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Brad Karsh Addresses Students' Business Etiquette Concerns on Senior Saturday
When should you write thank you notes after an interview? When should you follow up with potential employers? Is it okay to ask about your salary during a job interview? Should you order the chicken sandwich or go for that expensive steak at a company-funded dinner? How should you behave at company meetings? These were just a few of the questions addressed by keynote speaker Brad Karsh at this year's Senior Saturday Seminar.
The Annual Senior Saturday Career Seminar took place on the 25th of February and featured Mr. Karsh as well as a diverse panel of young professionals from various fields within media. Karsh, a career expert who founded JobBound, a company that coaches people on essential job skills, delivered a practical and humorous message about the dos and don'ts of interviews and etiquette in the work environment.
Karsh brought his years of experience on some of the basic challenges that might overwhelm students who are just about to begin their career lives. The first Half of Karsh's lecture focused on job interviews. "The person sitting in front of you is human too," Karsh reassured students. In a mock interview he demonstrated just that. Lauren Stewart, a senior in broadcast journalism volunteered to be Karsh's interviewee. Then, Karsh and Stewart's fellow classmates proceeded to scrutinize the interview. "I'm honored that he did that," Stewart said afterwards.
In the Second Half of Karsh's lecture, a short film was played and students were introduced to Paul. Paul sports an orange T-shirt, bad mouths clients and coworkers, is disorganized and irresponsible. "I've seen every single one of these mistakes in real life," announced Karsh when the video was over. The screening kicked off the discussion on age discrimination in the work place. Young hires are the most discriminated against group in the work place. Karsh advised students to be more reserved early on in their career. There is a double standard in the working world and Karsh makes the distinction between what's acceptable for a higher-ranking employee or the boss and young hires, it isn't always fair.
Karsh also introduced some alarming facts. "25% of companies have fired people for inappropriate use of the Internet and these companies have the right and can track everything you do on a company computer." Some of the biggest problems with young new hires are: listening to music at work, inappropriate use of the Internet and email. The last one is especially important. "I see a smiley face (in an email), I immediately think 13-year-old girl," said Karsh. Young employees often do not address emails properly and what's worse, they may include something inappropriate that gets accidentally forwarded to the wrong person. The golden rule is: never put anything in writing if you don't want the entire world to see it.
The two morning sessions Karsh conducted may have addressed some very basic things such as what to bring to an interview and how to dress or leave a voice message, but it's small things like that that can make or break a career for someone just stepping into the professional world.
View photos from the event.