Programs at Beyond Barnard
One of the most exciting aspects of Beyond Barnard is its integration of conversations about an array of different career goals, academic interests, intellectual investments, and passions. Beyond Barnard programs offer multiple forums and formats for staging these important conversations, providing opportunities for students and alumnae to learn from one another. Members of the Barnard community can log into Handshake to see a full list of upcoming events. Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Workshops & Presentations
Learn how to navigate each stage of your trajectory through Barnard. Each semester, Beyond Barnard hosts targeted programs for First Years, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors to help you chart out a path through each stage of your education at the College.
Tune up your resume, interview skills, negotiation tactics, and LinkedIn profile in group settings. Learn from each other and Beyond Barnard staff as you craft a professional profile for yourself and pursue a range of opportunities.
Barnard students have access to professional suits, which can be borrowed for interviews, events, and conferences. Students can rent suits at no cost, and are only asked to dry clean any rentals before returning them to Beyond Barnard.
Peer Career Advisors are available to hold custom events for your Residence Hall, student group, or organization. The following is required prior to the PCA presentation:
Email Briana Roman, Coordinator of Advising & Programs (email@example.com) for the presentation request form
- Guarantee at least 10 students will be attending. Please email the names of the confirmed attendees to Briana Roman
- The organizer of the PCA presentation is responsible for solidifying the location. Please ensure that the room has a computer and the presentation can be projected
Once approved you will receive a confirmation email informing you of the details. For any questions regarding the PCA program and/or how to request a PCA presentation, please contact Briana Roman or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not seeing programs and events that meet your organization, department, or program's needs? Let us know! We want to be partners with the Barnard Community and we do our best to customize as many presentations to audiences as we can! Email us at email@example.com with your idea or request, and we will follow up.
On-Campus Recruitment (OCR) provides Barnard College students the opportunity to personally interact with employers through information sessions, site visits and career fairs. In addition, it provides students with the opportunity to interview for internships, volunteer positions, as well as full-time and part-time positions with employers who visit campus during the Fall and Spring semesters.
OCR begins early September through late November for the Fall semester and early January through late April for the Spring semester. Please note that some industries and organizations do not make it a practice to participate in planned recruitinng through OCR. Many, in fact, recruit students on an ad-hoc, as-needed basis. The number of firms and organizations where Barnard students find jobs is not by any means limited to those that participate in formal OCR. If you ever have questions about specific opportunities or organizations, please don't hesitate to ask us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OCR Policies and On-Campus Recruiting are reserved for matriculated, degree-seeking students of Barnard College, Columbia University. Barnard requires ALL students to be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits to participate in on-campus recruitment programs including but not limited to internships.
You must fully complete your profile in Handshake. This includes Contact information, educational information, employment preferences, demographic information, etc. This information is not accessible by any employers or your fellow students. Mandatory fields are marked with an asterisk (*). To make multiple selections, hold down either the Control Key (PC) or the Command Key (Mac) while clicking the left mouse button. Once you have filled out all the information completely, click on the Save button.
Please note that your Handshake profile needs to be updated annually at the beginning of each Fall semester. This is to ensure accuracy of student contact information and employment preferences.
The employment preferences allow Beyond Barnard staff to send you targeted information on employment opportunities and career events that you are focused on.
Next, select the "privacy" sub tab and answer two key questions:
- Do you want to receive email notifications from Beyond Barnard? (We recommend answering “Yes”). You will receive periodic notifications of job opportunities, employer-based events, Beyond Barnard workshops/presentations, and special career events. In addition, we strongly encourage you to monitor and read posted notices and reminders about events under the “EVENTS” section of our website so that you do not miss important events and career opportunities.
- Do you want your resume to be included in our online eResume Books? (We recommend selecting "yes" only if you are uploading a resume that has already been critiqued by Beyond Barnard staff. You can make an appointment to see advisors in Handshake, or come to Beyond Barnard during walk-in hours)
Release Agreement: By selecting “yes” under opt-in resume book and uploading a resume into an identified eResume Book you are agreeing to make this document available for release by Beyond Barnard.
AFTER FILLING OUT YOUR PROFILE AND COMPLETING THE PRIVACY QUESTIONS, YOU WILL NEED TO UPLOAD AT LEAST ONE RESUME BEFORE YOU CAN START APPLYING FOR POSITIONS AND BEGIN YOUR PARTICIPATION IN OCR.
Save your document(s) as a PDF
Log-in to Handshake
Select “Documents” tab
Click on “Add New” button
Type in the “Label” you wish to give your resume
Under “Document Type” be sure the radio button next to “Resume” is selected
Click on the “Browse” button and identify the resume document you wish to upload in the window provided and hit the “Open” button
Finally, click “Submit”
Now, you have successfully uploaded your resume into Handshake. The above steps also apply to uploading cover letters, writing samples, transcripts, and more. This assures that your documents remain formatted as you originally intended for employers to review.
Again, we STRONGLY RECOMMEND having all documents you use for applying to opportunities reviewed by a Peer Career Advisor (PCA) or advising staff prior to uploading them into Handshake. If you have questions, please email us at email@example.com
Employer Events & Opportunities Fairs
Employers often come to Barnard's campus to promote their company to our students. These general information sessions offer more information than you will gain from just researching a company website such as insight into the company culture. These sessions are a great way for you to network with employees (possibly alumni), personalize your connection with the employer, and gauge your interest in the company. Business attire is recommended for these events. A student, who makes a great impression and may not be typically considered through the traditional online application, may get a chance at an interview. Oftentimes these companies will have a position posted in Handshake and recruiting sessions are open to everyone! Information sessions can be viewed on the Handshake in the events calendar.
How can I prepare for an Employer Information Session?
While you are attending these sessions to learn about the companies and industries, some general research in advance will serve you well. You will want to know about the industry and the company so that you can:
- Fully demonstrate your enthusiasm for the career field and organization
- Communicate how your skills and values match those of the organization and industry
- Determine if a position at the company will aid you in your future career path
- Be prepared by having intelligent questions relevant to the field and organization
- Understand more of what is being shared at the information session
The most important thing to prepare is your self introduction. To avoid being tongue-tied when you try to start a conversation with someone you don't know, prepare a self-introduction, or your pitch. This should be clear, interesting, and well delivered. What you say about yourself will depend on the nature of the event, but in any case, it shouldn't take longer than 8-10 seconds. Although practicing your introduction might at first seem silly, it will eventually help you make an introduction that sounds natural, confident, and smooth.
In addition, you may want to consider bringing these materials with you:
- Pen and paper/ note pad
- Copies of your resume
- Business card holder/ folder for business cards
What are the benefits of attending an Employer Information Session?
Not nearly enough students take advantage of these recruiting sessions despite the tremendous benefits they offer. Students are benefited by:
- Gaining expert insight about the career opportunities available to you
- Finding out what it’s really like to work in a particular position, company or field
- Learning up to date information about the organization and the industry
- Discovering what it takes to get from where you are to where you want to be
- Being able to evaluate potential job offers
- Showcasing your interest in the company
- Practicing networking with potential employers and alumni
- Meeting key people in the organization who can significantly influence your candidacy
- Developing an understanding of the skills, knowledge, and experience employers want to see in candidates
How do I follow-up after an Employer Information Session?
Within 24 hours, send an email or note thanking the employers for coming to campus. You can use this thank you as a means to ask an additional question or even ask about recruiting times.
What if I can’t attend?
We recommend that you make every effort to attend these sessions!
Spring 2020 Beyond Barnard Opportunities Fair
January 24, 2020
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Diana Center
Beyond Barnard Opportunities Fairs are a chance for students to gather information about career options within many organizations and across industries, as well as seek out internship and full-time positions. Fairs host employers from media, marketing, consulting, advertising, finance, non-profits and more.
Dress Code: Business Professional – Please no jeans and no sneakers.
Eligibility: Fairs are open to current undergraduate students from:
- Barnard College
- Columbia College
- Columbia Engineering
- School of General Studies
To Prepare (read our FAQ's below!):
- Bring several copies of your resume
- Research the employers you want to target in advance
- Keep an open mind! Talk not only to the employers you already know, but to some that you've never even heard of before
- Remember to set reasonable goals for yourself. Don't expect to walk away with a job or internship in hand. Your primary objective should be to explore options, find some good leads, and know how to connect with Beyond Barnard to take the next step
Opportunities Fairs can be exciting, interesting, informative, stressful, crowded, and a little overwhelming all at once. To make sure that you are getting the most out of the experience, it helps to prepare in advance, to set doable goals for yourself, to practice and to have appropriate expectations for what you can achieve at the event. Here are some initial tips to help you take advantage of the fair.
Keep in mind that we're also available to answer questions via email at firstname.lastname@example.org! Scroll through or jump to the below questions about how to make the most of the Opportunities Fair:
What is an Opportunities Fair?
Beyond Barnard Opportunities Fairs, held in the Diana Center and Altschul Hall, bring together diverse external employers (typically hiring for internships or full-time jobs), along with on- and off-campus employers (typically hiring student workers for academic year roles). These hiring organizations -- which represent a range of non-profit organizations, companies, government agencies, and academic institutions -- have expressed interest in meeting students across majors, areas of interests, and years. They come together for these half-day events to meet you, learn about your interests, showcase their organizations, and recruit.
What should I wear?
Business professional attire is required. Beyond Barnard offers a limited supply of suits to Barnard students through the Suitable Suits program. We strongly discourage jeans, sneakers, and athletic wear. If you have questions about what to wear, please email email@example.com and our advisors can help!
What should I bring?
It's good to bring a folder with a few copies of your resume (you can print them the day before at Beyond Barnard), a pen, and something to write on. Considering that you may find yourself in cramped spaces waiting in line, shaking hands with recruiters, and navigating around booths, we suggest leaving heavy bags at home (or somewhere safe). Other accessories and items -- like a water bottle, mints, hand sanitizer (you'll shake a lot of hands!) -- are up to you. Above all, you don't want to be distracted or hindered by the items that you bring.
How should I prepare?
First, Beyond Barnard recommends reading employer profiles on Handshake and taking a look at organization websites. Do some research on organizations you've never heard of before! You never know what you'll learn, and what might turn out to be interesting. Before the Fair, you'll want to know a little bit about the mission of several organizations: what they do, who they serve, and what their perspective is on their work. You may want to jot down a few notes about the organizations or a few questions that you have. If the employer has posted a job or internship description, print out a copy and highlight a few key terms and skills that they're seeking. This will be helpful when you start to assess what multiple organizations are looking for in candidates, and how your experiences and knowledge might match up with their requirements.
Second, sketch out how you will introduce yourself to recruiters and other staff at the Fair. Consider each organization and develop a list of how your interests and experiences might align with their work. You may have heard the term "elevator speech" before. This is a brief introduction of yourself (lasting about 3-5 sentences, 30 seconds, or the length of time of a short elevator ride) that highlights some of your key experiences, interests, and strengths. To shape a strong elevator pitch in advance of the Fair, begin with basic information like your name, major, and academic or professional interests. From there, write down three key points that you want to convey to the organizations that interest you related to applicable experiences or skills. Practice delivering these introductory points in a mirror, or with a friend. We always recommend recording yourself and playing back the file. It can feel awkward at first, but practicing a few times can help you develop a strong "thesis statement" about who you are!
Third, stay calm! No single Opportunities Fair is going to prove to be the be-all, end-all! These are productive events populated by recruiters who are excited to talk with you. In many ways, Opportunities Fairs are celebrations of all of the diverse options in front of Barnard students.
What should I say to employers?
You'll likely have only a few minutes to chat with each recruiter. That's totally normal, and it might feel very fast at first.
To start with, don't forget to shake their hand, say your name (you might be surprised how often we forget to do this when introducing ourselves!), and thank them for attending the Fair. This frames the conversation in a professional manner.
Often a recruiter will ask you to "tell me about yourself." This is a prompt to deliver your quick elevator speech, which should tailored a bit for each organization. Usually, from there, you will have the chance to ask a few quick questions. It's best to avoid "yes/no" questions, or questions whose answers you could find on the organization's website. Instead, recruiters often appreciate questions that demonstrate that you've done some homework. Try something like, "I was really interested to see on your website that you have a program matching entry-level candidates with mentors [for example]. I was hoping you could tell me more about that." Open-ended questions that convey enthusiasm for the organization and that ask a recruiter to "say more" or "elaborate" on something specific can lead to productive conversations.
Ultimately, you want to present yourself as curious, professional, and respectful of each individual's time. Keep your conversation short, asking only one or two substantive questions. Thank each person again for their time. Before presenting a resume, it's always a good idea to first ask, "Can I leave a resume for you, or will you be collecting them on Handshake?" You can also say, "I'd love to follow up! Do you have a card?"
How should I close conversations?
Keeping in mind that there will be many students at the Fair, it is professional to close the conversation by saying "I know you have a lot of students to talk to. Thanks again for being here, and I look forward to talking again." Demonstrating respect for the employers and for your peer attendees leaves a great impression.
I looked at the list of organizations and nothing looks interesting. Should I go to the Fair?
We always encourage students to look past the names of organizations and to take investigate websites, conduct research on LinkedIn, and learn a bit more about the attendees. Even if nothing seems to resonate at first, it can be interesting and productive just to practice your elevator speech and meet new people in this kind of environment. Getting used to these kinds of conference scenarios is, itself, a benefit of attending. That said, Beyond Barnard is always open to your feedback about the kinds of firms that you'd like to see in the mix, so please let us know if there are specific organizations you would like us to invite. Do keep in mind that many organizations do not participate in Fairs at all (most often because they don't have the staff to participate, or find them not to fit with their recruiting strategy). If that's the case, we will certainly work with you to craft individual outreach.
I'm not a senior. Should I still go to the Fair?
Absolutely! We recommend attendance to all four years. To begin with, there are many organizations looking to hire students into great on- and off-campus positions where you can develop skills and experience. If you are interested in working in the short term, the Fair is a fantastic place to explore positions. Moreover, although you may not necessarily find an opportunity to apply to in the immediate, the Fair presents a low-stakes chance to meet representatives of organizations that you might consider in the future. Getting to know faces and organizations, and building up relationships with staff at these organizations, can be beneficial to your future applications.
What can I aim to achieve at the Opportunities Fair?
Set reasonable goals for yourself. It's not possible to prepare adequately for conversations with every employer. Make a list of five or ten. We'd rather you spend more time researching and exploring fewer organizations so that your conversations (short though they might be) are productive for you. Keep in mind that you'll be waiting in line to meet with recruiters, and that you might want to take a break to collect your thoughts between conversations. Overall, we think it's great to spend an hour or 90 minutes in total at the Fair.
What are some tactics to make the Fair more approachable?
The best strategy for making the Fair more approachable is to do your homework in advance (see above!). We also encourage you to stop by Beyond Barnard to have your resume reviewed, to talk through your elevator speech, and to create a list of employers that you might be interested in meeting. During the week leading up to the Fair, we typically host events and special walk-in hours to help you prepare.
On the day of the Fair itself, we suggest going with a friend. Your interests might not match up perfectly, but they may complement each other nicely! Going to the Fair with a colleague can take some of the pressure off of conversations with recruiters. Support each other! And again, if you're feeling nervous at the Fair, you can always flag Beyond Barnard staff for quick tactical advice on introducing yourself, framing your experiences, and connecting with organizations. We'll be there to help you navigate.
Will I leave the Opportunities Fair with a Job or Internship?
Hopefully it's not surprising that the answer is: almost definitely not. But that's not a bad thing! We hope you'll think of the Fair as the beginning of a conversation that may last several weeks, months, or even -- especially if you're early in your undergraduate career -- several years. It is not the only conversation. If you leave the Fair with new ideas, a few new connections, and some enthusiasm for organizations, you're on the right track. If you leave the Fair feeling that you missed your chance to impress the organization of your dream, don't worry because you're still on the right track. No matter what happens at an Opportunities Fair, we hope that you'll (a) think of it as a learning experience and (b) keep us involved in the evolving conversation about your career and its relationship to your academic pursuts.
Again, no single day at an Opportunities Fair will define the rest of your career trajectory. By showing up, you're doing something important for yourself by exploring options. But showing up to a one-day event is also just one piece of a much larger puzzle of career discernment and preparation.
Will should I do after the Fair?
Be sure to send thank you emails to the individuals whose business cards you obtained! Then schedule time at Beyond Barnard (or come by walk-in hours) to talk about your next steps. We're happy to debrief and hear your feedback about how it went. We're here for you as you take the ideas that you develop at the Opportunities Fair and translate them into action. Be in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org!