How to Prepare for Career Fair (Tuesday & Wednesday)

We’re looking forward to seeing you this week at the Employer Connections Fair at the TopScreen Shot 2013-09-23 at 8.40.02 AM of The Hop, from noon to 4 pm. Over 100 organizations will be attending to scout for potential employees.

We encourage you to research organizations participating in the fair before you go. You can access the fair directory here. We also recommend using the Library’s recommended resources to study up on organizations that are coming to the fair. Marketline Advantage is especially useful for researching for-profit organizations; check out the library’s non-profit research guide to prepare for meeting with employers in the non-profit room on Tuesday.

Engage, give a warm smile, engage – no need to sound rehearsed, as if you’re reading from a script, but do come up with an opening statement that lets the representative know that you’re not just simply milling around, waiting for someone to come to you and do all the talking.

“Hello. My name is Jane, and I’m a studio art major. I read an article in the Brazen Careerist recently about your graphic design internship being one of the best in the country. Can you tell me a little more about what you look for in an intern?”

Even if you don’t know as much as you should about a company, use openness and enthusiasm to spin a conversation in your favor.

“I understand you are hiring Analysts; what’s a typical day look like for an Analyst?”

Be bold and pull at common threads. From your research, find things you have in common – maybe the employer is a Dartmouth Alum, or perhaps community leader of an organization you’re a member of in college. If you can connect on a deeper level with an employer, they will see you as a person with a vested interested in their company, rather than just another resume in a stack of applications.

Good luck!

How to be a leader at your new job

careertips13-150x150So you’re the youngest staff member or intern working at your dream company and you want contribute to your professional team, impress your boss and make friendly connections with your colleagues by the end of week one.  Well, how to get started?

Here are  8 Quick Tips for becoming a leader in a new office setting:

1. Do your homework

Make sure you understand the goals of your employer, general trends in the field and basic terminology associated with industry. Talk to friends who worked for similar employers, family friends familiar with the area and alumni on Dartmouth’s career network for advice.

2. Listen and learn

Especially in your first week on the job, be a sponge.  Take in the office environment and ask questions of your colleagues about expectations for your work. Try to avoid bothering your boss with small questions that you could ask someone else or figure out on your own.

3. Lean in

As you start to settle into your routine, continue to look for ways to be an asset to your employer. Offer to learn additional professional skills or tasks around the office.  Look for which managers in your subfield seem to be busiest and offer to assist them with their work if you feel under-tasked.

4. Speak up

Especially as a relative outsider, your feedback may be especially valuable to an employer.  Listen and learn about a company’s practices and goals, but have a critical eye.  Even though a company is used to performing a task one way, there may be a better way to accomplish the same goal. Speak up with a suggestion if you think you see room for improvement.

5. Articulate your needs

Overworked with mounting deadlines?  Speak up about what you can and cannot do and check in with your employer about which work you should prioritize.  Reach out to colleagues for assistance with balancing work if they seem under-tasked.  That said, try to arrive to work early or on time and do not be the first one to leave, especially as a new member of the office.

6. Don’t forget to say thanks

If you work on a project in a team, don’t forget to give credit where credit is due.  Your colleagues will be more willing to work with you in the future if you do.

7. Look for a mentor

Really respect someone higher up at your new company? Offer to take them out to lunch to learn more about their career trajectory to reaching that position. Ask them about skills and insights that have helped them along the way.

8. Pursue leadership opportunities outside the office

The best way to learn leadership skills is to practice them. Whether competing on a team, participating in community service initiatives or guiding hiking trips, look for ways to practice management and leadership skills in settings outside the office.


Adapted from “10 Steps You Can Take to Become a Successful Young Leader at Work” on

Internship Experiences: Kellie MacPhee ’14, Education

Kellie MacPhee ’14, interned at the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, Vermont. The experience allowed MacPhee a chance to both learn and teach in a hands-on environment. She spent her time interacting with visitors touring the museum’s exhibits (they’re all interactive!) and ran special education programs for children.

MacPhee is a math major and education minor at the College.  She plays on the women’s water polo club team and is a participant in the Women in Science Program. Learn more about her internship here:

Emailing a Potential Employer

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

So you’re in the process of applying to your dream internship and using the Dartmouth Career Network, you find out that a super awesome alum already works for the firm. Perfect!  You draft an email about scheduling a phone interview for the near future.  One day goes by, then two.  Soon it’s been two weeks and your application is due, but you never received a reply to your email.

What went wrong?

According to Baydin, the makers of an online email management site, potentially quite a lot.  The average person with an email account receives 147 emails a day, but can only process 50!  Here are a few tips to make sure your email is read and responded to.

Send your email earlier in the day

Studies show that emails sent at the beginning of the work day are more likely to be read.  You can draft your email later in the day, but wait to send it until the next morning!

Avoid certain keywords

Emails with subject line words such as “confirm,” “join,” and “invite” were less likely to be read, while “apply,” “opportunity,” and “connect” had higher readership. Don’t forget to include “Dartmouth student” in your subject line for best results!

Follow up

If your first email didn’t receive a reply, copy it into the body of a new email and send a short follow-up note to the alumnus you are trying to reach.  If the alumnus had intended to reply but forgot to do so, this extra note may prompt a quick reconciliation.

For more specific tips on what to include in the body of your email and sample language, check out this link on the Career Services website.  Remember, alumni listed on the Dartmouth Career Network are meant to be contacted for general information about their career field and position.  You should include your interests and general skills in your initial email, but do not attach a resume!

Internship Experiences: Julia McElhinney ’14, Urban Planning

Julia McElhinney ’14 interned in the Governmental Planning Office in Winchester, Massachusetts. The internship gave her insight into public policy making on a local level.

At Dartmouth, McElhinney is an environmental studies major and studio art minor. McElhinney is a Presidential Scholar and involved in environmental groups on campus. Learn more about her internship here: