From the category archives:

Education

The Economy is poor right? Many people are out of jobs, not sure what to do, hitting career fairs, applying for jobs by the masses, etc. Students are coming out of college not necessarily having the opportunities that were once there.

I personally am one of those in a hiring position at this point in my career. I am a person that has to find people, evaluate their skillsets, and make the decision on the hire. So I figure, why not share what makes me hire someone?

(Note: keep in mind that we are a tech company and some of these items may not hold true to other industries)

Here is my list of must haves that a person applying must have/do to even be considered:

  • Must show extracurricular work outside of normal work/school time.  I am not necessarily talking sports or something, I’m talking about pursuing items like doing side work.  For example, I like to see web developers doing things to improve their expertise outside of requirements a school or job has.
  • Has a website for themselves.  No matter what industry you are in, this makes a candidate shine.   Have you thought about getting a simple site up that tells a little about yourself, your experience, and also provides a full resume?
  • Research before an interview.  I absolutely love an interviewee that has done their homework on technologies our company uses.  If I hear “I didn’t know what that was until the other day, so I took a crack at it”.   That shows me a drive to learn.
  • I don’t like know-it-alls.  If you have the smartest person in the world, but during the times they are wrong they won’t admit it…this is worse.  I would much rather hear someone say “I don’t know, but I’ll go look into it” rather than them trying to guess when they truly don’t know.  So, admit when you don’t know something, especially in an interview, but show eagerness to pick it up.
  • Since our industry is more laid back and creative, I don’t like to see people put on a full suit at an interview.  To me this is old school and robotic.  I’m not saying to not dress nice, but be more with the times and show your style.  This really depends on the industry.  I obviously wouldn’t suggest this if you are interviewing to be an attorney.
  • Participation and sharing of knowledge on online social media.  Everything from blogs, to social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter…I love to see sharing of information.  This normally isn’t necessity, but definitely a plus.

Basically, most of my requirements point to one thing.  Motivation.  If I have one pet peeve, that is lack of motivation.

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Mentors

November 18, 2009

in Education

Dr. Branigan and I

Achieving goals is tough, however can be easier with somebody helping you along the way. Mentors are these very people. They could be a boss, teacher, professor, friend, etc… In my case, one of mine was a professor in College. His name is Dr. Branigan, I call him Dr. B for short.

Dr. Branigan is a programming professor at DeVry in Tinley Park. He is the kind of guy that is truly there to educate. You do not necessarily find that in all professors. It isn’t just a job to him, it is something more. He enjoys seeing his students succeed. He is a man that is not afraid to admit when he doesn’t know something, but is also that same person that will go figure it out and come back to you with an answer.

While in college, I was writing a application for a C++ class he taught. Not to brag, but I was sort of ahead of the game so I was experimenting with some more advanced topics with the language. I can’t remember exactly what it was now that it has been nearly 8 years, but I remember pulling him over for advice asking how to get something working. He sat with me for a good half hour helping me try different approaches, but to no avail, we couldn’t get it working. Later that night, probably about 1:30am, I receive an email from him with a solution to the problem. He had actually went to researching, tested out some solutions and sent it over to me. My draw dropped, I was so shocked that he actually went through the trouble. I mean come on, DeVry isn’t giving him a bonus or anything for the extra work. I wish I could have, but this is what a mentor is to me. Somebody that is there to help you achieve goals and does so with passion, excitement, and eagerness to make you succeed.

In my experience, we are all mentors in some way…or at least can be. Whether it is helping a newbie at work, helping a student, helping a friend, what have you…you can make that extra effort to help someone succeed. Find a specialty you have and share that experience and knowledge with others.

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