Whole U. was founded by Shannon O’Brien in 2012 to assist current career seekers in developing the clarity, confidence, and connections needed to pursue their life’s work.

The Career Development Center has worked with Whole U. in the past to provide opportunities and career education to current Emerson students. They have been a frequent flyer at past Internship Fairs and Shannon has been a great partner for our office over the past few years.

To help prepare career seekers during this time, Shannon and Natalie Daniels ’21, a current Emerson College #emtern at Whole U., put together the following podcast covering a variety of topics such as who is hiring, how to manage a virtual interview, and what building your brand looks like during COVID-19:

Episode Highlights

To recap what this episode covered, we’re highlighting some of the major points both Shannon and Natalie brought up…

Who’s Hiring?

  • Employers are still answering that question. The real answer is uncertain, but that shouldn’t cause alarm. To paraphrase The Serenity Prayer, focus on the things that you have control over.
  • For example, this is a great time to brainstorm areas where you might grow and adapt. It’s a time to develop new skills.
  • “Be brave, but also be deliberate about the way you approach somebody.” (This is a great time to do some intentional networking and career research.)

Searching for Internships

  • Employers are seeking specific skills during this time. For example, they may be asking whether you can run a webinar or if you can run a social media marketing campaign.
  • Tech skills are going to be in high-demand.

Professional Interviewing

  • “You definitely want to come across in a professional way and a confident way and a likable way.” This advice comes from a recent episode of Whole U.® TV where Shannon interviewed Michael Neece, CEO of Interview Mastery. Click here to view the full episode on Whole U.’s blog.
  • Treat virtual interviews like an in-person interview as much as possible: Dress for the company’s culture (professional or business casual), look at the interviewer directly (through your webcam), and practice good posture.

Be sure to check out our Virtual Interviewing Tips & Tricks with GAP & Spotify Alumni for more advice in this area.

Applying to Positions

  • Focus on “improving your process”. Instead of applying to dozens of roles, focus on the ones that would be most relevant and impactful for you.
  • Practice professional networking to make connections and learn more about a role/field. There are a number of online networking opportunities to look out for (i.e. Webinars, Virtual Meet-Ups, and LinkedIn).
  • Continue developing marketable skills for your resume through e-learning (like Emerson’s free LinkedIn Learning Library). There are ways to gain experience outside of the workplace.

Building a Brand

  • Focus on establishing your Foundations & Fundamentals as a start. Answer questions like: What is the foundation of your brand? Who are you? What is your life about?
  • Move onto the Nuts & Bolts of your brand. Create and figure out the following: Professional Materials (resume, cover letter, portfolio), Social Media Platforms (which ones you’ll use), and how you’ll promote your brand.
  • Consider diving deep on one social media platform versus trying to use as many as possible. For example, consider using Instagram for all of its features instead of just posting to every open platform (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.).

Career Resources

Most important of all: Take this day by day, moment by moment. Use this time to focus on yourself and your professional development. Everything will come together.

Special thanks to Shannon at Whole U. and to Natalie Daniels ’21 for putting this podcast together!

Photo of Natalie Daniels
Natalie Daniels ’21