Fellows Update: What happened to the Fellows 1.0?

By Marianne Brigola, Assistant Director of Career Services for the School of Communications, Career Fellow 2011-2012

Here are Elon, we are in the midst of Planning Week. Students arrive move in on Friday and the Fall 2013 semester officially starts next Tuesday.  Soon, our new Career Fellows, Rayna Anderson + Danielle Garrison will be updating this blog weekly. Before they start though, some of you might be wondering where the previous fellows have gone on to work. As you can see in previous entries, Katie Smith has started at Duke University, down the road in Durham, NC, as an Assistant Director of Career Services for STEM students. Mikkie Hornstein returned to Vanderbilt University as a Study Abroad Advisor in the Global Education Office. But what about Ashley Pinney and myself?

This past year, Ashley served as a Senior Career Fellow, working with Student Professional Development Center and Katie and Mikki to continue providing career development outreach programs and further developing the Career Fellows program.  After another summer as Internship Coordinator for Elon in NY and bridges in NY, Ashley recently started her new role as Senior Program Manager for at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. She is working with the MBA program there, and her position includes travel to Fuqua’s international locations, including China, South Africa, Russia, the Middle East and the UK.

After completing the Fellows Program, I accepted a position as a Career Counselor for the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA. I had the opportunity to experience working at a large, public institution (with an office in the football stadium!) and learned a great deal from my colleagues. As much as I enjoyed my time at U.Va., when I learned that the Student Professional Development Center at Elon had an opening for a career counselor for the School of Communications, I knew I couldn’t turn down the chance to return to such a great university and a great team! Just this past July, I returned to Elon as the Assistant Director of Career Services for the School of Communications, a role previously held by the fantastic genius behind the Fellows program, Ross Wade.

My new office in McEwen, home to the School of Communications from Under the Oaks

My new office in McEwen, home to the School of Communications from Under the Oaks

So, here we are–at the start of another school year, the 125th birthday of Elon University. Two years ago, I came to this campus as a Fellow, not quite sure what I was getting myself into, but confident that I would learn and develop as a professional. So, welcome to our new Fellows, Rayna + Danielle–I am so excited for the two of you and I can’t wait to see what impact you will have on the students of Elon and the Fellows program. Long live Elon!

Facebook and Job Interviews

By Marianne Brigola, Career Fellow 2011-2012

Last week I attended a NCACE Coffee and Conversation session with several university career development counselors from the Triad area, as well as several recruiters. One of the topics that came up was this recent Associated Press article regarding employers asking for Facebook passwords during job interviews: “Employers Ask Job Seekers for Facebook Passwords


Over the past few days I’ve fielded questions from students about how to handle such a situation as they are preparing to interview for internships and jobs. I came across this link from a person submitting a resignation letter because of Facebook-password related concerns. While I’m not sure if it’s true or not, it does raise some interesting HR concerns for employers who are considering using this technique in their interview process. Check out the link here: “I hereby resign

Managing Your Future

By Marianne Brigola, Career Fellow 2011-2012

This past Saturday  I had the opportunity to present at the “‘Managing Your Future” conference hosted by Sigma Iota Epsilon, the honor and professional fraternity for management. The student organized conference featured a variety of topics including negotiating salaries, social media, and panel discussions.

Panelists included representatives from LabCorp and Lockheed Martin and two Elon alums


I presented on creating strategic resumes. I was very impressed with the turnout for the event overall, especially considering it was held on a Saturday. Over 50 students attended, including management and non-management majors.  Congratulations to Sigma Iota Epsilon for such a successful event!


By Marianne Brigola, Career Fellow 2011-2012

Like Ashley, I had the opportunity to accompany of group of students on an Alternative Spring Break group through the Elon Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement. My group traveled to Atlanta, GA to work on three different project related to urban poverty. The entire trip was student-led and organized; my primary role was just to serve as a faculty representative in case of an emergency.

One of projects was working with the Cool Girls organization in Atlanta, a non-profit after-school mentoring program for girls, aimed at mentorship and increasing positive self-image. We had the opportunity to tour their cool, pink downtown office where the students learned more about the organization and their task for the week. The students went to three different elementary schools, where they tutored students and then performed a skit on healthy family relationships for the students, followed by leading discussion groups.

Elon students performing their skit for elementary students!

I could tell the Elon students had a great time interacting with the girls and the girls seemed to really enjoy talking with them as well!

Elon students tutoring

We also worked with the Atlantic Community Food Bank in their community garden, Product Rescue Center and Kids in Need programs as well as with a homeless men’s shelter.

Stone Mountain


In addition to the various service projects, we had the opportunity to get a bird’s eye view of Atlantic with  a hike on Stone Mountain one day.

Atlanta Spring Break Participants


Our trip coordinators Carling A. and Kim L. did a great job organizing the trip: from the logistics of where we stayed to our daily schedules, to leading our reflection sessions. I was really impressed with their coordination and planning skills. It was great getting to know students outside of the Elon campus and I’m so thankful to the students, the Kernodle Center and the SPDC for allowing me to participate in such a wonderful experience!

School House Rock!

By Marianne Brigola, Career Fellow 2011-2012

Today the SPDC is hosting the Teacher Fair on campus, bringing over 25 school districts, independent schools and charter schools to campus to meet with future educators.

This fair is a little different from our other career fairs in that the school districts host a info session at the start of the fair for an hour. The rest of the day is actually set up for structured interviews.

The students submit their resumes and sign up for interview slots in the weeks prior to the fair. On the day of the fair, the students have an interview schedule, and have the opportunity to meet with different districts and interview on the spot.

Follow the link to learn more about Elon’s Education program: Education Department

No more Resumes!

I came across this interesting article from the Wall Street Journal this week entitled “No more resumes, say some firms.”

Inundated by traditional cover letters and resumes, some companies are requesting links to potential employees’ web blogs, social media outlets and even videos and other creative, non-traditional medias that can reflect a person’s professional accomplishments. Just another reason for students and professional to stay up to date with new social media technology and creative ways to market one’s self!

Career vs. Calling

by Marianne Brigola, Career Fellow 2011-2012

This week, the Student Professional Development Center is sponsoring Professional Discovery Week–a week full of career and graduate-school themed programs, ranging from Life after Elon, to A Day in the Life of a Graduate Student to themed sessions for specific majors.

Ashley and I also had the opportunity to collaborate with faculty and campus student affairs professionals on a session that was the brainchild of our amazing supervisor, Ross Wade. Our session, Career vs. Calling: Spiritual Influences in Career Decision-Making, looked at the roles of spiritual beliefs and personal values when it comes to deciding on a profession. Our interdisciplinary panel included Jan Fuller, University Chaplain, L.D. Russell, professor in the Religious Studies department, and Nancy Luberoff, campus director of Hillel.

Panelists and Students in the Elingburg Room

The last time this type of session was attempted a few years ago only one student showed up! Needless to say, Ashley and I were a little worried about our turn out. We reached out and invited different student organizations and faculty members in relevant departments, inviting them and their students to attend. In the end, we had nothing to worry about–we had over 25 students attend! Our panelists had a lot to do with that–they are all engaging, personal speakers who had some great stories and advice for our students. Ashley and I both learned as much from that session as our students!

Thanks again to Nancy, Jan and L.D. for a great session!

Bridges to LA and NYC

By Marianne Brigola, Career Fellow 2011-2012

This summer, Ashley and I are coordinating a new pilot program called bridges: LA & NYC. We’ve been in the planning stages for this program for the past few months and we are so excited to launch it this month with an extensive marketing campaign!

bridges is for graduating seniors who are interested in launching their careers in LA and NYC. As a part of the program, they’ll participate in a week-long transition seminar series on topics including the job search, relocation information, personal finance, and networking. They’ll also have housing for 9-weeks in the city, and be connect to a professional network.

Me and Ashley are hosting information sessions and promoting the program throughout campus using digital posters, going into classrooms, etc. For the inaugural year, we’re accepting 8 students for each city, but we hope to have many applicants! For more information, check out the link to our webpage here: bridges