Coach Alice’s “Pillar of Four” – Happy Career Strategy Monday!

Old building with four pillars

CSE Career Captain, Djounia Saint-Fleurant, MBA’24, penned this original blog post in honor of what Alice Ain Rich (Coach Alice), Associate Director and MBA Career Coach, calls her “Pillar of Four”. Brandeis International Business School students will likely notice a close alignment between Coach Alice’s Pillar of Four and the essential elements of their Professional Portfolio! 

Coach Alice’s Pillar of Four

Attending business school taught me that you have to be on your toes at all times. Tim Fargo, an American entrepreneur, put it nicely when he said: “Opportunity doesn’t make appointments. You have to be ready when it arrives.” 

I had a chat with Coach Alice Ain-Rich, the MBA Career Coach at Brandeis International Business School, and here are the “Pillar of Four” she recommends that you have handy with you if you’re looking for jobs and internships opportunities: Resume, Cover Letter, Elevator Pitch and LinkedIn Profile.

A Well-Crafted CSE approved Resume

Your resume is the first document where you have the opportunity to make a positive first impression on potential employers and provide them with a succinct overview of your skills and experience. A well-crafted resume can mean the difference between getting an interview and being passed over. Ideally, it should contain keywords related to the position you are applying for as it is highly common for companies to use a software called an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), which will filter your application. “Keyword matching is critical to getting viewed”, says Coach Alice. The Career Strategies and Engagement staff is available to review your resume to ensure that it includes all the necessary information and is formatted correctly. 

Find Resume Templates and Learn how to get your resume approved by your career coach

A Concise and Well-Written Cover Letter

Next in the list is your cover letter. It’s your chance to explain to the recruiters why you’re the perfect fit for the job. It’s also where you can highlight your relevant skills and experience, and demonstrate your enthusiasm for the role. Your cover letter is the ideal place to talk about the type of person you are in one or two sentences and fill in any gaps that you might have in your resume. 

Get in (Career Strategy) Shape for Cover Letter Season

A Solid and Memorable Elevator Pitch

The way you introduce yourself says a lot about you and can help project a positive image. Coach Alice says: “You want to come across as confident, friendly, and interesting, while also being honest and authentic.” She talks about the Power of 3 which is an efficient way to create a memorable first impression by articulating three qualities that define you, and thereby making yourself stand out from the crowd. For example, “People tell me that I am innovative, friendly, and focused.” This can show the person you are talking to that you have a unique and interesting personality.

Explore the CSE elevator Pitch Guide

An Updated LinkedIn Profile

Last but not least, you need a complete and up-to-date LinkedIn account. Having an up-to-date LinkedIn profile can be just as important as having a good social media presence when it comes to finding a job or making new professional contacts. According to Coach Alice, maintaining a strong online presence on LinkedIn should be an everyday ritual, just like brushing your teeth.

Explore the CSE LinkedIn Guide by the LinkedIn Guys


By Djounia Saint-Fleurant
Djounia Saint-Fleurant CSE Career Captain, Creative Crew, Blog Squad