About the Blog

This blog and its resources are here to assist all students throughout their college years and into their careers. Blog is moderated by a Certified Professional Career Coach and Master Tutor Trainer. Site moderator, Neil O'Donnell, is an EOP graduate of Buffalo State College and can be reached at odonnenp@buffalostate.edu.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Importance of electives to your career

As we near the midpoint of the semester, and students start thinking about Spring Break and then summer, I just want to mention something career-related that is often overlooked as the academic year nears its end.

The ‘All College Electives’ or 'Free Electives ' and Major electives you need in order to complete your degree can play an important role in obtaining jobs and promotions after graduation. YES, those supposedly ‘waste of time’ classes can give you a serious edge over your competition for jobs if you select classes that will provide useful skillsets for down the road. How do you figure out what classes would be advantageous to you, career-wise? Speak with your professors in your major and ask them what courses both in and outside the major would best prepare you for your career path? Listen to their advice and investigate recommended courses. You can also speak with me or another career counselor
, but speaking with your major professors is critical for their industry knowledge AND because such interaction will help you build a connection with professors (remember, you will need them as references AFTER graduation).

By the way, you need to do well in those recommended classes, so remember to utilize your college's tutoring services. The tutors there can give you insight into the course material and help you excel on tests. Take care.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Conferences: Education Beyond Classes and Networking

Classes are crucial for your long-term academic and career success, that includes utilizing tutors and mentors at EOP's Academic Center for Excellence. That said, all students should be looking beyond the classroom for additional information, networking opportunities and career-related learning. A recommendation to every student is to speak to your department advisor (or the chair of or a professor in your major) and ask about any local conferences that are coming up. Conferences are day to week long events where professionals from around the region or country present their current research. First, the information presented at these conferences often provides insight into changes coming to your field (knowledge of these changes can give you an edge over others in the field). Second, attending conferences is a great way to gain a better connection with your department professors as conferences often open the door for a student to be mentored before, during and after the conference (these connections often lead to your gaining great references for graduate school or jobs).

There is third thing of importance with conferences; they are great ways to network with professionals. Conferences offer students and professionals a chance to connect with other students and professionals in your field. The bounds that are often formed at conferences can lead to job offers in later years! By the way, conferences can be expensive. Yet, some colleges and universities will pay for a few students' conference fees (speak to your department to see if they will sponsor you for a conference). Local conferences for smaller organizations are often less pricey and more manageable for student budgets so look locally if money is an issue. Take care, and goes ask your department about conference opportunities. I mean... like TODAY!  :)