Making the Most of Informational Interviews

Does the idea of conducting informational interviews feel intimidating?

Consider thinking of them as “curiosity conversations”—opportunities to make meaningful connections with folx in your field and gain insights and advice that will help you move forward in your career development.

If you missed our information interviewing webinar last week, here are some key takeaways:

    • Clarify your interests, needs, and goals to assess what knowledge and insights will help you move forward in your career exploration.
    • Identify contacts from your network who possess the background or expertise in your area of interest, including through the CSSW LinkedIn Group or career mentoring program for students.
    • Prepare a brief overview of your professional experience and an agenda for the meeting to ensure you leave with your “must” takeaways.
    • Ask thoughtful questions that can provide actionable insights and build upon what you already know.
    • Make sure to follow-up with a thank you note and keep the contact up-to-date on your progress.

You can find the presentation slides in Career Connect within our Document Library under the Workshops / Webinars / Presentations folder.

Career Advice from VNSNY Community Mental Health Panelists

Last week, our office sponsored a panel discussion with VNSNY and their community mental health professionals to learn about their career paths and what led them to this work.

If you missed the session, here are some key takeaways:

    • Meet and build relationships with folx in the field, because networking is still one of the most effective ways to land opportunities.
    • Seek mentors and supervisors who are invested in your development. Surrounding yourself with a strong support system is key to growing and advancing in an organization.
    • Take risks by being open to new opportunities or exploring new paths—these experiences can help you build career agility, find meaningful work, and expand your professional network.
    • Take ownership of the job you have right now; it will not only help you build character and skill sets for your current role, it will also prepare you for future ones.
    • Make sure to prioritize self-care. When interviewing, ask questions about initiatives that are in place to support the well-being of employees and the agency as a whole.

Thanks to those who attended, as well as to our speakers Jessica Aitken, Natasha Anderson, Deborah Cho ’15, Sabrina Machuca, and Echelle Norman, and Keith Peters and Leah Blumberg for collaborating with us on this event!

You can find the presentation slides and speakers’ contact information in Career Connect within our Document Library under the Employer Events / Information Sessions folder.

Get Career Advice from an Alum through our Fall 2020 Mentorship Program!

The Office of Alumni Relations and Office of Career Services and Leadership Management are pleased to offer a special opportunity to meet virtually with alumni for career mentoring!

Mentoring Program Overview

Through this program, students can request to connect with up to 2 alums per month for 1:1 conversations to:

    • Gain insights and perspectives about a career path, field, organization, or industry;
    • Get advice about career planning, searching and applying for jobs (including resume writing), networking, interviewing, or navigating life after CSSW; OR
    • Seek support in general from someone who’s been in your shoes as a student

Interested? 

    1. Fill out this mentoring program interest form. On the form, you will find a link to a directory with a list of all available volunteer mentors. Select the one you’re interested in meeting. Note that you will have to complete this form for each request.
    2. After submitting the form, you will receive an email confirmation as well as an introductory email from Jennifer March from Alumni Relations connecting you to the alum of choice within 2 business days. If you don’t hear from Jennifer in that time frame, please email her at jennifer.march@columbia.edu.
    3. Once you receive the email, it will be your responsibility to arrange a meeting directly with the alum using the contact information provided. While Zoom meetings are recommended, you can choose a platform that works best for both you and the alum.

Remember: This is NOT a forum to ask for a job or a recommendation for a job, but rather an opportunity to gather valuable information based on their knowledge and expertise.

After the initial meeting, it will be up to you and the alum to decide whether to stay in touch.

For more information, refer to our program overview.

Questions?

For general questions about our alumni mentors, please email Jennifer March at jennifer.march@columbia.edu.
You can also refer to our Informational Interview Guide or schedule an appointment with our office to discuss your questions further.
We hope you take advantage of this opportunity!

NYC Civil Services Exams for Social Workers | Apply by October 27

NYC civil service exams are now open for the following roles!

Exam filing date: 10/7/20 – 10/27/20 | Exam Fee: $68.00

View the Notice of Exams (NOE) for more information including what both jobs involve and require, and how to apply. To learn more about NYC civil service and the exam process, review DCAS’s employment page.

Home/Life Services Recruitment Event | Wednesday, October 7

Want to support families and children experiencing homelessness and help them access essential services and permanent housing throughout NYC?
Attend Home/Life Services recruitment event on Wednesday, October 7, 12:30- 1:30 PM to learn about opportunities,  hear about the organization’s culture, and experience from their Director of Social Service.
Pre-Register HERE
Home/Life is hiring for full-time social work/client care coordinator roles. Positions are available throughout the 5 boroughs and there are opportunities to accrue hours for clinical licensure. Questions? Email Avi Gardenswartz, Clinical Supervisor at agardenswartz@homelifeservices.org.