Tips for Negotiating Your Job Offer

Fall recruiting is in full swing here at the Office of Career Management, which means that in the next few months, our talented Fisher students are going to be receiving, evaluating and accepting internship and full-time job offers.

When you receive that first offer, your first thoughts might be along the lines of “Someone wants to pay me actual dollars??? Sure, I’ll take it! Woo hoo! Pizza for everyone, I’m rich!!!!!”

Well, hold your horses there cowboy.

While you will be excited upon an initial verbal offer, it is highly advisable to not accept the opportunity right away. Whether you end up negotiating the offer or not, “stepping back” from the initial offer for a minimum of a few days will allow you to assess the offer and identify any potential issues for negotiation.

Here are some helpful tips for negotiating your job offer:

  • Negotiation discussions do not have to be conducted with the human resources representative who may have signed your letter of offer. Unless the company directs you otherwise, the best person to begin negotiation discussions with is usually the individual who has been the most consistent presence throughout the hiring process. Often, this is the recruiter who interviewed you on campus. If you are unsure of where to begin your negotiation, you can call this recruiter to ask.
  • Negotiation discussions are more effective when conducted in-person versus on the telephone. You should schedule a time to discuss details of the offer in order to have the full attention of the person with whom you are negotiating. Attempting to negotiate through e-mail or letter correspondence is discouraged.
  • Enter any negotiation discussion with a positive, civil, collaborative and appreciative attitude— how you negotiate will often be the first indication of how you conduct business.
  • Negotiation is an exploration of options and not necessarily a win-lose proposition—stick to facts and not personalities or subjective feelings.
  • While negotiation is highly recommended (you do not know what you can get unless you ask), it should not be viewed as required or a sign of weakness should you opt to accept the initial terms of the offer (a high percentage of initial offers are fair and determined by market value and your qualifications).
  • While salary is important, do not get too focused or “hung up” on dollars. Think in terms of the entire salary and benefits package being offered.
  • Have a clear decision in your mind regarding your “bottom lines” (salary and benefits), as well as your areas of most flexibility (salary, vacation time, bonuses, relocation expenses, etc.) prior to beginning a negotiation discussion. Decide if your strategy will be to “walk away” if the negotiation does not meet your bottom line, or if you will retreat prior to making a final decision or beginning a second round of negotiation.
  • While it is common for a company to be interested in your salary history as a possible indication of your salary value in the present, do not let this become a sole indicator or rationale. Some sample responses: “My salary history has followed a steady upward path and I have never failed to receive merit increases.” OR “I was earning $___ in my last position; however, I view this position as different from my last position and my skills and qualifications to be stronger as well.”
  • There will come a point in any negotiation where the company will indicate their “top salary offer.” If this salary figure is still short of your expectation based upon your research and market assessment, and you are still interested in the position, your response could establish other elements of the offer as more negotiable. A sample response to the final salary offer: “Even though the salary is not as high as I had anticipated based upon my research, I am still interested. Can we re-visit the package and see if there is anything here that is negotiable such as…(bonus, relocation expenses, performance review dates, job title, insurance, professional association fees, training schedule, tuition reimbursement, etc.).”

Name Tags are here, ya’ll!

As you probably saw during our Twitter/email campaign this summer, the Ohio Union no longer allows stick-on name tags during any event in their facility. For Fisher students, that means we won’t have those sticky name tags available to print anymore. That’s okay, they’re not really environmentally friendly, and we’re Fisher, so let’s step up our game a bit, shall we?

Thompson Library Name Tag

Look how nice Brutus Buckeye’s name looks when it’s attached to a magnet! Gorgeous.

If you ordered your name tag by the August 21st deadline, stop by our office, 150 Gerlach Hall, and pick yours up! We want to make sure you have yours in time for the Fisher Fall Career Fair, so we have extra staff members on hand to assist you over the next few days.

I mean, look at all these name tags! Seriously.


It’s the first day of school and you still rule

On behalf of the entire staff in the Office of Career Management, WELCOME (BACK)!!!

Some of you may be new to campus, new to Ohio, new to this country, and I know I speak for everyone at the University when I say, we’re SO happy you’re here!

Isn’t it amazing to be a part of the best college at the best university in the country???? And no, we’re not biased or anything….

As you head to class (hopefully on time) today, take a minute to ponder the energy and enthusiasm you feel today. Today is the brand new start to a brand new year. A clean slate if you will. Let go of everything that held you back last year and charge forward. Come February, when we’re all wondering why in the heck we live in Ohio because there is snow up to our eyeballs, when we all enviably lose our steam, just remember that you made a promise to yourself today to seize the energy you feel and channel it into something that will last longer than the month of August.

And, it certainly doesn’t hurt that Fisher students have this gorgeous view to welcome them today.


Happy Autumn semester everyone! We look forward to seeing you this year!

Adam’s Progressive Top 10

My internship with Progressive Insurance has come to an end. Through this two-part blogging finale, I will highlight my summer experience through a showcase of the most meaningful moments of my internship.

Research Project

Beginning the highlights is a work assignment that I came across through my own actions. On the first day of my internship, my manager asked me if there were any departments I was interested in outside of mine (Treasury). I mentioned sustainability and was provided with a contact – the business leader in Real Estate. After meeting with him, I was referred to a manager in Engineering, who taught me about how Progressive is conserving its energy use. He inquired to me about assisting him in a research project. This project involved me studying the repair shop industry. At the end of my internship, I created a complete outline of the industry in an organized fashion, and met with the manager to discuss my findings. By expressing my interest in outside areas of my department and pursuing unique opportunities, I differentiated my workflow, and learned something new throughout my research.

Understanding the Stakeholders

In working for a public company, I learned about the important stakeholders, ranging from investors to policyholders to employees to community to environment, in Progressive Corporation. Investors receive transparency from Progressive, which releases its results monthly, as opposed to just quarterly. Understanding the operations of Progressive’s service centers displayed to me the high regard in which it holds its policyholders. I participated in events held by Progressive’s employee resource groups, which are organizations that celebrate each of Progressive’s people. As mentioned earlier, I interacted with the Real Estate department to learn about Progressive’s sustainability initiatives, in which Progressive operates in a way that reduces its impact on the environment and contributes to the community. For a company of such vast size, there are a wide variety of stakeholders, and I learned how Progressive effectively meets the needs of each of these stakeholders.

Here is a picture from my last day with Progressive. I had a fantastic experience!

Here is a picture from my last day with Progressive. I had a fantastic experience!

Insurance Concepts

In addition to GAAP Accounting, insurance companies use Statutory Accounting Principles (SAP), a concept that I have not studied in the classroom. Learning nuances, such as this, from the insurance industry contributed invaluable knowledge to my accounting acumen. Also, I learned key terms such as premium, combined ratio, loss adjustment expense, claim, and more words that are particular to insurance. It was a welcome challenge to apply my knowledge from the classroom to a new territory.

Hosting FMN Session

Every month, Progressive has a Financial Management Network Session, a roundtable discussion that covers a particular business topic. The event involves a video that provides background on the subject matter, and is followed with a guest speaker who has experience regarding the topic of interest. After attending the May session, I volunteered to host the June session. After looking over potential topics, I decided on one that looked at the differences between GAAP vs. IFRS. I was tasked with finding a guest speaker, preparing the agenda for the event, and facilitating the discussion. The event was successful, and I gained confidence in my public speaking and preparation skills. I took a leadership opportunity and worked hard to see it through.

“Healthy U”

Work-life balance is positively emphasized at Progressive, and I was able to experience it firsthand. For example, its “Healthy U” program promotes nutrition and activity. In joining the Progressive Fitness Center, I joined in on the movement. From going on occasional runs with my manager to playing basketball with fellow Progressive people, I realized the value of being a “healthy me”. These activities allowed me to build meaningful relationships with co-workers, and when completed, I was refreshed to get back to work. 

Stay tuned for the rest of Adam’s Progressive Top 10.

How We Got Here (Part 1)

I was teasing Gerlaugh the other day because since moving to Texas, she has already started to incorporate “y’alls” and other Southernisms into her speech (I swear she said “Bless your heart” to the lady who put extra meat on her burrito at Chipotle the other day). But I guess I have to stop teasing because I caught myself saying “ya’ll” this morning. It sneaks into your vocab, really. So, ya’ll are probably wondering how in the world I ended up in Texas of all places this summer. It all has to do with the fact I A. wanted to work somewhere unique (and outside of Ohio) this summer and B. love this company and didn’t think twice about relocating so far away to intern with them.

The Alexs in our new apartment!

The Alexs in our new apartment!

Just a little background on me, I started at University of Dayton as a freshman, left half way through my sophomore year to study through St. Louis University in Madrid, and then transferred to Ohio State at the beginning of my junior year. Sometimes it was nerve-wracking and stressful, but ultimately I could not have asked for a better experience thus far. During my semester abroad and in summers between schools, I interned at Fifth Third Bank’s headquarters in Cincinnati, traveled to Africa & the Canary Islands, and went on a service trip to Honduras. Over the last three years, I have met extraordinarily talented and vibrant people, made amazing friendships, and learned from a wide array of professors and business leaders. This exposure to so many unique people is what helped me realize that I find my motivation in the people I surround myself with, whether that is at work, in class, traveling or just in day-to-day life activities.

People are sometimes surprised to find out that I am an accounting major, knowing that I am an extrovert and get my energy from the people around me (breaking accountant stereotypes, I suppose). One thing that I have always liked in the Accounting field is the diversity of companies and opportunities I can pursue. Every company in every industry, from retail to transportation to energy, needs finance people. Therefore, I have chosen to pursue a vibrant and people-centered company to intern with, Southwest Airlines.

Almost everyone who flies or is in business knows who Southwest is and how they defy industry stereotypes by thinking outside the box in their business operations. Southwest is a pioneer not only in the airline industry and its lean operating system, but in the way they treat people. The culture of SWA is one of the most unique of large corporations in the United States and the world. One of my favorite quotes of our CEO, Gary Kelly, is that “We are a customer service company that just happens to fly airplanes”. That quote really illustrates the importance of putting people, whether it is employees or customers, first. Ever since reading a case study about SWA my freshman year at UD, they have topped my list of dream companies to intern with/ work for.

SWA Headquarters

SWA Headquarters

Last fall, after an extensive online application process, series of phone interviews and a flight to the headquarters in Dallas, I was thrilled to find out I was offered a summer internship in Internal Audit. Ask my roommates, I actually cried of happiness then subsequently got a speeding ticket on my way home because I was so excited. My enthusiasm only increased when I found the other two Alexs had landed internships here as well and were moving to Dallas with me! People we meet here never believe we are all from Ohio, are roommates, and are all named Alex. (We’ve brought out our IDs on numerous occasions just to prove we are all, in fact, named Alex). I am looking forward to exploring Dallas and learning as much as I can from such an amazing company. I hope you enjoy following along on the adventures of the Alexs at Southwest this summer!