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Working World Tips: Keeping it
Professional on Social Media

It’s 2014, and almost everyone has established a presence on social media. For many of us, social media has been something we take for granted in our lives, and plays a major role in our relationships and personal lives.

Because of this, it’s easy to forget that the identity you’re creating on social media is visible to the entire Internet. Even if you’ve locked up all of your profiles with the toughest privacy settings, certain things can slip through the cracks. A majority of employers admit to searching for job candidates’ profiles before deciding to hire or interview them. So it’s important to play it safe, and maintain a profile that doesn’t send up any red flags.

  1. Google yourself. Take the view of an outsider. Log out of all your accounts, clear your browser history and do a quick search of yourself. Make sure that when your profiles do pop up in the results, you are presented in the way you want employers to see you.

  2. Think before you post. When you are crafting that tweet or filtering that Instagram photo, do a quick mental exercise: is this something you wouldn’t mind everyone seeing? If it’s something that could be misinterpreted or a little TMI, don’t press post. Once it’s out there, it’s out there, and you don’t want anything to come back to haunt you when you’re looking for a job.

  3. Strike a balance. It’s important to keep a professional presence, but you don’t have to completely lose your personality in the process. You can share photos and highlight your interests, but just remember there’s a fine line and it’s better to be safe than sorry.

  4. Use it to your benefit. While bad social media practices can hurt your chances of being hired, you can also use it to promote yourself and your skills. Create a LinkedIn profile to build a network and highlight your experience. Start a style blog, if you’re starting a career in fashion. Social media is a great way to start an informal portfolio that could be very impressive to your next employer.

In the end, it’s important to take the good with the bad. Remain cautious, but put yourself out there and use it to make connections. Social media has changed the game in both the professional and personal realms, and it’s important to present yourself fabulously in both.

Spotlight on an Alumni: Kathy Naranjo

Futures and Options Operations Assistant Kathy Naranjo at work in the office.

Spotlight on an Alumni: Kathy Naranjo

Kathy Naranjo just finished her freshman year at St. Francis College and is currently Futures and Options Operations Assistant. She is also an alumnus of the Urban Leadership Fellows program, and was happy to tell us how her internship helped her prepare for college and for a professional career.

It was my last month as a high school senior and my only concern was, “What am I going to do this summer?” I had two options: to enjoy the summer, or find a job to keep me occupied. Then my Academy of Finance adviser told me about a program called Urban Leadership Fellows (ULF), which offers summer internships in the finance industry. I saw this as great opportunity to add experience to my resume, and I also knew that an internship in the finance industry would give me a sense of what careers I could get with an education in economics and finance. So I applied to the program, and landed an internship with Standard & Poor’s Financial Services.

Summer 2013 was a summer I will never forget because of the experience I had working with Standard & Poor’s as an Urban Leadership Fellow. I learned so much about bonds, credit ratings, and municipal forms while working at Standard & Poor’s that I decided to officially declare Economics with a concentration in Finance as my major at St. Francis College. While working at S&P, I met and worked with several colleagues who made my experience there even more remarkable.

I also had some great experience with the ULF program itself thanks to the wonderful Futures and Options program coordinators, who planned great workshops, events, and a trip for the students. The ULF program has helped me develop a lot as a person on a professional and personal level. After a public speaking workshop, I learned to be more outspoken and make my voice heard. I also had the opportunity to go to Washington D.C., where I had never been before, and receive a tour as well as meet a few representatives from the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board. It was a breathtaking experience, if you ask me.

Another major lesson I learned during the summer was that networking is key. Networking is creating a relationship with a person either at work or at an event, which can open many doors in the future for new opportunities. Until this very day, I have kept in contact with my former supervisors and a few colleagues from S&P. I have even kept in touch with the ULF program coordinators by attending a reunion, and by getting a summer internship here at Futures and Options as an operations assistant. So far, working alongside the staff of Futures and Options has been a wonderful experience, and I am looking forward to the rest of this summer. It will be another summer well remembered.

Meet our Summer Program Assistant: Erika Graves


This month, Erika Graves joined the F+O staff as our summer program assistant. Erika provides support to our program staff and communicates with F+O students as they navigate their summer internships. 

What is your previous work/school experience?
I graduated Boston College in 2012 with a degree in Sociology. Throughout my time there, I worked as an orientation leader, volunteered at a local Boys and Girls club, interned at Fenway Sports Group, served as a teaching assistant, taught alcohol education courses, and was a member of the women of color caucus.
After graduating, I moved to Charlotte, North Carolina as a Teach For America corps member. I taught 8th grade science at Kennedy Middle School for two years.  

Where are you from?
I grew up in Chappaqua, NY, which is about 30 miles north of Manhattan in Westchester County.

How do you feel that your experience in the classroom will help you connect with F+O students/in this role?
My experience in the classroom has proved to be a huge benefit in my role at Futures and Options. As a teacher working with teenage students, I can easily anticipate questions, beliefs and attitudes the students at Futures and Options may have. Also, having worked with low-income students I understand the importance of always holding high expectations. On a lighter note, I have also learned an incredible amount of patience that I did not know I had. 

What is your favorite part of working at F+O so far?
My favorite part of working at Future and Options so far is the incredibly welcoming and friendly staff. Throughout my first week, I had no less than a million questions but everybody was more than willing to help me and explain how things work here at Futures and Options.  

Any advice for F+O students who are going off to college?
My advice to Futures and Options students going to college is to keep an open mind. Open your mind to courses of study you have never thought about before, open your mind to new people, and open your mind to the endless possibilities that await you with your college degree. The best experiences and people that come into your life are often the most unexpected. 

Dream Big - A Celebration of Opportunity
Save the Date - Wednesday, October 22, 2014

To learn more about available sponsorships and tickets, contact
Cara Flynn at 212-601-0002 or by email at cflynn@futuresandoptions.org


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