Where do you see yourself in five years? What are your weaknesses?
Career coach Beth Hendler-Grunt helps recent college grads face down those types of questions in job interviews. But that’s only part of what she does with her company, Next Great Step.
If you’re a college student or just out of college – or a parent – listen to what Beth has to say before sending out one resume.
But you don’t have to be looking for your first job to get value from her advice on standing out from the competition to potential employers… and how to get value from every single interaction you have with people in your work and life.
Listen in to find out…
- The biggest mistake parents make in their kids’ job hunt
- Why a good resume and a degree from a top school aren’t enough
- What a student should be doing sophomore year to land a great job after graduation
- The #1 question you should ask during a job interview
- And more
Mentioned in This Episode: nextgreatstep.com
David Elmasian: Welcome to the Hub of Success. I’m your host Dave Elmasian. Today I’m excited to have Beth Hendler-Grunt, founder of Next Great Step. Beth guides college students and recent grads to land that all important internship or first career job. Next Great Step provides one-on-one coaching, group sessions, and public speaking engagements for individuals and universities. Her clients have been awarded positions at Amazon, Yelp, JP Morgan, and Major League Baseball to name a few. I want to talk to one of those guys.
But the background in sales and corporate consulting, Beth brings her years of experience to teach students how to communicate their ability to solve business problems that a company faces. Her students learn proven, time tested techniques to achieve their personal goals and to help her students to be the best version of themselves and to instill the confidence needed through preparation to knock ’em dead during those stressful interviews.
Well, welcome, Beth.
Beth Hendler-Grunt: Thanks so much for having me.
David Elmasian: Well, you’re welcome.
So, Beth, let’s cut right into it. So tell me that ah-ha moment you had when you came up with the idea of starting Next Great Step.
Beth Hendler-Grunt: The ah-ha moment actually came prior to launching this obviously was I was working in corporate consulting. I was guiding executives and CEOs on strategic planning and sales performance. And during breaks during our sessions, we always would talk about hiring. And the very consistent theme that most executives would say would be, “You know, I’d really love to hire a recent grad, but I don’t think they’re ready to come into our business the way I need them to. I don’t have time to hold their hand. They don’t always come in as prepared. They don’t really know about us, and I don’t really want to take a chance on someone who’s not confident in their abilities.”
David Elmasian: That sounds like I’ve been known to say that once or twice myself. So I think that’s spot on.
Beth Hendler-Grunt: Right. But let me finish one part is that parents, and I’m also of the age of having a student in college, and parents would say, “I don’t get it. My kid went to a great school. They had good grades, and they can’t get a job.”
David Elmasian: Right.
Beth Hendler-Grunt: So, I notice that there was this real disconnect between what employers expectations were and what parents and their students expectations were as well, and that’s how I had this idea of how can I bridge that together and came up with the idea for this business.
David Elmasian: So did you go like, “Hey, I’m going to write a business plan, and I’m going to start this business,” and start it that way? Did you do it part-time? What was it like? How did you-
Beth Hendler-Grunt: Do you want the honest answer?
David Elmasian: Well, you don’t have to be totally honest, but no, of course. Yeah.
Beth Hendler-Grunt: So I was still in the consulting role and I had a couple other colleagues, and the idea was let’s just test this out. Let’s test this concept that if we actually taught young people similar techniques that we were actually teaching executives and CEOs with our material but we simplified it for them. Let’s see how they would respond because what we did was we helped … If we could help a business leader to figure out what their core competencies are and how they compete and a strategy to go after their competitors in the market, it’s kind of the same thing for when you go for a job because you’re competing with other candidates. You have to have a clear strategy of the kind of companies you’re targeting. So we tested this out actually with friends and their kids in our basement of a house, and just tested the idea of what do you think of this. And the response was this is … Not only is this really eye-opening, just seeing how they can look at the process, they’re like, “We’re not getting this. We’re not getting this guidance in college.” Even though there is career services and other support, they’re like, “No one’s explaining it to us in this way.”
So we did test it out.
David Elmasian: And, again, having been through the college course system with two of my sons, fortunately I’m out of that now. I agree whole-heartedly. As a business owner myself and then looking at how they were prepared, yes. They were taught a lot, but a lot of it was not really real world, practical skills. Is that what you were seeing yourself as well?
Beth Hendler-Grunt: Not just the practical skill, of just the process of how they actually even go about (1) narrowing down what it is they want to do. How do you take an English major and history major and decide what is the career I want. I think that’s one gap of figuring out how do I take that skillset or these classes I’ve learned and determine what type of jobs can really leverage that. And then the other part is that once you have that decided, let’s say you know you want to go towards, let’s say digital marketing. Well then how do you actually make the contacts and present yourself in such a way that someone wants to talk to you and ultimately hire you over someone else? I think there’s so much effort on, “Well, I just have a good resume. That should be fine.” And it’s just barely scratching the surface. But they don’t understand that. And they don’t always seek out the help. Sometimes they should go to career services and they don’t, or if they do, it depends on the schools, if the resources are very overwhelmed or very large schools, they don’t always have the time to give them the individualized attention that they might need.
David Elmasian: Of course. Yeah.
Beth Hendler-Grunt: There’s multiple challenges.
David Elmasian: Yeah. Well, I was going to ask, and I think you kind of answered it a little bit, but let’s expand on it. So why do people hire a career coach? That’s a big segment, and in your case, correct me if I’m mistaken, you really work with soon-to-be graduates looking for an internship and then recently graduated and people in that time frame, am I correct in that?
Beth Hendler-Grunt: Yes. I really kind of the gamete is I start with them maybe sophomore year in college and all the way up through their mid- to late-20s, depending on how long it took them to get out of school and grad school. So probably like 19-29 is kind of the sweet spot.
David Elmasian: All right. So let’s answer that question, so why does somebody hire a career coach? Why should they do that?
Beth Hendler-Grunt: The reason for hiring a career coach is a couple of reasons. A lot of students need guidance. They are unsure about how to manage this process. It’s overwhelming. It’s stressful. And a lot of times they are trying to take in guidance from different people, whether it be their parents or friends or just think about applying online, and a lot of times it does not always yield results or they’ll try certain things and they don’t get a response back or they make it to one interview but they never hear back. So just to have someone to guide them on a really step-by-step as we do. We give them a really simple structure just to help them follow a step. So they know when you get up today, you know what you’re going to work on as opposed to, “Let me just apply to 100 jobs online,” and somehow it still doesn’t yield results. So just getting that guidance of getting some focus of what to do.
David Elmasian: Sure.
Beth Hendler-Grunt: The other- Go ahead.
David Elmasian: Well, I was going to ask one question with that. So if you work with the ones that are still in school, and you mentioned sophomore, do you also give them some guidance in terms of maybe a major to choose or not choose?
Beth Hendler-Grunt: We will work with them. So we always want to understand what are you studying, why did you decide to study that, what about that. And part of that yeah, sometimes they will decide, “I’ve taken some classes here, but I really want to maybe learn more about this,” or, “I tried this class, and maybe I want to change directions.” So we’ll encourage ways for them to get exposure. It doesn’t always have to be through the classroom. It can be through join a club, volunteer, take on a part-time job, offer to work for free. If you want to create somebody’s PR campaign, just to kind of get the exposure and practice to see does this excite me, does this feel good. So we encourage them to do more and take some chances because this is the best time in your life to take risks because you have the least to lose. You don’t have a mortgage and all these other obligations. So I encourage them to try to take as many risks as they can and push the limits while they’re in school.
David Elmasian: Right. And at what point do you get input from, not just from the client, which is the student let’s just say, but also from the parents? Are they involved at this point usually, typically?
Beth Hendler-Grunt: Parents, they’re really important, but that’s a great question. A lot of times no matter what, I think I need to hear from both. So I do have a lot of parents who call me saying, “I’m concerned, but yet my student will not listen to me. But I think they need help.” That’s the biggest thing is just we know, and I’ll speak for myself. I have my own son as a sophomore in college. It’s hard. They’re young adults. They’re trying to exert their own independence, but we also know as parents that we’ve had some more life experience and that they probably could use some help in certain areas. So I really like to speak with both. I like to understand what the parent sees as their child’s challenges and what they think is getting in their way, and then I obviously always speak with the students themselves and understand what their perspective is.
David Elmasian: Right. Yeah. Because, again, they’re stakeholders in this as well, too. They’re the best interest. Many times they’re probably contributing financially either some-all or some portion thereof.
Beth Hendler-Grunt: Absolutely.
David Elmasian: They care about their child and want to see them succeed. So one thing I was curious about, Beth, and this is applicable I think no matter what business we’re in. I’m just curious if this happens to you. For example, I’m an IT guy. We own an IT services company, and I don’t want to make this about me. It’s not. But a lot of times in that process of when somebody’s deciding to hire us, they feel like they should ask questions, and of course they should. But I find that now that I’ve been doing this for a while, a lot of times they ask the wrong questions. So, for example, in my business, they’ll ask, “Hey, do you have experience with X, Y, Z technology,” or, “Have you ever worked with ABC type of an industry,” and, again, not that those questions aren’t important, they are. But really what they should be asking is IT causes stress, how do you guys handle stressful situations? How do you respond to those types of stressful things? Because that’s what’s going to make or break the relationship.
So in your case, I’m sure one of the questions is, “Hey, can you get little Johnny a job?” Right? Of course, they’re going to want to know that. But is there a disconnect? What questions should they be asking you to determine if you’re a good fit for their son/daughter or if their son/daughter is asking the question as well?
Beth Hendler-Grunt: Sure. That’s a really good … And they should be asking questions of myself or any career coach of understanding, number one, what is the process. How do you actually help them? As opposed to is it just checking their resume, and sometimes I find asking questions about what’s the process, how do you measure success. For us, it’s do they understand exactly what they need to do to land the job and ultimately get a job. Now I don’t guarantee employment. I think that’s a really hard thing to do, but we have a really, really … But in spite of that, I have incredibly high success rates. So I think just understanding just tell us why … Also, what makes you different. I think what makes Next Great Step different is that this is the sole thing that we do. We are not a career coaching firm that just happened to add this on as here’s another thing we do. This is the only thing we do. This is the only market and the only demographic that we deal with, and I think we have an understanding I’d say better than most. And just we have a proven track record. I think that’s also asking about results and what’s the outcome.
David Elmasian: So you touched upon a process, and we don’t go into all the details of that process, but just at a high level, what are kind of those steps that you kind of … Again, everything’s not a one size fits all approach. I totally get that. But what is that process? Again, for somebody listening saying, “You know, maybe this does kind of make sense for me.”
Beth Hendler-Grunt: Sure. Our process, I break it down into four components. The first one being helping the student or grad to understand how do you define success. That’s the very first thing. What does that mean to you? Because a lot of people will tell them what they think success should be, but I want to know what they think success would be for themselves. And what’s the vision they see for themselves. And we help them set some very specific goals.
The second thing we do is help them create a strategy, and it’s really as simple as answering two questions of knowing (1) what skills you can bring to the market, and (2) who are you going to bring them to in a really concentrated and thoughtful way where you have very specific things that you know you’re really great at and very specific types of people and opportunities that you’re going to go after.
We then teach them how they compete and how they should stand out. Ultimately we teach them how they solve problems for business and how they present that.
And ultimately the most important component is execution. Every single time that you send an email or get on the phone or have a cup of coffee or have that important interview, knowing what you want to the outcome to be and a very specific plan and how to get there. We teach them a technique that I call meeting planning, actually was written up in the New York Times about this. But we teach them a very specific technique about how to get the outcome that you want from every single interaction.
And that kind of four component process, along with obviously lots of other things, helps them get on their way to what they need to do.
David Elmasian: I should’ve called you about six years ago when my oldest son was going to school. It would’ve saved me a lot of tuition I think. But that’s a whole other discussion.
So you hit upon one thing that I think a lot of us, no matter how old or young we are, one of the things that’s very stressful for everybody is that the infamous interview. You get the resume out there, you make the right connections, you make the arrangements, and either it’s a phone interview or a face-to-face. How do you prepare your clients for that interview?
Beth Hendler-Grunt: That’s a good question. So because the way we advise our students, and it’s through a program. It’s actually not a single hour because there’s so much. We kind of build up to the interview. It’s kind of towards the end of our process.
David Elmasian: Am I jumping ahead here on you?
Beth Hendler-Grunt: No, no. Not at all. No.
David Elmasian: I always liked that in school too.
Beth Hendler-Grunt: It’s not a quick like let’s sit down for 20 minutes and we’ve got you prepared.
David Elmasian: Of course.
Beth Hendler-Grunt: I mean, I can-
David Elmasian: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know, I know.
Beth Hendler-Grunt: The most important thing that, it’s kind of two parts, that I think helps candidates be successful in an interview is having a clear sense of themselves. And what I mean is that we talk about this concept of knowing what your core skills are. What are the top three things that you want this employer to know about you whether they ask you a question about it or not, and making sure you have really strong examples that prove that your competent in those areas. Something like I have great analytical skills. I understand how to do research or I’m a strong writer, and pointing to whether it’s class work or internship work or anything that you’ve done. And I think when they know what those things are that they want someone to know about them as well as the stories behind it, all the interview questions get easier because they have it. It’s almost like you’ve studied for the test ahead of time and you have a plan of what you want to-
David Elmasian: Yeah. You have a framework too as well.
Beth Hendler-Grunt: And the other part for really having successful interviews is you have to do some research and you have to have an understanding of what’s important to that person or that business and asking really good questions around that as well. Similar to what you said before, it’s not just telling me what hours of the job or what’s the benefit. It’s like tell me how do you measure success or what are the biggest problems that you face and how could I potentially help you solve those problems. So getting to the heart of what you even just said as an employer, I encourage them to think bigger, like a consultant who’s coming in to help them as opposed to a candidate who wants to be hired.
David Elmasian: Interesting. Yeah, that’s very good. Again, for people listening, are there any quick tips you could offer to help somebody stand out in an interview because I think that’s one of the issues as well too commonly. And I know again from the other side of the desk so to speak, after a while, if you interview three, four, five people for a position, they start boring together. So how do you get that somebody to stand out a little bit?
Beth Hendler-Grunt: Yeah. I’m well aware of that because I’ve also interviewed a lot of people in my career.
The number one thing that I tell people of how to stand out from other candidates is that you have to link how you can help that person or that business be more successful or achieve their metrics because of your skills that you’re going to help them achieve that. So it’s kind of linking … It’s not just saying, “I have all these great skills and I can do research and writing,” it’s, “I understand that you’re focused on achieving this, and I can be the one that can help you do that. I understand what your challenges are. I understand what you’re going after, and I’m confident that I can help you get to those metrics and those goals together.” And that’s what I find. You tell me, David, you hire people. That’s what people want to hear. You want someone who’s going to stand in your shoes and worry about your problems and your headaches and make your life easier.
David Elmasian: And yeah. Make some money for me as well too, hopefully, right?
Beth Hendler-Grunt: Yeah, absolutely.
David Elmasian: Right. Well, along those lines, any interesting good or bad stories to share about interview situations that you care to share? If you don’t want to share any, that’s fine. I understand. But interviews can be so stressful, I think sometimes interesting things can come out of it.
Beth Hendler-Grunt: More of like just some funny stories, especially I have some candidates who go into the more financial areas and technical areas. A lot of times they’ll get thrown with really I’ll say out of the box questions. Someone’s asked, “How many marbles or golf balls will it take to fill a 747 airplane?” And they get all flustered and what I try to remind them yes, if the job is very mass oriented, you have to just show your process. I think that’s what I always tell them overall, no matter how wacky the question, I think it’s that employer just wants to see how you think and how you break things down and how you approach a problem. It’s not so much the answer. It’s are you calm, are you methodical, do you ask good questions to get clarification. So just kind of giving them just to kind of stay calm under pressure, but they tend to get them flustered.
David Elmasian: I remember when one of my son’s had gone for an interview, one of his first interviews, and he came out. Naturally I go, “How’d it go,” and all that stuff. I remember his first comment to me was, he said it was great up until the point they asked me if you were a bicycle, what part on the bicycle would you be? And I just looked at him, and I said, “Man, I’m glad I’m not young anymore.” So I said, “What’d you say?” He said, “Well, I was thinking about the steering wheel, then I was thinking about the wheels.” He says, “I don’t know. I answered a bunch of stuff.” No advice from me, but I think he was used to that and was somewhat prepared for some kind of crazy question. And so I think, like you said, talking about the process that he would go through to determine that, I think that was the critical part.
Beth Hendler-Grunt: And candidly, sometimes interviewers just throw out stuff because they’re not great at interviewing.
David Elmasian: Yeah.
Beth Hendler-Grunt: It’s a two-sided thing. Sometimes people are not used to doing interviews, so they don’t always know what to ask. So it’s a combination.
David Elmasian: Yeah, yeah. We could talk about this a long time. I’ve been on both sides of it. I remember many years ago, it was a position I was applying for and I really wasn’t all that interested. But you feel like, hey, you never know, right? And the person that was interviewing me really was inexperienced, and nothing wrong with that. We all got to start somewhere. But it was to the point where he was kind of developing an attitude about his inexperience. And so finally I said to him, I said, “If it’d make it easier, I can ask you some questions.” And he looked at me and he was like, “Really?” I’m like, “Sure.” I said, “Okay. Here’s what you really want to ask me.” We went through the process. Needless to say, it didn’t work out for either one of us.
Beth Hendler-Grunt: Yeah, but it’s funny that you say that because I do, that’s why I go back to that concept about knowing your own skills and knowing what you want someone to know about you because there are a lot of interviews that don’t go smoothly or people don’t always uncover everything that you’d want them to uncover about you. So I always make sure I tell candidates that no matter what’s asked of you or not, that you want to make sure that you still get across the important characteristics and skills that you have that could help this company.
David Elmasian: That’s absolutely essential. I think that’s fantastic advice. Well, let’s move onto another topic, and let’s talk about one … I’m going to say it’s kind of like the elephant in the room when we talk about kids and education and jobs. So we all know what education costs today. It certainly not inexpensive. Student graduates, they do the job search, they don’t land the position right out of school. Everybody’s asking, “Hey, what’s going on?” Parents, grandparents, everybody’s asking. Is that the point where you typically or commonly or maybe uncommonly get the phone call so to speak of saying, “Hey, something’s got to be done about this.”
Beth Hendler-Grunt: That’s a great question. It happens at all segments. I think a lot of times, I’ll speak for as a parent, and parents will try to give their kids an opportunity to figure things out because they want to. Because they’ll say, “Let me try. Let me go talk to someone. Let me go apply to some jobs or go to a career fair.” And the point where parents will call me is when they see what’s going on and that nothing’s come of it. So it seems like they’re spinning their wheels or it seems like they’re trying to make end roads, but nothing really happens. Alto of times parents will call then. And the same token for a student to call me, they have to feel that they’ve done what they need. They have to feel some level of pain.
David Elmasian: Right.
Beth Hendler-Grunt: Some level that I have made a legitimate effort and I don’t know what to do anymore.
David Elmasian: Yeah, and now there’s some value there, right? Yeah.
Beth Hendler-Grunt: Yeah. But if they feel like, “Hey, I haven’t given it a go yet,” or, “I still want to try,” that’s probably not the right time just because they have to want it. That’s the number one thing. I tell this to parents. I say no matter how much you want it for them, unless they want to get guidance from someone else, there’s no point in moving forward because they have to feel that they’re ready to listen to maybe what someone else might have to say.
David Elmasian: So in an ideal world, which is never the case, is it they should really engage with you earlier in the process? Is that really the ideal from your perspective?
Beth Hendler-Grunt: Yes.
David Elmasian: Right.
Beth Hendler-Grunt: And only from a standpoint of what’s happening now in college is that getting an internship is like a defacto requirement for so many companies when they want to hire you for the job when you get out.
David Elmasian: Sure.
Beth Hendler-Grunt: And internships can start, I mean, you can start them in freshman year but really even starting sophomore year, and in order to get the internship, you have to figure out well, how am I going about this process. And a lot of students are not sure what to do.
David Elmasian: Of course.
Beth Hendler-Grunt: So earlier is better than later. I think there’s this overall feeling by a lot of parents that I speak to is that, “Well, I got them …” We all got into this great school. It was a collective team effort, which it is. And now I can take a break and relax and let them do their thing. And we’ll come back and revisit this maybe junior year. And what I would say is that if you’re waiting only until the summer of junior year when you really actually need that internship and so many employers are looking for that, that starts a year ahead of time. That could start two years ahead of time of just showing up to a career fair and talking to different employers or it could be just getting on LinkedIn and getting your profile together or just proactively networking with some alumni. But it’s just a process that you have to take step-by-step. So I always tell parents, even parents of freshmen, that there’s little things that you can do every year to guide them and that students can do every single year. So when they finally get to that junior year or senior year, they feel that they’ve put things in place that help them really be a successful-
David Elmasian: And that goes back to what you were talking about having a process and the advantage of a process is it generally delivers predictable results, right?
Beth Hendler-Grunt: Yes.
David Elmasian: If you follow that process, not always but most times, hey, this is what’s going to happen. And I think the other part that comes into that, and again from an outsider looking in but also having kids that have gone through and paid for the college experience, like you said, you have very well intentioned individuals in the career services department or whatever they call themselves, but they’re not going to give that dedicated one-to-one service that some kids are really going to need that you can provide. So yes, there may be an incremental cost involved with that, but ultimately they’re going to get a great return, right?
Beth Hendler-Grunt: I agree. Yes. You can come work for me and-
David Elmasian: All right. Maybe I’ll drop this IT stuff.
Beth Hendler-Grunt: Yeah. My background was in technology.
David Elmasian: There you go. Maybe that’s why. All right. So we mentioned parents a little bit. All kidding aside, obviously parents have the best of intentions, but things change. The world changes. We can’t keep up with everything. So what’s some of the bad advice that sometimes you hear that parents have given that you kind of have to correct?
Beth Hendler-Grunt: So, look, I’m a parent too and we all do things well intentioned. So I’m never going go to say that I’m all knowing, but here’s some things that I have seen that if we just make a little adjustment, that it would be a little bit better. So one of the first things that parents do, which on the surface it looks very valuable, is making introductions to their friends and family, which I’m all for. You should introduce your kids to your friends for potential jobs. However, what I’ve seen is that a lot of times the introductions are made too early where your student is not really prepared to meet with this person, and it could be a person whose pretty high ranking with a lot of influence. And your student walks into the meeting or coffee to have with them and they’re way too casual and they’re not really prepared and they just assume mom and dad would take care of it. But then somehow nothing comes of it. They kind of blow it.
David Elmasian: Right.
Beth Hendler-Grunt: So, I think it’s just be aware of like don’t send your kid the very first person that they meet to meet with the executive of this company. It should be something they’ve had practice. They’ve had some practice talking about themselves, that they’ve researched them, and that it’s solely professional. Because as you know, no one’s going to take a chance on anyone’s friend’s children if you think it’s going to jeopardize your business.
David Elmasian: Of course. Yeah.
Beth Hendler-Grunt: Right? So you want to make sure even for your own children that they are ready before you make the introductions. So that was just kind of sometimes you just got to wait a little bit.
David Elmasian: Right.
Beth Hendler-Grunt: And not do it too early.
And the other thing would be about, I kind of mentioned before, that the job search can wait. Doing a little bit every year as opposed to kind of waiting until that junior/senior year, just getting them to talk to people, getting their profile on LinkedIn ready, just a practice of talking about yourself is helpful. And one of the last things I see is that it’s hard as parents, we want the best for them, and I say we because I’m in this with everyone together. But sometimes one size does not fit all. We hear a lot of things in the news about STEM and finance majors and certain things that we think are the most successful and will get your kid a job, but sometimes that’s just not what your kid likes to do or they don’t enjoy it or they’re not fulfilled by it, even though you might be fulfilled. So sometimes it’s just being willing to let them lead with what’s really calling to them as opposed to kind of forcing it because then down the road they may not stick with it. That’s a hard one, but I do see that where it’s like, “Well, you need to go to law school,” or, “You need to do …” sometimes it’s just not what they-
David Elmasian: Or if there’s a family business or profession or that type of thing that it’s kind of tradition thing, right? Like you said, that may not be applicable for that particular person.
Beth Hendler-Grunt: Yeah.
David Elmasian: That totally makes sense. So let’s move on a little bit. I mean, one thing I was curious about what’s it like to be featured in the New York Times?
Beth Hendler-Grunt: Oh.
David Elmasian: I mean, I don’t know firsthand, that’s why I’m asking you.
Beth Hendler-Grunt: It was great fun. It was very lucky. It was very, very lucky. I’m not even sure exactly how they got my name, but I think early on when I launched this business, I just was promoting myself to whomever. And I would pitch myself to different writers of different content. And this was a particular writer who would write about this subject, and I never heard back. And I just got an email saying that she was looking for candidates of a sample interview who had crazy interview questions, similar to what you asked me, and she wanted to speak to clients of mine. So students who had gone through really wacky interview experiences. And I did. That actually that is part of the article. It was actually like a multi-part piece that came out this past October. But then we got into well how do you really land the first job on your terms, and anyway, they included me of giving advice but how to plan for an interview. So yeah, it was great. It was fun.
David Elmasian: If they only known me, I got some great interview questions, stories. But New York Times, Boston guy, it’s just not going to fit. That’s great. It’s nice to get that recognition and that publicity and I don’t want to say credibility because it’s not because of that but you get that. That’s really a cool thing.
Beth Hendler-Grunt: It is. And then you go back the next day and you got to hustle and you still got to find clients and run your business.
David Elmasian: Still got to pay your phone bill, right?
Beth Hendler-Grunt: Right. When people put the paper away or it stops running online, then you got to … People forget.
David Elmasian: Right.
Beth Hendler-Grunt: You got to keep going.
David Elmasian: So let’s finish up with some relatively quick questions. Is there one piece of advice that you’ve been given in your own career that you now hear yourself giving to some of your clients?
If not, that’s okay.
Beth Hendler-Grunt: Yeah. I mean, the advice that I’ve been given and I think I try to impart this to students, and I kind of feel a personal connection with them because I want to see them succeed is just to kind of keep going even when things don’t feel right or you feel like you’re getting rejected. It’s just to be able to persevere and that it’s just business. A lot of times students take it so personally, and I think sometimes we all do, but just remembering that like no one’s going to remember it tomorrow kind of thing. Just keep going, just keep at it, and keep trying again and again and again. I find this generation of young people have a tough time not taking things personally. I find they’re kind of fragile. I’m not saying that across the board. But just that ability to persevere I feel that that was something instilled within me and guidance that I had gotten. And I really tried to convince them to just keep at it because they see it once they keep doing it, they’re like, “Wow. This actually works.” So I think that’s been a key piece of advice.
David Elmasian: Yeah. That makes sense. Like I said, I agree with you. It’s a different world in the sense that when I grew up, and again we’re not going to compare ages, but it’s different. There was the ability to be anonymous more. Now there’s really not that ability. And so because of that, I think the stakes are higher and the pressure is greater for that reason and others as well too. So no, I think that’s totally …
So what’s the vision for your business? What’s next? Where do you see things down the road? I want to ask you that cliché about where do you see yourself five years from now. None of that. But where do you feel like things are heading for the business?
Beth Hendler-Grunt: I have an answer. Sometimes you want to … I have all kinds of aspirations of what’s the vision versus what I really see happening. The goal is that when this business launched, the idea was actually I was only going to bring it to universities and supplementing their career services programs. And what really happened was there was a lot of pushback of like, “Well, we already have this here. We’re not sure we want to invest.” Even though they all loved the concept, didn’t necessarily want to move forward with it, and I do this now in a private level primarily.
What I really want to do is bring it to more students. I just want to get more access to more people, and what I have been doing is adding some more coaches so we can kind of duplicate myself in other ways and teaching them the very specific technique that I think that we bring to this process, very different than someone else does. And I’d like to just bring it in more parts of the country, and just kind of continue to be able to support more students on a wider and larger scale.
David Elmasian: Well, Beth, did I mention there’s quite a few colleges and university in the metropolitan Boston area.
Beth Hendler-Grunt: Yes, I know.
David Elmasian: You know a guy in Boston, well, you know more than one, but you know one guy in Boston. I can coach with the best of them. So maybe we can work something out.
Beth Hendler-Grunt: That would be great.
David Elmasian: Trust me, I got enough to do every day.
Beth Hendler-Grunt: I’m sure. I’m sure you do.
David Elmasian: I’m kidding. But no, that makes total sense, and I agree with it. It’s funny how that works out in that you see a need and you say, “Hey, this is kind of a no brainer,” like you said supplementing the limited resources that these colleges and universities have. Yet you find that, hey, nobody really wants to listen to that for whatever reason, and then you kind of have to adjust accordingly, and you go from there. We get that a lot. I’ve heard that many, many times.
So last couple ones, which like I said pretty quick. Favorite podcast, books that you like to share?
Beth Hendler-Grunt: My favorite podcast is The Pitch on Gimlet Media. It is where entrepreneurs pitch themselves to real investors. It’s kind of a more elaborate Shark Tank. The investors are phenomenal. I’m obsessed with Jillian Manus who owns Structured Capital, and if you’ve ever listened, what’s so great about it and why I actually also tell whether it’s parents, executives, or even … It’s how you sell yourself. It’s how you pitch yourself and present yourself. I love that.
And then I still really like a book that I read in college and I still have it on my desk and I still refer back to it of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. I think that’s a real good one for anybody to take a look at.
David Elmasian: Sure. Well, no pun intended, but switching gears a bit, tell me about your volunteer work with Cycle for Survival.
Beth Hendler-Grunt: Oh, thanks so much for asking.
David Elmasian: Yep.
Beth Hendler-Grunt: This is something that’s really a personal near and dear effort. It’s actually something I got involved in a number of years ago, before I even had a personal connection. So Cycle for Survival is a nonprofit that raises money of rare cancers. 100% of all the money raised go to Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital here in New York City, which is kind of unique for a lot of charities because they don’t take any of the money for overhead. Everything goes to that. And it really helps to fight rare cancers, but rare cancer are cancers that we hear about as common as things like pancreatic and bone cancer. So a lot of things that we might hear commonly weren’t getting funded. It was actually started by a women who lived in the town I grew up, where I live now, Jennifer Goodman Linn. Her and her husband and her family started this out of frustration when she was sick. Unfortunately she passed, but the charity has just grown. I think they just hit $200 million over the last 10 years.
David Elmasian: That’s great.
Beth Hendler-Grunt: And it’s a personal thing because in the last three and a half years, my sister was diagnosed with cancer. My younger sister. So it’s been a battle and seeing firsthand what happens. But she has been treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering, and really I think because of a lot of the life saving research that they do, she’s doing phenomenal. I’m knocking on wood right now.
David Elmasian: Yeah. That’s fantastic.
Beth Hendler-Grunt: She’s doing great. But yeah, it’s something near and dear, so thanks so much. But if anyone knows, they actually have rides across the country. They’re still going on. I’m pretty sure there’s some in Boston, and if you know anyone, it’s a great charity to donate to.
David Elmasian: Okay. So it’s Cycle for Survival for those listening. So yeah, that’s great.
So let’s wrap it up. If you listen to any of my other podcasts, we do a quick fire round. It’s called Check Your Tech. I got to bring a little tech into this discussion, right? No wrong or right answers. No pressure. Don’t feel like you got to … It’s not a quiz. I promise. You probably ask a lot more difficult questions then I do in that regard.
So are you a Mac or a PC person, Beth?
Beth Hendler-Grunt: I’m a PC.
David Elmasian: Okay. iPhone or Android?
Beth Hendler-Grunt: iPhone.
David Elmasian: Oh. So you’re going across the grain here.
Beth Hendler-Grunt: Yup.
David Elmasian: You’re breaking the rules. All right. How about Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, any, all of the above, none of them. What do you reach for first?
Beth Hendler-Grunt: I’ve been trying to cut down on Facebook. I do a lot … But I’m at Facebook. LinkedIn I spend a lot of time on. Instagram, just for like fun. And Twitter, every now and then I’m on there. I’m on all of them. But Facebook and LinkedIn the most.
David Elmasian: All right. How about Netflix or Hulu?
Beth Hendler-Grunt: Netflix.
David Elmasian: All right. I still pull for Hulu. I haven’t gotten one Hulu yet. I don’t know why I pull for Hulu, but I do.
Gmail or Outlook?
Beth Hendler-Grunt: Outlook.
David Elmasian: Okay. Now this one’s the most difficult one, but you got to give me an answer. Penn State Nittany Lions or the Wash U Bears?
Beth Hendler-Grunt: Oh, well.
David Elmasian: No, Beth.
Beth Hendler-Grunt: Well, Penn State right now. My son’s at Penn State, and I went to Wash U but they don’t have the sports nearly like how Penn State does. So from a-
David Elmasian: Are you saying you’re on the bandwagon? Is that what you’re trying to tell me?
Beth Hendler-Grunt: I drank the Kool-Aid. I’m on the bandwagon. We are Penn State right now. So yeah.
David Elmasian: That’s great. Well, Beth, what a story. I think we could talk for hours. Unfortunately, we’re out of time. But before we finish up, can you tell our listeners how they can contact you?
Beth Hendler-Grunt: Absolutely. If you’d like to learn more about how your grad or if you know a grad, they can learn about us at NextGreatStep.com. And there’s a free video on the top on how to use LinkedIn. Feel free to grab that or just contact us. We’d be happy to talk to you.
David Elmasian: That’s great. Well, thanks for joining us here on the Hub of Success and sharing your story.
Beth Hendler-Grunt: Thank you so much for having me. It’s been great.