Issue: April 2009
In This Issue:
June is fast approaching, which means many students, both high school and college, will be flipping their graduation cap tassels and bolting for the door—to their future, that is. Soon you will officially be on the move to a new life with all sorts of opportunities and challenges. Now’s the time to fill up on mom’s cooking (it’s probably tastier than the stuff in the dining hall) and fuel up on your knowledge about different career choices.
Step One: Visit www.njnextstop.org to read articles and personality profiles about people working in every type of job imaginable. In the meantime, here’s some insight into a few unique careers that perhaps you hadn’t thought about:
1. The Artist in You
Why not add a practical twist to your design endeavors with a career as a visual practitioner or graphic recorder. These creative types bring information and ideas to life visually. A graphic reporter will attend a business meeting and draw images on sheets of paper around the room to illustrate the ideas that the attendees are communicating. You need to be able to listen well, think fast, and draw creatively. Explore this fascinating career at the International Forum of Visual Practitioners, www.visualpractitioner.org.
2. Making Scents of Your Future
Did you know New Jersey is home to the flavor and fragrance industry? Big companies like Givaudan and Firmenich have offices here, where they make the tastes that go into Fido’s pet food and the scents in Mom’s kiwi strawberry candles. A perfumer has to have a sharp sense of smell and a love of the lab, where he or she mixes perfumes or fragrances from plant extracts, essential oils and resins. Think you’ve got a nose for the job? Find out more at the American Society of Perfumers, www.perfumers.org, or by visiting The Fragrance Foundation at www.fragrance.org.
3. Tiny Tech Jobs
High-tech types need to know nano—nanotechnology, that is. This is the art and science of working with materials on an atomic or molecular scale to build microscopic devices that are expected to transform entire industries. It’s a very technical world (think microarrays and nanodevices) with jobs that require everything from two-year associates degrees on up to doctorates in areas like biology, chemistry and physics. The field is expected to employ 2 million workers worldwide by 2015. Check it out at www.nanostudent.com or www.nano.gov.
New Jersey employs lots of workers in two important industries, pharmaceuticals and finance (which hit a major rough patch in 2008 and 2009). If these types of careers interest you, then maybe you’re trying to decide if you would rather wear a lab coat to work or stock up on suits. The answer could be that you need not choose between the two. Why not aspire to be a finance specialist who works for a pharmaceutical firm? Mihir Patel, a senior financial analyst with C.R. Bard, a medical device company based in Murray Hill, has done just that.
As a high school student in Mumbai, India, Patel had already chosen a career path, though he wasn’t sure where it might lead. He only knew that it must somehow involve finance. With a philosophy that students should be focused on their career plan, he earned an undergraduate degree in accounting at the University of Mumbai and interned part-time during summers and breaks at a stock brokerage. He came to the U.S. to pursue his graduate and MBA business degree at Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) in 2002. “Those classes were held in the evening, so during the day I was still working as an intern at the credit union at FDU,” says Mihir, who is now 27. “I was doing their analysis reports and their monthly financial statements and bank reconciliations,” anything to immerse himself in the business of finance.
Now at C.R. Bard, Mihir fills his days with finance. He assists the corporate controller in preparation of annual budgets and monthly forecasts. He reviews commercial spending for departments like human resources, business development and regulatory sciences. He also provides analysis on the economic viability of projects and organizes statistics for 10-K and 10-Q reporting. “When I was a kid I wanted to help people out in any possible way—not just physical labor, but in terms of community service,” explains Mihir. “The pharmaceutical and medical device industry fascinates me because the products we develop are giving a better life to somebody who is ill. While finance is not a straight R&D or new product department, I’m supporting those functions within my company so I’m helping those people who are really in need of those medicines.”
We live in a wired world, and whether you are moving on to college or renting your first apartment, you need to stay connected. The technology you choose is as important as the career you pursue. Ken Ronkowitz and Tim Kellers, who write a regular blog on educational technology (Serendipity35 at http://devel2.njit.edu/serendipity/), have calculated the must-have technologies to keep teens connected:
Moving on often means moving in—to a new apartment. If you’ve never signed a lease agreement, basically a contract between you and the person you are renting from (a.k.a. landlord), then you need to be prepared. Use these tips to guide you through the lease process:
Magnifying Glass Required
The No. 1 area of your lease that requires careful review is the fine print, the small details. In the past, the term “fine print” referred to the section at the end of any contract. Now it also means the small details, not just the print that is physically smaller. The amount of the security deposit, the legal age to sign the lease and the requirement of a co-signer are just a few examples.
Can Rover Come Over?
You’ll want to know everything, top to bottom, cover to close. For instance, many first-time renters will want to know what (if any) pets are allowed on the property. Everything from weight and breed requirements to the process for vacating a property that housed pets should be outlined in their lease. Knowing your lease inside and out before signing will curb any issues that may have otherwise surprised you.
Pack Your Snow Board AND Snow Shovel
The most overlooked section of any lease involves maintenance procedures. In most cases the landlord is responsible for all repairs to the property sustained through breakdown or natural wear. With that knowledge in mind, seasoned renters often gloss over the maintenance section of their lease. However, this section also outlines the timeline for any repairs, the upkeep you are responsible for (lawn care, snow shoveling, maintaining sidewalks, etc.) and how often regular maintenance will take place (bug-spraying, filter replacement, smoke detector inspections, etc.). Knowing all of the maintenance procedures and timelines will help you keep track of needed repairs and upkeep measures.