Browsing: Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK) Blog

When was the last time you did something to help a colleague look good? Or went that extra step, not because you had to, but because it was the right thing to do? You might think that it doesn’t matter, and that nobody is watching, but you never know. As a mentor, I am often asked how I got started in my career, and I’m always happy to share this story. When I was just starting out, I was offered a temporary assignment in midtown Manhattan in the marketing department of CBS/Fox Video, the leader in home video at the…

In addition to my day job, I also enjoy teaching undergraduate classes on campus. One semester, I started my Communications class with a simple instruction: Stand up and tell the class who you are in 30 seconds or less. This quick improvisation exercise is designed to help people focus on saying just the most important details that they need to convey. The students had to decide within a matter of moments which aspects of their life they believed were appropriate to share with the group. I immediately scanned the group for the body language that would clue me in to…

Making educated career decisions can be difficult at any stage of career development. Alumni Career Services’s Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK) blog is intended for Stony Brook University students and alumni to learn career knowledge, and get advice from experienced alumni working in various career fields. Throughout the year, four alumni bloggers from various career backgrounds will be sharing the lessons they’ve learned from their professional experiences: Alp Akdeniz ’16: BS, Business Management Alp Akdeniz has a wide array of experience having worked in commercial and start-up roles. His interests includes finance, analytics, and business intelligence. Alp earned his Bachelors of…

Choosing a major was easily the most stressful part of my years at Stony Brook. Thinking pragmatically, I knew that studying engineering would set me up for a lucrative career. But I found myself much more engaged in my history and political science courses. Ultimately, I decided to make the switch from STEM to humanities in my sophomore year. Once I changed to liberal arts, I found that I loved going to my new classes every day – but I secretly dreaded the thought of one day graduating and having to find work. What I had lost sight of was…

“Personal Service Level Agreements” Herein is the Right Way, a simple program for rectifying awful, nonsensical, failure-ridden corporate cultures. It can start with one disciplined individual or a small group, as long as they have common sense and don’t mind giving some tough love to their workplace neighbors… Personal Service Level Agreements. As of this post, you have no excuses. Summary In a previous essay, I presented a checklist of typical, bad practices in corporate executive and project management. So as not to be accused of being an ineffectual whiner, I herein present the astonishingly simple solution. Buddhism has the…

A couple of years ago, I had an interesting conversation with a young woman who was working the registration booth at a social media seminar. This young woman was in the process of looking for work as a marketing project manager, and in the interim, she was volunteering at a non-profit as well as an association for business communicators. I asked her about the interview process. She was quick to share some of the questions she was asked. One interviewer, she said, asked, “Tell me what’s in the front seat, the back seat and the trunk of your car.” Another…

Hopefully, you won’t find yourself typing this phrase in Google when you start a new job (although it’s not the worst thing in the world). This prompt does, however, draw attention to the utility of Google – not only in our personal lives, but our professional ones as well. As members of the generation the public has dubbed “millennial,” we utilize this technology like no generation has before us. At the same time, our appreciation for its power has never been smaller. Indeed, while our generation’s immersion in technology gives us a considerable advantage over the current workforce, it may…

After I graduated college, I learned how much I didn’t know; and after I started teaching as an adjunct, I learned how much I did know. There is an upside and a downside to listening to yourself talk for almost three hours. The upside is that you are amazed to see how much your memory has retained and how many people have affected your life. The downside is that you can’t turn yourself off for at least an hour after class. It’s draining. It’s always easiest when the class participates. As a student, it is so easy to fall into…

When it comes to starting your career, you may find that you need to go beyond your academic major. By considering your unique strengths and ways to apply them, you’ll make yourself open to more employment prospects and opportunities for personal growth. When students or recent graduates identify themselves in interviews, they often say something along the lines of, “Hello! My name is George Humphrey. I am a student at Stony Brook University majoring in INSERT MAJOR HERE.” Leading off with your major sets an expectation for the interviewer that you fit the archetype of only that field. While some…

In Modern Management Ills, I discussed the symptoms of an ineffectual organization. Here, I will present some advice on how to handle an undisciplined workplace. First: How YOU Can Bring About “The Right Way” Where to start? What if I am a David against a Goliath? If the failures described in “Mismanagement Ills” are the norm in your company and apply to many departments, than start with yourself. Manage your own time – meetings, calendar, tasks – with these principles in mind. BE DISCIPLINED. This is difficult, especially when fighting a corporate culture that bathes in its own mediocrity.  …

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