Thursday, November 15, 2018

Humans of Hofstra - Sabeen Sheikh

As the Assistant Director of Outreach and Special Programs at the Career Center, I connect students and alumni both with each other and with industry professionals. We believe that experiential learning, in conjunction with content knowledge students gain in the classroom, best prepare students for life after Hofstra University. So, we try to provide students with opportunities to gain that experience. Being close to New York City, site visits can be especially enlightening for students. They are able to spend a day at businesses such as Buzzfeed, Goldman Sachs, and Indeed. Considering there’s usually at least one Hofstra alumnus working at those companies, students are able to talk to a relatable industry professional about their own career goals. Shadowing a professional is a great way to see the day-to-day operations of a company, especially if you’re considering pursuing an internship with that organization. Internships are, of course, the BEST way to gain applied work experience and implement what they’ve learned in class. Hofstra students are able to intern with a range of companies in various sectors, such as 1-800-Flowers, Roux Associates, PricewaterhouseCoopers,and even non-profits; all of which attend the eight career fairs our office hosts every academic year.  And many internships can translate into career opportunities for students. We have many organizations that are active participants in our career fairs and are represented in our alumni panels. Our alumni are truly an invaluable resource to our students. During a recent networking event, “Inspiration and Insights: Hofstra Alumnae Tell All,” our distinguished alumnae exemplified just that by their enthusiasm and readiness to encourage each and every student they interacted with. And don’t be afraid to talk to your professors about career goals, either. Almost all adjunct and full-time faculty members are experts in their fields, many of whom have PhDs and a wealth of work experience!  
And of course, we also provide cover-letter and resume building services, in addition to teaching students job interview etiquette. One of the ways we do that is to engage students in “mock interviews,” which are recorded on video. The student and I would then go through the video together and break down each component of the interview to see what can be improved. This also helps them articulate their skills and strengths, like through an “elevator pitch,” in a way that is most desirable to future employers. These services, among others, focus on giving students the tools, confidence, and abilities to navigate the job market successfully. Teaching them those skills is the most important thing we can do. We’ll always be a resource for students (even after graduation), but we can’t be in the room with them when they’re being interviewed or networking. So, the best thing we can do is empower them to be as prepared as possible for a potential job. As the old adage goes, “Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll never be hungry.”
– Sabeen Sheikh, Assistant Director,
Outreach and Special Programs
Hofstra Career Center   
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