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Dartmouth Career Services

An Easy Way to Make a Big Impression: Skill Up!

dartmouth_libraryInterested in applying for a position that requires more skills or knowledge than you currently have? Check out our tools for skill building - then market your new knowledge in your application. We've recently added a new section in the Tools file of the DartBoard Resource Library. Check out our tip sheet on tools you can use to "Explore Interests, Build Skills & Showcase What You Know." The tip sheet includes free resources available to Dartmouth students to learn more about a range of applications and systems including Microsoft Excel (SkillsX), Bloomberg Terminal (Tuck) and

Got a question? Contact Chandlee Bryan at the Center for Professional Development.

Where's the Resume Guide? What is Networking? How Do I Prepare for an Interview?

The Center for Professional Development is dedicated to being as accessible as possible to the student population at Dartmouth. UserVoice is a tool we have implemented for students to ask questions and get responses quickly, no matter the time of day or night. Have a suggestion for the CPD? Post a new idea or vote for one on our page.Check out what other feedback students have given us!


5 Ways to Build Relationships with Faculty

Even if graduate school is not in your plans, it's important to create great relationships with your professors. Get to know a faculty member well and they can help answer questions on course material, advise you on opportunities to apply what you study in a job or profession, and -- when the time comes -- write you a recommendation for a new opportunity. Here are five tips for relationship building -- courtesy of the Undergraduate Dean's office:

  1. Go to office hours when you don't need to. Show them your level of interest in what you are studying. cropped-cropped-logo-webwork42-150x150
  2. Give notice that you'll be missing class in advance. If you are going to be out of town or have the flu, let your professor know that you'll be missing class ahead of time. In some cases, you may be able to get notes from others.
  3. Ask about a final grade. Not sure why or how you ended up with the course grade you did on a transcript. Contact your faculty and ask to have a face-to-face conversation. If you did better than expected, find out what you did well. If your grade was lower than expected, it's okay to ask why -- just be careful not to play defense. Understand what happened.
  4. Pick up your final exam Aren't you curious about how you did?
  5. Send a note to the professor thanking them. Whether you enjoyed a class, discovered a new discipline you never thought of before, changed your idea on what to major in or simply looked forward to your class everyday, say so. Who doesn't love genuine positive feedback?Follow two or more of these steps and you'll be well on your way to building strong relationships with your faculty!


How to Ask for An Informational Interview

careertips13-150x150So you have checked the Dartmouth Career Network and can’t find an alum who works at your dream organization. Here’s how to find and approach potential contacts and get them to say yes — every time. Special thanks to The Muse for this content...

Want to find alums willing to talk with you for informational interviews? Check out the Dartmouth Career Network.

Tongue tied as to what to say? Read our tips on how to reach out to alums. You'll also find a list of questions you can use to get started.

Using LinkedIn to Plan Your Career

As an intern for the Center for Professional Development (formerly Career Services when I worked there),  I discovered the power of LinkedIn in helping to brainstorm my career progression and the skills needed for the careers I desire. Here are the 3 simple steps that I followed using LinkedIn to network, discover opportunities, and plan out my career: 1. Research before you write or connect.

LinkedIn Post Advanced Search Screen

Increase the relevancy of your search by making use of the advanced search tool (pictured above). Try using specific keywords that might highlight the people who share your interests. Always look for those who are members of the Dartmouth College Alumni Group, as they specifically chose to be a member and would likely be the most receptive to your inquiries. Be sure to also reference the Dartmouth Career Network, which contains over 23,000 alumni who have each volunteered to help. Check out our suggestions on how to best contact and start a conversation with alumni here.

Need help optimizing your professional presence? Don’t forget to sign up for the LinkedIn workshops to get a better idea of how you can use LinkedIn to better tell your story. The workshops highlight the differences between LinkedIn and traditional media and will empower you to both assess and showcase your skills and interests using LinkedIn's tools.  We'll teach you how to best structure your profile and how you can then use it to network and have conversations with either alumni or potential employers that go beyond the basics.

2. Investigate career paths of others with your interests.

One of LinkedIn’s most powerful uses—and probably its most basic one—is to simply gauge how others have both built upon and progressed in their experiences. Using the methods of research discussed above, locate potential new connections who share your interests and check out the track of their professional career path. This information will not only allow you to detect a shared interest between yourself and this person for a potential conversation starter but will also allow you to make more informed decisions about the companies to which you will apply.

3.Spot trends in these paths.

Let LinkedIn be an additional career consultant. When looking at the trajectory of someone’s career, be sure to make note of how his or her career has grown and notice any trends within the career path of this person you chose on the basis of mutual interest. In tracking his/her career progression, notice how he/she was able to use the skills he/she developed from one position in order to progress into another position. With this information, you will get a better idea of what types of skills will enable you to move toward your desired role.

How can I tell you this? I used this exact framework when I got the chicken pox during one of my off-terms. I used LinkedIn as a resource to find and reach out to people for informational interviews.

I then sent applications for approximately 20 listings I found both on DartBoard and other websites. I had many interviews, some rejections, and ultimately selected the internship that was right for me.

Tips for the Transition going from Student to Staff: Stay Classy

This is the fifth and final part in a five part series that provides a tip about the transition from college student to full time employee. You hear it time and time again, "You can't go to work dressed like that!" No longer will your running shorts or Dartmouth hoodie pass as acceptable attire (unless of course you are a gym teacher or professional athlete). Deciding what to wear to work can become a job in and of itself. It is important that you take time to make yourself presentable. It is no longer ok to roll out of bed, thrown on a pair of sweats and spray half a bottle of body spray to make it through the day.

Regardless of what the dress code for the office is, make sure that you don't look like you got dressed in the dark. Not to say that you need to look red carpet ready at all times, but you want to make sure that you not only represent yourself but also your company well. Make sure that your clothes are not wrinkled or has day old stains on them (that will never be in style). Ladies make sure your top is not too low cut and Gentlemen make sure your shirt tail is tucked in your pants. You don't want people to question if you just came from a walk of shame because you look unkempt. The first thing people notice about you is your appearance so make sure you are making solid first impressions.

Stay classy my friends,

Jennifer McGrew '13



Tips for the Transition going from Student to Staff: Who, What, When, Where, Why?

This is the second in a five part series that provides a tip about the transition from college student to full time employee. You know that age old saying, there's no such thing as a dumb question? Well there isn't. In order to make yourself not look dumb it is best to ask questions and ask a lot of them.

It takes time to be able to adjust to a new position. Not only are you learning the ropes of the job, but you are also trying to get into the groove of being a young adult as well. This tacked on being in a new environment and possibly a new location can lead to high stress and anxiety. Don't be afraid to ask for help! When you didn't understand something during your lecture you raised your hand or spoke to the professor afterwards to ensure you knew the information for the upcoming test. Though there will probably not be any tests at work, you want to make sure that you know the information. You never know when you will be asked to give a presentation or explain your project to someone else.

Your new job is just that, new. You don't know the lay of the land. You don't know the social norms. Sometimes you don't understand the protocol for a certain task in the office. Sometimes you don't know what to do about a issue with a client. Sometimes you can't get the job done on time. ASK FOR HELP! Easier sad than done, I know, but in the long run it will make your job a whole lot easier if you find a way to do it better and more effective.

The people that you work with understand that you are new to the job and they are there to help you! Feel comfortable being able to go and ask them for assistance if need be.

Are there any questions?

Jennifer McGrew ’13


How to Search for Internships over Winter Break

Preparing to kick-off an internship search over break?1207114_door_1-150x150 If it's your first time looking for internships at Dartmouth, here's a quick overview of Center for Professional Development resources you can use in your search.

  1. Where to Find Internship Listings: Log into DartBoard, accessible through the right-hand menu of the Center for Professional Development homepage. If you haven't logged into DartBoard before, you'll need to use your Dartmouth ID to set up an account. To receive regular Blitz Bulletins highlighting opportunities in areas of interest, subscribe to Career Services Emails in the My Profile settings of DartBoard. 
  2. You'll find a list of internships employers have posted through the "Jobs & Internships" tab. Use the Advanced Search feature and select "Internship" under Position Type to find additional internship listings. If you see an internship listed in the tab under our recruiting program and would like to apply, visit the Recruiting section of our website to learn more about how our recruiting program works and about how to apply. (Note: The first deadline to apply for internships through the recruiting program is January 14, so you have plenty of time to meet with a Career Advisor after classes start if you have questions.)
  3. You can also see additional Internship listings if you search under the "More Jobs and Internships" tab in DartBoard. Be sure to check out leads from the National Internship Consortium (NIC); you'll also find links to internship boards with government and non-profit opportunities. You can also find reviews of internships held by other Dartmouth students through the Internship Feedback Database.

Want to take a stab at putting together or refining your resume before you get back to school? Check out our all-new Resume Guide in the Resource Library of DartBoard. While you're there, you can also download our handout on how to navigate DartBoard to find jobs and internships. (You must log into DartBoard for access to the Resource Library.)

Tips for the Transition going from Student to Staff: Rockabye Baby

This is the first in a five part series that provides a tip about the transition from college student to full time employee.

Going from school to work is no small task. No longer can you rely on your 30 minute power nap after lunch or drop everything to grab a cup of coffee with a buddy. A job is 8 straight hours (ok minus the one we get for lunch) of work. Non stop work. It's the kind of work that you have to constantly use your brain and your energy in order to succeed. I have found these few tips to have helped me out TREMENDOUSLY during my transition from student to full time worker.

Get sleep! That can literally never been said enough, sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep... you get my point.

That may be one of the most overrated things ever, SLEEP. As a college student I prided myself on being able to run off of 3 hours of sleep. Now, 3 hours won't get me out of bed in the morning. It is important that you realize that sleep really is a necessity. During school I could take a 30 minute power nap if need be to refuel for the rest of my day.When at my job I don't have such opportunities to take breaks. I am constantly going from the time I step in the door till the moment I leave (and sometimes even after that).

There have even been studies that document just how crucial sleep is to be able to create a productive career in any field!

Sleep time is important and it is crucial for you to be able to put your best foot forward with all tasks that you do. Getting into a sleep schedule and keeping that schedule (even on the weekends!) is critical to feeling rested and restored for the day at work ahead of you.

Eyes wide shut until next time,
Jennifer McGrew '13

How to End a Conversation

Have you even been standing during a conversation and thought to yourself, "now how am I going to get out of this one..."  It is always nice to have a list of phrases that you can pull out if the situation ever arises. The Culture and Manners Institute came up with a great list of lines that you can use to politely (and quickly) end a conversation in almost any situation.

Aftecareertips13-150x150r shaking the hand of whomever you are speaking with, end the conversation with:
"It was a pleasure to meet you."
"I enjoyed speaking to you."
"Thank you for taking the time to speak with me."
"Thank you for your time"
"You have an impressive background and I enjoyed hearing about it."
"Enjoy the rest of your evening."
These are all quick and easy ways to end a conversation on a polite note. Not all conversations will be slam dunks, but all conversations are a way to build (and keep) a good reputation out there.


This is my first post for the Center for Professional Development's blog. I'm looking forward to starting new conversations with you. If you have ideas or any topic that you want to discuss let me know. .....


Thank you for your time,
Jennifer McGrew '13

Want to Work in Entertainment/Media? Alumni Mentoring Program...Apply by 12/14

Screen Shot 2013-12-06 at 3.20.55 PM Are you interested in becoming a professional in the Entertainment/Media industry? Would you like to make connections with experienced professionals who can answer questions you have about their work, experience, and advice for your future? Have you demonstrated your interest in film or television through your classes, activities, and/or off terms? If so, the Dartmouth Alumni in Entertainment and Media Association (DAEMA) Mentorship Program might be just what you’re looking for!

As we all know, making connections with alumni in your chosen professional field is one of the best ways to quickly launch a career. The DAEMA Mentorship Program was founded in 2009 to facilitate opportunities for students to connect with alumni working in the media and entertainment industry. This is a great opportunity for students to learn from their mentors’ vast body of knowledge accrued from many years of experience. Mentorships run for 6 months, beginning in January 2014.
If you think you display the hard work and dedication needed to grow and succeed in the entertainment industry and allied industries, visit for more information and to get an application. Act now! The deadline for applications is December 14th, 2013. Feel free to email with any questions!

Power Poses

Want to make a big impression in an interview or chance meeting? cuddy Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy prescribes a simple exercise you can use to increase your public presence and sense of confidence. Click on the link below and check out her TED talk

Change Your Posture for Two Minutes, Expand Your Presence

This 20 minute video provides a routine you can also use to warm up for interviews. Let us know how it works for you!

How to be a leader at your new job

careertips13-150x150So you’re the youngest staff member or intern working at your dream company and you want contribute to your professional team, impress your boss and make friendly connections with your colleagues by the end of week one.  Well, how to get started? Here are  8 Quick Tips for becoming a leader in a new office setting:

1. Do your homework

Make sure you understand the goals of your employer, general trends in the field and basic terminology associated with industry. Talk to friends who worked for similar employers, family friends familiar with the area and alumni on Dartmouth’s career network for advice.

2. Listen and learn

Especially in your first week on the job, be a sponge.  Take in the office environment and ask questions of your colleagues about expectations for your work. Try to avoid bothering your boss with small questions that you could ask someone else or figure out on your own.

3. Lean in

As you start to settle into your routine, continue to look for ways to be an asset to your employer. Offer to learn additional professional skills or tasks around the office.  Look for which managers in your subfield seem to be busiest and offer to assist them with their work if you feel under-tasked.

4. Speak up

Especially as a relative outsider, your feedback may be especially valuable to an employer.  Listen and learn about a company’s practices and goals, but have a critical eye.  Even though a company is used to performing a task one way, there may be a better way to accomplish the same goal. Speak up with a suggestion if you think you see room for improvement.

5. Articulate your needs

Overworked with mounting deadlines?  Speak up about what you can and cannot do and check in with your employer about which work you should prioritize.  Reach out to colleagues for assistance with balancing work if they seem under-tasked.  That said, try to arrive to work early or on time and do not be the first one to leave, especially as a new member of the office.

6. Don’t forget to say thanks

If you work on a project in a team, don’t forget to give credit where credit is due.  Your colleagues will be more willing to work with you in the future if you do.

7. Look for a mentor

Really respect someone higher up at your new company? Offer to take them out to lunch to learn more about their career trajectory to reaching that position. Ask them about skills and insights that have helped them along the way.

8. Pursue leadership opportunities outside the office

The best way to learn leadership skills is to practice them. Whether competing on a team, participating in community service initiatives or guiding hiking trips, look for ways to practice management and leadership skills in settings outside the office.


Adapted from "10 Steps You Can Take to Become a Successful Young Leader at Work" on

Internship Experiences: Kellie MacPhee '14, Education

Kellie MacPhee '14, interned at the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, Vermont. The experience allowed MacPhee a chance to both learn and teach in a hands-on environment. She spent her time interacting with visitors touring the museum's exhibits (they're all interactive!) and ran special education programs for children. MacPhee is a math major and education minor at the College.  She plays on the women's water polo club team and is a participant in the Women in Science Program. Learn more about her internship here:

Emailing a Potential Employer

Image courtesy of So you’re in the process of applying to your dream internship and using the Dartmouth Career Network, you find out that a super awesome alum already works for the firm. Perfect!  You draft an email about scheduling a phone interview for the near future.  One day goes by, then two.  Soon it’s been two weeks and your application is due, but you never received a reply to your email.

What went wrong?

According to Baydin, the makers of an online email management site, potentially quite a lot.  The average person with an email account receives 147 emails a day, but can only process 50!  Here are a few tips to make sure your email is read and responded to.

Send your email earlier in the day

Studies show that emails sent at the beginning of the work day are more likely to be read.  You can draft your email later in the day, but wait to send it until the next morning!

Avoid certain keywords

Emails with subject line words such as “confirm,” “join,” and “invite” were less likely to be read, while “apply,” “opportunity,” and “connect” had higher readership. Don’t forget to include “Dartmouth student” in your subject line for best results!

Follow up

If your first email didn’t receive a reply, copy it into the body of a new email and send a short follow-up note to the alumnus you are trying to reach.  If the alumnus had intended to reply but forgot to do so, this extra note may prompt a quick reconciliation.

For more specific tips on what to include in the body of your email and sample language, check out this link on the Career Services website.  Remember, alumni listed on the Dartmouth Career Network are meant to be contacted for general information about their career field and position.  You should include your interests and general skills in your initial email, but do not attach a resume!

Internship Experiences: Julia McElhinney '14, Urban Planning

Julia McElhinney '14 interned in the Governmental Planning Office in Winchester, Massachusetts. The internship gave her insight into public policy making on a local level. At Dartmouth, McElhinney is an environmental studies major and studio art minor. McElhinney is a Presidential Scholar and involved in environmental groups on campus. Learn more about her internship here:


Internship Experiences: Molly Pugh '14, Marine Biology

Molly Pugh '14 has always loved the ocean. Interning as an aquarist at Heal the Bay in Santa Monica, California, she was able to see how that passion might turn into a career. Her daily work included petting sharks and maintaining the aquarium. At Dartmouth, Pugh is a biology major with a concentration in ecology. Learn more about her internship here:


Networking: Relax! You'll be fine

Courtesy of You grab a name tag, enter the banquet hall, and BANG! You’re off, sink or swim, the networking event has begun. Not dissimilar to speed dating, there is a certain awkwardness and rush as you try to navigate the forming conversation circles and hopefully grab some free food.

Networking events can be stressful for even the social butterflies among us, but they don’t have to be!  Here are a few tips to break the ice and come away with valuable business connections.

Start with the obvious

Enter a small group, introduce yourself by name, and shake hands with the each person you meet. Then jump right in and ask the obvious questions.  Why are you here?  Have you attended similar networking events before?  What kind of a job are you in?  This is a simple, straight-forward strategy and a good place to start!

Use props

Whether it’s the food table or someone’s clothing, use items around you as conversation starters.  Something like, “Wow, check out that food spread. Where to start?” or a compliment on someone’s jacket can open the floor to further conversation.

Fake it 'till you make it

Try to keep track of the little things that will set you up for success!  Remember to stay hydrated, maintain positive body language (no arm-crossing or slouching), and keep eye contact with the person you’re speaking with.  And smile!  An inviting posture will set you up for more positive interactions.

Ask questions

The easiest way to keep a conversation going is to steer it in new directions with a follow-up question.  Keep small talk going with questions about sports or where the other person is from.

Plan an exit strategy

You don’t want to be suctioned to one person or conversation group for the whole networking event! Plan an exit strategy to make sure you circulate between different crowds.  Try introducing someone new to the conversation group to take your place or explain that you are off to check out the food.  Ask for business cards and say you hope to be in touch soon.

You don’t have to remember all these tips, but be confident!  You’ll warm up as the night goes along, just stay positive and inquisitive.

Adapted from Ariella Coombs's "18 Easy Conversation Starters for Networking Events."

Internship Experiences: Sandra Okonofua '14, Humanitarian Internship

Sandra Okonofua '14 interned at Africare, a non-profit devoted to development projects to improve the lives of people living in Africa. Okonofua, who worked as a communications intern, said she was grateful for her exposure to the workings of a non-profit organization. She also enjoyed the passion that her co-workers had for humanitarian aid projects, which contributed to a positive, enriching work environment. Okonofua '14 is a sociology and psychology double major at Dartmouth. She is involved in a number of Christian organizations on campus and is a member of the Afro American Society, Women in Business, and Minorities in Business, among other organizations. Learn more about her internship here:

Alumni Stories: Maurissa Horwitz '98, Sony Pictures Animation Editor

An image of Ms. Horwitz created by a fellow animation artist. Maurissa Horwitz '98, associate editor for Sony Pictures animation, has spent the last 15 years building up her experience editing film in Los Angeles.  She entered the field as an apprentice, worked on some television projects, and now edits full-length animation films. Some recent titles she has worked on include "Over the Hedge" (2006), "Monsters vs Aliens" (2009), "How to Train Your Dragon" (2010), and "Gnomeo & Juliet" (2011).

Position: Associate editor  for Sony Pictures Animation

Please provide a two sentence description of what you do:

I edit animated feature films, which includes cutting together storyboards and editing the various stages of animation with dialogue, sound effects and music.

What is most satisfying about your current work?

Honestly, I find a lot of satisfaction just in having a small part of bringing a movie to life. The cherry on top is that, since I work mostly in animation, my projects are family-oriented and I can encourage absolutely everyone to see them.

What’s the best way to enter your field? Any essential elements of preparation?

A film major isn't necessary, but a serious interest in animation or film is required. Since there is so much film and animation equipment available to Dartmouth students with the gorgeous, new Black Family Visual Arts Center, I would recommend trying to get as much time in there as you can.

What advice would you give to others seeking opportunities in this field?

Being a great editor requires someone who is extremely detail oriented (one frame at a time), but who can also step back and see how the whole narrative is working. It takes time to cultivate those skills, so be prepared to spend quite a few years as an apprentice and assistant editor when you enter the industry. These are mostly organizational (not creative) roles, but what you learn from the various editors you work with and their management styles will be invaluable for a long career ahead.

Photo courtesy of Maurissa Horwitz.

How has Dartmouth supported you in your career development?

I have Dartmouth to thank for many reasons. First, the fact that a well-rounded liberal arts education is stressed at Dartmouth meant that when I decided to change from a chemistry major to film major in the middle of my junior year, it was easy and I was still able to graduate on time.  I had taken my time making that decision so I knew it was right for me.

Second, I found Dartmouth very challenging n every way. I really had to work my butt off for both good grades and to make personal connections with students and professors. If you want to tackle the entertainment business, you have to be a self-starter, work really hard and play very nice. The challenges of Dartmouth made me strong enough to be successful in this industry.

Lastly, the film studies department was incredibly supportive and encouraging, and having brilliant people who believe in you (which includes my parents) can make all the difference. My first internship came via an outdated listing at the career center; even though the program listed wasn't offered any more, I kept calling and harassing the company and spent my first summer in LA working on a low budget sci-fi movie thanks to them. The apprentice editor I met that summer has been my mentor for 15 years.