Loading

Grow Smart Business


teaserInfographic
Close

Search Articles



WhatsNextGenY Articles


Today’s College Students, Tomorrow’s Food Trends

September 12th, 2012 ::

By Rieva Lesonsky

Why do the nation’s 20 million 18- to 22-year old college students matter to you? If you’re in the food or restaurant business, it’s because these students—now being exposed to new cuisines at college—are going to shape the food tastes of the nation as they get older. Packaged Facts and CCD Innovation recently published a study, Collegiate Gen Y Eating: Culinary Trend Mapping Report, which looks at the Millennials’ food preferences.

The report identified four major needs college students want their food to meet (nutrition, flavorful food, comfort/indulgence, and speed/convenience), as well as seven culinary preferences that differ from prior generations:

  • Profile 1: Dining Along the Meatless Spectrum – More students identify with the less-meat to meatless spectrum of dining. They range from flexitarian to vegetarian to vegan and even raw diets.
  • Profile 2: The Mighty Chickpea – Students are crazy for this inexpensive, versatile and protein-packed food, found in many ethnic cuisines.
  • Profile 3: Nut Butters – Many of these students grew up without peanut butter thanks to so many of their peers being allergic to it. However, today college students are embracing nut butters of all kinds, including peanut butter and the more healthful almond butter.
  • Profile 4: Fruit and Vegetable Discovery – New college students are discovering unfamiliar fruits and vegetables thanks to cafeteria salad bars and retail favorites like Trader Joe’s.
  • Profile 5: Asian Love Affair – Younger Millennials have grown up eating global cuisine, and many continue the discovery in college. Dining halls are offering more ethnic foods, and nearby ethnic restaurants also give students the chance to try new foods.
  • Profile 6: Italian & Mexican – When a college student under stress needs a little comfort, something familiar, warm and filling—that is, Italian and Mexican food—fills the bill.
  • Profile 7: On-the-Go Fare – Students are busy, so they’re looking for foods that are “Easy to make.” “Portable.” “Eat quickly.” “Eat as I walk to class.”

How will these preferences affect your restaurant, food-service business or food manufacturing business in the years ahead? You’d better get ready.

Image by Flickr user Charlene Collins.Jamaica Images (Creative Commons)

 

 

Who Are You? Give Us A Few Minutes to Learn More About You

September 23rd, 2010 ::

Give us a few minutes to learn more about you by taking this quick survey:

http://www.communityinvitations.com/html.pro?ID=682&said=NWS493SP&csid=ABC&pcid=NS

Network Solutions Social Media Team wants to learn more about you. More about you, our faithful readers who utilize social media in regards to Network Solutions. What we hope to learn is:

What tools you use for social media.
How you use social media tools to interact with Network Solutions.
How you as a small business use social media.
This will help us provide you with a better experience as we go forward.

The survey can be found at the following link:

http://www.communityinvitations.com/html.pro?ID=682&said=NWS493SP&csid=ABC&pcid=NS

Please help us spread the word via Twitter and Facebook with these quick 140 character friendly sentences:

Take the Social Media Audience Survey from Network Solutions! http://bit.ly/cCND5q

Network Solutions Social Media Audience Survey Wants to Hear From You! http://bit.ly/cCND5q

How Are Dating and Interviewing the Same? Part 4

June 28th, 2010 ::

by Allison Kapner

How are dating and interviewing the same? Let’s examine Step 4: The First Impression.

Congratulations, you made it! You went through the awkward first contact, prepped as much as you possibly could and now it’s show time!

Of course, all that means is that you made it through the awkward initial set-up meeting and now it’s time for the awkward first greeting.

Photo courtesy istolethetv. Flickr Creative Commons.

The interview is easy, shake your interviewer’s hand and mimic their grip. Don’t go in too strong right away… even if you are Superman or Wonder Woman. If your interviewer’s handshake is dainty and delicate and you squeeze too strong, it will work against you. Instead, be firm, quick and confident as you let them lead the way. Two other pieces of advice: 1) As you are shaking hands, make eye contact and smile. 2) Make sure you let the interviewer lead the way to the office if you have to make your way somewhere else in the building, even if you’ve been to this office before.

How about dating? Do you hug, kiss on the cheek, kiss cheek to cheek, shake hands… What do you do? It really depends on your comfort level with the person before the date and how much you’ve spoken. I generally go for the quick cheek-to-cheek kiss or awkward but-trying-to-make-it-not-awkward-hug which turns into a side hug of some sort. Regardless, expect it to be awkward but muscle up a big smile and show enthusiasm. If you are the man, opening your date’s car door will most likely win you some brownie points, and girls, for those of you who are fans of The Bronx Tale, electronic locks make it difficult to pass “the test” so don’t feel pressured. But still pay attention to whether your date doesn’t have the automatic locks or doesn’t use them to unlock his door.

Remember, in both cases, you have only 10 seconds to make a first impression. Your nonverbal communication is imperative during this stage, so make sure you exude confidence and an upbeat spirit. (People like to surround themselves with positive people so this impression will get you off on the right foot.)

No pressure, right? If you fumble during the impression, don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world. Pick yourself up and go get ’em!

Allison Kapner headshotAllison Kapner is a Relationship Manager in Career Services at the Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School where she is responsible for building partnerships with employers to ultimately create job and internship opportunities for students and alumni. She also advises and coaches students on job search techniques and brings a unique corporate expertise to assist candidates, as her past experience was as an Executive Recruiter in financial services in New York City.

How NOT to Write a Cover Letter or Query about a Job

June 16th, 2010 ::

by Robin Ferrier

Photo courtesy openpad. Flickr Creative Commons.

There’s a lot of advice out there about what you should include in your cover letters. Below, I’m providing some advice on what NOT to do.

I received a query from someone the other day who was looking for a job. While I’ll give the person credit for actually addressing his email to me — so many people employ the “Dear Sir/Madam” — the letter was atrocious. Why?

In the first line, he said he was “wondering if there are any employment opportunities” with my organization.

LESSON: Do your homework because I’m not going to do it for you. Find out for yourself if there are any employment opportunities. You did enough homework to find your way to my site and to track down my email address. Don’t just use it. Instead, find your way to the employment section. (Because trust me, nowhere on our site is my name affiliated with job opportunities.) Granted, I don’t have a direct employment link on my site, but that’s because we’re a satellite campus for a major university and we don’t handle hiring here. The main campus does. So if you don’t see an employment link on my site, don’t just stop there. If I’m part of a larger organization, go to the larger organization’s web site and find the employment link there.

Next, he told me who he was — a medical student who has the summer off.

LESSON: Congratulations on having the summer off, but why are you waiting until May to figure out what you’re doing with your summer? I’m not inclined to hire someone who waited until the last minute to look for summer work because I’ll be worrying about what work you’ll put off until the last minute when you’re working for me. Also, telling me what you’re studying doesn’t tell me what you’re qualified to do — or what you want to do or what skills you bring to the table — even if I did have a job opening.

He closed with: “If there is anything available or if you would like me to e-mail a resume then please let me know.”

LESSON: Really? You provide that little information in your cover letter and you didn’t even include your resume?

This email was riddled with errors: His approach, the lack of information… the fact that he was a medical student inquiring about a job at a location that doesn’t have any medical offerings on its campus. It was just all around sloppy… and even though this particular person might be a great employee had we had an opening, the response he merited was basically “thanks for asking but we’ll pass.” How could I have responded otherwise?

So what should/could your cover letter include? Well, we’ll save that for another post… (After all, I have to give you a reason to come back, right?)

Robin Ferrier is the editor of What’s Next, Gen Y? and Communications Manager for the Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus. She is also the President of the Capital Communicators Group and the co-chair of the Marketing Committee for the Tech Council of Maryland. She has inadvertently become a frequent career / professional / job hunt resource for friends and colleagues due to a career path that has included five jobs in 12 years.

House Hunting, Dating, and the Interview

June 14th, 2010 ::

by Allison Kapner

Photo courtesy david.nikonvscanon/David Blaikie. Flickr Creative Commons.

An interesting twist… how are house hunting, dating and interviewing the same?

This week I thought I would add an additional twist to the mix. Some of our readers may be able to relate to this blog and others may not be ready to consider this question.

The twist: Not only do dating and interviewing share common characteristics, so does house hunting.

And really, all life-changing events can apply to today’s lesson: Patience, timing and optimism are critical.

We’ve discussed some of the fundamentals between dating and interviewing. Let’s take a minute to reflect on the process of buying a house.

You come across many different options and have to somehow begin to target houses within your budget and experience level (already renovated or do you have the ability to fix it up) as well as just the idea of whether each option is overall the “right” house.

Sound familiar? Finding a job or mate that does not align with your needs will not do you any good and will only cause future frustration.

Just like Monster.com, Match.com, and other sites we have discussed, there are house hunting websites where you can opt to have listings sent to you each day. Similar to dating, you won’t be attracted to every house and similar to job searching, they won’t all fit into your desired future plans. With job hunting, you interview to find out if you and a company make a good match. With dating, well, you go on dates. And with housing hunting, you tour houses. And in each case, hopefully you’ll know when you’ve found your match.

Research: House hunting, like job hunting and spouse hunting, takes research. You need to research neighborhoods and figure out what you want out of a house, similar to knowing what type of culture you are looking for in a job and what qualities you want in a mate. Without research, you will spin your wheels because nothing can fits with qualifications that don’t exist.

As someone who is going through the house hunting process, I can attend that it is a rollercoaster. Job searching is a roller coaster. Dating is a rollercoaster. My advice to you, do not try to do all three at the same time!

Allison Kapner headshotAllison Kapner is a Relationship Manager in Career Services at the Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School where she is responsible for building partnerships with employers to ultimately create job and internship opportunities for students and alumni. She also advises and coaches students on job search techniques and brings a unique corporate expertise to assist candidates, as her past experience was as an Executive Recruiter in financial services in New York City.

Where Is It You Work Again?

June 7th, 2010 ::

by Robin Ferrier

Photo courtesy Mara 1. Flickr Creative Commons.

Today’s advice, gleaned from my 10+ years in the working world…

Where you work is as important — no, scratch that — it’s MORE important than what you do.

What do I mean by that?

If you’re the typical job hunter, you probably know WHAT you want to do. You want to work in marketing… in business development. You’re an accountant… an engineer… an architect… So you go to job search sites and look for jobs that sound interesting. You discount many jobs because the description doesn’t match exactly what you want to do. BAD IDEA!

Because here’s a secret most employers will never tell you: a job description can change in the blink of an eye.

I can’t think of one job I’ve had where the job I ended up doing matched the job description for which I was hired. My job — and the description of what I do — has always evolved, be it because I’ve exceeded expectations, because together we’ve discovered a new talent, or because the department itself has evolved to meet new company needs.

My point? Don’t go out there looking for the perfect job. Because even if the job description sounds perfect, chances are it’s not what you’ll end up doing.

Instead, figure out WHERE you want to work. Because the corporate culture at a for-profit company is VASTLY different from that of a non-profit. (I know this because I’ve worked in both.) Higher education is a far cry from Wall Street. And the opportunities that pop up in a smaller company are going to look different from what you’ll find in a large, Fortune 500 company. Research companies and organizations in your area. Visit their web sites. Read company blogs. Find employees on LinkedIn and connect with them. Use the newly launched LinkedIn “Follow a Company” feature. There are A LOT of ways to do your due diligence and find out more about potential employers.

Finding a corporate culture that matches your personality is as much — if not more — of an indicator of future career/workplace happiness as finding the job where your assigned “duties and responsibilities” are a perfect match for what you think you want.

And last, realize some of your best times and your best assignments and your best career discoveries and realizations will fall under the very real job responsibility known as: “Other duties as assigned.”

Robin Ferrier is the editor of What’s Next, Gen Y? and Communications Manager for the Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus. She is also the President of the Capital Communicators Group, co-chair of the Marketing Committee for the Tech Council of Maryland, and chair of the PR Committee for the Gaithersburg Book Festival. She has inadvertently become a frequent career / professional / job hunt resource for friends and colleagues due to a career path that has included five jobs in 12 years.

Best Of… A Round Up of Interesting Articles on Interviews and Tech Etiquette

June 3rd, 2010 ::

by Robin Ferrier

Photo courtesy Benimoto / Benny Mazur. Flickr Creative Commons.

Under the category of “there’s no reason to reinvent the wheel,” I present another “Best of…” post with links to some fun, interesting, and informative pieces around the web.

The 10 Types of Crappy Interviewees
Funny cartoons that emphasize things you shouldn’t do during an interview. Brought to us by The Oatmeal, a quirky site with a lot of fun cartoons. Here’s hoping you don’t recognize yourself in any of these (especially the “man” wearing nothing but Batman underwear)! And if you are one of these people, here’s hoping you recognize yourself enough to make some changes.

The Tech Etiquette Manual from Real Simple Magazine
Not directly related to the “job search” process, but still some great advice about how to handle tech-related situations. Some of the advice may seem antiquated to you, but going back to yesterday’s great post from Patrick Madsen, some things you might find acceptable — like checking a Blackberry mid-conversation — might be offensive to others.

7 Little-Known Reasons You’re Not Getting Hired from Updated News
This advice may come from a Canadian publication, but it is still relevant to the American working world. Updated News provides some great, less common advice on why you may be having problems finding a job, including why that “Where do you see yourself in five years?” question is so important.

What are you reading online that you’re finding helpful in your job search? Post below. Let us know.

Robin Ferrier is the editor of What’s Next, Gen Y? and Communications Manager for the Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus. She is also the President of the Capital Communicators Group and the co-chair of the Marketing Committee for the Tech Council of Maryland. She has inadvertently become a frequent career / professional / job hunt resource for friends and colleagues due to a career path that has included five jobs in 12 years.

Why I will reject you…

June 2nd, 2010 ::

by Patrick Madsen

Photo courtesy smemon87 / Sean MacEntee. Flickr Creative Commons.

I am a part of what is known as “Generation X.” I am supposed to be your ally, part of the generation in the working world that understands you best. After all, we both come from a time of computers and the internet, and according to everything you read, we share a number of other characteristics and abilities. So why is it that I would reject your application, reject you during the interview, and may not even respond to you at all? Easy… because you are not showing me why I should.

Here are just a few reasons you may get rejected by me:

  1. Professional image: Yes, business attire has changed and business casual has become more of the “norm” in corporate American. BUT that doesn’t mean that you can wear flip-flops to work, not brush your hair, or wear “Saturday night” attire to an interview or to networking occasions. The people that are still in charge and making the hiring decisions will look for the professionally dressed.
  2. Your attitude: Just because I am not standing in front of you does not mean that I will not hear about EVERYTHING you said and did. I remember a student who showed up to our building for an appointment only to discover that I was not in the building. He threw a temper tantrum in front of our reception team, demanded to see my boss, and wrote a two page grievance letter to the dean. While printing this letter, he decided to check his email only to find out that he had mixed up the appointment day/time. He didn’t turn in the letter to the dean. But I still heard the whole story. So be careful about the image you are projecting AT ALL TIMES as it can affect your career opportunities in the future, especially when you don’t yet have a proven track record. No one wants to hire someone with a poor attitude or who cannot act professionally. (Side note: Even had I been wrong and gotten the date messed up, the temper tantrum in the lobby would have immediately put this student in the “no” pile had I been a hiring manager.)
  3. You don’t care: I can quickly pick out those who really care about the job and those who just see it as a means to an end. Find something you are passionate about and go after it. Don’t settle for something that you will hang onto only for a short time and then move on. Your passion, or lack thereof, can be seen on your face, your demeanor, and presentation. That said, I also don’t want you to think that your first job will be your “dream job” and will meet your every criterion. But there is a mid-point between those two extremes.
  4. Spelling and grammar: You’ve heard this before, I’m sure, but it bears repeating: One negative trend that technology has created is the lack of professional writing. With people instant messaging, tweeting, and texting, their ability to coherently develop structured writing based on the “rules” we learned in school has gone by the wayside. Emails that are poorly developed, resumes with one spelling mistake, or even a connection request on LinkedIn that has errors often will land you in the “no” pile vs. the “yes” pile.

People forget that a job interview is a sales call. You need to sell me your “value”! Why should I want to hire you if you cannot sell me on the idea of you? Think about yourself as a product. What would make a consumer purchase that product?

And remember that you are still playing in the world developed by those from the Baby Boomer Generation and Generation X. Learn as much as you can about how they think, how they work, and what motivates them. The more you know, the more it will help you interact with those from the generations doing the hiring.

Patrick Madsen, Director of Programs & Education in Career Services at the Johns Hopkins University Carey Business SchoolPatrick Madsen is the Director of Programs & Education in Career Services at the Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School. He manages the Programs & Education curriculum to include career advising services, speaker series, brand management training, and other events to help students prepare themselves for the world of work. His background includes a degree in Psychology from North Carolina State University, a masters degree in Counseling from East Carolina University, and a doctorate in Organizational Leadership/Student Affairs from Nova Southeastern University.

How are dating and interviewing the same? Part 3

June 1st, 2010 ::

by Allison Kapner

How are dating and interviewing the same? Let’s examine Step 3: Prepping for the interview or date…

What to wear?

Photo courtesy Athena Flickr. Flickr Creative Commons.

My philosophy for interviewing and dating is to air on the conservative side. Ladies, showing skin is showing skin no matter what situation you’re in. If you’re looking for a quick fix at the bar or to work at a strip club, skin works. If not, I recommend skirts that fall at the knee or below, no stilettos, and blouses that leave something to the imagination. Your hair should be simple, too distracting will take attention away from what you’re saying, and hopefully by this point, you realize the importance of having intelligent things to say. Conservative jewelry is best also, unless of course you are headed into the world of fashion or some other creative industry.

Men, same goes for you, nothing too tight (we’re not on the Jersey Shore) and not too much hair gel or cologne.

Dark suits for all are recommended, again, unless you’re going into fashion or another creative field where a dark suit will be seen as stodgy. And no matter what field you’re going into, stay away from white suits. Laughing at that suggestion? Trust me, I have seen it… and it’s not a pretty sight.

Sure, for dates, there is no standard, but my advice is to stick to something classy or cute that speaks to your personality. And remember to leave something to the imagination. Also, if the guy is picking you up, make sure you ask where you’re going. The last thing you want to do is show up in high heels and a summer dress when you’re going to the rodeo!

Get enough sleep
No one likes bags under your eyes, period. Or someone who yawns their way through an interview or date.

Be there. EARLY!
Before an interview, I always get there an hour early and scope out the area. This gives me time to relax a bit, leaves a cushion for getting lost and alleviates some of the frenzy. However, I don’t actually go into the company’s lobby until much closer to the interview.

As for dating, I think the old school dating rule of letting a man wait for you is just that – old school. If he gets there on time, you should show him the same respect and be ready on time.

Practice, practice, practice!
More so for interviews, but if you have social anxiety or feel awkward on first dates, there is nothing wrong with standing at the mirror and practicing your greeting, answering “typical” interview or date questions or just smiling.

Know your brand (see previous blogs posted by my peers) and do not feel ashamed to practice speaking about yourself. The more natural you are able to speak about yourself the more you will engage people. Energy draws people in and energy is a by-product of being comfortable with who you are.

Allison Kapner headshotAllison Kapner is a Relationship Manager in Career Services at the Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School where she is responsible for building partnerships with employers to ultimately create job and internship opportunities for students and alumni. She also advises and coaches students on job search techniques and brings a unique corporate expertise to assist candidates, as her past experience was as an Executive Recruiter in financial services in New York City.

The Truth About References in the Social Media Age

May 18th, 2010 ::

by Robin Ferrier

It used to be easy. A company asked for references. You provided the names and contact information of those people you knew would say good things about you. Simple, right?

Not anymore.

In case you didn’t realize it, in today’s social media-permeated world of LinkedIn and Facebook and Twitter, it’s a lot easier for a hiring manager to get the “unofficial” scoop on potential job candidates. And it’s being done. I promise.

Just to prove my point, here’s an example from my personal life that supports this theory, even if it doesn’t involve a hiring situation. One of my colleagues was looking to connect with someone from a local biotech company. They asked if I knew anywhere there. I didn’t. However, a quick search on the company’s name via LinkedIn showed that I had a 2nd degree connection to someone from that company. A simple email to my connector point and a few days later I had a lunch meeting set up with that 2nd degree connection. It was that easy.

And if it was that easy (and quick) for me to make that connection, you can bet that recruiters and hiring managers are doing the same thing to check up on you and your past. They’re doing it to check up on how well you did at your internships, your summer jobs, your college activities…

So what does this mean?

  • It means you’d better work your a** off – and look to prove yourself – at everything you do, even when you’re “only” in college or “only” working a summer job. And even if that summer job is “only” manual labor.
  • It means you’d better conduct yourself professionally when you’re leaving a company for your second job. (And yes, there is a right and a wrong way to give notice and leave a job. More on that in another post.)
  • And it means information you think is private online isn’t. Because who knows if a friend of mine is a friend of yours and has access to your supposedly private pictures or musings on Facebook. (Of course, if you haven’t picked up on that fact yet, maybe you should just stop reading now!)
  • And it means that all bets are off when it comes to references these days.

Disconcerting? Yes. But it’s reality. And it’s just another reason you’d better realize that what you do = who you are = your personal brand = your reputation = your chances of getting hired.

And it makes me all the happier that all this social media hoopla didn’t exist when I was leaving college!

Robin Ferrier is the editor of What’s Next, Gen Y? and Communications Manager for the Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus. She is also the President of the Capital Communicators Group and the co-chair of the Marketing Committee for the Tech Council of Maryland. She has inadvertently become a frequent career / professional / job hunt resource for friends and colleagues due to a career path that has included five jobs in 12 years.