Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

…Find the perfect job in a tough market

Career-wise, I’ve gone from working in the performing arts to event planning, and from being a food expert to now working as a project manager at a large financial institution. Somehow I always manage to land on my feet—even after a recent layoff. One of the reasons is that I’m always open to new opportunities; even volunteering can build your network and show off your skills. I’m continually rewriting my résumé, always finding ways to make it better, then attaching it to personal e-mails. (Hi, Brenda. How’s your mom? Here’s my résumé.) Those you know best are most qualified to recommend you for a job. That’s how I landed my current position! I have always been open to rebranding myself or repackaging my experiences to fit new opportunities. My advice in a nutshell? Tell everyone that you’re looking for a job. I mean everyone—the butcher, the baker, even your caramel macchiato maker. You never know what might happen.

—Michelle Roden Conway ’86

In addition to doing project management, Conway also volunteers at a nonprofit organization.

…Make the most of an information interview

Times are tough. The competition for a job is tougher. An information interview can give you an advantage in a job search. Before you go, do your homework. Look at the web site of the targeted employer. Learn all you can. If you know someone who works there, call that person. Ask about culture, internal structure, and management styles. Armed with knowledge, march in for your interview with confidence. Showcase what you know. Ask in-depth questions, including how someone with your background and credentials might best fit in. While you’re there, try to see if the employees seem engaged in their work or disconnected from it. If the company representative likes what he or she sees in you, you’ve just given yourself a good chance at a callback, and a leg up on others who have simply sent in résumés.

—Jane Martin ’74

Martin is the owner of The Photo Editor (www.thephotoeditor.com) in Arlington, Va. She has years of experience hiring and interviewing for a large company, experience she uses today to research potential clients.

…Make cranberry relish

Ingredients

1 pound cranberries, fresh

2 oranges

½ cup orange juice

¼ cup Grand Marnier

1 cup sugar

½ cup toasted pecans (optional)

Candied orange peel (optional)

Directions

Peel and chop oranges. In a pan, combine cranberries and chopped oranges with orange juice, Grand Marnier and sugar. Stir. Cook on a low heat for 10 to 15 minutes until cranberries burst and are tender. Add candied orange peel to mixture (optional). Pour into a serving dish, top with toasted pecans and chill. Serve cold.

—Stephanie Sidell Sokolove  ’76

Sokolove is owner and executive chef of Stephanie’s on Newbury (www.stephaniesonnewbury.com) and the recently opened Stephi’s on Tremont (www.stephisontremont.com) in Boston. A resident of Newton, Mass., she is one of the region’s most celebrated restaurateur-chefs.

[Our senior writer Hannah Benoit, a fabulous cook, made this recipe, and our staff enjoyed it.]

…Get children to spend more time outdoors in the winter

Slowly remove the video-game controller from their hands.

Give them squeeze bottles filled with water and food coloring, then send the kids outside to “color” in the snow.

Cross-country ski in your own backyard.

Explore different sledding hills in your area.

Feed the birds. Make your own bird feeders by smearing big pinecones with peanut butter, then roll them in birdseed.

Get outside and join them. It will be hard for them to come back inside if you are out there playing with them.

—Kristin Sundin Brandt ’94

Brandt, who has two children, is vice president at Sundin Associates (kristin-sundin-brandt.com), a marketing and advertising agency in Natick, Mass. She is the executive editor and co-host of “Manic Mommies,” a weekly podcast for parents seeking a work-life balance, and a member of the National Wildlife Federation’s Founding Moms Advisory Board, which helps