Welcome to the Spring 2020 Class

WelcomeThe Office of Career Services and Leadership Management would like to extend a warm welcome to our new class of students! We look forward to working with you and supporting your career journey throughout your time at CSSW and thereafter.

See below for information regarding appointment scheduling and other resources that will be further discussed at our Career Workshop on Thursday, January 16 at 2:00 pm in Room C06.

Career Connect / Appointments

  • Career Connect is your go-to career management tool that you can use to schedule appointments, explore opportunities, and access various career resources. Please bookmark the link for future use: https://candidate.gradleaders.com/ColumbiaSW/Candidates/Login.aspx?pid=3455.
  • You will receive access to the system later this week via a welcome email titled “Welcome to Career Connect” that will be sent to your Columbia email. Instructions on how to set up your account will be included.
  • To schedule an appointment, go to Advising > General Advising > Add Appointment, and choose a time that’s convenient for you. Appointments are available in person, by phone, and via Zoom (virtual meeting).
  • “Drop-in” appointments will also be available on select Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, from 1:00 to 2:00 pm in Rooms 525/526. During these hours, you can be seen on a first-come, first-served basis without pre-scheduling for brief 10 to 15-minute meetings. Make sure to check our weekly enews regularly for the latest schedule.

Spring Calendar

All upcoming events and activities will be posted in Career Connect in the Events section. They will also be announced via email and in our enews.

  • Company Events are primarily employer-related activities (e.g. recruitment sessions).
  • Workshops include career and professional development training as well as talks and panels with alumni and other professionals in the field.

Most CSSW-based events will take place Tuesdays through Thursdays during the afternoon breaks. Please make sure to register for each event directly using Career Connect or the links provided within the system. This will allow the career team to anticipate how many to expect and plan accordingly with employer, alumni, and other guest speakers.

If you have any questions about any of the above, please email swcareer@columbia.edu.  Once again, welcome!

Your Winter Break Checklist

The holidays are a great time to refresh, reflect, and revisit your career goals. Take advantage of the winter break to prepare for the coming year. Here are five things you can do:

  1. Assess your strengths and interests. Make a list of your accomplishments, particularly those you found meaningful. Note the skills you used and the issues you helped to address.
  2. Research career options based on the skills and issues that you have identified and draft a target list of jobs and employers. Start by talking to people in your fields of interest. You can also use job search tools available within the Document Library.
  3. Organize and prepare your application materials for different opportunities. Add your latest experience to your resume and LinkedIn. If you’re in the process of applying to summer and post-graduate opportunities, make sure to tailor both the resume and cover letter for each. Refer to the career guides and checklists in the Document Library for additional tips.
  4. Work on your personal pitchHow do you want people to remember you in terms of your skills, passions, and achievements? Take the time to brainstorm your talking points and practice sharing your story with different audiences. This will help with networking and interviewing.
  5. Continue to cultivate your network. Tap into the CSSW network by joining and engaging with the CSSW LinkedIn Group and Columbia Alumni Community. If you’ve been actively reaching out to people throughout the semester (great!), make sure to send them good wishes, share an update, and/or give thanks. Simple gestures can go a long way in enhancing your relationships and opening doors to new ones.

A Journey Towards a Dynamic Social Work Career

We were thrilled to welcome back alumna Ashleigh Washington ’09, Senior Director of Learning and Staff Development at Safe Horizon, to discuss how she shaped her social work career, from providing direct services and managing programs to leading trainings for a national organization!

Attendees had the opportunity to gain a number of takeaways, including:

  • Taking the time to reflect on your experiences and assessing the activities in which you excel, the issues and causes that drive you, and the environments in which you enjoy working and thrive;
  • Embracing every opportunity as a learning opportunity; and
  • Owning your own career journey, including actively seeking ways to grow, build skills and expertise, and contribute

Thank you, Ashleigh, for sharing your inspiring story and these useful tips on building a fulfilling career!

Did you miss the talk? The captioned recordings for this and Dr. Joy Ippolito’s talk are now available in Career Connect’s Document Library within the Workshops / Webinars / Presentations Folder. (UNI login required.)

Jade Luo ’19 and Rachel Smith ’20 Selected as PMF Finalists

Congratulations to Class of 2020 Presidential Management Fellows Finalists Jade Luo ’19 and Rachel Smith ’20!

The PMF Program is a highly competitive, flagship leadership development program at the entry level for advanced degree candidates, created to develop a cadre of potential government leaders. Those who are selected as finalists and meet necessary requirements become eligible to be placed in a two-year appointment in a participating agency.

There were 4,900 applicants, and Jade and Rachel were among 402 chosen finalists, six of whom are from social work programs and 19 from Columbia University at large.