Facebook. Twitter. Jobs. Which one doesn’t belong? Believe it or not, none. Given the vast amount of time we college age students spend on social media sites, it’s no wonder employers increasingly turn to social media to research job applicants. For the average Princeton student it’s easy to dress spiffy and speak intelligently in an interview. But what about that other person you put out there for the world to see—the one before we get to the interview. In other words, Google Search yourself. Surprised, anyone?

Now most of us probably don’t know what our Facebooks look like to the average employer. In fact, most students are pretty sure their accounts are private. But are you sure? Do you really know those pictures from last night are not front-and-center on your profile? Probably, you don’t.

Here’s what to do. You can start by reading Facebook’s novel of a guide on Privacy Controls. Here’ the short story version: everyone can see what Facebook calls “public information,” including name profile picture, gender, username, user ID (account number), and your networks. In other words, one of the most important thing you can do is keep the profile picture professional.

UNLESS, that is, you Jason Bourne your profile. In other words, make yourself unsearchable. Under Privacy Settings, go to “How You Connect,” then “Who can look up your profile by name or contact info?” and select “Friends.” That way you won’t pop up when employers search for you. For all but the forward-thinking few who use Facebook to speak eloquently about current events, this is probably a good thing.

Just to complicate things a little more, there’s the new Timeline format. Don’t want employers seeing that “is O.M.G. Bobby is SOOOOO CUUUTTEE like lol” from 7th grade? Or the seven hundred status updates with a similarly test-infused lingo? You have two options. Either limit the visibility of the specific post (available through the pull-down tab in the status update’s top right corner) or, under Privacy Settings, go to “Limit the Audience for Past Posts,” and you’ll be able to limit your entire timeline to friends only.

But in case, like me, you’re already “friends” with potential employers, here’s the tricky part. With Facebook’s new settings, privacy is often a case-by-case basis, making it all the more complicated. So while you might list one Wall post as only available to “Close Friends,” another may be available to “Everyone.” This goes for everything from personal info to tagged photos. So it’s a good idea to customize your default settings so that all your statuses about Justin Bieber don’t immediately go public. (Guilty!)

Finally, the moment of truth: the best way to really see what your profile looks like to the average employer, use a non-friend account to check it out. For most of you, this means Mom and Dad. Or you could just go to privacy settings, click on “learn more,” click on “Profile” at the top, then go to the blue box near the bottom titled “know what others see on your profile. You may be quite surprised.

You can also, believe it or not, use social media to enhance your chance of getting a job. If you’re interested in a field where currency is key, join Twitter. It will help you get news in your field right when it happens. Start by following your favorite sources of news or your favorite academics. For instance, now that Cornel West is no longer on campus, catch his words of wisdom via Twitter. Then, don’t be afraid to join in the debates. If you have something intelligent to say, by all means, say it! Or, well, tweet it. This will not only keep you informed, but show employers that you’re an active participant in your prospective field already!

For more information about how to create an employer-friendly social media presence check out this article on YouTern with a really great info-graphic on the subject:


In the sandwich of applications, sophomore year is the filling. Nestled in between the urgency of applying to college and the transition to the real world, sophomore year seems like the perfect cushion, the delicious time to relax, be social, drink sparkling lemonade while lounging along the Jersey Shore…

Well, not exactly. Sophomore year is important, but more so, it’s exciting. No freshman transition, no junior papers, no senior panic – the ideal time to explore your future without all the pressure. So why not start asking yourself the big questions? What’s there to lose?
First order of business to cover: the major. By now we’ve all been here long enough to know at least something about each major. For example, if foreign language makes your cervello a little loco, Comparative Literature is probably not the wisest choice. But what if you’re faced with a tough choice? Policy or Politics? Math or Physics? Art History or Architecture? And what if you love your intended major but worry that it doesn’t provide enough career choices?

For starters, check out the “What Can I Do With My Major” website. You’re a veteran sophomore, so by now you may have a good grasp of what you want to study. If you’re feeling unsure or just curious, give it a try. Just select a major from the pull-down tab to browse descriptions, real jobs and positions alumni have held, and internships some of these majors have pursued. I, for one, am in love with this feature. As an English major, I often get the question, “Oh so what are you going to be? Teacher or a lawyer?” Now, I have concrete proof that we English majors are versatile! Since exploring this tab I have since solidified my interest in journalism as my career of choice.

Enough about me. Go to and see for yourself!


Wow, I can’t believe the school year is over! I’ve really enjoyed working at Career Services this year. I learned so much about marketing, communications, and social media and am really excited about returning to the office next year! For my last blog, I decided to try something new–a video blog! Check out the following video to learn what a few Princeton undergraduate students are doing this summer. Have a great summer and I look forward to sharing my next blog with you in September!


This post is dedicated to all the seniors out there who will begin full-time jobs in the next few months—CONGRATULATIONS! I know you all have worked hard over the past few years and your positions are well deserved.

Personally, as excited as I am about having a job post-graduation, I am also apprehensive about entering into a full-time work environment. Like many of you, I have had plenty of internships in the past, but a full-time job marks a more significant transition. It is essential, therefore, to have a strategy when entering into the workforce that enables you to make the best impression possible in your first few weeks with an organization.

WHY: First impressions count. In the early days of a job, your boss and colleagues begin to form lasting impressions about you. They observe and assess your ‘typical’ behavior, including attendance, punctuality, enthusiasm, and even what ‘type’ of person you are. Especially in the first few days when introductions have begun, first impressions about you and your potential can influence your future success with the organization. Of course, employers do not expect you to know everything right off the bat. There will be time to learn the ropes at each job. However, there are several ways you can increase your chances for making a great first impression and have a major impact on your future standing.

WHAT TO DO: You want to be seen as enthusiastic, competent, and motivated in your first few weeks at a company. The key is to remember that you are under careful watch in the beginning from bosses, co-workers, and the organization as a whole, so act as professionally as possible while observing other co-workers’ habits.

1. Be Positive. Having a positive attitude is not only infectious, but it may help your cause if you accidentally blunder in your first few days. Having enthusiasm for your work, as well as enthusiasm towards your team, department, and company can go a long way towards forming new friendships, and carving out a positive niche within your organization. If at all relevant, you should show loyalty to your co-workers and, at least in the beginning, find opportunities to share credit or success with the team. And remember to learn their names quickly!

2. Watch and learn. Observe your co-workers’ dress, habits, punctuality, etc.—they will give you a good indication of what is expected of employees, even if nothing is specifically stated in your contract or training. When in doubt, dress professionally to your new job. In the beginning, even if your department has casual days, try to dress professionally because you are still trying to make an impression. Young new-hires may emulate the attire of those who are in higher-level positions to gain some credibility. Once you are comfortable in your position, watch how your co-workers dress and behave, and start to slowly merge your styles. Often times, observing how a co-worker answers a phone (always politely) or drafts an internal email (professionally) will tip you off on how you are expected to conduct business within your department. Though you should try to arrive early your first few days and work full hours, also keep track of when your co-workers arrive, take lunch breaks, and depart from the office. If people come early, eat quickly, and leave late, chances are you are expected to do the same.

3. Listen and learn. Along with watching, comes listening. Take your first few weeks and simply listen during conversations, meetings, and gatherings. In the early stages of a job, listening is much more important than talking and having some of your new ideas heard—it shows that you value and respect your co-workers existing communicative relationship and that you are not a ‘know-it-all’ straight out of college.

4. Socialize. Try to stay away from any office gossip, but do try to get to know your co-workers. Take advantage of after-hours activities such as sport leagues or happy hours, while being on your best behavior. Ask plenty of questions to your employers, co-workers, or HR representatives if you are stuck on an issue—it may even be a good way to break the ice with less friendly employees—and always show your appreciation for advice received. You should also consider finding a mentor down the line, to help guide you through your career path and introduce you to other members of your organization. Above all else, continue networking and expanding your circle of contacts—and never stop!

5. Get Informed. Learn everything you can about your company in the first few days. Gather employee handbooks and company literature to make sure you are informed before speaking up at meetings. But also keep track of your accomplishments and milestones: tracking your progress, achievements, successful projects or meetings will not only help boost your confidence, but will also help guide future conversations with your boss. Request meetings with your boss to review performance and be sure to share your own achievements with him/her too. Create goals together and work your hardest to achieve them.

Making a good impression should not be too difficult, however these tips are sure to set you ahead of other ‘rookies’ in the group. Enjoy your first job—excel—and remember, if for some reason you decide to leave your company and begin another job search, as a Princeton graduate, Princeton’s Career Services is available to assist alumni at any stage of their


If you’re a senior, all you can think about this month is: Finals! Reunions! Graduation! But slow down—these are the last days you’ll get to spend with your 2011 classmates before embarking on a new chapter of life. Take the time to enjoy each other’s company one last time.

One goal I have had this week is to find out where all my friends will be after college, so I can continue to keep in touch. I have been surprised by some of their answers: three of my friends are starting their own respective companies, many are going into finance in New York or Chicago, two brave friends are moving to Singapore for PIA, and another to Mississippi as a TFA instructor, and three are starting law school in the fall. It is exciting, to me, that my one group of friends breaks down into such a diverse range of career paths, but then again, that’s Princeton for you. We all started in Forbes College, we all like to travel and listen to music, but somehow, we are going to end up on opposite sides of the country or world, all doing what we love in different industries. Though I always imagined us leaving Princeton as a unit, I think everyone’s post-graduation plans fit their career and life goals, and will make for much better (and happier) conversations at reunions to come.

Talking to my friends about their post-graduation plan got me thinking: What is the rest of the class of 2011 doing? So, I asked some seniors to sit down with me on camera and share their plans, and here’s a video with their responses:


As college graduation is rapidly approaching, I find myself reminiscing about my time here at Princeton and all of the great experiences I have had. I remember when I was a freshman, I made a list of all the things that I wanted to accomplish while in college. Now, after four years, I cannot say that I have checked off all of the things on my list (I have yet to travel through the steam tunnels or steal a campus flag), but I still made quite a large dent. Even more interesting though, are some of the things I did that were not on the list-such as change my major 5 times, eat at least once at every eating club, and go sky diving.

Though the accomplishments that didn’t make the list may seem silly, I have come to realize that some of the seemingly ‘irrelevant’ or fun things you do on campus can lead to major life and career decisions later on. For example, had I stuck with the first major I declared in sophomore year-Politics, I might have been swayed by other Politics majors and friends to intern on the Hill over the summer, instead of taking my first internship in Los Angeles at a production company, and beginning my love for media. Eating in every eating club also forced me to branch out socially, allowing me to meet twice as many people as I would have had I simply stuck to my meals at Tiger Inn. Knowing people from many different social circles has helped me this year as Annual Giving Co-Chair as I reach out to the entire Class and solicit pledges for Princeton’s Annual Fund. And finally, on a whim, I went sky diving last year after finals to celebrate the end of junior year. Having never done anything ‘crazy’ before, diving out of a moving airplane showed me that not only could I be spontaneous and adapt quickly to sticky situations, but also that I could survive almost anything, whether it be plummeting towards earth or a bad grade on a paper.

The point I am trying to make is that ALL of your experiences matter and they are all…priceless. What you do now shapes who you are and who you will become. Trying new things at Princeton can lead to greater confidence and more informed decision-making in your future.

I give you three examples of personal friends:
Talia Kwartler ’12 never thought she would study abroad. However, discovering her love for the Italian language at Princeton, it became readily apparent to her that she would need to study in Bologna, Italy in order to perfect her conversational skills. While abroad, Talia studied Italian paintings and used the material she found abroad to help write a successful Junior Thesis. Her knowledge of art and her abroad experience also made her a top candidate for the Peggy Guggenheim Collection Internship in Venice, Italy, which is one of the most coveted internship positions in the art and art history world. Her experience at the Guggenheim will help her immensely on future graduate school and job applications within her field.
Annie Shapiro ’11 never thought she would be tapping into her dad’s professional network, but when her father met the CEO of LearnVest at a networking event, she jumped at the opportunity to meet with the founder personally. From that informational meeting, Annie was offered an internship, and then another for the next summer and school year. Finally, as a senior she has been hired full-time upon graduation working directly with the CEO on product development and marketing.
Michael Keaton ’11 has always been passionate about entrepreneurship, but it wasn’t until this year that everything fell into place in a way that he believed he could execute. In one year’s time, he found a fellow Princeton student and business partner as driven as he, a simple idea that could be tested at low cost, and the time and freedom to be able to build a company thanks to Ed Zschau’s High-Tech Entrepreneurship class. When Michael experienced difficulties in coordinating group communication and events on campus, he took it upon himself to develop a web-based texting platform for student organizations called SwoopTEXT. In addition to letting students receive instant updates from their groups’ leaders, SwoopTEXT provides students with a virtual campus activities fair so users can actively manage their subscriptions to groups. As a senior, he has had more free time to be able to perfect his product, and is in fact testing SwoopTEXT at Princeton next month, with the hopes of launching in the fall. Michael credits his time at Princeton for providing him with the freedom, resources, partners, and test subjects to enable his initial idea to morph into a full-fledged company.

As my time as a Communications intern for Career Services is coming to a close, I want to be able to capture the stories of some of my classmates, to hear about your experiences at Princeton and how they may shape your future! This week, armed with my flip cam, I will be a “roving reporter” looking for students to interview for one of my final assignments. If you see me coming, please step up to share your story!


As I mentioned in my last post, before spring break I searched the Career Services’ Alumni Careers Network for alumni whom I could potentially contact to arrange an informational meeting. I found an alumnus who works in NYC as an entertainment reporter for a top media company who agreed to meet me during spring break. Here is a summary of that meeting…

My meeting was scheduled at 11:00 AM, so I made sure I woke up with enough time to get myself ready. I chose my outfit the night before. Although I wasn’t attending a job interview, I still wanted to look professional. I wore a nice button up shirt, sweater, and slacks. I ate a good breakfast before leaving the house. I wanted to make sure I was focused and alert during the meeting. During the train ride to New York City, I reviewed the questions I wanted to ask the alum during our meeting. I was extremely excited.

Upon arriving at the building, I checked in with security, was given a visitor badge, and was told to wait in the lobby. When I looked for a seat, I saw Tracy Morgan was sitting there. “How Cool!” I thought to myself. I wouldn’t mind working in an environment where I could run into celebrities on a daily basis. After a few minutes passed, the Princeton alum greeted me. We stepped into the elevator and saw Regis Philbin standing there! The alum introduced me, and I eagerly shook Regis’ hand (trying not to look too star struck).

When we arrived upstairs, we had about 45 minutes to meet. The alum gave me so much advice and information about how to pursue a career in the entertainment industry that it would be impossible to include everything he said. I have provided some of the main points from our discussion below and think his advice can be applied to a wide range of career fields.

  1. Use the end of sophomore year to refine your interests. Freshman and sophomore years are great for exploring a variety of interests. However, as you approach the end of your sophomore year, you should start thinking about which interests you may want to pursue further? It’s about quality and not quantity at this point. Start thinking about taking on a leadership role in a few of the clubs/organizations you belong to, so that you can start pursuing your passions in a more in-depth way.
  2. Go after what you want–now. Is there something you have always wanted to try, but never got around to it, or were scared to try? Now is the time (while you are still in school)! For example, I told the alum that I was interested in possibly working with the campus radio show. He asked me if I had contacted the manager of the station yet. I said I was put on an email list. He told me to try going directly to the radio station to request a meeting. Face-to-face contact is essential and can open up doors that impersonal contact might not. At the same time, I was advised that before my meeting, I should have a detailed plan and be able to describe the type of impact I wanted to have on the radio station. Going after what you want requires dedication, passion, and hard work. However, the benefits will be rewarding, in both the long- and short-term.
  3. Seek out people who have similar interests. Many Princeton University students may have similar interests/strengths. Start networking with students who are interested in the types of things you are. Get to know them better. Work on projects together. Some of your greatest accomplishments during college can come from working with other students. These relationships can also continue after graduation as you continue to expand your professional interests and networks.
  4. Balance your time. College can definitely be stressful at times, so it is wise to manage your time wisely. I was advised to separate my time into chunks such as “THINGS I HAVE TO DO” and “THINGS I WANT TO DO”. By delegating time in such a manner, handling stress is much easier. Remember, making time for things you want to do and pursuing your passions is very important. The types of skills you acquire now will help you later in life.
  5. Find a mentor. Having a mentor during college can be very helpful. A mentor can help guide you in different aspects of your college life and career choices. More importantly, a mentor in your prospective field can give you keen insight into options available to you.
  6. Ultimately, find a career and a job that makes you happy. The advice that I think was the most important was, “Find a job that you can’t wait to go to when you wake up in the morning.” A career is very important choice in one’s life. Having one that satisfies and brings happiness to you is important. To ensure that you will find the right fit in the end, make time to explore lots of options while in school (through extracurricular activities, volunteer efforts, externships, and internships).

My experience in using the ACN and connecting with an alum was fabulous! I strongly encourage other students to reach out to alumni and take advantage of their wealth of experience and advice. Search for alumni on the ACN. Request a meeting. Ask questions. Follow-up and keep in touch. I’m very grateful that I did!


Although I have written about using social media for professional pursuits before, I would like to take a minute to emphasize LinkedIn as a way for seniors to energize their job searches. Believe it or not, connecting with people on LinkedIn can be a fast track to finding businesses and job opportunities that match your career goals.

LinkedIn offers students a medium in which to create professional online profiles and internet reputations, research company pages (that align with industries of choice), and reach out to experts in various fields for advice and assistance. This online social network of companies, professionals, and job seekers is more advanced than a regular job board because it puts your connections to work, providing the tools to reach out, degree by degree, with the connections of your connections for mutual benefit. In using LinkedIn to your full advantage, you may be able to research your dream job and company, reach out to contacts within the organization, apply online for a position, and obtain job referrals all on the same site. With over 60 million users, LinkedIn may be your best (and most convenient) bet to quickly make connections in your field of interest and find a job.

As some of you are not yet on LinkedIn, I will explain the basics. LinkedIn also offers tutorials on their website for students and first-time users, so as to make the process as easy as possible.

There are a few basic steps to entering into the LinkedIn community, the first and foremost being building a professional profile. All LinkedIn users, like Facebook, have a personal profile that advertises your professional information to other users. However, unlike other social media sites, LinkedIn is not a place to constantly update your friends about daily situations or to add photographs from parties and gatherings. Think of your LinkedIn profile as something you would be proud to show an employer and co-workers, and a place that adequately summarizes your career path so far. You should add a professional-looking photograph, an eye-catching header, and a strong summary statement that is concise, specific, and pointed towards your accomplishments and future aspirations. You can build your profile using information from your resume. Once you are more experienced with the site, you can begin to request/add recommendations from past employers and friends who have worked with you and know your strong-suits. And finally, you should begin to incorporate your LinkedIn account into other aspects of your professional life, such as you email signatures and resume. LinkedIn offers an excellent video tutorial displaying good examples of photographs, headers, and summary statements to get you started: You can also check out Career Services’ guidelines tailored to Princeton students:

Once you have created a profile, it is time to start researching your career interests. Since LinkedIn is a database of the career paths of nearly 60 million users, you can begin by searching for people with careers in which you are interested, such as marketing or journalism. By typing “marketing” or “journalism” in the keyword section of the advanced people search, you can generate a list of professionals who have those words in their profile, and see if you are connected through your network or share any LinkedIn groups with them. When you click on one of the profiles, you can see their educational information, as well as all of the past internships and jobs he/she might have held to obtain his/her current position—essentially a career path laid out. You may get inspired by his/her career path, or you may find it beneficial to start joining some of his/her LinkedIn groups to meet other professionals with similar career interests, as well as participate in industry discussions. Finally, you may also start looking at the individual’s company page to begin building a strong list of companies for which you may wish to work. Again, check out LinkedIn’s tutorial to see a specific example of a search and its results:

Since over 70% of jobs are found through networking, LinkedIn is the perfect site to begin building your professional network. Even though seniors may be new to the workplace, LinkedIn is a place where you begin building contacts, despite not knowing people directly. You can start off by adding your friends and family by going to the contacts tab and searching for them. Once you have connected with the people you know directly, you can begin to tap into their professional networks for your own benefit. You should also join Princeton’s Alumni Group by searching in the group directly tab. Here you can meet alumni in diverse fields who are interested in connecting with other industry professionals and working with recent graduates. Reaching out to these group members, keeping up with your current contacts, and customizing your “request to connect” message will help you build a pool of relationships that you can use in a job search. Also, see Career Service’s suggestions for building a network:

When you are ready to reach out to your network and begin your search for a job, LinkedIn is a good place to send contacts a friendly message detailing your goal of finding a job in a specific industry, and asking for both advice and help in learning about job opportunities at their respective organizations. You may want to ask your contacts to keep an eye out for job listings on their various LinkedIn group pages, while you check out the “jobs” tab to search for postings in your area of interest. LinkedIn allows you to see which of your contacts works for the companies with the job postings, so you can ask your contact for help, referrals, or further connections when applying. To see templates for reaching out to your connections, as well as how-to instructions for looking up job postings, watch the following video:

Finally, should you have success in your search and land an interview; you can use LinkedIn to research the people who will be interviewing you. You can study the LinkedIn company page for information like mission statements and general information, industry knowledge, competitors, insider secrets, and ongoing updates to help sure-up your interview answers. And of course, you can go to Career Services to practice an interview set-up before the big day.

As you can see, I have made a pretty powerful argument for joining LinkedIn and beginning to build your network as you search for job opportunities in the “home stretch” between now and graduation day. For more information, visit Career Services’ Social Media Page ( and come connect with me on LinkedIn.


In two and a half years, I will be a proud graduate of Princeton’s Class of 2013. Thinking about this made me wonder, “What will I be doing after graduation?” I am sure many Princetonians have pondered this question at some point during their college career. So, I thought Spring Break might be an ideal time to explore this question and find some answers for myself. For students who might not have much planned over break, this can be a great time to learn more about Princeton alumni and possibly seek out advice from them regarding career interests. Alumni are often an untapped resource for undergraduate students. Making connections with alumni can be very beneficial to students in the long run. Does Princeton have a program that links current undergraduates and alumni? YES, there are many!!
One of the most efficient ways students can search and contact alumni is through Career Services’ online system, the “Alumni Careers Network” (ACN). This is a searchable database of Princeton alumni who have volunteered to provide career-related advice to Princeton students and fellow alumni. There are over 4,000 participating alumni in the database. Click here to access the Alumni Career Network site. The ACN can be searched in two ways. You can either search by name, industry, job function, or geographic location. Or, you can search by keyword. The reason why the ACN is so useful to students is because it allows you to easily identify and contact alumni in our career field of interest—both domestically and internationally. The alumni listed voluntarily chose to be part of the network, so they are willing to provide assistance. Their assistance can come in the form of advice, full-time job assistance, host, local projects, or summer job assistance. Career Services’ advises that one does research in the field/industry of interest before making contact with an ACN member. It is also requested that students use professional courtesy when communicating with an ACN member. (See the Career Services Guide for sample e-mail templates and phone scripts to use when contacting an alumnus/a. Also, don’t forget to thank them for their time!)
Since I recommended this resource to you, I had to try it myself! Here’s what happened when I did…
I decided to use the database in order to find a Princeton alum with whom to have an informational interview over Spring Break. Because I live in northern New Jersey and the train ride to New York is only about 25 minutes, I decided to start my search by looking for alumni in NY. I narrowed down my search by only looking for alumni in the “Arts & Entertainment” industry. My search returned with 41 alumni to choose from!! I looked through the result pages and was amazed at what I saw. There were so many alumni in all different aspects of the arts and entertainment industry. Some of them even worked at the popular companies such as ABC, NBC Universal, Viacom, and CBS! When looking at an alum’s profile, you can see if they are available for hosting. Some of the graduates that I was interested in did not list hosting, so I automatically narrowed my list. One alum, in particular, stood out to me. He currently works as an entertainment reporter at a major media company. His profile indicated that he available for hosting students. A trip to New York City for an information interview would definitely be splendid! So, I decided to do some preliminary research in order to find out some information about the company he works for and his own career history. Then, I sent him a polite email telling him about my interest in the media/entertainment industry and my desire to have an informational interview. I made sure to mention that I was a Princeton student and that I would be available during Spring Break.
Little did I know how quick I would receive a reply! Within an hour of sending the email, I received a reply. He stated that he was taking time off after having done the Oscars (HOW COOL!), but he would definitely be able to meet with me during Spring Break. He asked me what times were best for me, and promised to set a date to meet. I was so shocked and happy. I didn’t realize how fast all this would happen. I am really looking forward to traveling to NYC and meeting with him! Want to know what happened? Make sure to tune into my next blog so I can fill you in on what happened! I’ll even try to get some pictures if possible!
Remember, Spring Break is definitely a time to relax, but you can also use the free time you have to your advantage. This is just one way that you can utilize your free time to learn more about your interests from a Princeton Alum! You never know how fast you may receive a reply, or what kind of opportunity can come your way because of your exploratory efforts.