Thursday, May 29, 2014

Download our Convention App: Guidebook

Communicating effectively with attendees is crucial to making our event a success. This year we are taking advantage of the app, Guidebook. Guidebook allows users to log in on any device, and all event details will be available to them. Organized agendas, searchable directory, speaker profiles, interactive maps, social media and more will keep attendees informed and organized throughout Convention.  Here are some features that Guidebook can provide to make your trip to Delta Gamma Convention 2014 the most organized one yet!

You can pick sessions and add them to your own personalized schedule. You may also check-in to these events and make connections with other attendees. If you want more details, you can simply click on a session. Images, locations and detailed descriptions can accompany any item.

Facebook & Twitter
The Facebook tab will lead you to our Delta Gamma Facebook page, where you can stay updated on the most current Delta Gamma happenings daily. Also, the Twitter tab will allow you to sync your own Twitter account, making it simple to tweet from within the Guidebook app. On this Twitter page it will show you all the tweets including the #DGRising and social media hash tags used throughout Convention.

Shared Photo Album
With Guidebook, our attendees can take photos and instantly upload them to your mobile guide. This creates a collective photo album that people can browse through to see the event from different perspectives.

How to Upload Guidebook:
Go to the app store and search for "Guidebook"
Sign-up for an account
Now that you've got the Guidebook app, you'll probably want to download the guide to our event! Open up the Guidebook app on your device to get started. Note: Internet access is required for this step.
iOS users (iPhone, iPad):
Tap on "Download Guides" in the bottom left of the screen.

Click on the top search bar "Search all guides". Type in your event name Delta Gamma Convention 2014 (orange icon with blue anchor) Scroll through the results, and tap on your event to download.
Android users:
Tap on the "downward facing arrow" (see below) button to access the "Browse Guides" screen.
If your event does not require a private redeem code, click on the top search bar "Search all guides". Type in your event name Delta Gamma Convention 2014 (orange icon with blue anchor) Scroll through the results, and tap on your event to download.

Adjusting your Settings
Make sure you are syncing your settings with this app. Guidebook allows you to post from Twitter and Facebook within the app, so having your accounts synced will help these features. Also, allow Guidebook to have access to your Photo Album, allowing you to post within the collective Photo Album and share all your pictures from Convention.

You can get to the app here.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

College to Career: Landing the Job! Part 2

Moving to a new city can be a scary thing! You are most likely leaving your support group behind and starting fresh. The beauty of moving to a new city are the endless possibilities that await: a new apartment, new roommates, new friends...the list goes on and on. While it can be daunting to think about all of these new experiences at once, we’re going to tackle them one by one in this post.

The first thing you should do once you plan on moving to a new city is join the Delta Gamma Alumnae chapter/association. Most groups also have a Facebook page which you should join too. In the NYC DG group, there are numerous posts about women subletting or looking for apartments and roommates. This is easily the best place to start. Not only is joining the Alumnae group in your new city an awesome way to find a roommate (that is how I found mine!), it is the best way to find new friends. Don’t be shy about writing a post saying you are new to the city and you’d love to meet some DGs! Make an effort to attend any of the events that interest you and get to know the other women who are there. Remember, these women are your sisters and you already have a strong common interest: Delta Gamma! 

Finding a new apartment can be tricky depending on where you plan on moving to. In some cities, you can easily do your research a few months in advance and sign a lease well before you move. In New York City, for example, the turnaround time for finding an apartment and signing the lease could be a few days to two weeks; which makes it difficult to find a place before you move. If you are unable to spend a week or two in your new city to find a new apartment before your official move date, doing a short-term sublet is a great option. Some companies even have corporate housing that their relocating employees can utilize while they look for a place to live, so reach out to your HR department and see if that is an option. 

Once you have the stressors of finding a roommate and apartment figured out, take some time to relax! Grab Happy Hour after work with your new co-workers or some fellow DGs who are also new to the city. It will take some time to adjust to being in a new place, but having friends makes it a lot easier, so get out there! If you are moving to a big city, there are always plenty of things to do on the weekends, you just have to discover what they are. I read Thrillist a few times a week to discover the best brunch spots of the moment or if there are any cool activities to do in Brooklyn (there are plenty). Read community newspapers or blogs to find out about any festivals, free movie screenings, etc. The more you do on the weekends and after work, the easier it will be to ease into your new city and you will be having so much fun while doing it!

Carly was born and raised in Portland, Oregon and graduated from Oregon State University in 2012. After graduation, Carly was a Delta Gamma Collegiate Development Consultant and in May 2013 moved to New York City. Carly now works as the Training and Development Coordinator in Human Resources at News America Marketing in Midtown Manhattan. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

College to Career: Landing the Job! Part 1

Congratulations! You’ve landed a great job with a great company, and are ready to put all of the knowledge and skills gained in your classes and internships into action. You will always remember your first day at your first “real” job…so, you will want to be prepared and make the most of it! 

There are several things to consider before your first day. Following are 10 things to help you prepare for your first day (and month) in your new job:

1. Ask about company culture in advance. If you had an in-person interview, you likely got a feel for the dress code and overall company culture. However, don’t be afraid to ask in advance so you arrive prepared. Also ask about arrival time, parking and if you need to bring anything (like identification, birth certificates, etc.) on your first day.
2. Get a good night sleep and eat a balanced breakfast in the morning. Your parents were right! A good night sleep and breakfast will keep you going strong for the day. If you’ve never worked full-time before, this will be a new experience for you. Be sure to have coffee or tea on hand if you need it!
3. Do a test drive of your route and show up at least 10 minutes early. Your commute may be different during rush hour. If you are able, do a test run on a weekday morning. Arrive early on your first day so you have time to get settled in and introduce yourself to your coworkers. 
4. Prepare a brief introduction. You will likely meet several people on your first day and they will ask you about yourself, your background and your position within the company. 
5. Do your homework. If there were qualifications or skills on the job description you were lacking, research how you can improve in those areas. Review the company website and/or its competitors. 
6. Understand company policies/rules. Check the company website in advance; you may be able to review the employee handbook. If not, ask what the rules are regarding things like cell phone and internet usage on company time, personal breaks, etc. Keep your cell phone on silent or vibrate, and don’t text unless absolutely necessary or you are on a break.
7. Listen, not just with your ears but with your body language. Listening and observing will help you see the big picture of the organization and its culture. Be prepared for meetings and trainings. Take lots of notes and don’t be afraid to ask questions. 
8. If asked to lunch, go! Pack a lunch (preferably in a cooler in case there isn’t a fridge), but go out if you are asked. It is important to build relationships and appear engaged with your supervisor/co-workers. 
9. Be yourself, but be mindful of what you share. Be personable, polite, conversational and friendly, but don’t share too much information about your personal life, health or politics.
10. Relax. You were hired because the employer saw talent and great potential. Be confident and enjoy this time. You will only experience your first day in your first “real” job once, so enjoy it!

You should treat your first month or two as though you are still being interviewed. Look professional and be professional. Many companies have orientation periods, and your performance is being evaluated on a daily basis. Treat this time as though you are still interviewing with the company. It is easy to get comfortable, especially if you are in a friendly and welcoming work environment, but you don’t want to get too comfortable. Good luck, have fun and Do Good!

Melissa Less Eckenrode, Gamma Epsilon-Kent State, graduated in 2003. She landed her first job with Delta Gamma as a Collegiate Development Consultant. She then worked as a Resource Development Manager for Modis, recruiting IT professionals across the United States. Melissa came back to Delta Gamma Executive Offices in 2007 as the Director of Human Resources. In this role she supports all HR functions of the EO staff, including staffing, benefits, payroll, compensation, performance reviews, etc.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

College to Career: Interviewing

An interview is a conversation with purpose.  Done well, an interview is a memorable, insightful, conversation with your skills, attributes and career goals as the main topics.  One of the most memorable interviews I conducted for an audit (accounting) position was a student with farm work providing the totality of his prior work experience.  At first glance, most wouldn’t draw parallels.  He was prepared, however, and able to expertly outline work ethic, planning, managing itinerant workers, making calculated risks with business impact, etc., from farming and relate it to the skills required in the accounting role.  

An interview may take many different forms: a phone screen, Skype, in person, panel or over a meal.  While each format has its own nuances, like most things in life, the keys to a successful interview are preparation and practice.   

Preparation & Practice
When notified that you have been selected to interview, ask questions to understand with whom you will interview, appropriate attire, the format, and anything you should prepare or bring. 
Everything on your resume, cover letter and online profiles is fair game.  Review them thoroughly and be able to easily draw upon and discuss anything included. 
Research the company.  Develop a working knowledge of the organization and genuine questions you have about the position and organization. Look closely at a company’s core values.  These are often used in developing interview questions to screen potential employees for a good match.  
Based upon your knowledge of the company, position and your background, carefully consider the skills and qualities you want to display throughout the interview.  Outline 10-12 examples from your actual experiences that demonstrate your unique abilities and qualifications.  
Avoid the hypothetical. Be prepared to provide concrete examples, from your past experiences, to support and display your strengths and skills.  
These “sound bites” shouldn’t be memorized speeches; rather fluid and flexible answers that you may be able to leverage for different questions.  Taking the time to really think through, write down and familiarize yourself with these examples provides you with an arsenal of interview answers and will increase your confidence in the interview. 
As a college student, you aren’t expected to have ample relevant experience directly related to most jobs. However, get creative and draw upon your work, leadership and classroom experiences to demonstrate skills of value to the position for which you are interviewing. 
Be prepared to address failures or areas of improvement.  Most experienced interviewers will ask a question of this type. Don’t shy away.  Provide a solid example, followed up with what you learned, self-awareness and what you are doing to address it. Nobody is perfect. This question is more about how you answer and taking responsibility.  
Practice!  In a mirror, in your car, with a friend, with career services, with your parents, recorded on your phone or on your own.  It doesn’t matter how you do it, but make sure you practice!  Leverage sample interview questions and invite others to throw in a few surprises.  Invite feedback from people you trust. It will only make you stronger. 

During the Interview
Avoid the “we.”  College students often answer questions in a plural and inclusive tense.  An interview is about you.  Practice answering with “I” responses and focusing upon your specific contributions to a class project or organization.  
Just like your parents and Delta Gamma taught you – display confidence, use your manners and demonstrate a positive attitude.  Smile, maintain eye contact, sit up straight, use a firm handshake, avoid filler words (um, uh, like), and say please and thank you. 
Be comfortable with silence.  Don’t fill dead space by rambling if the interviewer is taking notes or collecting their thoughts. It can feel interminable but avoid this impulse. 
Do ask well informed, insightful questions about the position and/or company that demonstrate you are well researched. 
Don’t be afraid to express excitement and enthusiasm for the position during the interview or at the close, if you are genuinely interested.  Everyone wants employees excited for the role.  

Thank You!
A thank you note for interviewers is appropriate and can be a differentiator.  If you take the time to write a thank you note, don’t waste it with neutral platitudes.  Use it as a way to highlight a unique connection made with an interviewer or express your interest in the position again.  Mail or email is appropriate depending upon the company and the pace of the recruiting process. You can also write a thank you note on the spot and leave it with a receptionist to deliver to your interviewer.  

Be yourself. Be prepared. Be confident.  You’ll shine. 

For many more resources, tips, skills assessment and sample interview questions, visit KPMG’s Branding U site

With 17 years of experience in campus recruiting, Karissa Cornell has interviewed thousands of students, and leads interviewing skills workshops for both students and professionals being trained to become interviewers.  A graduate of The University of Montana, Karissa is the Director of National Student Programs and Pacific Northwest University Recruiting for KPMG; a global accounting firm that hires 4000-5000 college students in the US annually.  Karissa's toughest interview to date was becoming a Collegiate Development Consultant for Delta Gamma! 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

College to Career: Cover Letters and Resumes

Remember first impressions, even on paper, count!  Well-written cover letters and resumes can open the door if you make a good first impression. 

The Cover Letter
Cover letters should always be addressed to either the hiring manager, the recruiter or the HR Director by name.  Find out to whom your cover letter should be addressed.  Check the company website or LinkedIn.
Mention the name of the company and reference the position for which you are applying in your cover letter.  Let the reader know you’ve taken the time to personalize your letter in response to their job posting.
Describe how your experience is a fit for the position and outline the value you can bring to the table Day One.  
Ask for an interview and state when you will follow up – and do follow up.  Follow up should occur within 2-3 days.  

Not all hiring managers will read a cover letter; however, take the opportunity to introduce yourself and impress regardless.

The Resume
Target your resume to the position for which you are applying.  Highlight competencies, areas of experience and education that best match the job qualifications required.  
Avoid ‘buzzwords’ like “successful, highly qualified, and competent” for example.  Hiring managers see these words repeatedly and will lose interest reading the ‘same old stuff.’  Even if you need to consult a thesaurus, say it with your own unique style.  
When noting your experience in various roles, do not list what your responsibilities were in the job.  List your accomplishments.  
For example, you are applying for a position as a recruiter.  Your current job is with a not-for-profit agency as a volunteer coordinator.  An accomplishment statement might say “Increased volunteer base 25% over 90 days.”  You would use the interview to discuss how you were able to solicit the additional volunteers, i.e., through your outstanding ability to network.  The hiring manager wants to know what you are capable of and what you can do for the company.
If you don’t have much work experience, include your accomplishments in the different organizations of which you have been a part.  
Keep your formatting simple.  Fancy fonts and scented paper may get you noticed but for the wrong reasons.  Easy to read and well-organized are key!

The Application
Most companies will ask you to complete an application prior to or at the time of an interview.  Complete all sections – do not fall back on “see attached resume.”  This may be perceived as lazy.  Take the time to complete the application in full.

Poor grammar and misspelled words will likely land your resume in the circular file (wastebasket).  There is nothing worse than reading a cover letter or resume that touts your ability to be detail-oriented followed by a misspelled word.  Have someone else review your resume and cover letter before submitting.  This goes for the application as well.

Most campuses have a career center that offer services for resume writing, vocational counseling and job search assistance.  Take advantage of these services.  There are numerous websites out there to assist you as well.  One of my favorites is You will find a plethora of resources – everything from resume templates to job search tips, practice interview questions to career advice.  Also network with your local alumnae group.  You may be pleasantly surprised to find additional career service resources wearing an anchor just like yours!

Nancy Rife, Gamma Iota-DePauw, and long-time DG volunteer, currently serves as Regional Collegiate Specialist in Region 4.  Professionally, Nancy has a background in finance, accounting and human resources.  She has served as Human Resources Director at MJ Insurance, Inc. for just over 9 years.