Council on Foreign Relations Magazine, New York, NY
Rob Carpenter ’18
Interning at Foreign Affairs (FA) Magazine this summer has been an incredibly educational and thought-provoking experience for me. This summer was not quiet for global media as a handful of unexpected stories became prominent and made my work experience especially exciting and challenging. Events like the Brexit, the Turkish failed coup, the Zika outbreak, and the upcoming Presidential Election filled my time at Foreign Affairs with unique opportunities to not only help the magazine inform its audience but also present these events in innovative ways. For example, when the UK’s Brexit referendum resulted in the surprising outcome of leaving the European Union (on June 23rd, just a few weeks into my internship), the FA office had to adapt in order to better cover the globe shaking economic decision. Fortunately because of FA’s quick adjustment to its content creation process and content marketing, the magazine was able to release new analysis on the events outside of its typical bi-monthly release schedule in order to cover and analyze the implications of Brexit as they were revealed.
By Jennifer Barr
Pre-Law Advisor, Haverford College
Congratulations to the Haverford College Mock Trial team on hosting their first annual Black Squirrel Invitational this past weekend. As a completely student run event, it embodied the fortitude and determination that I see in our students every day. It also symbolized the strong rise in pre-law career exploration and culture that has developed on campus over the past eight years. Continue reading →
A Poet Went To Wall Street… How an English Literature Major Cultivated a Global Career
We are pleased to welcome Charles Robinson ’89 for a virtual talk today at 3:00 p.m. in Chase Auditorium. Mr. Robinson is currently the CFA and Senior Vice President of Shenkman Capital. Charles joined Shenkman Capital in 2015 to lead the firm’s international business. Prior to joining the firm, he was Managing Director and EMEA Head of Black River Asset Management, Cargill’s investment business. He previously worked at Goldman Sachs Asset Management in New York and Hong Kong. Charles began his career at JP Morgan after completing his MBA as a Dean’s List student at Columbia Business School in 1995. He received a BA in French and English Literature from Haverford College in 1989. A Chartered Financial Analyst, Charles is also a fluent French speaker with an intermediate knowledge of Korean.
About Shenkman Capital:
Shenkman Capital is a $30bn global investment management firm that specializes in leveraged finance. Founded 31 years ago, the privately owned firm manages money for many of the world’s leading institutional investors across the spectrum of sub-investment grade credit.
Figuring out what you are interested in takes time, planning and initiative. But you don’t need to do it all on your own. CCPA and the College offers many opportunities to explore careers: resources to read about careers that interest you, opportunities to watch and talk with people who work in those fields (through a job shadow, informational interview, or networking event), and connections and advice on getting an internship, volunteer experience, or a job.
Sergio Diaz-Luna HC 17, Robert Carpenter HC 18 with extern sponsor Caroline Mitchell BMC ’84 and Tiffany Nguyen 16
to explore different career options by gaining 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 27). By job 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.
What are the 3 most important questions to ask when you are networking?
Whether it is at a networking event or during a one on one with a new contact you want to make sure you make the most of your time. While it is a great idea to make small talk and try to find common ground to connect with people, you don’t want to spend all of your time discussing the weather or last night’s game. So what should you be asking? Here are the 3 most important questions you can ask:
Where else do you normally network? Why do you like the organization?
If you are attending an event of an organization for the first time, ask people you speak with why they decided to join and what it is about the organization that has worked well for them. This will help you gain insight as to whether the organization makes sense for you and will hopefully ensure you don’t invest your money in organizations that don’t make sense for you.
Similarly, ask people where else they normally network or what networking groups or events they enjoy. Try to tell them a bit about you as far as your career/business goals and target audience. This will help them to give you relevant information that will assist you to make informed decisions as to where to spend your networking time.
My Summer at the Health Care Improvement Foundation
On the first day of my internship at the Health Care Improvement Foundation (HCIF) in Center City Philadelphia, I was a nervous wreck. I had never interned before in a professional setting. The only summer job I had ever had was waitressing at Olive Garden, and before that, my summers consisted of traveling from one basketball tournament to the next. Needless to say, on my train ride in that morning, I stressed about about every detail from the height of my heels to my lack of experience. However, when I left the office that evening, I could not wait to enter through the revolving doors of the Ten Penn Center again the next morning, because I knew this was going to be my most rewarding and enjoyable summer yet.
I have never been quite certain what career I wanted to pursue. My calculus and biology teachers in high school inspired me to become a doctor or engineer but after my freshman year at Haverford, I decided rethink my ambitions and become an Economics major. The next few years of being at a liberal arts institution opened my eyes to funnel that is my career path and that I am not limited by my major or minor. As I started to look for an internship, I knew that I wanted to be in a position that would allow me to explore as many different careers as possible, which was exactly how my experience at DLL went.
Lessons Learned From Decades of Informational Interviews
David Wertheimer ’77
In my current position, I receive a steady stream of inquiries from individuals interested in working in the philanthropic and non-profit sector. Some are newly-degreed college and graduate students. Others are seasoned professionals seeking new opportunities or a change in careers. Many are ‘Fords; my affection for the college leads me to prioritize those connections, and I have yet to meet a Haverford student or graduate who was not worth a deep conversation about career interests and life choices.
From time to time, I am asked what makes someone I am meeting particularly stand out from the crowd. What is it that makes an informational interview particularly worthwhile, interesting and enjoyable, (ideally for both parties)? Here are a few thoughts on this topic, for what they may or may not be worth to students returning to the College this fall, and perhaps starting to contemplate what comes next in their careers. While it’s likely that this is advice the CCER already provides to Haverford students, it may be useful to hear the same thing from the other side of the table in career-development conversations.
Be thorough in communications and preparation: Informational interviews go well when both parties are ready for the conversation. Send an email describing your particular interests in the meeting. Include your most current CV, as well as a reminder about the pathway that led you to the person you’ll be meeting with. Do some research on this person, (Google, LinkedIn, Haverford Alumni website, etc.), so that you have a sense of their background, interests and training in advance of the conversation. (Important note: I also research what I can about the people I am seeing. Be aware of what’s out there about you on the web, both positive and negative.)
Present a professional appearance: This may go without saying, but first impressions are important. While there’s no need (at least at my place of employment) for dresses, suits and ties, how you present yourself does matter. Call me old-fashioned, but when individuals I meet come to my place of work looking unprofessional (jeans, a rumpled tee shirt, unkempt hair, scruffy), I end up wondering how they will present themselves to peers or colleagues of mine to whom I might refer them for a subsequent meeting.
Make the interview an exchange of ideas: In addition to seeking information about potential jobs, career choices, and general wisdom from the person you are meeting, make the meeting conversational. Don’t shy away from the push-and-pull of real dialogue. It’s valuable to show the person you are speaking with a bit about who you are and how you think. That will not only (hopefully) display your impressive skills, but will provide broader context for understanding your interests, which will be useful in shaping the contacts and referrals you can get from your new contact.
Follow-up on the conversation in several ways: Take notes during the meeting about the individuals and organizations mentioned as possible next contacts. In addition to a written thank you note, (so unusual these days, and always appreciated!), follow-up after a few days with an email thanking the person you’ve met for their time, and expressing your appreciation for the offer (if made), to follow-up with specific people or companies/groups they mentioned during your conversation. The timing of informational interviews is accidental; it’s possible a great job option will pop up six months after your meeting. It’s great to still be on someone’s radar screen when those opportunities emerge.
Circle back to update your contact on what’s happening next in your career: I am always fascinated to learn about where the people I have met with have landed, and what is coming next in their careers. This is not only interesting information to share, but it leaves the door open to future contacts about next steps and career development. There are more than a few folks with whom I have had multiple career-related interactions over a span of several years; maintaining contact with sporadic updates is a great way to keep these conversations going, if you find them useful.