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Workshop Teaches Real-World Skills in Job and Salary Negotiation

Public policy lecturer Kimberly Ling Murtaugh explained the ins and outs of job and salary negotiation at a workshop conducted in the Charles E. Young Research Library on March 7, 2019. The workshop was sponsored by Luskin Career Services, which promotes career readiness and prepares graduate students for employment. The workshop attracted students from all three UCLA Luskin graduate programs, including many second-year students preparing to enter the workforce after they graduate in the spring. Ling Murtaugh explained the essentials of negotiation analysis in three steps. First, job candidates can determine how much power they have in a negotiation by identifying their best alternatives to a negotiated agreement (BATNA) — a strong grasp of their options if the negotiation fails. Next, job candidates should identify their “reservation price,” the point at which they walk away. The last step is identifying a target, which Ling Murtaugh defined as a “realistically optimistic deal that will take care of your wants.” She recommended making a checklist of needs and wants to decide what kind of a salary is acceptable. “Negotiations are just another problem to be solved,” she said. “Tackle [negotiation] the same way you would another problem in the classroom.” While salary negotiation can be daunting, Ling Murtaugh explained that coming out of school is one of the best times to negotiate a jump in salary. She recommended preparing for negotiation by practicing with family members, friends or classmates. “Know your worth,” Ling Murtaugh told the graduate students. “Candidates have sources of power that they often forget.” — Zoe Day

View photos from the workshop on Flickr.

Negotiating Salary and More

Connecting With Those Who Once Traveled the Same Path During annual career event, UCLA Luskin Alumni Career Leaders share employment insights and offer career advice to current students preparing to enter the job market

More than 60 alumni returned to UCLA Luskin on April 26, 2018, to provide informational interviews to students during the second annual Alumni Career Connections event.

The meetings gave Urban Planning, Public Policy and Social Welfare students an opportunity to meet graduates of the School who serve as Luskin Alumni Career Leaders and receive career advice, learn about job opportunities and connect with practitioners in their fields of career interest.

The number of alumni volunteers grew by 30 percent this year, giving UCLA Luskin students additional opportunities to gain invaluable information.

“A 2017 Career Services survey ranked alumni networking as one of the graduates’ top two sources of job leads, so it’s essential to provide these opportunities to students,” said VC Powe, director of Career Services and the Leadership Development Program.

“We were very excited to be able to put on this event for a second year in a row,” said Emily Le, career counselor at UCLA Luskin. “It gives students an opportunity to connect with many alumni in their related fields that they wouldn’t normally get an opportunity to meet with. Some of the first-year students have already said that they’re looking forward to next year’s event.”

Alumni also appreciated the opportunity to meet current students. Sheena Innocente MSW ’15 said, “The students I met with were very interested in learning about research consulting and how it can serve to shift policy at nonprofit agencies and in political ways.”

This year’s Career Connections event was expanded to include a resume station and a free photo booth for LinkedIn and other website headshots.

Many students, such as first-year public policy student Sarah Rubinstein, seized the opportunity to improve their professional profiles by getting photos taken. Others worked with Social Welfare alumnae Christina Hernandez and Juliane Nguyen and Public Policy alumna Emily Williams to review their resumes. The three also coached students on how best to formally present their information for interviews.

The meetings did not end once the doors were shut in the Ackerman Grand Ballroom; some alumni joined students for dinner or coffee and many exchanged business cards to stay in contact with their newfound UCLA Luskin connections.

Ruby Ramirez, who is in her second year as a dual MPP and MSW student, and C.J. Horvath, who is in his first year of the MURP degree, were two of the attendees who said they gained important connections with new alumni, while reinforcing their current networks. “I thought the whole event was done really well,” Horvath said.

As the lights were dimmed and a crew began to clear furniture, Williams MPP ’98, was spotted in the corner with a student. “I can’t leave now,” she called out, “I want to finish with this student before I go.”

— UCLA Luskin staff

Click or swipe to view additional photos from the event on Flickr:

Alumni Career Connections Event