Category Archives: Uncategorized

Financial Security and Your First Job

As we get closer to graduation day, some of you will be walking across the stage at the Ferrell Center and heading off to “fling your green and gold afar”.  Something that is helpful to remember as you begin those first jobs is the importance of incorporating savings into your lifestyle.  For many students and young professionals, financial security is a major value.  One way to work towards that value is savings.  Take a minute and read this article from the Levo League about how much to save and ways to begin saving: If we incorporate savings into our financial picture at the beginning of our career, it will be easier to continue the trend throughout our working life.

Articles of Note

Are you concerned about finding a job?  Maybe you’re afraid there won’t be any job availability when you graduate.  Well, if these are concerns you have, I have good news!

The following article talks about career fields that are difficult to fill and demonstrates these needs through an infographic from Career Builder:

And for specific companies that are hiring this week, take a look at this article about the “Top Ten Companies Hiring This Week”:

Another field area that seems to be in high demand is Human Resources, according to a gentleman I spoke with at the Work in Waco Job Fair.  In fact, the job fair yesterday was a great way to make connections and learn about available positions.  Did you go?

Articles of Note: Helpful Job/Internship Search Tools!!

Today, we are linking up with three articles found this week that we hope will help with your job and internship search process.  Now that Spring Break is behind us, finding what you will do after you walk across the stage if you are graduating and waht you are doing this summer if you have some more time at Baylor may be more at the front of your mind.  Here are this week’s articles:

This first articles provides an awesome overview of how to plan out your job search strategy in an organized way.  The author shares her personal experience and systems that worked for her.

We have recruiters on Baylor’s campus throughout the year, meeting and interviewing with students.  The article offers an on-campus recruiter’s perspective on how best to shine and it doesn’t start your senior year.  She definitely advocates networking with campus reps early in your college career.

This week’s third article navigates the sometimes unknown world of informational interviews and how best to navigate LinkedIn to discover people you can network with in your field of interest.  Informational interviews are very useful in the career exploration process as well to help you determine what paths might be best fits with your interests, personality, skills, and values.

If you would like to visit with someone further about job/internship search strategies, on-campus recruiting at Baylor or informational interviewing strategies, please stop by the Career and Professional Development office in the west wing of Sid Richardson.  We’d love to help you find that place that is right for you!

In Their Own Words

We hope you all enjoyed your Spring Break and are returning to classes well rested and ready to take on the rest of the semester.  Today, we hope to encourage you with another alumni success story from Pat Combs.  Thanks so much for your help today, Pat!

1.    What led you to consider pursuing your current field of work?

When I came to Baylor after my freshman year at Rice, I was not sure which specific direction in business that I wanted to pursue.  I also played baseball and my dream was to play professionally.  When I arrived at Baylor, I remember sitting down with a counselor in the business school and asking questions about which degree program I should pursue.  The counselor and I came to the same conclusion that based upon my interests, I should choose finance.  My thinking was that if I made it as a pro baseball player, I better be able to handle the money, and if I didn’t I could use the financial knowledge to go into the financial planning and investment field to help other ballplayers.
2.    What is your educational background?

Bachelor degree in business management.  Professional licenses in the financial advisory business…Series 7, 65, 63, 31 and insurance license
3.    What do you feel has best prepared your for your work?

Life experiences, hard work ethic I learned in athletics, mentors during my career, prayer, college education, business experiences, working with a team, and Jesus changing my heart towards people when he rescued me in 1989.
4.    Please take us through a typical day.

I am part of a 9 member financial advisory team at Morgan Stanley, named the Live Oak Group.  I am an equity partner, along with two other men from Houston.  I run the North Texas Branch of our operation.  My main role on the team is the business development officer, or Chief Relationship Officer.  My typical day includes anywhere from 1-3 in person meetings with prospective clients, as well as clients of our team.  I will also make calls and answer emails, mostly to set up meetings, meet client needs, and planning.  A successful day for me is when I am out of the office most, if not all of the day in meetings.  As the CRO, my goal is to develop new relationships, work with clients on plans and investments, and bring in new assets from prospective clients.  I am also responsible for training and mentoring our junior advisors.  I also speak at various events about 2-3 times per month, and I plan and execute projects and seminars for the team.
5.    What is your advice to students interested in pursuing this world of work?

The financial services business is a very competitive industry.  One has to possess a unique skill set that includes technical, as well as relational talents and skills.  Most needed is a passion to help others in financial planning, investments, and the psychology of navigating through various markets.  This business is full of ups, downs, joy, frustration, celebration, sadness, and hopefully in the end a smile from God, as a “faithful servant” to His people.  We also feel that because of the complexities involved in this business that it is best done with a team.  My advice is to students is to really investigate this industry and if led to pursue, gain an internship to see where the best fit would be for their particular skill sets.  This business has everything to do with people, service, and also includes the technical aspects of planning and investments.  But, you don’t have to be an expert and “wear multiple hats.”  You can figure out which part and the best role that fits you and find a great team that shares your worldview and partner with them.

Happy Spring Break!

Whether you are soaking up the sun,

hitting the slopes,

or plan to spend time curled up in a comfy place catching up on naps and Netflix,

take advantage of this break from school to think a little about your future plans.  Maybe that will include talking to the people around you about your goals and dreams and seeing if they know of people in the fields you are interested in.  Who knows, while standing in line for the ski lift, you may strike up a conversation with someone who could have valuable information about a field of study that interests you.  If you are spending time in your hometown, this break could be a perfect opportunity to put some feet to your ideas about what you will do this summer.  Explore internship and summer job experiences that will help you develop skills in areas of work you find appealing.  Spending time in those work environments is a great way to really see if that line of work is a good fit.

Enjoy your break and get good rest, so you’ll be ready to take on the rest of the semester.

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. 

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

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.

In Their Own Words

Here on “Mind Your Major”, we are beginning a new series featuring Baylor alumni, describing their journeysafter college.  Today we welcome Kevin Perkins, BBA ’82 to share his incredible experiences since his Baylor undergrad days.

KP:  I’ve been an FBI Agent for 27 years and currently hold the position of Associate Deputy Director (equivalent to Chief Operating Officer and the #3 in command of the organization).

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

KP:  A career in the FBI was something I strived for since I was a young child (no kidding).

MYM:  What is your educational background?

KP:  My BBA from Baylor (’82) with an emphasis in accounting was part of my overall plan in that I knew the FBI hired many accountants and lawyers as Special Agents.

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

KP:  The FBI’s motto is “Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity.”  A Baylor education provided unique life preparation grounded in solid moral and ethical practices that helps me live up to this motto.

MYM:  Please take us through a typical day.

KP:  As the Associate Deputy Director my typical workday starts early and most often goes late. We are an organization of over 36,000 employees conducting worldwide, high risk operations 24/7/365 and operating on an annual budget of over $9 billion.   We maintain offices in over 400 locations in the US and over 70 locations overseas.

Typically I arrive at my desk in Washington, DC between 6:30 and 7:00 am and immediately begin to prepare for a series of operational threat briefings of both FBI Director Mueller and Attorney General Eric Holder. Following these daily briefings I generally spend the remainder of my day in various meetings with my direct reports concerning any number of issues to include strategy, budget, human resources, information technology, security and facilities.   While I am now responsible for the business side of the FBI I most recently served as Assistant Director of the Criminal Investigative Division where I was responsible for providing oversight of all FBI criminal investigations worldwide.

My early career was much more along the lines of a traditional FBI Agent. I am a CPA and my investigative experience included complex white collar crime, public corruption and organized crime. I also served as a Sniper on an FBI SWAT team prior to entering the management career path.

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

KP:  My advice to students interested in the FBI or law enforcement in general is to pursue your dreams. The Bureau has many different career paths, all of which reward one with the knowledge that they are serving their country and protecting its citizens from those wishing to do us harm.   It is a very rewarding career!

Thanks so much to Kevin Perkins for his outstanding assistance in sharing his journey.  Look for our next edition of “In Their Own Words” next week!

Articles of Note

Here are a few articles we’ve seen this week with valuable info:

This article reminds us of the important experience you gain from roles you take on in student organizations during your time in college.  Don’t forget to include that experience on your resume!

This article provides valuable insight to add to your thought process when planning for law school.

This article has some great tips for making sure your social media is recruiter ready.

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.