Gear animation  Tools, Tips, and Resources

Career Planning Advice

Career planning can be pretty tough, especially when you are in college and there are so many exciting options to explore.  In general, you should take hints from your courses, and pursue a career direction that reflects those subjects you enjoy. 

One interesting option is to try to match your career goals to your personality.  Many people and companies use the Meyers-Briggs psychological assessment  to identify an individual's personality type based on his/her preferences. This reknowned assessment has been around for many years and has established credibility.  We use an abbreviated version of this assessment in my Principles of Management class. 

I  have discovered a career-planning book that provides you with the tools to figure out your Meyers-Briggs personality type, and an analysis of career options that suit each personality type.  I have personally used this book and found it very helpful in my career.  You may want to check it out!
Here are some fantastic video resources to get you ready for the job search process.  These close captioned resources cover Resume Writing and Interviewing. (Links open in a new window.)
  Professional Associations

Professional Associations are clubs that are organized around a  functional area or a field of interest.  Generally they are national associations that sponsor local "chapters" around the country.  The local chapters hold periodic meetings and special events, and often allow student members to join (with reduced membership dues).   For instance, a professional association might hold a monthly dinner meeting in a local hotel which offers members a chance to network with other professionals in that functional area, followed by a lecture on a current topic of professional interest.

Why join a professional association?   The main reason people join is to network.   These meetings allow you to meet people in similar positions in other companies, and to learn about their jobs and those companies, and sometimes to learn about hot job opportunities.  Some professionals find that having a network of friends and acquaintances in other companies who can offer advice is useful when they are facing a tough challenge on the job. Many senior level managers attend these events in hopes of finding new recruits.   The professional association meetings also allow you to practice your business etiquette so that you are well-prepared for your trip on the fast track!

Another reason to join a professional association is that the lectures and other training opportunities offer you the chance to stay on top of cutting-edge topics in your field.   While your textbook was probably written a few years ago, the people who are speaking at professional meetings are often working in leading-edge companies who are paving the way in terms of new ideas and approaches.   Consequently, attending these meetings will give you an advantage over your classmates in terms of your job-related knowledge.

Membership in a professional association is also a resume-builder.  Employers are often impressed when candidates take this extra step to stay on top of developments in their field.   And if you regularly attend the monthly meetings, you will find that you have many interesting stories to tell and professional topics to discuss at that awkward interview luncheon.

Here are some professional associations that I am familiar with.  If you are interested in other functional areas, check with a professor that teaches that function, or try a search on the Internet.  All of these external links open in a new window.

American Management Association
Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Marketing Association
American Marketing Association
American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS)
Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)

ESL Students and others who may have trouble with Written/Oral Communications

Communications skills are essential to success in business and management.  Since my job is to prepare you for a successful career in business, my standards of performance do not differ for students who have English as a second language.  It is my responsibility to grade all students at the college level.  It may be difficult for you to learn business concepts if you are not prepared to participate in English at the college level.  If you are not confident of your English skills, I strongly recommend that you register for ESL classes prior to taking business courses.

Written Reports:

Students in all of my classes are expected to write.  Any written assignment, whether short or lengthy, will be graded for content and grammar.  If you make grammatical errors or use awkward wording, I will try to provide corrections.   My intent is to help you to overcome these minor imperfections so that your supervisor and colleagues will focus on your brilliant ideas!  Nevertheless, I understand that it is challenging for ESL students to master all the subtleties of the English language.  

One resource that you might want to take advantage of is the De Anza Student Success Center.  They have scheduled appointments and drop-in times when you can have an English tutor review your written assignments.  Alternatively, you may want to find a buddy who will help you to proofread your reports before you turn them in.    As long as you write the paper, it is completely ethical to get help with proofreading.  Many professionals do this when they have an important report to turn in to their boss!   Now they offer online writing support! All registered students have been allocated several hours of this service, called SmartThinking! (opens in a new window)

If you would like a reference book to help you with the grammatical challenges of writing, I recommend:

Class Participation:

In the work environment, you will also be expected to participate in discussions in group meetings.  Students in most of my classes will be graded on their class participation.  It can be intimidating for almost anyone to speak up in class, although I know that ESL students feel especially self-conscious about having an accent.  Personally, I find that most accents are very charming to hear!  If you are nervous, you should bring some notes on the assigned reading which may help you to organize your thoughts.  Remember that your pronounciation will only improve if you practice speaking!


I do not allow printed or electronic dictionaries during my exams, because they present an opportunity for cheating.  However, if you are stumped by a word on an exam, you may come up to ask me for a definition.  I am happy to explain any word, as long as it is not one of the important business terms that you should have studied for the test!

And don't forget about my office hours which are here if you need additional support.  If you find that you need extra help understanding the business jargon in the textbook, or you want me to go over a concept from my lecture again, we can arrange to do so during my office hours.

I admire your dedication to pursuing a career in a new language, and look forward to having you in one of my classes. 

  De Anza Library Online

The De Anza Library has an excellent web site (opens in a new window) which provides registered students access to a variety of resources online, including research databases which contain newspaper and business magazine articles.  I urge you to make use of these valuable assets while you are a student.   These databases will allow you to do research from any location that is convenient for you.

The passwords for these databases change regularly to protect licensing arrangements with the providers.  You may obtain the passwords by requesting them from a Librarian at the Learning Center.

Lab Computers

Any registered student may go to the Library West Computer Lab in the Learning Center West building to use a computer with connectivity to the Internet.  The Advanced Technology Center is reserved for students in specific courses that have a lab component.   Check your course greensheet to see if your course has access to the ATC.

Free Email Accounts

Your class may require you to use email.  Naturally, you may use your home or work account if you like.  However, many students find it convenient to set up a special account for school, because they can use it to register and explore sites when needed without fear of junk email.

If you do not already have an email account, it is easy to get one!  There are many sites on the web which offer free email accounts.   They generally provide this service because they make money from the banner advertisements you will see when you are in your email account.   Check the privacy policy of each company carefully to make sure that you agree to their terms.

Some sites that offer free email (all links open in a new window) include Yahoo! and Google.