June 6, 2011

Browser Cache

Today we're going to talk about the top five internet sites that every business major should know about, and know how to use.

1. Google News

This might seem like a waste of a listing, but Google News is invaluable in staying up-to-the-minute with news, reports, and the general goings-on of the world we live in. Google News will often let you access exclusive content for free (free!) by clicking into a news article via Google. Combine with Google Reader, a feed aggregator, and you can read news, blogs updates, web comics, and even buzzes/tweets all on one handy page.

2. Alumni Network

Your school's alumni network is an invaluable resource for you to use. I spent much of last summer calling and emailing alumni, asking them for 20-30 minutes of their time to ask them about their jobs and career trajectories. It was a pretty fun project, actually, and really convinced me that I wanted to go into consulting. It also definitely convinced me to not do investment banking, ha. But in all seriousness, tapping your alumni network can be pretty amazing. Some students get case interview prep help, others a better and deeper understanding of just what it is they're getting themselves into. Either way, it's a time investment worth making -- and the earlier, the better!

3. Indeed.com

This is my favorite online job board. As someone whose major was woefully underrepresented on the business school's career services site, Indeed.com helped me find a bunch of positions that I was qualified for after I graduated and started to lose access to my school's career site. It's been a blessing.

4. Taleo

I'll be honest, I hate the Taleo hiring systems that more and more sites are using. For one, it's not as browser-compatible as a straight, HTML-based interface. For another, Taleo invariably makes my browser crash, and I lose a ton of tabs.

That said, it's the go-to software/database management tool that companies are using lately to manage resume drops. It's also not that complicated once you mess with it a little bit. Be sure to take your time with Taleo-based resumes, especially early on. Unfortunately, you can't make a Master Taleo Account (though oh, how I wish one could) so you'll have to register with every individual site. Also, be sure to use Internet Explorer with Taleo; the software, I've found, works best in that browser and is likely "native" to it.

Finally, before going into Taleo, make sure your documents are saved in .doc and .pdf. Every site, I fear, is a little different in what it allows, but .doc is still near-universal, and .pdf is as well. PDF files have the added bonus of being unalterable.

5. Investopedia

The Wikipedia of finance and economic types, Investopedia is your tool for understanding the vernacular of the business world at large. Plus, the site has extensive articles about economics and finance topics covering a broad range of subjects. Spend some time clicking through articles and learn a little bit more about your concentration. Marketing and strategy topics receive reasonably good coverage as well. The site has a really robust database and is generally well laid-out.

Of course, if it's just buzzwords you're after, you may wish to consider Unsuck-It.

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