Monthly Archives

March 2012

Career Tools

Prioritizing Top Priorities

As someone who is passionate about the whole work/life choice issue, deciding how to prioritize comes up often in my life as a working mother of two very energetic toddler girls and in the life of the students and clients I work with.  One thing that helps in managing work, family, and school is prioritizing your workday effectively.  I know that when I am on my game and smoothly getting through my work duties, I am a calmer mother and dinner time and bed time aren’t met with nearly as many struggles or tantrums.


 This recent article in Inc. magazine provides 5 tips on how to manage your priorities throughout your workday.  My favorites include making a list (how to get through a day without a list is beyond me…I make them constantly and LOVE to scratch off a completed task) and being honest.  Being realistic about what you can commit to helps eliminate the guilt that comes when you can’t possibly meet all of your obligations.  Honesty is valuable not only personally but also in your relationships with others.  Be ok to say “no” to certain requests.  People want to hear the truth and would rather face a “no” early on in the planning stages than an “I’m sorry I won’t be able to make, do, help with etc.” in the execution stage.

Prioritizing can be challenging but the effort pays off in the satisfaction that comes at the end of day spent fullfilling responsibilities, meeting deadlines, and having the courage to decline certain requests.

Career Tools

How Should you Act After Receiving a Rejection Letter

Have you ever waited around anxiously for a phone call from a recruiter saying that you got the job or constantly looked at your email messages to see if you made it to the last round of interviews?  Finally!  You get a call, a letter that says, THANKS BUT NO THANKS!  So now you feel like a loser, unwanted, unloved.  What do you do?  Cry in your pillow? Go beat somebody up? Head for the nearest bar to have a few? Leave a foul message on the recruiters voicemail???   Rejection!  I’ve starred in this play many times.  You will too if you are an active job seeker.

 The article below provides a great perspective on what that “turndown” could actually mean. Couple of additional thoughts. First, know your value and self-worth.  Being rejected does not change who you are and what you can bring to the table.  Keep your chin up and keep it movin’!   Last thought, always follow up with the recruiter to thank them for the opportunity and to let them know that you would still be interested in the position if the selected candidate declines (which does actually happen).  There is no shame in being second choice especially if this is your dream job.   

 Happy hunting!  Be patient.  Work your plan. Your job is on the way!

This article was written by Linda Sloan, Director of Graduate Business Career Services and Employer Relations, University of St. Thomas, Opus College of Business

All MBAs, Interview, Job Search, LinkedIn

A Recruiter’s Guide to Job Seeking

Ever wanted to get inside a recruiter’s head?  What is he or she thinking when you are relaying past experiences and attempting to answer those behavioral interview questions succinctly with the right amount of detail and passion?  What do recruiters deem the greatest interview mistakes and how are they using social media these days?  These are a few of the questions that were posed to the recruiters from Target, Buffalo Wild Wings, Moneygram, Datacard and CMD Associates at the Recruiter Panel lunch event held by Graduate Business Career Services on March 6th.

 Jennifer Finkelson (Buffalo Wild Wings), Dana Schulz (Target), Stefanie Haglend (Moneygram), Twanda DeBorde (CMD Associates), and Julie Serlin (Datacard Group) spent an hour and half with the full time MBA students providing interview tips and answering  an array of student questions.  Here is a quick summary of the do’s and don’ts when it comes to applying and interviewing at these  top corporations.


 Come Prepared:  Be ready with a list of questions for your interviewer that show an understanding of the company values, recent newsworthy events, and overall culture.  Make sure you have stories (2 minutes max) ready to share when behavioral interview questions are asked. The scenarios you share should include quantifiable results that had a broad impact on your overall job.

Show Passion, Be Energized, Come Curious:  Recruiters want to feel your excitement for the position.   Show them your interest through answering questions passionately with the appropriate level of enthusiasm.   Let your natural curiosity shine through with questions and an attitude that shows you are ready to learn and contribute.

Be Confident:  Confidence is portrayed through good eye contact, a firm (not death grip) handshake, and succinct to the point answers.  Be confident, but be yourself. 

Complete your LinkedIn Profile: Julie Serlin, from Datacard, remarked that she keeps LinkedIn open on her desktop throughout the day.  She refers to it repeatedly to source candidates or to ensure that resumes are consistent with LinkedIn profiles.  An incomplete profile is akin to  an incomplete brand.  Make sure you have a professional looking photo,  a detailed experience section with 2-3 bullets for each position held in  the past 10 years, and a least a few recommendations.


 Ask a Transparent, Inappropriate Question:  “How long until I get promoted” does not show passion or interest in the current position.  It does, however, portray overconfidence and, quite frankly, doesn’t make you overly likable.

 Get Caught without Enough Questions:  This comes with preparation.  There really is no such thing as too much research when it comes to interviewing.  Familiarize yourself with the company website, read articles in Forbes, WSJ, and Inc. to get up-to-date on news worthy events relating to the company or its competitors.  All of this research proves useful when it comes to the point of the interview where the candidate can pose questions.  When you meet with several representatives at a company, it’s crucial to have curious, insightful, unique questions for each interviewer.  The only way to be ready for this is to research.

 As always be true to yourself, be polished, be prepared, and be passionate.  Approach each interview as an opportunity to learn and grow, and always do your best.  Even if you don’t land the position you are applying for, you will have made an impact on the recruiter and hiring committee.  You want to make that impact a positive one.


Personal Development, Sales & Marketing

Can Healthcare Take Tips from a Marketers Playbook?

The last 2 days of February finally brought some long awaited (or not, depending on who you ask) snow.  The snowfall didn’t stop marketing professionals in the health care industry from coming on campus for a MN AMA Healthcare SIG event focusing on the impact of health care reform for marketers.  This second in a three part series featured a panel of healthcare/marketing professionals including Rich McCracken, Account Director at Haberman, a full service marketing agency, Kim Wiese, Vice President of Marketing at Optum, and David Moen, M.D., President and CEO at Fairview Physician Associates.  Daniel McLaughlin, Director of the Center for Health and Medical Affairs, moderated the panel and facilitated the conversation which touched on the overall mind shift that is necessary in the US culture, in terms of healthcare.  

Dr. Moen stressed the importance of educating and encouraging physicians to focus on patients’ needs rather than wants.  He passionately expressed the need for doctors to have the courage to hold up a mirror in front of patients enabling them to see what it is about their lifestyle that is negatively impacting their health.  We live in a culture that values quick fixes such as pills and elective surgeries.   Marketers are faced with the challenge of changing a population’s way of thinking and altering consumers’ way of living, not simply selling a product.  

Ms. Wiese spoke about Optum’s work in researching employee engagement and therefore saving healthcare costs.  They have invested time and money in farmers markets and healthy lifestyle campaigns.  While all of these initiatives have been positive and well received they have not directly decreased health care costs.  What research has shown is correct physician referrals have a larger impact on cost decreases.  She gave an example of 25% of the United States population suffering from back pain.  A large number of those patients are referred to an orthopedic surgeon and often eventually undergo  surgery.  The proper diagnosis may have been seeing a chiropractor, saving thousands of dollars and preventing unnecessary recovery from surgery.  

Rich McCracken gave a thought provoking comparison asking the audience to raise their hand if they have received any incentive email from a retailer this week (such as a Leap Year 20% off sale, etc.).  Every audience member held their hand up. He then asked how many have received an incentive email from their healthcare provider.  A few hands rose, but definitely not the majority.   As he wittily remarked, “If J.Crew were my doctor  I would receive weekly emails encouraging me to take the stairs at work, or skip dessert, etc.”  Unfortunately healthcare is not as simple as consumer goods and marketers are faced with HIPPA (health information privacy) regulations that prevent such contact.   

 Regardless of the obstacles, and there are many, the point remains; our healthcare system is broken and needs a good fix.  How to do it is complicated and merits lengthy discussion.  Thankfully the MN AMA Health care SIG is hosting this series to begin the dialogue.