Our College Experience

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Hello readers of the GCC Blog,

Our names are Zarina and Sabina, we are two international students from Kazakhstan studying Digital Art at GCC.   We are not good in writing stories about ourselves. Thus we decided to write about GCC and Digital art major.

About GCC. We found this college on Internet while searching colleges with appropriate tuition, fees and location. In GCC we love that we can learn new things that we can apply in the future job. This college gives many opportunities to international students. There are many international events and many clubs that you can join.

About Digital Art. We like going to Digital Art classes, because we love creating new projects that we have never tried to do before. We can express our ideas and share them with other students. There are not many students who study Digital Art major here in GCC. The students help each other. We can practice and develop our skills while attending digital art classes.

About MarCom. We decided to work here because we would like to get new experience. I hope MarCom will give us good experience. We want to know the many sides of Marketing, how it works and decide in what field of future work we would love to work.

We are supposed to graduate in fall 2018. After graduation we hope that we will get a good job.

Professor Bucki’s Keys to a Successful Interview

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IMG_20170308_085622Professor Bucki, the Director of GCC’s Information Technologies Department, attended my Professional Sales class as a guest speaker to discuss the side of the job interview process that usually isn’t covered, that being what does an employer actually looks for and consider during an interview. He lead into his presentation simply titled “The Interview” with some humorous personal stories as well as an inspirational story about a lumberjack. Some key factors he shared were:

  1. Develop your self-brand
  2. A good Resume and cover letter can take over 100 hours to perfect and should always be changing as you gain more skills and experience
  3. Most employers spend less than 30 seconds looking at your resume
  4. The point of the interview is not just to see if you have what it takes to do the job, but finding out who you are and if you’ll fit in culturally as well
  5. Easiest ways of killing your interview
    • Trashing a previous employer
    • Ignorance of the company
    • Not having questions
    • Bringing up vacation, promotions, and salary
    • “BSing” your way through the interview
  6. Most common and important interview questions
    • Why should I hire you?
    • Tell me one of your weaknesses
    • Tell me about a time you failed
    • Tell me about your greatest success
  7. How to beat nervousness
  8. Make sure to follow up or send a thank you letter

Special thanks to Professor Bucki for bringing such a unique and exciting viewpoint to our classroom. The presentation was full of valuable information that we can all incorporate into our future job searches.

Donna Rae Sutherland & Her GCC Journey

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If you have ever had Professor Dudkowski for a class then you know what a great teacher he is, and how much he cares about his student’s success. In order to gain more knowledge from something other than our textbook and his lectures, we were given the opportunity to bring in a guest speaker. I thought this was a great idea, and enjoyed the guest speakers that had come in the past weeks, so I decided to ask my boss to come in.

donnaraeIf you don’t know Donna Rae Sutherland, she is the Associate Director of Marketing Communications here at Genesee Community College. For short we refer to this area as MarCom. Donna Rae has worked at GCC for 14 years, and has 35 years of experience in communications, within this time she has never been unemployed.

She graduated from high school in 1978, and made the bold move to San Francisco at the age of 17. Jumping forward to her being back in the Western New York area, she earned a certificate in Graphic Arts from Villa Maria College in 1983, as well as a Bachelor’s Degree from Syracuse University, specifically the Newhouse School, in 1988. During her time at Syracuse she majored in magazine journalism and minored in graphic arts.

Now some of you may still be wondering, what exactly does Donna Rae do?! She works on advertising and promotions for GCC, as well as social media, public relations, student to alumni projects, special projects for the President, and she is also involved in several committees.

During her presentation she talked extensively about how she helped develop the current GCC logo and brand. When Donna Rae first began working at GCC she knew the logo needed updating. It wasn’t appealing to the eye and there were many new online marketing outlets that demanded a new contemporary logo.

One of the first steps in making a new logo was doing in depth research to uncover the positive and negative perceptions of GCC. In a professionally conducted branding study, GCC needed to determine what 3 words the school should be most remembered by. Something that alumni could resonate with, and something others would remember when they heard or saw something about the school. The Branding Steering Committee finally concluded “Beyond Expectations” were perfect words to be GCC’s brand.

Next was to create a new logo and because this institution is commonly referred to GCC and it is affiliated with the State University of New York, they chose SUNY GCC for the new logo. It only made sense to use the name that almost everyone uses when talking about the school.

When you look at any logo you probably don’t think too much about it, but Donna Rae and the Branding Steering Committee put in a lot of time and effort for the GCC brand to be just right. To go with the idea of “Beyond Expectations,” the new logo has three major components: a warm, golden lower shape with a rounded corner which represents the caring faculty and staff; a rigid blue shape with sharp corners that represents the rigors of higher education; and the ‘white tornado’ between these two shapes which represents us, the students who are whirling off the page into future without boundaries. And what’s best is the logo works in all media—from a 12 foot wide billboard to a tweet that is 16×16 pixels!

Donna Rae and the MarCom team are just one part of the reason GCC is and will grow in the future. Like her colleagues around campus in all divisions, she is dedicated to making this school a great place, helping existing and prospective students succeed. Marketing communications is an important part of the success of Genesee Community College and I am excited to be part of the team.

 

The Benefits of A Summer Internship

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As globalization continues at a rapid pace, the competition for jobs continues to increase as well. In this day and age you no longer just have to be more qualified than the person sitting next to you, you have to be more qualified than the countless others all around the world. This is where the role of the internship becomes more crucial than ever.

Employers increasingly want to see previous experience in their new fresh out of college hires. Seems like an impossible situation right? Well not if you’re willing to get out their and “pound the pavement”, metaphorically or otherwise. Internships not only allow you to develop your skills, they also allow you to build your professional network, build your confidence, and perhaps most importantly, they allow you to take your career plan out for a test drive. Put in 3 or so months, and find out if that “dream job”, is really a dream, for you.

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This summer I was fortunate enough to intern as The Press Release Manager for the startup fine jewelry company, JEWELv:

JEWELv is not just another jewelry shopping site; it’s a shopping experience where you can create the perfect piece of custom fine jewelry each and every time. At JEWELv, we want to help create lasting memories and lasting impressions with unique pieces that you have the opportunity to design yourself. We believe the gift of jewelry should be as individual as the person it is designed for, and our state of the art technology allows you to make that happen.  The average jewelry store limits you to the inventory they have selected.  At JEWELv our goal is not to sell you a piece of jewelry out of the case, but to help you create something unique for that special person or special occasion. We craft gifts to be treasured for decades to come by those near and dear to you. From stories that start with once upon a time all the way to happily ever after, JEWELv provides the perfect jewelry pieces for every moment in between.”

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I cannot begin to describe how formative, and enriching this internship was for me. I’ve known that luxury PR was my passion for quite a while(I have my Public Relations certification from PRISM, and served as PR Manager for the 35th Annual GCC Fashion Show), but this position really cemented that passion. As the name implies, I was in charge of press releases for the company, weekly blog posts, and influencer/media outreach and collaboration. Interning for a startup was an amazing experience because I was one of a term of nine core employees; I reported directly to the CEO.Working for JEWELv not only gave me PR experience, but experience in luxury retail, and working with startups. It was invaluable.

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While I no longer work for JEWELv, I credit them for where I am today. If not for the skills and experience I received under their employment, I would have never landed my current Public Relations internship position with The Lingerie Lab, which I am working diligently day and night to transition into my permanent dream position. Yeah, PR Manager for a luxury lingerie company is my dream position, trivia fact about me.

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To sum things up, if you’re currently in college, or even a recent college graduate, INTERN! Intern now, intern a lot, and intern passionately and ferociously. Be hungry for the experience, and personal and professional development. Employers increasingly view their internship programs as the best path for hiring new entry level candidates.

 

A Non-traditional Student and a Veteran

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This blog post was written by Steven Bussard

            I am a “non- traditional” student (someone going to college that is over the age of 23 according to the GCC website) and a Veteran of the U.S. Army.  I tried college before in the 80’s, but never finished due to personal reasons.  I bounced around from job to job and state to state not really having a direction in my life. I never really appreciated the clout a college education holds until after transitioning out of the military. I had a very well-paying job in Florida, which I loved, at a simulations company, but when it came time for layoffs it was the people that had certificates or degrees that kept their jobs.  So now I am doing what I should have done so many years ago.

I am a son of a U.S. Navy Veteran.  I was born on a Navy base in Bermuda, and then my family was transferred to Norfolk, Virginia where I grew up.  For those of you who do not know the Norfolk or Virginia Beach area is one of the top ten cities with the most military installations in the U.S. My life was going in the wrong direction for quite a long time and I needed a stable environment so I joined the U.S. Army Military Police Corp at 27 years old.  It was during the Gulf War in 1991, but I never got a chance to go to Iraq because 4 days prior to my first day of basic training the Iraqis gave up.   I suppose they heard I was joining (just kidding).  After basic training I was stationed in Camp Darby, Italy which is just outside of Pisa.  I spent 3 years there and whenever I could I traveled Europe because I may never get this chance to do it later in life.  I honeymooned in Paris, France (and the people are not as rude as other Americans would like you to think), spent time in Germany, Hungary, Austria.

Through this time in the Army I learned more about respect and a sense of duty. You start to understand what role the veterans that came before you had to go through, I am sure some of those experiences were worse than mine.  There is a strong sense of brother/sisterhood in the Army and in the other services that is hard to explain to someone that has never been in the military.  I knew when I was in trouble my military brothers/sisters had my back.  I would imagine that is why once we transition out of the military we tend to gravitate toward other veterans because we know that that trust is still there, a feeling we sometimes cannot get from our own families.  That is also why we are so patriotic and respectful to all veterans from WWII, Vietnam, to now.  Even though you did not serve with that veteran the sense of gratitude and brotherhood is still there.  You see we just picked up the torch where they left off.  I like this little ode written by an unknown author “A Veteran Is Someone who, at one point, wrote a blank check made payable to ‘The United States of America’ for an amount of ‘up to and including their life.’” That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it. I don’t know what happened to this country since the end of WWII but the respect we should give to all veterans has declined.  To many, Veterans Day is just another holiday or a day off.  It is a day to honor those who have served their country the living and the dead. I for one will never forget that our veterans fight for our freedom every day.  Not just the ones on the front line, but all who have served.  For me, every day is a day for honoring our vets.

GCC Art Exhibit Revealed

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From all the new things here I bet viewing art is the top priority on your list, right?  No?  To the freshmen and other newbies that have came here I suggest giving it a shot. The exhibit is high quality, took years to produce and will give you more than just an experience viewing nice pictures, with notices on the walls to find how some were made, and why most of the photographs have a man, standing alone, with an orange cap in them.

The grand opening was back on September 11th where I watched over a dozen people help themselves to melted sherbet juice, and an assortment of cookies, in formal dresses to dress shirts, all engaged in pleasant conversation.  The art gallery here has some kind of following!  Its pleasantly surprising, and caught me off guard.  The exhibits focus on various faculty artists.  I’m not surprised the last, and perhaps the largest, showing was the photos from a professor Joe Z.  Adviser to the photography club and traveling artist.  He was able to tell me about the photos that came from Tonowanda to Okinawa.  This project started two years ago when he asked for the funds to be able to travel, and since then  has brought the grand opening in the paper, and been taking artists statements for this.  He has been doing this since 1988, and the quality of work is something that I can’t deny, even as a noobile art critic, is incredible.  He invites any and all who have an interest in the arts to join the photography club, even if photography or art is not the profession they’re seeking, including me.  You may have missed the drinks and cookies but this is only the first act.

I bet you’re wondering then, ” Well I missed the event.  What now?”.  Joe plans no new art exhibits in the near distant future but when I asked how could anybody get involved with art on campus, or in the area, he told me a few places to stop by.  The first is the Goart.org, which is held by the Genesee-Orleans regional arts council.  You can donate on the page or involve yourself with any of their activities locally.  The place has a gallery posted up, but you need to schedule an appointment from 9-4 from Monday to Friday.  It’s a bit classy.  If that doesn’t hit anything, how about art Fridays?  Look up first Fridays for Rochester and Buffalo on the almighty google.  Every first friday of the month some art shows and activities are held at local galleries at each city.  The best part is that it’s free.  The last is the Allen Street Art Festival where there is sure to be food, crafts and good time, that is though when it actually shows.  The festival is a yearly event so keep your eyes peeled for that one.

Even though I’ve only been here for little over three weeks, I can tell the people here are kind and dedicated to their arts and crafts (forgive the pun).  In all seriousness though, show up sometime to the Roz Steiner gallery or anything else around here.  It really is a rare gem on campus and as Joe said ” It’s really nice to see young people here.”

What GCC means to me.

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Genesee Community College is my second home. If you met me today you would never know I used to be extremely shy, or have a problem making friends. I believe GCC has had a huge impact on me and deserves a lot of credit for who I am today.

Prior to college, I had a hard time in school. I didn’t fit in well and didn’t have to many friends. I felt like I didn’t fit in anywhere. In the Fall of 2012, I enrolled at GCC and became a full time student. I was very nervous but also extremely excited. It was a brand new start for me.

My first semester I learned about the leadership certificate program, and thought it was an awesome way for me to enhance my leadership skills. I also felt like it was a good first step in meeting new people and getting myself out there. Then my second semester I learned about Alpha Epsilon Gamma, the service sorority on campus. I was really skeptical at first because I really wasn’t sure I would fit in, or that anyone would like me but I decided to give it a try.

Joining AEG and the leadership certificate program opened so many doors for me. I made a numerous amount of friends, and not just acquaintances, real friends that I can depend on. I had the opportunity to work in the Dean of Students office as a work study, join the GCCA board, become orientation leader and so much more. That is when I realized GCC stopped feeling like school and more like a second home.

I got to chose classes I was interested in and met so many of the awesome faculty on campus. I never had so many professors that cared how I did and would go the extra mile to see me succeed. If I was having a hard time, they would help me or send me somewhere I could get help. They encouraged me and it was a really great feeling.

Like I said GCC has become a second home. I made a place for myself here and because of that I have become more outgoing and confident. I believe that anyone who wants to can find their place as well. There are so many different clubs and organizations on campus that anyone can find something that interests them.

So, I would like to say thank you to all of the people at GCC that have pushed me, helped me, and molded me into the person I am today. For those who feel like they don’t fit in, look a little harder because I guarantee if you do you will find your place too.