Articles of Note

Today, we continue a list of article links we’ve noticed this week.  We hope they are helpful.  Please let us know if there is a particular topic you would like to see more articles about.

  • Do you tweet?  The following article details the value of social media in recruiting in a unique and readable graphic format.  Aerotek also lists ways that you can make your various social media platforms work for you.

“Using Social Media to Optimize the Job Search”

  • Are you wondering what your skills are?  Spend time exploring this great resource through Career Key that allows you to process through and consider the skills you have.

  • Considering the essential pieces necessary for a well-prepared job search?  Read this article from U.S. News detailing specific items needed when on the job hunt.

Baylor University Office of Career and Professional Development does not specifically endorse or support all articles and website links that may be found within these websites. 

Last-Minute Preparations for the Career Fair

As you prepare for the Spring Internship and Career Fair, make sure you review some of the excellent resources available to you through the Office of Career and Professional Development:

Remember, the career fair is intended for students of all classifications and majors.  For undecided students, working at a summer job or internship can be an excellent way to explore potential careers.

See you at the fair!

In Their Own Words

This week, we continue our alumni profile series by hearing from Mark Firmin, B.A. ’06, M.A. ’08.  Thank you so much, Mark, for sharing your experience with us!

MYM:  What led you to consider pursuing your current field of work?

Mark Firmin:

Like many young professionals today, my career experience is shaped by the economic recession that ravaged the country during 2008 and 2009. At the time, I was planning on pursuing a doctoral degree in History. As the economy came crashing down, I realized that few programs were going to offer funding and that the job market would be saturated with both new PhDs as well as seasoned professionals, who were either let go or delaying retirement to recover the money that hemorrhaged from their 401(k)s or other retirement programs. Wanting to use my degrees and stay active in Public History, I opted to pursue a second masters in archival enterprise (Master of Science in Information Studies) at the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin. Coupled with my M.A. in History, an M.S.I.S. would make me a competitive candidate in a closely related field within two years. As an archivist, I assist others in discovering their roots, solving the riddles of history, help communities establish an identity, and businesses and institutions reflect on their heritage and progress. Archives not only afford me a great opportunity to interact with the public, but also to advocate for the importance of open records legislation and transparency in government and business. Although I have only been a professional for a short time, I find the words inscribed on Pat Neff Hall to ring true: “The preservers of history are as heroic as its makers.”

MYM:  What is your educational background?

Mark Firmin:  

I hold a B.A. (2006) and M.A. (2009) in History from Baylor University, an M.S.I.S. (2011) from the University of Texas at Austin, and am a Certified Archivist (C.A. in 2012) through the Academy of Certified Archivists.

MYM:  What do you feel has best prepared you for your work?

Mark Firmin:  

As corny as it sounds, a willingness to work hard and seize opportunities when they come have helped me more than anything else. While in graduate school, an opportunity arose to have a work published. I took the initiative, spoke to a professor and ultimately got my thesis on Cameron Park in Waco published. This experience boosted my confidence, taught me how to work both independently as well as part of a team, and drastically improved my research, writing and analytical skills.

The relationships I have forged and maintained with my professors has certainly been beneficial. I relish the opportunities I get to listen and learn from them and their experiences. For instance, it was through conversations with a professor at a Baylor that I learned about School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin and first considered archives as a viable career option. Being involved in professional organizations has helped me to network and gain leadership experience. Finally, volunteering at local archives in Austin was immensely helpful and provided great experience.

MYM:  Please take us through a typical day.

Mark Firmin:

As the Congressional Collections Archivist at the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, my day consists of working to appraise, arrange, describe, preserve and make accessible congressional collections for researchers now and generations to come. This work involves the creation of electronic finding aids using standards such as Encoded Archival Description (EAD), Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS), and Machine Readable Cataloging (MARC). The finding aids are placed online in various locations, increasing the chances that remote and local users will find us and the information they need. I work to ensure that the records available to the public do not violate privacy, confidentiality and copyright laws. When patrons have questions relating to congressional or political collections, I am called upon to answer their questions and assist them in tracking down the information they need. At the reference desk, I field patrons’ questions regarding our policies and collections. Some days I work on putting together exhibits that will be either physical or digital. In the latter case, it requires digitizing records and recording metadata about each object. There is never a shortage of things to do or opportunities for me to learn. Although the core principles of archives remain sound, technology is rapidly enhancing the ways in which we can reach the public and satisfy the needs of our users.

MYM:  What is your advice to students interested in pursuing this world of work?

Mark Firmin:

  • Be willing to go away in order to get to where you want to be. In other words, be willing to step outside your comfort zone and take a risk or the initiative when an opportunity presents itself
  • Take classes in Museum Studies and History departments
  • Hone your research and writing skills
  • Develop your knowledge about digitization, encoding schemas and professional standards
  • Form relationships with your professors, as they can open new doors and opportunities for you. Many professional organizations have mentor programs too
  • Expect to attend graduate school. In Texas, one can attend the iSchool at UT Austin or take online classes from the University of North Texas
  • Volunteer at local repositories, apply for internships, or pursue work-study options in libraries and special collections
  • Be active and take a leadership role in professional organizations, such as the Society of American Archivists, the Society of Southwest Archivists, and the Academy of Certified Archivists
  • If you would like to know more, please feel free to email at

Articles of Note

This week, we are continuing our blog series with links to articles that have stood out to us.

If being happy in your work is something you are interested, take a moment to look at this article from Forbes, detailing information about “The Ten Happiest Jobs”:

If you are exploring career options and preparing for job interviews, this article gives you a little insider perspective on what a employers are looking for:

The third article this week speaks to the elusive idea of seeking balance in your life.  These practical strategies may help you as you pursue your current career as a college student and also help with your transition into the full-time work world:

Countdown to Career Fair–Only One Week Away!

Get your résumé ready!  It is almost time for the Internship and Career Fair on Wednesday, February 27th.  This event featuring 98 employers will be from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Ferrell Center.  Dress professionally, and come prepared.  Whether you are graduating and looking for full-time employment, or you are seeking an internship, summer job, or part-time employment, there are opportunities at the Internship and Career Fair for you to consider.  Many of the employers have positions available from students in any major.  Click here for more information on the fair.

To help you prepare, consider attending the Learn to Interview workshop on February 21st and the Prepare for the Internship and Career Fair workshop on February 25th.  We want to help you put your best foot forward!

Career Spotlight: Law Enforcement Officer

Occupational Outlook Handbook puts it quite simply:  “Police officers protect lives and property.”  Detectives are those who investigate crimes.  Law enforcement officers work at the local, state, and national levels.  Though the work can be quite dangerous, a strong sense of pride can be felt for those who serve our communities, states, and country through law enforcement.

Though a college education is not required for all types of police and detective work, it can be helpful.  Some agencies are looking for applicants with specialized skills and work experience.  Here are some links for more information:

Houston Police Department

Dallas Police Department

Become a Texas State Trooper

Federal Bureau of Investigation Careers

United States Secret Service Careers

Drug Enforcement Administration Careers

U.S. Marshals Service Career Opportunities


In Their Own Words

This week, we are continuing our “In Their Own Words” series, hearing from Madeline Gregory, BA ’12, about her journey after Baylor.  Thanks, Madeline, for sharing your story with us!

MYM:  What led you to consider graduate work in communications?

MG:  I decided to go to graduate school when I realized that I would be graduating a whole year early from Baylor.  I just considered graduate school to be my fourth year of undergrad.  Most of my friends are still currently seniors graduating this year, so I will just be one more step ahead with my Masters.

MYM:  What is your educational background?

MG: My educational background: Lamar High School in Houston, TX  Class of 2009

Baylor University Communication Specialist Major with News-Editorial Minor Class of 2012

MYM:  What type of work do you hope to pursue following your studies and what do you feel has best prepared/will prepare you for your work?

MG:  I hope to pursue anything in the media field in regards to communications. I would love to work within a sports environment possibly doing production work.  I could also work for a news station with my journalism background, or even corporate America with a focus on marketing and social media.  My communications major leaves all doors open as far as where I can take my skills.  I will apply to all areas and see where is the best fit and the best opportunity.

I feel that what has best prepared be for my work is all of the work samples and documents that I have completed throughout my educational experience that I could show a future employer.  I have everything easily at my fingertips to help represent myself.  If someone wants to know something about me I can send them an email with my information and a link to my website which I update with new material to help get that first job.  Also, being able to hand out business cards with your email, phone number, website listed, along with your title as Higher Education Professional is great personal touch when you meet a future employer.  I think it is very useful for anyone to see all my information with easy access.  I also have my blog for writing samples and my LinkedIn network set up with all of my information updated to connect with others.

MYM:  Please take us through a typical day.

MG:  My typical day starts out with homework, as I work on all my different assignments during the day before my classes start at night to be able to stay ahead which allows myself to take more graduate hours to help get through the Masters program quickly.  Since all Masters classes are at night, I use my free time for research and completing homework assignments.  Since the typical amount of graduate hours is nine, I am taking twelve this semester to help graduate in December.

MYM:  What is your advice to students interested in pursuing this world of work?

MG:  My advice to students is to not drag out school longer than is necessary.  If you are going to take longer than a year and a half for a Masters, then consider working during the day to also have that work experience for your resume.  So that when you are done with school, you have that work experience to back you up when looking for jobs.  It takes more time management to work and go to school at the same time, but it is doable.  If you just want to focus on school and not work, try to take as many courses as you can with allowing your day time hours to be focused on your studies.  Also, make a LinkedIn profile for adding connections and even more so connect with alumni groups and honor society groups on LinkedIn as well.  These group discussions have consistent job listings on the posts which helps for when you want to start applying for jobs.  I will start the applying the last semester before I graduate from my Masters program since many of the openings are wanting to be filled within a month.

When working towards writing your thesis in your Masters program make sure that you are completing assignments that can help lead up and contribute to your thesis.  It will definitely help so that you won’t be starting from scratch.  You will already have written papers on what you could use for your main thesis topic.

Articles of Note

Here are some articles we’ve noticed this week to help with your career journey.

This article details the story of how a music industry pro found his entrance into that creative field.

This article gives great advice and sets the record straight on myths that may be floating around.

Concerned about networking?  This article remind us about how collegiate student organizations teach us lots about navigating those networking waters.

Careers for Biology Majors

We know that pre-healthcare students flock to the Biology major, but what career options exist for students who are fascinated with life science and do not want to work in the healthcare field?  Too often, I hear the remark made, “All you can do with a biology degree is teach.”  Teaching is a noble and worthy profession, but aside from that, prospective and current biology majors should investigate the wide variety of options available to them post-graduation.  Here are some places to begin your research:

Beta Beta Beta (TriBeta)– an organization for Baylor students who are interested in biology

Career Resources on the Department of Biology website

Biological Sciences WebLinks from Northern Illinois University Career Services