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Our Summer eCourse, Updates and Music Monday

Summer is definitely a time when “go-go-go” easily becomes the norm. With that in mind, we want you to take a moment and pause with us, as we have three very important things we’d like to share with you today.

eCourse is live!

We are very excited to let you know our eCourse is finally here, Avoid a Cruel Summer: 12 Ways to Up Your Game for 2013. With Tracy’s help, we’ll ensure you take those much needed moments to reflect and move towards your goals this summer, and it’s portable so you can have some fun while doing it (i.e. bring it poolside or to the beach)!

It’s up to each of us to make sure we take a little time to regroup in the midst of all the chaos. We just know this eCourse will help bring you that much closer to aligning your goals for the rest of 2012.

 Congrats, Lauren!

Also, today is the first day of full-time work for our graduating intern, and ‘Cuse ’12 grad Lauren Wannermeyer. For those of you who participated in The Graduation Project webinar series, you know that Lauren did some heavy thinking about risk and reward in her career search the last few months and we are so proud that she took the leap to move to DC and pursue her dream. We hope she gets the flowers we sent to her new office!

Update on Our Lost Friend Hope Reichbach

On a sadder note, our team, especially Tracy, is devastated this morning to hear about the passing of Gus Reichbach, father of Hope Reichbach, one of the first friends of The Opportunities Project and a great force of light that we lost too soon. We loved Gus because Hope did and we know that this not only a loss for her family, but all of Brooklyn and the thousands of people he helped as a judge in the court system. It’s hard to believe that Hope would have only turned 24 on July 24th. If you have some extra funds and believe in internships like we do, please consider donating to the Hope Reichbach Memorial Fund. You will not be sorry.

Take a moment and enjoy today’s Music Monday, then go check out Hope’s Fund and register for this summer’s guided journey.

We can’t wait to hear from you on your progress, so join our Facebook community today!



Music Monday – May 7th

Happy Monday, all! We’re busy doing a recruitment project for a client, planning our 2012 Scholarship Launch and recording the videos to accompany The Graduation Project conference (thanks to those who came!).  This week we’re also discussing building your support network on Facebook, and we’d love for you to join us.

I’m sure you’ve heard by now about the loss of Beastie Boys rapper Adam “MCA” Yauch on Friday, May 4th, after a three-year battle with cancer. While Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston’s deaths were painful, my sadness in hearing about MCA’s passing takes mourning an artist to a whole new level. I’ve seen The Beastie Boys five times since 1994 (best show SummerStage NYC), with all types of friends and loved ones, making their albums the soundtrack to my life for the last 26 years. The Beastie Boys’ music influenced my style and my taste in ways that no other artist did, but more importantly, their work transcended race, age, and class, which few people get to do, even in this day and age.

Observation: On Sunday, none of the song from Paul’s Boutique were in the iTunes Top 100 Singles, but the album was #2. I think that’s exactly right, as you have to appreciate the entirety of that effort to understand how the BBoys changed music. That being said, Check Your Head has become my favorite over time. While I love the rhymes of Hey Ladies and Shake Your Rump, the lyrics on Check Your Head have a sense of maturity that I appreciate. What do you think?

For now, we’re going to leave you with this video to honor a man who moved mountains with his 1979 entrance into the music scene. I am not sure how I missed this video last year (um, maybe because I was running a startup), but I never saw the full 30-minute version of Fight For Your Right Revisited, directed by MCA. It is worth the half hour to view the whole thing.


Announcing the Spring 2011 Scholarship Winners

We are SO pleased to announce the winners of the 2011 Spring Scholarship Program!

I received over 250 tweets about the program, 1,000 page views, and 31 eligible applicants (and another 70ish who started the application, but did not finish- not sure what was up with those people!). I was grateful that so many people wanted our help and think what we do is valuable. I cannot stress enough that there were many applicants who submitted amazing applications- it was a very difficult decision for me and the team.

I had wanted to announce the winners by video, but I had my fill of adventures with video this week (see our Facebook page), but as I said in my original pitch… enough about me, let’s talk about the scholarships! Here are the three winners who I am SO excited to start working with this week.*

Jessie Morgenstern, NYC- A fashion professional potentially considering a new profession



Zach Laplante, Massachusetts- An aspiring politician looking to change the world



Abby Cajudo, University of California, Berkeley- A graduating senior with a strong science background who is considering all career options

Wish them luck as we start our five session journey together.

*Unfortunately, we didn’t have any eligible applicants for the Woman Veteran’s Scholarship so I am giving two Young Professional Scholarships instead. My marketing plan for that scholarship tanked, but I am committed to that cause and will take it up again during the fall. If you have ideas, please share in the comments or by contacting us.

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog

Guest Post: Stretching Your Comfort Zone by Amanda Pinto

I am pleased to feature a guest post today from recent graduate Amanda Pinto, a public relations professional. I met Amanda in the #jobhuntchat Twitter chat in early Fall 2010. Amanda wanted to move to NYC and I told her to look me up if she moved. In December, she did move here and we had an in-person chat over coffee at Ted & Honey in Cobble Hill and I was really impressed at her courage and conviction.

Amanda recently decided to move back to Georgia and I invited her to write a post for our readers on the lessons she learned about job searching and relocating to NYC, as well as advice for other job seekers and recruiters who are looking to hire the best of today’s recent graduates. Here’s Amanda’s post.

Amanda PintoIt’s not easy to step out of your comfort zone but often times it is what you need to find out who you truly are. I decided to make a move to New York City shortly after I graduated from college and it was an amazing experience. Unfortunately, NY didn’t work out for me job wise so I have just recently moved back to Atlanta to continue my PR job search.

In New York I learned a ton about the job hunt. First and foremost, social networking is the best tool you can have! I can’t tell you how many people I met in person because I had connected with them online first. I made very good friends through social networking as well. I even landed interviews because of Twitter!

The next lesson I learned was the fact that sometimes no matter how hard you try certain things do not work out. It’s extremely difficult not to take it personally when these things don’t work out but if I had let that get to me I would have gone crazy. Yes, at times you can blame yourself but there are other times where it is completely out of your control.

If I had any advice for people trying to recruit my age group I would say open communication is key. For me, I want to be kept up to date on where the hiring process is and not kept in the dark. I’d rather know that I’m up against this many people and that they have this amount of experience. Just tell me how it is. I feel like that is something my generation wants in this job hunt. It’s beyond frustrating when you have multiple interviews and then your contact person just falls off the face of the earth. I completely understand that they probably have many candidates but if you take the time to interview us more than once, please just let me know that you don’t want me.  I give a lot more credit to the places I applied to that gave me straightforward answers than the ones who beat around the bush.

I wouldn’t say my expectations were too high about finding a PR job in New York but I do think I should have been a little more realistic when it came to this economy. I wish I could somehow have gotten more experience in college but then again I literally did everything I could. I put myself out there countless times and I don’t regret it at all! As difficult as it is right now you won’t get anywhere if you don’t try. Therefore I know something will work out for all of us hard workers out there!

Don’t give up! Keep your passion!

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog


Isn’t It Ironic? Don’t You Think

This morning, I was rushing to a conference for the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) where close to 200 New York metro college career center representatives were meeting about helping our college students and recent graduates find jobs. The conference was at the NYU Wasserman Career Center on 13th Street and I was slowed down by a neon pink sign taped to the building next door.




Sarah, I’m not clear if you targeted the conference, but you hooked me. Contact me to get your one hour of free career coaching.

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog


Join Me for Speed Mentoring Tonight on Brazen Careerist

Happy Thursday!

Brazen CareeristTonight, I’ll be one of the featured coaches attending Brazen Careerist’s Speed Mentoring Event on Network Roulette. Come meet with me and 13 other career and life coaches and get some quick advice in a virtual chat room tonight (Thursday, January 20, 2011) from 8PM to 9PM ET.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Brazen Careerist, you should be. It’s one of the best online communities for people who are trying to be the best they can professionally and personally. On Brazen Careerist, I have exchanged ideas and made mutually beneficial connections, including a key business partner. Brazen Careerist was one of the top sites I mentioned in my career management workshop with Teach for America second year corps members in New York City. The site is great for people of all ages, but the connections and discussions are critical for entry-level professionals.

How does Network Roulette work? During a Network Roulette, you’ll be randomly matched with someone for three minutes where you can chat and determine if you can mutually help each other on a topic. I’ve participated in many Network Roulette events and met fellow entrepreneurs, client leads, and other awesome professionals. During the Speed Mentoring event tonight, you’ll be randomly matched with one of the coaches (hopefully, me!) and you can ask any question you want. You’ll also receive our contact information after you meet us so you can follow-up after the event. Three minutes seems quick, but I’ve learned you can get a lot done in a quick interaction. (However, it’s always a good idea to prepare your career questions before you start.)

Finally, as part of this great event, I am also giving one hour of free coaching to a lucky attendee. So come join us! To register, RSVP directly with Brazen Careerist.

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog

Guest Post: A Balanced Blog- A Modern Art

Keith Petri writes about blogging.Please welcome a guest post from my colleague Keith Petri. We’re doing an event next Tuesday, November 9th at 7PM on The Art of Pull: Achieving  Career Success with Blogging. Register now!

Keith Petri, the founder of eBranding Me, is a recent graduate of Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. His studies in business, economics and studio art along with strong passions for marketing, technology and entrepreneurship led him to his current interest in social media and understanding of the new rules of networking. Through his prior entrepreneurial pursuits, recent blogging and extensive networking, Keith has seen the need for educating his peers on creating a positive online presence. eBranding Me is the culmination of his efforts.

Over the past year I have mentored numerous students on the importance of building an online presence. I stress the value of creating and maintaining a personal blog to display their individual expertise in a particular field of study as a method to attract potential employers involved in the industry. Still, time and time again, I hear my students say:

“What can I blog about? No one cares about what I have to say!”

Typical social media experts are known to encourage Generation Y students to post articles and insights about their past work experiences, current events and even book reviews. However, I find myself to be one of only a few counselors to encourage students to add personal experiences to their insights and publish the content on a personal, albeit professional, blog.
With the recent growth in social media, privacy has become a growing concern. And thus, the separation of a young professional’s social life and professional career has become increasingly difficult to manage – sometimes even resulting in termination due to social conduct publicized through an online social network. The horror stories many of us have heard from peers, career advisors and parents have made many Generation Y students weary of building a personal brand.I couldn’t disagree more!

“Transparency has become the new measurement for trust.”

As covered in eBranding Me’s eBook on the fundamentals of blogging, available for FREE download here, personal experiences can allow a reader to truly connect with the author and his or her experiences. The following list outlines some topics high school students, current college students and recent gradates can discuss to intrigue their blog’s visitors.

High School Students

  • Personal Hobbies
  • After School Activities
  • Community Service

College Students

  • Respond to a Guest Speaker’s Lecture
  • Summarize a Recent Classroom Discussion
  • Re-post an Assignment for Class (received feedback)


  • Attending Networking Events
  • Industry Insights
  • Adjusting to Life in the “Real-World”

While not every blog post needs to contain a personal experience or insight, allowing your readers to get to know the “real” you will allow them to connect with your writing and respect your work that much more. I believe that Alex Blackwell said it best in a blog post, “the goal becomes how to be transparent while not being excessively personal.”

To see how Keith Petri includes personal experiences on his blog, visit and read some of his latest articles. Furthermore, he features a weekly series, published every Friday morning, highlighting the concluding week’s activities and events through text, images and video called the Weekly Wrap Up

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog

My Pitch: Why Career Coaching Can Transform Education

Happy Friday! After a somewhat traumatic Thursday that involved a lot of time talking to Chase bank (don’t ask!), I am now writing from Savannah, GA. I am visiting an old friend and doing more planning for our special event on Tuesday, November 9th on Achieving Career Success through Blogging. Tickets go up again on Monday, November 1 so RSVP today!

I’ve planned a four (or is it five?) part series on Why I Do What I Do, but thought I’d start the weekend with a video aligned with the “why” question. In September, I applied for a slot in the first cohort of the Kauffman Education Ventures Program. This program is for 15 entrepreneurs who want to start for-profit, multi-million dollar education ventures, K-20. My hope for The Opportunities Project is that it eventually competes on the level of Kaplan and The Princeton Review- if you graduate and you need help getting to the next step, you would turn to The Opportunities Project for guidance, so I threw my hat in the ring.

I wasn’t ultimately chosen for the Kauffman program, and to be absolutely honest, I was relieved. I was not convinced it was going to be a fit during the pre-application process conference calls, and personally, I need the space in my life to try new things on my own. That is just too important to my personal journey now. Maybe next year. But as part of the application, I had to submit a YouTube video addressing two questions- (1) what inspired me about entrepreneurship, and (2) why I thought my venture could transform education. It was the first YouTube video I ever did and it was not exactly natural or easy filming. Even more difficult was posting it publicly and seeing users named “Maneater” favorite it. Eww. I thought about deleting the video after I found out that I was not selected, but I’ve decided to keep it up for a while. I like the reminder it gives me that it’s okay to be outside your comfort zone, especially when you care about something deeply. The second part also reminds me how passionate I am about fixing the world for our graduates.

Happy Halloween!

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog

Lessons from the Jersey Shore from the NY Times

I’ve been dying for a reason to write about the Jersey Shore in a post in a non-cliche way and the New York Times gave me a great opportunity today. They published an article about MTV and what they’ve learned about Generation Y through their experience with this show.

Why am I dying to write about the Jersey Shore? One of the struggles I am facing in writing my career coaching blog is incorporating more of the irreverent side of my personality. Coming from a huge bureaucracy where you’re encouraged to hide every personable part of you, it’s a new experience to have creative freedom and I am still tentative with it. My personal brand “General Do-Gooder,” the big-sister type expert, is authentic, but it doesn’t capture everything about me and I’ve been looking for a great opportunity to show more of the carefree pop-culture addict in me and come off a little less earnest.

So again, why the Jersey Shore?  Last night, after working on my website for seven hours, I watched a very disappointing finale on my DVR (Pauly D- why did you decide to scream constantly this season? You were charming because you didn’t notice the cameras- go back to that!), but that episode was an anomaly. I just love this show and for many reasons. First, I don’t watch a lot of reality TV, but (most of) these people are just purely entertaining. Second, I am a veteran of share houses on Fire Island, and every now and then there will be a tender moment among the cast that reminds me of the best of those times, something I treasure, but is in my past. My friends and I were older and more educated than the Jersey Shore crowd, but get close to an ocean, see stars in the sky, be 50+ miles from your “real life,” and have too easy access to alcohol and hormones, and let’s just say, things sometimes take own course. Plus, I had an amazing friend from those days that reminds me of JWoww. She was like a sister, but I eventually had to say goodbye because she was… like JWoww. Sometimes I wonder if that then made me Snooki… and then I just don’t go there.

Third, I find the little things in this show fascinating. Gawker calls Jersey Shore the most important sociological experiment of our time, and I agree. The gender issues alone would make a great dissertation- it goes beyond the quotes they make about women and the kitchen and the girl fights. It’s how the girls/women talk about each other and accept certain behavior from the men in the house. They always refer to each other in their camera interviews as “that girl” or “this girl” instead of by name, but never talk about the men that way. I find it so strange. I know. In an episode where someone made out with two girls at once, this is what stood out to me.

In the NY Times article, MTV staff talk about lessons they learned about millenials from their Jersey Shore success. One, is that there was a shift where people went from loving the fools on The Hills to the “authentic” Jersey Shore. I don’t think it’s that simple. The Hills was authentic in its own way- you knew exactly what you were getting. The world changed in the years since The Hills debuted and everything reflects that. I see that all the time in my career coaching- people operating from a place of fear about their immediate finances and not a place of faith because of the constant anxiety the world is pushing on to them. Second, MTV really discounts the importance of likeability. On The Hills, you started with a number of likeable, if unstable, girls and then had the show circle around villains. Who wants to watch that? Also another great career lesson- when the opportunity arises for you to remain likeable, even in difficult situations, take it.

Finally, the second other important lesson MTV found was that Generation Y is family oriented and their parents are a critical part of their lives. The family aspect of the Jersey Shore was very appealing to viewers in that demo. As I work with more clients, I see that this is definitely true. More than my friends, recent graduates and students rely on their parents’ advice in their career and personal decisions. While I think that’s great, and I envy it, I struggle as a coach because there’s a fine line where your advice starts delaying your twentysomething’s adulthood. As great as it is that Vinny’s mom comes over makes them pasta, if he didn’t land this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity on this show, how old do you think he would have been before he was financially supporting himself? And he is probably the cast member with the most education and skills. One of my number one questions right now is relevant to this- what is the best way for me to work with college students’ parents while getting the best coaching results with the actual client? Suggestions welcome.

I do realize I wrote three substantial paragraphs about the Jersey Shore and only two short paragraphs about lessons that I probably stretched a little. But it just felt so good! Here’s to Season Three!

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog

More Resume Tips and Wrapping up the First Cocktails and Careers Tour

What a great week! I attended six events where I got the opportunity to meet and help almost 100 job seekers. It was rewarding and refreshing to talk to people who are optimistic in a difficult environment. One of the best events was the Syracuse University Success in the City event (pictured). Every recent graduate I met was well spoken and prepared- kudos to them and the career center. I also had the pleasure of giving a free coaching package to Dave Bell, a 2010 grad with entrepreneurship in his future. I look forward to helping him with those goals.

At almost every event, resumes were a hot topic. So as promised, here is my second tip on resume development. You may think of your resume as just a list of bullet points and accomplishments, but it really should tell a story about you and your career. If it’s just a multi-page document with a lot of buzzwords, you are not going to get very far in your job search process.

We have become overloaded with blog posts and articles about online application systems that search your resume for keywords and throw out the ones that don’t have enough. First, that is an exaggeration. Second, only a small percentage of people ever get hired through a job posting like that so that is NOT where you should focus your efforts. Instead, commit to creating a clear and concise product that you are proud to email to a personal contact you met at a networking event. Third and finally, if your resume does get through an initial automatic review, an interview is not going to be scheduled without a human evaluation for quality, anyway.

If you’re not sure if your resume tells a story, ask a friend or colleague to look at the most current version and ask what stories they would tell about your career based solely what is on paper. Do they sense that you stood out from other people at your level or in your title? Do they get a sense of the career decisions you made up to this point? If not, what could you do to make your resume tell a better story?

Now that our first Cocktail and Careers tour is complete, we are focusing on our Cupcakes and Careers workshop series. Our first one is tonight at the SLC Conference Centers at 352 Seventh Avenue at 7:00PM. We will be talking about how you can build the soft skills that make people successful in the interview and job search process. Hope to see you there!