Category Archives: Strategies

RealJobs: Bernadette Meehan

Today I’m on the early shift, so I’m at my desk by 6:00 a.m.  My colleagues would say I’m very “Type A” (which I concede is true), and follow a strict routine each morning.  After logging on to my computer, I do a final review of all the papers I finalized last night that the Secretary needs to see this morning, including action memos awaiting her decision, information memos providing her updates on a wide range of issues, and various other materials.  I spend a few minutes answering emails on my unclassified computer – “the low side” and then I switch over to my classified computer – “the high side” to go through a queue of emails waiting for me.

At 8:00 a.m. I attend our morning meeting with the Department’s Executive Secretary.  I join colleagues from the Operations Center and The Line, and we review what’s happened around the world overnight, and what papers we’re expecting for the Secretary that day.  Following the meeting I talk with my boss, the Executive Assistant, and we run through the Secretary’s day to make sure we are all set to go.

Around 8:40 a.m. I call several colleagues in bureaus around the building to walk through some questions I have on various papers that came up for the Secretary last night.  I then turn to finalizing the briefing papers she needs for her meeting today with Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata, and for her participation in President Obama’s meeting with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti at the White House.

In honor of the Italian delegation’s visit, Nima and I decide we should have meatball subs for lunch, from a fantastic deli on Capitol Hill.  I round up orders from the rest of the gang, and Nima picks up the food on his way in to the office.  I’ve already been here for five hours and am starving by the time he arrives, and so my meatball sub is but a delicious memory by 11:30 a.m.  This comes back to haunt me at around 1:00 p.m., when I am again starving.  Luckily, someone made chocolate chip cookies and stacked them on the ledge next to my desk.  I eat several, while Nima nods his head at me.

This afternoon I spend some time preparing a presentation I’m giving next week at a local university.  One of the classes is taking a trip to the United Arab Emirates, and the professor invited me to speak to the class about the U.S. –Emirati relationship, with a focus on economics.  I loved my time in the UAE, and am excited to talk with these students about our multi-faceted bilateral relationship.

I head home from the office early today, since I’m having several friends over for dinner.  It’s a group of colleagues from the State Department that I served with in Colombia, and some of our Colombian friends.  It’s the first time since 2006 that we’ve all been in the same country at the same time, so it’s a reunion that’s long overdue!  Since Nima is on late duty tonight, I leave my Blackberry on the kitchen counter, while I enjoy a fun dinner with my friends!



If you are looking to reenter the workforce after any period of time, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of how to start. One good way is by conducting a returnship. Returnships are like internships for those of us who have been out of school and out of the workforce for some time. There are a few different ways to approach this possibility.

iRelaunch is an online resource for people reentering the workforce. The company hosts regular career events, and the websites offers webinars, career counseling, and general advice. Their comprehensive list of companies worldwide who offer career reentry programs can be found here.

Workplaces including Goldman-Sachs and MIT offer returnships, but if the company you’re hoping to work for doesn’t have such a program, you may be able to suggest the possibility to them. It will likely end up benefitting the company as much as it will benefit you.

You can find additional information on our website, at Career Center Alumni Services.

The Sophomore Series: Career Run Down

The Sophomore Series: Career Run Down
When: Tues., March 23
Where: Heights Room, Corcoran Commons, upstairs 5:00pm to 6:30pm

All the pieces you need to get yourself on track for an internship as a sophomore!   Breakout tables will discuss the topics listed below – attend all three ongoing sessions or just the topics that you need.  Career Center staff will be on hand to answer your questions about the internship search process and our resources.

Learn to:

  • Build & Write a Resume & Cover Letter
  • Interview Tips
  • Internship Searching

Questions?  Jessica Hartley, Asst. Director, BC Career Center,

RealJobs: Juan Concepcion

Juan Concepcion’s work day on Wednesday, February 10, 2010.

3:22 PM: “Amazing … and it is all pro bono … great pictures … Over 750 attorneys (including the 23 from Nixon Peabody) made it out to Beacon Hill to advocate for civil legal aid for the poor in Massachusetts …  there we all were (averaging an estimated $400/hour) standing in the Great Hall of the State House with politicians … It’s unfortunate that so many people have such a low opinion of the legal profession … I mean, don’t get me wrong: admittedly, we have had our few bad apples in the bunch, but they are thankfully only few and far in between … Time does fly, and how fast?! … I have been helping to coordinate the “Walk to the Hill” for six years … Seis Anos .. and every year our numbers become stronger and stronger … just three years ago we celebrated having 450 attorneys at the Walk … impressive to see how many big shot attorneys took off their busy schedules to advocate for the less fortunate … Governor Patrick’s speech was brief and to the point and without any surprises … the state budget is very tight but the importance of sustaining funding for civil legal aid programs is imperative …  families facing homelessness, elder victims of second mortgage scams, domestic violence victims fighting for custody of their children and individuals unfairly denied health care benefits … all rely on legal aid … most of them for survival … The shortage of funding plays a part in the increasing pro se problem in our courts … we are witnesses to the effect that this shortage has on low-income individuals … “Sir, can you spare a dollar so I can buy my son some warm soup? We are homeless …” In the budget now $9.3M for civil legal aid … this figure isn’t very much given the colossal need out there but, these days, every penny counts … Declining yields from IOLTA (interest on lawyer’s trust accounts) have further complicated things … Lawyers walk for justice … On January 27th, over 750 of us made that very clear …”

The Heights: Jobs may be on the rebound

Check out the recent article in The Heights titled, “Jobs may be on the rebound: Job report shows positive trend, but students remain weary,” including some tips from BC Career Center’s recruiting manager, Joanne LaRosee.

For more information on Boston College’s recruiting program as part of your job search strategy, check out the information on our website.

Boston College Externships: A Job Shadowing/Mentorship Program

Hang out with Boston College alumni by job shadowing them in the Boston Area.  An externship is a great way to learn an industry through the chance to ask questions about the field, observe the day to day operations, and network with potential future colleagues in your career of interest.

Some things externs get to do during their experience:

  • Sit in on company staff meetings
  • Conduct informational interviews of both professional and administrative staff
  • Complete office tasks or assist with projects
  • Explore potential career paths within the organization and the profession
  • Understand office policies and procedures

Interested?  Make sure to check out the Externship website.  It’s full of information on the program specifics, along with the application process.  The deadline to apply is October 23rd.  For any questions, please email

OUT for Work LGBTQA College Student Career Conference


OUT for Work LGBTQA College Student Career Conference
September 25-27, 2009 at the Westin City Center Hotel, Washington, D.C.

You are invited to join lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and ally undergraduate and graduate students, college faculty/staff members, professionals, and LGBT advocate from across the country for the only industry inclusive career conference for our community.
What you can expect:
Panel Discussions
>Representatives from America’s top organizations share their coming out at work stories and how the decision to be out and open has impacted their careers
>Well known speakers like Donna Rose, transgender Advocate, address issues such as transitioning in the workplace
Skill building workshops
>Get the skills to get the job; networking, resume writing, and interviewing techniques
PRIDE Career Fair
>Find an internship or job with employers leading the way for LGBT workplace equality

For more information and to register, please go to the OUT for Work LGBTQA College Student Career Conference website.