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Career Corner

Current Career Topics for Mount St. Mary's University Students

Halloween might be over but the excitement isn’t finished yet, it’s Federal Agency Week. Federal Agency Week is in its fourth year at the Mount and is a series of info sessions run by the Secret Service, The NSA, The FBI and The Department of State. These esteemed organizations are interested in talking to well-rounded students of all majors and backgrounds. If you are interested in working for a Federal agency post -graduation or looking for an internship, you should seriously consider attending the Federal Agency week information session that appeals to you. 

Prepare a little bit for these information sessions by dressing up a little more and bringing a resume just in case.  Federal Agency week is not only a good way to gain information but can also serve as a way to make connections.  Federal Agencies are a different type of employer, they aren’t looking for a specific major or a specific skill necessarily.  They are looking for students with unique experiences who are hard-working and possess strong morals and ethics. 

 The week kicked off Monday November 2nd with the Secret Service information session from 12-2pm in O’Hara.  The Secret Service is an agency that is divided into different areas.  There are special agents, uniformed division officers, administrative professional technical and special officers.  Because of their wide range of job fields within on organization, they are looking for students of all majors.

 If you are interested in working for the Secret Service in any capacity check for job postings on they are announcing openings sometime in late November, early December.  When going through the application process for the Secret Service.  It is not just a one page resume anymore.  They recommend a one to six page resume and suggest that you read Kathryn Troutman’s books on writing a federal resume as this will help you avoid common missteps. By having a great federal resume it helps you get qualified, remember to always be honest, you don’t want to make it all the way to the polygraph only to fail it.  Be upfront from the beginning as it will help you in the long run. 

Tuesday November 3rd brought the FBI to the Mount. The FBI is broken down into different talent networks that encompasses a variety of job fields and backgrounds. There are opportunities in: Special Agents, Intelligence Analysts, Language Opportunities, Finance and Accounting, Information Technology, FBI Police, Science and Engineering, Business Operations, International, Management and Program Support, Legal, Facilities and Logistics Management, Security Network and Investigative Surveillance and Support.

On Thursday November 5th the NSA will be at the Mount from 2-4pm in the O’Hara dining room.   The NSA looks mostly for computer science and engineering along with other complementary majors. 

On Friday the Department of State will not only be hosting an information session from 12 -2pm they will also be reviewing student resumes from 2:15-4:15.  The Department of State is the largest Federal Agency we will have at the Mount this week.  Due to its sheer size in both actual agency and the breakdown into different fields The Department of State is looking for a wide range of potential employees who can each bring something to the organization. 

If you have any questions, concerns or would like help or advice on the application process to a Federal Agency contact the Career Center today.

Dear Freshman Me,

It’s okay to change your major. 


Senior Me

Freshman year I arrived at the Mount wanting to be a High School English teacher.   I took one education class and felt ambivalent about it.  So I took another.  But there was still something missing.  I wasn’t as interested in my education classes as I thought I would be.  So I signed up for a class I was interested in, a communication course called Media & Society and I never looked back.  I had an idea about what I wanted to switch to, so changing majors wasn’t as stressful as it could have been.

If you are feeling unsure about your major or you haven’t even decided on one yet, that is okay.  College is about figuring out what you want to do and finding yourself.  So take a deep breath and assess yourself and where you are now and think about where you want to go.  Think about what you’re interested in and how that can relate to a potential career.  What are your strengths and weaknesses, what skills do you want to develop, do you want to go to graduate school and the list goes on.  While reflecting and making a list may seem tedious and time consuming, it is incredibly important.  By making this list you are taking a step towards your future and helping yourself make a MAJOR decision.

Talk to people: ask your parents, friends, teachers or acquaintances about what you’re thinking about declaring or what you’re interested in. You don’t even realize it but maybe they know someone who has your dream job or majored or is majoring in what you want to major in.  Talk to your advisor: maybe they aren’t in the field you want to go into but they are an academic professional and they are here to advise you.  Be open-minded to their suggestions and experiences as they are trying to help you find your path. 

Be conscious of both present and future, and don’t be self-defeating.  Just because you are thinking of majoring in a certain field doesn’t mean that is what you have to do for the rest of your life.  So before you officially declare your major take a couple of intro classes in what you think you might be interested in.             

 Another great activity to try is FOCUS, an online self-assessment of your interests, values and skills and how they translate to majors and potential careers.  To access FOCUS, visit The access id is “themount.” 

All in all, declaring a major is a serious decision, but it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming one.  By talking to people and exploring your options, the process becomes infinitely more manageable. Make an appointment with the Career Center so that they can help you explore and talk constructively about potential majors and where they will lead you.

Washington, D.C. is rich in history, diversity and internships just waiting to be applied for.  Not a political science major?  That is okay.  The Mount in Washington Program is open to any major.  Sophomores and above, including recent graduates, are allowed to apply if they meet program application requirements.  Students in the program can earn up to 15 credits from the Mount during the course of their internship.

The Mount is partnered with two organizations in Washington D.C. that specialize in experiential learning: The Washington Center and the Washington Internship Institute....Read the full blog post

Social media is everywhere, we are constantly checking, updating and liking it. It has become not just a way to stay connected with friends and family, but also a useful networking tool that can help you connect and research career opportunities. 

Cleaning up your Social Media...Read the full blog post

Job and internship interviews can be intimidating, but with proper practice and preparation they don’t have to be.  Here are a few tips to help you ace an interview.

Just like you would start studying a few nights before the actual exam, it’s a good idea to brush up on what you know about the company who is interviewing you.  This can be easily accomplished by going to the company’s website and reading through it, specifically the description of the position you are interviewing for. Jot down a few notes about the company and any potential questions you might have for the interviewer. 

Remember the basics: arrive 10-15 minutes early.  Any earlier than that can make you seem overeager or anxious about the interview. Be appropriately dressed and prepared, armed with a firm handshake and extra resumes neatly tucked inside a folder or portfolio. Please turn off your phone before you enter an interview. If it rings it will disrupt the interview.  Turning it off also means you are not as tempted to check it while the interview is going on. 

 Demonstrate a professional yet friendly demeanor.  Remember to smile. During the interview be sure to make eye contact, as it makes you appear confident and self-assured. Sit with a straight, active posture, which allows you to lean in slightly and be engaged in the interview. Remember to remain positive during an interview, even when asked tough questions or if referencing a former or current employer. Provide answers which show how you take responsibility for your decisions and actions. You should appear confident, not cocky, so refrain from coming across too strong about your achievements or experiences. Showcase them when appropriate during an interview.

Remember an interview is a two-way conversation so when the interviewer asks you a question offer greater detail in your answer than just a simple yes or no; be specific. In response to a question, try to back up your answers with clear and concrete examples of your work and experience. It’s okay if you are asked a curveball question.  Take it in stride.  If the interviewer asks you would you rather be a tiny rhino or a giant hamster, have an answer for them and support it.  It demonstrates not only your critical thinking and analysis skills but also your personality. 

Have a couple of questions prepared for the interviewer whether it be about the company or the position. This demonstrates your interest and proves that you have done your “homework.” Stay away from asking questions related to perks of the job such as salary or benefits. Those questions can be saved for after the interview. 

Send a thank you note to your interviewer promptly, a few hours after the interview is acceptable.  Not only is it polite, but it also shows that you are interested in the position. 

An interview is really about how you present yourself as a whole.  So take a deep breath, put your best foot forward and do the best you can. You can ace this interview!  If you feel worried about an upcoming interview or just want to refine your interviewing skills, stop by the Career Center and set up an appointment. The Career Center counselors will be happy to help you!

So you have an interview; the excitement has died down and the nerves have set in.  First take a deep breath and sit down. It is time to do some homework.
Research the position and the company
Start off by revisiting the initial job posting to make sure you know exactly what the job entails.  If you have any questions, make note of them. It is good to have a couple of questions for the interviewer about the job itself or the company. Having a couple questions is a way to demonstrate to the interviewer that you did your homework. 
Research the company’s website.  Most companies also have some sort of mission statement as well as other information on the company itself.  Familiarize yourself with the mission statement as it will help you understand the goals and ethics of the company.
 Also Google the company as a way to find out if they have been in the news lately or if they recently revealed a new product. Most companies also now have social media accounts like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.  See if they have a social media account and use the information you gathered to make you more informed on the current interests of the company.  Also, try to find out a little bit about the company’s backstory.  This research will let you know about the where the company started and where they are today. 

Use your network

If you know who will be interviewing you, Google them as well.  Social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn will have information on their backgrounds and interests.  This information could help you make more of an impression on your interviewer or help you connect with them. 

If you have any friends or connections to the company, utilize them.  Reach out to your connections to learn more about the culture of the company: what is it like working there, how do people dress, what is it like day to day? 

Research Yourself

Sounds silly, but take a few minutes to Google yourself.  See what comes up.  Is it all work appropriate? Are your social media sites clean? Chances are that whomever is interviewing you is searching your profiles online to see what comes up. Their aim is to see if you are professional and would be a good fit for the company. Be aware of what comes up when you google your name as they may ask you about it.  Also while you are at it, re-read through your resume. Is there anything there that you are particularly proud of and want to highlight?

Directions & Alarms

Use the night before your interview to determine transportation plans.  Knowing the phone number for the office where you are interviewing is helpful, just in case of an emergency.  That way you can let them know if you are going to be delayed or need to reschedule due to unforeseen circumstances. Choose the outfit you are going to wear for the interview the previous night.   Set more than one alarm to ensure you wake up early enough to get ready in plenty of time. You don’t want to feel rushed on an important day.  Try to go to bed early so that you are well rested and ready to go.

It is that time of year again, fall. Classes have begun and the Accounting Evening is right around the corner.  On Thursday (9/10), the Accounting Evening will be taking place on the Upper Concourse of the ARCC from 3:30-5pm. There will be nearly twenty employers there including; Ernst and Young, KPMG, McGladrey and Northrop Grumman to name a few. 

Sophomores, juniors, seniors and MBA students are invited to attend.  Any major is welcome, though all accounting majors are highly encouraged to attend.  There will also be numerous opportunities for students with other majors in the weeks and months to follow, as various employers are coming to the Mount.  This is just one of the first Career Center events of the year. 

The Accounting Evening serves as a great networking opportunity and a way to begin your search for an internship or job.  In order to make your Accounting Evening experience a positive one “take advantage of the great face-to face networking opportunity and talk to as many people as possible,” said Justin Byram C’16, McGladrey intern and employee post-graduation.

Before attending the Accounting Evening, here are a few things that you should know. Business professional attire is required. This means wearing, neutral dark-colored two-piece suits for both men and women and airing on the conservative side. Women may wear skirt suits, but the skirts should be nearly touching the knee.  Keep in mind, if wearing heels have them be no more than two inches tall.  Men, remember to wear a belt as well as dark dress socks, not athletic socks.  

Make sure to bring at least ten copies of your resume printed on resume paper. This paper is less flimsy than regular copy paper and therefore makes more of an impression. Resume paper can be purchased at Walmart. Also, bring a plain folder or portfolio to hold your resume in; it will help keep you organized and make you look professional. 

Sean McCann C’16 interned for KPMG over this past summer and has secured a job for post-graduation.  His best advice for the Accounting Evening is preparation. “Know the firms there, inside and out, and why you want to work for them. Always remember to follow up with the individual you talked to.” In an effort to make yourself more comfortable when talking to potential employers, be prepared and do your homework.  

In order to ensure you make a good first impression have a firm handshake when you introduce yourself.  Do not crush or limply shake someone’s hand.  Also, do not be afraid to smile.  It will make you appear friendly and more confident as well as at ease.  A good introduction would include: your name, major and year at the Mount, along with why you are interested in this particular employer.

Alana Tighe C’16, McGladrey intern, reflects on her experience at last year’s Accounting Evening.  “The Accounting Evening gave me a chance to meet and interact with potential employers and discuss career options. In my case, this resulted in not only a rewarding internship experience, but ultimately an offer of full-time employment upon graduation.”

Remember not only to represent yourself well but also to represent the Mount Community. These impressive employers return each year to Accounting Evening because they know the caliber and value of a Mount student.  If you have any questions or concerns please, feel free to stop by the Career Center for extra help.

Hello Everyone,

My name is Mary Kate Baehl.  I am a senior, communications major from Glen MK BaehlEllyn, Illinois a suburb of Chicago.  I am the Journalism Intern in the Career Center for this semester.

In addition to being the Journalism Intern in the Career Center, I am also General Manager of the Mount Radio Station (89.9 WMTB) and the Community Section Editor of the Mountain Echo.  I’ve been involved with the Lighted Corners literary magazine, Young Women’s Leadership Program (mentoring middle school girls from Thurmont), the Women’s Club Volleyball team and the Club Tennis team. I love to run and I recently ran a half marathon over the summer. 

As part of my internship, I will be writing the Career Corner Blog as well as contributing to the Mountain Echo.  I am incredibly excited to be interning in the Career Center and am looking forward to the semester sharing the news and updates of the Career Center with you.

As I look around and see the bright sun shining upon the lushest green grass, I find it hard to believe how much time has passed. It seems like just the other day I was walking into the Career Center on a cold January morning for the first day of the semester and my first day on the job. Now, only one week of class remains and summer break is upon us.

Coming into this experience, I had a few different goals for my Career Center internship. First, I wanted to learn more about higher education, specifically career services, by interacting with career professionals. Second, I want to enhance my writing skills through journalism-related tasks. Finally, I wanted to learn more about myself and where I am headed. Luckily, I can say that all three of these goals were accomplished.

I was fortunate enough to spend a large majority of the semester working with Career Fair 2015Matt Pouss, the Assistant Director/Internship Coordinator of the Career Center. I am very thankful that Matt allowed me to work with him on a number of different Career Center events. The LinkedIn Seminar, the Career Fair, and the Etiquette Dinner were a few of my favorite events of the year. Seeing how all of these events were planned, developed, and executed was a great experience for me.


Working in the Career Center has also taught me how important career services are at a higher learning institution. The end goal of every college or university is to prepare its students for success after graduation. The Career Center is the bridge between college and the real world for so many students. Being a part of the goals and missions of this office has truly been an honor and a privilege.

I feel that my writing skills have been greatly enhanced as a result of working at this internship.  Every week, I was able to cover a new topic related to careers. I enjoyed spreading the message of career development through my talents as a writer. I hope that others found my advice helpful and motivational as we all continue to seek out our vocation in life.

Finally, I have learned so much about myself through this internship. Four months ago, I had a very narrow view of the options that would be available for me after I graduate. Now, I am aware of the many options available, and I know how to find them. By researching topics like resume writing, choosing your major, and how to make the most of your internship experience, I have learned that there are so many opportunities for those who seek them out.

As student, I regret not using the Career Center’s services earlier in my academic career. There are truly wonderful people in this office that want to help you find happiness in your career search. You should never feel stressed out about the future if you are using the services that the Career Center offers.

For anyone who may be interested in interning at the Career Center, I highly recommend it. It is a great way to experience personal and professional growth. Also, the information you learn on the job will be invaluable no matter what career you pursue.

Luckily, I can say that this is not my final week in the Career Center. I will be returning as a summer intern where my major role will be helping to plan Accounting Evening in September. I hope that I can continue to assist the Career Center and students of this university through my efforts.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to check out the blog and read my articles in the Mountain Echo this semester. Be sure to stop by again in the fall for more career advice. Until next time, have a great summer everyone!

Time. It can be a great thing but also a very scary thing. It moves swiftly and waits for no one. We are all at Mount St. Mary’s University to undergo four years of growth and self-exploration. Before we know it, we will all be in a professional setting leaving a positive impact on the world in our own special and unique way.

If we ever feel lost in our journey, it is important to remember that we are all part of the Mount community, and there are so many people who are willing to help. Mount alumni are among the most knowledgeable individuals when it comes to transitioning from the classroom to the workforce.

This week, I spoke with a couple members of the Mount’s class of 2014 to get some perspective of how they are doing one year removed from college. Their advice can be very useful for those of us who are looking towards the future at the end of this academic year.

Maria Marinelli (C’14) currently works for Lockheed Martin's Information Systems and Global Solutions division as a member of the core management team on a large-scale software development effort. She thinks that the best advice she can offer to current Mount students is to seek out opportunities to develop strong communication and leadership skills. She was very involved on campus holding several leadership positions, actively participating in campus ministry, and working extensively with the SPARC festival.

“The SPARC fest taught me how to advocate for something I believe in,” Marinelli said. She believes that opportunities like this help to build your personal brand. She continued saying, “people put a lot of focus on picking the right major, but building your brand is so much more important.” When picking a major, sometimes students focus too much on what they want to do for a living. Building your personal brand allows you to find out who you want to be.

Marinelli said it was important to apply yourself both inside and outside the classroom. She went to the Career Center early on in her college career and took self-assessments so she could find her passions and strengths. Marinelli is very grateful for the Career Center’s assistance. “They definitely helped me with the first step sophomore year,” she said.

Drew Carrick (C’13, MBA’14) is another recent alumnus who has found early success out of college. He is currently an Audit Associate at Grant Thornton, LLP, the fifth largest public accounting firm. Like Marinelli, he thought that experiences are just as important as your major.

“Use your time wisely,” Carrick said. “Don’t just go to class and go back to your room. Get involved with activities so that you have an extensive resume that shows your ability to handle multiple things at once and willingness to possess more depth and versatility.”

Carrick took full advantage of all of things the Career Center had to offer. He scheduled several sessions with career counselors to improve his resume and searched for new job opportunities using career center resources.

“The career fairs and emails about new job opportunities always gave confidence that there were jobs out there to be gotten, and with the right drive I could get any one that I wanted,” Carrick said.

Time is one theme that our featured alumni stressed over and over. Live every day to the fullest and take full advantage of all of the opportunities that lie in front of you. If you do that, there is no doubt that you will find great success. Always fight for what you are passionate about because even if you fall short, there is no better way to live.

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