61 posts tagged OCS
The 8th Annual AMBLE/OCS Spring Career Conference, held on February 22, 2014, showcased media and entertainment, fashion, and marketing panelists—as well as pathways into the field.
Media & Entertainment
The panel consisted of professionals with years of experience at Forbes, ESPN, CNN, ABC News, and the New York Times.
Getting ready to find and begin a new job? Jennifer Jenkins, Harvard College alum currently working as the director of operations at ESPN’s Remote Operations department, told students to do what they do well, work hard, and be ready to spend nights sleeping under desks.
Most of the panelists did not have a clear view of their career goals while they were college students. Susie Banikarim, a network television and video producer, told students not to expect that what they do after graduation will determine their future in ten or twenty years. Pulitzer Prize winning author Diane McWhorter believes that everyone will hit a turning point in his or her life, and at that point, “things will come clearer because you will start seeing the past as the past and not as the sum of everything you are.”
Q: How do we address the new trend in journalism and media—in which websites drive television?
Web presence has become the most important thing, and the fight to be first rather than right has only intensified. Addressing the concerns for those who think they may be interested in journalism, Ms. McWhorter and Ms. Banikarim provided invaluable advice. “Have the courage to stick to your principles. Do not compromise on integrity; there is a reason why you are not politicians,” stated Ms. McWhorter while expressing concern that aspiring journalists may receive bad training on simply making themselves shine through. Ms. Banikarim encouraged aspiring journalists to not sacrifice the fun part of journalism by just sitting at their desks.
OCS student blogger Julia Eger attended Design Across the Spectrum (featuring Chris Grison, owner and landscape designer, Dianthus Garden Services; Katiti Kironde, fashion designer, Katiti; Paul Sabin, principal, Fikst Product Development; Jennifer Sarich-Harvey, senior interaction designer, IDEO; and Felice Silverman, principal, Silverman Trykowski Associates) and distilled these seven essential tips for the design field.
1. Get your foot in the door.
The market right now is really hot; interns and young designers are sought after. You might not have as much experience just yet, but get into the industry in whatever way you can. In some firms, the majority of the employees are hired through a consultancy or an internship.
2. Start out small.
Starting out at a small firm will likely allow you to do something more productive earlier in your career. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Try out a bunch of projects first to figure out what you like the best.
3. You probably have a lot more skills than you think.
If you have some design skills or software skills, you’re quite marketable in the design world. Don’t sell yourself short!
4. Take your smarts to your work.
If you have passion, you can’t go with “I don’t do Windows” or “I don’t do that.” You can do it all, and you can probably do it better than it’s being done right now. All design is driven by principles and elements. You need to learn and understand them if you’re going to be successful.
They say opportunity happens when you’re in the right place at the right time; this couldn’t be more true for Rachel Silverman, Harvard alum, Wall Street Journal reporter, and current fellow at the Nieman Foundation.
An unexpected pathway
Like many students, Rachel had a dream of one day going to med school, so she studied history of science as an undergraduate. Her big break with journalism came by accident, when she took up a part time job as a research assistant. “I did research on obscure letters for a couple who did not have access to the Harvard College library system. In those days, we didn’t have Google, so I did not know who the couple was. After finishing my research, which I enjoyed, I got a phone call from my boss telling me that he was an editor at the Wall Street Journal, and he was inviting me to do a summer internship at the WSJ offices in New York City,” recalled Rachel. Nonetheless, because she was focused on going to med school, Rachel declined the offer and opted to travel to Latin America on a scholarship. After a year in Latin America, Rachel found herself unsure about what to do in life; when her previous boss called again and offered her a different project—this time—she accepted the offer, and 16 years later, she’s still at the publication.
“My first project was to do research on the past 1,000 years of business errors. I had to start at the bottom and slowly make my way to the top. I started with writing the fluffy stories on cats and that type of thing,” said Rachel, recalling her first assignments as a business reporter.
Writing is an essential skill. It’s something that you learn at an early age, and, to some degree, something that plays into any job. So if you want to work in a career that focuses on writing, you face a double-edged sword: there are a lot of options out there for you, but it can be hard to choose.
At OCS last week, panelists came together to discuss their various careers that incorporated their writing skills – from social media to reporting to public relations.
“My career path was almost a process of self-discovery,” said David Tannenwald, case study author for the Kennedy School while also doing outside reporting. “I used to be terrified of writing, and career choices were driven more by an interest in sports than an interest in writing. I asked myself: what do I enjoy doing even if I wasn’t forced to do it?”
Over 11% of Harvard students go into education directly after graduation. That’s a big percentage. But with so many different pathways to get to the classroom, how do they all get there?
For the first time at OCS this past Thursday, a panel of teachers came together to discuss how they began their teaching career.
There’s no “one path”
Some teachers don’t expect to go into education at all, but just find themselves drawn in by a cause.
"I did not intend to go into education when I went to school," said Molly Bryson, who now works for Teach For America. “What really started me on this path was this two-year social justice program I did, where I spent two years having amazing conversations about these critical problems in our country. That was my entry point — realizing that education was something I really cared about. And the achievement gap really felt like a crisis that I wanted to do something about.”
Always dreamed of working at Snapchat or Google? Now’s your chance! Many of your favorite tech companies will be at the SOCH (59 Shepard Street) this Friday from 3-5pm for the Big Data, Technology, & Engineering Fair. While there are 60+ organizations set to participate, here are the top ten organizations I’m looking forward to seeing!
What it is: A photo messaging application for smartphones.
Fun fact: Over 350 million photos are shared via Snapchat daily.
What it is: A website dedicated to explaining the meaning of rap lyrics.
Fun fact: Although it is one of the fastest growing websites on the internet, Rap Genius only has 6 people currently on its tech team.
Spotlight on electronic resources.
Pros: Opportunity to talk with fellow Harvard students who have volunteered to share their summer experiences with you.
Heads Up: This resource is for researching summer options and connecting with fellow students; it is not a placement tool.
Where: www.ocs.fas.harvard.edu/students/jobs_peer2peer.htm Login required.
Spotlight on electronic resources.
Pros: Career Center Library publications that cover resumes, interviews, coming out, state non-discrimination laws, and more.
Heads Up: Search the Internship and Job Board by keyword or location to reveal listings.
Where: www.ocs.fas.harvard.edu/forms/outforwork.htm Login required.
10 Tips for a Successful Professional Career
Alan Bersin, Assistant Secretary of International Affairs and Chief Diplomatic Officer for the Department of Homeland Security, visited OCS in March and April to meet with Harvard undergraduates. Alan addressed students’ questions in a casual setting, each visit punctuated by wit and wisdom:
1. Be bold and take charge of your life situation. Even if it’s a job you know nothing about in the beginning, burrow into it and learn about it. Never sell yourself short on the ground by saying that “I don’t know anything about it” or “I don’t have any experience with that.”
There’s more than “Lights! Camera! Action!” to the show business industry, and panelists at OCS last week had the chance to share their work experiences in this field.
Have you ever thought about a career in journalism but never knew whether or not it is for you? During Wintersession, a group of Harvard students had the chance to decide for themselves on a career trek to The Boston Globe.
Reblogged from the Extension Blog: “If you’re exclusively searching the Internet for that next career move, you are limiting your prospects. Networking is the #1 job search strategy. In the following video Linda Spencer, the assistant director and coordinator of career advising at Harvard Extension School, offers several networking tips to help you land your next job.”
Don’t forget that the Harvard Start-Up Career Fair, open to all Harvard University students (and alumni) is an excellent networking opportunity!
In anticipation of the Harvard Start-Up Career Fair (Friday, February 1), our student blogger has highlighted more Start-Ups to Love. See these and 85+ participating organizations at the fair! (Read the original blog here.)
What it is: A training feedback tool that helps you understand your exercise and daily life by using algorithms that measure intensity of a workout, fitness levels, and need for recovery.
Fun fact: Bobo was founded by Will Ahmed ‘12, a former varsity squash captain.
Big thanks to everyone who participated in the 2012 OCS Summer Survey!
Congrats to Sarah M. ’13, winner of the Kindle Fire HD! Even though the prize has been given away, the survey will remain open…it’s not too late to share with us what you did last summer. We’d love to hear from you!
Submit your Summer Survey response in three easy steps:
- Log into Crimson Careers.
- Click on the red “OCS Surveys” tab in the upper right.
- Select the “2012 OCS Summer Survey.”
Ever thought of going to Africa but never knew exactly where to get started? This past Thursday, undergraduates at the College sat on a panel at OCS to discuss their experiences finding and funding opportunities in Africa. The panel included students Chuma Nwachukwu ‘14, Alissa Changala ‘13, Tre Hunt ‘15, Harald Oswin ‘15, and Theresa Gebert ‘15.
While each of these students had different experiences in various African countries – ranging from working at a solar technology company to teaching with WorldTeach – each student recognized the issue of funding for a summer adventure abroad.
Chuma was a recipient of the Weissman International Internship, a grant program that selects 45 students each year to fund in their endeavors abroad. “The Weissman program created a nice sense of community for me,” Chuma said. “Their family hosts a reception with everyone once we were all accepted, and we all kept in contact over the summer and updated each other on what we were doing.”
Besides grant programs like the Weissman internship, there are several other resources to look for international funding as well. “When you’re looking for grants and funding, go in with low expectations and definitely start early,” said Harald, a native of Swaziland. There are two routes one can take when looking for international funding: applying to an internship and a grant at the same time, or to make your own summer itinerary and then apply to a program like the Weissman program once you have it all planned out. OCS suggests structured programs are better for those who are going abroad alone for the first time.
The Committee on African Studies is an important resource for students heading to Africa, as they create a Harvard network by compiling a list of Harvard students in Africa for the summer. “They were also really helpful in giving me things like safety tips and a list of required immunizations, too,” Chuma said.
Julia Eger, ’14