Home » Career Advice
Category Archives: Career Advice
I’m excited to announce that my very talented friend, Lucinda Curran, will be interviewing me on her blog talk radio show, Change Your Life, during this April’s focus topic: Get Your Life Back on Track.
Check out this video about the event and mark your calendar. Lucinda will be interviewing me Friday, April 11th at 9 p.m. PST. The title of my episode is “Get Your Life Back on Track: Navigating Academia with Gina Akao.”
Be sure to tune in. You won’t want to miss it!
I’m proud to announce that my Virtual Book Tour will conclude with an exclusive interview of Deborah Schneider, author of Should You Really Be a Lawyer: The Guide to Smart Career Choices Before, During and After Law School. To find out more about the book, please go to http://www.shouldyoureally.com/
The conference call will take place on Sunday, Sept. 8th at 3 p.m. PST.
Conference dial-in number: (805) 399-1000.
Participant access code: 471729
The interview will be recorded, so be sure to Follow my blog at www.GinaAkao.com to receive a link to the recording.
Share the link with all of your legal beagle friends!
Also, check out the most recent book endorsement I received from attorney, Rick Hsu:
Maupin, Cox & LeGoy
If you haven’t already, pick up a copy of my eBook, Tales of a Law School Dropout for only $9.99!
Have a great day,
When I was drafting my memoir, Tales of a Law School Dropout, I came upon a dilemma once I was ready to publish my book–should I change the names of my friends to protect their identities and privacy? What if they wouldn’t want to be my friend anymore after I wrote about them? What if they were offended by something I said in the book? What if they didn’t think my portrayal of them was accurate?
In fact, I went as far as asking my closest friends if they were okay about me writing about them. All I ever wanted out of writing a memoir was to tell people everything I wished I had known before attending law school so that they could avoid the pain I went through from going down the wrong career path. I certainly didn’t want to hurt any of my friends in the process of seeking catharsis after writing a memoir. To my surprise, most of my friends responded that they were flattered that I wrote a book and included them in it! Most of them didn’t care either way if I used their names or didn’t.
Even so, I changed their names. I spoke to an Intellectual Property attorney after he gave a presentation on copyright law at my writers’ group, and he said that I should change the names, not because of fear of getting sued, but because some day one of my friends might become a judge and wouldn’t want her real name published in a book about her first year of law school. So for the sake of my friends’ future careers, I concealed their names. But what about their personalities?
To find the answer, I consulted Tristine Rainer’s book, Your Life as Story, which advises memoir writers to change the names of their friends and loved ones, “not from concern about lawsuits, but out of desire to retain a margin of privacy for themselves and others” (p. 318). Phillip Lopate’s policy was to fictionalize only names, not identifying characteristics, in his personal essays (Rainer, 1997). Since opinions are protected under the First Amendment, it’s not libelous to state your opinion in your memoir.
However, it is good to keep in mind the elements of libel: “In most states, the plaintiff must be able to show that not only is what you wrote not true, but that the reader could recognize whom the character is based on, that the subject of your writing had been damaged by it in some demonstratable way, and that you wrote the lie with malicious intent” (p. 315).
So did I change people’s names? Yes. Did I lie about them? No. Did I deliberately try to hurt them? No. Whew.
Nevertheless, to my chagrin, one of my lawyer friends who read my book was able to recognize a mutual acquaintance. To find out who, check out Tales of a Law School Dropout.
Are you writing a memoir? Let me know your take on changing names.
Have a great day,
It’s commencement time! Many students are graduating high school and college and are looking forward to finding their dream jobs. Luckily, most colleges offer some kind of career services department to assist students in this endeavor.
If you’re a recent grad, don’t wait until too long after graduation to update your resume and apply for jobs. The market is tough out there. Help is only a step away if you’re on a college campus.
The University of Nevada, Reno, for instance, has a Career Studio, where students can drop in (no appointment necessary) to get instant resume and cover letter critiques. Drop-in hours are Monday-Friday, 10am-2pm in the Thompson Building (students can check the website for summer hours).
I interviewed Internship & Employer Relations Coordinator, Robyn Maitoza, Ph.D. “The Studio’s grand opening and ribbon cutting will be in September 2013,” and the Studio (now open, but located in Thompson) will be moving to the soon-to-be-built Student Achievement Center, which will replace Getchell Library. Students will be able to connect with mentors via social media, as well as in person.
Students will be able to sign in on iPads. UNR’s Career Studio is hiring 10 career mentors who will work directly with students who drop in. In addition, students may use computers in the Career Studio to update resumes and cover letters. The Career Studio, in contrast to the former career services department, will be a hub for career services and will conduct workshops, on-site interviews, and panels to help students find employers and vice versa.
The only downside I see to the new studio format is that students will not be able to take the full Myers-Briggs personality test or Strong’s Interest Inventory, which require a small fee to administer. Personally, I have found going over assessment results with a professional career counselor extremely beneficial. But, not all students will have the patience to spend hours on career tests. Instead, the Career Studio’s current assessments available are free and take less time to complete and review.
Additionally, the Career Studio will be installing a new system to collect data on how many students utilize the different services. Students will be able to search a database with job postings and employers will be able to log in and post jobs. The Studio will also provide opportunities for students to shadow alums in their target careers and to sign up for internships.
For more information about the Career Studio, please visit http://www.unr.edu/career. If you’re not a UNR student, peruse your college’s website to find out what kind of career services it offers.
If you enjoyed this article, please subscribe to receive your “Top Ten Career Tips” for free.
Happy career hunting!
How do you make the most of a College Career Fair?
UNR just had its Career and Internship Fair on April 4th. There were plenty of students and employers to chat with, but how can students make the most of a career fair with so many potential employers to choose from? Here are a few tips:
- The day before the career fair, pick out professional attire, print extra resumes, and make sure you have enough business cards. If you’re a student and do not have a business card, you can still print one with your name, major, and contact info on it. You may even be able to download the University’s logo to include on your business card.
- Before you go into the main section of the career fair, scan the handout that lists all the employers present. UNR includes a handy chart that lists whether the employer is looking for students from a particular major.
- Decide which employers you want to talk to. You don’t have to stop at every table, but walk around and stop at the tables of employers you can really connect with. Smile and introduce yourself, even if you have a nametag on. Ask questions and have a conversation with the representative at the desk; don’t just collect free stuff and move on.
- If you are able to have a good conversation with an individual, get their business card and connect with them on LinkedIn or send them an email later to follow up on your conversation. For example, I only had an hour to spend at the career fair, so I had a few meaningful conversations with a few people about my educational blog. I met Pete Parker of Greek Ladders (http://www.greekladders.com) and talked to him about his business, which connects students who are part of Greek organizations with potential employers.
- After the career fair, jot down a few notes on the back of the business cards of people you talked to. For example, I told Pete I would send him a survey on freshmen data, and because I made a note, I could remember to follow up accordingly.
- Finally, check out the websites of the employers you talked to and look for job openings. Often times, the representatives at the booths at career fairs will encourage you to apply for jobs online rather than handing them a resume then and there. If they ask for your resume, be prepared to give one, but if they don’t, avoid pushing your resume on them. If you connect with them later in a positive way, they will remember you.