Hoya Blogga!

Hi Hoyas! We’re expanding our social media footprint and starting a blog, bringing you another way to connect with and benefit from Georgetown Alumni Career Services.

You may remember our CASE award-winning blog from a few years ago…think of this as a revamp of that blog. Our ACS blog will be a space for career related ideas, thoughts, resources and opinions from fellow alumni, certified coaches, Hoya Friends, and the Alumni Career Services staff.  We’ll discuss and reflect on career tips and hacks, industry trends, current career issues, articles, and resources. Read along to get to know us and the world of Georgetown Alumni Career Services!

Stay tuned!


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.

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.  

Georgetown Influences: Marianne Perez de Fransius (F’02)


From Conflict Avoider to Conflict Expert

Thinking about how I ended up as an expert in peace and conflict transformation, I realized that my time at Georgetown was pivotal. In the spring of my sophomore year, I studied abroad in Jerusalem and then worked at the Jerusalem Post over the summer. There was hope about the seemingly impending peace between Israelis and Palestinians. By the time I got back to campus in September 2000, the second intifada had started, and the news was flooded with images of bloodshed and destruction in places I’d been only a few weeks earlier. I was so overwhelmed that I literally had to stop watching or reading the news.

The following spring, I went abroad to Turkey and stayed there over the summer. We had a spring break trip to Syria and a lot of coursework on Islam and the Middle East. I was back on the Hilltop for just 2 weeks when September 11 happened. I remember the campus being eerily quiet as I walked down to Village A and seeing the smoke plumes coming off the Pentagon. The air traffic that all new arrivals notice ceased for several months. And when National Airport opened again, some of my fellow students panicked, fearing a plane was going to crash into Healey. The media was filled with a lot of Muslim bashing which directly contradicted my experience in the Middle East.

Hearing Georgetown’s twin mantras of “You are the leaders of tomorrow” and “Men and women of service to others,” yet seeing the deep crisis that not only the Georgetown community was going through, but the whole nation, pointed to a deep conflict for me. At the time, I didn’t know how to resolve it, so I decided to flee it. The climate of fear in DC and in New York (where I grew up) was palpable and I couldn’t escape it by turning off the news. To get away from it, I moved to Paris. After a couple years, I decided to get a masters degree in Peace and Conflict Studies, thinking that it could be something relevant to study.

I went into the masters program focusing on the role of the media in portraying peace and conflict and looking at big international conflicts. As a result of my work there, I was invited into the TRANSCEND network, a community of peace workers and researchers, and got the first article about Peace Journalism published in the elite journal called Journalism. This opened doors to offering trainings at the UN, to national lobbying organizations and to groups focused on the Middle East.

Fortunately I picked a program that taught a model for creating peace that is applicable at the meta, international level all the way down to the micro, intrapersonal level. Using this model, I’ve learned that instead of avoiding (or fleeing) conflicts, I can engage with them and even gain something fruitful from them. I’ve learned how to navigate dreaded conversations with ease, how to create win-win opportunities, how to monitor my media intake to stay informed without getting depressed, and so many other skills that are vital to living a balanced and meaningful life, both personally and as a world citizen of service to others. I hope you’ll join me for my upcoming webinar in which I’ll introduce you to this model.

Marianne founded Peace Is Sexy (www.peaceissexy.net) with a mission to redefine peace as sexy, possible, profitable and fun. Marianne has offered trainings at the UN, to national lobbying organizations and to ones that work on the conflict in the Middle East. Currently, she’s training Mozambican journalists in conflict analysis and peace journalism.


Notes on Evernote


I’m testing out a new method to organize the chaos that is my desk.  As you saw in a recent post, the ACS team is using Wunderlist to keep track of both our work and personal to-do’s via individual and shared lists.  The ease and simplicity of that platform is perfect for tracking tasks and even sub-tasks but doesn’t really help me with the million and one notepads, notebooks, and papers strewn across my desk.

Enter Evernote.  

What is Evernote? Evernote apps and web-based products allow you to easily collect and find everything that matters – notes, business cards, etc, are all accessible across all of your devices – phone, tablet, computer. There are free, premium, and business versions and multiple apps that make up the the Evernote family that we will discuss in this ongoing blog series.

Disclaimer: I’ve only been really using it for a week or two and I’m just starting to uncover all it has to offer, which, to be honest, can be kind of confusing and enlightening at the same time. Here’s what I’ve discovered so far.

evernote pen

1.  The Jot Script Evernote edition stylus.  I’m still getting used to it. At $  74.99 it’s pretty pricey but after some basic research it seemed to offer a smaller tip for writing that I thought would be useful.  My intention is to transition to taking notes in meetings using the stylus on my ipad. It takes a bit of getting used to though – I find that you have to write larger than you may normally and notes look a bit messier. NOTE:  And here is where I got confused.  You need to use a separate app for writing called Penultimate.  Once you take your notes you sync it to Evernote.  Still figuring that part out.

evernote moleskin

2.The Evernote notebooks by Moleskin. They enable you to easily take photos of your notes and upload them into your digital Evernote notebooks.  They come with stickers that enable you to tag your notes as well as 3 months worth of premium Evernote.  I’m still understanding whether the Evernote version is REALLY necessary/easier to photograph as opposed to other/regular notebooks.

3.  You can photograph business cards to keep track of your network.  Instead of having a million business cards sitting on your desk, photograph and file them in your Evernote account.  Seems like a great way to make business cards more actionable!  Bonus tip:  jot a few notes before you take a photo of it to remind yourself about your connection with that person.

4.  You can use Evernote to go paperless.  I’ve been taking notes either in my Evernote moleskin notebook or on a meeting’s particular agenda, photographing it and uploading into my Evernote digital notebook. So far so good.  Apparently your notebooks (even handwritten notes) are supposed to be searchable by keyword but I haven’t gotten quite that far yet.  I organize my digital notebooks by particular project areas to keep track of historic documents and notes meeting to meeting.

So far I’m probably just scratching the surface of what Evernote has to offer and I’ll keep you posted as I learn more. Have any Evernote tips?  We want to know!


Back to the Grind: Making Your Post-Vacation Transition Easier

It’s summer. And hopefully all of you will be able to get away for a bit to relax and rejuvenate. Bonus points if you’re able to REALLY check out and not be on email the entire time!  While you may be relaxed and rested, all good things must come to an end and the return to the office is inevitable.  Here are a few tips to help make the transition back to work at least a bit less painful!

1. Create a to-do list and leave it on your desk before you head out.
There’s nothing worse than forgetting what you were even working on before you left the office.  Make yourself some notes right before you head out the door so you can at least reorient yourself when you get back in to the office.

2.  To check email or not check email: That is the question.
Some people argue that just checking out of work totally is the only way to really get a break and rejuvenate. Others say that in today’s tech savvy world that’s not an option.  I go for the hybrid approach where I check email twice a day, delete anything that is irrelevant or junk and respond to any fires. Other than that I’ll get back to you when I return to the office.  If I go through things throughout my vacation I find I’m less overwhelmed by an overflowing inbox when I get back.

3. Don’t schedule meetings the morning you get back!
I’ve done it and it’s the worst. Who wants a 9 am meeting on a Monday much less a Monday after vacation? It may sound like a great idea when you’re heading out of the office on a Friday looking forward to 7 days and 2 tickets to paradise but, trust me, you’re not going to feel as motivated when you are sporting your tan at the water cooler instead of beach side.

4.  Have a day at home before you head back into the office.
A day to catch up on laundry, unpack, and get situated can help make the first day at work a bit less painful.

5. Schedule lunch.
Ease into your first day back by scheduling lunch with a colleague that you need to catch up with.  Combination of work + fun is ideal. Plus, you probably won’t have too much food in your fridge.

6. Work on your favorite projects first.
Which parts of your job do you love the most? What are your pet projects? Work on those to help get your head back in the game.

How do you manage your vacations and transition back into the office?  Any tips to share?  We want to hear! In the meantime, happy summer Hoyas!


image source: officelols.blogspot.com

Hoya Influencers: Jessica Barrett (B’07)

Moveo Moti Motum – the Latin phrase defined as “to move, arouse, affect, influence.”  We’re happy to announce our first guest blogger in a series of posts we’ll be doing on the people within the Georgetown community that have moved, aroused, affected or influenced alumni throughout their journey to find career happiness and success.  We hope you enjoy these reflections and will comment on posts that resonate with your own experiences.

As an undergrad and more recently as an MBA student, I have gained an incredible amount of career wisdom in the classroom.

That being said, some of the most influential lessons that have shaped my professional decisions, and my life more broadly, have come from outside the classroom. In fact, I would attribute the top three tenants of my career approach to fellow Hoyas who I’ve crossed paths with since my time on the Hilltop. I am grateful for the inspiration they have provided to me, and hope that I can pass that along to others in the Georgetown community.

  1. Roger C. Altman (C’67), Founder, Evercore Partners – Failure is more important than success. This was the theme of Roger’s speech as the keynote speaker at my MBA graduation. He spoke about how his failures in life have been the best learning experiences, both for acquiring specific job skills, as well as in helping him shape his leadership style. The advice he gave to us was to be prepared for and accepting of failure, and most importantly, to have a positive mindset about it. Handling failures is the most important component for future success. One of my favorite phrases, in Latin, “ex tenebris lux” meaning “from darkness, light”, summarizes Roger’s advice perfectly.

  1. Mary Callahan Erdoes (C’89), CEO, Asset Management, J.P. Morgan – Be a subject matter expert. I had the privilege of working directly for Mary for almost two years. While her leadership style, charisma, confidence, and kindness are all incredibly inspiring and critical components of her success, she is impressively knowledgeable of her industry and the markets, which she has always prioritized. Knowing something critical to your business in more depth and breadth than anyone else makes you an invaluable asset. That concept motivates me every day to make the extra effort to learn more about the function and industry I’m in, and I believe it is what got be hired into my current role. I also see how my knowledge gaps play a more significant role in my credibility than I ever imagined – reinforcing Mary’s message of being a subject matter expert.

  2. My Classmates, (2007), Entrepreneurs, Visionaries, Risk Takers – Take risks + dream big. One of the best parts of being a Georgetown alum has been witnessing my fellow classmates emerge as successful entrepreneurs. From the guys who brought us Sweetgreen, first as a small shop on M Street, to now a national chain, or to my friend who left the art world in London to develop a hotel in the Bahamas with no prior hospitality experience, there are Hoyas across the world who have taken risks and believed that the impossible might be possible, and have made it happen. Seeing that in others is truly inspiring, and as I continue down my professional path with a goal of becoming an entrepreneur myself, I take comfort and encouragement from my fellow Hoyas who have taken big risks and done the same.

Jessica Barrett is a 2007 graduate of the McDonough School of Business and  received her MBA from Columbia this year.  She recently started a new position in business development and sales at pymetrics, a New York-based startup using neuroscience and data science to make the recruiting process more efficient and accurate.  To hear more about Jessica’s career journey, visit http://alumni.georgetown.edu/career/career_154.html.


Blog & Webinar Program Recognized In the Industry


case badge

Alumni Career Services is thrilled to announce that we have received 2 Silver Circle of Excellence Awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). Both the Alumni Career Services Webinar Program and our very own blog were recognized.  Thank you, readers!

The Alumni Career Services webinar program will have reached over 18,500 registration touchpoints this year via 74 webinars on topics ranging from leadership and mindfulness to industry trends, and job search skills.  Our YouTube archive contains a library of ~250 recorded webinars. Check it out!
We started this blog in October of 2013 as a means of providing quick and interesting  tips, resources, and information and staff reflections to you, our readers.  From Twitter feeds to follow for your professional development to “what we’re reading” reflections, to things to get your office secret santa, we aim to be creative and fun in curating in our content. We hope you agree! If you or someone you know would like to be a guest blogger for us let us know!  Or if there are topics you would like to see us cover tell us and we’ll get it in the queue.