Use your time effectively and craft your personal pitch

Whether you’re graduating or still seeking an internship, check out Miriam Salpeter’s 10 Tips for New Grads Hoping to Score a Job. She provides good advice on how to use your careertips13-150x150time effectively both in applying to jobs and delivering your personal pitch.

For best results, apply to those jobs that best match your skills and interests. Use sites such as LinkedIn to learn more about the companies to which you are applying and the skills your desired position requires. You will then be able to better personalize and tailor each application and cover letter to the specific role you seek to fill.

Consider joining the Career Services LinkedIn Group and attending networking events to have conversations with those who can potentially refer you to an opportunity. When networking—and also during interviews—be sure to concisely tell the person what you’ve done and accomplished, what your interests are, and how these relate to your desired position. Practice focusing in on your most important and revealing interests and keep “your talking points down to a 30-second pitch.” Check out Arnie Fertig’s 7 Key Elements of a Great Personal Branding Statement for some tips on how to effectively communicate your pitch.

Should I disclose my disability to an employer? An Interview with Ward Newmeyer

There are several hundred students at Dartmouth who are bright, talented, capable and also have a disability. Deciding when, how and where to disclose a disability in a job search is a personal decision and can feel awkward. (I say this based on my own personal experience which I will share in a later post.)

In an attempt to answer common questions not often asked, Career Services has partnered with the office of Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to create a special series on how to tackle this issue.  I recently sat down with Ward Newmeyer, the Director of Student Accessibility Services to get suggestions on how to approach a disability during the job search process. Here are my questions and his paraphrased answers:

What is the formal definition of a disability?

As defined by the American’s with Disabilities Act,  “[d]isability means, with respect to the individual, a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual; a record of such an impairment; or being regarded as having such an impairment.”

When should a student disclose a disability?

For some people it would make sense to disclose a disability before an interview, for other people it would make sense not to disclose it until after a job offer is made, and for other people there might not be any particular reason to disclose it at all. There are a lot of variables that contribute to deciding whether to and when to reveal a disability, for example how the nature of the job matches up with the person’s disability circumstances or whether or not the reputation of the corporation is that it tends to embrace people with disabilities. The extent to which the disability may interface with the job may give students more incentive to bring it up earlier if, for example, you might need an accommodation to demonstrate how you perform an activity on the job.

Are there any benefits for the student about disclosing?

When applying for a job that is competitive, everybody looks for an angle to indicate how they would add some dimension that would be attractive to the employer and to show them that they are worthy of consideration even though there may be 20 other qualified people competing for the same job. And often times the experience of living with a disability in our society gives people some dimensions that others do not think about until we point it out to them. Therefore, there might be some advantage in saying something about how a person’s disability has given him or her some depth of perception and fresh perspective. Certain people with a disability have over time figured out creative ways to solve problems because they were unable to solve them in the standard ways, and that experience can be valuable to a lot of employers. However, a lot of people will not think of that angle about a disability because we live in a society that is always pointing out the negative aspects of having a disability and rarely pointing out the positives. This angle gives the prospective employee the opportunity to point out to the employer what they can bring to the workforce that other people who do not have that kind of experience cannot. Also, if a person’s on-paper record doesn’t seem so competitive, possibly due to disability-related reasons, revealing a disability might be important because it is the only way to explain away any problem they might have had with previous employment.

Bottom line: There is no clear answer. All different variables come into play when a person is deciding whether to reveal and when to reveal.

Are there any incentives for employers to hire candidates with disabilities?

Public employers, especially the Federal government, are often very encouraged to have a healthy, representative sample of people with disabilities among their workforce. So if they haven’t reached that, they may have some incentive to accept applicants with disabilities. Also, if a private sector employer is a federal contractor, they experience similar incentives. Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act is a part of a civil rights law that requires employers that contract with the Federal government to assure equal opportunity employment for people with disabilities.

Who can help me figure out when and how to disclose a disability?

The Student Accessibility Services office (SAS) can provide help with this, but it’s your call on where you want to start. If you don’t know where to go and feel uncomfortable, you may want to start by having a conversation with the staff and faculty who know you best. You can also get help from staff and faculty from your academic advisor to Career Services, The Academic Skills Center, Dick’s House, and the Undergraduate Advising Office.

One final piece of advice: Many people with disabilities have figured out creative ways to solve problems. Think through what the gifts of your disability are, and think through how to best articulate them. It is one of the jobs of the SAS office to make sure students are aware of all the variables to consider and think through so that students can weigh the pros and cons and come to their own decision.

Stay tuned for our next installment in this series: My disability, my strategy.

First Impressions Count! – Common Interview Blunders

Although many of us try to convince ourselves otherwise, when applying for anything nowadays, interviews are a fact of life. And from the moment you greet your interviewer with a handshake, the judgment begins.

Play it safe and don’t let yourself make these mistakes come interview day :

“Ice, Ice, Baby”– Although it’s never a good idea to start practicing your newest stand up bit for interviewers, don’t let yourself get so caught up with nerves that you come off cold and boring. Smile, and don’t be afraid to laugh if the moment calls for it.

“Me, Me, Me” – Yes, it’s your interview – yes, you’re there to present your top attributes to the company, but don’t make the mistake of emphasizing what the employer can do for you. Instead, illustrate how you can be an asset to the organization. Never ask about salary before you get a job offer.

“I dunno…” – If you’re interviewing for a position, chances are, you’ll encounter a question like, “so tell me – what do you know about our company?” Make sure you know the job description inside and out, as well as information regarding their mission, staff, and history. Remember – a little research goes a long way.

“Excuse me, I’m up here.” — You don’t have to give your interviewer a stare-down, but make sure that while you answer questions, your gaze isn’t roaming around the room, or down in your lap. Make consistent, frequent eye contact to show you’re engaged and listening.

For more tips on how to ace your next interview, check out this article from Techvibes, which covers 1o common mistakes people make during job interviews, verbal and nonverbal.

International Specialty Bulletin – January 4, 2012


  1. TRADE – U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council Internship
  2. The Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship – POST GRAD 
  5. USAID – Internships in the Bureau for Africa
  6. SWITZERLAND – ThinkSwiss Research Scholarship
  9. GERMANY – $$ for Study, Research, Internship – DAAD
  10. ISRAEL – 10) ISRAEL – Birthright Israel Excel – Summer Fellowship


1. TRADE – U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council Internship (USSABC) – DC:

For students interested in enhancing their understanding of the U.S.-Saudi business dynamic and promoting bilateral trade relations. interns will receive a $1,000 grant.


2. The Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship – POST GRAD  DEADLINE:  JAN. 13

For college graduates to spend 6-9 months working for a nonprofit organization in Washington, DC on a range of issues involving nuclear and conventional arms control and disarmament, international security, and related issues.



Spain:  Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs) – EU Traineeships (5 mos)  DEADLINE:   MARCH 31 (for a Sept. experience)

Belgium:  European Commission “Blue Book” Traineeships (5 mos.) DEADLINE:  JAN. 31  (for Oct. experience). Gain first-hand experience of the workings of the Commission of the European Union

Belgium:  European Economic and Social Committee Traineeships (5 mos.)  DEADLINE:  APRIL 1 (for Sept. experience).



*Reynolds Scholarship (approx. $20,000) for 1 yr. Project or Study Abroad  DEADLINE:   FEB 15

*H. Allen Brooks Travelling Fellowship (approx. $10,000). DEADLINE:  FEB. 15. (architecture, urban planning, land conservation, historic preservation, architectural and urban history, and art history).

*Lombard Public Service Fellowship DEADLINE:   FEB. 15.  Up to $15,000 for 6-12 month volunteer service projects in the U.S. or abroad.

*Dartmouth General – Project or Study Abroad  DEADLINE:   MARCH 1. For one year.  Up to $5,500.  For projects or graduate study in the U.S. or abroad.

*McGorrian – Project or Study Abroad  DEADLINE:  – MARCH 1. Up to $3,500.  For students who plan careers in some aspect of foreign affairs and cultures, including areas such as arts, journalism, education, diplomacy, preservation of indigenous cultures, environmental work,  humanitarian relief and economic development.


5. USAID – Internships in the Bureau for Africa  DEADLINE:  Jan. 31

Intern from June  – August  at USAID headquarters in Washington D.C. and in select overseas missions. All interns must be U.S. citizens and a junior, senior, or graduate student at the time of their application. Interns placed in missions in Africa must be proficient in a foreign language (French, Spanish, Portuguese, and/or a local language depending on the country where they are placed).


6. SWITZERLAND – ThinkSwiss Research Scholarship DEADLINE: March 2012

Conduct research at a public Swiss university or research institute for 2-3 months. Must have completed your sophomore year by the time the research stay in Switzerland begins.



*Benjamin Gilman International Scholarship DEADLINE:   MARCH 1  (for Summer or Fall).  Up to $5,000 for U.S. citizen undergraduates of limited financial means to pursue academic studies abroad.

*Boren/ National Security Education Program (NSEP) Scholarship DEADLINE:  JAN. 20 (campus deadline)



Provides financial support of up to $40,000 annually for actual expenses for the senior year of college and the first year of graduate study will be provided. The funding is toward tuition, room, board, and mandatory fees during the senior year of college and  the first year of graduate study. Fellows must commit to pursuing a graduate degree at one of the graduate schools participating in the program, in fields such as international studies, international affairs, public policy, administration, economics, political science or foreign languages. Includes one ten-week overseas and one ten-week domestic summer internship within the U.S. Department of State. Fellows are obligated to a minimum of three years of service in an appointment as a Foreign Service Officer.  Click Pickering Undergraduate Fellowship   link  at bottom of page to actually apply


9. GERMANY – $$ for Study, Research, Internship – DAAD   DEADLINE:   JAN. 31

U.S. and Canadian undergraduate students can apply for scholarships to fund study, senior thesis research and/or internships in Germany. Preference will be given to students whose projects or programs are based at and organized by a German university. Scholarships are available either as part of an organized study abroad program or as part of an individual, student-designed study abroad semester or year.  Looking for sophomores and juniors seeking DAAD support for a 4-10 month period and will be in their third and fourth year during their stay in Germany.


10. ISRAEL – Birthright Israel Excel – Summer Fellowship DEADLINE:  JAN. 15

10-week summer for sophomores and juniors as well as graduating seniors who plan to attend graduate programs in September 2012 from the United States who are pursuing careers in business, technology, biotech, marketing and social media. Fellows intern at a prominent Israeli company with global reach, tour Israeli historic and cultural sites, and meet with prominent members of the business, political and academic communities. After 10 weeks in Israel, the fellowship continues in the U.S. with mentorship and programming focused on leadership skills, business acumen and global economic awareness.



JAN. 23 (Mon.)  – 5 PM at  Career Services – Workshop Room     

>>> Sign Up at  <<<


▪Sources & categories of opportunities

▪Online resources & alumni abroad


▪Country Programs

▪Whether to work abroad or work in the U.S. for a cause abroad

Outcome:  Understand the fundamentals for launching your internship/job search


Career Tip: When should I post my status? When should I not post my status?

With the advent of multiple forms of social media, everyone’s status can become great reading material.  BUT, do you want it to be?

  •  Do you want your potential boss reading it?
  • Is it strictly personal?
  • Is it strictly business?
  • Would it be awkward to explain to your parents? Or grandparents?

 Be very careful of what you post as a status.  See the flowchart to put it all in perspective.