Monday, July 29, 2013

Do You Have Emotional Intelligence?

 By Jessica Massoni, Assistant Director, Business Consultant

Successful leaders often share a few common attributes, but the most influential of those may not be what you expect.  While the natural inclination is to point to IQ and technical skill, these do not outweigh the influence of a person’s Emotional Intelligence (EQ). According to the writers of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, ninety percent of top performers have high EQ and executives who are rated high on EQ outperform low rated executives by 15 – 20% on yearly goals and objectives and people.  

Now, what is EQ and how is it measured?
EQ explains the ability of a person to “recognize and regulate emotions in [them]selves and in others.”1  As the awareness of EQs influence on job performance increases, many corporations are providing appraisals and trainings to assist their employees in further development of their EQ.  The Emotional Intelligence Appraisal provides it’s takers with their emotional intelligence score and a better idea of what that means and how to improve it.  The appraisal is broken down into four areas:

  • Self-Awareness: the ability to perceive your own emotions accurately and stay aware of them as they happen.  Think, how do I respond to certain people and situations in the moment?
  • Self-Management: The ability to stay flexible and direct your behavior in a positive way. Think, how do I react to situations and people?
  • Social Awareness: The ability to identify emotions in others and understand what is really happening. Think, do I understand what other people are thinking and feeling even if I don’t feel the same?
  • Relationship Management: The ability to manage interactions successfully.  Think, am I able to communicate clearly and handle conflict effectively?
1Emotional Intelligence Appraisal (13)

But my GPA is a 3.9…
For many college students, IQ and GPA are the acronyms that carry the most weight when it comes to personal evaluation.  The thought process – IQ is often a direct influence on your GPA, and your GPA means everything right?  Wrong! 

Many companies are now placing less focus on GPAs alone, and beginning to evaluate a candidate’s ability to interact with people, manage relationships and adapt to the ever-changing marketplace.
Understanding your ability to manage your emotions and use them to control your approach to social situations will make you stand out in an increasingly competitive market.  Where IQ remains fairly constant over a person’s lifetime, the beauty about EQ, you have the ability to increase this score.

Now what…
So how do I know what my emotional intelligence is or at least, how can I improve it?  Some of the questions below will give you a better idea of what exactly the appraisal looks for in assigning your score.  Think about your answer to some of these and consider if there is a way to improve your approach. How often do you...
  • recognize the impact your behavior has upon others
  • realize when others influence your emotional state
  • handle stress well
  • resist the desire to act or speak when it will not help the situation
  • do things you regret when upset
  • hear what the other person is “really” saying
  • learn about others in order to get along with them
1Emotional Intelligence Appraisal (5-6)

As you start to reflect on these, try setting some development goals to improve your approach to your own emotions and adaptability to the situations in which you may find yourself.

Repeat after me…
When it comes to emotions
I am better at understanding (my own / others)
I am really good at ________________________________________________________________
I could improve_____________________________________________________________________
To improve this in myself I plan to _______________________________________________________

1Bradberry, Dr. Travis & Greaves, Dr.  Jean.  (2001-2010). “Emotional Intelligence Appraisal”. 1-16

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Other Half of Your Summer Internship

By Frits Bigham, Assistant Director, Internships & Assessment 

It is mid-July, for all the interns out there you are most likely more than halfway through your summer internship experience. Hopefully you have had a great experience so far and feel like you are learning new things but also adding value to the company you are working for.  Also, this is critical time to reflect on your internship. What have you enjoyed, learned, or even disliked?  Do you like the office environment and culture? Would you consider working for the organization as a full time employee?  Why or why not? The more time you spend reflecting and learning through self-discovery what you desire in an organization or job the better likelihood you will make more informed decisions regarding your career after college.

Further and most importantly, what do you want to make sure you absorb during your last month at your internship?  Here are some questions to help you think of what you want to accomplish during your second half of your internship:

Have you been able to effectively network and get to know those within the organization? If not, it is not too late! Go ahead and ask that person you have been thinking about reaching out to if they are free grab some coffee.  

Do you have a final project within your internship?  If so, make sure you share your findings with all that you have worked with. Also, even if you do not have a specific final project it is important you share your findings from any project (s) you have worked on and also any new ideas you have come up with.What types of projects or new skills do you want to learn or even master before your internship end date? 

Have you been able to learn as much as you first thought when you accepted the position?  This is a great time to have a conversation with your supervisor regarding this topic. The last thing you want to say when your internship is over is “I wish I had the opportunity to..” or “I was supposed to work on a project but…”.  Moreover, it might not be a project or learning a new skill that you are looking for.  It very well might be just exposure to a different role or department.  However, for any of this to occur you need to have a conversation with your supervisor about what you hope to gain from the second half of your internship.

Finally, have you updated your LinkedIn profile with your current role within the organization?  It is important to stay connected with those in the organization you have worked with.  Also, you might be able to find others in the organization who also went the University of Miami (Canes will help other Canes! Reach out to them!) 

Hopefully by reflecting on these questions you will be able to have an exceptional second half of your internship!  Best of luck finishing your internship and exceeding your supervisors’ expectations!

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Truth About Internships

By: Adela Ghadimi, Assistant Director, Employer Development Washington, D.C.

Finding an internship can be a stressful experience for most students – you’ve done the research, (hopefully) visited the Toppel Career Center for guidance, and then you got down to work.  You sent the applications, perfected your personal statements, got your recommendation letters, learned the difference between an official and an unofficial transcript, and now you wait. You only need one email notification to come in to change the course of your summer.

After patiently waiting and wading through rejections and non-responsive organizations, the email you have been waiting for arrives: You get to join the ranks of the “interns”!

Often just landing the internship experience you have spent months worrying about feels like a huge victory at the finish line. What comes next? How do you maximize on your opportunity once you land your internship?
The value of interning often is in the opportunity the position provides to you, not necessarily the day-to-day.

Speaking to some of my past students who were Capitol Hill interns, they went through an entire spectrum of emotions through their first two weeks interning.

They started out on cloud 9, and were absolutely elated that during their time in DC they would be interning on the Hill, ready to wear their fancy new suits and take in the political process.

After spending a few days learning the in’s and out’s of their offices, speaking to constituent callers on the phone, memorizing their facts for the daily Capitol tours they would host, and grabbing coffee for the senior team, their excitement began to fade.

They would file in and out of my office, completely deflated that we had built up the idea of their internship as something glamorous and movie-worthy, and they were totally disengaged from the process. Speaking with them prompted me to reflect on my experiences interning as a student, and what really made the difference between going through the motions, and capitalizing on the opportunity in front of me.

Looking back, I initially remember only the good things – the time I got to speak on the Floor of the House of Representatives, spending 4th of July with veterans who had just returned from Iraq, and introducing both Colin Powell and Howard Dean in the same week. Just those fancy experiences validated that my internship was “worth” something.

While those are cool anecdotes to share, they represent mere hours of an intense 12-week internship program, and did not really provide me with the lasting tools I would need to propel myself to graduate school and in my career – those opportunities were hidden in the mundane, day-to-day tasks of my internship, and this was the message I tried to deliver to my disgruntled interns.

Make the most of the opportunity: Internships are competitive, so you should take pride in every aspect of what you are doing, because whether you are rubbing shoulders with executives or making coffee, the opportunity to carry out these tasks was given to you over someone else, and we all have to pay our dues no matter the industry.

It has been my experience that if you have a positive attitude and apply your dedication to every task given to you, you will most certainly stand out in the eyes of your supervisors. This is key, because you want them to think of you the next time a high-profile project comes in that they will need help with, because this is only another opportunity to prove yourself.

Honestly, you get what you give, and if you want to make the most out of your internship, you will leave with lasting relationships that can continue to help you down the road. Make a connection with everyone you meet, and take advantage of LinkedIn; send people an email after you meet them and see if they would be willing to meet you for a quick coffee one day. Ask questions to those who are successful around you so that you can better understand what it is you need to do on your own path. Networking and relationship building are key to being able to maximize on your time as an intern. The simple act of taking the initiative during your internship can make the difference between being a summer intern, and utilizing your internship as a stepping stone to a full-time position.

You want to be able to leave your internship experience having left a positive impression in your office of who you are and what your contributions were, so that you can continue that relationship when you return to campus, and hopefully lean on that supervisor for a recommendation or reference down the road.