5 Tips to Surviving the First 6 Months of Corporate America

By: Jessica KlineDisplaying Jessica Kline Headshot.jpg

Jessica Kline graduated from Bryant University in 2014.  She is now a Marketing Development Associate at EMC Corporation.  She also writes for ChelseaKrost.com.

This post, 5 Tips to Surviving the First 6 Months of Corporate America, was originally posted on ChelseaKrost.com where Jessica is a contributing writer.


Six months in my job in “Corporate America”, and I can reassure you that I don’t know it all, and I probably never will.  What I can reassure you is that I’ve learned a lot.  I’ve learned that politics do in fact exist everywhere but I’ve also learned the powerful voice a corporation can have in changing the world for the better.  I’ve learned how incredible it is to work on a global team but I’ve also learned how hard it can be to get something done.

Out of everything I’ve learned in such a short amount of time, I came up with five tips to surviving your first six months in Corporate America.5 Tips to Surviving Your First 6 Months in Corporate America

Tip #1: If you would wear that out with your friends, don’t wear it to work.

It’s really easy to want to look “OMG SUPER CUTE!” on your first day, but there are about a thousand and six ways to do that while still being completely appropriate.  If you look in the mirror and have to ask yourself, “is this appropriate?” then don’t wear it.

For the first few weeks, until you get comfortable with your company’s culture, dress your best.  Your skirt should never be shorter than your fingertips, your blouse should never expose your chest, and your heels shouldn’t be the ones you typically save for Friday nights.

Tip #2: Know Your Role

If your manager is not making your role clear from Day 1, set up a meeting with him or her to go over expectations, responsibilities, and a development plan.  Some managers have never managed a millennial before, or anyone young for that matter, so make sure you take the initiative to ask for these things.

Despite working in Corporate America, your role should be flexible – if you understand the in’s and out’s of your role you can work with your manager to continually grow with it instead of just checking off your to-do list each day.

Tip #3: Drink From the Fire Hose and Be A Listener

There is so, so, so much to learn – especially if this is your first job.  Some days will feel like you’re drinking from the fire hose, and that’s totally okay.  As you walk out of each meeting or end each day, jot down your three key-takeaways.  Additionally, just try and listen.  Take in as much as you can and constantly keep your ears open.  You should be contributing vocally, but spend your first few months taking in as much information as you can.

Tip #4: Memorize and Use the Org Chart

Knowing who the top-level executives are is more beneficial than you know so check out your organizational chart and study it.  Additionally, before you go to a meeting, always look up the person or people you are meeting with.  Doing so will help connect the dots on where they sit on the org chart, who they report to, and how they align with your team.

Tip #5: Ask for Feedback

It’s really easy to walk into your first job and think you know everything.  Trust me.  But there is so much learning “to be had” and you do not know everything (unfortunately).  Continually ask for feedback when it’s necessary and have candid conversations with your manager so he or she is comfortable giving you feedback and you are even more comfortable receiving it.  Not every conversation will be a walk in the park, but showing you are eager to grow and develop through constructive feedback will speak miles.

Working in Corporate America means you are probably going to be “just a number”.  By doing the small things, like asking for feedback, sets you a part from a lot of employees and can help you jump the ladder quicker.

How to STAND OUT on LinkedIn – As told by Bryant LinkedIn Expert: Avery Hill

If you are a student at Bryant University, you either have a LinkedIn or have heard about LinkedIn enough to know that it is an important career-oriented tool. Many describe this professional social network as an online resume, but it is more than that. LinkedIn is an online portfolio of your professional successes. A portfolio can take many shapes and sizes, and so can your LinkedIn profile, making the building of a portfolio that suits your individual professional needs complicated. These five steps should begin the creation of a profile that effectively displays your career focused experience while adding a sense of your “personality” to the grey pages of LinkedIn.

Step 1. It all starts with the Head Shot:

  • Recently you may have seen advertisements for free head shots for your LinkedIn profile. Capitalize on any opportunity to have a head shot taken with a high quality camera. Just as most of us pick up a book and judge it by its cover, many professionals will judge your LinkedIn profile before even clicking on it by viewing your head shot. A zoomed in picture of you on a Florida beach may work for Facebook, but make sure you are suited up or wearing attire related to your desired career in your LinkedIn profile picture.

Step 2. Your Professional Headline:


  • After finding a photographer in the area to take your professional head shot, you are ready for the next step. A great way to add a sense of your personality to your profile is through the creation of a creative professional headline. Under your name on your profile there is a professional headline that you get to invent. Majority of Bryant Students simply make their headline “Bryant Student”, but if you can think of something more creative that is still professional, reflective of your personality, and catchy you are much more likely to get viewed on LinkedIn. Popular headlines claim a person’s niche and are memorable.

Step 3. Go the Extra Mile:


  • Now that your professional head shot and creative headline have grabbed the attention of LinkedIn users, your profile needs to go the extra mile in displaying your talents. Bryant students typically include some of their group project work on LinkedIn, whether it be the IDEA program, a management project, or the final project created in Business 400. However, not many students go the extra mile to physically attach a sample of the work within the project, a description of the project itself, or a link to any press that supports the importance of these classes. Not everyone who will be viewing your profile knows the importance of the IDEA program, but adding a link to an article in a notable magazine or journal such as this one, which points to the Providence Business Journal and describes the IDEA program would allow for a further understanding of what you experienced. Also, a sample of your work will allow potential employers to experience your professional writing skills without asking for a cover letter.

Step 4. Post, but not too much:


  • Besides just adding your professional experience to your actual profile, you may want to update your connections on awards you may have recently received, achievements, or new career related experiences by using the “Share an Update” or “Publish a Post” features on the home page of LinkedIn. You may have connected with a few professionals in the past that never clicked on your profile or thoroughly reviewed your experience, but if you receive an academic award, receive a great internship, or complete a professional project, add it to the LinkedIn timeline. Connections will be able to view this post without clicking into your profile and if the post relates to a viewer’s career field or interests them enough they may click through to see your wonderfully built LinkedIn.

Step 5. Follow Up:

  • With all of the attention your profile is going to be receiving after following the previously mentioned four steps, you need to learn how to capitalize on connections and message contact. After a LinkedIn user connects with you, you may want to review their profile and message them a thank you message or a message relevant to your recent connection. This is similar to following up after a networking event. You are taking the initiative to secure a professional connection. If a LinkedIn user messages you, make sure to follow up with that user in a timely manner. Your actions on LinkedIn are a reflection of your professionalism, even when simply connecting to fellow students or messaging a recent interviewer.

These five steps will certainly increase your usage of the LinkedIn social network and advance your profile. Once you complete these five steps, make sure to continue following these guidelines. Profiles, headlines, and head shots need updating. Keep connecting and online networking. This professional social media site can open doors to new career oriented opportunities you never thought possible.

Enactus makes Bryant proud at Nationals



Impacting almost two million people, Enactus is a community of student, academic, and business leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better more sustainable world.  En-act-us literally stands for entrepreneurial, action, and us.  It is in 36 countries, 1,700 universities, has 70,500 students involved, and has impacted 1,950,000 people – and Bryant University’s chapter is significantly contributing to that number.

Bryant’s Enactus has been very active and busy this semester.  This week, they competed in a national competition against other Enactus chapters from colleges and universities across the country in St. Louis, Missouri.  Making it to the top 24% of the National Exposition, they’ve made Bryant proud.  See all the hard work they presented this week:

Business Advisory Board Addition

Enactus has a Business Advisory Board (BAB) that guides the chapter and assists them with project and chapter development.  The BAB includes prestigious members like CVS, Fidelity, and Liberty Mutual, and Enactus is excited to announce that Apple, Inc. has joined this year!  BAB held a luncheon for Enactus to practice their presentation and get advice from the businesses.  Apple is helpful in funding dinners, offering resources, and preparing for the presentation.

Money Matters



Money Matters is one of Enactus’ four main projects this semester.  Bryant Enactus members noticed that college debt in Rhode Island is significantly higher than it is in other states which presents the need to learn about personal finances in the local community.  The students believed that this would be most effective if taught at an early age.  So, Money Matters is Enactus’ solution to the problem.  Members go to local middle schools and teach children about personal finance.

Salute to Service

Enactus believes in in empowering veterans, and they turn this belief into action with their Salute to Service project.  Most recently, they gave veterans career opportunities by holding a career fair with over 100 companies who are looking for veterans.

Project Congo

The Congo Project is Enactus’ first international project.  The goal of the project is to raise half a million dollars to improve the quality of life in the Congo.  They hope to do this by purchasing new machinery for the country, producing a high quality palm oil soap to distribute, create an environment that will support entrepreneurs, and build science labs for students.

Green Team’s Recyclemania

To promote sustainability, Bryant Enactus is competing with other universities to find out who can collect the most recyclables.  Their goal is to top 100 in sustainability, and make their green initiative a selling point for Bryant University to use.

For many Bryant students, Enactus has been instrumental in their professional development.

“Enactus has provided an impressive talking point for interviews,” said Bryant junior Chris Anzivino.

He is not alone.  Students like Steven Towner, Matthew Burns, and Amy Terracciano credit Enactus with helping them find internships at places like Home Depot, Liberty Mutual, and Avis.

Students who are interested in becoming a part of Enactus or have new project ideas are encouraged to join by going to their meetings on Mondays at 5:00 pm in Heritage/Papitto.

“We’re open ears,” said Matt Burns.

Enactus hopes to continue its success by finding motivated individuals who want to help make a sustainable impact on the environment.  Enactus is all about having fun while creating value for people that they work with.

Shannon Bio

DO YOUR DANCE with Lindsey Lerner!



Name: Lindsey Lerner

Graduation Year: 2015

Major: Global Studies with a Cultural Interaction Concentration

Position: Co-founder of DYD




Established by Phil Terry and Bryant senior Lindsey Lerner, the Do Your Dance (D.Y.D.) Movement encourages people to find their passions and pursue them.  DYD started out as a way to get a foot in the door of the music world for Phil Terry, but has become so much more.  DYD has a large presence in Rhode Island, and it’s growing quickly with almost 3,400 “likes” on their Facebook page.  Terry and Lerner work together to get new artists booked, seen, and paid.  Lerner focuses on the fact that DYD works with people.  No one works for them.  Other than working with developing artists, DYD also does educational speeches.  In fact, Terry and Lerner are speaking to the Bryant University freshmen Global Foundations of Organizations and Business students on April 15.  Mostly, however, DYD promotes their philosophy of “doing your dance.”DYD logo

“Find your passion, follow it through, talk about it,” said Lerner of the organization’s philosophy.

Whether one’s passion is singing, working out, taking photos, or cooking, DYD loves to hear and share people’s stories.

“Part of my DYD is getting to interview these people and getting to know them,” Lerner said.

Big plans lie ahead for DYD.  On Saturday, April 18, they will host another show at Olives in Providence.  This show will include Bryant junior Jake Durkin and DYD co-founder Phil “Phantom” Terry.

After Lerner and Terry graduate this May, they plan on centralizing DYD operations in Providence and work full-time on the movement with the help of contacts from Bryant Ventures.  Lerner recently participated in the “Pitch the Panel” event where she pitched the idea of DYD to a group of investors and was one of the three winners.  More information about DYD can be found on their Facebook page, or by contacting Lindsey Lerner at doyourdancedyd@gmail.com or llerner@bryant.edu .  Developing artists and people with a DYD are encouraged to contact her as well!

Check out some of Lerner’s favorite DYDs below:

1.  Mike Fitch

Mike Fitch is the creator Animal Flow, a workout that involves gymnastics, parkour, break-dancing, and yoga.  He has personal training certificates, and his goal is to inspire people to move because “movement is medicine.”  Fitch has also traveled to places as far as Australia because he believes in the importance of travel in peoples’ lives.

2. Charley Johnson

Charley Johnson is the creator of the Pay it Forward movement that encourages people to do simple acts of kindness for one another. There is no money involved.  It costs nothing to do something nice for someone – even as simple as holding the door open. In order to remind people to do these actions on a daily basis, Johnson distributes silicone bracelets with the message “Pay it Forward.” There are millions of bracelets across the world in over 100 countries with no marketing or advertising.

3.  Curtis Williams

Curtis Williams has many passions including happiness, health, and fitness.  When he realized his passion, he transferred from a traditional four year school to a personal training school.  Williams was able to turn his passion for fitness into a career in fitness.  His best advice for others is to never have a closed mind and to never judge anything until you try it yourself first.

4.  Portia Albrecht

Portia Albrecht, a previous clinical nursing instructor, did her dance by opening a gym called Generate.  This is the first gym in Toronto that captures human energy from bikes and ellipticals and transforms it into “off-grid” green power that is used to operate the space.  Albrecht believes that “no one can help you find your passion, you have to discover it yourself.”

5. Johnny Earle

Johnny Earle, better known as Johnny Cupcakes, does his dance by poking fun at pop culture by creating awesome T-shirts, fresh baked in his T-shirt bakery! He essentially tricks hungry people for a living.  Johnny says “it’s not about the money – it’s about being happy doing what you love.”


Shannon Bio

Networking Goes Digital: Advice from Bryant Grad Theresa Navarra

Networking Goes Digital: 4 Smart Steps Towards Success You Can Take Today 

Theresa Navarra, Bryant University ‘12

Content Marketing Specialist at Swipely


Networking. If you’re a college student – especially one at Bryant University – it probably seems as if you cannot get through a day without hearing someone reiterate the importance of networking to you.

And here I am to tell you that again… but with a twist. Take your networking online.

Consider this: Networking is still the best way to find a job. Countless surveys have been conducted and while there are job boards, advertisements, and even professional job search agencies, networking consistently reigns supreme – with upwards of 50% of people noting that they’ve landed a job through their network of contacts.

So how can you get on your networking game? Consider all of your options. Including LinkedIn.

LinkedIn & Facebook: They Are Not Equal

You’ll be surprised to learn that a LinkedIn profile, done right, can be your ticket in the door for many jobs.

Oftentimes, when you apply for a job, whoever is in charge of vetting resumes will look at your LinkedIn profile.  In fact, that number is as high as 85% for hiring managers.


  • Mutual connections can reveal how you work in a group
  • Public endorsements can answer questions about your work ethic and personality that your resume can’t display
  • A professional portfolio lets someone learn more about you before talking with you

 But before you jump on LinkedIn, you need to know something: LinkedIn is not Facebook.

So how can you leverage the network? Start with building a stellar profile.

4 Steps To LinkedIn Success

  1. Make Yourself Easy To Find: Your photo and headline are going to be the first thing most people see on LinkedIn. Take some time to come up with something creative and appealing.
  2. You’re More Than Your Resume: When you craft your resume, you need to be brief and to the point. On LinkedIn, people can find you based on the descriptions you give to your jobs and professional experience. Take some time to think about how you want to be thought of and enhance your descriptions with some action-oriented industry terms.
  3. Results Trump Fluff: Oftentimes, we are so busy trying to describe what we do that we forget what the results of our experiences were. Since LinkedIn is a professional network, you can assume that the people connecting with and searching for you already know what your job title means. Here’s what they don’t know: how you achieved results. Showcase not just what you did, but how you did it better than everyone else. You didn’t write for a blog, you increased blog traffic by 90% with your strategy.
  4. Be Strategic: Once you’re happy with your profile, it’s time to connect with people that will be good connections. Alumni in your desired field is a no- brainer, but what about all of those other interns you worked with last summer? Sure they may not be able to help you find a job today, but who knows what they’ll be doing in 2 years.


Do This, Don’t Do That: LinkedIn Do’s & Don’t’s

Once you’re on LinkedIn, here’s your quick punch list of do’s and don’ts:

DO: Join groups that you believe exemplify the type of content and knowledge needed in your career path (e.g. Join SEO Marketing if you’re in Marketing).

DO: Get recommendations from past employers and co-workers.

DO: Use LinkedIn to search and apply for jobs via the website. LinkedIn can be a great resource for job titles and positions relevant to your skills.

DON’T: Add every single job you’ve ever had, especially if it can’t relate back to your desired career path.

DON’T: Connect with people you have no relevant connection with and send them a message immediately.

But don’t take it from just me, I asked Alaina Restivo, Director of Talent at Swipely, what some of the most bizarre things she’s seen are (read: things that won’t help you get the job) when it comes to searching for talented candidates for Swipely.

Here are her top 3:

  1. Job titles that are made up or inaccurate reflections of the candidate
  2. Profile photos that are not professional (e.g. someone at a club, or a “selfie”)
  3. Candidates that use buzzwords that they do not understand or cannot back up with experience.


Since graduating from Bryant, I have been living and working in Rhode Island. How did I find my first job? LinkedIn. But more interesting than that was how I ended up at Swipely. A post on LinkedIn from former co-workers, who were already reaching out inside the company to refer me, and they were sharing what? My LinkedIn profile.

Don’t forget, Bryant loves Bryant. Connect with me if we have shared interests and let’s network!

#CelebrateWithAmica !



The Amica Career Center’s newest campaign gives students the opportunity to announce their professional achievements in a unique way!  Bryant students who have accepted internship or job offers are invited to the Amica Career Center on Mondays and Fridays from 12:00 – 2:00 pm to snap a photo with a whiteboard that announces their new positions.

“It is so rewarding for me, personally, to see where students find internships & jobs,” said Amy Weinstein, Assistant Director of the Amica Career Center.  “But, #CelebrateWithAmica is so much more!  Your success story helps to build the reputation of Bryant through tracking a pipeline of talent that can be shared with future students.”

The campaign is also very popular among employers who love to see their new interns and employees celebrating their new positions.  Companies often engage in the social media posts by favoriting, sharing, or retweeting the students’ celebratory photos.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“Being featured on the #CelebrateWithAmica campaign was a great way to share the news about accepting a job with my family and friends,” said Nicole Shannon, a senior who participated in the campaign.

So far, over twenty students have participated in the campaign, having their photos taken all over campus.  The Amica Career Center then shares the photos through Twitter (@BryantCareer), Instagram (@BryantCareer), and Facebook (Bryant University – Amica Career Center for Education) where parents, employers, and friends are able to see and congratulate students on their achievements.

The Amica Career Center is encouraging all students of all class levels who have accepted internships or jobs to participate in the campaign.  Students who did not find their opportunities through Amica are also encouraged to celebrate!  The Amica Career Center wants to share your success and join the celebration!

Shannon Bio


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,164 other followers