Monthly Archives: January 2012

The Perfect Job For College Students/Grads

Blowing Money Fast by Rick Ross on Grooveshark

I have worked a lot of jobs in my time. I cleaned machines at a gym, pumped gas, bagged groceries, worked at your local fro yo shop, was a fitness consultant, did personal training, was a research assistant and even managed a tire shop. For a lack of better words all of those jobs sucked. Even though some were high paying either the people I worked with were jerks or the work itself was simply miserable. However, I finally have found my home at a start up in Boston taking the marketing world by storm; CampusLIVE. The people are awesome, the work is rewarding and the pay is not too shabby. We have a foosball table, a big screen TV perpetually playing SportsCenter and we live by the motto “work hard, play hard”. A lot of start ups around Boston are similar to this and they are the perfect place for a college student or recent college grad to work at. Here are ten reasons why.

  1. Everyone you work with is pretty close to your age.
  2. Even if your an intern you get treated just like the CEO would by your peers.
  3. You get to see your CEO and exec team on a daily basis. Even better in my situation I get to work with the CEO and COO on a daily basis.
  4. You will learn more about running a business in 6 months working at a startup than you will in 6 years working at a big company.
  5. Odds are your office will have a foosball table or ping pong table. Who doesn’t love foosball?
  6. You do not have to wear shirt and tie to work unless it is for a special occasion.
  7. Your esteemed colleagues turn into drinking buddies once 5 o clock rolls around.
  8. Knowing that your contributions are making a meaningful difference to the company and actually seeing your contributions in play is one of the most rewarding things in the world. This also applies to interns.
  9. Your allowed to be on Facebook/Twitter while your at work.
  10. If you decide to go corporate after your internship you will be getting letters of recommendation from the exec board. That is of course if you did a good job.

If these reasons here are not enough for you and you would like me to list off another hundred reasons why you should work at a start up feel free to contact me. If you have any other reasons why working at a start up I encourage you to email me or comment on the boards below!

Fashion with a Positive Statement

I came across a brand the other day on twitter and immediately became intrigued. The Life Tie is a clothing company that donates 25% of all revenue towards cancer research. What struck most at home for me is that the founders of this company all have had loved ones affected by cancer in their lives and actually set out to do something about it. I commend their drive and ambition to try and find a research for cancer and they just locked in a loyal customer of theirs for life. Whenever you wear clothes you look to make some sort of statement and the Life Tie is truly fashion with a positive statement. You can purchase their products here.

http://thelifetie.com/

I personally plan on purchasing the Albert Necktie-Sky to support this wonderful brand. Other than just having a good cause their clothing line, though limited, is rather sharp and unique. I own a slew of ties myself and this brand is a nice break from the traditional patterns/stripes. These ties will also be a great conversation piece as they really stick out and catch your eye.

I hope more brands will donate such a massive part of their company towards philanthropy rather than just dropping a specific line that donates a small percentage towards a certain cause. Next time you plan on purchasing something think about the statement your making with those clothes and if that is truly the statement you want to make. “Look good, be good”.

The Ever Elusive Internship

Getting an internship is one of the hardest things I have ever done. It taught me a lot of things about myself that I did not realize before this process. The biggest thing I learned is that I do not really fear rejection. I was rejected to over 25 places! The first couple stung a bit and then I just got used to the emails saying “Sorry but your skills do not match what we are looking for right now”. I didn’t get why I was getting rejected to so many places. I have a pretty good GPA (above 3.5), had a shred of relevant experience (research assistant) and am bilingual. Looking back it is obvious why I was getting rejected everywhere. I put in zero effort into all the places I applied to except for 1 place (which is CampusLIVE where I ultimately winded up getting hired). Lets face it, unless you have a 4.0 GPA and are attending Harvard you cannot get an internship without putting some effort in. Learn from my mistakes and instead of applying to every single place with a internship opening apply to a few places that spur your interest and put 100% of your effort in. Write an awesome cover letter, get it reviewed by peers whom opinions you respect, tailor your resume for the specific internship and most importantly, reach out to the person who you think is responsible for hiring and in a few concise sentences explain why you want this internship.

You might be wondering how to reach out to that person if you have never met them or do not even have their email address. Real easy. Go to the companies website. Find a tab that says “Company”, “Team” or “People”. From there choose the person you feel is most relevant. Applying for a sales internship? Reach out to the VP of sales. Just shooting for any position you can get in the company? Email the CEO. People will respect your initiative and you are not going to bother them (unless once you email them they specifically tell you to never email them again. In that case you did not want to work there anyways). If their email address is not listed on that page most times their email address will be theirname@company.com. For example my email address is kareem@campuslive.com. If they do not respond within a week send them a follow up email. You have to remember these people are dealing with hundreds of emails a day and sometimes emails get overlooked.

So at this point you have written a awesome cover letter and have reached out to the CEO who likes your stuff and he wants to set up an interview. Sit down and study the hell out of the company. Figure out exactly what they do. Read every single article you can find on the company. Find articles on the CEO. Find out who the investors of the company are. Come up with thought provoking questions to ask your interviewer. Think of things that the company can be improve on. Also, note things that the company does very well. You should know the company so well that you should be able to answer any question tossed your way. If you get tossed a question that you do not know or need some time to think about DO NOT PANIC. Rather, just ask for a second to think about the question, calm yourself, and come out with a articulate answer. Your interviewee will not view it as a sign of weakness if you ask for a second (don’t ask for this more than once or twice though) but he will view it negatively if you toss out a completely wrong answer or stupid answer.

You just completed your interview and you are feeling good about your chances. As soon as you get home send an email thanking your interviewee and thanking the person you originally reached out to (if they are not the same person). Now just play the waiting game which in my opinion is the hardest part of this whole process. If you do not get the internship than ask why you did not (politely) and ask how you can improve on those things. Never EVER burn bridges. Then ask if you can just help out for free or if there is anything else you can do. If you got the internship congratulations! Your one step closer towards getting a full time job in this tough job climate.