An Employer Perspective by Skye Bigari, Talent Acquisition–Galileo Camps


 You’ve researched the company, found a job that you really want, adjusted your resume to highlight your complementary skills, and taken a big leap by applying for your dream position. Now, you have an interview scheduled and the excitement is brewing, but how should you bring your best self to this crucial next step? Galileo receives thousands of applications annually and, like many companies, our team has an intentional approach for hiring the best.  Here’s how we do it, and how you can wow your next interviewer.

First, realize that your interview is a two way street. This is an opportunity for you to strut your stuff, and at the same time, a chance for your potential employer to show you why their company and mission are relevant.

My career with Galileo started as a summer job—a way for a wide-eyed boy from Colorado to stay in San Francisco for the summer and take in all that the big city had to offer. I felt immediately connected to Galileo’s mission to develop innovators, and when I received an invitation for an in-person interview, I was downright terrified.  I pictured a panel interview at a big round table with a bunch of bigwigs judging my every word and move. Turns out, it wasn’t that at all. There were camp activities, challenges, and a one-on-one interview.  In that short amount of time, I fell in love with Galileo. And I really wanted them to fall in love with me, too.

After nine year in various roles at Galileo, I can look back on that initial interview and see what actually made Galileo say yes to me. I’m going to share a few recruiter tips that may help you nail your next interview—especially if it’s for the Galileo team!

We know that our teams have enormous impact on our success. That’s why our hiring philosophy is inspired by and firmly rooted in our core company values. The phases of our process are primarily designed to explore a candidate’s alignment with our mission.  The interview process is an opportunity to reflect on and discuss past examples which exhibit these values—being visionary, courageous, collaborative, determined, and reflective.

Candidates we hire are:

  • Courageous: Participatory, fun, willing to step up, and willing to take personal risks.
  • Determined: Take initiative, improve what exists, and solve problems.
  • Collaborative: Able to work well with others, desire to support and are positive.
  • Visionary: Dedicated and mission-aligned. They want to do the work we do.
  • Reflective: Feedback-oriented; listening to feedback with a level of curiosity and openness.

When interviewing, my colleagues and I observe how candidates demonstrate these attitudes and traits. Here are some examples of how candidates showcase these skills:

  • The person who comes in and introduces themselves to other candidates
  • The person who picks up a piece of trash on the floor that wasn’t theirs
  • Someone that shares their ideas freely and listens when others do the same.
  • A candidate who gets genuinely excited when we discuss our mission, and how their role would serve that very mission and our campers.

These traits are valuable not just to us, but at so many forward-thinking companies. And if you find yourself particularly drawn to the Galileo mission and workplace I’ve described, we’d love to learn more about you! Check out our unparalleled summer experiences here.

skye galileo


Skye Bigari is a Galileo Camp Director in San Francisco during the summers, and an avid talent seeker for Galileo Camps throughout the rest of the year.


By Irma Guardado


The Super Bowl is only a few days away and to celebrate its participation throughout Super Bowl 50, San Jose State University hosted a SportsTech Symposium on Wednesday, January 27 at the Student Union Theater.

The SportsTech Symposium focused on how different forms of media including news, advertising, social media, and marketing has changed the way fans engage with their favorite sports teams. Panelists from different media backgrounds and professions such as professional sports executives, advertising and marketing strategists, and journalists discussed how sports media coverage has evolved in recent years.

Panel 1: Social Media and the Modern Fan

Sports are typically known for bringing people together, and platforms like Facebook use sports fans to grow their networks. Facebook has also allowed modern fans to connect and create communities; making it easier to find misplaced fans, or fans of non-local teams, to connect with other fans.

Panel 2: Behind the Scenes of Super Bowl – How Sports Marketing and Advertising Decisions are Made

This panel gave insight into the advertising industry and how million-dollar ads for the Super Bowl are made. The Super Bowl is the one event where the audience looks forward to the ads, and the strategists behind the Mini commercial explained how ads are no longer aired for the first time during the Super Bowl, but have become campaigns to extend a company’s story.

Panel 3: An Interviewer Gets Interviewed

Sports columnist at the San Jose Mercury News, Mary Purdy, has covered dozens of Super Bowl events. He has a lot of experience covering these events, and during “An Interviewer Gets Interviewed”, Purdy shared many details of what it’s like to cover the Super Bowl, some myths and facts of the Super Bowl and how this event has changed over time.

Panel 4: The Business of Sports Journalism

The Business of Sports Journalism panel showcased what factors go into the programming of sports news: what sports/teams are popular, who is doing well and whose not. Lee Hammer, operations manager of KNBR, KTCT, KGO, and KSFO sports radio, talks about what is going on in the sports world and he will not “sugar coat” if a team is doing poorly, even if the athletes and team managers are calling him.

Overall the SportsTech Symposium was a great look into what sports media has to offer for anyone who might be interested in a career in this industry as well as an inside look at all the work that goes into the Super Bowl.


Irma GuardadoIrma Guardado is the marketing and communications intern at the SJSU Career Center. Irma is a third-year student majoring in public relations. Irma enjoys uncovering the needs of indiviuals to create meaningful experiences and share stories.


By Irma Guardado

AIESEC San Jose, a student ran organization focused on providing an international platform for youth leadership and development by offering paid internships and other opportunities abroad, held its first Youth to Business (Y2B) forum at SJSU on Thursday, Nov. 20.

The forum aims to bridge young people and business leaders together to dialogue and discuss youth issues. The theme of the forum was Breaking Barriers.

The forum consisted of keynote speakers, a skills workshop and action/networking space. Keynote speakers and panelists included leaders from companies like Yahoo!, Cisco, GoPro and TechShop.

Here are some of the keynote speakers’ takeaways:

  • Bonita Banducci, founder of the Global Women’s Leadership Network and coach for the Women Leaders for the World Program, emphasized the importance of men and women working together, and how the number of women in a group is linked to a group’s ability to solve complex problems.
  • Maciej Kranz, Vice President, Corporate Strategic Innovation Group Cisco Systems, reminded us how we are all biased. We tend to look for people who look or act like us, especially when we pick members for our group projects. As a solution, Kranz emphasized the need to be aware of our biases and to do something about it. Be conscious of the people you reach out to and actively seek to learn about other cultures beyond the stereotypes.
  • Dariusz Paczuski, Head of Growth Communications at Yahoo! and the Founder of Rocket Vodka, reminded us that we are not perfect, but what’s important is to create the perfect team by looking at our strengths and the strengths of others.

During the skills workshop, panelists Kelly Fuson from GoPro, Keo Sar from the Lending Club, Maica Gil with the California-Spain Chamber of Commerce and Raffie Colet from TechShop, shared their experiences and how diversity in the workplace can make you feel more capable to accomplish your goals.

The forum attendees were then asked to break into small action groups. Keynote speakers and panelists joined in as well and the groups collaboratively created solutions about current youth issues.

The groups presented ideas such as developing internships, learning about others’ culture and traveling. Others shared personal experiences on how they overcame barriers, it was truly inspiring.


Irma GuardadoIrma Guardado is the marketing and communications intern at the SJSU Career Center. Irma is a third-year student majoring in public relations. Irma enjoys uncovering the needs of indiviuals to create meaningful experiences and share stories.


A recap of the presentation given by Clemencia Fonseca, Senior Director of Global Partner Marketing for Brocade Communication Systems, at the Careers in World Languages event hosted by the Deptartment of World Languages and Literatures on November 20, 2015. 

By Lynn Chang, Interim Career Information and Employment Specialist, Liberal Arts

Career in World Languages Talk

“My father must be a spy.” 

Clemencia recalls thinking this as she describes her childhood watching her father listen to the radio in different languages. Having started as a translator early in age and then diversifying in global marketing as she gained more experience, Clemencia shared her story on how she built her career.

Growing up in Columbia, Clemencia found herself surrounded by different languages. While English and French were the standard language requirements, she quickly picked up other languages such as Portuguese (certainly not as a guise to avoid math, her least favorite subject).

After high school, she came to California for college at San Jose State University and earned a degree in Spanish and minor in International Business. It was the peak of the Internet era, and Clemencia was able to use her skills in multiple languages to translate HTML webpages. Her familiarity with the Internet got her hired by Hitachi as field marketing manager for Latin America. Before long, she was traveling all over the world – from South America to Asia Pacific. What she enjoyed most about the job were the people she met.

“I didn’t see markets, I saw cultures.” 

Clemencia talked about her experience traveling to countries where she barely spoke the language. She was open to learning, and used the 10 sentences she knew of those languages to add humor to presentations, greet people in their customs and show respect for their cultures. “People laughed,” she said describing her first experiences attempting a new language, “But it didn’t matter, because by the end of my stay people were lining outside of my office to say goodbye.”

Today, Clemencia is the senior director of global partner marketing at Brocade, with over 15 years of experience in marketing to people around the world. Here are some of the tips she gave to students:

  • Don’t start a third language unless you are comfortable with your second language. Clemencia suggested learning your second languages to the point where you can think, do math, and negotiate in that language. She shared that when she does go back to that second language while learning a third, she typically dedicates a week to familiarize herself with it again.
  • Every department can benefit from knowing a foreign language. Whether it’s customer service, human resources, or finance and accounting, knowledge in a second or even third language can be a great advantage. For example, in production and manufacturing, you may be producing products overseas while protecting labor in the US. If you have the ability to speak that language, use it!
  • Learn in their language. Many words don’t translate directly from culture to culture. Read the news in different languages – see their perspective. You will gain a broader and more in-depth understanding of global events as well as of diverse cultures.

Clemencia concluded her presentation with an important concept – languages build bridges. By learning different languages, many career opportunities will open up for you. Not only that, but you will be able to see a whole new side to different countries, cultures and people. Have an open mind – there’s always more to learn!


Lynn Chang PhotoLynn Chang is the Interim Career Information and Employment Specialist, Liberal Arts with San Jose State University (SJSU). Lynn has helped and educated many students with their career development. Lynn is finishing her Masters in Counselor Education at SJSU in December 2015. Her previous degree was in Graphic Design in University of California, Davis.

By Lynn Chang, Graduate Career Counseling Intern


On Wednesday, September 23, the Career Center hosted a career fair success panel with the following employers: IBM, Hitachi Data Systems, Enterprise, SJSU Spartan Staffing and Young’s Market. If you missed out, here are some of the top tips suggested to prepare for the upcoming career fairs.


  1. RESEARCH THE COMPANY. Look for what majors and positions the company is looking for through SpartaJobs. Check out the employers’ websites and read about their mission, values, and culture. Use this knowledge to show how you fit into the company. When at the fair, don’t ask questions that could be easily answered on the company website.
  2. PREPARE A CONVERSATION STARTER. Practice what you will say beforehand. This includes information such as your interests, experience, and goals.
  3. MAXIMIZE YOUR RESUME POTENTIAL. Keep your resume to one page by highlighting your strongest accomplishments and experience. Remember that your resume is not a comprehensive list, but rather a way to get you in the door. Don’t forget to include transferable skills such as teamwork, communication, and leadership. If including an objective, tailor it to the company name and/or job title.
  4. DRESS FOR SUCCESS. Be sure to dress in professional attire as if you were going into an interview. This shows professionalism as well as interest in the employer.
  5. STRATEGIZE YOUR PLAN. Prioritize which employers you want to see. If an employer you want to see has long lines, expand your opportunities by reaching out to other employers.


  1. HAVE A FIRM HANDSHAKE. First impressions can make a huge difference, so start off strong!
  2. KEEP EYE CONTACT. While a stare-down is certainly not the way to go, keep the employer engaged with appropriate eye contact.
  3. BE GENUINE AND ENGAGED. Have a good presence by maintaining a positive attitude. Though you may feel anxious or tired, show your best to the employer. Take a break if necessary.
  4. HIGHLIGHT PROJECTS. If you have limited experience, use projects in your conversation starter to showcase your skills.
  5. DON’T PUT DOWN COMPETITORS. Be sure to maintain professionalism by focusing on the employer that you are talking with.


  1. SEND (HANDWRITTEN) THANK YOU NOTES. A thank you email is always a good follow-up, but sending a handwritten note by mail will be especially appreciated.
  2. CONNECT WITH RECRUITERS ON LINKEDIN. Be sure to send a targeted message when adding recruiters on LinkedIn.
  3. APPLY FOR QUALIFIED POSITIONS. You’re not done yet! Follow through with the required application process on SpartaJobs or the company website.
  4. REPLY TO REJECTION LETTERS. If some opportunities don’t work out, ask for feedback. Being graceful and appreciative can lead to future considerations for other positions.
  5. BUILD YOUR NETWORK. Networking can be done far beyond the fair. Find mentors to support you and talk to professors who may have personal connections to employers and industry professionals.

Using these tips can help you make your best impression at the job fairs. Good luck Spartans – the future is now in your hands!

Lynn Chang Photo

Lynn Chang is a Career Counseling Intern at the Career Center with San Jose State University (SJSU). Lynn has helped and educated many students with their career development. Lynn is finishing her Masters in Counselor Education at SJSU in December 2015. Her previous degree was in Graphic Design in University of California, Davis.

Welcome to start of a new semester.  The Career Center is here to help you Explore, Experience, and Launch  your career and the best time to start this process is when you first get to campus.  Each one of  our career consultants has shared their top tips for you and are featured below.  Check out our resources, meet the consultants who work with your colleges, and take advantage of the career and internship opportunities available to you through the Career Center.


  1. Connect to your interests

Nellie PhotoSet a goal of finding at least one way to connect with your career interest this semester. Make it a priority to attend at least one employer event on or off campus such as a job fair, a career panel or alumni mixer event. There are so many opportunities to get connected, and if you need some guidance with this, please feel free to connect with us. The earlier you start your career journey, the more successful you will be in reaching your goals.  Nellie Rochon-Ellis

Career Consultant: College of Applied Science & Arts (non health majors), College of Science nellie.rochon-ellis@sjsu.edu


2. Start your job search early

Catherine PhotoMany of the big-name companies start filling their summer-start positions in the fall.  Equip yourself for job/internship searching early.  We’re here to help! Catherine Voss Plaxton, M.A.Ed., M.A., PPSC

Employment Specialist: College of Business catherine.vossplaxton@sjsu.edu


3. Create a Job Search Agent

Donna PhotoYou can’t take advantage of all the jobs and internships available through SpartaJobs if you don’t know how to properly search and find them.  A job search agent will allow you to search by specific major or college and can help you identify the most relevant jobs/internships to your skills and field of study. Donna Gilmour

Employment Specialist:College of Engineering & Department of Computer Science

4. Learn to market your skills 

Denise PhotoStart practicing early in your college career to articulate and speak to your strengths and skills. You can use Big Interview to practice interview questions online without having to leave the comfort of your room.  Recordings can be sent to career consultants and we can give you feedback.  Denise Hamilton, M.A.

Employment Specialist: Colleges of Social Science, Humanities & Arts denise.hamilton@sjsu.edu

5. It takes more than a degree to land a job

Evelyn Photo

Know that a degree by itself doesn’t guarantee you a job after graduation.  In addition to your degree, getting experience while in school will increase the opportunities available to you. Meet with us early to increase your understanding of the job search process and to feel confident in your search! Evelyn Ramos

Career Consultant: Retention Services and College of Education Liaison

  1. Networking is key

aboutus_team_john_s_120Networking and getting internships are the best ways to find out what you want to do and land a job. John Salangsang

Internship Specialist john.salangsang@sjsu.edu

Contributed post by Omaid Homayun


When it comes to negotiating salaries, the majority of people that I’ve met were unprepared when the recruiter of a prospective company asked them the almighty salary question. Negotiating an increase of $3,000-$5,000 in your salary could equate to the cost of a new car over five years, so why not put in the work to prepare to answer the salary question with confidence?

Do Your Homework & Network!

When I fly to LAX I jump online to see what the going rate is on multiple airlines. Although I usually book Southwest, I also use multi-search sites like Expedia or Kayak to cross-check flight rates because I want to feel comfortable that I’m getting a good deal. In the same way, when I applied to become an Account Executive in sales for a specific industry, I checked sites like Payscale and Glassdoor to determine the range of compensation for similar roles. But I didn’t stop there. People like helping people; remember when Google Maps didn’t exist and you’d have to ask a stranger for directions? I’d reach out to a current employee of a company on LinkedIn to ask if they could help point me in the right direction.

Initially, approaching a complete stranger can be intimidating. While you might be hesitant to seek some advice, remember that online networking can be mutually beneficial. You may have a need for some insider information, but you can also offer something in return (future connections or help with a project).

You can send the person a message on LinkedIn with something like:

“Hi Kate,

My name is Jane Doe and I’m a student at SJSU in the marketing program. I came across your profile on the alumni network on LinkedIn and wanted to see if you’d be open to sharing some feedback on a position at your organization that I’m very interested in pursuing. I understand you may have a full plate, if you can provide any guidance or point me in the right direction I would greatly appreciate it.

-Jane Doe”

Trust that your approach with humility and openness will be effective and the majority of people will spare a few minutes to help you. In my experience, when employees responded, I would ask if they’d be open to a 10-minute phone conversation. If the chat went well, I’d ask if they’d be open to submitting my resume (since most companies offer a referral fee and it only takes 5 minutes, they often say yes). Regarding the salary question, after you’ve done research on sites like Glassdoor you can frame up the question with something like:

“Through my online research I’ve found that the typical salary range for a role like this is $60,000-$70,000 based on experience, would you happen to know this range is similar at your company?”

If you’re uncomfortable with that approach, politely ask the person if it would be okay to discuss the subject with something along the lines of this:

“This is helpful and I truly appreciate your guidance, would it be okay if I asked you a couple questions around the salary and incentives around this role?”

If you don’t ask, you’ll never know. If you ask politely and they decline, you can move onto your next question. From my experience I’d get my salary homework done and my resume on top of the pile since it was submitted to their human resources department by an employee.

Have a Plan & Don’t Give In

Have you ever thought of a situation where you theoretically knew what to do, but when you’re actually in that situation your mind draws a blank? That’s what happened to me with the consumer tech company I was interviewing with. There are primarily two questions you need to prepare for: How much do you make? AND How much are you looking to make?

Before delving in, it’s important to understand the purpose of these questions and why a recruiter needs to know. The reason they ask your salary is so there’s a baseline understanding that the salary expectations are within the range they’ve budgeted for the role. It’s a waste of everyone’s time to have several interviews if the numbers are too far apart. There is no one-size fits all answer, but what’s helped me in the past is approaching the subject with humility and respecting the person on the other side of the table.

My favorite salary negotiation book is Salary Tutor – Learn the Salary Negotiation Secrets No One Ever Taught You by Jim Hopkinson, it’s worth its weight in gold. Jim teaches that if you say a number first, you lose negotiation leverage. The goal is to deflect those two questions with questions of your own. It can go something like this:

Recruiter: How much do you make?

Candidate: My previous salary wouldn’t be relevant because I worked in a different industry, I would just expect fair market value for my skill set. Can you tell me more about what the job entails?


Recruiter: How much are you looking to make?

Candidate: I’d have to learn more about the responsibilities before I’d feel comfortable giving a number, can you tell me more about what the responsibilities entail?

While it’s Important to be a Ninja – It’s Not Always About the Money

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), states that the average salary for students out of college in 2014 was $45,473. Perhaps you’ve done your due diligence in the negotiation process and you have multiple offers in hand, one for $45,000 and the other for $50,000. You may be excited about the higher offer and the potential to make more, but as a student you should consider the value of the experience more than the money because the difference of a few thousand dollars is not going to change your lifestyle at this point in your career. Cover your expenses and make enough to survive, focus on the opportunity and upside of the learning experience. Sometimes the job that pays a little less in the beginning could be the right job that plants the seed for an outstanding career.

What Else Can You Negotiate?

There’s a misconception among students out of college that it’s not okay to negotiate. In fact, it is completely okay and recruiters will respect you for it as long as your approach is sincere. Besides your salary, there are a number of other benefits to consider. Most new hires at Google receive Restricted Stock Units that could equate to $10,000 which they account in your total compensation package. If you’ve applied at an early stage startup they typically include equity, and most organizations offer a retirement plan such as a 401K where they also match your investment to a certain amount per year. You can also ask for other benefits like an extra week of paid vacation or an allowance for additional courses you can expense each year.

The most overlooked benefit is healthcare. If the company is self-insured they will have several options, but they usually only provide a close look at their plans once you’re hired. Tell them that healthcare benefits are important to you, and ask if they can share an overview of their benefits package. If you are family planning, there can be a significant difference of the annual cost from one company’s benefits versus another.

Let me give you an example of what I mean by a sincere approach. During one of my previous negotiations there was a significant delta in the base salary between my expectations and what the company was willing to offer. My response was, “I’m thrilled about the opportunity and I’m open to making lifestyle changes to a more economical gym or doing away with cable. By making those changes I may still have to move in order to pay for my monthly expenses, I’m wondering if there’s anything we may be able to do for an increase in the range of $10,000? Again, I’m willing to make sacrifices but I don’t want to have to move.” The result was a bump in my base salary and a one-time signing bonus. Depending on the role, you can negotiate for a one-time stipend or ask them to cover your moving expenses if you have to relocate for the job. Every situation is unique and you have to take into consideration what is most important to you, leverage these tips and you will become a salary negotiation ninja.

omaid imageOmaid Homayun works at Gartner where he advises tech startups in the bay area to help them accelerate their growth. He’s also held various sales roles at BlackBerry and Google. He’s passionate about helping others navigate their careers, and he writes about inspiring career advice and leadership stories on his blog called How to Find a Job in 10 Days. Reach out to him anytime there or on Twitter @omaidh.

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