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Blog Feed - Fri, 03/07/2014 - 6:00am
Choose one that interests you the most!
- Hunger & Homelessness in San Francisco, California, Estimated Trip Cost: $435 (includes 4 dinners and breakfast)
- Community & Cultural Engagement in Yakima, Washington, Estimated Trip Cost: $145 (includes 4 dinners)
- Environmental Restoration & Conservation: Ashland, Oregon, Estimated Trip Cost: $205 (includes 4 dinners)
What will I get out of an alternative break?
- Engage in meaningful service to impact change related to an issue you care about
- Learn about and reflect upon the complexity and interconnectedness of social issues and problems
- Improve your leadership, critical thinking, and dialogue skills in dynamic real world scenarios
- Build meaningful relationships and a new community of civic-minded OSU students
- Develop skills in negotiating multiple perspectives, viewpoints, and stakeholders’ interests in decision making and actions
- Develop an increased capacity to work across differences to build communities
- Experience a program that will likely inform your future career path and lifestyle
What exactly is an alternative break? – An alternative break is a trip that engages a group of students in volunteer service and learning. Alternative break trips originated with college students in the early 1980s as a counter to “traditional” spring break trips. Trips typically have a focus on a particular social issue, such as (but not limited to) poverty, hunger and homelessness, education reform, health and wellness, immigration rights, and the environment. Students learn about the social issues and perform projects with local non-profit and community-based organizations.
What does an alternative break look like? – Teams of approximately ten students will spend the week of March 22 to March 29 on three different trips in Oregon, Washington, and California. Teams will engage in pre-trip planning and orientation meetings and post-trip debriefing and reflection, a structure that promotes continuous learning through the emphasis on critical reflection and reciprocity.
Hurry and Sign-Up today! Spots are limited!
Contact Carina Buzo, Civic Engagement GTA, at email@example.com or 541-737-3172
posted by Whitney Cordes, Career Assistant
Blog Feed - Fri, 02/28/2014 - 11:30am
Branding yourself isn’t just for people already in, or pursuing, a career in marketing. Whether you realize it or not, you are marketing your personal brand every single day to everyone you meet or encounter in your classes and even at work. The personal branding process starts with who you want to be as a person, which can be whoever you want I might add! So take a step back, look at what you really want out of life and start building your personal brand with this foundation. Here are five steps to help you begin thinking about and creating your very own personal brand:
1.) Define who you want to be as a person, know what you want out of life!
2.) Identify your personal skills and ownable attributes (the ones you have now or the ones you want to acquire over time).
3.) Make sure you can excel at each of those skills and attributes.
4.) Determine whether you can use them to differentiate yourself from others.
5.) Consider if these skills will bring you success and happiness over the course of your life (the most important part).
Once you have some of these things in mind, begin to think of all the areas in your life that you want success. Of course this would include your career but also think about your social life, relationships, children, and so on. Remember that your personal brand should be aspirational, so what you want out of life, not necessarily where you are right now. This is just a start but it should guide down the right path for personal branding success!
posted by Carly Larson, Career Assistant
Blog Feed - Fri, 02/14/2014 - 1:55pm
While a student at OSU, what have you done so far to gain experience?
Over the past two years at Oregon State I have gained experience in several ways. Although I have not become involved in school clubs or activities, I have found ways of
my own to gain invaluable experience. One way I have done this is by running my own tutoring business and aiding students in the areas of my major. This helps me to stay fresh with basic concepts and helps my communication and organization skills. A second way I have gained experience is by volunteering my time. An example of this is by participating in a mission trip to Mexico. On this trip, with my church, we build houses for people in need from the ground up. We do everything from mixing the cement for the floor to framing walls and finally putting on a roof. Over the years it has shown me that time is often much more valuable than money. I have learned I need to budget my time well, not only to get all of my work done but to create time in my schedule to help others. A third way I have gained experience is by working. Over this last summer I worked for a general contractor which has given me experience not only as an engineer but as an employee. As an engineer, seeing the building process is invaluable because it helps me design better and more efficient products. Working has also given me experience as an employee and allowed me to see the many different hierarchies that businesses utilize. The more I work the more experience I gain with these different work structures so I know which one works best for me. These are just a few of the ways I have gained experience over the past few years as a student at Oregon State and though I am not involved with University clubs or activities I am very proactive about finding other ways to stay involved.
What are your career plans?
As a mechanical engineer my career plans involve internships, hard work and possibly more school. As an engineer at Oregon State I have had the opportunity to apply for the Multiple Engineering Cooperative Program (MECOP). MECOP allows engineers to participate in two separate six month paid internship experiences which helps them to gain industry experience and to connect with members of industry. As a result of a great deal of hard work and preparation I was accepted into this program. Over the next two years I will be involved with these internships. After I graduate I would like to work for an engineering firm and hopefully have a job specializing in fluid/thermal dynamics. With diligence and perseverance, I hope to make my way into management so that I can work with teams of engineers, oversee projects and work with administrative branches of the firm. In this pursuit, if it becomes advantageous to acquire my MBA, and if I have the time and the resources, I will. My career plans any further into the future are still forming and depend on what the next few years hold and what opportunities present themselves.
What advice do you have for others who are preparing for their job or internship search?
If I had to give a single piece of advice to anyone preparing for a job or internship search, I would say, “Prepare, prepare, prepare.” Without preparation it is almost impossible to succeed and I have found this true with job/internship searches. When I was preparing for my internship search I first went to career services and had them review my resume and give me hints for success. I then scheduled mock interviews and continued to do so until I felt comfortable answering all of the questions the counselors could find. I recommend rotating through as many of the counselors as possible because each one gives different, yet helpful, advice. Career Services can help with everything else in your search as well. Frequently, I would find myself at the end of a mock interview asking all sorts of questions about my search. The next biggest piece of preparation I had was researching the individual companies themselves. Whether it is for an internship or a job, I have found knowing the company you’re looking to be with imperative. In my opinion it is better to know too much than too little. That is my advice for anyone looking for an internship or a job, start preparing and do so early.
Did Career Services and/or anybody else assist you with your career development and preparing you for an internship or job? If so, how?
Career Services helped me immensely in preparing me for my MECOP Internship interview. I scheduled more than five mock interviews and would have done more if I had time. They helped answer all of my questions from general process to advice on particular courses of action. I would not have been as prepared as I was without the career services. I highly recommend them to anyone preparing for industry in any way.
Blog Feed - Thu, 02/13/2014 - 5:02pm
1. All your friends are doing it. (Or, they will, if you go! Think of how inspiring you’ll be . . .)
2. There are, in fact, internships and other opportunities specifically available to first and second year students. A common misconception is that you must be senior standing to benefit from a career fair. However, it is often the case that employers are looking to recruit first and second year students as a way of “getting in early” and starting a long-term and in-depth professional relationship with future employees. Check out the employers listed at the Career Fair web page, for more information on who is recruiting for what.http://oregonstate.edu/career/career-fairs
3. You can stop and get coffee at Dutch Bros. on the way. And check out the new Beaver Store!
4. It’s a chance to see how long you can wear those fancy shoes before you have to take a break. Often, there aren’t a lot of opportunities to dress professionally as a student. For Career Fair, it is a chance to dress in your best business casual or business formal attire and practice behaving as a professional—which is what you are! It can be fun, and definitely confidence boosting.
5. You can eavesdrop on professional conversations! You will be walking through and standing close to many people who are conversing with professionals and recruiters from various industries. As a first year student, take advantage of the time to “listen in” and learn some of the nuances of a networking conversation. You might learn a bit about what to expect for conversations in your future, and what you might want to think about or practice.
6. Practice your “30-second Infomercial” or “Elevator Pitch”. Beyond just listening in, this is a chance to try out an introduction of yourself, your interests and skills. Because you may not be seeking employment this early in the game, there is little pressure to perform in a specific way—which makes it a prime opportunity to take a risk, and just give it a try. Who knows? You may learn something! If you need some help prepping your “pitch”, check out the example “30-second Infomercial” at http://oregonstate.edu/career/handouts
7. See who’ll be there next time. Career fairs occur at OSU every term except during the summer. While there are different employers present every fair, there are also returning employers. If you can introduce yourself this time, or get an idea of who might be there in the Spring or Fall, you’ll have a jump start on preparing, terms in advance!
8. Get familiar with the setting. It can be intimidating to walk into an unfamiliar place and attempt to put on a professional face. Use this time to just get comfortable with the environment—where to go, how to dress, how to drop off your backpack and what to bring. You can get an idea of the venue and the culture of the fair, so next time, you aren’t navigating any confusion in that way, but can focus just on getting to know the recruiters.
9. Find some motivation for those classes you’re taking. During coursework on campus, especially in the first two years or so, it can be difficult to see how what you’re learning is going to apply in the “real world” (Chemistry, Calculus, and Writing, oh my!). When you interact with employers in this setting, you may start to develop a more accurate and interesting picture of how your education now will be applicable in the future. The experience can also help you get a sense for what you might want to pay attention to and work on “between the lines” of the syllabi for classes. For example, how are your communication skills? Critical thinking and problem solving? What sort of transferable skills can you strengthen and learn, even while getting through that Health requirement?
10. Get some candy, pens, bags, and other forms of SWAG—all while making connections and practicing your social and communication skills the old-fashioned way, which most employers still value more highly—without a screen separating you from them! Collecting goodies is not the point of any career fair. However, approaching a table to grab a cool water bottle may open up interactions between you and any number of professionals. You will be creating connections, taking risks and learning about yourself and the world, in actual face-to-face encounters, which are becoming more and more rare. And then, as a bonus, you get to go home with some gadgets and pens and candy, as a reminder of your experience and some encouragement to come back next time!
Remember– University-wide and Engineering Career Fairs are next week, February 19th and 20th in the CH2M Hill Alumni Center, across from Reser Stadium! Stop by and say hi and have a fun and productive time!
~ Malia Arenth, Career Counselor
Blog Feed - Mon, 02/10/2014 - 11:14am
Here at Career Services, we definitely encourage students to complete at least one internship before they graduate. But what if you’re interested in study abroad as well? Of course, you could always do a study abroad and an internship at different times, but another great option is to do an internship abroad! OSU’s Study Abroad office works with a program called IE3 Global Internships that aims to place students in an internship position in another country. Students can also receive academic credit for their internship. For more information check out this link: http://ie3global.ous.edu/campus/osu/
Read a firsthand account of a student’s experience in an IE3 internship. Ben Spearing recently returned from an internship in Namibia, where he was working at the Cheetah Conservation Fund, and you can read about it at his blog http://benspearing1.blogspot.com/
Note: This post is linked to a external blog and the content for the post approved by Oregon State University Career Services. We are not responsible for the content on the guest blogger’s personal website and do not endorse their site.
posted by Deirdre Newton, Career Assistant
Blog Feed - Fri, 01/31/2014 - 4:15pm
On the first day in a graduate student counseling internship with a local non-profit, I was given the requisite tour, asked to review appropriate paperwork for documenting interactions with clients, and then led to a portable unit and informed, “This will be your office space until construction on the main building is finished”, and was introduced to my three other intern office mates. By the end of the first week, I was signed up to co-facilitate counseling groups in the local correctional facility, to expand experiential therapy groups at the Boys and Girls Club and had met with representatives from CARDV, Jackson Street Youth Shelter and the Benton County Health Department. At the end of the first week, I had a person I’d never met before walk into my “office”, sit down, and burst into tears, and I knew I was in deep.
Over the next several years, I interned, case managed and counselor-ed my way through a rigorous, fun and, ultimately, extremely valuable experience in that same non-profit setting. I learned that the first day of my internship was extremely telling: I had been introduced to a very accurate picture of non-profit social services work. It is driven by passion, concern, a lot of hard work, and often with space and resources that are ever-changing and new. I came to know that working with a non-profit is personal, and requires a level of engagement that is sometimes hard to navigate. I also learned that the experience is one that has set in place a very focused and strong foundation of my own career development and exploration.
Non-profit work is not for everyone. But it is for a lot of people. If you think you might be one of those, or just want to know more, please attend the Non-Profit and Volunteer Fair next week, Wednesday, February 5th, at the OSU Memorial Union Ballroom.
Get to know who’s addressing challenges head-on in the community and beyond.
Interested? Find all the information, including date/time and who will be attending here:
posted by Malia Arenth, Career Counselor
Blog Feed - Mon, 01/27/2014 - 10:39am
Internships are such an important step on a college student’s path to a career. As a student, you are generally not qualified to attain work experience in a field that you are considering going into. As a result, students often obtain work experience in the job market that is not relevant to their field of interest. This isn’t to say that this kind of work experience will not have value, but it is hard to convince someone that you are capable of being an event planner, when your only experience has been as a cashier. Internships, on the other hand can often provide hands on experience in an area that you hope to work in someday. This not only provides you with relevant experience and skills, but also lets you discover whether or not you would actually like the job.
While I was an undergraduate student, I sought out any opportunity that I could to inexpensively travel abroad. As a result, I ended up learning about an internship program called Camp Adventure Child and Youth Services. What drew me to this program was the fact that they paid for your flight to a foreign country and provided you with free housing and a living stipend. Basically free travel? Tell me more! There was a catch, however. In exchange for my free trip around the world, I would need to provide services to the children of U.S. Military members for forty hours a week. The internship was seeking students who were interested in working with children as a career. I thought to myself, “I like kids. I can do that for a free trip to Europe.” Did I have any real experience working with kids, you may be wondering? The answer was no.
Luckily, I ended up being placed as an aquatics counselor and taught swim lessons to preschoolers for the summer, which I really enjoyed. I later did a very short break camp as a Day Camp counselor and realized that I would NOT have survived for a whole summer in that position. I was also lucky that I had chosen a program that provided a lot of training prior to my summer internship. I had a great summer in Japan my first year and went back for a second year in Italy, as well as the short break camp in Hawaii. I loved getting to travel with the program, but I realized that I was officially not interested in working with kids as a career.
When I graduated from college, I wasn’t really sure what to do with my degree. But Camp Adventure asked me to work for them as a trainer for their summer program. I had become a leader during training throughout my time working for them and enjoyed doing it. So I took the part time position. I soon began to realize that although I didn’t love working with children, I did love working with college students. I was so excited to prepare them for their summer internships and see them come back as newly competent individuals and leaders. I realized that if I could make that a full-time career, I would. So I started looking into the field of College Student Affairs and realized that it was a perfect fit for me. I already had experience working with college students through Camp Adventure and I felt confident that my resume matched what a university employer would be looking for.
I am now on a path with a certain destination. I am currently in graduate school pursuing a degree in College Student Services and Administration. Interning for Camp Adventure ideally would have helped me gain a job working with children. Thus, when I first graduated I felt like my internship had been a frivolous waste of time. Why did I spend so much time working with kids, when that is not even what I want to do? Why didn’t I pursue other internships? Maybe I should have. But I think why I continued to work for Camp Adventure was because of the training process. Every year I was drawn back in by the prospect of working with new interns (besides free trips to Italy). In the end, it was a perfect transition into my current career path.
I encourage students to explore internships and to find something that you enjoy doing. You may not realize the value in an experience until much later down the road. Sometimes that value might simply be discovering what kind of work you do and do not like doing, but it’s better to find out sooner rather than later.
posted by Rebecca Schaffeld, Graduate Assistant with Career Services
Blog Feed - Fri, 01/17/2014 - 4:34pm
As students or recent graduates, we continually wear multiple hats. But one major opportunity I think most of us are missing is building quality relations with our peers and the random people we meet throughout the day. One of my mentors once said “have friendly competition with your classmates, know that someday you will all graduate and that you will be looking for the same jobs as them, and that someday they may be able to help you get into a great company in a great career.” – Katie Smith
I specifically use the word “relations” and not “connections”, because it implies that you have created a mutually beneficial relationship with a person. A connection is more of a one-way relationship; you keep in contact with a connection when in the future you want something from that person. I want you to build positive relationships with people, where you don’t feel awkward commenting on their post on LinkedIn or Facebook. You should not feel uncomfortable asking about how they are doing and what is new with their kids. So here are 3 steps to build quality relationships.
- Foundation: When meeting people in places of power in their career or a classmate you talk to in class, remember their name and start a conversation that isn’t always on the subject where do they work, and what’s their major. People are not just what they do, so find out more about them. Learn about where they are from, what’s their family like, what are they interesting or passionate in. You will take them by surprise and most likely spark a relationship.
- Build: Normally, for quality relationships to form, you need to see that person more than once. Make sure to invite them to coffee and if you see them in class everyday maybe start sharing stories of your life. This personalizes your relationship and it shows that you’re interested in knowing them. The goal is to really have that person say, after knowing you for a little bit, what a nice person you are to their friends. By the end of the build time you should be connected with them over some form of social media that shows you in a somewhat professional manner.
- Maintain: You might not see that person very often any more but you can still do things to maintain the relationship. Comment on the post, wish them a happy thanksgiving, ask about their families, congratulate them when they get married, comment on their new profile picture, and if that person did something nice for you in the past, just show gratitude and send a thank you. Call them or text them occasionally, saying that you miss having them around. I know from experience that this works because I have stayed in contact with people I haven’t seen in 3 -5 years and still when I ask if they like to go get coffee – they say yes.
So go out there and build relations with the people around you — don’t be a stranger!
posted by Zack Sperow, Career Assistant
Blog Feed - Fri, 01/10/2014 - 12:21pm
You walk into an interview, and the employer asks you a variety of questions. You jump through every hoop, and nail it, but then you are asked one question that you brush under the rug, and don’t think about: “Do you have any questions for me?” Most people will just answer this with a simple evasion, “nah, can’t think of anything.” But there is a reason that those people didn’t get the job. Luckily for you, I can give you some advice.
One of the more important questions in the interview, and one of your best opportunities to “strut your stuff”, is when you get to ask your own questions. You get to show that you were prepared for this interview (hopefully) and illustrate that you really care about, and are excited by, this job opportunity. But what questions should you be asking?
Well, I can certainly tell you which questions not to be asking. Don’t ask about salary or wages. It comes off as really self-centered, and as if you will be a bad employee once hired, like you’ll only care about making money, not customer satisfaction or being productive. Also don’t be blunt and ask, “So did I get the job?” When they know, they will tell you, don’t worry. Also don’t ask about benefits, or about what the company does at a basic level.
Alright, we know what not to do, let’s go to the next step… what should you be doing? Ask in-depth questions about one of three things: the atmosphere and culture at the company, your job position specifically, and in depth questions about the company’s agenda. What does this look like? Here are some example questions you can ask:
What have past employees in this position done to make them stand out as successful in your memory?
Is this a new position to your company? What is the first project I will be working on in this company?
What do you (the interviewer) enjoy about working for this company?
What sort of management style can I expect in this position?
The kinds of questions you can be asking should never be simple yes or no questions; yes or no questions lead to boredom and awkward silences, but mostly awkward silences. Just remember, this is your last chance in the interview to leave a lasting, and hopefully good, impression. If you did your homework, and came prepared to this interview, then you can aim to impress. Keep in mind, some of the questions you prepared might get answered throughout the course of the interview, so come prepared with 3-5 ready to ask, and see how many you have time for.
Good luck out there!
posted by Richard Thomas, Career Assistant
Blog Feed - Fri, 01/03/2014 - 3:43pm
College is the time to develop the skills you need and Career Trail is here to help! Take advantage of the Career Trail Prep by Step program. I am excited to be part of Career Services’ Initiative to reach out to OSU students both on and off campus by offering a new way to engage students in career preparation and develop their skills! Student success is the focus!
Career Trail is our new online career development self-directed and interactive program to reach students and alumni 24 hours per day, making accessibility for all at their fingertips. Career Trail engages faculty and staff by providing a resource including curriculum/assignments that can be used individually or in a classroom setting. Career Trail engages users with diverse levels of experience.
One of the aspects of the “Career Trail Prep by Step” program that I am excited about is how a student or alumni can quickly review the steps and determine where they are at in the career preparation process and find the step they are ready to engage in.
- The Career Preparation process begins with getting to Know Yourself, your strengths, values, interests, and personality. What a great way to start!
- Know the World of Work is the next step where you can learn about majors, what you can do with your major, and learn about jobs that excite you!
- Next it is off to Develop Tools and Skills that will prepare you for a job. Here you learn about building a stand-out resume and developing stellar interviewing skills.
- Next you Learn How to Connect. Connecting with others through your network, expanding your network through informational interviewing and using professional social media like LinkedIn can help you learn about opportunities and be ready to act on opportunities when they present.
- You can even learn how to develop a professional website or blog under Now Keep Going!
Link to Career Trail: http://oregonstate.edu/career/trail
For more help or information visit us at Career Services|B008 Kerr Administration Building | 541-737-4085 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Carolyn Killefer serves as an OSU Career Counselor with over 20 years of professional counseling experience in academic, community, private practice, and industry settings with a commitment to helping others reach their personal goals.
Blog Feed - Fri, 12/27/2013 - 6:30am
Hello Beavers and Beyond,
Here is a little video for thought as we quickly progress into a new year. Tell us what you think about these ideas on social innovation and changing a major paradigm in U.S. culture.
Enjoy and Happy New Year!
posted by Malia Arenth, Career Counselor
* This video was done for TED Talk and does not reflect the opinion or stance of any one person within or the Career Services department as a whole.
Blog Feed - Tue, 12/17/2013 - 4:11pm
Ready to get inspired for your job, internship, or career search? Each month we will spotlight an OSU student that has inspired us when it comes to their career development. Check out their success stories—besides inspiration, they also show that academic major does not have to restrict your goals and that there are many ways to define success.
Want to nominate an OSU student or alum for the Student/Alumni Spotlight series? Or do you want to share your own success? Then please fill out this quick form and Career Services will contact the person nominated.
Name: Brian A. Powell
Major: Sociology (minor in Economics)
Year in school: Senior
Internship: Advertising Sales Representative, University Directories
1. How did you find out about the internship?
I discovered University Directories during the Winter 2013 Career Fair at the CH2M Hill Alumni Center on campus. The funny thing is that I was not even sure I was going to attend that day, but I ended up going and when I came across the University Directories booth the managers were very interesting and convinced me to sign-up for an interview.
2. What will you be doing in your position?
I cold called businesses face-to-face in my geographical territory in Corvallis and built relationships with business owners and marketing managers, learned about their advertising needs through asking good questions, presented ad spaces in the campus planner and directory I was selling, and sold them advertising space that fit their needs. I attended a week long Sales Foundations Academy training in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and worked about 50 hours per week for 13 weeks over the summer.
3. What advice do you have for others interested in finding an internship?
Take advantage of as many opportunities as you can to connect with recruiters and find an internship. Go to every career fair, talk with your academic advisor, make an appointment with Career Services, schedule informational interviews with companies, and do research online. If you are not sure what field you want to go into, an internship is a good way to test the waters to see if the career is a fit for you or if you would rather do something else. Make sure to have a well prepared career portfolio/packet (resume, cover letter, reference letters, sample work) and go into an internship interview knowing what you want to get out of it.
4. Did Career Services or anybody else assist you with your career development? If so, how?
Career Services was instrumental in my career development. The resume drop-ins were useful for having a trained reader proofread my resume as I made changes to it. I also scheduled a one-on-one consultation with one of the career advisors who assisted me with tailoring all of my documents and provided me with a good strategy. Last, Career Services hosted the Career Fair which landed me my internship. Without the Career Fair, I probably would not have had an internship this summer and would not have found out that I want to go into sales.
Thanks Brian for being our Student /Alumni Spotlight! If you are interested in learning more about internships or the Career Fair, there are many resources available to you on the OSU Career Services website.
Blog Feed - Fri, 12/13/2013 - 6:30am
That’s right. ‘Tis the season: for snow and ice and long afternoons spent artfully avoiding that noisy item on your perpetual to-do list: the Personal Statement for Graduate School. Just putting it on the to-do list hasn’t gotten it done. Neither has eating every cookie in your house and your neighbor’s house (although, I applaud you for trying and urge you to continue as that is a delicious way of practicing avoidance). The bottom line is, the personal statement has to be written. And, it has to be written by you.
A personal statement has to be personal. It is one facet of the diamond of you that you will present to whatever institute(s) of higher education you choose, and it is an important one. The practice of writing a personal statement requires honest reflection, constructive self-criticism and provides a chance to sit with yourself and truly understand how you got here and where you want to go. If I write it for you, or your friends write it for you, or Google writes it for you, then you’ve skipped the process and missed the point. And, that graduate school committee will see right through it. They’ve read thousands of these.
As a professional with actual interest in writing, I still find constructing a personal statement to be extremely challenging, because there is no prescriptive way of doing it. If you look around, there is a lot of advice on how to put one together, a lot of it seemingly contradictory: “Start with a personal story that will grab their interest” and “Don’t get too dramatic and tell a story for shock value. That’s off-putting”; or, “Don’t repeat your resume” and “Be sure to include experience and education that is relevant and has impacted your decision”. It is, justifiably so, difficult to know exactly what to include. So, look at all those suggestions, reflect on some answers to a few broad questions (Why do I want to go to this school? What do I bring as a student and professional? How do I see myself using and enhancing this education? Why didn’t I become a florist instead?) and then, do this . . .
Just start writing.
This is the best piece of advice I have ever received from a writing mentor. If you don’t know what to write, staring at a blank page is not going to help. Just write something down. I wrote a personal statement for grad school that started by typing the following words: “I’m writing a personal statement for grad school and it will probably suck because I can’t write and I don’t have anything to write about.”
I’m not kidding. (That line didn’t, unbelievably, make it into the final draft.)
I went on to list all the reasons I’m a terrible writer and that I have nothing to offer the programs. I even got a little angry with the process (“Why should I have to prove that I fit with this program? I’m supposed to be a counselor, I can be a counselor, I want to be a counselor, what other proof do they need?!”) As I typed, I realized that soon, through all of the muck, some actual gems of information started to shine: some of my motivations for pursuing school again after I said I would never go to graduate school; some of my goals for what I would glean from graduate school; some of my turning points and learning curves that impacted my ability to be successful in a master’s program. And most importantly, it was all my voice.
Once you’ve gotten the flow going a bit, then start adding in some of the things you’ve been instructed to do: talk about coursework that you think is important, show some of your strengths and abilities and examples of you using them, talk about impactful personal and professional experiences and explain your interest in a program’s characteristics. Don’t worry about format or structure yet. Those are things that can be edited and worked with after you feel that some of the integral parts of your content are already on paper.
Try that approach as a start if you haven’t already started writing. And perhaps start rationing the cookies a bit more strictly, to avoid a complete brain overload and sugar crash.
And if you want more, try out these tips for preparing a statement:
Do your research. Know the programs and the schools to which you are applying. You ought to be able to identify and articulate a thorough answer to the question “Why do you want to complete your graduate studies in this particular program?” If you are struggling to come up with anything to answer this question, then take the time to look into the program more. Utilize their web page, contact the program and graduate school main office, read the mission and vision statements and learning objectives, look into the archives of the program’s projects, coursework, research topics and more. Anything you can do to better understand why the program exists the way it does will help you understand whether you have sincere interest in being part of it.
Follow directions. Please read the instructions for the personal statement. Oftentimes, programs will include a specific question or set of questions to answer or address. If not, and it is a general personal statement, it still needs to be written in a way that is directed toward what you learned from doing your research.
Avoid canned phrases and ideas. I would wager that you are all aware of this, but might want a reminder now and again: almost every person who wants to be a doctor likes science and wants to help people. Unearth some other reasons you want to go to medical school. And likewise for your field of interest. Get creative.
Show instead of tell. Anyone can say “I’m awesome and I have all these skills and interests that you should care about.” Instead of listing why you are awesome, show them: concrete illustrations of initiative you’ve taken, hard lessons you’ve learned, instances that have inspired you and how you’ve played a role in the world. Connect the examples to the program and continued education and active learning.
Don’t throw a pity party. If struggling through something in life has impacted you in a way that is significant and speaks to who you are and how you plan to be, that is ok. The struggle is ok and often ends up being rewarding in one way or another. However, the struggle is not always the reason that you want to go to law school, or get a graduate degree in public health or history. It might be, or it might be part of the story, or it might have nothing to do with your graduate school goals whatsoever. If the latter is the case, please don’t make that experience the main focus of your personal statement. Pulling at heartstrings is not the most direct way into graduate school.
Good luck and come see us in Career Services for help, encouragement, and to share those cookies . . .!
posted by Malia Arenth, Career Counselor
Blog Feed - Fri, 12/06/2013 - 6:30am
Welcome to the end of the term, OSU Beavers!! The term is almost over with (phew), and hopefully you’ve finally acclimated yourselves to the academic agenda of your life! Today, I want to give you a few tips on how to continue on the path to a successful year – whether it be academically, professionally and even personally.
Establishing healthy habits can protect you from the harmful (dreadful, really) effects of stress. As students, we know, first hand, the potential brutal effects of stress – so here are a few tips on how to curb those effects!
1. Keep in touch with family and friends!
A daily dose of personable socializing is a great remedy for the ‘blues’. Even if you aren’t feeling up to the socializing aspect of things – do it! Ever heard of the saying “a smile is contagious” – it’s true! The more you surround yourself with productive positivity, the more you’ll personally feel the positive effects.
The benefits of staying connected can range from feeling supported, staying mentally sharp, developing a more active lifestyle, reducing (overall) stress, and finally enhancing your sense of well-being and happiness. Woo Woo.
2. Engage in physical activity – DAILY
This is something I cannot emphasize enough!! Consistent daily activity will make a world of a difference, literally! It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, just 30 minutes a day of some light-moderate cardio will make a difference. I know most of you walk to and from campus multiple times of day – this is fantastic (and counts as light cardio), but setting aside 30 minutes a day (or even every other day) to do some moderate to rigorous exercise (cardio) not only accelerates your metabolism, but it also gives your entire body a chance to revive itself – leaving you feeling ‘pumped’ and ‘refreshed’!
3. Accept the things you cannot change – Take Deep Breaths
Easier said than done. I know – but nevertheless, make a conscious effort to ‘chill’. Remember to take a few deep breaths, breath in through your nose, and out your mouth – this contraction of the lungs strengthens the respiratory muscles and improves the oxygen supply to your body. JUNK food consumption and erratic lifestyles end up causing lower oxygen supply within the body – which ends up making you feel tired and restless.
Deep breathing can – wait for it… DETOX the body. This one has been a head turner (lately) due to all of the detoxifying fads. How? A good supply of oxygen to your body helps flush out all of those toxins, which then also stimulates healthy and efficient body functioning. Woo Hoo!
One last thing on deep breathing (although I could go on forever) – regular deep breathing can actually help to reduce hypertension, fatigue, headaches, feelings of depression, panic, anxiousness (testing anxiety eh??), tension, hyperventilation etc.! I lied – one last thing; interested in sleeping better? Try taking a few prolonged deep breaths prior to sleeping. It relaxes the tension throughout your body, and slows the heart – enabling you to finally feel relaxed.
So, how does this help boost your performance academically and professionally?
There are a number of ways – but for the sake of length I’ll only list a few I find appealing:
* Being able to manage stress enables you to take on more projects (because you’re completing previous projects) confidently, and execute them in an efficient and timely manner.
* It allows you to perform more efficiently – engage more effectively and empower others around you, thus creating a more productive working environment.
* Being healthy reduces physical and mental stress – reducing stress enables you to take on a whole new refreshed look at things going on in and around the workplace. It sparks creativity, innovation and advancement!
* Prepping for an interview?? The less stress you are feeling mentally and physically, the better the result will be for that interview – not only will you feel great, but the employer(s) will notice too.
* Studying away for an exam (or 5)?? Get ACTIVE. The more physical activity (and sleep) you pursue, the better memory recall you’ll have – that my friends, is a fact. That’s not to say go to the gym for hours on end and sleep the other part of the time – you have to actually put in the study time.
Happy Finals Week! Good luck and stay warm!
posted by Sydney Veenker, Career Assistant
Blog Feed - Wed, 12/04/2013 - 12:29pm
To view this job/internship listing, you must be a currently registered OSU student and have an existing Beaver JobNet account. If you are eligible and do not have an account, register now. Beaver JobNet is a great way to get your job or internship search started. Meet employers from a variety of organizations.
Job/Internship of the Week
Sears Holdings Management Retail Internship
Sears Holding Co.
Youll get hands-on experience right where the action is – learning retail sales, customer service and merchandise-related skills. This 10-week assignment is designed to give you a feel for the retail industry and the culture within a Kmart or Sears location while gaining the experience learning the Assistant Store Manager role. This opportunity is a stepping stone leading into a full-time position in our Retail Leadership Development Program upon your graduation.
Our management interns spend their time working in one of our Kmart or Sears retail stores, seeing first-hand what goes into a successful retail business. The internship program is divided into several phases, each lasting from a few days to a few weeks. Youll work directly with an Assistant Store Coach, developing merchandising and leadership skills. Youll rotate through various store functions including receiving, replenishment, loss prevention, in-store support and human resources. This rotation allows you to gain a broad view of the retail industry, all while having an impact on the successful operation and management of a Kmart or Sears store. Your training will include formal and informal evaluations. Youll be assigned several challenging projects which will allow you to apply what youve learned in the classroom to a business setting.
Junior status (in final summer before graduation)
Strong academic performance
Demonstrated leadership abilities
Involvement in extracurricular activities
Dedication to Customer Service
Strong Communication skills
Strong Communication skills
Permanent Employment Authorization/U.S. Citizen
Sears Holdings Corporation is a leading broadline retailer providing merchandise and related services and is part of ShopYourWay, a social shopping experience where members have the ability to earn points and receive benefits across a wide variety of physical and digital formats through ShopYourWay.com. Sears offers its wide range of home merchandise, apparel and automotive products and services through its Sears-branded and affiliated stores in the United States and Canada. Sears, Roebuck also offers a variety of merchandise and services through sears.com, landsend.com, and specialty catalogs. Sears, Roebuck offers consumers leading proprietary brands including Kenmore, Craftsman, DieHard and Lands’ End — among the most trusted and preferred brands in the U.S. The company is the nation’s largest provider of home services, with more than 15 million service and installation calls made annually. If interested, please email Al at email@example.com
For more information on how to apply, check out the posting in Beaver JobNet.
Blog Feed - Fri, 11/29/2013 - 6:00am
There is so much information out there about how to find an internship that’s right for you, one that relates to your field of study, or one that will boost your experiences. We’ve covered topics such as:
- How to find your perfect internship,
- Internship Search Checklist http://oregonstate.edu/career/sites/default/files/JobSearchChecklist.pdf
- “How to Find an Internship” http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/careerservices/2013/07/26/howto-find-an-internship/
- And, how to make the most out of your internship experience while you’re there.
- “5 Tips for a Successful Internship Experience” http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/careerservices/2013/08/09/5-tips-for-a-successful-internship-experience/
But the topics hardly ever discussed are those such as: “what to do with your experience after the internship” or “how to hone in on the various skills and lessons you learned from your experience,” even if the experience wasn’t what you expected it to be.
I’ve done two internships during my time at Oregon State, and one the summer following my junior year of high school. I know you must be thinking, “Wow, this girl started early!” But, with my indecisiveness on what to major in, I had to start early.
See, the important thing to understand about internships is that, while you may be able to earn college credits for them, they above all serve as important tools in your career development. For example, the first internship I did following my junior year of high school was through a class at The Art Institute of San Diego. At the time, head over heels for art and computers, I was interested in Computer Animation. Attending a small, private high school, I had no access to Computer Animation classes or an opportunity to experience with the subject. In doing research, I was able to find a Computer Animation summer class offered by The Art Institute, and found it the perfect opportunity to explore the subject. This experience assisted me in exploring computer animation as a potential career, developing hands-on computer animation skills, and networking with top computer animators in the country (my teacher drew Pink Panther and Spongebob)! What this experience also taught me was that Computer Animation wasn’t the right industry for me. The tedious drawing of each and every movement and shift was something I didn’t have the patience for. While some might deem this an unsuccessful internship experience, I ended up learning a lot about myself, including the types of jobs I saw myself a part of in the future. I couldn’t see myself sitting at a drawing board or computer all day; I wanted to be more engaged with others and I decided a job that allowed me to work with people would be one I would succeed most in.
My second internship experience brought similar results. Still unsure of what I wanted to major in, I continued to take opportunities to assist me in figuring it out. As an IT and Investigations Intern at the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office, I was able to further develop my IT skills, as well as explore Law Enforcement as a potential path. This experience was beneficial, as I was able to note Law Enforcement as a potential degree path and add numerous skills to my resume. I was able to, again, increase my computer skills, gaining knowledge in databases, as well as serve as a right-hand to attorney’s, first-handedly gaining insight on what being an attorney entails.
My third, and most recent, internship was with the Disney College Program. This experience, much different from the two mentioned previously, brought back my desire to work with people. While my second internship sparked my interest in Law Enforcement, the Disney College Program sparked my interest in the Tourism and Hospitality industry. I was working in the Florida summer (so hot!) in outdoor foods, which I knew I didn’t want to do for a career. While the job itself wasn’t interesting to me, I was able to note various aspects of the job that I enjoyed, such as my love for providing exceptional customer service. I realized that I enjoyed the District Attorney’s Office internship because I was serving the attorney’s; I was assisting them in their court cases by printing photos, recording testimonies, listening to and editing testimony transcripts, and other relevant tasks. Assisting guests at The Walt Disney World Resort helped me recognize my natural passion for customer service and the importance of customer service as an element of my future career.
The point here is, that if an internship opportunity arises and sparks your interest, I encourage you to go for it! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Even experiences that show you what you don’t want to do, will surprise you in ways you never thought, many times teaching you a little more about yourself. The cool thing about internships is that they exist to help you learn. An internship is defined as any official or formal program to provide practical experience for beginners in an occupation or profession. From this definition, it is important to keep in mind that an internship provides ‘practical experience’. You may be interested in the study of a particular field or subject, but it is equally important to gain experience working hands-on in that field, in order to confirm it is right for you. So I encourage you to take advantage of the many internships that are out there, because there is ALWAYS opportunity in EVERY opportunity! And for those of you that have participated in internships you thought were a waste of time, you completely disliked, or weren’t what you expected, I encourage you to look back at those experiences and make note of the things you did learn from them.
posted by Erica Evans, Career Assistant
Blog Feed - Fri, 11/22/2013 - 6:00am
Erica Evans, one of Career Services very own Career Assistants was a part of the Disney College Program experience in Florida this past Spring term and Summer. I had the pleasure of talking with Erica about her experience and here are some of the details she gladly shared with me:
How did you find the opportunity to apply for an internship with Disney?
I found out about the internship at the Career Services office. Sometimes we have flyers or other resources for internships and jobs that may not be posted on Beaver Jobnet . . . and that’s exactly how I found mine! After that I did a little more research and read A LOT about the program to see if it was really something I would want to do. I read blogs from students who had done/were doing the internship, and I also connected with the Disney College Program Facebook, Twitter, and website so I could get updates on application deadlines and other cool tips and information about the program.
How did your Disney College Program internship help with your career development?
It gave me transferable skills for after college such as communication skills, team work, exceptional work ethic, it’s a good resume builder, and working for such a huge company like Disney shows commitment and dedication.
What kind of work did you do? How did it apply to your education?
I was assigned different roles based on my experience. I used to be a manager at Jamba Juice so I was assigned to outdoor foods where I worked at food carts during different times of the day. Working at these carts pushed me to use my communication skills that I study while pursuing my degree to make “magic” for all the guests! I worked 40-50 hours a week with 10-12 hour shifts so it was exhausting, but well worth it in the long run.
Would you recommend the Disney College Program to your peers?
YES! I enjoy talking to students that come into Career Services as well as friends about the experiences I had in Florida. It’s a great resume builder, like I said earlier, as well as a good life experience because I got to go away and live at Disney World! Really, how many people can say they got to do that?
How did you work it out with your college to receive credits for this internship?
I started by talking with my advisor in speech communications and she had me write an internship proposal on the internship and how related to my academic goals. In my proposal I described areas of my internship where I would be encountering different communication theories. My advisor set it up to where I wrote journal reflections while I was there and at the end I submitted a term paper. I also received an evaluation from my manager at Disney which I also gave to my advisor.
In hindsight, is there anything you would have done differently to prepare for or use the internship experience?
I think I would have liked to network a little bit more and take advantage of more career development offerings while I was there. Disney offered different courses, much like the things we do in our office, like writing resumes, interviewing tips, professionalism, etc., as well as guest speakers from different top-level positions at Disney. I would have liked to have attended more of those, because, looking back now, I feel it would have been an opportunity to network with those outside of my Outdoor Foods area.
If you’re interested in getting more information about the program you can access this website (http://cp.disneycareers.com/en/default/?ss=paid) or contact Erica via her e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org, or here at Career Services, (541-737-4085) to ask her any questions!
posted by Carly Larson, Career Assistant
Blog Feed - Wed, 11/20/2013 - 12:08pm
To view this job/internship listing, you must be a currently registered OSU student and have an existing Beaver JobNet account. If you are eligible and do not have an account, register now. Beaver JobNet is a great way to get your job or internship search started. Meet employers from a variety of organizations.
Job/Internship of the Week
Wildlife Rehabilitation Internship
Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center
Internships at Wolf Hollow provide the opportunity to gain hands-on working experience of Wildlife Rehabilitation. Interns learn diets, feeding and handling techniques for a range of injured and orphaned wildlife, with the aim of releasing them back into the wild.
Visit out web site at www.wolfhollowwildlife.org for further information.
For more information on how to apply, check out the posting on Beaver JobNet.