CALS Career Development

CALS Student Services Office ● 140 Roberts Hall ● ● 607-255-CALS (2257) Cornell University

CALS Career Development

Employer Spotlight: Handling Job Offers

March 17, 2014 · No Comments · Employer Spotlight

Brenna 2By Brenna Shaeffer

University Recruiting Manager at General Mills

General Mills

Having multiple job offers is a great position for a candidate to be in, but it can also be stressful.  Ultimately, you are only able to accept and fill one position, so it is important to consider all of your options and make the best decision possible with the information you have. 

The first step in making your decision is to consider all of the components to each opportunity and weigh the importance of each one.  While evaluating base salary, title and location may be the easiest to compare across all offers, those factors may not be the most important factors in your decision making process.  What you consider important is a personal decision and one that you should spend time thinking about.  What do you want to get out of a position at this phase of your career?  What other factors come to mind as important?  For example, what type of culture will be most fulfilling for you to work in?  How important is upward mobility, and how quickly?  Are there any personal considerations (location, etc.)?  Weigh these factors based on their level of importance to you.  This will allow you to be able to evaluate which opportunities to target and to rank any incoming offers so that you have a good idea of your top choice(s).

When declining a job offer, it is best to do this over the phone whenever possible since that is more personal.  While sending an email may be more convenient, it is not the best communication method to use if you want to maintain a relationship with that company or recruiter.  Maintaining a positive connection with any company you recruit with can be useful when being considered for future openings. 

The timing of when to share your decision with the company may be difficult, especially when you are in the thick of recruiting with multiple companies.   It is best to respond to an offer as soon as you have made up your mind, as you do not need to wait until your decision deadline.   This is where it is critical to do the upfront work of identifying your critical decision factors and ranking your opportunities.  Understanding how you feel about a particular company or offer will help you to feel more confident in making decisions more quickly with less doubt.  Do not hang onto offers which you do not intend to accept.  It is both respectful to the company but will also reduce your stress to decline offers once you have made up your mind.  To this end, one additional piece of very important advice:  do NOT accept an offer and then continue to consider other offers.  This can be tempting if you have an offer in hand but prefer to work elsewhere – but reneging on an offer you have already accepted, in order to accept another later, reflects very poorly on you and your university.  It will likely eliminate your possibilities of future consideration with the company if you want to move back later in your career.

At times, it will not be possible to adhere to the decision deadline provided by the company.  Most commonly this occurs when you have an offer outstanding but have not yet been able to complete the recruiting process with another company.  The best thing to do in this situation is to be transparent in your communications with the companies involved.  For the company where you have an offer outstanding, speak with the recruiter to ask for a decision deadline extension.  Be clear on the timing you anticipate needing and be truthful about the reason you are asking for the extension.  Each company will have their own philosophy on what they may accommodate.  For the company that you want to continue recruiting with, contact the recruiter and let them know that you have an outstanding offer with a deadline.  Again, each company will have their own philosophy on how to handle the situation.  The goal is to arm each company with the appropriate information necessary to make a decision.  In an ideal world, you would have enough flexibility to continue recruiting before you need to finalize your decision.  However, if you do not get enough flexibility you will need to make a decision without all of the information.  This is where it is helpful to have already thought through your company rankings, preferences and likelihood to get an offer which will help you evaluate the best plan of action.  Ultimately, no one can tell you what to do as a blanket rule, but staying true to what you find to be most critical about each potential opportunity will help you make the best decision for you. 


Peer Advisor Spotlight: Get to know your DUST

March 14, 2014 · No Comments · Peer Advisor Spotlight

Phil Boyes - fall 2013by Pilippa Boyes, CALS junior majoring in Communication

One of the greatest tools CALS Students have at their disposal is the online DUST website. Although many students know DUST as a way to keep track of our degree progress (one of its most helpful tools!), there are many other resources available to students through the site.

Need help figuring out what courses will fulfill different requirements? When you click on “Find Courses for Distribution Requirements,” you can see how different courses count for different requirements. You can also see which courses count for CALS credit.

On the fence about taking a course? When you click on “Course Evaluations,” you can look up any CALS course and see the summation of their course requirements from the past semesters. This way, you have an idea of how your peers evaluated professors and can make an informed decision when enrolling in courses.

Interested in talking to CALS alumni who work in a particular industry? When you click on “Connect with Alumni,” you have the option of searching for alumni by career field, Cornell major, class year, or location. Then, you’ll be able to see different jobs alumni hold along with their contact information and the different topics they’d like to talk about with current CALS students which can include advice on how to get into the field, arrangements for an internship or full-time interview, offering a brief shadow visit, and more.

DUST is a wonderful resource for students and it’s right at our fingertips. From the tools mentioned above to the ability to schedule an appointment with anyone in 140 Roberts through the online scheduling system (click “Schedule an appointment with CALS Student Services!”), spending some time to get to know the many benefits of DUST can only help!


Understanding Food Systems and Their Prospects for Economic Development

March 12, 2014 · No Comments · Career Fairs & Other Events, Workshop

Stephen Vogel, PhD, Economist

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service

Mann Library, Room 160, Cornell University

April 10, 2014, 10:30am – 12:00pm

The scope and rapid innovation in local/regional food systems has outpaced the ability of policy researchers to develop the data metrics for assessing its impacts. Many of these changes are related to the development of new marketing channels, supported and driven in part by information technologies and social entrepreneurship. This research develops a conceptual framework to suggest that these activities are reshaping how food is produced and consumed. This is impacting economies of scale previously afforded by energy-intensive production, allowing farmers to capture more of the food dollar while developing the infrastructure and mechanisms to meet the demand of larger institutional buyers.

This event is free and open to both the Cornell community and general public. Refreshments served. Sponsored by: Cornell University’s Department of City and Regional Planning, Russell Van Nest Black Lecture Fund, the Food, Agriculture and Nutrition Group (FANG), and the New World Agriculture and Ecology Group (NWAEG). Funded in part by the GPSAFC.

Contact: Becca Jablonski,, USDA NIFA Doctoral Fellow PhD Candidate, Cornell University Department of City and Regional Planning



MIT & Cornell Health focused Hackathon

March 12, 2014 · No Comments · Career Fairs & Other Events, Workshop

MIT & Cornell Health focused Hackathon hosted by WebMD, at their office on the 7th floor of the Google building in NYC

April 4 Networking from 7-10pm
April 5 from 8am-9pm Hackathon
April 6 from 8am-5pm hackathon concludes, winners announced

Food, prize$, swag, networking for the weekend.
Open to ALL students and even recent alumni. Cornell, Cornell Tech, Weil Cornell, freshmen – PhD.

Propose your own health related project to hack away on, work on a project from a class, or join a team to work on theirs. Teams can form onsite at event, or entire teams can apply to be in the hackathon together.

Don’t limit yourself to ‘coding’ problems, think of quantified self (wearable tech health care devices), clinical pain points, issues in health administration…….as long as the problem you solve is health related it counts.

Last year’s winning team came up with a ‘better designed, better functioning’  “fitbit/jawbone/fuel” concept via  a wearable ring.

Facebook event here (to see who else from Cornell is interested)



Featured Internships – CSI Database

March 11, 2014 · No Comments · Look Who’s Hiring

Featured Internships – CSI Database

Find more information on these internships as well as hundreds of others on the CALS Specific Internship Database.

Food Pantry Farm Inc. 

The five acre organic and bio dynamic Food Pantry Farm is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to grow and donate our produce to local food pantries, a womens’ shelter, and day care center while educating and increasing access to healthy organic products.

The Farm is in its sixth growing season and donates almost 35,000 pounds of produce each year. Besides active fundraising, the farm operates a stand-alone farm stand to fund its charitable mission.

We are looking for enthusiastic energetic college students with a strong interest in agriculture. We promise an exciting academic and hands on farming experience with a young and passionate team of farmers where you will learn much about organic and biodynamic farming while giving back to the local community in need. While there is an hourly wage for a 40 hour work week, room and board must be provided by student.

For more information on these positions as well as hundreds of other opportunities visit the CSI database.

Cornell University is providing these opportunities as a courtesy and does not endorse the opportunities, employers, or organizations offering them. Applicants should research the employers, organizations, and opportunities before proceeding.



Peer Advisor Spotlight: Alternative Summer Opportunities

March 7, 2014 · No Comments · Peer Advisor Spotlight

Maria Jiangby Maria Jiang, CALS sophomore majoring Applied Economics and Management

For many career paths, internships are an important part of building up professional experience, especially as a rising senior.  But if you’re a freshman or a sophomore who isn’t sure if an internship is right for you, consider opportunities in research, volunteer work, or study abroad.

If you’re thinking you would like to put on a lab coat this summer and make an important contribution to science, then research is the right choice for you.  If you’re thinking you wouldn’t like to be inside running experiments, research might still be the option for you.  Opportunities such as the Shoals Marine Lab, Cornell’s own paradise in Maine, offer research experience with a chance to study marine life or sustainable engineering (and spend time on the beach), and undergraduate research doesn’t end with science.  Economics, teaching, and government are just a few of the other areas that can assist in developing technical skill, familiarity with primary and secondary research, teamwork, and writing ability.  Click here for a list of Cornell’s suggested research opportunities.

If you’re interested in in social ventures or microenterprise, check out Social Entrepreneur Corps which will allow you to spend 4–8 weeks working with small businesses in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Peru, Ecuador or the Dominican Republic.  Entrepreneurship @ Cornell is currently offering two scholarships for enrolled students, and for more information, contact Debra Moesch:

Cross-Cultural Solutions offers additional ways to volunteer while immersing yourself in culture through home-cooked meals, language classes, and local guidance.

For those who have federal work-study, apply to Develop Your Own internship!

Above all, the best place for finding more inspiration about alternative summer opportunities comes from Cornell’s Summer Experience Survey.  Being lost in the cycle of prelims and pressure can make it difficult to understand the ‘power of the Cornell network’ that we’ve been repeatedly told about much less how to leverage it, but for any of you who have felt the same, I hope the summer experience survey will change your mind. 

With over 16,000 responses total, the survey provides opportunities from all seven colleges with experiences in internships, co-ops, research, volunteer work, and travel.  Most importantly, respondents provide their email address.  So if you’d like to learn more about an experience, send them an email and ask to grab coffee for a half-hour.  Set up a twenty-minute phone chat.  Simply ask a few questions via your email.  You will be amazed at how much you will learn.

And what’s the worst thing?  That someone says no?  You’ve only spent 5 minutes writing an email. 

The advice that you will get from those who respond has infinite potential.

If you do find the Summer Experience Survey useful, remember to give back and fill one out in the fall after your next summer experience.  And with every year that you get closer to graduation (and when the day finally comes), remember that you are the Cornell network.  So, reach out to upperclassmen and graduates now and receive some (seriously) valuable information and advice, and DON’T forget to thank them for their time. 


Peer Advisor Spotlight: Who are the Peer Advisors and what can they do for you?

March 4, 2014 · No Comments · Peer Advisor Spotlight

Kayla Ganzalez

by Kayla Gonzalez, CALS sophomore majoring in Biological Sciences

Upon entering 140 Roberts Hall, one is beckoned to the front desk of the Student Services Office and greeted by one smiling face or another. What one does not realize, however, is what is hiding behind the wall — peer advisors. The peer advisors are a talented group of undergraduate students who have been extensively trained in helping fellow CALS students.

What do they do? They provide help with routine office tasks, answer phone calls from professors, other students, and parents. But, they also offer CALS students unique services. If a student has an important interview, they can schedule a Video Practice Interview here. These practice interviews are prepared and conducted by the PAs.  Do you need a resume for a job application? The PAs can handle that, too! They each participated in specialized training to learn the proper techniques of critiquing resumes. All of the Peer Advisors are also trained in the art of cover letter review. They have been armed with an arsenal of tools to aid the lives of CALS students.

Who are they? These eight talented students are from seven different majors and they represent a wide variety of clubs and activities on campus. The Peer Advisors enjoy working one-on-one with fellow students to provide them with a friendly working environment. 

If you have any questions and would like a student perspective, head over to 140 Roberts Hall. There are eight students eagerly awaiting your visit!


Featured Internships – CSI Database

March 3, 2014 · No Comments · Look Who’s Hiring

Featured Internships – CSI Database

Find more information on these internships as well as hundreds of others on the

CALS Specific Internship Database

The Fresh Air Fund

Looking for a summer job that will make a difference? For over 130 years, The Fresh Air Fund has been providing underprivileged New York City children with the opportunity to go to summer camp for free. We are looking for dedicated, motivated individuals who want to have a fun, but challenging, summer, while making a difference in the lives of some of New York’s neediest children. The Fresh Air Fund camps are located on The Fund’s Sharpe Reservation in Fishkill, NY, 65 miles north of New York City. Sharpe Reservation has 2,300 acres of beautiful land with lakes, ponds, streams, and hiking trails through the woods. Each camp offers a well-rounded experience to its campers and staff.

There are several internship opportunities with The Fresh Air Fund, which may include:

·         Counselors

·         Program Specialists

·         Ropes Course Staff

·         Lifeguards

·         Farm Staff

·         Nutritionists

·         Village Leaders

·         Waterfront Directors

·         CIT Directors 

 For more information on these positions as well as hundreds of other opportunities visit the CSI database.

Cornell University is providing these opportunities as a courtesy and does not endorse the opportunities, employers, or organizations offering them. Applicants should research the employers, organizations, and opportunities before proceeding.


Sustainability Hub presents: Exploring Environmental Careers Panel Discussion

February 27, 2014 · No Comments · Career Fairs & Other Events, Workshop

Sustainability Hub presents 

Exploring Environmental Careers

Panel Discussion and Breakout Sessions

Monday, March 3 from 5:30-7:30 PM

Corson-Mudd Hall, the Morrison Room A106

Refreshments will be provided


Panelists Representing Environmental Law, Policy & Management, Media & Communications, Energy, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Engineering:

-Lauren Chambliss (moderator), Communications Director for Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future

-Chris Olney, Director of Stewardship, Finger Lakes Land Trust

-Scott Nostrand, Senior Vice President of Environmental Engineering, Barton & Loguidice

-Jeanne Grace, City of Ithaca Urban Forester

-Kevin Murphy, Lawyer, Environmental Litigation & Environmental Counseling and Compliance Matters at Wladis Law Firm

-Joanne Kim, General Electric Renewable Energy Development Program

-Kate Frazer, Writer, The Nature Conservancy


 Invite a Friend! 

Open to the Community and Free to Attend, Event made possible through funding from the Student Assembly Fiance Commission and Sustainability Hub

Like the Sustainability Hub Facebook page and post relevant events, links, and articles.



JPMorgan NYC Headquarters Event

February 25, 2014 · No Comments · Look Who’s Hiring, Workshop


Apply at:

More info at