Writing a Professional Bio

Posted on: November 25, 2014

By Kari Cooke, CCPA Graduate Assistant

ink-and-feather-quill-clipartCrafting a professional bio can be intimidating for students and alumni who are not familiar with the process. It can be overwhelming to figure out the balance between being professional as well as showcasing nuances of your personality. It can be difficult to determine how much information is too much, and when a bio can be too brief. However, there is immense value in developing a professional bio. The bio is a tool that can summarize past activities, but also summarize your passion, and your goals for the future. For alumni who are exploring career transitions, the bio is the perfect place to do so. For students who are still exploring their future, the bio is the perfect place to note how the activities they have been involved with inform their decision-making process for a future career path. In spite of the importance and benefits of producing a professional bio, little is discussed about how to develop one; here are some tips and suggestions:


Basics: No matter what style and variation of a professional bio you develop, it should include Who, Where, Why, and How.

Who – Introduce yourself at the start of the bio, and note your area of interests and/or specialization.

Jayanti Doshi is a junior at Haverford College majoring in Urban Studies with an interest in policy and government relations.

Where – Relay a general idea of what you do, and what agencies/institutions with which you are involved.

Juan Diego focuses on intersectionality in social systems, and collaborated with The Women’s Center, the Human Rights Campaign, and New Leader’s Council – Philadelphia Chapter.

Why – Describe why you are passionate about the work you do, or why you are interested in transitioning into another field.

Jung-Su Do has worked for the Flander-Klein Graphic Design Company for 5 years and is going back to school for a degree in philosophy, reflecting his passion for the analyzing the role of beauty in truth and honesty.

How – Let people know upfront how to contact you for the work that you are interested in collaborating with in the future.

Jada Downs can be reached via email at student@haverford.edu for more information or follow her on Twitter at @HaverfordStudent to chat about her activities.

What Next?: The style of the bio is dependent on how it will be used, formatting should reflect how the bio will be used.

LinkedIn – The LinkedIn bio has the most flexibility, and can be as long and detailed as desired. Keep in mind that people typically do not spend more than 15 seconds on a LinkedIn profile they are glancing at, so if the bio is lengthy they may only read the first few sentences. It can be written in the third person or the first person; however, the third person usage is a good fit for bios that showcase humor and personality, as it can make an otherwise informal bio come across as more professional.

Speaker/Panelist –Bios for presentations should be of moderate size, and can include any awards/community recognitions, board memberships, or volunteer activities. These should be in the third person as it is most likely to be read by others who will introduce you.

Academic Presentations – These bios should be written in the third person, and should include area of research and any publications or forthcoming publishing.

Elevator Pitch – An elevator pitch is unique in that it is meant to be quick and brief. Be sure to use first person, and highlight what is unique about you/your brand, or the item you are pitching.

Fords on Friday: Jeremy Golan ’09

Posted on: November 21, 2014

How to answer “Why should we hire you?”

The CCPA welcomes guest blogger Jeremy Golan, Haverford College class of 2009. Jeremy is a strategy and research analyst at One Acre Fund in Kenya. headshot

Interviewer: “So why do you want to be a management consultant? You seem to have no business experience at all. Maybe you’d be better off being a teacher.”

Me: “You couldn’t be more wrong! I developed analytical skills as an economics major at Haverford. And in the Peace Corps, I used the same soft skills you use every day: quickly understanding the context of my clients (Cambodian school teachers included), building relationships, and developing actionable solutions to problems. So, working in consulting is a natural next step.”

The first quote was verbatim from an interviewer. My response in real life was more polite and articulate (hopefully), since I was interviewing for management consulting jobs, following my two-year Peace Corps service.

However, you should make the same broad points when interviewers ask why your experience is relevant.

When an interviewer asks “Why should we hire you,” you should communicate the following:

  1. My experience is relevant to what you do
  2. This is a linear career move
  3. I’ll quickly learn the other skills I need

Let’s look at these in more detail.

  1. My experience is relevant to what you do

It’s rare that a candidate fits the job description perfectly. You’re always going to have to help the recruiter connect some of your skills to the job description. But, you are probably more prepared than you think. The key is to explain why the experience you have relates to what they do, even if not directly. Gently stress the connection, since the interviewer may have missed it; what you did was called something else, but the work itself was very similar.

For example, maybe a job requires fundraising experience. You haven’t fundraised, but you’ve written multiple successful grants for Haverford’s Center for Peace and Global Citizenship (CPGC) to fund your research. So, explain that your grant-writing skills demonstrate that you know how to communicate value to donors.

  1. This is a linear career move

When you say that your career went in the wrong direction and you’re switching paths, an interviewer may perceive you as a poor decision-maker. However, if you present your next move as a natural next step, it seems more considered and planned for. And this reflects on you as having good judgment.

There are many ways to do this, but always focus on the positive. It could be highlighting an aspect you liked at your last job and saying you want to do more of that. For example, “I learned a lot during my summer internship doing pricing analysis, but I realized my favorite part was looking at the strategic implications of these price shifts. Working for you will enable me to do more of that kind of strategy work.”

  1. I’ll quickly learn the other skills I need

Especially early in your career, even when you explain why the job is a natural next step and that many of your skills apply, you will still likely come across something in the job description that you just haven’t done before.

To reconcile this gap in technical skills, you should broadly illustrate that you’re smart and a quick learner. “I may not have used your proprietary statistical program, but I used advanced econometrics in STATA for my senior thesis. I learned to do complex statistical analysis in a matter of weeks. I’m a quick learner and very comfortable learning new technology.”

In addition to technology, you may need to demonstrate to recruiters that you can communicate, work in teams, solve problems, and think quantitatively.

OK. So how do you prepare to make these points under the pressure of an interview?

Throughout your career, you’ll always need to explain what you accomplished, whether it’s for a job interview or your annual performance review. I recommend putting aside 5 minutes every Friday to list out your accomplishments for the week. It will make finding experiences to draw from a lot easier.

When you do this, try to use action verbs (just like for a resume) and focus on numbers and results. So for a week at Haverford, you could write:

-          Led 4-person team in writing group psychology paper, where we validated our hypotheses on decision-making through surveying 100 students

-          Conducted statistical analysis to complete econometrics homework

-          Organized 15 students to volunteer at local soup kitchen

When you’re preparing for an interview, scan your list for useful points you can pull from. Then, think about how you want to weave the points together to illustrate that you would do well in the new position.

In addition, have informational interviews with people in the field to understand what these jobs actually entail and if you would enjoy it. You’ll also learn the types of questions people in the field will ask about your background and you can prepare your responses accordingly.

Eventually, your background will be perfectly suited for the positions you want

There is a light at the end of a tunnel. As you gain more work experience, you’ll be able to make more and more direct connections between your current job and your next one. It just takes more time at the beginning.

For me, after a few years in consulting, I started thinking about what’s next. I was fortunate to find the strategy and research analyst position at One Acre Fund, which happens to look for management consultants and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers.

Explaining how my skills matched up was rather direct. But, I still looked at my list of weekly accomplishments to brainstorm the perfect responses to:“Why should we hire you?”

Healthcare Consulting: Preparing Graduates for the Future of Healthcare

Posted on: November 17, 2014

By Arman Terzian, HC ’14
Analyst, Research and Insights Division
The Advisory Board Company

So – you’re pre-med. Maybe just public health-minded. ArmanPerhaps you have a love for business and healthcare. It’s entirely possible you have a love for business, treating patients, and public health. Regardless of where you hope to take your career in healthcare, many-premeds, and healthcare-minded folks, take a few years off school after graduation, to gain some hands-on work experience. The little bit of time helps make anyone’s application all the more competitive in this tough grad school admission landscape. As it turns out, healthcare consulting isn’t a bad way to spend a few years before heading off to a role where you provide patients care more directly.

You might be wondering how in the world healthcare consulting will help you. You’re pre-med and want to do hands-on working either treating patients or researching deadly diseases. Maybe you want to do social work and help connect patients with social resources they need desperately, but lack terribly. That reaction is totally understandable. Traditionally, many students go on to do research or humanitarian work for 1-2 years before they apply to medical or public health school. Research and humanitarian work demonstrate a genuine interest in solving medical problems and working closely with patients on an individual basis. It’s incredibly easy to see why many students with an interest in pursuing careers in healthcare choose these post-grad opportunities before graduate school.

However, the current healthcare landscape defines quality patient care as much more than just having the capacity to perform high quality medical research and making an accurate patient diagnosis. Now, physicians must understand a patient’s care across an entire health system, and help them navigate the many different sites of care they will likely visit before treatment ends. Physicians of the very near future must concern themselves not just with what happens to a patient inside their office, but in the grocery store, a nursing home, a hospital wing. In other words, physicians will need to take responsibility for a patient’s well-being across multiple sites of care. This system-wide perspective, however, might be a little more difficult to glean from doing research alone. Healthcare consulting, though, demands that people interested in solving health care’s most rigorous care delivery and quality problems develop an understanding of a patient’s care throughout a hospital and health system. The hospital executives you’ll work with don’t want to change the quality of a single patient encounter, but want to improve treatment outcomes and the patient experience across an entire system of care.

You may, now, be considering the importance of a system-wide, not just, patient-centered approach to care. Yet, how does thinking about the health system actually help you provide better care for each individual patient? A primary care physician working with a heart failure patient needs to ensure the patient receives proper education about his or her disease, sees a cardiologist, potentially gets any mental health counseling they need to cope with anxiety, makes an appointment with a nutritionist to adjust their diet, and much more. The final outcome of a patient’s treatment depends not just on what happens in the physician’s office, but on a patient’s ability to access a wide array of high quality services that will treat each aspect of their condition holistically. If physicians don’t know how to navigate a health system for a patient, the work done in an individual doctor’s office might have little effect on the overall outcome. Healthcare consulting, thus, provides doctors and public health professionals to-be the opportunity to develop a system-wide perspective that will help make the individual patient care a physician provides his or her patient even more effective and long-lasting.


Fords on Friday: Tips for Writing a Software Engineering Resume

Posted on: November 14, 2014

Thank you to Haverford College Assistant Professor of Computer Science Sorelle Friedler
for the first of several posts on aspects of life after Haverford!

  1. Follow all of the usual steps for writing a good resume.  (See CCPA.)sorelle
  2. Ignore the advice from #1 that your resume needs to fit on one page, but only if you really have things to say that will allow you to take it onto a second page.
  3. Make sure you have a clear objective at the top that especially says what type of job you’re looking for and if it’s an internship or full-time job, and gives a flavor of what type of work you’re especially interested in.  E.g.:
    Objective: Obtain a full-time job as a software engineer working to use social networks for advertising.
  4. Make sure your last section is called “Skills” and lists the programming languages you know.  Your resume may be read by a computer, so you need to make sure it has all the right keywords.  If you know frameworks (e.g., Django), you should also list those.  So the section might look like:
    Programming Languages: Python, Java, HTML, Javascript
    Frameworks: Django, CSS, Ajax
  5. If you have awards, these should be in their own section and should have clear descriptive language that explains the size / prestige of the award and what it’s for.  This makes clear just how selective the award is.  For example:
    Pretend Computer Science Department Award: a monetary award given to the graduating senior at Haverford College who shows “the most promise in software engineering.”
    Awesome National Award: a full scholarship given to 3 “outstanding undergraduate computer scientists” chosen from a national pool.
  6. You have learned things in class that may not be otherwise apparent from your resume (e.g., if you haven’t had an internship yet).  Include a “Projects” section that explains what big projects you’ve worked on in your classes (e.g., your 106 final project) and includes clear technical details about what you did.
  7. This should be on the general resume guidelines, but in case not: if your GPA is good enough (>= 3.0), include it clearly in the education section at the top of your resume.  If your GPA in your major only is better, include that instead or in addition (e.g.: “GPA in major: 3.5”).


Sorelle has been an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Haverford College since 2014 and was visiting at Haverford starting in 2012. Her research interests include the design and analysis of algorithms, computational geometry, data mining and machine learning, and the application of such algorithms to interdisciplinary data. She is the recent recipient, along with chemistry professors Josh Schrier and Alex Norquist, of an NSF grant to apply data mining techniques to materials chemistry data to speed up materials discovery.

Before Haverford, Sorelle was a software engineer at Google, where she worked in the Google X lab and in search infrastructure. She received a Ph.D. in computer science in 2010 and an M.S. in computer science in 2007, both from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is a 2004 graduate of Swarthmore College.

Networking: A Key Aspect of Professional Advancement

Posted on: November 12, 2014

By Kari Cooke, CCPA Graduate Assistant

Networking events can be a student, and many working professionals
dread networking receptions. But the alternative—avoiding meeting new people—could be detrimental to achieving your career goals. The key is to practice often, and be consistently self-reflective with regards to your passions, abilities, and goals. What follows is a guide to building comfort with professional networking:

Do the Preparatory Work

  • Building your confidence is one of the most important ways you can prepare for a networking event; be ready to talk about past experience and/or current passions.
  • If you’re going to a networking event, study the key players who will be there. Knowing the professional moves they’ve made can be an impressive conversation starter.
  • Clean up your social media bio before you network. People will try to find you on LinkedIn, Twitter and other networks, and you want them to take you seriously. Your social bios should be short, sweet and professional: Hashtags and links are acceptable, but save the extended info for your LinkedIn page.
  • Be comfortable—but use your good judgment on this one. Wear one of your favorite appropriate pieces to boost your confidence and possibly win some compliments. Keep it classy, and stay away from gaudy items.
  • If big crowds make you nervous, what better way to overcome that than by showing up early? You’ll make a good first impression on other early arrivers, who just might be the key players you need to get to know.
  • If you can, bring a friend as your wingman. Maybe this person can guide you through uncomfortable situations. You may even want to coordinate a distress signal to let them know when you aren’t sure what to do.

Don’t Just Show Up, Be Present

  • Feel out the vibe of the venue, and when you’re ready to mingle, find other people who may be nervous—or flying solo—and start a conversation.
  • Scrolling through your Instagram feed and texting on your phone are great ways to cop out of being social, so you should avoid looking at your phone while networking. The key is to stay engaged with the people around you.
  • Share your passion. That’s why you’re at the networking event in the first place. Bring your talents to the table and show your peers why you love the industry you aspire to conquer.
  • Don’t dwell on mistakes. People often think more about an embarrassing slipup than the things they did correctly. This is human nature, but rarely do others notice a faux pas. Learn to laugh at your own mistakes and move on.
  • Make mental notes of conversations you have. Find out what you have in common with others by listening to them and engaging with them. This will help establish good rapport with everyone you meet.
  • The main reason you’re at a networking event should be to create opportunities for yourself, but networking is a two-way street. Don’t forget what you have to offer, and take some pressure off yourself. Often we speak with others and it is hard to find something in common, but don’t be afraid to introduce someone to someone else at the event that you spoke with that may be a good connection for them.
  • Be yourself! Don’t force anything that doesn’t feel natural to you, it is okay to wrap-up a conversation when you are done asking questions.
  • How you end a conversation is just as important as how you begin it. “Do you have a card so we can keep in touch?” “I look forward to our paths crossing again in the near future.” “It was my pleasure, but I don’t want to keep you from meeting other guests.” These are all appropriate ways to exit a conversation without an excruciatingly awkward ending.

Add Value to the Event: Follow Up!

  • Stay active on your social media sites. Your social networks add value to your brand, no matter what field you’re in. Not every single post or tweet has to be career-oriented, but remember that you never know who is looking. How you’re perceived on social media can outweigh how you actually are in person. Keep it classy, but retain what makes you human in your profile.
  • Put those business cards you’ve collected to good use and make the follow-up the ultimate priority. Whether it’s via LinkedIn, email, a phone call or a handwritten note, be professional and mention a talking point or two that you remember from your conversation. Suggest continuing the conversation over coffee or tea.
  • For an instant connection, you can drop the person a quick mention on Twitter prior to sending an email. For example: “It was a pleasure meeting @JohnDoe at XYZ Afterwork Meet-Up. #AppropriateHashtag”
  • Use your hashtags wisely. It’s OK to use hashtags in tweets to professionals as long as they relate to the conversation you had or event you attended, but tags like #MoneyGang, #GetBread and #WakeUpNow? NOPE!
  • Never spam! Think about how you feel when a random musician you don’t even follow sends you an unsolicited link to his mixtape in your Twitter mentions. That’s how others feel when you randomly send them links asking them to read your work, look at your website, or watch your reel. Tact is the key in delivering your talents via social media, so you should build a relationship first. Let people know how you’ve noticed an initiative they’ve started or project they’re working on, they are more like to respond.

Although these events can be awkward at first, the more you practice and put yourself out there, the easier it becomes. When you become more comfortable networking, be sure to help others who seem uncomfortable in these events. Share you knowledge and skills!

Adapted From: Taryn Finley

Fords on Friday: Business Conference Follow Up

Posted on: November 7, 2014

Our successful Fords in Business conference last weekend provided for us a wealth of ideas and insights from fellow Fords. We were listening and taking notes! Below are a few great takeaways from our lunch keynote presenter David Maue, Managing Director, Chief Administrative Officer, American Securities. David Maue

1. Be open to serendipity and planned happenstance.

2. On the power of mentors: Cultivate them -  mentors can be helpful both for long term career and short term.

3. Think about your ‘actual’ network. Your inner circle is important, and it’s vital to maintain the relationships. On the important people in your Network:  Does this person proactively think about you a couple of times a year and do you think about them a few times a year?  Drop them an email or go for coffee…

4. Think about you and your unique story. Think about your life story and how to package that.  Don’t try to fit a mold.

5. The interview is the opening night performance, not an audition. You want to sparkle. It is okay to talk about accomplishments and still be humble.  Be sincere and proud. Think about your audience in the interview, and make connections of your background to the position.

6.  On Internships: From any summer experience, critically analyze the experience and what you gained, learned and contributed.  During the experience, whatever it is, be a sponge. Internships/summer experiences are really important but not all students can get the ‘big name’ ones.  From any experience you can gain valuable insights and experiences.

7. If you decide to go to business school, do it at the time that is right for you. Takes a lot of time to prepare applications, about 40 hours per school… but not everyone needs to go, it is a personal decision.

8. Haverford’s honor code gives you an important morale foundation.

These takeaways were just a portion of an incredible keynote and strong day altogether. We wish we could write faster! Thank you to David Maue for the tips above, and to everyone who attended!

Diversity Internships and Fellowships

Posted on: November 5, 2014

There is a wealth of Internships and Fellowship programs that are catered to diverse populations and it is boon to agencies and companies that are looking to hire highly qualified talent to add to their ranks. All students are encouraged to look at summer internship opportunities as well as year-round opportunities to explore fields of interest, get involved in their professional career preparation, or find mentorship support as they enter the workplace. Below are a list of internships and fellowships that students of various backgrounds can take advantage of in the process of transferring their liberal arts education into a viable career path.

Thank you to CCPA Graduate Assistant Kari Cooke for compiling such a comprehensive list!

Internships/Fellowships List by Field

Liberal Arts & Sciences (American Studies, Biochemistry, Biological Sciences, Chemistry,Computer Science, Economics, English, Environmental Studies, Geography, History, Law & Justice Studies, Liberal Studies: Humanities/Social Science, Liberal Studies: Math/Science, Mathematics, Philosophy & Religion, Physical Science, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Spanish)

  • Cultural Resources Diversity Internship Program (CRDIP) www.cr.nps.gov
  • Four Directions Summer Research Program (FDSRP) www.fdsrp.org
  • The Greenlining Academy – Academy Fellowship & Summer Associates Program greenlining.org
  • Hispanic National Internship Program (HNIP) www.hnip.net
  • Humanity in Action Summer Programs – Core Fellowship Programs on Diversity & Democracy www.humanityinaction.org
  • Institute for International Public Policy (IIPP) Fellowship Program www.uncfsp.org
  • Institute for Responsible Citizenship Summer Programs www.i4rc.org
  • Integrated Biological Sciences Summer Research Program for Undergraduates (IBS-SRP) www.wisc.edu
  • James E. Webb Internship Program for Minority Undergraduates Juniors, Seniors and Graduate Students in Business & Public Administration www.si.edu
  • Latinas Learning to Lead – Summer Youth Institute www.nhli.or
  • MAOP – Undergraduate Summer Research Internship, Virginia Tech www.maop.edu
  • Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) Intern Program www.faa.gov
  • Minority Student Internship Program, Smithsonian www.si.edu
  • Minority Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program www.uchsc.edu
  • Movement Activist Apprenticeship Program (MAAP) www.ctwo.org
  • National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) Internship Programs www.nasi.org
  • Native American Internship Awards, Smithsonian Institutions www.si.edu
  • Native American Congressional Internship Program www.udall.gov
  • Oceanography Fellows for Minority Undergraduates www.whoi.edu
  • Orange County (CA) Register Internship Program website unavailable
  • Southeast Asian Studies Summer Institute – Heritage Language Program & Awards seassi.wisc.edu
  • Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (SMDEP) www.smdep.org
  • Summer Multicultural Access to Research Training (SMART), CU-Boulder www.colorado.edu

Business (Accounting, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Human Resource Management,Management, Management Information Systems (MIS), Marketing)

  • Hispanic National Internship Program (HNIP) www.hnip.net
  • James E. Webb Internship Program for Minority Undergraduate Juniors, Seniors and Graduate Students in Business and Public Administration www.su.edu

Communications (Advertising, Communication Studies, Journalism, Public Relations, Radio-TV-Film, Writing Arts)

  • Diversity Summer Internship Program, The Ad Club www.adclub.org
  • New England Sports Network (NESN) New Media Internship www.nesn.com
  • Scripps Howard Semester in Washington Program www.shns.com
  • USA Today “Live” Internship for Broadcast Journalists www.usatoday.com
  • Wall Street Journal, The Internships www.wsj.com

Education (Early Childhood Education (P-3), Elementary Education (K-5), Subject MatterEducation (K-12), Athletic Training, Health & Physical Education, Health Promotion & Fitness Management)

Engineering (Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering,Mechanical Engineering)

  • Summer Multicultural Access to Research Training (SMART), CU-Boulder www.colorado.edu

Fine & Performing Arts (Art Education, Art – General Fine Art, Studio Art, Music, Music:Composition, Music: Jazz Studies, Music: Education, Music: Performance, Theatre Arts)

Population-Specific Resources

African American

Black Collegian Online

Black Retail Action Group (BRAF)

National Black MBA Association

Black Engineer 

Asian American

CAPAL (Public Sector)

National Association of Asian American Professionals


HACU – Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities

Hispanic Online



Indigenous/Native American

American Indian Science and Engineering Society



Alphabetical Listing of Internship/Fellowship Opportunities

(Includes organizations with serving students according to race, gender, disability, etc.)

American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE)
Encourages African-American students to pursue careers in energy-related fields and provides scholarships and other financial aid.

American Council on Education of Minorities in Higher Education
Studies and reports on minority issues; provides assistance to colleges and universities to improve recruitment and retention of minority students.

American Indian College Fund (AICF)
Raises money for the tribal colleges.

American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC)
Tribally controlled member colleges exchange ideas and information.

American Indian Science & Engineering Society (AISES)
Provides, through educational programs, opportunities for American Indians and Alaska Natives to pursue studies in science, engineering, and technology arenas.

ASPIRA Association Inc.
Devoted to the education and leadership development of Latino youth.

Association of Cuban Engineers (ACE)
Membership organization, including student members.

Association of Higher Education And Disability (AHEAD)
Organization of professionals committed to full participation in higher education for persons with disabilities.

Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting (ALPFA)
(Formerly the American Association of Hispanic Certified Public Accountants)
Dedicated to enhancing opportunities for Latinos in the accounting, finance, and related professions.

Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG)
Encourages participation of women in the geosciences.

Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM)
Encourages women in the mathematical sciences.

Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA)
Encourages African-American students to enter the information technology field.

Black Retail Action Group, Inc. (BRAG)
Offers professional development and networking assistance to students and employers interested in retail management careers.

Center for the Advancement of Hispanics in Science and Engineering Education
Prepares Hispanic and other underrepresented minorty science and engineering students to achieve academic excellence and professional success through educational and leadership development programs.

Career Opportunities for Students With Disabilities (COSD)
National advocates for the employment of college students and recent graduates with disabilities.

The GEM Consortium: National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science
Provides opportunities for underrepresented minority students to pursue graduate education.

Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (HACU)
Works to improve access to and quality of postsecondary educational opportunities for Hispanic students.

Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility
HACR strives to ensure that there is an equitable participation of the Hispanic community in Corporate America commensurate with the Hispanic purchasing power. 

Prepares underserved students for leadership positions by placing them in internships with U.S. corporations.

Leadership Education and Development Program in Business (LEAD)
Influences talented minority students to pursue careers in business.

Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS)
Fosters and promotes the agricultural sciences and related fields among ethnic minorities.

National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME)
Seeks to increase the number of minority students enrolled in and graduated from engineering schools.

National Association of Black Accountants (NABA)
Encourages and assists minority students in entering the accounting profession.

National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ)
Works to expand job opportunities and recruiting activities for African-American students interested in the journalism field.

National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN)
Works to increase recruitment and retention of Hispanic students in nursing education programs.

National Association of Multicultural Engineering Program Advocates (NAMEPA)
Works to improve the recruitment and retention of minorities earning degrees in engineering.

National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC)
Supports women in construction and awards

National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA)
Promotes the professional needs and goals of Black law students. 

National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA)
Encourages black students to pursue business education; serves as a support network for MBA graduates and students.

National Black Nurses Association (NBNA)
Provides career center assistance and continuing education for nurses, and scholarships to students pursuing health degrees.

National Council of La Raza
Works toward improving life opportunities, including educational needs and opportunities for Hispanic Americans.

National Hispanic Institute (NHI)
Provides leadership training for Latino high school and college students.

National Hispanic Scholarship Fund (NHSF)
Provides scholarships for Hispanic undergraduate and graduate students.

National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists & Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE)
Works to build the number of minorities in the fields of science and engineering. 

National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA)
Involved in the advancement of minority professionals in the profession, including job placement help for college students. 

National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)
Seeks to increase minority participation in engineering.

National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP)
Seeks to increase the number of African-Americans in the field of physics.

National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA)
Fosters Hispanic leadership through graduate management education and professional development.

National Urban League
Supports movements and projects toward enabling African Americans to secure economic self-reliance through education and employment.

Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA)
Among its objectives, OCA strives to develop leadership and community involvement through organizational and college affiliates throughout the country.

Quality Education for Minorities Network (QEM)
Works to improve education of African Americans, Alaska Natives, American Indians, Mexican Americans,and Puerto Ricans.

Society for the Advancement of Chicanos & Native Americans in Science (SACNAS)
Encourages Chicano/Latino and Native American students to pursue graduate education in preparation for research careers and science teaching professions at all levels.

Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)
Seeks to increase the number of Hispanic professionals and college students in the fields of engineering and science.

Society of Mexican American Engineers & Scientists (MAES)
Works to increase opportunities for Mexican-Americans in engineering, computer technology, and science.

Society of Women Engineers (SWE)
Educational service society; serves as an informational center on women in engineering.

Thurgood Marshall College Fund
Supports retention and graduation rates; identifies and prepares students who have leadership potential; and creates a pipeline for employers to students and alumni.

United Negro College Fund (UNCF)
African-American higher education assistance organization.

Women in Engineering Programs and Advocates Network (WEPAN)
Strives to enhance the success of women in the engineering professions.


Fords on Friday: The BiCo Finance Club’s Fall 2014 Site Visit to Barclays

Posted on: October 31, 2014

By Tiancheng Liu ‘16

On Friday, October 17th, 2014, the BiCo Finance Club brought 17 students from Haverford and Bryn Mawr College to its annual site visit event, held this year at Barclays in their NY headquarters. BiCo Finance Club Site Visit  Photo Fall 2014

The event was hosted by Jonathan Debrich ’05, along with fellow Haverford alums David Colletta ’11, Allie Kandell ’14, Mark Mason ’78 Rachel Melroy ’02, Rachael Pardini ’09 and Angad Singh ’07. It included two panel discussions, with one providing an overview of the financial services industry and the other focusing on internship and job search tips. During the panel discussions, alums provided detailed insight into their roles and daily responsibilities.

Rachael Pardini ’09, a campus recruiter at Barclays, spoke about various opportunities at Barclays available to Haverford and Bryn Mawr students. With the start of the fall recruiting season, many students found advice from the career panelists to be very useful. Following the panels, alums led resume review and interview advice workshops working with groups of three to five students.

The company site visit is a bi-annual event hosted by the BiCo Finance Club and remains one of the club’s most successful events.  The club has visited companies including Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse in previous years, and was glad to announce Barclays as the host company for Fall 2014. The BiCo Finance Club will continue to work with both the Center for Career and Professional Advising and Fords in Finance Alumni Network to build and foster connections between students and alumni in the Haverford and Bryn Mawr community.

For more information about the BiCo Finance Club and its upcoming events, please visit:
www.bicofinance.org or the club’s page on Facebook and LinkedIn.

FORDS ON FRIDAY: Rahul Munshi ’06

Posted on: October 24, 2014


The CCPA welcomes Rahul Munshi ’06 to our FORDS ON FRIDAY blog.
Rahul represents individuals in employment and civil rights litigation with
Console Law Offices LLC in Philadelphia. He is also the co-founder of the
Haverford College Lawyers Network.Rahul_Munshi_RGB Thank you, Rahul!

First and foremost, you should know that Haverford’s own internal career resources are growing and developing at an exceptional pace. There is a tremendous amount of data out there through Haverford’s directories, affinity groups, and newsletters, among others. Use these resources – it’s a good time to be a student at Haverford College. Beyond what Haverford itself can provide, here are some thoughts I have about the thoughts that are probably running through your head.

  1. I don’t know where to start. I literally have no idea where to begin.

You’re a current student and you don’t know exactly what you want to do with your career for the next 50 years? Congratulations – you are probably in the 99.9% of 18-22 year olds who feel this way. So how do you start to figure out what you want to do after graduation?

First, learn what people do all day long. Lots of people work a huge portion of every single day. What are they actually *doing* all day? Find out. Scour the internet for information about different fields and specific jobs within those fields – not just job titles; actual job descriptions.

Here’s a typical interaction that I witness all the time, and not just between alums and students:

Person A:         Nice to meet you. What do you do?
Person B:         I’m a consultant in Philadelphia with XYZ Company.
Person A:         Cool. How do you like it?
Person B:         It’s good.
Person A:         Great. Nice to meet you!

Absolutely zero substantive information was relayed in this conversation that you could not find spending one minute on Google or LinkedIn. Now you’ve actually met the person you want to talk to you, so take advantage of it. When you ask someone what they “do,” you’re not just asking their title. That’s easy. Ask what they actually *do* in their job. If you’re trying to figure out what field/area/industry peaks your interest, just learning someone’s title does not get you anywhere. People like to talk about themselves. Ask that person what he or she actually *does* on a daily basis; who they work with; the challenges of the job; the rewarding aspects of the job; how he or she got to this job. The more you know, the easier it will be to further pursue this field or cross it off your list.

  1. Why would a super successful and busy alum want to talk with me? I’m an average student with a regular background who has done nothing spectacular since the day I was born.

Well, that’s not exactly true. You’re a student at Haverford College, which is a pretty nice achievement in my book.

When Michael Gordon ’04 and I co-founded the Haverford College Lawyers Network, we worked off of one fundamental premise: current students and recent alums often believe that graduating from Haverford College results in a disadvantage in the job market because our alumni body is miniscule compared to many schools and we cannot offer the same level of resources as larger universities. This is a false belief that wrongly diminishes the power of community. I have found, especially as time has gone on, that this small community is actually one of Haverford’s greatest assets. We like to see each other succeed; we like to help each other out; we like to act as connectors for others in the Haverford community.

You’re not bothering an alum if you reach out and ask for advice. Chances are that the alum himself or herself got to his or her position through the help of someone else – perhaps even another Haverford alum. The desire to give back and help bring someone else up the ladder is extremely strong. Keep telling yourself this: you, as a student, are giving me, as an alum, an opportunity to give back.

Frankly, it’s extremely flattering for a student to say to me, “I want to do what you do. You are awesome. How did you become so awesome?” You saying that makes me feel good. People like to talk about themselves. I will carve time out of my busy schedule to talk about myself, and so will everyone I know.

  1. I changed out of my Haverford sweatshirt, put on my nice shoes, and got myself to a Haverford alumni event. What do I even do here?

Take some pressure off of yourself. The truth is that group settings are difficult. Think about dating reality television shows where one person is surrounded by a gaggle of potential suitors. They stand around awkwardly and try to shoehorn an intimate conversation into an atmosphere that is catered towards meet-and-greets. Don’t fall into that trap. Use this group event as a way to introduce yourself and get basic information about what people do (again, what they actually “do” and not just their title). Use this five minute interaction as a springboard to a fuller conversation set for a later date. Do not try to solicit real advice in this setting – it won’t work. Say to the person, “It was really nice speaking with you. Next time I’m in [insert city] would you mind meeting me for coffee so that I can learn more about what you do?” Or, “I’m really interested in what you do. Would you mind talking with me over the phone soon so that I can learn more? I can email you and we can set up a time.”

Keep in mind that when you go to these events, sure, some of the attendees will be more experienced and senior alums. But others will be your relative contemporaries – perhaps you even overlapped with one or two while at Haverford. Remember, they just went through exactly what you’re going through right now.

You see that boy over there who you sat next to in a class two years ago, and you know that he is working in the field/organization/industry that you’re interested in. You think, “Oh, he doesn’t remember me. I’m going to embarrass myself. He doesn’t want to talk with me. Forget it, I’m going to pretend like I didn’t see him.” Here’s the dirty little secret of Haverford College: He does remember who you are; and he does want to talk with you. Ask him how he got from that class you shared with him to where he is today. He will want to talk about himself. Did I mention that people like to talk about themselves?

  1. I love business cards. Why won’t anyone give me a business card?

You didn’t ask. Ask and you shall receive.

  1. Now I have so many business cards. What do I do with all of these things?

Save them ALL. Buy a rolodex if you have to. (Google what a “rolodex” is.) If someone hands you a business card he didn’t do it just because we order these things in bulk and we have hundreds of them cluttering our desk drawers and homes – though that’s true too. And you didn’t ask for a business card just to get the rush of excitement that someone is actually interested in you. You’ve made a connection; follow up on it. It may end up that you conclude, upon learning more information, that this person does not do *exactly* what you want to do. That’s fine. That person may know someone who does do something that you are interested in, and perhaps he or she will refer you to that person. Not only do people love to talk about themselves, they also love to talk about their friends and act as connectors for people. That’s how you build your network.

  1. Um. Now what?

Repeat. Research people. Reach out to them. Find out what they do and not just their title. Figure out if that is something you’re interested in. Ask them how they got there. Go to an event or a panel on a topic that interests you (and do not play on your phone the whole time – trust me, when you’re on the dais speaking on a panel, you can see who is not paying attention). Follow up. Repeat. Again and again.

As Rashidah Andrews ’02 recently told a group of current undergraduate students at a career development panel, “network” should not be used as a verb – it is a noun. Build your network from the ground up. If your ultimate goal is to find a job, know that many, if not most, jobs are landed because the applicant has a direct connection to someone at the organization. The days of rampant cold-hiring are coming to an end, if they haven’t already. Your name is your brand. Get out there and sell it.

Explore Careers Up Close and Personal with an Alum: Apply for an Externship

Posted on: October 21, 2014

By Kelly Cleary and Amy Feifer

Every day at the Center for Career and Professional Advising (CCPA) we talk with students who are trying to figure out what career they want to pursue after graduation. Figuring out which career paths would be a good fit for you requires research and self-reflection.  My simple advice for exploring careers is to read about careers that interest you, watch and talk with people who work in those fields (through a job shadow or informational interview), and try them out yourself through an internship, volunteer experience, or a job.

The CCPA’s Extern Program is a terrific experience that gives students a chance toexplore different career options by allowing a firsthand glimpse into a field of interest. Selected applicants are matched with one of Haverford or Bryn Mawr alumni the students listed as preferences in their application (due October 30).  By shadowing professionals in their workplace, you can begin to explore your interests and see what a typical day is like in a particular job. The advice and guidance you’ll receive from alumni in this shadowing experience will help you identify potential career options.

Extern Chris Gardner (HC '15) with Dr. Brandt Feuerstein (HC '87), General Surgeon, Eden Hill Surgical Group, Dover, DE
Extern Chris Gardner (HC ’15) with Dr. Brandt Feuerstein (HC ’87), General Surgeon, Eden Hill Surgical Group, Dover, DE

What is the difference between an Externship and an Internship?

An externship is basically a job shadow that might involve working on a short-term project. From two days to two weeks during Winter or Spring break, externs observe and talk with alumni sponsors and their colleagues. In most cases, you participate in the normal routines of the sponsors, following your hosts throughout their workday or working on special projects. Often, the externs spend time in several departments to gain insight into allied positions in the sponsor’s particular career.

Internships , on the other hand, are generally 8-12 week experiences, where student apply what they learned in the classroom to a work setting under the supervision of the employer. Visit the CCPA’s Internship page for advice and resources for finding internships.

 What do students have to say about their externships?

Conor Brennan-Burke (HC ’16) - Sponsor: Jonathan Copulsky HC ’76, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, Chicago, IL

Before my Externship, I was considering a career in business, but I had no idea where or how. Now, I have a clear idea of exactly what I wanted to do, and some of the steps I can take to get there.  It was very helpful to meet individuals at all different stages of their careers, and hear how they came to Deloitte. Thank you CCPA! 

Isabella Muratore (HC ’16) gaining hands on experience at the Museum of Natural History

Isabella Muratore (HC ’16)  - Sponsor: Briana Pobiner  BMC ’97, Research Scientist and Museum Educator Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC

I can’t express how fun, interesting, and informative this externship was for me. I had high hopes for the experience but I never expected I’d meet so many scientists doing insightful research relevant to my interests, get a behind the scenes look at the vast Smithsonian collection, and dissect a deer head! I can tell that Dr. Pobiner put enormous effort into organizing these opportunities for me and in selecting them according to my interests.

boal sponsor_rojas student
Extern Diane Rojas HC’14 with Sponsor: Jennifer Boal HC ’85, U.S. Magistrate Judge, US Courts, Boston, MA

Diane Rojas (HC ’14) - Sponsor: Jennifer Boal (HC ’85), U.S. Magistrate Judge, US  Courts, Boston, MA

The experience gave me great insight into the federal legal system, a field I hope to one day enter. Judge Boal and her staff were incredibly helpful in explaining areas as well as welcoming me into their everyday practices.

Chris Gardner (HC ’15) - Sponsor: Dr. Brandt Feuerstein HC ’87, General Surgeon, Eden Hill Surgical Group, Dover, DE

I had a really enjoyable time. I saw a lot of the behind the scenes of how hospitals work, and got to talk with different surgeons about their experiences. I learned a lot, and this experience helped me decide that I definitely want to do something involving surgery.

Alec De Vivo (HC ‘14) - Sponsor: Mark Scherzer HC 73, attorney/owner, Mark Scherzer Law Office, New York, NY

I learned a lot about health care policy in New York. I also met many people working in health care and got a good sense for the kind of work I would be doing and where to look if I wanted to pursue a job related to health care law or policy.

For more information about the program and to apply (deadline October 30, 2014) visit the CCPA’s Extern Program webpage or stop by the CCPA in Stokes 300.