Job Searching: Why Networking and Referrals Need to be your Top Priority

By: Grace Hoffmann

As Spring Ice approaches at Miami University, students of all ages and grades are searching sites such as Handshake, LinkedIn, and Indeed in hopes of finding the perfect job or internship to kickstart their career. These job search platforms provide a great amount of information on the companies visiting the university and about job openings, but are they really the most efficient and effective ways to start the hiring process at a company?

The quick answer: NO. Although the platforms listed above are a great way to start your search, there are many more areas that candidates should be focusing on in order to streamline the hiring process.

  1. Start networking early, and never stop

Aesop’s Fable of The Lion and the Mouse is a perfect example to show when discussing the importance of networking. Jim Fergle’s article discusses the fable and the moral of the story, “even the small and the weak may help those who are mightier than themselves” (Fergle). With the story, Fergle points out that there are many other points relevant to the business community and networking. One being, you need to “be ready to network anytime, anyplace and with anyone” (Fergle). It is very important to always be considerate of others and treat others with respect no matter their occupation or position in a company. You never know when you might need someone’s help or their network reach.

To learn more about networking and the extent of your network, take a look at the “Job Search Networking Evaluation”.

  1. Get an employee referral

What is a referral? A referral is a recommendation from an employee or past employee at the company you are applying to. According to an article on U.S. News online, “when an employee refers someone, that candidate is hired about two-thirds of the time” (U.S. News). Referrals are an amazing way to connect with a company! Referrals speed up the hiring process and increase your chances of getting hired.  Over 75% of job seekers and those looking to hire candidates even ranked employee referrals in the category of “high to extremely high importance” (U.S. News). So that being said, research the company and use your contacts within the company to get hired!

With such a strong alumni pool, being a student at Miami University is the perfect reason to start your networking early and to get connected! Check out the LinkedIn Alumni Tool to see where past students are working and living.  Message or email them to learn more about their position or the company and get networking!  



5 Ways to Enhance Your Professional Development Over J-Term

By: Marissa Humayun

As the fall semester is beginning to wrap up, and finals are upon us, we as students are focused on 1) doing well on our finals and 2) packing up and heading home for the remaining weeks of December, and almost the entire month of January.

You may be reading this right now and be thinking to yourself, “What am I going to do for the next month and a half?” That is a genuine concern (that I also have!).

Other than maybe decking the halls, and ringing in the new year, it is important to still consider your professional development in this break between semesters, to maximize your time away from the books.

With that being said, here are 5 tips to kick-start your professional development for 2018 over this J-term.

  1. Become certified to something relevant to your field of study

Are you a marketing major? An article from suggests Google’s free certification offers for Google Adwords and Google Analytics for students looking to boost their skills. Give yourself a competitive advantage and stand out from your peers with a specialized skillset.

  1. Build your portfolio

Your resume is just one snapshot of your accomplishments. It is an extremely important document, however, being able to show examples of your work and capabilities to an interviewer is beyond powerful. Create a collection of what you think are the best reflections of your work to prove to employers that you deserve the job!

  1. Become organized in your career search

Take advantage of this extra time away from academics and get organized with your career search. I know that for myself, I have a running spreadsheet with all of the applications I have sent, the recruiter’s name/contact info, my interview status with them, and any other relevant information pertaining to ongoing interviews. This will give you a clear, nicely systematized way of looking at the status of each potential opportunity, and a visual may even shed some more light on which opportunities excite you the most.

  1. Network with your family connections

Taking time to network during J-term can only help you, not hurt you. Yes, it may be a bit uncomfortable reaching out, and making the first move with a family connection in your desired industry, but a personal connection is bound to get your resume into the hands of the recruiter faster, and may give you more eyes on your resume.

  1. Set goals for yourself

Finally, set goals for yourself! It is so important to be goal-oriented. Think about what you are motivated by, think about the things you have been wanting to improve about yourself. Use this time to reflect upon yourself, and create some attainable targets for the upcoming semester. Accomplishing a goal is one of the most rewarding feelings, and again, can only help you in your search for a professional opportunity.

Overall, J-term seems so much more productive when thinking about your future, rather than watching all 14 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy (I may or may not be guilty of that!). Use this time to jump-start your career search and discover the things that matter most to you in a job.

4 Life Lessons Learned from Rejection

By: Grace Hoffmann

As young professionals, we know what it is like to not get selected for a position or company and how it affects us. We were raised in a generation with an emphasis on “everyone being a winner.” We even received participant trophies for activities we were involved with. News flash: The real world isn’t handing these out! Not everyone gets the job or lands the position at their dream company. Rejection happens. Although it may feel terrible in the moment, it should not deter us from reaching our goals.  It’s how we take the rejection and learn from it that makes us stronger and more successful. As millennials, we need to work to learn humility and grow from rejection.

Nikki Riojas discusses a few reasons why rejection is good:

1. It builds character- and tougher skin.

“Fall down seven times, get up eight.” We are going to fail. We are going to be told no. It’s how we go forward with our lives after rejection that is most important. Rejection will get easier if you see it as a growing experience

2. It probably wasn’t the best job for you anyway.

The fit has to be mutual. Also, if you’re new to an industry, you may not know exactly where you should fall within a company. Gain as much experience as you can in the positions you get to help propel your career.

3. It should fire you up, not beat you down.

Getting rejection should not lead to you giving up. Even if you are not what the company was looking for, you can still learn from the experience. Ask for feedback from your interview! Learn from the mistakes you made and reflect on what you should focus more time on!

4. It allows you to build upon your experiences and make adjustments for future career moves.

Learn to be versatile and to see the big picture. Each and every step you take will impact your career. Stay determined and keep learning.

Rejection helps us grow and learn. It’s our duty to make the best out of a situation and to move forward.  As odd as it seems, rejection can have such a positive impact on our life and career! Who knows what the incredible opportunity ahead for you will be!

Meet Vic!

Meet Vic: Our new Associate Director for FSB Career and Professional Development!

FSB Career & Professional Development would like to welcome our new Associate Director of Professional Development, Victoria Masny (Vic) to our staff! We are so excited to have her as a new addition to our team, as well as a new resource for you all to take advantage of.

Vic is from Cleveland, Ohio (North Royalton). She studied accounting at Xavier University, and after graduating undergrad in 2013, she began pursuing her MBA, also at Xavier. Upon receiving her MBA, Vic worked as an auditor for 2 years, at BKD. She then went on to get her Masters of Science, Student Affairs and Higher Education, here at Miami University! Vic is no stranger to Miami, as she has filled roles in Residence Life as an RD, and as an Assistant Director at the Center for Career Exploration and Success.

When we asked Vic what advice she has for students looking for guidance in the career search, here is what she said:

“You don’t have to have it all figured out! If you come into our office and say, ‘Help, I have no idea what I am doing,’ all the way to, ‘I want help in fixing my resume to get hired at this specific company,’ we can help you! FSB Career and Professional Development is a great resource to obtain career-focused advising. If you are wondering where to begin exploring potential career paths, FSB Career and Professional Development is the best place to start. Take advantage of all we have to offer, when it comes to your career search (ie. Lunch and learns, round table discussions, the executive speaker series). Meeting one-on-one with an advisor in our office is the best way to seek out guidance when it comes to your career in business.”

Vic is also running the Career Leap trip to San Francisco this J-Term, for students interested in Bay area career opportunities. Apply here before December 1st, 2017.

Interested in meeting with Vic one-on-one? Make a career advising appointment on Handshake. Any questions? Email Vic at

Everything But The House: Miami Alumni & Cincinnati Startups

By: Grace Hoffmann

Miami University graduates, Andy and Jon Nielsen, are two brothers who partnered with co-founders of Everything But The House in May of 2012. These two brothers used to go on trips with there mom to antique malls and now they are CEO’s of a very successful online estate sale business! Passion and creativity of the two brothers, as well as the other company leaders, are two forces that have been driving this company.

“Everything But The House” is an online estate sale marketplace that connects buyers to items being sold at estate sales all around the country. Everything But The House (EBTH) could include items from estate sales, businesses, or items from the home. The process of selling on EBTH includes an expert sorting, taking photos of, and writing descriptions for your items and then uploading them to the website. Then, once the sales goes live, the item has 7 days to sell. Each bid starts at $1 and once the item is sold, EBTH manages all payment, pickup, and shipping. Sellers on EBTH are known to make 3-5 times more than they would on a traditional sale.

EBTH has raised over $84.5 million in venture capital and has offices in 27 cities across the United States ( In an article by WCPO, CEO Andy Nielsen explains how technological advances and redesigns of the website into different segments/categories have increased subscribers. He also notes that a future goal of the company is to go global and provide service in Europe and Canada.

Both alum and their families are still very involved with Miami University!

Jon Nielsen’s recent interview for the Miami Alumni Association can be found here.  

EBTH will also be apart of the Cincinnati Immersion Week! If you’re looking for something to do over J-Term and want to visit and learn more about some Fortune 500 companies in the Cincinnati area, apply here.




What do you want to be when you grow up?

By: Marissa Humayun

What do you want to be when you grow up?

An astronaut, exploring the bounds of outer space? An athlete, running down an Olympic track lane? President of the United States, seated in the Oval Office and running the nation?

As children, we dream big, without limits or hesitation. It is liberating to think in this way, but as we get a bit older, we begin to think realistically about our future careers.

When being realistic, this question can seem a bit stressful.

What if you are not dead-set on one career path?

To the many students who are still undecided on their majors or even unsure of their next career move, the best way to combat the stress behind this question of “What do I want to be when I grow up?” is to be proactive in your career search. By doing this, you will maximize your time here at Miami, and hopefully find a path that fits both your personality and skill set nicely.

Here are 5 tips for your early career exploration at Miami:

  1. Pay attention to small details in your day-to-day life

Much of what makes a potential career a good fit is liking your day-to-day work. If you feel that you work best independently, searching for a career that is heavy in collaboration may not be the best fit for you. An article from Muse discussing just this suggests that students should document which tasks during the day are their most and least favorite. From here, students can visually see and align their day-to-day likes/dislikes with a career that would suit them as such.

  1. Grab coffee with someone successful in your interested field

Find a successful person in a potential career path and talk to them! While this may seem a bit daunting, this is an excellent way to hear right from the source what a day in the life would look like in your potential career. Here, you can utilize the LinkedIn Alumni tool to reach out to industry professionals and get their advice on how to advance your career early on. Miami’s alumni network is large, growing, and eager to help students, as they were in your shoes not too long ago. (The link above will take you to our website’s Networking tab, featuring instructions on how to utilize this great resource on LinkedIn.)

  1. Enroll in BUS 206: Career Exploration for Business Majors

Open to first and second year students, this one-credit hour course is extremely helpful in navigating the career search. Taught by Monique Frost, Director of Career and Professional Development, this course showcases all the different majors that Farmer offers, and helps students identify personal skills/interests and how they fit into future career paths. Many students have found this course extremely helpful in confirming or choosing a specific area of study at Miami.

  1. Apply your passions to professional opportunities

What are you passionate about? What are you interested in exploring? Think about these things and start applying them now, to your collegiate extra curriculars. For example, if you are interested in investment banking, interview for a spot in the Investment Banking club on campus! Here, you can get hands-on experience working with a real portfolio, making you extremely marketable for future opportunities in investment banking. If you are interested in marketing, find an exec position within one of your existing organizations. You will find that applying your interests gives you a better direction as to what you do/do not want to do full-time.

  1. Excel in your current job

Whatever your job may be right now, do your absolute best! If your job is being a full-time student, put all your efforts toward excelling in your studies. If your job is making salads at Dividends, try and find leadership opportunities (ie. Student manager positions) to further your personal growth. It doesn’t have to be much, but the actions you take to make yourself marketable to future employers can come from any and every activity.

Keep these tips in mind while trying to answer this question of “What do I want to be when I grow up?”

The Power of Story Telling in the Business World

By: Grace Hoffmann

If two applications are completely the same, who gets the job after the interview? When an employee brings up their idea, how do they convince others it will work? How do you describe your personal brand to others? Knowing how to tell a good story can help your career and even advance it!

When someone talks about storytelling, they normally recall fairy tales and made-up stories that they heard before going to bed as a child. While these may be true, storytelling is much more involved than that. Did you ever think about why you were so interested in the story you were hearing? What was the storyteller saying that intrigued you?

Storytelling is a skill that will set two candidates apart.

In an article by US News, it discusses how the secret to a successful interview is great storytelling! The article discusses how “the art of storytelling can be applied to interviews as a strategy for making your case clear and impactful.” This can be done by crafting your story — why you are the best person for the position– around who your audience will be and what is meaningful to him/her. Storytelling should tug at emotions, and leave a positive impact. Storytelling makes you memorable.

Storytelling will help your career

In an article found on CNN, it discusses the book, “Tell To Win: Connect, Persuade, and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story” by Peter Guber. The author discusses how important storytelling is for someone trying to advance their career:

“Whether you want to motivate your executives, organize your shareholders, shape your media, engage your customers, win over investors or land a job, you have to deliver a clarion call that will get your listeners’ attention, emotionalize your goal as theirs, and move them to act in your favor. You have to reach their hearts as well as their minds — and this is just what storytelling does.”

Guber notes 12 tips in his book  in order to tell a purposeful story–

TIPS for good storytelling:

  1. Data dumps are not stories — dump them, don’t tell them!
  2. A purposeful story is a call to action — be sure to make your call.
  3. Successful stories turn “me” to “we” — align your interests.
  4. Be sure your story tells what’s in it for them.
  5. Be interested in what interests your listeners and they’ll find your story interesting and your goal compelling.
  6. Remember, the context in which you tell your story colors the story you tell.
  7. Your first hand or witnessed experiences are the best raw material for your story.
  8. Employ the element of surprise.
  9. Craft the beginning to shine the light on your challenge or problem.
  10. Shape the middle around the struggles, then meet the challenge.
  11. End with a resolution that ignites in the listener your call to action.
  12. To tell a great story, make preparation your partner.

Storytelling is extremely useful in the business world! Know your story’s purpose and be excited about what you have to say! Storytelling can transform an interview, project, or even when discussing your personal brand.



EQ is the New IQ: How to Develop Emotional Intelligence to Benefit your Future Career

By: Marissa Humayun

What is EQ?

According to an article published by the Entrepreneur entitled “Why You Need Emotional Intelligence to Succeed in Business,” a study found that 70% of the time, people with average IQ scores outperformed those with the highest IQ scores.

What could possibly explain this phenomenon?

The answer: Emotional Intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence (or EQ) is the intangible part of us which affects the way that we behave, navigate social situations and make decisions. No two people are the same when it comes to emotional intelligence. To break down this concept, EQ is split into two competencies: personal competence (the way in which we control our own behavior) and social competence (understanding why others act the way that they do).

So how does this relate to business?

Given the opening statistic, the idea of basing a person’s success on IQ scores alone has been disrupted with this discovery of EQ. A quote from the Entrepreneur sums this up nicely.

“According to emotional intelligence, or EQ, success is strongly influenced by personal qualities such as perseverance, self-control and skill in getting along with others.”

A businessperson with high emotional intelligence is someone who is…

  1. Self-aware – meaning you understand your own strengths and weaknesses (Check out the “Know Yourself” section on our website for more details on self-awareness!)
  2. Constantly regulating themselves – controlling your emotions and tailoring your responses to your audience
  3. Motivated– doing things for your own satisfaction, rather than the satisfaction of others or a title
  4. Empathetic– practicing compassion/understanding for others
  5. Personable – being a relatable person

Finally, how does this relate to college students preparing to enter the workforce?

Recruiters place a high value on EQ, but are you aware of how important EQ really is?

When it comes to relating soft skills to your college career, your EQ can come in handy, especially within collaboration efforts (i.e. group projects, case competitions etc.) and interviews. These are the perfect environments to begin growing your skills of self-awareness, self-regulating, and self-motivation. It is so important to be aware of yourself and your responses when collaborating with others, but also maintaining motivation to complete delegated tasks. As well, when collaborating with others and encountering an obstacle of diversity in thought, it is important to channel your empathy, and put yourself in another group member’s shoes to understand their point of view. Finally, when beginning to interview for internships/full-time opportunities, having an elevated EQ can prove useful in reading your interviewer’s personality/conversation style. Here, you can self-regulate/tailor your responses and maintain a personable attitude, in hopes of further proving your skills to the recruiter.

As you can see, emotional intelligence can be extremely useful in a variety of business situations. Make sure that as you go about your time in college, you do not forget to develop these important professional skills to have a great EQ now, and an even better EQ in your future workplace.

What Do You Want to be When You Grow Up?

Do you think you might be a multipotentialite?

By: Grace Hoffmann

We’re asked this question quite frequently as we grow up. From kindergarten to high school, our answers definitely change. Even in college and into our adult life, we still may not know what we “want to be when we grow up.”  With the passing of time most people tend to become more realistic in their answers. The question also starts to become a topic for anxiety or distraught and less of a fun question full of endless opportunities.

Why is this? One of the reasons may be that we are interested in many things! For some of us, none of the things we are interested in correlate at all. Having many interests is not a limitation! Yes, it may seem that way if you are having to choose just one passion to follow or one quality you need to make your priority, however, you don’t have to.

In a TedTalk by Emilie Wapnick, she discusses “Why some of us don’t have one true calling.

Wapnick discussed her struggle with loving many different things and not always knowing what her one calling was. Then, she decided that she didn’t need to have just one calling. She discussed the term “multipotentialite” in her TedTalk.

What is a multipotentialite? A multipotentialite she describes, is “someone with many interests and creative pursuits.” She adds in that there could be many different definitions of the word, which makes it even more unique and fitting to the name!

She discussed that multipotentialites have 3 super powers or advantages.

  1. Idea Synthesis – This is “combining two or more fields and creating something new at the intersection.” This is a great quality to have! This stimulates innovation and allows you to work on teams well and help combine ideas or formulate solutions.  
  2. Rapid Learning – A big part of rapid learning stems from interest. The desire to learn and to not be afraid to fail defines multipotentialites. Multipotentialites use everything they have learned in each and every job they do.
  3. Adaptability – Wapnick defines it as “the ability to morph into whatever you need to be in a given situation.” Adaptability is extremely sought after in the workplace.

In an article about the benefits of being adaptable, it discusses the findings of a survey that states, “91% of human resources recruiters predicted that by 2018 the ability of a candidate to deal with change will be a major recruitment goal” (

What does all this mean? It means that you are unique and you should embrace your interests — no matter how different you may think they are!

Watch the TedTalk!


For more information of the importance of adaptability — read articles by the Fahrenheit Group and Information Age.



Social Media Influencers: Advertising’s New Main Stage

How to utilize social media when building your personal brand

By: Marissa Humayun

Scrolling through your social media feed, you most likely follow friends, your favorite celebrities, that one makeup artist you love, even that one funny meme account. This new world of digital social interaction gives us this amazing chance to stay connected in real time with those we care about.

At the same time, this platform is now one of the most successful and powerful ways to advertise in the 2010’s. How do they do this? Social Media Influencers.

Take Grumpy Cat for example:

With over 2.3 million followers, this cat has got branding down to a science. Advertisers behind the Friskie’s Party Mix campaign chose to put their time, money, and effort into a social media campaign with influencer, Grumpy Cat, to reach their tailored target market in an effective and fast way. Grumpy Cat was even named one of Forbes Top Influencers, describing her as,

 “undoubtedly the best-known Internet pet sensation, who gained fame as a meme thanks to her adorably sad appearance, the result of an underbite and dwarfism. Sponsorship opportunities followed: Grumpy became the official “spokescat” of Friskies pet food in 2013, and her owner Tabatha Bundesen has brokered licensing deals with Hot Topic and Gund.” (Forbes)

From a Vault article titled, “How to Turn your Social Media presence into a Full-Time Job,” the author interviewed an influencer, who stated that advertising agencies ask themselves “why spend money on a commercial that wouldn’t get the views that [influencers] would get?” They use this to justify recent decisions in going “influencer-heavy” in advertising.

With this information in mind, you may be wondering, what does this mean for me, a college student (and not a famously sad cat)?

College students can build their personal brand via social media. You are your greatest asset to market to employers when looking for a job. Just like social media influencers, the easiest and most effective way to get your message out to the public is through social media. This could mean utilizing LinkedIn in a unique way (maybe instead of a written bio, you create an introductory video), or sharing an elevator image (a visual advertisement of you) on your personal social media accounts.

Additional resources/examples of personal brandin through social media can be found on the FSB Career & Professional Development website under the Networking and Branding tab. Here, you can find advice on what to include/what not to include on various forms of social media.

Whatever it may be, the secret sauce right now to conveying a message to your audience is influencing your audience through social media.