Tips for the Transition going from Student to Staff: Who, What, When, Where, Why?

This is the second in a five part series that provides a tip about the transition from college student to full time employee.

You know that age old saying, there’s no such thing as a dumb question? Well there isn’t. In order to make yourself not look dumb it is best to ask questions and ask a lot of them.

It takes time to be able to adjust to a new position. Not only are you learning the ropes of the job, but you are also trying to get into the groove of being a young adult as well. This tacked on being in a new environment and possibly a new location can lead to high stress and anxiety. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! When you didn’t understand something during your lecture you raised your hand or spoke to the professor afterwards to ensure you knew the information for the upcoming test. Though there will probably not be any tests at work, you want to make sure that you know the information. You never know when you will be asked to give a presentation or explain your project to someone else.

Your new job is just that, new. You don’t know the lay of the land. You don’t know the social norms. Sometimes you don’t understand the protocol for a certain task in the office. Sometimes you don’t know what to do about a issue with a client. Sometimes you can’t get the job done on time. ASK FOR HELP! Easier sad than done, I know, but in the long run it will make your job a whole lot easier if you find a way to do it better and more effective.

The people that you work with understand that you are new to the job and they are there to help you! Feel comfortable being able to go and ask them for assistance if need be.

Are there any questions?

Jennifer McGrew ’13


How to Search for Internships over Winter Break

Preparing to kick-off an internship search over break?1207114_door_1-150x150

If it’s your first time looking for internships at Dartmouth, here’s a quick overview of Center for Professional Development resources you can use in your search.

  1. Where to Find Internship Listings: Log into DartBoard, accessible through the right-hand menu of the Center for Professional Development homepage. If you haven’t logged into DartBoard before, you’ll need to use your Dartmouth ID to set up an account. To receive regular Blitz Bulletins highlighting opportunities in areas of interest, subscribe to Career Services Emails in the My Profile settings of DartBoard. 
  2. You’ll find a list of internships employers have posted through the “Jobs & Internships” tab. Use the Advanced Search feature and select “Internship” under Position Type to find additional internship listings. If you see an internship listed in the tab under our recruiting program and would like to apply, visit the Recruiting section of our website to learn more about how our recruiting program works and about how to apply. (Note: The first deadline to apply for internships through the recruiting program is January 14, so you have plenty of time to meet with a Career Advisor after classes start if you have questions.)

  3. You can also see additional Internship listings if you search under the “More Jobs and Internships” tab in DartBoard. Be sure to check out leads from the National Internship Consortium (NIC); you’ll also find links to internship boards with government and non-profit opportunities. You can also find reviews of internships held by other Dartmouth students through the Internship Feedback Database.

Want to take a stab at putting together or refining your resume before you get back to school? Check out our all-new Resume Guide in the Resource Library of DartBoard. While you’re there, you can also download our handout on how to navigate DartBoard to find jobs and internships. (You must log into DartBoard for access to the Resource Library.)

Tips for the Transition going from Student to Staff: Rockabye Baby

This is the first in a five part series that provides a tip about the transition from college student to full time employee.

Going from school to work is no small task. No longer can you rely on your 30 minute power nap after lunch or drop everything to grab a cup of coffee with a buddy. A job is 8 straight hours (ok minus the one we get for lunch) of work. Non stop work. It’s the kind of work that you have to constantly use your brain and your energy in order to succeed. I have found these few tips to have helped me out TREMENDOUSLY during my transition from student to full time worker.

Get sleep! That can literally never been said enough, sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep… you get my point.

That may be one of the most overrated things ever, SLEEP. As a college student I prided myself on being able to run off of 3 hours of sleep. Now, 3 hours won’t get me out of bed in the morning. It is important that you realize that sleep really is a necessity. During school I could take a 30 minute power nap if need be to refuel for the rest of my day.When at my job I don’t have such opportunities to take breaks. I am constantly going from the time I step in the door till the moment I leave (and sometimes even after that).

There have even been studies that document just how crucial sleep is to be able to create a productive career in any field!

Sleep time is important and it is crucial for you to be able to put your best foot forward with all tasks that you do. Getting into a sleep schedule and keeping that schedule (even on the weekends!) is critical to feeling rested and restored for the day at work ahead of you.

Eyes wide shut until next time,
Jennifer McGrew ’13

How to End a Conversation

Have you even been standing during a conversation and thought to yourself, “now how am I going to get out of this one…”  It is always nice to have a list of phrases that you can pull out if the situation ever arises. The Culture and Manners Institute came up with a great list of lines that you can use to politely (and quickly) end a conversation in almost any situation.

Aftecareertips13-150x150r shaking the hand of whomever you are speaking with, end the conversation with:
“It was a pleasure to meet you.”
“I enjoyed speaking to you.”
“Thank you for taking the time to speak with me.”
“Thank you for your time”
“You have an impressive background and I enjoyed hearing about it.”
“Enjoy the rest of your evening.”
These are all quick and easy ways to end a conversation on a polite note. Not all conversations will be slam dunks, but all conversations are a way to build (and keep) a good reputation out there.


This is my first post for the Center for Professional Development’s blog. I’m looking forward to starting new conversations with you. If you have ideas or any topic that you want to discuss let me know. …..


Thank you for your time,
Jennifer McGrew ’13

Want to Work in Entertainment/Media? Alumni Mentoring Program…Apply by 12/14

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Are you interested in becoming a professional in the Entertainment/Media industry? Would you like to make connections with experienced professionals who can answer questions you have about their work, experience, and advice for your future? Have you demonstrated your interest in film or television through your classes, activities, and/or off terms? If so, the Dartmouth Alumni in Entertainment and Media Association (DAEMA) Mentorship Program might be just what you’re looking for!

As we all know, making connections with alumni in your chosen professional field is one of the best ways to quickly launch a career. The DAEMA Mentorship Program was founded in 2009 to facilitate opportunities for students to connect with alumni working in the media and entertainment industry. This is a great opportunity for students to learn from their mentors’ vast body of knowledge accrued from many years of experience. Mentorships run for 6 months, beginning in January 2014.
If you think you display the hard work and dedication needed to grow and succeed in the entertainment industry and allied industries, visit for more information and to get an application. Act now! The deadline for applications is December 14th, 2013. Feel free to email with any questions!

Power Poses

Want to make a big impression in an interview or chance meeting? cuddy

Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy prescribes a simple exercise you can use to increase your public presence and sense of confidence. Click on the link below and check out her TED talk

Change Your Posture for Two Minutes, Expand Your Presence

This 20 minute video provides a routine you can also use to warm up for interviews. Let us know how it works for you!

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: