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ZOOM OUT–Duke Career Center Podcast
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ZOOM OUT–Duke Career Center Podcast

Author: Duke Career Center

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Subscribe and listen to ZOOM OUT to hear about some big-picture ideas to assist Duke students in managing their time at Duke (DesignYourDuke) while developing and practicing important professional development skills and competencies. You will hear about exploring your interests, critical thinking about resumes and networking, as well as ways to spend your time at Duke to make the most of the experience.
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What do Blue Devils and vampires have in common? No reflection?As you make the transition from high school into college, and especially as college goes on, the importance of reflection is going to become apparent because decisions are going to be more important and a lot more in your hands. So what does it mean to reflect? Transcript:My name is Nathan Wilson, assistant director with the Duke University Career Center, and you’re listening to Zoom Out, the Career Center Podcast. What do Blue Devils and vampires have in common? They have no reflection.I don’t mean that in an accusatoryway, but a lot of the time it’s true. To get into Duke, you had to do a lot. The high school business model essentially was to overload on activities and organizations –everything you can possibly do, it’s just saturation. Arguably, it was quantity over quality. But the thing is, when you’re that busy, do you have time or even know how to reflect on the experiences that you’re engaging in? As you make the transition from high school into college, and especially as college goes on, the importance of reflection is going to become apparent because decisions are going to be more important and a lot more in your hands.So what does it mean to reflect? I think there are kind of two different ways that you can explain this based on the way your mind works, and so I can kind of talk you through the two ways I look at it when you’re really trying to figure out what the heck it means.If you’re more of a humanities person or more of a creative type –not so much of the scientific orientation –you can think of reflection as something that’s more like philosophizing, or in more of a philosophical sense: “who am I and who do I want to become? What do I want out of life? What’s my purpose? What’s my relationship to my community and to others around me?” Those are hard questions –hard questions to ask of yourself. I think a lot of that comes back to values because that’s the scary thing: “Who am I?” That’s a loaded question. If you use values, it gives you a concrete means to evaluate your own life and the decisions youmake and what you’re doing.Forbes.com had an article a few years back that talked about the importance of reflection for college students. One of the big things they talked about was that this is a time really to explore and to learn about yourself and,moreover, to discover yourself. You can’t really do that unless you’re taking time to think about what it is you’re doing and being intentional about the decisions you make. A lot of undergraduates, as the article says, have what they call an “instrumentalist” view of college. That it’s completely a means to prepare for a career and there is some truth to that, but your career fits into your life and not the other way around for most people. So career should coincide with the big life goals that you have for yourself. These may include starting a family or traveling, or it could be any number of things...giving back to your community. Maybe you want to start a nonprofit but that’s not going to be your means for income right off the bat. There are any number of things you could be doing but you have to think about what it is that will give you the most satisfaction in life, and that not always directly career-related.There were a couple of programs that this article mentions, one of them was the Stanford Reflections program. They talked about an exercise they did where it was all about values. In one of the sessions, students were given 10 values such as success, joy, wisdom, love, and they were given an opportunity to put in their own values in addition to the ones that they were provided. They start with ten, then they have to narrow it down to eight, and then to five, and then to three, and then down to two. Then they have a week to think about it and then come back to discuss. It turned out that a lot of the students came back that next s
You Are Your Social Media

You Are Your Social Media

2018-11-0700:10:35

Is your social media important? Listen in...Transcript:Social media is a stage and important people are watching. DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS! on this episode of Zoom Out–The Career Center Podcast. [00:00:07] My name is Nathan Wilson, assistant director with the Duke University Career Center here listening to the Career Center podcast I remember way back in 2009 seeing an article on ESPN about a Philadelphia Eagles employee who was fired after posting a profanity filled Rant on Facebook about Brian Dawkins leaving the Eagles to sign with the Denver Broncos in free agency. And I remember thinking that's harsh but this is probably the new normal. If employers don't like what you have to say on social media and you have it very clearly posted that you work for an organization they have every right to fire you whether that's fair or not. The fact is these days, you or your social media. The Muse.com has an article called "Five Work Meets Social Media Horror Stories" that's worth checking out. [00:00:53] Number one is trash talking on Twitter. So a friend of mine is flying on an airline that also happens to be one of her clients. Her flight gets canceled leaving her stranded. So she takes to Twitter to blast the company. That's right. The same company that pays her. Well you're biting the hand that feeds you. Do you think that that ended well? Probably not. It says that she got a slap on the wrist. Well she's lucky she didn't get fired. [00:01:16] Number two caught red handed on Instagram. So this person once made the quote ridiculously foolish mistake of telling their co-workers that they were running out for a quick bite for lunch before diving into a daunting project. Truth was they went out for a quick trip on the lake with their friend and just couldn't resist posting a picture of the beautiful landscape. Well her boss promptly liked the photo which in boss speak means quite the opposite. [00:01:42] Number three PG 13 on Pinterest. So this person worked with the social media community manager who was explaining to a client how Pinterest worked and the client asked them to pull up the account. So she pulls up her account but, well you see why she was hesitant to do so. She had all kinds of different memes that were littered with quote four letter words, some pretty controversial political statements and a handful of risque pictures of herself an artistic retro pinup poses. Now what you do on your own time is what you do on your own time. But you need to be mindful of the fact that anything that you wouldn't want a boss or a colleague or a stranger to see, you may want to consider not posting publicly. [00:02:27] Now these examples apply to people who are already employed. But I would say you probably need to be even more careful if you're in the process of applying because as the same Web site points out, 92 percent of companies are now using social media for hiring. And three out of four hiring managers check out a candidate's profiles. That's really significant. OK. I've seen that firsthand at a previous job we had a candidate who had a really strong phone interview–among a number of other people who were very strong. So one of the ways that we kind of screened our applicants is Google them see what's on their social media accounts. [00:03:06] And, this person had an Instagram account that was public that was absolutely littered with all kinds of really negative things about their current job. What goes through your head when you see an applicant post those kinds of things you don't know what kind of job they're coming from. But at the same time it's just as likely that they're going to post that same kind of stuff at your current job. Another one that I've seen firsthand there is an applicant who had a really strong interview. We looked him up on LinkedIn which is often the first place you go. You know LinkedIn is supposed to be professional and so usually you're going to assume you're going to see the most poli
The Experience Buffet

The Experience Buffet

2018-09-1800:09:28

So many options, so little time. Learn how to avoid experiential indigestion as a first-year student on this episode of Zoom Out–The Career Center Podcast.[00:00:07] My name is Nathan Wilson, Assistant Director with the Duke University Career Center, here listening to the career center podcast. Imagine if you will a little boy with big eyes and a tiny stomach at all you can eat buffet and he looks over and he sees on one side the dessert station and then he's got the omelet station, and the pasta station and the grill, and the Pizza Bar and everything that could possibly imagine. And he's got one plate and he's huge eyes and this tiny little stomach and he wants a piece of everything and what's the problem with that. He's got one plate. If he piles everything onto one plate. What does he end up with a little bit of everything or one huge formless pile of mush. I imagine it's going to be the latter. Well this is a pretty good analogy for what it's like as a first-year student coming into a place like Duke. This is the experience buffet. The high school model which for a lot of people is how you got here is load up on everything you can. All the clubs, sports, AP classes, everything that you can imagine and you just pad that resume like there's no tomorrow. Well guess what. The high school business model that got a lot of people here is the same thing that could cause you to fail–because it's not sustainable at the college level. And here's why. First things first: burnout if you overcommit at the college level you're not going to be able to get enough sleep. [00:01:32] You're not going to be able to take care of yourself if you're in way too many clubs, if you're in a difficult degree program. Well, all of that piling on can backfire if you start letting people down or let's say you get mono or you fall apart. You end up worse off than you would have if you hadn't committed to anything. It sounds cynical but I hate to say that there are some students at the high school level that will attend one or two meanings of a club and then they put that they're a member of that club on their resumé. Well that's unethical. And employers and graduate schools will all know that there aren't enough hours in the day for you to actually commit to seven different organizations at once on top of 19 credit hours. It just can't happen. And they weren't born yesterday because they've seen people that try to pad their resumes and you can spot it from a mile away. It doesn't look good for you. There's another issue too. More specifically with your resumé. OK. In most fields you're gonna submit a traditional resumé which is one page and if you spent all this time and energy on student clubs and you're only a member in nine different clubs. Well guess what? No employer has ever said we want the employee–we want the applicant that was in the most student organizations. That's not to say that they don't carry any value. They carry tremendous value but just membership doesn't mean anything compared to what you take out of it–which is leadership experience and all those transferable skills that make student organizations worth pursuing. [00:03:02] And let's go back to that buffet image if you take a tiny taste of a few things you may find yourself still hungry at the end. If you know going in there what kind of foods you like, get the foods you like. It's the same thing with getting experience and getting involved with things now that you're here at the university level. If you know what you're interested in–pursue it. Even if it's not about your degree program it may not even be directly related to your career. Employers want to see people that are well-rounded but they also want to see authenticity. If you have an applicant who is genuinely interested in some things that will come through in your interview and it will stand out. It's a tale as old as time for med schools for example to try to sniff out the students that only di
No one is perfect!Transcript:Can your best life really be #nofilter? My name is Nathan Wilson and this is Zoom Out –The Career Center Podcast.Have you ever heard the phrase, “Effortless Perfection?” I know I’ve heard it on campus a number of times and it drives me nuts. Why, because it’s not real, it’s not a thing, no one is perfect. No one has been perfect; no one has ever been effortlessly perfect, no one will ever be effortlessly perfect. It doesn’t exist. It’s such an absurd standard that I can’t even believe it is ever said. But you can find yourself on social media wondering if that’s the case. Because you look at everybody’s rose filtered version of their lives and start to lose track of reality. It seems like everyone’s so good, everyone’s happy but you. But that’s not real. If you don’t believe me, take it from Asena O’Neil, so she was an Instagram model out of Australia, who had hundreds of thousands of followers and was making good money doing it. Then one day she decided, I hate this. And she wanted to expose what the real life of an Instagram model looked like. So she did. She deleted a whole bunch of her photos and then recaptioned some of the existing photos to tell the real story behind all those pictures that were supposed to look natural and effortless. So the first one I’ve got here, she’s got a big smile on her face, it’s a headshot, the caption reads: “I had acne here, this is a lot of makeup. I was smiling because I thought I looked good. Happiness based on aesthetics will suffocate your potential on here Earth.” The next one is a swimsuit shot where she is looking straight down in a pose that again is supposed to look natural like someone had just taken a photo of an every day person. A caption reads: “Not real life, took over 100 in similar poses trying to make my stomach look good, would have hardly eaten that day, would have yelled at my little sister to keep taking them until I was somewhat proud of this. Yup, so totally # (hashtag) goals.” There’s another one, a model out of the UK who did kinda the same thing. She had a really good following and decided to expose what what this really was, so she put a couple photos and explained it. One of them is on the beach doing what is supposed to look like a spontaneous jump. Well, the truth is it took a half hour and over 300 pictures taken by her poor boyfriend who was roped in as the official photographer. She knew it was ridiculous and how absolutely absurd to be out there for over a half an hour trying to recreate spontaneity. The next one is her in a yoga pose reading a book with a big smile on her face. Well, the truth is she didn’t do any exercise that day at all, she has Crime and Punishment in her hand and it took her a year to read and she never smiled like that the whole while she was reading. She’s got another photo on here where she’s showing off her new workout shoes and she’s sitting in a chair in workout attire. Apparently upon capturing the photo her boyfriend exclaimed; “wow, your stomach flab has folded up to look like an eight pack” which led to a whole bunch of comments like “abs girl” and “washboard” which she says made her feel guilty. She even has one on here, a glass of green looking juice that was supposed to fit the whole clean eating thing but she said that the juice didn’t even look like that. She used filters to make it look green and healthier. I mean how ridiculous. All the effort that’s put into looking natural. It’s all fake but it can deceive us. I found a meme to a quote that is attributed to Bill Murray that says; “Social media is training us to compare our lives instead of appreciating everything we are. No wonder why everyone is always depressed.” Well, this is exactly right. OK, you are not you social media and other people are nit their social media. It is not real. So, what does this have to do with career? Well, in line
This Rumi quote fits in a number of ways into the context of figuring out your major and your career path. Let's look at how it can affect your frame of mind as far as how to successfully navigate your college career, some of your career decisions and really the way that you approach life.Transcript:How do we adapt to change? How can we find something we don’t know we are looking for? Food for thought on an existential game of hide and seek on this episode of Zoom Out–The Career Center Podcast. My name is Nathan Wilson, Assistant Director of the Duke University Career Center here and you’re listening to the Career Center podcast. Any of my colleagues or students could tell you that I'm a sucker for quotes and there's one in particular that I want to talk about in this episode. A few months ago, my colleague, Leanne, whom I love very much, you gave me a pin that sits on my desk that says, “What you seek is seeking you.” This is a quote from Rumi who is a 13th century poet and a tremendously influential person in the Western world. Even though we are pushing 1000 years since he was around, his influence can still be felt today. This quote, in particular, I think it fits in a number of ways into the context of figuring out your major, your career path. Whether you're very young or really in any stage in your life, there are a lot of different lessons and messages that can be gleaned from this quote. If you just do a Google search of this quote itself, you'll see a number of different articles and a number of different interpretations. I want to look at a few of them and see what we can kind of take from those and how it can affect your frame of mind and give you some lessons as far as how to successfully navigate your college career, some of your career decisions and really the way that you approach life. So, one of the lessons that I take from this, is the idea that you have to be open to change. At some point in your life, inevitably you're going to be in a position where you're not exactly thrilled with your circumstances. You may be struggling in a class or even at the school that you're attending, in general. Or you could be unhappy in an internship or a job or one of your student organizations. Inevitably, there's going be some time when you are feeling stuck. But, ask yourself if you’ve ever said this before? I hear this the all the time from students, this idea that I don't want to change majors or I'm scared to change my plan because I've come this far. This thinking is a big mistake. If you're not open to change, you’re not opening yourself up to the possibilities that you don't even know about that could be awaiting you or, moreover, in line with this quote, actively seeking you. You never know what's going to happen 10 minutes from now, much less tomorrow, much less a year from now. And that can be equal parts scary and exciting. If you are in a place where you’re really happy with the way things are going, unfortunately, the sad reality is that things can change at any moment but on the flipside that's just as true if you're unhappy with your circumstances. Maybe you have a really difficult boss and they are, without you even knowing, working on their exit strategy right now. You might be losing all kinds of sleep tonight not even realizing that tomorrow morning your boss is going to quit. Same thing with just chance meetings with strangers. There's no law that says you can't meet your next boss or your next romantic partner or next best friend when you're in line at the grocery store or if you're on the bus going from one end of campus to another, right? Things can happen at any moment and being open to those changes that can come your way can make all the difference between being stuck in something long-term, not knowing how to get out, and realizing that any moment you might have an exit there waiting to something much better. Part of that though (and another way I can interpr
Don't get swiped left when applying to jobs or internships!Transcript:What can online dating teach us about applying to jobs? Learn how to get more right-swipes from employers on this episode of Zoom Out–The Career Center Podcast.Hi, my name is Nathan Wilson, Assistant Director of the Duke University Career Center. Not too long ago I was giving a presentation on the job search and I made a spur the moment connection between online dating and the actual job application process. At the time, I felt kind of silly, I was, however, amused by the number of blushing faces in the crowd. The more I thought about it them more it made perfect sense. From an evaluator's perspective they are actually almost the same thing. So if you are on one of these dating apps like Tinder or Bumble or something like that. The premise is basically the same. You're given a set of photos and a bio and then you swipe right for yes and left for no. You’ve also got a seemingly endless stream of potential partners meaning that you're not really going to get hung up on one profile or another. There are 1 million people right behind them so why get hyper focused on any one person. Well, it’s kind of the same for a hiring manager. Any job that's worth applying to will have a pretty significant number of applications… so if you provide materials that are sloppy or confusing, they aren’t going to take the time to figure it out. Chances are, they will move on to the dozens if not hundreds of other applicants right behind you applying for the same job. Think about it like this okay, in online dating, you’ve got your photos and your bio In the job search you got your resume and cover letter. Those are the parallels. If you think about it like that… Let’s take a look at some of the online dating mistakes that I found via Google search the lineup almost perfectly. Mistake number one your profile is too generic. Well sure, chances as there will be way more qualified applicants for position than there are openings. So how do you stand out? Let's say that there are 20 qualified applicants and they are only going to give three interviews and one offer. You will need something that'll set you apart from the rest. That could be an interesting cover letter. That could be the “Interests” section at the bottom of your resume. I'm a huge proponent of that. I think it makes sense cause they're not just evaluating future employees. They are also evaluating people who may and being friends. People that they have to spend significant amounts of time with on a daily basis. They want to like you. It's really easy to get lost in the shuffle if you don't stand out and your materials just like everybody else's. Number two, you haven't put your best face forward. This kind of touches on the importance of formatting in your cover letter but particularly in your resume. If it doesn't pass the “eye test” chances are, they won’t even take the time to read it. Right? If you can't make something that's visually pleasing for your resume and the formatting is inconsistent or sloppy, you’ve got a pretty tough selling convincing me that you’re detail oriented. In this case, if you know they're not going to give you too much time before they make that snap judgment you got to make sure that it looks good in the same way that for online dating. You might be the most attractive person on the planet but, number one, everybody's standards are different and, number two, let's say you're as close to objectively gorgeous as you could possibly be but all of your photos are dimly lit or let's say you're blinking in them or you have unflattering photos. Well they're not going to assume that those are just unflattering photos. They're gonna assume that that's the best representation of what you look like in real life and swipe as such. Number three, you are negative and this is an important thing to keep in mind okay especially on the cover letter. When you're expressing
Duke Students are Vampires

Duke Students are Vampires

2018-09-1800:09:44

Have you checked in on your reflections lately?Cover image by: fahmionline and Gan Khoon Lay from the Noun ProjectTranscript:My name is Nathan Wilson, Assistant Director with the Duke University Career Center. You’re listening to the Career Center podcast. The verdict is in! Duke students are vampires. How are they vampires? Well for one, they stay up all night doing what it is they do. I assume that's always studying. 2016 National Geographic article reports that historically vampires have been a scapegoat for disease and they did shut down K-ville last year because of the flu epidemic so there’s a little bit of truth to that. The big one is… that Duke students are vampires because they have no reflection. It's been said many times that Duke students are exceptional at task completion but not necessarily experts on strategy. This makes sense. To get into Duke you had to do a lot. The high school business model essentially was to overload on activities and organizations; everything you can possibly do. It's just saturation. Arguably, it was quantity over quality. The thing is that when you're that busy do you have time, or even know how to reflect on the experiences you are engaging in? As you make the transition from high school into college and as college goes on the importance of reflection is going to become apparent because decisions are going to be more important and a lot more in your hands. When you are in grade school, a lot of things are kind of just assigned to you or prescribed to you. I mean that you have some freedom to get involved with what you want to get involved with but you may not have a car, you may not have… There may be all kinds of hurdles and barriers from you being able to just completely get involved in what you want to get involved with. So what does it mean to reflect? I think they're kind of two different ways that you can explain this based on the way your mind works you know and so I can talk through the sort of two ways that I look at reflection when you're really trying to figure out what the heck that means. If you're more of a humanities person or more of a creative type not so much the of the scientific orientation you can think of reflection as something that’s more about philosophizing. Or in more of a philosophical sense so “who am I and who do I want to become? What do I want to get out of life? What's my purpose? What’s my relationship to my community and to others around me?” Those are hard questions to ask and questions to answer of yourself. I think a lot of that comes back to values because that's the scary thing. Like “who am I?” That's a loaded question. If you use values, it gives you a concrete means to evaluate your own life and the decisions you make and what you're doing. Forbes.com had an article a few years back that talked about the importance of reflection for college students. One of the big things they talked about was that this is a time really to explore and to learn about yourself and moreover to discover yourself. You can't really do that unless you're taking time to think about what it is you're doing and being intentional about the decisions you make. A lot of undergraduates, as this article says, have`an instrumentalist view of college. That it's completely a means to prepare for a career and there is some truth to that but your career fits into your life and not the other way around for most people. So career should coincide with the big life goals that you have. These may include starting a family or traveling or I mean if could be any number of things… you know… giving back to your community. Maybe you want to start a nonprofit but that's not going to be your means for income right off the bat. There are any number of things you could be doing but you have to think about what it is that will give you the most satisfaction in life. There were a couple programs that this article mentions. One of them was the Stanford Reflec
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