The Graduate Professional: March 8, 2021

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ISSUE 9 • March 8, 2021

Note from the Executive Director

The Pitch.

It could be made in an elevator, at a social event, during a professional conference or in line at a coffee shop.

And it definitely is not a one-size-fits-all approach.

This topic is very timely as we all prepare for the unknown of what happens next in the world of job search, be that virtual interviews or interviews in person or networking with people in a room and not over a screen.

I am going to share some advice that I recently provided to students: people want value and not features. What can you add? How will they benefit by knowing you or hiring you?

Hi. I am a student at the Katz School of Science and Health studying cybersecurity. As someone who is changing careers, I am looking for an opportunity to gain entry-level experience. I have taken classes in digital evidence, computer forensics and risk management. Is there an opportunity for us to talk about what I can add to your business? This is an example of someone showcasing his or her features.

Hi. As a career-changer studying cybersecurity, I have the benefit of already having professional workplace experience in addition to the added knowledge of digital evidence and computer forensics, which fascinate me, perhaps because I also have an interest in e-discovery having worked previously in the legal department of a large firm. I thrive on managing projects, and being able to identify strategic challenges and opportunities for your clients is something I see myself doing when I think ahead to graduation. Could I create a project for you, or could you perhaps challenge me with a case so that can showcase my abilities? Either way, it has been great speaking to you, and thanks for your time.” This is an example of added value.

Make sure you know your own value before you try to communicate it to someone else. Daniel Coleman, assistant director in the Shevet Glaubach Center for Career Strategy and Professional Development, has some additional insight into pitching in this issue of the Graduate Professional. In the SGC, we enjoy being on the receiving end of your pitches and providing you with feedback, so please utilize us for practice.

Remember: value and not features will show what you can add to the business.


Walk-in Hours and Advisers

Collaborate with the Shevet Glaubach Center for Career Strategy and Professional Development to gain support, insight and guidance to plan events based in career development, job search readiness, networking and more.

Professional Point of View

“Fortune Favors the Prepared Mind”

Attributed to Louis Pasteur

What is a personal pitch, and how do you develop a compelling one?

A personal pitch (also known as an elevator pitch) is a brief, persuasive speech that you use to spark interest in yourself. (A pitch can also be used to generate interest in a project, idea, company, or product).

A good elevator pitch should ideally last no longer than a short elevator ride of 30-90 seconds, hence the name. This skill is not only important for those in the midst of a job search and are interviewing or networking; it’s also necessary if you want to take advantage of opportunities to impress and connect with influential people in your organization or industry.

I’m thinking of my friend in the computer science industry who found himself seated next to a member of the Dell family on a flight, and my own experience of being a relatively new entry level employee in a 70,000-plus-person organization and ending up sharing a limo with the CEO (long story for another time).

Always be prepared as you never know when that pitch can come in handy.

As with your résumé, cover letter,and personal statements, be sure to grab the reader or interviewer early on so they want to hear more. Also, remember that a long answer rarely correlates with a great one. Consider anything that makes you unique and only share the highlights of your career trajectory as it relates to what brings you to this moment in 2021. Tailor your answer to the role and company, aim to inject some passion into your answer and keep it upbeat.

Still need convincing?

One of our alumni told us this story that happened in an elevator at YU when he was still a student about 5 years ago. Howard Jonas, millionaire founder of IDT and entrepreneur, had just finished a guest lecture and was riding the elevator to the exit. Our protagonist just happened to have been reading Jonas’s most recent book, On a Roll: From Hot Dog Buns to High-Tech Billions, and was holding it as he stepped into the very same elevator. He’d never imagined a meeting with the author – and in an elevator no less.

The two of them got into a brief conversation, and by the time they emerged from the building together, the student had received an invitation for a further conversation with Mr. Jonas at his office which eventually led to an internship offer.

Moral of the story: always have your elevator pitch ready. And be sure to practice it in front of a mirror, a friend, and most especially a Career Adviser!

Daniel Coleman
Assistant Director of Career Advising


These can be accessed through the YU Career Link: YUCL

  • Youth Social Worker, Henry Street Settlement • YUCL Job ID: 42939 • Deadline: March 15
  • Empowerment Social Worker, Henry Street Settlement • YUCL Job ID: 42939 • Deadline: March 15
  • Community Psychiatric Support and Treatment Provider (P/T), OHEL Children’s Home and Family Services • YUCL Job ID: 43021 • Deadline: July 1

Inside View

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Resources | YUCL

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Check out the Shevet Glaubach Center’s latest on-line resources on majors and industries as well as to view our tip-sheets and more in Canvas. Request to join the Shevet Glaubach Center’s Resource Hub and check out our modules.


The Shevet Glaubach Center for Career Strategy and Professional Development supports the leaders of tomorrow. Our students will be able to think strategically about designing their careers while in college, at graduation, and for life.