Meet Taylor, the Communicator

This fall, the University launched “Georgetown Stories,” a multi-media, first-person, “vlog” (video blog) that will follow 11 undergraduate students throughout the academic year as their Georgetown stories unfold.  Each student’s story will be told through a series of videos, still photography, emails and social media posts with the goal of more intimately connecting everyone in the Georgetown community (both on and off of the Hilltop).  In a series of blog posts this year, ACS student intern Khadijah M. Davis (N’15) will be sharing these stories through the Alumni Career Services lens.

Taylor Soergel (C’17) is a natural communicator from Pittsburgh, PA. She aspires to one day use her gift to cover breaking news stories through journalism or convey messages through work in public relations.

“I love communicating and working with others, so I think a career in public relations would be a great way to utilize that—whether through establishing and maintaining relationships with the media, a company’s shareholders, or the general public.” Taylor says, noting, “I am also an avid writer and love working with social media, which is becoming more and more important in organizations’ abilities to advertise and market their brands to the public.”

Being accepted into Georgetown is Taylor’s proudest accomplishment to date, and it was through the encouragement of mentors in high school that she decided to apply.

“Throughout high school, I had always dreamed of going to Georgetown but never thought I’d get in. I actually wasn’t going to apply because I was too scared of rejection, but my English teacher finally convinced me to give it a try. When I got my acceptance letter, I felt like all of my work throughout high school had finally paid off. It was an incredible feeling.”

Taylor says that this same English teacher, Mr. Caruso, is one of her biggest role models.

“He exudes a passion and love for learning that is truly contagious within his classroom, and he has inspired me to continue to question the world around me and to never settle—whether that means applying to reach schools, working towards my dream career, or demanding genuine, real friendships and being a solid, reliable friend in return.”

Taylor has also been fortunate to find mentors on campus, whether it is through her work with Georgetown Giving or in the classroom. “On campus, my biggest mentor is my boss, Joannah Pickett [Assistant Vice President of Annual Giving]. Joannah inspires me to think outside the box and has the amazing ability to simultaneously balance her career, her family, and her incredible sense of humor while never appearing too busy to help at a moment’s notice.”

Recognizing the importance of mentors and sponsors, Taylor hopes to find one in the field of communications. “I hope to find a mentor who is passionate about their work and holds themselves to values such as honesty and respecting and helping others,” she says. “I want to wake up each day excited to get to work and make a difference, so I want to find that in a mentor, too.”

On campus, Taylor serves as the copy editor of The Voice, Vice President of Breast Cancer Outreach and a member of both Hoya Blue and GIVES. She spends a great deal of her time outside of the classroom exploring the nation’s capital and applying for internships on Capitol Hill. With the guidance of her mentors, she hopes to make the most of her time at Georgetown.

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Is a Startup Right For You? Guest Post by Connie Wong, Co-Founder of Lynxsy

Highlighting our recent webinar, “Look Before You Leap: The Questions You Must Ask Yourself Before Joining a Startup”

This week I’ve been asked to blog about an informative webinar by the Georgetown Alumni Career Services that examines the soul-searching you need to do before you enter the startup world.

Associate Director Sarah Hay hosted the one hour webinar, with two prominent Georgetown alums and former baseball teammates as featured guests: Joey Graziano and Parker Brooks. Graziano serves as General Counsel & Director of Talent at The Headfirst Companies. Brooks is C.O.O. of a private investment vehicle in New York City that he launched with a business partner in March of 2014. The pair each forged their way into startup success and took time from their thriving businesses to share their stories and insider advice.

Graziano and Brooks began the presentation by laying out what they call “The Big 5”—core questions they deem necessary to meditate on before taking the plunge into the startup world. The webinar covers each of these five questions in depth:

Why do I want to work at a startup?

Why do I want to work at this particular startup?

What stage startup am I potentially joining?

Who am I going to be working with every day?

What is the financial state of the startup?

Brooks’ biggest takeaway? Read, read, read. To follow in his footsteps, get a library card and check out all the books you can on whatever industry interests you. Take your education into your own hands. Graziano shared a different approach, emphasizing the value of networking and making yourself useful to people who can in turn provide you with connections.

Graziano added valuable advice on how to dodge a rookie mistake. He says that during the interview process he sees many young, smart candidates who are promising, but they do one thing that causes him to hesitate. That one thing is talking strategy. Most new hires at a startup won’t be brought in at that level, but rather need to demonstrate a willingness to do whatever is necessary to move the business forward in its early state. It’s good to know that potential employers may prefer candidates who are ready to do the legwork and not just talk big picture.

While the webinar content may resonate more with job seekers that have established work histories, newbies will also find useful insight in the webinar discussion.

This article is only a teaser, listen to the full webinar here to learn more. If, after mulling over the questions posed in this webinar, you decide you’d like to join a startup, head over to Lynxsy to get started.

Connie Wong is the Co-Founder of Lynxsy, an organization that strives to match recent grads with non-technical roles at high growth startups. Lynxsy is building a talent marketplace that puts the individuality back into job hiring and searching. They believe that finding the right match takes more than just an interview (it’s kind of like dating) which is why Lynxsy provides a trial period where companies and candidates can get to know each other better before a long-term commitment.

Their vision is to provide a platform that’s not just job-seeking, but career making. A place where startups can find the best junior talent to build the best possible teams, and where recent graduates can get their foot in the door at the best companies to launch their careers. Learn more at http://www.lynxsy.com

Meet Julian de la Paz (C’15), Future Talk Show Host and Mentor

This fall, the University launched “Georgetown Stories,” a multi-media, first-person, “vlog” (video blog) that will follow 11 undergraduate students throughout the academic year as their Georgetown stories unfold.  Each student’s story will be told through a series of videos, still photography, emails and social media posts with the goal of more intimately connecting everyone in the Georgetown community (both on and off of the Hilltop).  In a series of blog posts this year, ACS student intern Khadijah M. Davis (N’15) will be sharing these stories through the Alumni Career Services lens.

Julian de la Paz (F’15) is a culture and politics major, aspiring talk show host and all around breath of fresh air from El Paso Texas.

On campus, Julian serves as a board member on the GU Program Board, co-host and producer of a radio show on WGTB and television show on GUTV and a former intern at Late Night with Seth Meyers. After getting his start in entertainment by hosting Georgetown Program Board’s Spring Fashion Show and the Mr. Georgetown Pageant for the past three years, Julian hopes to one day become a talk show host and use his platform “to entertain my audience and highlight inspirational stories that may otherwise not receive much attention.”

The Georgetown Scholarship Program

For Julian, mentorship has been a key part in his success as a student. As a member of the Georgetown Scholarship Program (GSP), he was provided an invaluable source of mentors, sponsors and role models within the Georgetown community. Founded in 2004, GSP provides both financial aid and programmatic support for over 1,000 students through the combined efforts of alumni, parents and friends of Georgetown who are committed to providing resources to deserving students.

“Through my involvement with the program, I have met the most wonderful people who have served as a constant source of motivation and encouragement during my time at Georgetown,” says Julian. “I immediately think of Missy Foy (C’03), the director of the program, Christine Pfeil (C’10, MBA’16), the assistant director of GSP, and Susan Walsh (C’82) and Cristina McGinniss (N’73) – two incredible alumni mentors. GSP has become a second family to me here at Georgetown, and I plan to continue my involvement with the program post-graduation as a mentor and eventual donor.”

Mentors Inside the Classroom

Mentorship is also readily available outside of the GSP. When seeking out great mentors, Julian has found that anyone, from upperclassmen to professors, can offer great advice for major life decisions.

“During my first two years at Georgetown, I always looked towards my upperclassmen mentors for advice and direction on major life decisions. They were always quick to provide assistance and direct me towards others when they didn’t have an answer to my question. In addition, I have always utilized my professors as mentors and positive role models. Inside the classroom, they are experts in their field who impart knowledge on their students, and outside the classroom, they are mentors who are always ready and willing to be of assistance.”

Being a Mentor for Others

Julian’s experience with GSP has made him adamant about being a mentor for others during his time at Georgetown. “In the same way I have found mentors who are ready and willing to provide assistance, I have always placed myself in a position to help others.” He currently serves as a GSP Achieve Advisor. Through the initiative, upperclassmen students volunteer their time to help underclassmen navigate the internship and job search with resume and cover letter review, interview preparation and career advice during weekly office hours.

Post-graduation, Julian recognizes the importance of having mentors and sponsors in the entertainment and media field. “It isn’t as clear-cut in its path as others such as law or medicine. I am going off into the unknown in pursuit of my dream, so I would love to have someone by my side to offer their guidance and wise words of wisdom.”

Learn more about Georgetown Stories at www.georgetownstories.com and share your own Georgetown story #georgetownstories.