Browsing Tag

Written Communication

JAKE’s mom’s Christmas French Toast Casserole

Jake posted a photo of our french toast casserole Christmas morning and we had requests for the recipe, which takes more than Twitter’s 140 characters. We were introduced to this sugar and carb extravaganza courtesy of Jake’s pre-K best friend, Carly, and her mom, Annie, so we give thanks to them for providing us with this family tradition.

The photo @jakeow posted, above, is 2x the recipe below. We like to cook it in our Turkey roasting pan, which also gives me a really good excuse for not cooking Christmas dinner. #WorkingMomHack (I make this the night before, so we just put it in the oven Christmas morning.)

1 loaf sourdough bread (or 1.5 baguettes, if you like it with more crust, like we do)
8 oz cream cheese
2 1/2 cups of half and half
8 eggs
1 cup maple syrup (real syrup)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter
powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350° and use some extra butter to grease a 12″ casserole pan with 4″ sides
  • Place two layers of cubed bread, then a layer of sliced (or chunked) cream cheese, then cover with the remaining bread.
  • Whisk together eggs, half and half, and 1/2 of the maple syrup.
  • Pour the liquid over the bread to saturate the top layer evenly. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
  • Bake for one hour at 350°  or until the mixture puffs and sets.
  • Melt the 1/2 cup of unsalted butter with the remaining 1/2 of the maple syrup. Drizzle the top of the casserole immediately before serving (shortly after it comes out of the oven). Sprinkle the top with sifted powdered sugar.

Not recommended pre-Overwatch game, for players or viewers. Excellent pre-nap meal. #OWL2018

LinkedIn 101

Someone recently asked me is I could teach a small group of college-bound high school seniors how to set up their LinkedIn profiles. Funny, because we’d just come out of our monthly Lean In Circle meeting where we went through our profiles one by one and updated them. There are a ton of people blogging in detail about tips and it’s definitely a project to think about that first little intro blurb, but I’m just going to give you a quick checklist of things to do for that new empty little profile and link them to other posts that give you some tips on how to do those things. Continue Reading

Reading: How College Works

Dan Chambliss and Christopher Takacs followed over 100 students over eight years at Hamilton College to see what works and what doesn’t. They show the reader how college works and see beyond the four years, with frequent commentary from alumni looking back at their college years and with insight into what choices paid off and what opportunities they missed. While they are researchers writing for an academic audience, and the book is a little dry, with more information about background methods than the lay reader wants, the core is a very reliable, persuasive guide to what needs to happen for a successful college experience (and if college isn’t successful, you’re unlikely to have a successful post-college launch, right?)

Interestingly, students don’t need to find a large group of great people—they need just a few—and those can come from nearly anywhere on campus. But those friends are crucial to success on all levels. And, although probably true all through life, it’s interesting to consider that friendships within one group may preclude  friendships with other groups—whether due to time constraints or clannishness.

Continue Reading

How (and When) to send a LinkedIn Invitation

This week I received yet another completely generic, one-line  “I’d like to connect with you on LinkedIn” invitation from someone I didn’t know, whose job title is “student at XYZ University.” I admit, I am sometimes uncertain about the invites I get. Not because I am old and forgetful, but because I’ve been working since I was 16—I’ve met a lot of people in my life, from many different circles, and sometimes it’s hard to place them out of context. (And I started my career long before LI was invented, so there are people who suddenly join who knew me quite well years ago.) Giving everyone the benefit of the doubt, when I’m not sure I go check out the profiles of the unknown message senders on LinkedIn. This week’s uninitiated user profile has no photo, and relatively little info, given they are young and with little experience. They aren’t in a field that relates to what I do nor is their school one I have any strong personal connection to (there are two business school scholarships there in my dad’s name, but my last name is different, so I’m dismissing that as the reason.) I’m not accepting the invite and I’ll nicely mark the invite reason as “I don’t know Person X” (the other option is to mark it as spam). If you get too many declines for this reason LinkedIn can restrict or even terminate your account. This is not a happy outcome for this student (who by the way sealed their amateur status by having only 20 connections).

First of all, have a real profile, including a photo, when you are connecting with anyone. Start off by connecting to your classmates, professors, parents, friends’ parents. Try getting to 50 connections. Send invites after you’ve had a successful meeting or email exchange with someone new. If you’ve had only a brief conversation at a large gathering, follow up with an email or coffee invite, not a LI invite. Once you’ve actually met, then follow up with an invite. Give yourself time to get back to your office or the equivalent—at least an hour. Invites sent on your phone from the car five minutes after the meeting are a exclusive hallmark of overly enthusiastic teenagers. Cute, possibly accepted, but not as a peer.  Continue Reading

What are Soft Skills?

Back in 2012, The Chronicle of Higher Education published this study on employer perceptions of college graduates. And one-third of folks from my very popular segment, Media/Communications said that colleges were doing a fair or poor job of producing graduates who were going to be successful employees. Another third of employers across all industries said “recent graduates are unprepared or very unprepared for their job search” while “over half of the employers indicated difficulty in finding qualified candidates for job openings.”

Sure, this survey is three years old and the job market is much improved. Some students are now reneging on offers because better ones come along. The thing is, while the offers are being made, and the jobs and internships filled, that doesn’t mean that you’ll be well-regarded. And failing at your first job without being told why is pretty disastrous. You may not end up fired, just shunted off to the side or conveniently laid off. Continue Reading