Navigating the Job Search During Challenging Times

The global COVID-19 pandemic, sociopolitical climate, and accompanying distress — particularly for BIPOC communities that have been disproportionately impacted — have brought added challenges to an already stressful job-hunt process. For those graduating next spring, these challenges may feel particularly pressing.

The importance of self-care cannot be understated, especially during these times, and we encourage prioritizing it in your search and overall career management strategy. This may include monitoring your energy; setting mini-goals, and adjusting them as needed; as well as finding support and community within and outside of your personal, professional, and CSSW network, including one-on-one appointments with our office.

Students can receive additional support through our mentorship program, a new initiative started in the spring that facilitates connections to alumni for career insights and advice. BIPOC-identified students can also participate in our upcoming Communities of Color event, an annual program designed to connect and engage students and alumni of color in candid career conversations within a dedicated support space.

See below for more tips and resources on navigating the job search, as highlighted in last week’s webinar:

    • Treat job searching as a process. Allow time to reflect on how you can contribute to an organization so that you can tailor your search for opportunities that speak to your strengths, interests, and values.
    • Break down the process into smaller, achievable parts. These may include clarifying your goals and direction through a self-assessment, establishing your target list by conducting research on organizations that have missions that you care about, and learning more about career options and opportunities through informational interviews.
    • Create a timeline and action plan using organizers to track your progress. This will allow you to recognize and celebrate mini-wins that you achieve along the way, which in turn can help you stay motivated and focused.

Remember, you’re not alone on this journey — there’s a community you can turn to for support. Take a moment to assess what networks and supports might be most helpful for you, not only for landing a meaningful role but also for maintaining your momentum and well-being for the long haul.

If you missed our webinar, you can find the presentation slides in Career Connect within our Document Library under the Workshops / Webinars / Presentations folder.

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.

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!

Communities of Color Virtual Networking Event | Monday, November 9

Image by febrian eka saputra from Pixabay

The offices of Career Services and Leadership Management, Development and Alumni Relations, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are pleased to invite you to our 3rd Annual Communities of Color Virtual Networking Event on Monday, November 9, 2020.

All those who identify as students of color/ BIPOC are encouraged to participate!

Meet and mingle with a group of distinguished alumni of color, learn about their career paths and trajectories, and get tips and advice on navigating your own path as a professional of color in this dedicated virtual support space.

The list of featured alumni can be found below.

Event Details

Monday, November 9, 2020
6:30 – 8:30 pm ET
Platform: Zoom

The event will open with a 45-minute panel discussion and Q&A featuring select alumni guests. Thereafter, you will have the opportunity to engage in two rounds of small group networking with one or two alumni per group. 

*Pre-registration is required. Sign up here using your LionMail account ASAP. We ask that you only register if you are able to attend.


FEATURED ALUMNI (Read their full bio HERE)

Nadine Rose Carole ‘13 (SEA) – Program Manager at Facebook

Chris Eagar-Finney ‘13 (AGPP) – Psychiatric Social Worker II at Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health

Brandon Hadi ‘20 (SEA)  Program Manager at Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP)

Kazuko (Kazu) Kato ‘13 (POL) – Engineering Analyst at Booz Allen Hamilton

Erick Nunez ‘15 (AGPP) Director of Specials Projects & Therapist at Soco Rey Therapy

Gwenelle  Styles O’Neal ’81 (POL) – Professor at West Chester University

Lorenzo Shaw-Graham ’20 (AGPP) – Program Associate, at Council on Social Work Education

Whitney Stewart ’14 (POL) – Senior Consultant-National Security at Guidehouse

Martinique (Marti) Teperman ‘06 (ACP) – Deputy Director of Social Services and Family Engagement at East Harlem Tutorial Program

Suzanne Towns ’01 (AGPP) – Deputy Executive Director at DC Workforce Investment Council

JCCA Virtual Recruitment Session for Social Worker and Supervisor Positions | Thursday, August 13

Interested in ensuring the safety and well-being of New York’s most vulnerable children and families?

Attend our upcoming recruitment session with JCCA on Thursday, August 13, 1-2 PM ET. They are actively recruiting graduates for immediate openings across various foster care and prevention programs, as well as students graduating in Spring 2021 for openings anticipated in the future.

To receive a link to the event, register via Career Connect.

JCCA helps abused, neglected and traumatized children heal physically and emotionally through compassionate, quality care. Its 37 programs include foster care, residential treatment facilities, mental health services, case management, education programs and special services for children who have been the victims of sexual abuse.At this event, you’ll have the exclusive opportunity to:

    • Connect with senior leaders at JCCA
    • Learn about current and future social worker and supervisor openings across various foster care and prevention programs
    • Gain insight into their work and their investment in the professional development of their staff, including the opportunity to accrue hours towards the clinical license

Supporting children and families is incredibly important work and provides opportunities to build critical skills and experience that are transferable to all areas of social work, including knowledge of public systems. Learn more about their work and opportunities at https://www.jccany.org/who-we-are/employment/.

Questions? Contact us at swcareer@columbia.edu. See below for more information regarding the presenters.

INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES: Columbia University makes every effort to accommodate individuals with disabilities. If you require disability accommodations to attend an event at Columbia University, please contact the Office of Disability Services at (212) 854-2388 or disability@columbia.edu at least 5 days in advance of the event. 

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About the Presenters

Lorraine Stephens, LCSW, Senior Vice President, Foster Home and Preventive Services
Lorraine served as the Deputy Commissioner of ACS’s Division of Family Permanency Services, and later became the first Deputy Commissioner of the NYC Department of Homeless Services. Lorraine was Vice President of Strategic Planning, Government Relations, and Special Initiatives at New York Women’s Foundation. She currently serves at JCCA’s Senior Vice President of Foster Home and Preventive Services.

Kirsten Cooper, LCSW ’05, Assistant Vice President, Foster Home Services
Kirsten has been with JCCA for 15 years. She began with her BSW internship at JCCA in 2004, and then went on to pursue her MSW from Columbia in 2005, when she returned to JCCA to complete her MSW field placement. Following her internship, she was hired as a social worker in the adoption unit where she worked for two years until being promoted to her first supervisory position as a Social Work Coordinator in after-care. She eventually moved laterally to a different supervisor role in therapeutic foster care and continued to be promoted to her current position.

Antoinette Bryce, LCSW, Program Director, Unaccompanied Minor Program, Adoption and KinGap Unit, Child Success New York
Antoinette started at JCCA in 2010 as a Case Associate and went on to earn her MSW through the support of JCCA professional development programming. Throughout the last ten years, she has held multiple positions both laterally and as a result of promotions. These roles included: Permanency Specialist, Family Preservation Specialist, Adoption Coordinator, Administrative Supervisor, Assistant Program Director, and finally Program Director overseeing three separate units at JCCA.

Lynanne Bruun, LCSW, Borough Director, Brooklyn Preventive Services, Brooklyn Child and Adolescent Guidance Center
Lynanne started with JCCA in 2011 as a social worker in the Foster Home Services (FHS) group homes program. She moved up to a supervisor position in the FHS CSNYC program in 2014. She then made a lateral move to be a supervisor at the clinic in 2016, and in 2018 was promoted to Borough Director where she now oversees a preventive program, FTR, as well as the clinic and Second Chances.  

Prevention Services Programs Virtual Recruiting Forum | July 7-9

UPDATE (7/13/20): If you missed the event, you can review the summary document with job opportunities and contact information here (UNI login required).


Please join the New York City Administration for Children’s Services on July 7th, 8th, and 9th for a Virtual Recruiting Forum where 14 employers will talk about over 60 job opportunities across the city in Prevention Services Programs.

Prevention Services Programs are operated by a network of non-governmental organizations throughout New York City. They seek to strengthen and stabilize families by providing case management, building parenting skills, and offering therapeutic interventions. These services are aimed at keeping children safely at home and supporting families as they work towards their goals.

Openings include positions as case planners, therapists, supervisors and program directors. Positions are available for bachelor’s level case planners, MSWs, and MHCs. Some roles require licensure (or the ability to obtain licensure in 3 to 6 months from hire). Prior experience in prevention services is welcomed but not required. Some agencies also offer clinical hours to their direct service staff.

During this digital forum, participants will learn about each agency’s work, mission, and history; hear from agency staff about their open positions; and have the opportunity to ask panelists questions about their available positions. Following the forum, all participants will be provided with an information sheet of all attending panelists, including contact information and next steps to take if you would like to apply for an open position.

SEE DETAILS BELOW ABOUT HOW TO ATTEND THIS FORUM:

Attendees can join the events directly using the following links. Please note that each attendee will be muted upon entry to avoid background noise. They will utilize the chat feature during the Q&A portions.

The Forum will be hosted by New York City Administration for Children’s Services.

Tuesday, July 7, 11am-12:30pm
Webex link to join: https://nycacs.webex.com/nycacs/onstage/g.php?MTID=e394847fe80d79391d6d9efa339596815
Call in number: +1-408-418-9388
Access code: 129 998 2100
Present Agencies: Arab American Family Support Center, CAMBA, Catholic Guardian Services, Good Shepherd Services, New Alternatives for Children

Wednesday, July 8, 1-2:30pm
Webex link to join: https://nycacs.webex.com/nycacs/onstage/g.php?MTID=ef7f6c1d6b8a9e35de099fa07f03247f3
Call in number: +1-408-418-9388
Access code: 129 043 7341
Present Agencies: Child Center of NY, Children’s Aid Society, Forestdale Inc, OHEL Children’s Home & Family Services

Thursday, July 9, 1-2:30pm
Webex link to join: https://nycacs.webex.com/nycacs/onstage/g.php?MTID=efdcab86194a116ab2bcd3b954d1cc1ab
Call in number: +1-408-418-9388
Access code: 129 222 9125
Present Agencies: Graham Windham, Jewish Child Care Association of New York, University Behavioral Associates, Safe Horizon (Staten Island), Sheltering Arms Children & Family Services

Job Seeker Resources

Are you looking for ways to improve your job search? LinkedIn has compiled a number of FREE self-paced online courses to help you navigate your job search, network virtually, and cultivate resilience in the process. Additional resources from LinkedIn are available on their Student Portal.

You can also find a compilation of other information and resources shared over the last few weeks, as well as newly added ones in this COVID-19 Resources Folder (UNI log-in required).

Corporate Social Responsibility Panel with SEA Caucus | Wednesday, March 4

Interested in learning about careers in corporate social responsibility? See below for a great panel organized by SEA Caucus Leaders, featuring the following guest speakers.

Event: Corporate Social Responsibility Panel
Date/Time: Wednesday, March 4 @ 8 PM
Location: Room C06

  • Edgar Avalos ’16, Senior Program Associate, Youth & Workforce Initiatives – Global Philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase Foundation
  • Veena Jayadeva, Director of CSR, Guardian Life
  • Lisa Meng, Corporate Social Responsibility – Societal Impact, Verizon
  • Nicoletta Bumbac, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Analyst, JetBlue
Register here.
Wine and cheese will be provided.

Please contact Caucus Leader Laura Burgos at lo2328@columbia.edu with any questions.

INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES: Columbia University makes every effort to accommodate individuals with disabilities. If you require disability accommodations to attend an event at Columbia University, please contact the Office of Disability Services at (212) 854-2388 or disability@columbia.edu at least 5 days in advance of the event.