Thursday, August 18, 2016

4 Things to Expect From Your First Career Counseling Appointment

Maybe the major you picked isn’t exactly what you had in mind. Maybe you want to learn more

about careers in your major. Maybe you are looking for some clarification for your academic, career, and life goals. Regardless of your reasons for coming to career counseling, you may be a bit nervous about your first appointment. Here is what you can expect:

#1: We will get to know each other

Your first career counseling appointment will be scheduled for one hour to allow for plenty of time to explore your background, goals, interests, skills, and more! This information allows us to develop a good understanding of your situation. Making plans for the future takes time; there is no pressure to make a decision after one appointment. Your counselor will ask questions to stimulate your thinking, provide encouragement, and suggest follow-up appointments and activities based on your goals.

#2 You’ll have a chance to ask your questions

Your career counseling appointment is a perfect time to address your questions and concerns. No question is off limits. If we don’t know the answer, we will do our best to put you in touch with someone who does!

#3 We won’t decide for you!

Career counseling will help you learn more about yourself, the decision-making process, and relevant information for careers of interest. We will listen to you and help you formulate action plans and goals, but the responsibility for career decisions lies with you.

#3 You might leave with (a little) homework

After your first appointment, we often give suggestions of research you can do to look into majors and careers that you are interested in, instructions to contact other helpful individuals or departments on campus, or career assessments to complete and review at a subsequent appointment.

A note about Confidentiality: Everything you say in your career counseling appointment is held in confidence, meaning the counselor cannot discuss it with other people. There may be instances where your counselor needs to share information with others: 1) At your request, we may share information with Career Services Coordinator to help you develop additional career or job search options., 2) If student divulges or is perceived as likely to commit any act of violence to self or others, the counselor must alert authorities as legally required, and 3) if a student reports being sexually assaulted, the counselor has a legal duty to make a report to RIT’s Title IX Coordinator.

Wait… come back! You may find that your interests and goals change and evolve with time. A return visit to your career counselor can help you continue to work toward your goals and get the information and resources you need to help you on your way.

Ready to make an appointment? Call us at 585-475-2301 or stop into the Bausch and Lomb Center, Office of Career Services.

By Janine Rowe, Career Counselor, Assistant Director for Disability Services

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Working at Startup Companies

Periscope. Tarte Cosmetics. Sweet Leaf Tea. Buzzfeed.

If you’re wondering what these companies who create and supply completely different products could possibly have in common, the answer is that they all began as startups, and have blossomed into booming business ventures. While being employed at a startup at its inception can be a bit risky, they are often worth the rewards. Here is some general information about working for startups as both a co-op student and full-time employee alike.

·         Startups are generally fairly small. As an intern or professional, you may have several duties within your initial position. You’ll gain expertise in a variety of fields related to the company, and while that may increase your workload, you will obtain diverse transferable skills.
·         There are opportunities for ownership in the company. Since it is just beginning to expand, you may be able to purchase a fair amount of stock in the company, or be eligible for leadership roles sooner rather than later.
·         You’ll be working with the latest innovative technology. Startups have to rely on advanced communication and marketing methods, solid business models, and products that solve problems that may not have been approachable in the past. Therefore, startup employees may be some of the first people to ever use a certain kind of software or programming language. They have the chance to be creative right from the get-go and discover how to fix any flaws in the products at hand.
·         Personal growth and promotion are inevitable. You will be a part of a smaller team that allows for equitable division of work and thus many chances to promote your own skills as you advance within the company and overall as a professional. Experience at a successful startup can put your resume at the top of the pile.  
·         It is important to educate yourself about a startup company’s goals and practices prior to accepting a position. offers free online classes on various topics related to working in these non-traditional environments. The classes are relatively short and come directly from leaders in the startup field. Look into these courses and use them to research the specifics of companies you’re interested in—know who and what to look for at interviews and in the workplace.
·         Keep your resume updated and note any side projects. Have you developed a website for a friend’s business? Did you create an app for a class? Any personal projects through which you have gained skills that will be useful at a startup are important to note; they show creativity, enthusiasm, and dedication!

For more information on the startup industry, and resources for finding jobs at startups, check out Startup Companies:Information & Resources on the RIT Career Services site.

By Hayley Johnson, Graduate Intern, RIT Office of Career Services

Friday, April 1, 2016

Employers, April is Autism Acceptance Month!

Many of us already know someone on the Autism Spectrum (US Census Bureau estimates that 7 million Americans are closely related to someone on the Spectrum). All of us can take action to advocate for individuals on the Spectrum in the workplace, and many individuals find April, Autism Awareness Month, and natural time to engage in education and advocacy at their places of employment.
Here are some suggested activities for you and your workplace:

Education: Become informed on the benefits of hiring individuals on the Spectrum and steps that your organization can take to become more ASD-inclusive. Our video, Hiring on the Spectrum, is a great place to start. Visit our Recruiting students with disabilities page or Spectrum Support Program page for more information. You can also download our Hiring on the Spectrum Employer Guide to Autism Spectrum Disorders. RIT is also available to provide training for your organization on recruitment, hiring, and supervisory strategies for those working with someone on the Autism Spectrum.

Community Engagement:  Support ASD organizations by becoming a corporate sponsor or designating them the beneficiary of corporate fundraising efforts. Volunteer for or attend local events ASD-related as a group. AutismUp is a Rochester-based organization; a list of organizations by state is available here.

Connect with individuals: Lend your expertise to job-seekers on the Spectrum. RIT Career Services regularly holds networking events for students on the Autism Spectrum to connect with professionals and is always looking for mentors. Consider hosting a group of job seekers on the Autism Spectrum to your organization for a tour and networking session. Contact for more information, and follow along on Twitter - #AcceptanceIs.

Written by
Janine Rowe, MSEd., NCC

Career Counselor | Assistant Director of Disability Services
RIT Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education