Freshmen: Start exploring your interests, skills, and abilities.
Tamara Tavares, ’16, arrived at Suffolk like many other freshmen—undecided on a major.She was selected to join the SUCCESS program, which pairs freshmen with student leaders and professional staff to explore academic, career, and cocurricular opportunities.
Her staff mentor in the program was Paul Tanklefsky, director of the Career Development Center. After meeting her and discussing her interests, Paul encouraged Tamara to pursue the Global Business major and even talked a little shop.
“Through SUCCESS and Paul I found out about the Career Center. He would talk to me about getting ready for interviews and other ways to use their resources,” Tavares says. “We did mock interviews, which really helped a lot.”
If, like Tamara was, you’re undecided on your career path—or even your major—get in touch with the Career Development Center; the staff can help you identify your interests, skills, and abilities. The start of your career may be four years away, but it’s never too early to be prepared for your future; opportunities might arise when you least expect them.
“Through Paul I found a job opening on campus. I applied for it, used the techniques he taught me, and got the job,” Tavares says. “I even shared the advice he gave me with my roommates.”
Sophomores: Find confidence in your major choice with a job shadow opportunity.
Emma White, ’15, long had her sights set on a career in public relations, but it wasn’t until she spent time with Geralin Hashway, BS ’11, event marketing manager at Seven Swords Media of Providence, Rhode Island, that White knew it was the right field for her.
“I had an amazing experience at Seven Swords,” White says. “Ms. Hashway does exactly what I picture myself doing once I graduate. She showed me around the office and we talked a lot about Suffolk, our experiences, visions, and interests. We have a lot of similarities, which made the whole experience click.”
White and Hashway were connected through the Sophomore Job Shadow program. The program and Career Development Center staff, including associate director Betsy McDowell, help students who have narrowed their career path or want to explore more options do just that in real work settings. They also give students a great way to start building a professional network. That’s because many Suffolk alumni, like Geralin Hashway, sponsor students on job shadows.
“Overall, it was very beneficial and an absolute confirmation that I am in the right major,” White says.
Juniors: Seek an internship to gain relevant experience.
As editor of the Suffolk Journal, Derek Anderson, BSJ ’12, thrived on the ink (or, nowadays, the pixels) running through his veins. But as the journalism major eyed a career in the field, he sought professional experience to give him a leg up in the job market after graduation.
Anderson gained his edge through a paid, full-time internship.
“Just getting the opportunity was fantastic, because it’s what I went to school for and worked for as editor of the Suffolk Journal,” he says. “But to be able to make a wage and get [academic] credit made my school experience.”
Full- and part-time internships (paid and unpaid) are available to many students in all majors. The Career Development Center has relationships with employers from a variety of industries, and staff members like Peter McQuaid, director of internships, and Gary Anthony Wallace, associate director of internships, strive to place students with the organization that best suits their career goals.
For Anderson, that was the Boston Globe. He had the journalism chops from his time at the Suffolk Journal, and applied that to his internship, which he completed at night while taking classes during the day. After graduation, he turned his experience into a job as a correspondent on the Globe’s Metro beat.
Seniors: Market yourself in order to land your dream job.
These days, you can find Ryan Antonucci, BSBA ’12, MST ’13, working at Big Four accounting firm Ernst & Young. While experience got him the job, he says the help he got from the Career Development Center in organizing that experience was invaluable.
All along, Antonucci hoped he’d get his big break at the Meet the Firms job fair, but the resume from his high school days was seriously lacking. He worked with associate director of employer relations Laura Marchant to perfect it, and also got help with interview prep and job referrals.
“At first, Laura and I went through resume templates and found the one that worked best for me,” Antonucci says. “It helped me get two accounting internships [at the ACLU of Massachusetts and PricewaterhouseCoopers]. From then, when I saw a prospective job, I stopped by [the Career Development Center] to revamp my cover letter and resume because I had all this new experience to add."
Whether or not you’re a marketing major, you’ll need to market yourself to land a job. Your resume is a great tool for doing that and, with the help of the Career Center, senior year is the best time to put the finishing touches on it.
“They really made me look like a valid candidate,” Antonucci says.
Grad Students: Get the same level of career support as your undergrad peers.
As a graduate student in accounting, Nan Wu, ’13, has a pretty good sense of where she wants to take her career. But from preparing herself for the job hunt to seeking the right opportunities, there’s a lot to do before she gets there.
For Wu, the Career Development Center has been a critical partner in her journey. The office invites employers to get involved on campus through panels, presentations, and workshops, the latter of which Wu is especially fond.
With the encouragement of associate director of graduate student services Michele Rapp, Wu has attended several workshops, including Salary Negotiation and Make the Most of Your Internship, and even got a headshot taken for her social media profiles.
“They hold fun events like the LinkedIn Photo Shoot,” Wu says. “I got a professional profile photo at their office and it definitely helped build a positive image when recruiters looked at my webpage.”
Beefing up her career profile has surely helped. She met representatives from the industry’s most powerful companies at the Grad Student Career Expo and Meet the Firms Night. They encouraged her to apply through the Career Development Center’s website, and she landed an internship at State Street.
“When I started my internship, the skills from the workshops actually helped a lot,” Wu says. “Without the support from the Career Center, it would not have been possible for me to get the internship and excel in it."
Alumni: Keep the Career Development Center in your Suffolk network.
After graduation, Corey Labonte, BA ’10, entered into a notoriously difficult job market by taking a job in retail. At the same time, he saw several friends—including his best friend and Suffolk roommate—return from military deployments and struggle to readapt to the civilian lifestyle.
Witnessing his friends’ struggles inspired Labonte to resume the task of finding a meaningful career. A friend and fellow Suffolk alumnus referred him to the Career Development Center. He met with director Paul Tanklefsky, who helped him reevaluate his goals, introduced practical steps to move his job search forward, and guided him away from the feeling that he was stuck in his retail job. He’s now on his way to a career in veterans’ services.
“Right away (Paul) got me in touch with people in the field and I got a lot of firsthand experience from interviewing them about the jobs and education,” Labonte says. “I also met with a high-ranking member of veterans’ services who I think is going to be an invaluable contact in the future.”
Like Labonte, your first job after college likely won’t be your last. When it comes time to move to another firm or make the shift to a different industry, let the Career Development Center lend a hand. As an alumnus, you’ll receive the same support as any other member of the Suffolk community.
“For the first time in a while I have hope that a new job is around the corner,” Labonte says.