This morning, I returned to an event that I haven’t been to in four years: the annual Part-Time Job and Internship Fair held by the NYU Career Development Center. The last time I was there, I was an eighteen-year-old college freshman, and I’d been in New York City for about 48 hours. Today, I was there as a representative of NYU ITS, searching for one or two students to serve as assistants for the coming year, and possibly beyond.
Some of what I saw this morning was impressive: newly-minted college students shaking hands with potential employers and doling out resumés on crisp paper. Just what one would expect to find at a career fair.
Sadly, those students were in the minority. A plurality of visitors to my booth wore jeans and T-shirts, and looked like they’d just rolled out of bed to come to a job fair. A fair amount of students sidled up to the table and asked, “So, do you have to know anything about computers to work for ITS?” Not even a “Hello”, or “Nice to meet you, can you tell me what ITS does?” Basic IT support may not require much in-depth technical skill, but proclaiming computer illiteracy is hardly the best opening gambit when approaching the computer department as a prospective hire. It startled me to consider how little many of these students had failed to think about their first impression for even a microsecond.
I was a college student twelve weeks ago and I know the temptation to throw on any old thing and stumble down to campus and somehow find your way into your own classroom. That’s what you do in college. But when meeting a potential employer, I managed to remember to ensure my resumé was typo-free and comb my hair before marching up to Company X and asking for a job. I don’t think I was a particularly special case, either: most of my peers, as well, seemed to grasp that asking for that job while wearing a “Shit Happens” T-Shirt is a poor choice. What happened?
If you are an NYU student looking for work in the network security field (or you know one), please, drop me a line.
I recently contributed to an article mainly written by my colleague Brian Smith-Sweeney for EdTech, a higher-education technology trade magazine. You can find the article here. They’ve even hacked together an accurate bio here.
My good friend Patrick recently signed up for Zipcar, and this week he invited me along for his first test drive. I’ve considered joining myself, especially under pressure from Chris, who’s been a member for some time, and I knew that Zipcar offers BMWs, so we decided to take one for a spin to see how it performed.
Patrick picked up the car, which bore the unfortunate name Burl (Zipcar refers to its cars by name), but which was a nearly new 328. We drove
along the West Side Highway, over the GWB, and up the Palisades Parkway, stopping at an overlook before turning west and driving through Bear Mountain State Park.
The lookout by the Hudson River had some pretty spectacular views. I’ve lived in New York for nearly four years now and I rarely leave the city limits, so this was fairly new to me. The Palisades are two-hundred to five-hundred foot cliffs that rise vertically from the western bank of the Hudson to a plateau at the top. From the lookout, you can see south back toward Manhattan and the Bronx, and northward into Rockland County.
There was a couple seated in lawn chairs next to some graffiti sprayed on the short wall designed to stop visitors from wandering aimlessly over the cliff edge. The text read “Norma + Paul”, and had two dates scrawled next to the names, about a year apart. I wondered if the couple sitting there were, in fact, Norma and Paul. I think they might be, but you be the judge:
After a trip through the park, we headed west to the Delaware River, near the intersection of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania at Port Jervis. We tried to find something to eat but came up a bit short. We walked into Arlene ‘n’ Tom’s Restaurant, which purported to be the home of the Meanyburger. Unfortunately, they close at 9, and we walked in at two minutes past. The only open establishment we could find was a Port Jervis Pizza, where we grabbed a slice and hit the road again. I did spot a shop which sold puppies, and judging by the age of the signage, has been selling puppies for some time.
From Port Jervis, we headed south along the river, along River Road which is a good windy stretch of highway perfectly suitable for testing the handling of the BMW. We were impressed with the sport shifting and the performance of the car close to the redline. By this time it was pitch-dark outside, and we were driving through woodlands which probably were home to a fair number of animals which might wander into the road. Neither of us felt like explaing to zipcar why a deer ended up through the windscreen, so we kept the speed to a reasonable level for most of the drive through the woods. We ended up on Route 15, heading south, and ended up skirting around the edge of Jefferson, Alex’s hometown, finally getting on I-80 back into the city.
I’m generally impressed with the zipcar rental concept, and the cars they have available. I’m not yet convinced that I need to sign up myself–I can think of few occasions where I particularly need a car–but you never know.