CUSP Beyond the Classroom

CUSP’s Beyond the Classroom series focuses on professional development, including marketing oneself for the job market, navigating the transition from academic to professional life, and strengthening leadership and presentation skills.

Upcoming Events

GSM Journeys: From Students to Scholars, January 24, 2024

Workshop with Minna Taylor, February 28, 2024

Past Events

The Signature Talk Framework: A Communications Workshop by Minna Taylor, November 29, 2023

Pivoting From School to Life with Vyju Manian, October 12, 2023

This presentation was given by Vyju Manian, Senior Associate Director in the Career Management Center at Columbia; she specializes in guiding international students, from building professional networks and networking skills to searching for jobs and navigating the visa process, to interviewing and negotiation.

Vyju outlined some common job application mistakes – submitting generic resumes, applying only to well-known companies, applying without a referral, and neglecting to follow up – and advised emphasizing curiosity and seeking assistance as career-building tools. She emphasized the importance of asking for help and reaching out to others.

Opening the next segment of her presentation with the common question “What is your passion?”, Vyju emphasized that it is okay not to know. Reframe the question, she suggested: take on the idea that there are many things that excite you, and it is possible that passion will develop after doing those things for a longer time. When getting started, she recommended reaching out to the Center for Career Education; student clubs; friends and family; Columbia alumni; peers. A signed offer is built on self-exploration, developing a target list of industries/roles, creating marketing documents, networking, and then applying for jobs under the right circumstances. “You will be okay as long as you keep moving.” 

Storytelling figured importantly in Vyju’s presentation. Your written story is told through your CV, cover letter, LinkedIn, and outreach email; your verbal story is told through pitches on social media and interviews, as well as 30-minute behavioural interviews through Columbia. She drew on “The 2-Hour Job Search” by Steve Dalton to present the “TIARA framework” – Trends, Insights, Advice, Resources, and Assignments – as a guide to knowing what to talk about when meeting an expert in an industry. “During the interview,” Vyju emphasized, “it’s all about storytelling.”

Professional Communication Workshop for All Years with Lawrese Brown, February 29, 2023

Students aren’t always confident about how to best address academic or social problems. They spend time going back and forth in their minds about how to word their requests to professors, how to address a conflict with a friend without ruining the relationship, or even how to speak out about the overwhelm they feel when balancing school commitments. Confusion on how to communicate and what to communicate causes stress.

To address this stress and clear up the confusion students feel when speaking up, they must learn how to advocate for themselves and communicate more directly about their needs. In this workshop, students learned how to fix the communication errors that lead to misunderstandings and missed opportunities. In this 90 minute workshop, students learned:

  • Conflict resolution: how to find a solution when presented with clashing perspectives such as when you need more time on an assignment or when need space from a friend

  • Being proactive: how to communicate solutions instead of passively waiting for the other person to address a problem

  • Effective communication: how to communicate clearly and directly such as following-up about an issue you already communicated, delivering bad news, asking for something you don’t know if you can get

Columbia Undergraduate Scholars Program


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Call: (212) 854-6378

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