Archive for May, 2009

Contrasts in Turkey

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

I just came back from two weeks in Turkey. What a fabulous trip! A friend and I rented a car and traveled from Istanbul to Assos, Troy, Effesos, Siringe, Selcuk, Pamukkale, Aphrodisias, Fethiye, Antalya and Cappadocia. One speeding ticket and over 1,000 miles later we came back to Istanbul for two more days.

Turkey is a country where very old habits coexist with today’s modern world. We saw women, who were completely covered head to toe, arm in arm with their boyfriends; extremely poor farmers who lived in very precarious conditions using cell phones; very humble houses with solar panels to heat water; ATM machines in the middle of God forsaken places.

These contrasts are present everywhere: the chaotic city of Istanbul has one of the best subway systems I’ve seen; the Grand Bazaar, host of millions of people every day, has one of the cleanest bathrooms we found and there’s Internet service even in the middle of the volcanic formations of Cappadocia!

Back in Westchester, New York, I’m feeling a little lost in all the order around me. It will take me a few days to feel that I fit right here at home.

Graduating with no job?

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

Graduating from college right now could be a pretty scary thought. There are less job opportunities than there used to be, the industry you focused your studies in may be in shambles and even internships are hard to get.

Don’t despair. There are always things you can do to beat the competition and get ahead. Currently, there are three million jobs that employers are having trouble fulfilling. They are in areas such as education, health, accounting and government. The big problem right now is a mismatch between employees skills and job openings. By adapting your skills to industries that need professionals like you, you might be able to land a coveted job.

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Expand your horizons and consider industries outside of your major. Many of your skills are transferable so focus on sectors you may have not ever considered before.
  • Look into government internships and jobs. They offer great benefits and competitive pay.
  • Join professional associations of your industry and other industries where you would consider working. That will allow you to meet people and to expand your network.
  • Use sites like and to join groups and to ask for referrals to people who might have opportunities. Becoming active on these sites by answering questions, for instance, will give you more visibility.
  • Be aware that many companies are not listing their job openings to avoid being bombarded by resumes and are using their internal networks to find candidates. By expanding your network you will increase your chances of hearing about those hidden opportunities.
  • Keep in mind that over 90% of the people have jobs right now and they can help you get leads within their companies. So, make your network aware of what you are looking for and update them regularly on your progress.