamwork; 3) problem-solving; 4) organizational skills; 5) critical thinking; 6) analytical skills; 7) technical knowledge; 8) computer skills; 9) written communication; and 10) interpersonal skills. At Wake Forest, students have the opportunity to develop these skills through their academic coursework; research opportunities; educational workshops; and experiential activities such as internships, student organizations, study abroad, and volunteer experiences. In addition, we have created a skill-building directory that allows students to search for and find opportunities where they can begin acquiring these critical skills.

In addition to these key skill areas, financial literacy is critical to post-graduation success. Research increasingly indicates that students possess aloof attitudes and behaviors toward fiscal responsibility until faced with debt and expenses that comes with living on their own for the first time. According to Everfi’s survey of 40,000 first-year college students, “Nearly 80 percent of students said that they “frequently” worry about debt.  Yet many of them also acknowledged risky financial behavior, such as carrying a credit-card balance of $1,000 or more.” To combat this, the Office of Personal and Career Development has partnered with the National Endowment for Financial Education to offer CashCourse, a free online interactive financial literacy tool for Wake Forest students. CashCourse provides topical advice and resources to students delivered through worksheets, financial calculators, quizzes, courses, videos, and budget guides to help students build financial literacy and make sound fiscal decisions now, in order to prepare them for their future.

At Wake Forest, we are committed to preparing your students for their lives outside of college, by equipping them with the tools, resources, and knowledge they will need to be successful, positive contributors to society. CashCourse and the Skill-Building Directory are just two examples of how we are constantly seeking new and innovative ways to provide the guidance and information that students need. Check them out and let us know what you think!

Value of a Liberal Arts Education

The value of a college education and its relevance to this century’s world of work is being questioned around dinner tables, in high schools and college dorms, in the national media, by governors and legislators, and by President Obama in his State of the Union address. Many of these conversations have focused on liberal arts institutions because economic factors, low job placement rates, and an ever-increasing tuition price tag have opened the door for critics to vilify these institutions as little more than petty thieves stealing from the uninformed. In fact, in efforts to help families make more educated decisions, private companies as well as the Department of Education, with its College Scorecard, have developed tools to measure and rate schools based on factors such as cost, graduation rate, loan default rate, median borrowing, and employment.

The prevailing argument is that students should study or major in something “employable,” something that is directly correlated to a job in a high paying career field. This view is espoused by many parents and national leaders, including politicians on both sides of the aisle. Many have called for additional STEM majors as well as eliminating funding for “softer” disciplines. North Carolina’s recently elected Governor Pat McCrory has stated publicly that he is against taxpayer dollars supporting disciplines such as Philosophy and Women & Gender Studies because they “have no chance of getting people jobs.”

However, Governor McCrory and others are operating under a false assumption: that a student’s area of study dictates his or her employability. As I stated in my Op-Ed in the Charlotte Observer, a specific academic focus is not required to secure employment nor is directly correlated with success in many careers such as account management, consulting, marketing, program and project management, analyst, sales, research, and many more. In his rebuttal to Governor McCrory, Wake Forest Professor of Classics Michael Sloan explains how college students are trained through a liberal arts curriculum to develop valuable skills and competencies that employers seek. Robert Zimmer, president of the University of Chicago, echoes this sentiment in his AAC&U article. The true problem, then, is that most colleges and universities do not provide their students with sufficient guidance and support to connect their interests, values, strengths and skills to the world of work.

At Wake Forest, through the support of President Nathan Hatch and the work of the Office of Personal & Career Development, we have significantly increased the resources available to students. While other institutions are cutting career office budgets by an average of 16% this year, Wake Forest is boldly investing millions of dollars in personal and career development. In fact, Wake Forest’s approach has been so transformative that our office has fielded inquiries and visits from over 100 institutions to learn more about our model and successes. To address these important issues and the demand for more information by all higher education institutions, Wake Forest hosted a national conference in April 2012 entitled “Rethinking Success: From the Liberal Arts to Careers in the 21st Century” which examined role and value of a liberal arts education.

One of the main drivers of our success has been the holistic approach we take to personal and career development. As described in a recent AAC&U article, our students are contacted as early as their first year on campus and kept engaged through innovative career courses, partnerships with faculty, alumni and employers, and other innovative programs. Students are taken through a progression of four questions: “Who am I?” “What shall I do?” “How will I get there?” and “Once there, how will I be successful?” While career offices at most schools focus exclusively on the third question related to job search skills and job development, the OPCD guides Wake Forest students navigate each stage of the process with clarity, competence, and confidence.

Additionally, we are partnering with employers – many of whom are alumni and parents – to not only provide our students with increased exploratory opportunities and connections for full-time jobs and internships, but to also better understand the needs of the marketplace. Subsequently, our students can make informed decisions about their career interests and be well-prepared for networking, interviews and on-the-job success. Employer partnerships resulted in several recent career exploration opportunities: A career trek to Bermuda for 17 students over spring break to meet with executives in the insurance and risk management industry; job shadowing at local organizations for over 60 students in the College To Career courses; career treks for 45 Wake Forest students to Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. in partnership with the University of Chicago and Stanford University; and a career trek to Washington, D.C. for 20 students to network with nine hot startups who are actively hiring college students.

We are very fortunate at Wake Forest to have an administration that has committed to making personal and career development a mission critical component of the undergraduate student experience. Parents, encourage your student to take advantage of the extensive resources available. No matter where your student is in in the process, the OPCD is ready to help.

Online Job Search and Career Resources

Even though the OPCD’s office is open from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm Monday – Friday, we realize college students operate on a different schedule. In order to ensure our tools and resources are available to Wake Forest students at any time night or day, we have identified a wide variety of quality resources that are available on our website 24 hours a day. Some of these resources are offered by reputable third parties and are paid for by Wake Forest (which would cost a student or alumnus hundreds of dollars if they had to purchase access on their own); others have been developed through partnerships with other colleges and universities; and some have been created by the OPCD team and are specifically designed for Wake Forest students.

Our foremost challenge is getting students to know about and use all these resources in their career development and job search process. Many students mistakenly think that DeaconSource is the only online resource they need and are left unhappy because it did not meet their expectations. DeaconSource is a very important tool that enables students to receive tailored information and news from the OPCD based on their interests, yet students still need to look further and utilize other resources to find what they really need.

Parents – you can help your student by making them aware of the online resources that fit with their interests and needs. Below is a list of some of the most valuable and utilized resources on the OCPD website.

Job and Internship Search 

  • Career Shift – Online networking tool that enables jobseekers to identify, research and cross-reference jobs and contacts.
  • Going Global – Features 33 Country Career guides, 43 USA City Career guides, corporate profiles and more than 600,000 internship and job listings within the USA and around the world.
  • The Internship Center – Online internship database that categorizes popular internships by city and career field.

Interview Preparation

  • Interview Stream – Practice mock interviewing from your computer any place, any time. Tailored questions are available by career field and you can get feedback on your mock interviews from friends, mentors, parents, career counselors and advisors.
  • STAR Method Worksheet – Interview preparation worksheet to help students organize their responses to behavioral interview questions by the Situations and Tasks they encountered, the Actions they took, and the Results they achieved.

Networking

  • Wake Forest Career Connectors – LinkedIn group of over 6000 alumni, students, parents, and faculty dedicated to providing advice and information to current Wake Forest students. Instructional videos guide students to build professional LinkedIn profiles. At least 50% of the Wake Forest student body is connected on LinkedIn each year.
  • Networking Tracking Tool – Pre-formatted Excel template helps students organize and track their opportunities and contacts.
  • Vault – Huge library of career and industry guides helps students in their research and exploration. Very useful before meeting networking contacts and conducting informational interviews in order to avoid asking basic questions and to be well-prepared for the conversation.

These are just a few of the many resources available to students. More online job search and career development tools and resources can be found on the OPCD website.

Tips for Success in the Global Marketplace

When I speak about what is required for colleges to better prepare students for the world of work, one important component is for educators to spend time with employers. This allows faculty and staff to better understand what is expected of students in internships and full-time jobs. In doing so, educators can modify curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular experiences so that students learn and develop the competencies necessary to not only secure great jobs, but to be successful throughout their careers. In essence, I am promoting more ‘Employer-Education Partnerships’ to fully realize, and significantly elevate, the value of a college education.

With our strong employer relations team and their efforts, this type of partnership is occurring with greater frequency at Wake Forest. Last Tuesday, Wake Forest brought together higher education leaders from Wake Forest and other institutions, industry executives, and national experts to participate in the Diversity & Inclusion Symposium, commemorating Wake Forest’s 50th anniversary of racial integration. The symposium provided an opportunity for participants to share research, best practices, and ideas to prepare students to be effective employees in the 21st century diverse and global workforce.

At Wake Forest, we have begun to transform our own institutional culture by expanding our definition of diversity to include constituencies who have historically been underrepresented or underserved, but are now increasing in the nation and on our campus. While “diversity” used to be a code word for Black; today it also encompasses Latinos, Asians, American Indians, people of mixed racial heritage, women, women in STEM disciplines, LGBTQ individuals, people with disabilities, multiple generations, first generation college students, religious pluralism, economically disadvantaged students, international students, recent immigrant groups, and other bounded social identity groups.

In an increasingly competitive and global economy, where talent is crucial to improving the bottom line, pooling from the largest and most diverse set of candidates is vitally important for organizations to succeed in our global marketplace. In addition, it’s crucial for organizations to create an inclusive environment and culture that cultivates diversity-inspired creativity and teamwork.

I had the opportunity to moderate a panel of employers on the topic, “Defining Core Cultural Competencies for Graduates Entering a Global Marketplace”.  The panel agreed on several key actions that students should take as they enter the workplace for internships, full-time jobs or graduate school.

  • Find a mentor. When 75% of executives link their career progress to mentoring, it’s apparent that mentors are especially important for students transitioning into their first full-time job or into a new organization. Many students find their new work environments very difficult to navigate because it is so different from the college campus environment, relationships and expectations. A mentor can provide perspective, advice, and information on how to navigate obstacles, understand the office culture, and how to take advantage of opportunities. For more information, read this article featuring advice from Dr. Allison McWilliams, the director of Wake Forest’s Mentoring Resource Center.
  • Understand and appreciate the organization’s culture. A memorable analogy was made by panelist Debra Langford comparing new hires joining an organization to players joining a team. As a member of the team, there is a uniform you must wear, a coach you must obey, and a set of team rules you must follow. Too often, students ignore culture in their job search and mistakenly think that they will have the same freedoms at work as they did in college. Students must seek out information about an organization’s culture to ensure they will be a good fit; and once on-the-job, they must fit in with the culture in order to earn the opportunity to gain more responsibilities.
  • Understand what differentiates employees (it’s not just knowledge). Over the last decade with the availability of information via the internet, employees can no longer define their value by just what they know. Increasingly, the most valuable employees are the ones who know what information is important (critical analysis and discernment), enlist the cooperation and support of others (interpersonal and relationship-building skills), present their arguments in persuasive ways (communication and influencing skills) and work in diverse teams and think with a global perspective (teamwork and cultural competence). Students who develop these competencies while in school and early in their careers will quickly find opportunities and be competitive for opportunities in the future.

Preparing for the Summer Internship

So your child has just landed his or her internship for the summer. Congratulations! A pat on the back or a celebratory dinner is certainly in order, but don’t let him or her make the mistake of believing that just getting the internship is enough.

College students have more reasons than ever to make the most of their summer internships. According to a recent report by Michigan State University and the Collegiate Employment Research Institute, the importance of internships has steadily increased over the last decade and they are now many organizations’ primary source of talent recruitment.

In an internship, performing well, developing transferable skills and fostering strong relationships are crucial. Even if a full-time job offer does not follow, managers of high-performing student interns often become the students’ biggest advocates in future job searches. With the transformed global knowledge-worker economy of the 21st Century, the stakes and the competition are higher than ever.

The first step towards a successful summer is preparation. In order to help students hit the ground running in their internships, here are some tips developed by Patrick Sullivan, our Associate Director of Career Education & Counseling and affectionately known in the OPCD as the “Intern King”:

  1. Know what to expect – Get as familiar as possible with the environment in which you will be working. If you haven’t already, download a Vault Career Guide from the OPCD site and review the information in the book to get more familiar with the industry and setting in which you will be working.
  2. Be prepared – If you have a working relationship with someone at the organization where you will be employed, contact them to ask about the kind of tasks you will be doing during the internship. If you recognize that you need to build up a particular set of knowledge or skills, find ways to build those competencies.
  3. Do your research – Begin to follow the news related to the organization and subject area on which you will be working. Seek out articles in newspapers and magazines. Set up a Google News Alert on the organization, your functional area, notable executives and any other topics your research indicates will be important during your employment. You can set these searches to deliver news on daily, weekly, or ongoing basis.
  4. Plan ahead
    • Find Housing: The OPCD has identified to numerous seasonal housing sites and resources organized by city. Click this link to find housing in Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Los Angeles, NYC, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Texas, and Washington, D.C and other locations.
    • Prepare a Budget: Utilize tools like CashCourse or Mint.com to set a budget and track your spending.
    • Learn about your city: Use local websites, newspapers, and contacts to learn about transportation, events, restaurants and other things to do in your neighborhood and city. Connect with alumni and classmates via the LinkedIn Wake Forest Career Connectors group to ask for help and advice in your new city.


Later this spring, we’ll ask Patrick for his top ten tips for a successful summer internship. Stay tuned!