Archive for July, 2009

Social (Media) Networking 101′s for the Harvard Student

Social Media NetworksAh, Facebook. It encapsulates both the joy and despair of a college student’s existence. It can gobble up your soul while you’re composing that perfect wall post to your (maybe he / she likes me) crush.

You might spend more time crafting your perfect Facebook profile and finding that awesome Facebook profile pic than ALL of the time you spent preparing for college applications. Scary.

Not that I’m any avid user of social networking sites by any means, here are some useful ground rules for not completely messing up your internet trail forever.

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Commentary: The Curse of the Class of 2009

WSJ’s: The Curse of the Class of 2009

Economic research shows that the consequences of graduating in a downturn are long-lasting. They include lower earnings, a slower climb up the occupational ladder and a widening gap between the least- and most-successful grads.

In short, luck matters. The damage can linger up to 15 years, says Lisa Kahn, a Yale School of Management economist. She used the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, a government data base, to track wages of white men who graduated before, during and after the deep 1980s recession.

Ouch. As Class of 2010, this news stings as well. I imagine that this year’s on campus recruiting class will go ape-shit to land the dwindling number of sexy consulting and finance jobs and internships.

That being said, I’m worried about how this would affect the academic decisions of those in the younger years of college. Does this mean fewer Classics concentrators and more Economics concentrators? Does this mean that the pre-business clubs and organizations will see an influx of weary-eyed freshmen already plotting their post-graduation job courses?

I hope that freshmen will remain freshmen, but that might be too much to hope for. Any thoughts?

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Driving Change Without Authority Part II

Influencing without AuthorityThere’s a fine line between being annoying and being assertive, just like there’s a fine line between being a pest and being someone who responsibly follows up.

People might not tell your boss if you did a great job of being respectful of their time, but trust that the feedback will get to your superiors’ ears if you’re not, even if you’re talking to someone in the most distant corner of the organization who technically has a lower position than you.

How do you position yourself so that others willingly help you?

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Commentary: Starting Fresh With an Unpaid Internship

WSJ’s: Starting Fresh With an Unpaid Internship

Internships—temporary positions that pay little or no salary—are typically designed for college students or recent graduates exploring potential career paths. But with unemployment at 9.5%, some older laid-off workers are taking on these stints to stay busy, gain new skills and expand their networks. In the meantime, they continue to job hunt and, in some cases, collect unemployment benefits.

Hello recession! What a scary job AND internship hunting season we will have this year. Imagine, competing against seasoned professionals in the internship hunt, or the entry-level job hunt. Makes me shudder, truly.

Granted, Harvard grads will be weathering out the storm better than most. But, this recruiting season, things will get ugly. Really, don’t pester your class of 2010 friends this entire fall with study group requests. We’ll be applying ourselves to grad school or the bottomless job hole.

For anyone not going through the imminent catastrophe of graduation, what are your thoughts? Feelin’ lucky for being in school for some more years?

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Driving Change without Authority Part I

Sky-high leadershipIt’s easy to get things done when you’re in charge. Hell, you’re the boss, it should be easy to get things done. But, what if you’re a gear in the corporate cog? No direct reports, just colleagues and higher ups. How in the world are you supposed to make an impact?

One of the most valuable things that my work experience has taught me is negotiating that delicate balance of getting people (who in all honesty have no real reason to help you) to help you.

Being able to effect change without actual power is an important life skill, not taught in the hallowed halls of Hahvahd.

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What do you want to see?

Harvard sure can be rough

Harvard sure can be rough

So, I’m assuming I have retained some sort of occasional visitor-ship. Doing nothing can be beautiful sometimes.

I’ve written a bunch of stuff just for You! already.

I’m sure you have other burning questions that make sense for me to attempt to answer. (No asking me about the new “Core” or where laundry rooms are or when you’ll find out about rooming assignments or why you aren’t in Stoughton the best dorm ever.)

To give some perspective and context, I’m an economics concentrator, with a citation in Chinese. I’ve studied abroad in Shanghai. I’ve worked on the beloved Harvard College Tuesday Magazine (I’m biased). Survived and did a brief stint at The Crimson. Was involved in … maybe as many publications as I have fingers in some capacity. Blah. Blah blah.

I’m going into business after graduation. By determining prices, ensuring proper allocation of inventory or something else. I did e-recruiting for a brief sad stint as a sophomore, ignored it as a junior, and will ponder how the next few months will define my opportunities for the 2 years after graduation.

But you’re all just freshmen, so, you must have some questions I can give a shot at or pass along to my friends who span the range of Harvard student types.

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