Archive by Author

Business Card Giveaway!

29 Mar

There’s many ways to stay connected in our digital age- LinkedIn, Facebook, phone applications like Bump. However, when it comes to networking, nothing replaces a good ol’ business card. I feel like this is something every young person starting out in their career should have. Whether you’re interviewing, at an event or dating, having your contact info easily accessible is very useful.

The kind folks at Uprinting are giving away two sets of their awesome Die Cut business cards to two lucky readers. For a chance to win, leave a comment below with how you plan to use them. Two winners will be chosen at random Friday, April 1st. Details Below:

1.  2 readers will be getting a set (250pcs each) of Die Cut business cards (Rounded Corners, Leaf, Rounded Single-Corner, Half-Circle Side, Circle); 14pt Cardstock Gloss / Matte / High Gloss (UV), or 13pt Cardstock Uncoated on a 6 Business Days Turnaround; Front Only or Front and Back printing

2. Restriction: Limited to US residents 18 years old and above only.

Don’t forget to  Like UPrinting on Facebook and share the love with your friends! (http://www.facebook.com/uprinting)

[This giveaway is sponsored by UPrinting, no monetary compensation was given. For more information about business cards, please visit http://www.uprinting.com/business-cards.html.]

Good luck!

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Laptop Lunches and Desktop Collages

25 Jan

Hello lovely readers!  I have two obsessions lately that I just have to share.  I’m always getting bored with my desktop wallpaper, so I like to change it up.  I found a site called Photovisi where you can make free collages online (and don’t even have to sign up). I made the collage above with a few of my favorite photos to use as wallpaper. I also did one of these with photos of my New years resolutions.

I was browsing Whole Foods this past weekend and saw they sold to-go bento boxes from Laptop Lunches. I’ve been spending far too much money lately (and calories) buying lunch at work. These are great not only for saving money but portion control. You can check out my first bento meal attempt above.

We promise more posts to come! Jen has moved to NYC and will have lots of exciting stories to share!

Inspiring Words from Goethe

4 Nov

I found this excerpt from Miereille Guiliano’s (Author of Women, Work and the Art of Savoir Faire) recommended reading list and just had to share:

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness concerning all acts of initiative and creation. There is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans; that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.

All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen events, meetings and material assistance which no one could have dreamed would have come their way.

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I couldn’t love this quote more. Happy early Friday everyone! Hope your weekends are full of bold, powerful steps toward your dreams!

 

 

Two Cent Tuesdays

29 Jun

Back again for Two Cent Tuesdays and today we have a fairly common question from a recent graduate.

Mad Grad,


I’m just graduated, moved home and I am starting to look for a job. I’ve been hearing a lot about the dismal job market though. Should I be concerned? Help!

Justine

Justine,

Trust us when we say you are not alone in this question. Although the tumultuous economy over the past few years has lead to numerous layoffs and businesses closing their doors, things are finally starting to look up. It is often thought that during a decline in the economy people are more apt to introduce new ideas and entrepreneurship has a chance to thrive. I think we have seen many examples of that recently, especially with the help of technology and social media. With that being said hundreds of new companies have sprung up over the past year because people were willing to take a chance when they had nothing left to lose.

From what I have seen lately there are a lot of jobs out there. On top of that, many of the openings seem to be for fresh out of college motivated and anxious young people. As you mentioned you are starting to look and looking is only half the battle. You could search job postings online for months, instead try to be strategic. Even if you can narrow down the type of work you want to do your search will be much easier.

Target specific companies that are appealing to you and even if they aren’t hiring request an informational interview so you can get a foot in the door and an idea of what it would be like to work there.

The number one thing to do right now is network! I cannot express that enough. Reach out to everyone you know send them your resume for feedback or to pass along. Ask questions to friends, parents anyone who has crossed your path and see if they can help you land a job. Be bold,  courageous and above all don’t be afraid to ask for help! (Seeing as how you emailed us, you are already past that stage!) Good luck and let us know if we can offer any more advice!

Best,

The Mad Grad

Reality Check…

24 Jun


“Be careful how you interpret the world:  It is like that.”  ~Erich Heller

Two Cent Tuesdays

4 May

Hello Lovely Readers! We have started a new series where every week we like to call Two  Cent Tuesdays (because lets face it we are no experts but we do like to offer the two cents we do have) where we will be answering questions about graduating, job hunting, dating, and anything that comes to mind you’d like us to answer. We’ve learned a lot in the 3 years since graduation that we’d love to share with you.

Today’s question comes from Sarah, a recent graduate from UCLA:

Dear Mad Grad,

I graduated early to get a head start on the interview process. Despite just graduating, I’ve had a lot of interviewers voice their concern over my lack of experience. (Even though these are entry-level positions that say recent-grads encouraged) How can I get experience, if no one will hire me?!

Sarah,

This has been one of the biggest problems I faced myself after graduating. The sad thing is that with the current economy, people with 1-2 years (or more!) of experience are applying for the same entry-level positions you are. Thankfully, there are some ways to get around this:

1. Volunteer. When you volunteer, you not only make a difference and meet tons of new people, but you get the chance to have roles that you would not in a paid full time position. This can be a major resume booster and eye-catcher for employers. If there are any gaps in your unemployment, interviewers are probably going to ask you about them. It’s better to be able to say “While I was job searching, I continued to pursue my passion for teaching, and tutored low-income students.” And this will put you first in line, in case full-time positions open with the organization as well.

2. Get a connection within the company you are applying for. Let every person you have every might know you are job searching. I did this and when my Aunt met someone in line at Starbucks whose company was hiring, I was the first person she called! While you may not have the experience as someone, if you know someone within the company that can attest to your work ethic, that is major points. Sign up on linked in, go to every networking event possible, and you will expand your network in no time.

3. Do Internships and pro-bono work. I know, I know, you just graduated, and can’t imagine that with thousands of dollars spent on your degree, you are doing work for free. But in many/most cases an internship will lead to a paid job at the company. If a position doesn’t open at the end of your internship, chances are they will know of other companies hiring to recommend you to. (trust me I’ve seen this in action). If you go in there with a positive attitude, working harder than the full-time employees, chances are they aren’t going to let you go. Also, if you are looking to get into marketing, journalism, or graphic design, there are many wonderful start-ups out there that would love your expertise. Great way to jazz-up that resume!

Good luck with the job hunting 🙂 Email us at themadgrad@gmail.com and we will  answer your questions!!!!!

Getting Into a Real-World Mentality

29 Apr

The end of the semester is fast approaching for many college seniors. Even though you may be caught up in campus life, the professional world is just around the bend. Here are a few tips on how to get into a “real world” mentality to make the transition a tad bit easier.

Think about what you want to do. You have been studying a particular field for around four years, but that doesn’t mean you will—or will want to—automatically enter it. If you know that you want to pursue something else upon graduation, there is nothing wrong with not going into the field you studied. In fact, you’ll do better off knowing this from the get-go so you can build your career in another field. Regardless of what you want to do, learn about your options. Examine what you want your ideal day to be like. What kinds of jobs are available in your industry and in the region you want to work in?

It may sound silly but most new grads are on autopilot and, understandably, enter the working world taking whatever job they can get. But you want to build a career now that you have your degree; not just get a job. Put some thought into the direction you want to take.

Get crackin’ on a resume. I know it may seem daunting to work on something that doesn’t have a deadline—unlike turning in a final paper—but this document is equally as important. While you are on campus and have the resources, talk to the pros at your Career Services office and get tips for writing a resume, and feedback from people who know all about them.

Compiling a resume is often overwhelming for soon-to-be grads because they feel like there’s nothing to fill up an entire page, but if you really assess your skill set and look at the latest resume-writing trends, you can come up with a powerful resume that will get you the job.

Start looking for a job—yesterday. Again, you may be swamped with class work or you may be trying to relish your time as an undergrad, but nowadays, jobs are hard to come by. Add the fact that you’ll soon have to pay off loans and bills—and probably want to get your own pad at some point—and you will realize that you don’t want to be behind the eight ball. It is frustrating when your peers have great jobs lined up while they are still students. While that does not happen to everyone, many students are preparing to enter the professional world months before they graduate. Be proactive in your job search and start putting feelers out. You never know how long it will take to get a job and it’s smarter in the long run to get something fulfilling and profitable so you don’t have to take any old gig to get by. (Chances are, you went to college so you would not have to just “get by” anyway.)

Even thinking about what you want to do and where you want to live—and arranging for those things—is smart planning. Talk to your parents about the possibility of moving home or see if you can get a roommate if you want to be out on your own or plan to move far from home.

When summer starts and your classmates are at work and you are home on mom’s sofa, it may feel good for a while but it won’t be long before you will want to get out into the working world. Start your search now so you can make a timely transition.

Practice interviewing. If you aced your public speaking class and excel at debates, that doesn’t mean you will be a natural at an interview. Most of the time, the weight of landing your first job and the pressure of impending expenses can turn you into a frazzled mess when it comes time to sit down for a one-on-one. That kind of anxiety can take away every strategy you have mastered in the past. Start developing answers to common interview questions and practice a mock interview with a friend or a professional in the Career Services office. You can submit a stellar resume but the interview is what makes or breaks it. First impressions are huge in the real world.

Coming in to an office wide-eyed and bushy-tailed is common for recent grads, but you can get more comfortable with a professional environment by rehearsing answers and dressing up. Pay attention to things like how much you fidget—you may smell like an entry-level candidate to the interviewer but you don’t want to look like one, too!

Enjoy your last days in college. Even though it is beneficial to think about and prepare for the future, there is nothing like living in the now. Spend extra time with friends, sleep in, stay out late, hit up a crazy party, or enjoy campus activities. Even if you cannot wait to graduate, you will probably long to be a college student again at some point in the future—make the most of it now.

Balance, balance, balance. This is an overwhelming time for everyone so try to prioritize what matters. Yes, putting together the resume and starting your job search is important, but you may just want to get the foundation started before you start job hunting. Then you can use that time to complete coursework and make time for fun. There’s also nothing wrong with visiting a counselor to help developing coping strategies. If you’re feeling stressed, take a step back and make time to enjoy things—no one said you have to do everything before your graduation date, but starting to get things in order will help you in the future, too.

Kristen Fischer is the author of Ramen Noodles, Rent and Resumes: An After-College Guide to Life. For more tips on preparing for life after college and coping with 20-something issues, visit www.ramenrentresumes.com.

Just Say No

1 Apr

Image Credit: Cornell University news: www.cornell.edu/news

I always hated the word no. Maybe because I’m an only child, or maybe because it immediately takes me back to the checkout line when I was 6 and asked for 5 packs of zebra-striped gum (you can guess the answer), but the word itself still makes me cringe.

It’s no surprise then, that when I first graduated and entered the working world, I said yes to just about everything. Need extra copies? Sure I’ll help! Need someone to cover the front desk for you while you go on a cigarette break for an hour? Sure, why not! But it wasn’t until my last job that I realized saying yes all the time was only hurting my career. Spending so much time helping others out, (even though I was busy) was forcing me to have to work longer hours and make mistakes.  Sure, it’s very important to be a good coworker and help others out in a bind, but only if you are available.

When you first start a job, (especially right after college) and are in the honeymoon stage, it’s hard to realize when people are taking advantage of you. It’s like being in college all over again- you are the “fresh meat,” the newbie, the person dressed head to toe in your school colors standing in line for a keg cup. If you are firm and comfortable saying no from the beginning though, people will quickly move on to the next target. If you are tempted to give in,  imagine being in a meeting with your boss and confessing you didn’t finish the project, because Sarah needed help on hers. Sure, your boss will think you are a nice person, but they probably won’t be too happy with you for failing to meet the deadline.

I’ve found the easiest way to approach a situation where you are asked to help, (is it just me, or always the same people?), but swamped is this:

1. Say you are busy right now, but give your next time of availability. For example,  “Sorry Joe, I’m in the middle of several projects right now. I’ll be available to help at 4pm though when I am finished.”

2. Reach out to them first to offer help, when you have some down time.  If you have some extra time on your hands (hey every moment counts), instead of going on PerezHilton, let your coworkers know you have some time if they need help with anything.

Most importantly, stay strong my fellow people pleasers. As much as you think it is helping you, taking on more work than you can handle (especially if it is not yours) will only hurt you down the line. The good “users” will sense your weakness and beg you until you burst, but hold your ground and give them a firm answer. BUT, while you don’t want to be the Yes-man, you also don’t want to be the excuse maker. If assisting is part of your job description,  your hardworking coworkers are sick, overwhelmed or in a pinch, give them the help they deserve. Chances are, you will need their help one day as well.

Guest Post: The New, the Old (literally), the Fabulous..

6 Jan



We asked our good friend Julie for her thoughts on the New Year, and here’s what she had to say:

The New: If you haven’t figured it out, the New Year is upon us. New people, new opportunities, new experiences, new expectations, a new outlook…but let’s be serious, how much reeeeeally changed from 12/31/2009 to 1/1/2010? I still have the same job, same friends, same debt, and am in the same quarter life I was in at the end of last year. Ok, so maybe I brought in the new year with a new hangover and a few new “friends” from the night before (names I will leave anonymous or maybe just can’t remember); but the fact still remains…every NEW year is just a reiterated realization of how OLD I am getting.

The Old: Have you ever spoken to an old friend only to realize that term in itself deems that you are getting old-er? Just yesterday, a good friend from college who I hadn’t spoken to in years chatted me up (probably some “get back in touch” new years resolution of his) to see how things were. Reminiscing about our friendship starting over 6 years ago started to spur an internal “has it been that long?!” freak-out. When I first started college (over 7 years ago) and imagined where I would be at age 25, I figured myself to be rich, happily married, and successful. The New Year self re-evaluation has proven me not to be who I (at age 18) had intended; but surprisingly I came to the realization that I am still just as fabulous as ever.

The Fabulous: Rich? I might be in debt but that’s only because I live in one of the most amazing cities in the world, have had eye-opening unforgettable vacations, and walk away each night with priceless friends, stories, and experiences. Married? Thank god no! I now more than ever believe my mom’s advice that I have my whole life to be married but only a few years to be single. Sure I have had some awful dating experiences (who hasn’t?), but at least I am learning more and more about who I truly am and what I really want out of life. Successful? Ok….let’s just say I haven’t hit two of my marks to date. So I myself resolve to look onto the New Year with the expectation that I will live life with no expectations, take life as it comes at me and to be just as fabulous as ever.

Words of Wisdom “WoW”: Live like a racehorse…where life is always on track

Thanks Julie for the great post! Can’t wait to hear more from her in the future 🙂

No We Didn’t Get Shipwrecked on a Deserted Island…

17 Aug

the-computer-demands-a-blog

I am ashamed of our lack of posts in the past two months and anyone who blogs knows that you need to set aside time to write a good post. We have been traveling, working and entertaining guests all summer long but, excuses aside feel like we have been letting down our readers and have a lot of good posts coming your way so please stay tuned and forgive us for our slump…