Career Services recently launched Optimal Resume, an online suite with features that allow users to quickly create cover letters, tailor resumes to different jobs, practice interviewing and organize and conduct searches.
Gary Morris ’88, director of the Compass student success center as well as its Career Services unit, said the new software will help SUNY Oswego students and alumni prepare for searching via a multifaceted interface used by more than 600 colleges and universities nationwide. Optimal Resume has a range of job-search tools, from skills assessment to mock interviews.
“Optimal Resume helps users realize their value and what they have to offer,” including credentials they may not have even realized they had, Morris said.
Christina Carnavale ’13, a SUNY Oswego senior majoring in human resource management, agreed.
“The skills assessment portion can help you take any experience, say a job working at Freshens in the Campus Center, and make it highlight the skills you got from that job,” Carnavale said.
Users can tailor resumes to fit the target industry. “The software comes with a range of different resume and cover letter templates that are designed for a certain job,” Carnavale said. “If you are trying to get into a graduate business school, there’s a template for that type of resume.”
Carnavale said she uses the software to prepare resumes for her own job search, as well as to help other students as a Compass Navigator.
“There are so many features to it,” Carnavale said. “Students can really do a lot on their own using this software.”
Other Optimal Resume features include the option of quick feedback anywhere at any time. Online availability makes it easy for students to work on their resumes and submit them for critique.
“Once they’re done with the resume, they can hit the review button and have
it sent to Compass staff for feedback,” Morris said.
The mock-interview toolset enables students and alumni to create a video where they respond to interview questions, as many as 20 per interview. Once the mock interview is complete, students can upload and send the video to Compass staff for feedback.
“With this software, students can do a mock interview anytime, anywhere, and have feedback in a few days,” Morris said. Users also have the option of spoken-only or written interviews.
Alumni benefit from free use
Optimal Resume can help alumni tailor resumes to different jobs, provide interviewing practice, organize and conduct searches and develop a personal brand online.
Morris said the new software will help alumni job-searching via a multifaceted interface used by employers seeking to better screen candidates. Optimal Resume has a range of other job-search tools, among them profile creation, skills assessment and mock interviews.
“It can be accessed for free from anywhere,” Morris said. “SUNY Oswego students and alumni all can have access to our services. If someone had a job interview in Switzerland and wanted some practice with interview questions, they could just upload a video and we could send feedback in 24 to 48 hours.”
Alumni can use the suite to examine the skills they have acquired and identify “what specific skills different jobs require and how they can tailor their resumes to reflect those skills,” Morris said.
Career Services will critique alumni resumes on a time-available basis, he said.
Optimal Resume also offers users the opportunity to create a website with resumes and portfolios of their work.
In addition to the array of professional development services the SUNY Oswego Office of Career Services offers, alumni can find networking opportunities in a 4,500-member LinkedIn group.
The discussion forum has fostered connections over the past five years, with alumni waxing nostalgic about favorite memories or pursuing job and networking opportunities. Exclusive to Oswego alumni, the group establishes a great base for networking, founder and moderator Maureen O’Donnell Sanchez ’87 said.
“[We talk] about everything from sunsets and the opening of the Stands to jobs … members try to help each other organically,” Sanchez said. “I have posted many jobs over the years, and I hope that has opened the door for others to feel comfortable doing the same.”
The group includes a board of job opportunities, a valuable resource that includes member postings from across their networks.
“Whenever friends at various companies are looking, I post the positions in the jobs discussions section,” Sanchez said. “I’d encourage any member to do the same — helping out Oswego alums, letting them see through their eyes what you see through yours.”
Internship- and job-seeking Oswego students often interact too, giving members an opportunity to lend a hand and make connections with the newest or soon-to-be graduates. It’s not uncommon to see impromptu local alumni gatherings organized there as well.
“It’s as strong as the members make it,” Sanchez said. “The more you interact and engage, the more you stand to get out of the group. I would absolutely encourage any of Oswego’s 77,000 alums to join.”
Drop in at www.linkd.in/oswegoalumni and join the conversation, search for or post jobs or simply reconnect with other alumni.
-Shane M. Liebler
A program sponsored by the Oswego Alumni Association and Career Services Office helps students make the sometimes intimidating transition from college to career. Recruiters, local experts, and Oswego alumni presented workshops to help more than 100 students forge a pathway to success.
Keynote speaker Kevin Sutherland ’05, a member of the Graduates Of the Last Decade Leadership Council, suggested students take every opportunity to network and get their résumé out to as many people as possible, including alumni.
“We are family, this is it, Oswego!” Sutherland said. Sutherland is the budget coordinator for Tompkins County, where he has worked for three years.
Interviewing is nothing to sweat about as long as you’re prepared, explained personnel coordinator for Maxim Healthcare Services, Renee Abstender Marchak ’94. Marchak said she has an array of experiences with the interview process and applies the knowledge she gained at Oswego when interviewing future employees. “Oswego did so much for me,” Marchak said.
Students stood wall-to-wall to hear Tim Barnhart ’02, a member of the Oswego Alumni Association Board of Directors, explain with honesty and realism about saving money and understanding financial planning following graduation. “As far as the education that you get, and the work ethic I was taught, I wouldn’t take another school over this school,” Barnhart said of Oswego.
Barnhart explained to students how to begin saving money, manage student loans, and still have a comfortable lifestyle after graduation. While attending Oswego, Barnhart interned with Northwestern Mutual, the company where he is now a managing director. He said that without taking the internship with Northwestern Mutual and exploring his career options in college, he would have never found his dream job.
-Brittany Hoffmann ’14
Dr. Alfred Frederick, distinguished service professor in SUNY Oswego’s School of Education, is a visiting professor and scholar in residence at the State University of Piaui in Brazil at the invitation of the State Secretariat of Education of Piaui and the State University of Piaui. Frederick said he would continue his cross-cultural work on culturally relevant teaching there over the next several summers.
As creator and coordinator of the African and Brazilian Academic and Cultural Exchange Initiative at Oswego, he has coordinated and conducted research and training in Benin and Brazil aimed at improving academic achievement of students in primary and secondary schools. He taught at the Federal University of Santa Maria for seven years before he joined SUNY Oswego in 1985.
Students in Susan Coultrap-McQuin’s “Women, the Workplace and the Law” class interacted online with students in Lebanon in the fall ’12 semester as part of the SUNY-wide Collaborative Online International Learning experience.
Ina Pfeifer Issa, the teacher of a Lebanese course in international management, visited SUNY Oswego this spring to help Coultrap-McQuin share lessons they learned in the college’s first COIL experience. They planned improvements for the next stage of the partnership and worked on shared research projects. Issa also presented at the Ernst & Young Lecture Series.
“The international perspective is the real growth in the COIL experience,” Coultrap-McQuin told faculty and staff at a session in the college’s Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching. “It’s important to learn content, but the other kind of learning is figuring out how to communicate with other people from
another culture who are
COIL, a SUNY-wide initiative headquartered in the system’s Global Center in New York City, advocates cross-cultural learning through classroom partnerships. Oswego has approximately 11 other COIL courses launching or in development across disciplines ranging from human-computer interaction to broadcasting, from education to physics. l
— Jeff Rea ’71
Analyzing sharp-force trauma, studying ceramic artifacts disinterred after centuries, disclosing the trace elements in soils—SUNY Oswego forensic anthropologist Kathleen Blake can think of many uses for portable X-ray equipment purchased with a National Park Service grant.
The new instrument will enable faculty and student researchers to study samples in detail without liquefying, pulverizing or otherwise destroying them. “This device is widely used in archeological and museum studies,” Blake said.
Douglas Pippin, an assistant professor of anthropology and an archeologist, received the $49,500 grant with colleagues Paul Tomascak of the earth sciences faculty and Blake.
The device came with a pump to create a vacuum, a small on-board computer for work in the field, a tripod and other attachments. It uses X-ray fluorescence to analyze the elements and their proportions in a sample.
The researchers won the grant in conjunction with work the anthropology department is doing cataloging 160,000 Native American and other artifacts from archeological sites around the state. SUNY Oswego earlier received two grants totaling $1.5 million for work under the 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. Blake, a visiting assistant professor, is on the research team for the NAGPRA project.
“This will be so helpful to student projects, too,” she said. “For example, what happens after burial of a deer’s leg? What can it tell us about the amount of copper laid down by the blade that cut the bone? What kind of blade was it?”
—Jeff Rea ’71
Crane has more than 30 years of experience in commercialization and business operations, primarily in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. She is a venture partner at Apple Tree Partners and head of commercialization for Apple Tree Pharmaceuticals. She previously served on the board from 2005 to 2012, is a former member of the School of Business Advisory Board and has participated in the Alumni-in-Residence program.
While studying communication at Oswego, Crane worked for The Oswegonian and was a Resident Assistant. She enjoys being involved at her alma mater and most recently returned to campus in April 2013 as the keynote speaker for the Honors Convocation. Crane is a staunch advocate for STEM education and has supported STEM career development through the Possibility Scholarship program together with her late husband Doug Crane ’80.
Doran has been actively involved at Oswego for many years, serving on the Alumni Association Board of Directors as an officer and as the Alumni Association representative to the Oswego College Foundation Investment Committee and the Reunion Task Force in 2007-08.
He is also involved in the AIR and ASK programs and is an active participant with the School of Business Symposium.
As a student at Oswego, Doran studied business administration, was the men’s lacrosse captain in 1982, and participated in the alumni/mentor program.
Doran frequents Oswego alumni events in New York City, where he has been professionally located throughout his career.
With more than 25 years experience in investment relations, she is also a member of several professional organizations, including the Association of Investment Management Sales Executives and 100 Women in Hedge Funds. Most recently, Mochrie was the 2013 chapter inductee of Beta Gamma Sigma, the premier international honor society of AACSB accredited business programs.
Mochrie studied applied mathematics and economics as a student at Oswego and worked in the Continuing Education office. Through the New York City Career Connections program, she recently hosted SUNY Oswego business students.
Together with her husband, Chris Tuohy ’81, she maintains close ties with many Oswego alumni friends.
—Kaitlin Provost ’12
SUNY Oswego graduate and Emmy award-winning news anchor Kendis Gibson ’94 shared his insight on life after Oswego for the “Voices of Diversity” program April 19. His visit was part of the Alumni-In-Residence, or A.I.R., program sponsored by the Oswego Alumni Association and supported by The Fund for Oswego. Voices of Diversity promotes awareness of minorities in the media industry and encourages diversity in all aspects of the media.
Students gained insight from Oswego alumni during the third annual Future Oswego Leaders Conference March 8 and 9.
This event, organized by Omicron Delta Kappa and co-sponsored by the Oswego Alumni Association, provided students the opportunity to network with alumni professionals.
Matt Weiller ’84 delivered the keynote address in the Campus Center. Weiller, a foreign service officer for the U.S. Department of State, has served as a U.S. diplomat since 1991, working both in Washington and embassies around the world.
A German major and Russian minor at SUNY Oswego, Weiller served as a resident assistant in Funnelle Hall.
“Being a resident assistant is surprisingly similar to working in an embassy,” Weiller said. “You work in close quarters with the same people night and day.”
Jackie Maguire ’13, a dual major in adolescent education and mathematics, said of the conference, “I liked how diverse the speakers were — each one came from different backgrounds.”
Following the luncheon, breakout sessions were hosted by Weiller, Saleem Cheeks ’01, management supervisor of public affairs for Eric Mower & Associates, and Sara Wallace M ’10, executive team member for DestinyUSA.
A political science graduate, Cheeks credits his role as president of the Student Association as a factor that landed him his first job with the New York State Governor’s office.
Wallace spoke of hard work and success at a young age. “It’s not just about getting the job,” Wallace said. “It’s about hitting the ground at 100 percent once you have landed it.”
Wallace studied history and political development as a graduate student at Oswego.
Wallace emphasized setting challenging personal goals, “Don’t settle for anything less; tell yourself, ‘Yes I can, and I will do this.’”
—Tyler J. Edic ’13