Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Great Article by the Networking King

Came across this great article by Keith Ferrazzi that I wanted to post up real quick. This is the same stuff that we stress with our Hob Nob chapter members all the time!!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Why School Loans Suck Even More

I came across this article from Businessweek about student loan debt, and started to think through a few things as a result. According to the article, the average college grad is 33 before their net earnings catch up to counterparts who never went to college. And get this: this data is for public university grads--meaning the age is older for those of us "lucky" enough to go to private institutions.

Without going off on too much of a rant, this is all the more reason to understand what you want to do with your life while you're still in college. If the statistics hold true, the average student changes their major nearly three times before they graduate college. In some cases, this results in more time than the standard 4 years at school...which means more money being spent staying IN school. Which basically means you're likely be nearly 40 by the time you pay off all your debt. And this doesn't even include graduate schools for professions like law or medicine (speaking of which, over 50% of general medical practitioners say they wouldn't be doctors if they had to do it all over again).

Consider this: Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, dropped out of Washington State College after only two years. Michael Dell, founder of Dell Computers, never finished at the University of Texas. Barry Diller, CEO of IAC Interactive, dropped out of UCLA after only 3 weeks. And the list goes on and on with the likes of Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Bill Gates (Microsoft), and Steve Jobs (Apple).

...It strikes me that a lot of people who drop out of college early and go on to have wildly successful careers seem to be the ones that knew what they wanted to do and just went after it. So aside from saving a bunch of money, they saved a bunch of time and were able to hone in on what they were interested in much earlier than most of us.

Maybe all those dropouts were onto something...

Monday, May 04, 2009

The Cover Letter That Mocks...Sheer Brilliance

Today I received an email from one of our Emory student leaders, and what I received was too funny NOT to blog about.

The concept: a book (called "Overqualified") composed entirely of cover letters to companies around the world...cover letters that mock the very companies that they're being written to.

I gotta say, if I ever want something to read on the toilet, this has got to be it--and I don't mean that as a slight. The letters are short, entertaining, and showcase something that we've felt like doing at one point or another in our careers when experiencing the frustration that comes with applying to scores of companies that never seem to respond. Or maybe that's just me. ;)

So, without further ado, you can click here and be entertained.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The correlation between the economy and job applications

Part of what we do at Hob Nob is help recruit internship talent for organizations, and consult with employers on how to create great internship experiences. As a result, we get our fair share of applications from college students on a daily basis for the opportunities that we showcase within our campus chapters.

And you know what? I've noticed something.

With the state of the economy not exactly rosy at the moment, it's sending students into a flurry of activity...which is not exactly good in this case. Why? The flurry of activity is students applying to every internship opportunity that seems remotely viable, irrespective of their qualifications, interests, or talents.

Now, I can't exactly blame the students--after all, the prospect of landing a job are extremely hard in this environment. But this is precisely why I'd argue for the case that students, more than ever, must figure out ways to become "sharp."

Sharp is understanding your strengths and how to leverage them. Sharp is knowing your weaknesses, and finding ways to minimize them without pretending they don't exist. Sharp is articulating what makes you different than anyone else. Sharp is the opposite of being well-rounded. At the end of the day, being sharp means knowing what you are looking for and seeking opportunities that align best with what you bring to the table.

If you're a student trying to find an opportunity, I have just two words for you: Be Sharp. You'll gain better traction with the focus that comes from knowing what you want. It's not to say you don't have to apply to a lot of positions--I'm not disputing the fact that this environment is challenging and you might have to be more patient than ever in this job market. What I AM saying is that you will have a greater chance of being noticed through the noise if you find a way of differentiating yourself. And that usually means figuring out what makes you unique...and what makes you different.

In this climate where there is an "abundance" of talent looking to get plugged into careers, it's easier to be remembered for being unique in a sea of sameness.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Does Anyone Care About Microsoft Anymore?

Well, I just couldn't resist writing about this...reportedly Microsoft is releasing a new service called "Vine," which is described as a service that allows people to:

“Stay in touch with family and friends, be informed when someone you care about needs help. Get involved to create great neighborhoods, communities or causes. You select the people and places you care about most. Use alerts, reports and your personal dashboard to stay in touch, informed and involved.

“Information associated with the places you have chosen will appear on your map, including articles culled from 20,000 local and national news sources as well as public safety announcements from the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Information associated with the people you care about who are in your Vine network will appear on the dashboard too. You will know when they send you an alert, post a report or update their Facebook status information.”

But I can't help but wonder if people would actually use this service. Hate to say it, but I think Twitter and Facebook kind of spoiled the party for them--how is Microsoft going to convince people to use Vine when they're already twittering and status updating amongst the people they're connected to? Why would you try to go to a completely new community, and try to drag your friends to it when they're already on Facebook, Twitter, or a half dozen other social networking sites?

Unless Vine leverages some new way of allowing people to communicate to each other (ie like how Twitter came up with the concept of micro-blogging), I just don't see it taking off. I'll reserve judgement until I see the actual service...but it doesn't look good so far.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Going Internship Crazy

Alright, so last posting on available internships, I promise. At least for now. ;)

We have two other opportunities available with Hob Nob, a Graphic Design Internship and PR Internship. Click on each one to read more details.

At least the good thing is that having internships means we're growing, right? This summer may prove to be crazy busy...but I'm really pumped about all the progress we'll be making!

Till next time, folks...

IT Internship

Got another internship available for this summer, so here it is: we're looking for a bright computer science or computer engineering major to help architect our growing web presence.

Among other things, you'll be working on:
  • Creation of various pages under the Joomla CMS
  • Creation of video upload, video player, and video search functionalities within our site
  • Helping to architect our site layout
  • Troubleshooting website issues and all things IT
For more information, read here.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Video Production Internship

We happen to have an internship available at Hob Nob, so wanted to post about this real quick. We're looking for a video production guru who can work for us during this summer to help create inspirational videos to spread the Hob Nob message.

We're a bit idealistic, so it doesn't hurt if you're a "place a dent in the universe" type of person...we want to talk to you! ;)

Some of the things you can expect to work on throughout the course of this internship are:
  • Film and edit interviews with highly successful individuals in the Atlanta professional community
  • Film and edit viral videos to promote Hob Nob's brand and services
  • Help create storyboards for video shorts
  • Create a web strategy to spread the content that you help create
You can read more here.

I'm in

Just saw the other day that I actually made it into a book written by Jennifer Remling, called "Carve your own road." It's a little weird seeing myself in a business book...but it's not like I'm complaining either. :)

Check it out--the book is about individuals who changed their careers, and how you can do the same if you find yourself in a career rut.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

A Lot Can Change in a Year

It's been more than a year since I last posted on this site. Wow.

That said, I'm sure I managed to drive away what few readers I had to begin with through my lack of updates. ;) I didn't mean for there to be such a gap between postings. In my defense, I had quite a busy year...

First, I resigned from my career as a HR/Recruiting professional to create a start-up focused on helping people find their life callings. It is one of those "dare to be great" moments in one's life that I just couldn't ignore--let's just say I finally accepted the fact that my calling was to help other people find their callings. So, with that thought, I packed up my bags and left a good company where I had been for nearly 3 years.

Here's the kicker: I did it well into 2008, when we were officially in a recession/depression or whatever you wish to call it.

But I don't regret it one bit. The roller coaster that I've been on since has been great, and I've been able to already impact people's lives in a way that makes the whole painful process of starting up a business worth it. But back to why I've been so busy over the last year...

Second, in the midst of all the lunacy that I was in while starting up my company, I decided to get married. Not much else to say here, other than marriage is great. :)

Third, my business partner and I have been busy with all things Hob Nob, which is the name of our organization. We've put together a Board of Advisors, a website, an Emory campus chapter, a business plan (which became irrelevant on day 2), business service offerings and collateral...and a million other things that go into starting a business.

There's much more to the madness, but for now, just wanted to update y'all on what's been going on. Now that my schedule has become a bit more predictable (I use that loosely), I'll be getting back into the swing of things with my blog posts.

Till next time...which WON'T be a full year from now. ;)