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In the Driver's Seat

Category Archives: College Career Centers

How a College Senior Can Build A Network in 3 Easy Steps

A panicked college senior at University of Michigan, my alma mater, contacted me recently. Dear Ms. Cheston, I’m graduating in May and have been applying for jobs with nothing to show for it. I’ve completed over 100 online applications and haven’t received one call back. I don’t have connections and neither does anybody in my family. I will have student loans to pay and can’t afford to be without a job after graduation.…

How a 2016 College Grad with No Experience or Connections Got His Dream Job in 6 Months

Happy 2017! I don’t know about you, but I find the onslaught of tips for committing to New Year’s resolutions anxiety-producing. Personally I prefer – and find more effective –making incremental and realistic changes as I feel inspired – by a book, a talk, a client…or a thought in the shower. Then I’m able to plan for that change in a specific and habit-forming way, propelled by positive energy. But everyone’s different.…

Get the Feedback You Need to Get Better at Your Job

  I have a 23-year old client who is doing a one year, post-graduate fellowship. During our call this morning he told me that while he enjoys his work it can be slow and that his bosses don’t give him as much work as he’d like. In fact, they expect him to take initiative and suggest work he thinks needs to be done. While he has some ideas for new projects he struggles with how to initiate conversations with his boss who seems so busy with more important work.…

There’s No Such Thing as a Dream Job

Do you, or have you ever had, a “dream job”? Do you have any friends, former classmates or colleagues who describe their job as a dream? Do you believe them? Don’t get me wrong – I love when I see someone fulfilled in their work, successfully using their strengths in an environment where they feel appreciated and fulfilled, and getting paid appropriately to do it. But that’s no dream: behind that deep sense of satisfaction is someone who has ventured down the path of self-discovery, sometimes at real personal cost, and has matched his strengths and most important values with a need he is uniquely suited to fill.…

Why Recruiters Aren’t Returning Your Calls

There is a long-standing misconception among job seekers about recruiters – how they can help, how to engage them and, most often, why they’re not returning your calls. When I was head of marketing for the Association of Executive Search Consultants, we spent a lot of time explaining the difference between retained search consultants and contingency recruiters. To provide candidates with the opportunity to be “found” by search firms, the organization created a senior-level candidate site called BlueSteps.com, where candidates could pay a fee to list their credentials and search firms would consult the site to help fill their searches.…

Colleges Make It Pay for Students to Take Unpaid Internships

Did you know that your school may offer grants for those students taking unpaid internships this summer?

How College Students Can Make the Most of Winter Break

Use your winter break from college wisely--it's a great time to plan your career.

6 Ways to Be a Standout Summer Intern

Getting a summer internship is the first step; here's how to make it count for your career.

Get That Summer Internship (Or Job) Now!

You know how important it is to have internships during your college years. And if you haven’t already lined something up, there is still a bit of time—provided you’re not completely consumed with studying for finals at the expense of conducting a search! If you do these three things, at the very least, you’ll give yourself a fighting chance to land an internship. Link your interest to a field.…

Finding Your Career Should Be Messy

I’m helping my son, a college sophomore, find a summer internship. I’ve mentioned before in these pages that I find college sophomores to be ideal clients. For one thing, they’re over the shock of the newness of college. With established friendships and some newfound maturity, life at school is a bit more predictable. They’ve had the benefit of a year’s worth of classes that hopefully provided a window into some new subject areas.…