ASK Experience Series: Emotional Intelligence

The ASK Experience series is a new HireDePaul Blog series featuring unique insights and career advice from interviews with DePaul alumni. In the next installment, we spoke with Marie Wohler (‘91) about her career, emotional intelligence in the workplace, and the value of mentorship in professional development. 

Emotional Intelligence

After a career in talent management and leadership development, it is clear that Marie Wohler is passionate about helping people improve their professional skills, the most salient of which being emotional intelligence. So what is emotional intelligence? As Marie explains, “emotional intelligence — or EI — is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions and those of the people around you.”

Marie’s Characteristics of Professional Emotional Intelligence:

  • “Changers”
    • Professionals displaying emotional intelligence are open to change and are adaptable. Being willing to change and take risks as needed supports an organization’s ability to improve itself. 
  • Self-Awareness
    • Acknowledging professional or personal weaknesses helps emotionally intelligent professionals to work with teams that complement their skills.  
  • Empathy & Relation
    • By relating to coworkers and putting their behavior in the context of any situation that may arise, professionals can more effectively resolve conflicts, overcome obstacles, and form connections with colleagues. 
  • Self-Care
    • Self-care looks different for everyone, but practicing it can make or break a professional’s ability to interact with colleagues. 

“Getting great people and retaining them takes emotional intelligence, and leaders who don’t have it risk losing talent that could be a competitive advantage for an organization.”

Feedback

As a convenient follow-up to our previous article (ASK Experience Series: Communication), one aspect of professional emotional intelligence is the ability to take and receive feedback constructively. To expand on the previous discussion, Marie shared some insights on how to ask for good feedback:

  • Ask what you should stop, start, and continue doing. This opens up the floor for the other person to provide you with specific feedback that you can take with you and follow up on after an agreed upon period of time. 
  • Consider branching out to other colleagues for feedback instead of relying exclusively on your direct supervisor. This can help avoid interpersonal conflict in the workplace before it begins! 
  • Follow up with the person you asked. Set a period of time after which you will report back. 

Mentorship

Mentors are always a valuable resource in anyone’s career development. Marie cited two mentors throughout her career who had a significant impact on her growth as a professional. Mentors can share experience and advice, give feedback, and support any person regardless of their experience level. Here at DePaul, all students have access to resources designed to help connect them with potential mentors! 

On the DePaul ASK Network, there is a vast database of alumni volunteers prepared to coach students in their careers. For more information on the ASK Network, check out our website or email us at ask@depaul.edu!  

ASK Experience Series: Communication

In the newest HireDePaul Blog series, the Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK) Program will be hosting interviews with alumni designed to bring DePaul students access to unique career advice and professional insight. In the first installment, we spoke with Margaret Batkiewicz (‘74) about her career and the importance of good communication in the workplace. 

Margaret spent most of her career in global employee communications, creating internal messaging to keep employees informed and up-to-date. When asked about the importance of effective internal communications, Margaret told us that “a company that communicates well with its employees is going to do better, [improve] morale, and have less turnover.”

This messaging came in many forms, one of which being a regular newsletter sent out to an international audience of employees. With such a diverse audience, it was important that she communicated consciously, ensuring awareness of cultural and linguistic differences. By consulting with company leaders from the various geographic regions she was communicating with and sending out surveys to employees, she was able to successfully navigate this unique challenge throughout her career. With that, however, comes the joy of communicating globally. 

“I met so many wonderful people and learned so much about their cultures,” Margaret said. 

From there, Margaret went on to discuss communication as a whole and how it can make or break a company. 

“Communication is essential to the success of a company,” she said, “whether it does business locally or globally.” 

But what is good workplace communication? Good communication skills vary by industry, position, and workplace culture. However, there are some good practices that can be applied to any professional environment:

Tone and Volume

Be conscious of the tone and volume of your voice when communicating with colleagues. There is some truth to the old saying “it’s not what you say, but how you say it.” Pay attention to your tone, watching out for any unintentionally negative, unenthusiastic, or accusatory intonations. As you get more comfortable in a workplace, continue to practice respectful and sincere communication. 

Be Concise and Definite

Avoid any superfluous information. Communicate with definition, avoiding language that may unnecessarily extend or worsen periods of uncertainty like “maybe” and “probably.” In some instances, informing your coworker that you are unsure of an answer is equally appropriate to providing that answer, as long as you come back to them with that answer once you have it.

Practice Good Listening Skills

Listen closely and attentively while showing interest in the topic and respecting the speaker. Ask questions to clarify information you may have missed. Paraphrase what you have heard and repeat it back to the speaker to ensure understanding. 

Give and Receive Feedback

Be descriptive and clear, while avoiding judgmental language. Be open to receiving feedback without defensiveness, allowing for the other person to address all of their points before responding. Remember: address modifiable, not unchangeable behavior. 

For more information on career readiness, make sure to explore the HireDePaul Blog. To connect with alumni like Margaret and practice your communication skills online, check out the DePaul ASK Network!

DePaul Career Center May Programming

We are excited to share our May 2021 programming schedule below! These regularly scheduled virtual events and workshops will help you stay on top of your career goals, gain new skills, and navigate the ever-changing job market.

Mark your calendars: The Virtual Spring Interview Day is on May 21st!

Our career advisors are also available remotely for one-on-one appointments and tailored advice.


Register for the Job Search Summit for Underrepresented Students on May 7th

Register for Spring Interview Day on May 21st


May 19: Careers in Law



May 25: How I got this Job: Lionsgate


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May 26: Preparing a Pitch Deck



May 4: Tech & Design Career Community Pop-Up Event: Playing Codenames

May 5: Case Interview Prep with Huron Consulting

May 11: Women in Business: Overcoming Challenges in the Workplace

May 12: Business Not as Usual

May 12: MCEA: Pop-Up Event

May 14: Signature Event: Explore Your Impact

May 19: HCS Community Pop-up: Healthcare Thank-a-thon

May 19: Let’s Talk Graduation: Recent Alumni Panel on Life After Graduation

May 20: Center for Sales Leadership Art of Persuasion

DePaul Career Center April Programming

We are excited to share our April 2021 programming schedule below! These regularly scheduled virtual events and workshops will help you stay on top of your career goals, gain new skills and navigate the ever-changing job market.

Mark your calendars: The Virtual Spring Career Fair is on April 8th!

Our career advisors are also available remotely for one-on-one appointments and tailored advice.

Register for the Spring Career Fair on April 8th

Register for ASK Oasis on April 5th


Apr 14: Careers in Film

Apr 20: Careers In Cybersecurity



Apr 21: CEO

Apr 29: Physician’s Assistant (PA)


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Apr 12Social Media Strategy & Nonprofits

Apr 13: CITI Training & Research Careers



Apr 6: How to: Serve in the Peace Corps

Apr 6: DePaul Design Internship Program Presents: Design Portfolio Showcase

Apr 9: Finding & Interviewing for Research Opportunities

Apr 20: Women in STEM Virtual Panel Discussion

Apr 23: Make $ Traveling

Apr 29: Center for Sales Leadership Alumni Panel

DePaul Career Center March Programming

We are excited to share our March 2021 programming schedule below! These regularly scheduled virtual events and workshops will help you stay on top of your career goals, gain new skills and navigate the ever-changing job market.

Our career advisors are also available remotely for one-on-one appointments and tailored advice.


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Mar 5Skills Lab: Design Thinking Basics

Mar 11: Skills Lab: Agile Project Management (Not Just for Software Developers)


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Mar 2: Interviewing 101



Mar 3: How I Got This Job: Paramount Pictures

Mar 4: How I Got This Job: UX Design


Mar 4: BEC Community Pop-up : Game Night Edition

Mar 18: ENPG Trivia pop-up


Mar 3: Honors Students: Exploring Careers in Social Sciences and Humanities

Mar 3: Bringing Diversity to the Workplace

Mar 3: Industry Insights: Non-Clinical Hospital Careers with Rush

Mar 3: Just ASK Dialogue Series: Latinx Identity and Influence on Career Journey

Mar 4: Nursing Resume Workshop

Mar 9: Alumni Masterclass: Using Your Strengths at Work

5 Career Fair Prep Tips

By: Lorne Bobren, Technology & Design Career Community Advisor

The DePaul Career Center hosts several job fairs each year. The companies who attend are eager to learn about your qualifications and why you may be a good fit for their company. Whether you are looking for a full-time job or an internship, here are some tips on how to best prepare for the next fair:

1. Create an action plan

Job fairs at DePaul can have as many as 40-60 companies attend. It’s unrealistic to think you’ll connect with all companies attending, so the best approach is to review the company list on Handshake and make a list of 3-5 target employers. These companies should be your primary focus while attending the fair.

2. Research

One of the worst things you can do at a fair is ask a company, “What positions are you hiring for?” This information is easy to find on Handshake and the company’s website. Once you’ve created your target list of employers, you should review the company’s website, mission, social media, and job openings. This information will let you naturally converse with companies at the fair rather than asking questions that are found online. Show the recruiter you did your homework and that you’re genuinely interested in the company.

3. Have your resume reviewed

Having a polished resume prior to the fair is essential. Some companies may host on-campus interviews a few days after the fair or look to bring in candidates for onsite interviews a few days after the fair. The best way to ensure you’re prepared is by visiting the Career Center prior to the fair to have your resume reviewed.

4. Develop a 30 second pitch

You’ll have limited time to speak with recruiters at job fairs, so it’s best to develop a quick pitch that summarizes your skills and interest in the company. The purpose of an elevator pitch is to create a brief, impactful message that touches on the following key points:

  1. You! Your most important characteristics and interests
  2. What you can offer to the employer and workforce
  3. Your goal in connecting with the individual or company you’re pitching

Think about what qualities you possess that will leave an impression and bundles your strengths, what you can offer, and your intentions.

5. Connect with alumni mentors

DePaul’s ASK network is a great way to calm nerves and relax prior to the attending the fair. Alumni mentors are available before and during the fair to help with crafting your elevator pitch, resume reviews, and tips on how to approach employers.

 

Careers fairs may seem a bit intimidating, but creating an action plan and following through that plan is the best way to enhance your experience!