Wanted: Socially Responsible Employer

Ethics Street SignIt is common knowledge in today’s society that corporations worldwide face a fundamental struggle: the struggle to find a balance between profit and ethics. The question has always been- can a company be successful and ethical?  This is an incredibly important question for the general public, but it is absolutely crucial for the college student and/or recent graduate who is searching for employment. Where do corporations’ ethics and socially responsible practices fit into the job search process? How much do ethics matter to today’s young workforce?

A tool has been created to gauge the social responsibility of a corporation called the Corporate Social Responsibility Index. This index takes into account three broad domains of social responsibility when ranking corporations:

1.)   Citizenship- How does the corporation contribute to the overall wellbeing of the community which it is a part of? What about to the Global community?

2.)   Governance- How is the business run? Is the company transparent with its stakeholders?

3.)   Workplace- How are the employees treated? Are the wages fair? Does the corporation invest in their employees’ career development?

The idea that young adults today are becoming critical, socially responsible future employees is becoming a growing area of interest for researchers. In fact, the manager of the Careers and Employer Relations Office at the University of Sydney, Rosemary Sainty, has dedicated the majority of her work to helping college students choose ethical employers. She has created a resource to get college students thinking about ethics and their future. So start thinking! What will make the difference when you choose your future employer?

Dilbert Comic

~Sam, Career Peer Advisor

Savvy Seniors: Networking Advice from a Recent Grad

Trisha Hlastawa

Trisha Hlastawa, ’12,  graduated with a degree in Community Entrepreneurship and Public Communication. She currently works at Healthy Living in South Burlington as a Customer Service Supervisor and Community Outreach team member.

What role has networking played in your career exploration and job search?

Networking has played a key role. I found out about a job at Healthy Living from a Career Counselor who knew my interests. I got the job and have worked in many different positions at the store since. Previous to this position, I used networking as a way to find jobs as needed.

Networking can be a bit intimidating to some, what’s been your experience?

I have found networking to be intimidating when I don’t know anything about the person I am interacting with. The key thing is to find something to talk about that is familiar to the person and myself and that we can both relate to. Once a conversation is sparked, it can lead in many different directions. Overall, networking has been rewarding to me. As many people say, it is a small world. The more people I meet, I find people who know people I know and vice versa. We are all ultimately connected in some way.

How do you recommend students get started with networking?

I recommend students start networking with people they know. Express interest in meeting new people to your relatives or friends; this can spark their interest in helping you to make more connections. It’s also really important to put yourself out there and get involved in on-campus activities or part-time jobs. Sometimes you just have to take chances and see what happens.  Establishing relationships with people who know what you are interested in and want to see you succeed can make a big difference when you are looking for a job.

For more information on Networking see the Career Services website.

Also, don’t miss this great workshop!

Savvy Seniors: Networking Workshop Wed. Nov 28th, 4:15pm, L&L E-166

Make the Most Out of Your Internship Experience

Illustration of Two People Shaking Hands

So you’ve landed an internship—great! But what can you do to make this a valuable, learning experience? Here are a couple of tips to consider:

1) Ask questions.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, especially when you are confused about a task you were given or if you are merely curious about the culture of the organization. Asking questions will enhance your experience at an internship and will allow you to learn more about the company. Not only that, but maintaining a curious mind will also allow your supervisor to realize your interest and potential within the business beyond your internship program.

2) Connect with your coworkers and boss.
Have conversations with the people you work with—it’s a great way to learn more about the company you are interning at and also a great opportunity for you to network and make connections! Ask them about their college experience, career path, hobbies, job search process, tips and advice they may have for you—anything you deem being worthwhile and beneficial to your own, personal growth and career path. Along with that, share your own passions, experiences, and dreams with them. Let them get a glimpse of who you are as an individual and form those relationships.

3) Get excited and have fun!
Get excited, be motivated, and stay hungry for more knowledge and assignments! Also make sure to have fun while you’re at it!

With all these in mind, remember to make the most out of your internship experience!

~Michelle, Career Peer Advisor

Savvy Seniors: It’s a Small, Small World

Six Degrees of Separation

It’s commonly said that we’re separated, at most, by six degrees of separation from any other person. In their recent book, the start-up of YOU, Reid Hoffman (cofounder and chairman of LinkedIn) and Ben Casnocha discuss the 1967 study that this oft repeated phrase is based on. They also note how it might show up in daily life: “The clerk at the local hardware store once hiked through Yosemite with your brother-in-law. Your new girlfriend is in the same bowling league as your boss…It’s fun to make these unexpected connections.”

These connections, however, they argue, are more than fun and interesting, they are gateways to new information and potential opportunities.  Hoffman and Casnocha discuss the importance of having both strong and weak ties in our networks. The strong ties are built on trust and well developed mutual interest and similarities, while the weaker ties can “serve as bridges to other worlds.”

Most students and alumni realize after some reflection, that they do know someone who may be a good potential contact in their career exploration and job search. Quite often the person they think of is one of those weaker ties, or 2nd degree contacts, for example the uncle of a friend. All students, however, can tap into the power of the extended UVM alumni network through LinkedIn. As Hoffman and Casnocha write, “Online social networks are converting the abstract idea of worldwide interconnectedness into something tangible and searchable. Out of an estimated one billion professionals in the world, well over 10 million of them are on LinkedIn.”

If you’re not LinkedIn, it’s time. If you are already on it, chances are you could be using it more effectively.

To get started: