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Grads: Turn LinkedIn Connections into Networking Opportunities

By Consiglia Intile, Assistant Director of Career Services 

LinkedIn_logo_initialsAs a job seeker, you may come to dread the very notion of networking with valuable LinkedIn connections. After all, these people may hold the keys to your career, provided you make the right first impression. To help remedy your nerves and provide a nice confidence boost, let’s explore some common do’s and don’ts of connecting on LinkedIn.

Do: Research your potential networking contacts and their companies

This is the first step job seekers should take prior to any conversation that is started on LinkedIn or any other networking venue. Job seekers should review the employer’s and the connection’s page and identify something they enjoyed reading or found interesting or instructive. These items can serve as the basis for an initial conversation. Also, adding a question about their background experience can show your connection-to-be that your intent is to learn from them. Forming a friendly relationship in which you are appealing to your connection’s expertise is often an effective way to network.

Do: Prepare questions in advance of the conversation

This is an important piece of any networking conversation. Often, networking should be treated as an informational interview. Job seekers should focus on starting the interview with a general professional greeting, and use questions such as “tell me how you got started in this field?,” “What was your background before entering the field?,” “What do you find most rewarding/challenging about your field?,” and “What can I do to prepare for a career in this field?” Having questions like these prepared in advance shows the employer that you respect their time and shows you put effort into making this conversation productive.

Don’t: Leave the ball in their court

After conducting an informational interview, don’t leave it up to your connection to stay in touch. It is very important to follow up with your contact by sending a thank-you letter afterwards. To ensure your thank-you letter is effective, write down your thoughts and impressions of the meeting and address anything that you might have missed during your conversation. Sending this letter can bring about a closer tie with this contact which can result in a recommendation or future opportunities with their company.

Don’t: Expect or ask the connection if they can help you get a job

This is a very common question many job seekers ask their connections on LinkedIn. Asking this too early or at all may come across as desperate or insincere which will cause your connection to think this is the only reason  you contacted them in the first place. This should be avoided at all measures on LinkedIn because it is seen to be very unprofessional. The goal is to make a great first impression with your contact, have a thought-out discussion with them in hopes they would think of you when there is an open position for which you are qualified. If you made an impact on the employer or connection, they may contact you about available positions.

NLU Criminal Justice Student Hired As Roselle Police Officer Aggie Wajda came to NLU with the goal of working in law enforcement

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Richard Schak, director of NLU’s Criminal Justice program and retired Chicago Police sergeant, attended student Aggie Wajda’s swearing-in ceremony as a Roselle Police Department officer.

Congratulations to Agnieszka (Aggie) Wajda, a student in NLU’s Criminal Justice program and U.S. Navy veteran, who has been hired by the Roselle Police Department as a police officer.

“From the moment we met Aggie, she made it clear she wanted to become a police officer,” said Richard Schak, director of NLU’s Criminal Justice program, who attended her swearing-in ceremony in Roselle. Continue reading »

Getting the Most Out of Your Spring Break. . . There’s Still Time By Melissa Simmons, Graduate Assistant for the Office of Student Experience

shutterstock_380256046There’s still time to get the most out of your spring break before classes resume on Monday! The days are getting longer and buds are starting to sprout. It’s beginning to feel a lot like spring ─ except for the 50 mph gusts of wind on Michigan Avenue.

You don’t have to go far to get some much needed rest and relaxation. NLU’s Student Experience is dedicated to providing you with the solution to an alternative spring break. Try one of these tips to rest your brain and reinvigorate yourself for the upcoming spring quarter. Continue reading »

Safe Zone Allies Prepare To Support LGBTQ Individuals at NLU Get a glimpse of how LGBTQ people encounter society

SafeZone_logoWhat does the world look like through the eyes of a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning person, and why is it so often harsh? Why are public restrooms so scary for transgender people? What do the newer terms gender fluid, cisgender, intersex and non-binary mean?

About 10 NLU staff and faculty members learned the answers to these and other questions when Amanda DaSilva, associate director of student development, facilitated a training in late January on how to become Safe Zone Allies, meaning participants are willing to offer support to LGBTQ students and others.

The attendees got a sobering look at why LGBTQ individuals might breathe a sigh of relief at finding a safe zone. Continue reading »

Transforming Yourself Through Acceptance How accepting yourself can lead to compassion and growth

Acceptance

By Danielle Laban, NLU Director of Student Experience

Acceptance is not the same as permission. Acceptance is the beginning of an inquiry. It is the first step on a journey, whereas permission, psychologically speaking, is allowing unhealthy behavior to continue.

Often, people confuse the two. They think that if they accept something unpleasant about themselves, or another, that they are condoning bad behavior and allowing it to continue. Instead, acceptance is living with things as they are, and then taking steps from there. Acceptance is living with oneself and others, warts and all, and then growing. Permission is suffering with something you don’t want, and feeling powerless to do something about it.

If I accept that I made a mistake or did something hurtful to someone that I love, it does not mean that I am okay to do it again, over and over. It does not mean that I permit myself to keep acting out. Rather, acceptance is the first step towards better understanding oneself and then working with what’s there. It is a call to growth, and a chance to proceed with compassion.

The Counseling Center at NLU can help with finding acceptance in difficult or stressful situations. Simply send an email to counseling@nl.edu to schedule an initial meeting with one of our highly trained counselors.

Overcome Your Fear of Networking by Adopting a Host Mentality You're there to help others connect, not just for yourself

By Paula Rucci Voigt, National Louis University Career Development Office

networkingYou may have heard the phrase, “Your Network Is Your Net Worth.” Noting that studies have shown that networking is the most effective way to land a job, it is evident that networking is essential to the health of your personal brand, your career, and your job search strategy.

Dictionary.com defines networking as “a supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest.” Sounds simple and straightforward, right? Continue reading »

Mayor Emanuel Honors NLU for Awarding Up To $9,000 in Star Scholarships NLU is offering merit-based aid to CPS grads who complete City Colleges

 

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Aarti Dhupelia, National Louis University’s VP of Strategic Initiatives, greets Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the mayor’s Nov. 5 ceremony honoring universities participating in the Star Scholarship program.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel invited representatives from National Louis University and 11 other Chicago universities to a Nov. 5 ceremony he said heralded a great future for young Chicagoans who graduate from a Chicago Public Schools high school and then go on to complete their associate (two-year) degrees at Chicago City Colleges.

In the Star Scholars program, 12 universities, including National Louis, will offer them scholarships to complete their bachelor’s (four-year) degrees. Continue reading »

Students Pioneer the Gateways Early Childhood Credential NLU students earn Gateways Infant/Toddler distinction

InfantToddlerCohortCelebration was in the air recently as a cohort of NLU students, all directors of early childhood centers,  completed a course sequence leading to a valuable Illinois credential.

The state awards the distinction, called the Gateways credentials, as a symbol of professional achievement in the early childhood education field. Earning Gateways credentials will expand employees’ opportunities for employment and advancement. Continue reading »

Student Wins $21,000 Grant Before Completing Grant-Writing Class Cari Stevenson got profs' help when she saw great opportunity

Cari Stevenson, psychology professor

Cari Stevenson, psychology professor

National Louis University graduate student Cari Stevenson, who is pursuing a Ph.D. in Community Psychology, learned this month that she was awarded a $21,000 planning grant from the Prevention Institute and Movember Foundation.

Stevenson, who has a master’s degree in industrial/organizational psychology, teaches psychology at Kankakee Community College.

“As the saying goes, ‘timing is everything.’ Just before our NLU Grant Writing course (LAS 655) began, one of my cohort colleagues forwarded a newsletter which happened to include a link to grant opportunities,” Stevenson said. Continue reading »