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Month: July 2017

Advice from an Entrepreneur
Flip Howard–Founder & President,
Meridian Business Centers

Advice from an Entrepreneur
Flip Howard–Founder & President,
Meridian Business Centers

A group of entrepreneurs spoke recently to students at the University of Dallas’ Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business. This series will highlight their best advice for those interested in starting their own businesses.

Flip Howard
Founder & President
Meridian Business Centers

Meridian Business Centers has been a trusted resource for office space in Dallas and Houston since 2001 by providing premier office solutions at an accessible price. Their executive office suites, virtual offices, coworking, and meeting spaces offer considerable value with very low overhead to small businesses.

  • While my friends were working for minimum wage, I painted addresses on curbs and made twice that much. I started my first business–a laundry service–in college. Now I own several companies, but my main focus is buying, renovating, and then leasing office space to small companies.
  • Most people think you need do something nobody else is doing in order to be an entrepreneur. But that’s not true–just take something someone else is doing and do it better.
  • Many people (especially younger ones) get caught in “analysis paralysis.” If you have an idea, just do it! I’ve talked to too many people that said they had always wanted to start something but never did.
  • I failed a lot, but I always learned something. Don’t be afraid to swing and miss.
  • Most successful people aren’t necessarily smarter or harder working; they just have confidence in themselves. They may fail, but they don’t care. They see everything that happens as an experience.
  • Find your parents’ five most successful friends and ask them to meet with you. Find out how they got where they are and listen to what they tell you.
Dean Crawford: Member of UD Alumni Advisory Panel (Launching Soon)

Dean Crawford: Member of UD Alumni Advisory Panel (Launching Soon)

The Office of Personal Career development is working with the Office of Alumni Relations to bring the expertise and advice of UD’s outstanding alumni network directly to students. When the panel goes live, UD students will be able to peruse the background of participating panelists and pose questions to alumni from a variety of career fields. Here’s one of our panel members.

Dean Crawford

BA Mathematics, 1994

Career Sector: Consulting

Graduate Degree: MS, Mathematical Engineering, University of Texas at Dallas

Current Job Title: Senior Consulting Actuary

Employer: Willis Towers Watson

What career path led to your current position?

I was a high school math teacher for five years after UD and graduate school and then decided to pursue a career which combined my communication skills from a liberal arts university with my love for mathematics.

What kind of credentials, education, training, prior experience are needed to pursue this path?

Successful progress toward the completion of actuarial exams are ultimately needed in this career. Credentials are earned through the Society of Actuaries and the IRS Enrolled Actuary programs. Typically, full certification takes 6-10 years as you work as an analyst in the field.

How was your major and/or your degree from UD related to your current work?

UD encourages communication skills as a measure of true intellectual success. My clients appreciate an ability to share complex ideas in an applicable manner to drive change in their organizations. A math degree from UD demonstrates a student’s ability to think outside the box and master concepts across the mathematical spectrum. Narrow minds do not succeed at UD or in the consulting world.

 

Resume and Interviewing Tips
from an HR Executive

Resume and Interviewing Tips
from an HR Executive

Julie Allison, HR Executive

Who better to give you advice on your job search  than someone who looks at resumes and conducts interviews all day long? Julie Allison, an Irving-area Human Resources executive for a company that has hired many UD grads, shared some best practices for navigating the hiring process. Here are the highlights.

Job Fairs and on-campus events

  • Networking doesn’t have to be uncomfortable or scripted. It’s just a matter of walking up to someone and saying something like, “Hi. I’m Chris and I’m a student at UD majoring in Business. What do you do?”

Resumes and cover letters

  • If a resume comes across my desk with spelling or grammar mistakes, it goes in the trash.
  • The applicant uses the wrong company name in about 50% of the resumes and cover letters I see.
  • If your resume is short on work experience, highlight your campus and community involvement. This shows me that you are resourceful and adaptable. What I really want to know is what have you accomplished?
  • Your cover letter should state why you are interested in my company and why you think your background is a good fit for the position you’re applying for. Tell me why I should call you in for an interview.

Interviews

  • During an interview, you should be able to articulate what’s on your resume. Be ready to talk about not only your accomplishments, but also how you went about achieving them.
  • Always ask questions after an interview. Thoughtful questions not only show that you’ve prepared, they show that you really want to learn about the company. The right questions will help you figure out if the job is a good fit for you.

Once you land the job

  • When starting a new job or internship, don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s OK that you don’t know everything. We don’t assume that you do–and neither should you.

 

 

 

 

 

Advice From an Entrepreneur: Ken Wardle–Jet Capital

Advice From an Entrepreneur: Ken Wardle–Jet Capital

A group of entrepreneurs spoke recently to students at the University of Dallas’ Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business. This series will highlight their best advice for those interested in starting their own businesses.

Ken Wardle

Jet Capital was founded by a group of experienced small business owners and startup veterans on a mission to empower entrepreneurs with access to small business funding solutions that meet their unique needs.

  • When I was in graduate school, I wrote an business plan for a class to create a subprime auto lending company. Eventually three friends and I got together and started a company. After selling that, I’m working with another start up on a business-to-business online lending platform.
  • I knew before I started the business that I needed to be ready for lean times. So my wife and saved money to get ready for lean times.
  • You really have to have the confidence to take a big swing. And working on a team helps. Sometimes the person you least expect can come up with great ideas.
  • Talk to your parents’ friends about internships. Make connections wherever you can.
  • Because of all the experience I’ve had in every part of business, I’m not highly specialized like my former coworkers. For instance, I knew one person who was in charge of one spreadsheet. She was a VP, but a VP of one spreadsheet. I know every part of the business so my resume looks better than many of my peers.
  • People often ask me if I would do it again. Absolutely.

To make an appointment with the Office of Personal Career Development click here.

 

 

 

Getting Your Job Hunt Back on Track
Research, Relevance, Repeat

Getting Your Job Hunt Back on Track
Research, Relevance, Repeat

Image courtesy of pixababy.com

Has your job hunt got you down? Here are some tips to from Julie Jernigan, Director of the University of Dallas’ Office of Personal Career Development, to get your search back on track.

“It can get frustrating if you’re applying to positions and not hearing back,” said Jernigan. “And if you’re not getting interviews, you need to reevaluate how you’re applying and what materials you’re submitting.”

Jernigan says to focus on the 3 Rs–Research, Relevance and Repeat

Research

Look at job hunting websites like indeed.com and higheredjobs.com, but don’t stop there. Go directly to the career sections on the websites of companies for whom you want to work and apply directly.

Read every word of the job description before you apply. In fact, copy and paste it into a text document that you can refer to later if the job posting is removed. Read through all pages of the company’s website and check out their social media and LinkedIn pages.

Jernigan also emphasizes that you must read ALL of your emails. OPCD often sends out job leads from companies that want to hire UD students and grads. You can also sign up for mobile job alerts by clicking here.

Relevance

If you have 75% of the qualifications listed in a job description, then APPLY. Tailor your job description to the qualifications the employer is asking for. That means using strong verbs that show the employer that your experience reflects what the company wants for the position. According to Jernigan, a hiring manager should be able to tell within 6-10 seconds that your experience aligns with the job.

Repeat

Jernigan says that if you are serious about finding a job, you should be applying to 5-10 positions per week: “Realistically, it takes two hours to apply for a job because each resume you use should be different based on the required qualifications of the job.”

To keep track of all your different resumes, Jernigan recommends creating a separate folder on your computer for each job you apply to. In the folder, put the resume and cover letter you used, as well as a text copy of the job description.

Another tip: create a spreadsheet with an entry for each job you apply for. Include the company name, the job title, the contact person, the date you applied.

For help with your job search or your resume, contact the Office of Personal Career Development.

 

Advice from an Entrepreneur: Laura Quinn–President, PJ Quinn Inc.

Advice from an Entrepreneur: Laura Quinn–President, PJ Quinn Inc.

A group of entrepreneurs spoke recently to students at the University of Dallas’ Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business. This series will highlight their best advice for those interested in starting their own businesses.

Laura Quinn–President, PJ Quinn Inc.

PJ Quinn Inc. is an independent pharmaceutical market research consultancy focusing on oncology.

 

  • I had a great job as a senior VP of a global pharmaceutical marketing company, but I never got to see my husband. I was stretched too thin, and my life wasn’t what I expected it to be, so I started my own company, PJ Quinn. It was scary. But was the best at what I did, so my clients followed me.
  • Take something you do and do it better than anybody else.
  • Owning my own business allows me to spend more time at home and do things that are important to me outside work.
  • My medical school background helped me differentiate myself. I brought more than marketing expertise to the table.
  • If you start your own business, you have to think about how you will want to grow. You have to plan for today, tomorrow, and the more distant future.
  • Starting out was nerve wracking. I worried about what would happen if my clients fell through. But now I can be selective about which clients I work with. I keep lots of cash reserves and I keep my risk tolerance low.

To make an appointment with the Office of Personal Career Development, click here.