Making the Most of Fall Break

Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.
William Penn

Fall Break is officially here and many of you are rejoicing at the fact that the last few weeks of midterms and final exams are finally behind you! mlb cavs jumbotron baseball

Fall Break is a time to relax and rejuvenate, but it provides a nice break in your schedule to focus on your career development.  The Office of Career Management has a few ideas on how to use that precious time wisely …

 If you’re deciding on which specialization and/or career path to pursue, the halfway mark of the semester is a great time to reflect on your experiences so far!  Think about your classes, extracurricular activities, and your work experiences.  What do you like about them?  What skills are you developing?  How are you thriving in these situations?  What do you find challenging?   After reflecting on these experiences, take some time to review our Explore Careers PowerPoints to learn more about the Fisher specializations and see how your skill sets and interests align with the different career paths.

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If you have an idea of what type of career path you would like to pursue, Fall Break is a perfect opportunity to start networking.  Have you been putting off creating that LinkedIn profile?  Review our LinkedIn Checklist and get started this weekend!  Already have a LinkedIn profile?  Start connecting with family, friends, alumni, professors, staff, recruiters, and your classmates!  If you’re visiting with family or friends over break, take advantage of that time to conduct a few informational interviews to learn more about your inner circle’s career paths.  Find out how to coordinate these experiences by reviewing our Networking & Informational Interviewing Handout.  Also, take this opportunity to create your AlumniFire profile!  Alumnifire is a new online professional networking and mentoring tool for Ohio State alumni, students and staff to exchange industry expertise and career advice. There are already over 1000 Buckeye alumni active on this site and interested in helping you with your career development.

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As an upperclassmen, you might be in the process of interviewing and evaluating internship or full-time offers.  Take this break from the chaos of school and campus life to reflect on your priorities throughout this search.  Use our Evaluating and Negotiating Offers Handout to help you with this process.

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Lastly, the Office of Career Management will remain open throughout Fall Break from 8 am – 5 pm Thursday and Friday.  If you’re sticking around campus, feel free to schedule an appointment with us!

What are you Plans for this Summer?

Written by Director of Undergraduate Career Consultation and Programs, Sarah Steenrod

As the academic year winds down, it is likely that college students around the world are being asked, “What are your plans for this summer?”

Interning at your dream company?

Taking classes?

Studying abroad?

Feeling speechless because you have no idea?

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If this question makes you cringe, it might mean that you don’t…yet…know what you’ll be up to this summer. The good news is you are in control of how you spend your time this summer and there is still time to make a plan to make the most of it!

Conduct Informational Interviews – Reach out to family, friends, or alumni from your university who work at a company/organization of interest to you and set up a time to talk with them about their work, their company, or their city. This is a great way to network and people love to talk about themselves. People also like to help college students because it give them a chance to “pay it forward,” so do as much of this as you can while you’re still a student. LinkedIn is a great resource for expanding your network –

Get Experience – While many students put pressure on themselves to get an internship as early as freshman or sophomore year, most companies target juniors for their internship programs. While you may not land an internship, there are so many opportunities to develop transferable skills through more traditional jobs. For example, being a server in a restaurant may help you develop strong customer service or communication skills and working as a camp counselor may help you develop teamwork or problem solving skills. It is important to value your experiences and be ready to tell potential employers how you can add value to their company based on your experience from previous employment.

Develop a Skill – Perhaps you’ve been meaning to learn some new Excel formulas, get familiar with a social media platform, or brush up on a foreign language. Summer is a great time to focus on the things you have been putting off.


Be Strategic – Many students want to work for large companies or organizations after graduation, but they don’t always think of ways to get insights into the company. For example, if a student is interested in a career with L Brands, it could be very beneficial for them to get some in-store experience at Bath & Body Works. This would be a great way to show that you understand the company culture and the customers in an interview.

Volunteer – Approach volunteer opportunities as if you’re applying for your dream job. Write a personalized cover letter and send it along with your resume to local organizations and offer your help. Even if you don’t land a gig in the marketing department, you never know how much you may gain (both personally and professionally) from the experience of giving back.

Do Something that Makes You Interesting – What do you like to do for fun? What would you enjoy talking to people about in a casual setting? Training for a half-marathon, learning a new instrument, perfecting your cooking skills, or taking a cross country trip? The opportunities are endless, but you are the only person who can decide what makes you interesting.

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Read – “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” ~Dr. Seuss

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Best of luck making your summer a meaningful and memorable one. Hopefully when you head back to school in the fall and someone asks, “What did you do this summer?” you will have plenty to talk about!

Register for BA2601: Job Search Preparation Course

Written by Course Instructor, Audrey Bledsoe, Assistant Director for Undergraduate Career Services and Education

Did you know the Office of Career Management at Fisher offers a class called BA 2601? BA 2601 is a 1-credit hour class that meets twice a week and covers several career-related topics. Basically it’s a crash course in everything you need to know to be a successful job seeker. Interested? You should be! This class benefits nearly any student no matter your major or career goals. You will develop skills that are necessary for LIFE. Some of the topics include:

  • Resume writing
  • Cover letters, thank you notes and other correspondence
  • Interviewing skills
  • Job search techniques
  • Preparing for career fairs
  • Elevator pitch
  • Networking
  • Professionalism and etiquette
  • Salary and job offer negotiation
  • And tons more!

I’m telling you—EVERY business professional needs to have the above skills to be successful!

The best part is the style of this class…most of the above topics are taught not by a professor, but by company recruiters! Tons of great companies have come to BA 2601 to share their expertise and the “insider’s perspective” on what they look for in potential candidates. Eaton, DHL Supply Chain, EY, Discover, Procter & Gamble, Progressive, L brands, Target, 5/3 Bank, PwC, Deloitte, Whirlpool, Unilever, GE Aviation, General Motors, Big Lots, Cardinal Health…the list goes on. And you can chat 1-on-1 with these recruiters after the conclusion of each class; now that’s networking!

Christopher Jackson, a current undergraduate business student in BA 2601 during Spring 2016, weighs in on his experience in the class: BA2601 Student

“BA 2601 will help me in my career by giving me better insight as to what employers are looking for in an ideal candidate. I’ve been introduced to the recruiters of many large companies and learned directly from them what skills and passion they are looking for in a future employee of their business.”

“My favorite class session so far has been the speed networking activity where we gave elevator pitches and connected with the peers in our class. We provided constructive feedback to each person that we networked with, which told each of us what we can do better when we get into the same situation with a company recruiter.”

One of the coolest parts about the class is the Etiquette lunch at the Blackwell. During this lunch you get to practice your networking and conversational skills while eating a delicious 3-course meal at the Blackwell. Here’s a picture from the Fall 2015 Etiquette luncheon:Etiquette Lunch

Doesn’t Filet of Beef Sirloin or Chicken Francoise sound delicious? And you get to eat it as part of a class? At this point you’re probably asking, “how do I sign up?”

Look for this class to be offered every fall and spring semester! The only prerequisites are you must be enrolled in the Fisher College of Business (not open to pre-business students) and you must be at least a sophomore standing.

Contact Audrey Bledsoe ( with any questions!


Tip Tuesday: All You Need to Know About Professional References

Written by Undergraduate Career Consultant, Kaitlin Bressler

We get a lot of questions in the career management office from students regarding references, especially around this time of year, so I thought it would be a great topic to write about for the OCM blog.

What is a professional reference?

A professional reference is someone who can speak to your professional qualifications and skills in a positive way.

Are references different from letters of recommendation?

Yes! Typically, recommendation letters are used for graduate school or scholarship applications and are in a written format. References, however, are used by organizations in the selection process for hiring candidates and are typically done via phone.

How often do companies use references?

Many companies use references toward the end of the application process to check information gathered throughout the interview process. It varies depending on the company and the industry, but the reference process usually comes as one of the last steps in the hiring process.

Who can I use as a reference?

Professional references can include past supervisors or managers, professors, coaches, college personnel, or academic advisors. They typically do NOT include friends or family members.

How do I ask people to be a reference for me?

The important thing to remember is make sure you get permission before you write down someone else’s contact information. It is great if you can give at least a two-week notice, but more time is always better.

Should I include my reference list on my resume?

Typically, a reference list should NOT be included on a resume. It is best to wait until a company has requested a reference list, and then at that time you will be able to submit the names or contact information of your references.

If you have any questions about professional references, please feel free to make an appointment with a member of our team in the Office of Career Management by calling 614-292-6024 or stopping by our office.