- Know Yourself
- The World of Work
- Tools and Skills
- Career Fairs, Seminars, & Events
- Graduate/Professional School
- Ecampus Students
- Faculty & Staff
- About Us
Explore. Educate. Empower. Engage.
Updated: 13 hours 34 min ago
Thu, 08/28/2014 - 3:46pm
As much as none of us want to think about it, the truth is that summer is rapidly coming to an end and the academic year looms like a (hopefully) friendly giant. Wherever you have been for the summer, there are ways of maximizing use of virtual resources like social media, and good ol’ traditional strategies like having a cup of coffee, to keep learning and developing in your career and academic life. through any season or transition. This is one view of how using both your in-person charms and your social media savvy may help you move forward and grow:
What do you think? How do you build professional relationships online and in person?
Fri, 07/18/2014 - 12:26pm
Tue, 07/08/2014 - 11:20am
Recently, I attended an award ceremony for seniors graduating from the language department with honors. The opening speech was delivered by the very charismatic German professor Sebastian Heiduschke discussing an article he had read enumerating the reasons why GPA doesn’t really matter to employers. You can imagine that this was a little bit of a controversial topic, since every student receiving an award had at least a 3.8 GPA, and had worked hard to make it that way. But as Heiduschke took us on a journey through the facts, it became clear that GPA truly does matter.
Let’s start off where he did, taking a look at the things that employers might look at rather than GPA:
- Knowing how you learn— understanding how you learn is an integral factor in success in education and work environments
- Applying theory to real-life situations— we have spent a lot of time getting a degree, we need to know how to use it too
- Time management— balancing a work schedule with a healthy social life, as well as all the individual parts of your work life
- Relevant Professional Experience— internships you have held, volunteer work in the field, and jobs that can relate to your professional life
- Portfolio Work— don’t tell me that all of the work you have done in school is for nothing, you can take all those big projects that you were so proud of and put them into a portfolio
- The ability to give and receive feedback— a lot of times employers will want to know that you can give input into a situation just as well as you can receive input and reform your projects
- Presentation Skills— not all jobs require this, but being able to present yourself well as well as present in front of others will help you in the interview process at the very least
- Writing Skills— and just general communications skills are important if you are going to be working with/for anybody
- Your Network— the people that will really get you the job are the people that can attest to your qualities as a worker and person, building healthy relationships with people will come in handy
- GPA— finally the employers will look at your GPA as a factor in your prospects as an employee
Heiduschke went on to point out that all of these skills are taught through language classes at OSU, whether they are taken to be a Baccalaureate Core requirement, a minor, or if you are a fully-fledged language major, you will pick up all of these skills in language classes. It just goes to show that language can be a key in our education even if it is not the focal point of our studies.
But, if employers are so interested in all of these before our GPA, why should we even care? Well, the fact of the matter is that all of these points will reflect on your GPA and so if you have a good one, you should flaunt it. But that doesn’t mean that you are out of luck if your grade point is sub-par, you will just have to work hard to get that foot in the door. Remember that it is your job to make yourself look good on your resume, so if you are lacking in one of these ten categories, it’s not the end of the world— just highlight the other categories and be confident in portraying what will make you unique to employers.
We spend a lot of time trying to develop skills that we lack in, but at the end of the day: “If you’ve got it, flaunt it.” We don’t get jobs by telling an employer which skills and attributes we don’t have, or what we are working on. We get the job by showing them just how good we are at what we do best.
~Thank you to Sebastian Heiduschke for inspiring this topic, and providing a large amount of input for the post.~
by Richard Thomas, Career Assistant
Thu, 06/12/2014 - 3:39pm
Take your career to new heights, know your strengths, and be known for being amazing at something!Zack Sperow, our stylin’ Career Assistant
Branding is all about the promise you give to your customer. It tells people what they can expect from you. But in a personal branding point of view; your brand should be what people think of you when you leave the room.
So here is your assignment. First ask 15-30 people that are friends, family, and people who you may have just met within the past few weeks, what are 3-5 words that describe you (The GOOD AND THE BAD). By getting a diverse group of people you will have diverse results and see the changes in responses from someone who knows you more than 10 years to someone who knows you you less than 2 weeks.
Next compile all your responses, draw together conclusions, and find word families. When I did mine I was surprised to see that many people used words like outspoken, honest, or opinionated. It made me wonder is that the lasting impression I want to have on people when I leave the room is that I am opinionated; Is that something I want to change about myself? After some critical thought I decided that I am outspoken and I should own it. I am honest when others aren’t but my goal should always be for the common good. I mean HONESTLY, I am probably always the person who will stop a stranger and say that their shirt is inside-out or that they have spinach in their teeth.
After I made some conclusions I developed my personal brand which is exuberant, ambitious, entrepreneur, outspoken, and connected. I will use these words as my guiding force for my interaction with people and over my social media.
Take it to the next level by putting these branding words on your own business cards and using these words to sell yourself into a career.This a perfect opportunity to show people that you care about yourself and you are always looking for ways of self-improvement. I think most employers would agree that they rather hire the person that is always looking for ways to improve rather than the stay at home nobody.
posted by Zack Sperow, Career Assistant
Mon, 06/09/2014 - 1:07pm
Summer break is definitely one of the things I’ll miss the most when I graduate. It’s three glorious months of relaxation and sunshine. That being said, it’s also the perfect time to get things done before school starts up again and you’re really busy and stressed out again. Here are some ideas of ways to keep busy this summer, separate from doing summer classes or working.Deirdre Newton, wonderful Career Assistant!
1. Update your resume so that next time you need it you won’t have to do nearly as much work! Career Services will be open all summer for career counseling appointments, so make an appointment to come in for resume and cover letter help!
2. Look into professional memberships relevant to your career. Buying memberships while you’re still a student is often significantly cheaper and a great resume builder. You can also get access to a lot of great resources, including job listings that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to access.
3. Go to a music festival or concert. So, this actually isn’t career development related. But honestly, when is a better time to do this than over the summer! There are a ton of festivals and concerts happening over the summer, taking advantage of the hordes of college students with time to spare. Treat yourself and enjoy being young and carefree.
4. Get letters of recommendation if you foresee yourself needing them soon. Whether you’re applying for graduate school in the next year or trying to get a scholarship, summer is a good time to contact professors for letters of recommendation. They’re also most likely a bit less busy than during the normal school year, so it’s advantageous on both ends.
5. Learn a new skill or pursue new knowledge. Whether it’s relevant to your career or not, summer is a great time to learn new skills, read books, and catch up on TEDtalks. You could try learning a language, an instrument, a computer program, a programming language…the possibilities are endless. Maybe you’ve always wanted to do photography on the side – go for it!
What plans do you have for the summer? We’d love to know!
posted by Deirdre Newton, Career Assistant
Thu, 05/29/2014 - 3:46pm
Whether you are just starting college, getting close to graduation, or a recent graduate, there are some things you should know about this so-called “real world”. Many people will tell you that your college years are the best years of your life. For some people, this may be true, but to be honest it is just a very distinct phase in your life. Personally, when I was in college, all I wanted to do was get out. But then once the novelty of my last free summer wore off, I just wanted back inside. In truth, there are both pros and cons to having a full-time “grown-up” job. Either way you want to look at it, you can’t stay a student forever.
Pro: Depending on what kind of work you are doing, generally your weekends are finally what they were intended to be. A time to rest, catch up on some household chores, and best of all…have fun! There is no longer that nagging sensation that you should be doing homework or the guilt that comes with procrastination. When I first graduated, I spend most of my weekends hiking, shopping, and decorating.
Con: You no longer have extended vacations three times a year. In spite of the wonder of free weekends, there is a downside. The days of month long winter vacations, three month long summer vacations, and Spring Break are long gone. Now you are subject to whatever system is in place for vacation time. When you are first-starting out, it is unlikely that you will have any. That means your winter holiday celebration turns into a three day weekend, rushing to visit family and then rushing to come back.
Pro: You earn a decent wage! No longer do you have to live tiny pay-check to tiny pay-check. Or, in some people’s case, credit card bill to credit card bill while racking up student loans. You can actually afford things like new shoes when your old ones wear out, as opposed to duck taping them together. Don’t get me wrong, you might not be making a huge salary when you graduate, but at least you will probably be making enough to not feel guilty about treating yourself every now and then.
Con: Your amount of bills rise. Suddenly you are expected to own professional clothing and a reliable car to get you to and from work. In addition, bills that perhaps your parents were willing to cover during your college years, are suddenly now your responsibility. This means health insurance, car insurance, cell phone bill, cable, etc.
Pro: Being an adult means people take you seriously. There is not anyone micro-managing your every move. When you say you are sick, people believe you. When you want to use your vacation time, no one questions it. If you are five minutes late, people assume that you have a good excuse.
Con: People expect you to act like an adult. This means that you really do have to have a legitimate reason to miss work. You can’t take extra vacation time. People rely on you to get things done on time. Sometimes this might mean working weekends or late nights. And finally, you cannot do things other than work, at work (candycrush, facebook, etc.).
Overall, being an adult can be pretty awesome. But there are some adjustments that you have to make when transitioning out of college. Not being able to be with your family over winter holidays can be a real bummer. But your boss is not like a professor. If you miss work, you could be fired for breaking your contract and consequently face unemployment. Thus, it is best to start thinking about how you can prepare for these reality checks as soon as possible.
Fri, 05/16/2014 - 2:54pm
Adriana Aguilar, our fantastic Career Assistant
As week 10 draws near (cue melodramatic music), the library gets dangerously close to reaching capacity, our eating habits shift from an occasional veggie to eating taco bell for dinner at 1 AM every night, Dixon becomes nonexistent along with sleep and our stress levels reach heights that parallel Simba’s when the stampede of wildebeests come careening for him. Before the all night cramming commences I thought it would be wise to revisit the idea of taking a study break to de-stress. In no way am I debunking the importance of a study break, because lets be real, you are some sort of superhuman if you have the ability to study for 8 hours straight without taking a breather. What I’m suggesting is that we rethink what is done during this precious time we set aside to reset our psyches.
More often than not study breaks consist of scrolling down our Instagram feed for “five minutes” which translates into going your celeb crush’s Instagram pics while we envision ourselves as their spouse for the next hour. Now, this may be a study break you’re perfectly OK with and every once in a while the occasional imagination of what it would be like to be Mrs. Efron is necessary. That being said, I’ve realized recently is that there are far better ways to spend a study break that may allow us to de- stress while we also take a break from finals studying. For instance, we all have a gazillion things on our weekly to-do lists, in which case very rarely do all of the tasks on our lists all get done. I bet you can guess where this is going. So, if you’re studying at home and can no longer rehearse the circulation of blood through the chambers of the heart, or whatever it may be, instead of giving in to the black hole we call Facebook, or better yet, Pintrest, try knocking out a quick task on your to-do list. Some ideas may include…
- Putting a load of laundry in, or better yet, folding that already done load of laundry
- Cleaning out the inside of your car
- Cooking up those veggies before they go bad
- Finally taking off that chipped nail polish that’s been lingering for weeks
- Changing that hallway light that went out months ago
- Cleaning your room
- Weeding your front yard as you soak up some vitamin D the natural way
- Unloading the dishwasher
- Preparing library snacks and dinners for finals week
These are just a few ideas, but I think you get my drift. In the end doing tasks that require little to no brainpower instead of lifelessly feeding into Facebook is a win-win for you. Your brain gets a break from cramming while you free up some time in the future by doing a task or two you would have had to do later. And honestly, it feels better. It feels better to transform your jungle of a yard overgrown with dandelions (into something that resembles an actual yard) than it does to browse your Facebook timeline to find out that your friends in California are already on summer break… It feels better to know that you have dinners prepped for finals week than it does to tweet “sleep is for the weak.” In addition, when you take a study break in the wee hours of the night, getting up and doing something will most likely have a greater affect in waking you up and recharging your battery than sitting and staring at a computer screen would.
We have a tendency to procrastinate in ways that are essentially dead ends and instead we could be using that same time to procrastinate in ways that are beneficial to other areas of our lives. Imagine that, there is such a thing as positive procrastination, so long as it doesn’t end up fully distracting you from your studying altogether. As a rule of thumb, your study break should take no longer than an hour max. That being said, these things may seem mundane, but one of the biggest struggles college students have is managing their time which is arguably one of, if not, the biggest contributor to stress. There is so much on our plates, one too many things we’re trying to juggle, but if we simply change the way we “waste time” by habitually taking study breaks that incorporate brainless tasks, I think it’s possible to be less stressed and more satisfied people as a result. So here’s to cleaner rooms, shiny cars, library snacks and clean socks (for once)! Let’s show week 10 what we’re made of!
posted by Adriana Aguilar
Fri, 05/09/2014 - 10:57am
Whitney, our fabulous Career Assistant
Step 1: Write a list of possible recommenders – generally those requesting only want 2-3 letters of recommendation. However having a list of at least 5 will provide you with alternatives, especially if you know you are going to need tailored letters of recommendation in the future.
Step 2: Rank your best choices – list the possible recommenders that would be most helpful to not-so-helpful, based on the position you are applying for.
Step 3: Know all the details – write a note-to-self of when the letter of recommendation is due and what you wish to be included. It is important to give the writer at least a month’s in advance notice of when you want the letter to be due. Also, before contacting the recommenders create a portfolio that includes 1) your resume 2) examples of work that you have done 3) a summary of yourself and 4) information on the position you are applying for. The recommender will be appreciative and more willing to write you a letter if you do this!
Step 4: Contact your top recommenders – politely ask if he/she would be willing to write you a letter of recommendation. If they are unsure or cannot make the commitment, use an alternative recommender.
Step 5: Follow through – send out your portfolio to your references and remind them of the due date. If you know your reference will be mailing your letter for you, make sure you provide them with a pre-addressed and pre-stamped envelope as a polite courtesy.
Step 6: Thank them – thank your reference personally and present them with a small gift for helping you achieve your potential job. Also, keep them updated on your successes, whether that is at your job or outside of the workforce. You will create a good image of yourself and also strengthen your network!
Sample Email Asking for a Letter of Recommendation:
Sample Request for Letter of Recommendation for a Job:
Sample Request for Letter of Recommendation for Grad School:
Website used – http://www.wikihow.com/Ask-for-a-Recommendation-Letter
posted by Whitney Cordes, Career Assistant