Fords on Friday: Andrew Garza ’08 on Management Consulting

Posted on: April 18, 2014

Many thanks to Bain & Company and ’08 Haverford
grad Andrew Garza, for blogging with us today!

Borrowed from a Linkedin post in December 2013,
read below for Andrew’s take on this ‘natural fit,’
preparation, and the job search. Thank you, Andrew!

Advice on Recruiting for Management Consulting

Are ‘Fords a good fit for consulting? I’m an ’08 Haverford alumnus with experience in social enterprise, consulting, and finance and will be starting at Bain & Company in February. I’m excited to begin my new job and wanted to offer fellow duck-ponders some thoughts on why the role is a natural fit for many Haverford students & tips on how to approach the recruiting process

There are many reasons why Haverford students can be a great fit for careers in management consulting. First, Haverford teaches you to view and analyze situations from multiple perspectives, which are core abilities for consultants. Next, Haverford’s emphasis on clear thinking and writing helps to develop effective critical thinking and communication skills, another set of key attributes. Also, ‘Fords tend to care a lot about having a positive impact on the world, and consulting work involves advising companies, governments, and non-profits on decisions that have the potential to affect millions of people.

So if there fundamentally seems to be a good fit between the Haverford approach & skillset and consulting, what can HC students do to better prepare themselves for recruiting? First, there are the important elements that every consulting website emphasizes: earning a high GPA, taking analytical/quantitative courses, developing leadership experience through classes and extracurricular activities, and devoting yourself deeply enough to a cause or organization to have a significant, measurable impact. Consulting is also a broad field, so it’s important to do advance research on which type of consulting might suit you best. At a deeper level, I’d like to highlight a couple of important aspects of the recruiting process that I think many students overlook – networking and case interviews.

In terms of networking, it’s very helpful to reach out to current consultants before you apply for jobs, in order to get a deeper understanding of what the role entails, how to distinguish yourself on a case, and the ups & downs of the job. It also gives people at the companies a chance to informally get to know you and start thinking about whether you could be a good fit at their firm. All of this prepares you to land interviews and succeed once you get them – and hopefully to do well once you start on the job! Haverford offers a great guide here (www.haverford.edu/ccpa/files/networking-guide.pdf#page=3) on how to reach out to alumni. Remember that alumni were once in your shoes, and they genuinely enjoy the chance to reflect back on their days at Haverford and help current students to succeed.

As far as case interviews are concerned, they’re a unique type of interview that requires a lot of time & energy to master. In my business school experience, it took about 40 practice interviews with friends and current consultants before I truly felt comfortable with them. This is the sequence that was most helpful for me when preparing: 1) reading Victor Cheng’s Case Interview Secrets (in my opinion, the most helpful book on this subject) and browsing through Cosentino’s Case in Point; 2) practicing working through a few of the cases at the end of the books & from other sources on your own; 3) getting together with friends who are also interested in consulting to give each other in-person practice interviews – it’s so important to have a decent amount of in-person practice, because reading on your own can’t simulate the pressure & dynamics of working through a case with another person; and 4) asking current and former consultants to give you practice case interviews. The whole process takes at least a couple of months, so leave yourself plenty of time to prepare – ideally starting the summer before you plan to apply.

Good luck! Please feel free to contact me at andrew.a.garza(at)gmail.com if you have any questions.

Fords on Friday: Chloe Tucker, HC ’07

Posted on: April 11, 2014

Still looking for a job or internship?

Chloe Tucker, Haverford College ’07 graduate and current International Programs Coordinator for Haverford’s Center for Peace and Global Citizenship recently blogged on embracing our failures, particularly in the job and internship search. While this post, located on the Office of Academic Resources THE YEAR AFTER blog, was written originally for Sophomores, it’s really great advice for everyone. Thank you, Chloe!
Hello, Failure: blogs.haverford.edu/sophomores/2014/04/09/hello-failure/

Finding a summer internship– with a little help from your friends

Posted on: April 8, 2014

 

Introducing the *new* Haverford Internship Network!

Still searching for a summer internship? Good news– you have access to hundreds of summer opportunities through CareerConnect, the Liberal Arts Career NetWORK (LACN), Internships.com and other industry specific listings on the CCPA’s Virtual Career Resources listed on the CCPA’s Internships & Externships page.  You can also gather advice from Haverford alumni via the Fords Directory and the Haverford and Bi-Co groups on Linkedin. These are all great resources for finding internship openings and advice for getting your application noticed.

But did you know that some of the best resources for figuring out which industries or employers might be a good fit for you, learning about what an intern actually does at a particular employer, and seeking advice for putting together the strongest application are fellow students who have already been through the process?

No, I’m not suggesting you hang out in front of the Dining Center passing out postcard size versions of your resume (although that would likely get you noticed.) I’m suggesting you talk with your friends and classmates, especially upper-classmen, who have been through the internship search process before, and ask them for advice.

The *new* Haverford Internship Network, a searchable database with over 100 current students who have volunteered to speak with other students about their internship, is a fantastic resource for connecting with other students who share your career interests. Search options include industry, major, yes, and locations. Keep in mind that while the volunteers are usually able to provide helpful information and advice, they are not expected to help you “get the job.”

To use this resource, go to www.haverford.edu/ccpa/internships_and_externships/  (Haverford login is required to gain access.)

And why the Beatles to start this blog? So far when I’ve looked at the database with a student and we scroll down the list of former interns who match his or her targeted search I hear, “Oh my gosh! That’s my friend!” Some of the most helpful internship search resources are closer than you think.

The CCPA extends a hearty “thank you” to all of the students who have signed up to be listed in the network.

Fords on Friday: Chris Gant (’83) on Why Manners Matter

Posted on: April 4, 2014

 

Please welcome Christopher (Chris) Gant ’83 to our Fords on Friday Alumni Perspectives series. Chris is a member of Haverford’s Board of Managers, and Director of Corporate Relations at Harvard Business School Executive Education in Boston.

Increasingly, I notice that younger people struggle in certain situations to know the right thing to do, and the right way to behave.  We call the code of behavior that governs social interactions (including business/social interactions) “manners”.  I’m a middle-aged man, and certainly no conservator of rigid social mores or modes of conduct championed by stalwart standard-bearers such as Emily Post, Amy Vanderbilt, or Miss Manners; rather, I’m intrigued by the fundamental reason humans, wherever they live on the earth, and in whatever age they have lived, devise systems of etiquette, and I’m intrigued by how they learn them, use them, enforce them, and modify them to fit a given moment.  Think about it: Haverford’s Honor Code is one form of manners; it’s a system of protocols we subscribe to that governs how we treat each other in the classroom and everywhere in this particular community.

Manners are the basic rules people use to gather together and interact with each other.  They relieve stress by giving us a reference point for how to behave, and thereby lubricate and facilitate our relationships with each other, certainly people we know well and interact with frequently, but perhaps even more importantly, people we don’t know well, or don’t know yet.  Manners are fundamentally the rules of a subtle game, the steps of an intricate dance, and they enable us to participate in society because they tell us what is expected of us, and what we can and should expect from others.  They help us all to be comfortable with each other because they give us reference points for how to be considerate of each other and help everyone feel welcome, and at ease.  Like the clothes we select every morning based on what we’ll be doing, where we’ll be going, and who we’ll be meeting, they are choices that advertise who we are, what we value, how we “show up” and how we want to be perceived.  “Your Personal Brand” is a popular current concept, and behavior is at the core of establishing what your brand is.  Do you think nobody’s noticing you, and what you choose to do or not do as you make your way through the day, and that nobody really cares about your choices?

Trust me on this: you’re mistaken.  You are constantly being watched, and evaluated.

A number of recent experiences with people ranging in age from their mid-teens to mid-twenties have impressed on me the fact that this fundamental idea may not be well understood: “manners” and “etiquette” sound like prim, starchy, old-fashioned terms, but in fact are (I believe) are vital to helping us build, sustain, and profit from our relationships with other people, in all spheres of our lives.  These include the kinds of cell phone conversations you choose to have in a public place (if you choose to have them at all); how you present yourself at a job interview over lunch; whether and how you thank someone for his or her help in introducing you to other people who can help you professionally.

I’m not – at least in this post – going to get into the weeds about which fork to use for what food, how to butter a piece of bread, or how to initiate a phone call to someone you don’t know yet because you want something from him or her.  Those are all important topics, and there are many more, but for the moment, if you read this and begin to become more aware of the “glue” that binds us all together – on campus, in the office, in our cars on the road, at the table – and start thinking about decoding the rules, why they exist, when you choose to obey or ignore them, then hopefully I will have launched an interesting conversation.

Post a comment if it’s one you want to continue, or if there are specific situations you’ve found yourself in and have wondered if you “behaved” appropriately to the context.  I’m sure that intentional community dialogue on this topic holds the promise of being intellectually stimulating, instructive, and maybe even entertaining!

Why work in the CCPA? Just ask an intern!

Posted on: April 2, 2014

Thank you to CCPA intern Kathryn Hayden, HC ’14 for the lovely post below.
We enjoyed every minute working with you, and we will miss you next year!

Interested in working for the CCPA?
Applications are now
being accepted for a
summer position and three
2014-2015 positions:
Social Media Intern, Counseling Intern,
and Employer Relations Intern.
Check Career Connect for details.
Deadline is April 14. 

Looking back at my four years working with the CCPA, I must say I could not have landed in a better place.

I started working at the CCPA during the spring semester of my freshman year. I still remember sitting down with Amy Feifer to discuss my application and the responsibilities of the job. At the time, I had been interested in working for the CCPA for several reasons.

First, working at the CCPA would situate me in a place to be “in the know” in regards to career opportunities. As the Center for Career and Professional Advising, all job and internship opportunities come through the center. As a student assistant, and later an as an intern, I had first-hand access to these positions. This was especially true my sophomore year, when helped enter internships into our databases, and my senior, when I entered alumni jobs. I was also able to keep track of when workshops, panel discussions, on-campus interviews, the Extern program, and career exploration days would take place. As full-time students, we do not always have time to keep up with internship or job searches in addition to all of our academic work load. Working at the CCPA allowed me the chance to continuously check in and be reminded of the world outside of Haverford and what opportunities are out there. Additionally, as I worked closely with them, many of the counselors were aware of my interests; if an opportunity came up in my field, they would often mention it to me.

Second, I wanted to work at the CCPA because I wanted to expand my understanding of how networking and the pathways for finding jobs and internships are structured.  How do you actually find a job? Thanks to my time here, I have become familiar with the resources that are available to us as Haverford students. I know how to schedule appointments, which counselors specialize in which fields, how to request a resume or cover letter review, how to search our career databases and keep up with upcoming deadlines, learn about new events or networking opportunities, and conduct informational interviews. These tools will be of critical importance as I leave Haverford, and will continue to assist me until retirement.

Third, I wanted to help other students. The Haverford student body encompasses so many passions and ideas. Many of us have had fantastic experiences—and if you haven’t yet, don’t worry; they will come—which are fascinating to hear about. Working at the CCPA, I have been able not only to learn about student’s passions and experiences, but also helped them discover places they could develop and pursue their interests outside of Haverford.

I’d like to conclude this post with one of the biggest reasons why I am glad I landed where I did: the people here at the CCPA. I really enjoy working with the staff here. They are all enthusiastic, dedicated to assisting students…and funny! You should hear them laughing at the end of the hall during staff meetings! I have deeply appreciated the opportunity to work and learn with them these past four years.

Tips for Finding Summer Housing

Posted on: March 26, 2014

As the summer search gets into gear, housing is on a lot of students’ minds. Some students find jobs or internships near their homes, but for others, it can be tricky trying to find a place to stay that’s within a student budget. Sites like Craigslist and Rent.com are obvious places to turn to—but there are other options as well! Some quick tips for the housing search:

  • Ask on-campus internship funders. Centers like the CPGC, the Hurford Center and the KINSC award large numbers of internships every year. Ask the staff at each of these if they’re aware of other students looking for housing in your location this summer, who might be willing to share tips or even a room.  If there isn’t anyone staying where you’re staying, they still might be able to connect you with interns from past years who could share their experiences, or they might themselves be aware of location-specific resources.
  • Ask your host organization. Organizations that regularly host interns probably have some perspective on where their interns usually stay, and might be able to offer helpful hints about the housing search that you could only get from locals. The host organization may also be able to connect you with other summer interns who are also looking for housing; someone from the organization may even be interested in renting out a room themselves.
  • Check with nearby colleges and universities. Many will rent out dorm rooms over the summer—for instance, the centrally located Art Institute of Chicago offers double rooms at $285 per week, while NYU offers dorm rooms in New York City for as low as $180 per week. NYU, and many other schools that hold summer sessions, also offer meal plans for summer renters—often more expensive than eating on your own, but sometimes worth considering for the convenience.
  • Ask friends & family—and ask them to ask their friends & family. Even if you don’t know anyone who lives in your summer destination, someone you know might—and they might have a room they could rent you, or know of someone who does.  This is less risky than renting from a stranger, and you might find cheaper or more comfortable accommodations than you would have otherwise.
  • Check out airbnb. This website features accommodations rented out by private owners, ranging from penthouse suites to entire houses to couches. It’s meant for short-term stays, but if you contact the renters directly you might be able to negotiate a hefty discount for a longer-term rental. (After all, it’s unlikely they have anything close to full occupancy.) Plus, you can see the reviews from past (short-term) renters, and listings typically feature multiple photos of the available space.

Fords on Friday: Balancing your Thesis and the Job Search

Posted on: March 21, 2014

Thesising while Job Hunting…Oh My!
Tips and Advice for Balancing out Senior Year

By Kathryn Hayden, HC ’14
CCPA Intern

Writing a thesis while hunting for a job is not an easy task. As a senior, I can attest that it has been challenging this year to focus so intently on the culminating project of my time here at Haverford while also grappling with looking beyond Haverford and thinking about what I want to do in the future. The good news is that we are equipped to handle this challenge. Over our four years at Haverford, we have cultivated our interests and expertise. This is true not just in an academic sense, but also in the sense that every internship, part time job or volunteer activity that you may have participated in will help build networks that can be very helpful when job hunting.  Additionally, we have all been working over the past four years to balance our studies with procrastinating! This is the ultimate test. Here are a few tips to help you along the way:

Get Organized.

At the beginning of the year, take some time to sit down and think about how you are going to handle the upcoming year.

  • Check when deadlines are: Know when your major thesis deadlines are. If there are any internships or programs that you want to be sure to apply to, find out when applications are due. Do some additional research to see if there are programs that you would like to apply for and learn when their deadlines are. This will help you get a better sense of what you need to prioritize when, and how to best budget your time.

  • Set Goals: This goes hand in hand with deciding how to manage your time. Decide how much of your thesis you want to be done by when. Decide how many jobs you would like to apply to, and by when. This will help you keep focused and on top of both tasks.

  • Create a list of resources: To assist in your job search, make a list of websites that you can check continually as they add more jobs. Check in with these sites about once a week. This will help you maximize your options and choices for post-graduation. The CCPA subscribes to a great number of online databases—start your search here: www.haverford.edu/ccpa/jobs/ (click the link for “Virtual Career Resources”).

Start Networking.

Networking is an excellent way to get your name out there, become aware of opportunities, and to learn more about what kinds of work are available in your field. For general information about how to go about networking as well as different networking groups avabile to Haverford students, check out the CCPA’s page on networking: www.haverford.edu/ccpa/networking/how_to_network.php

  • Tap into our Alumni Database: Haverford and Bryn Mawr alumni are great resources! They are already familiar with your background has they have experienced the Bi-Co themselves and can share what they have done with their Haverford or Bryn Mawr degrees since graduation.

  • Conduct Informational Interviews: Informational interviews are interviews that are conducted with an alumni or with a contact with the goal of learning more about that person’s career. They can be a great way to understand the day to day experiences of a certain type of job. These interviews can also be helpful in understanding different types of career path possibilities. For more information, see page five of this networking guide: www.haverford.edu/ccpa/files/networking-guide.pdf#page=3

  • Talk to your Advisor: Your advisor can be an excellent resource for learning about opportunities in your field. An added benefit of this connection is that they already know you from working together with you. Other professors in your field may also be helpful in your job search.

  • Attend Programs with the CCPA: Participate in the CCPA career exploration days and our extern program during winter and spring break, and come to panel discussions and regional networking events! All of these programs will help you expand your network while learning more about different options within your field.

Use CCPA Resources.

As the Center for Career and Professional Advising, we are here to support you through your career search. Our website is packed with helpful information, tips and guides. Be sure to take a look through it during your time at Haverford, especially senior year! Here’s the link: www.haverford.edu/ccpa/.

Be Persistent.

Do things one step at a time-and keep at it! Both thesis writing and job searching are long processes. It is crucial to just keep at it, keep pushing, and have the confidence that your hard work will pay off.

…and last but not least, Enjoy your Senior year!
This is it folks. Let’s make the best of it!

iPad Mini contest extended (and Spring is in the air!)

Posted on: March 12, 2014

Oh I don’t know why but I always love the idea of summer, and sun, and all things hot…”

~Olaf the Snowman in Disney’s FROZEN

Spring is in the air here in the CCPA, and we can’t help but feel as eager as Olaf the Snowman for the impending sun, and for the campus to become alive with Frisbee, and classes outside, and impromptu picnics on Founders Green…

In anticipation of the warmer days, we have decided to extend our iPad Mini contest to end on our favorite day of the year. The day that marks our unofficial start to Spring; the day that we watch students leave the confines of their dorms and classrooms and breathe in the fresh air. That’s right, our contest will end at midnight on – you guessed it – PINWHEEL DAY!

Haverford Students who join Haverford College’s Official Career Connections Page on LinkedIn by midnight on Pinwheel Day will automatically be in the running to win!
Pinwheel day

The mystery surrounding Pinwheel Day is part of its charm. All we know is that on one glorious spring morning we come to work on a campus magically covered in Pinwheels. We love the surprise. We love the secrecy. We love the tradition. To say it’s our favorite day of the year is an understatement – and this winter we’ve looked forward to it even more.

As of today we have 1173 alumni and students in our Linkedin Group. Every student in the group is eligible to win. Don’t delay – Pinwheel Day can happen at anytime!  Wouldn’t it be nice to lounge on Founder’s Green during a warm Spring morning, reading on your new iPad Mini?

So when exactly will we have the iPad Mini drawing? Your guess is as good as ours. But one day soon look for the sun, and all things hot…

Fords on Friday: Careers in Public Health

Posted on: March 7, 2014

Please welcome the Haverford College Pre-Health Advisor,
Michele Taylor, to our weekly Fords on Friday series!

Health care clinicians work one-on-one with individual patients. Public health professionals, on the other hand, aim primarily to prevent disease and support the health of entire communities or populations. They use multi-disciplinary research methods to tackle complex health problems, and develop, implement and assess programmatic responses to these problems. Professionals in the field consider multiple factors that may affect the well-being of communities – social, economic, political, structural, genetic, life-style and behavioral, to name a few. The types of health problems they address are broad-ranging – everything from controlling epidemics (think “Contagion”); to identifying and reducing environmental hazards, or violence and/or substance abuse, or STDs; to improving the efficiency of hospital protocols, reducing readmission rates and healthcare costs;  to ameliorating maternal and child care among under-served populations; and so on.

Public health professionals can be trained solely in public health – credentialed with an MPH or a PhD; or they can come to the field (with additional training in public health) from a variety of professions – such as education, journalism, social work, medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, research science, criminology, law, business administration and health care administration, demography, biostatistics, environmental sciences, to name a few. One thing is certain – people working in public health seek to improve the lives of the many in the most effective ways possible. And, they can serve local, national or international communities because of their training.

EDUCATION

Professionals working in public health obtain a range of degrees. The Masters of Public Health (MPH) is a two-year program. Not all MPH programs are the same; some allow concentrations in core areas (see below) or in a subfield (e.g. global health); while other programs offer a general degree without concentration. There are also a number of related Masters’ degrees that may suit someone’s interests more specifically than an MPH, yet enable that person to work in subareas of public health. A few examples are: a Master of Social Work (MSW); a Master of Science (MS) in International Health Policy Programs; a Master of Biostatistics; a Master of Health Administration (MHA); or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a focus on health policy e.g. Wharton’s MBA in Healthcare Management.

If you were to obtain an MPH, you would be trained in both qualitative and quantitative tools of analysis, and in methodologies derived from the social and biological sciences.  There are five core areas in public health, and anyone obtaining an MPH will take coursework in these disciplines:

  • Health services administration
  • Biostatistics
  • Epidemiology
  • Behavioral sciences/ health administration
  • Environmental health

And you may also take courses in such areas as occupational safety & health; maternal and child health; nutrition; environmental health; global health, etc.

College graduates serving in the Peace Corps may apply for linkage MPH programs, if relevant to their work. See www.sophas.org/peacecorps.cfm. For information on public health schools and their programs, go to: www.aspph.org/

If you are considering applying to MPH programs, you will need to have demonstrated, through your extra- and co-curricular activities, a strong interest in community health. It also helps to have done some course work in biology, statistics, sociology, psychology, or anthropology. Our Health Studies minor is excellent academic preparation for subsequent study in public health.

The Doctor of Philosophy in Public Health (Ph.D.) or Doctorate of Public Health (D.Ph.) are the terminal degrees in the field. The Ph.D. is geared primarily towards careers in teaching and research, and the D.Ph. towards leadership positions in practice settings, such as health departments. Both of these degrees require three years of course work, a series of qualifying examinations, and a capstone dissertation project under the guidance of a dissertation advisor. Finally, individuals may also obtain joint degrees, such as an MD/MPH, a JD/MPH, an MSW/MPH or MBA/MPH, or MD/PHD etc. It is essential to have specific goals for such advanced courses of study.

Some final thoughts on applying to public health programs.

It is important to note that a public health degree is NOT an effective stepping stone to medical school for someone with a weak transcript in the pre-med requirements, because it does not provide medical school applicants with enough coursework in the hard sciences to remedy a low science GPA. Also, many but not all accredited MPH programs require a couple of years of field experience before admissions. Check with the individual programs for specifics.

The application requirements for most (but not all) public health programs are as follows:

  • Bachelor of Arts, with a year of coursework in college-level mathematics (statistics or calculus) and biology. Chemistry or physics, while not usually required, are useful. Students can come from any major, although individuals in the social and hard sciences predominate.
  • GRE scores (some schools accept MCAT, GMAT, or LSAT in lieu of the GRE).
  • Three letters of recommendation (from faculty or individuals supervising one’s work.) Personal statement
  • Resume or Curriculum vitae
  • Transcripts of all courses
  • Proven dedication to the field evident from substantive experience (articulated in the personal statement, resume and letters of recommendation.)

Deadlines vary from fall to spring, depending upon when matriculation can take place, but most schools have fall deadlines for submission of applications.

For more information on the field of public health, and on links to internships and other opportunities in the field for undergraduates and recent graduates, check out our link on the Pre-Health website.