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Blog Feed - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 10:51am
Planning on attending the Spring Career Fair? Have you thought about what you are going to wear? If you are still wondering what to wear, look no further for your sound advice from a wise wardrobe sage. It is actually VERY important that you take some time to think about what to wear at the Career Fair. Although we have been told since childhood that one’s character is more important than one’s appearance, this is not an excuse to wear your everyday outfit to job search. In this competitive world, you need every advantage you can get. So as the saying goes “dress for success”; especially if you are actively seeking a job or internship. At the Career Fair you might meet someone who actually wants to interview you. Dressing appropriately demonstrates a serious commitment to landing a job. It shows that you took the time to do your homework and look nice. It also demonstrates that you are a professional, well-put together person, who knows how to dress appropriately. Dressing appropriately is not something that an employer wants to teach you. They expect you to know that already.
At this point, you might be asking yourself “But how do I know what is appropriate to wear?” First I shall give you my top five list of what NOT to wear.
- Yoga Pants, Yoga Pants, Yoga Pants! Maybe if I say it three times, they will disappear. Ladies, I understand what a genius invention yoga pants are. I wear my yoga pants whenever I can justify it. But you know where I don’t wear them? Work. School. Giving a presentation. And JOB SEARCHING. Although they are the most comfy-fantastic leg wear on the planet, they are not appropriate for a professional situation. This rule also applies to tights, leggings, and any other form of legwear which is basically just a second layer of skin. Also, pairing such outfits with long shirts, still not professional.
- Jeans. Again one of the most amazing clothing items known to the human race. But unfortunately not considered professional. No matter how dark the wash.
- Tennis Shoes/ sneakers. Guys, this one is for you. Even if you get every other part of your outfit right, your brightly colored sneakers stick out from your black slacks like a bull in a china shop. You can easily find a cheap pair of nice dress shoes at your local Payless Shoe Store. Make the investment, you will not regret it.
- Athletic wear. I know I already thoroughly covered yoga pants and tennis shoes, but basically all forms of athletic wear should not be worn in a professional setting. Including (but not limited to): Sweatpants, athletic shorts, t-shirts, etc.
- Any item which includes the following words: Top, spaghetti, mini, low-cut, v-neck, etc. Part of being professional is knowing that no matter how cute something is, it isn’t always appropriate. Just ask your grandmother. Your shirts should have collars and your bottoms should at least hit your fingertips at the hemline.
Did I mention yoga pants? But in all seriousness, these rules will help you grow in your journey towards becoming a professional. Now, you might be wondering what you should wear. I am not going to spend a whole lot of time in this area because I am afraid that my suggestions will be misconstrued without proper examples. For example: If I say “skirts” you might interpret this as “mini-skirt”. In case you were wondering, that is not what I meant. So instead, I will leave you with this tip: Go to a professional place of business and look at what they are wearing, for example a bank. I know that there will be some silly bank teller that will break my rules, but you should be able to identify who is dressed correctly and who is not. The people who dress correctly will look competent, professional, and let’s face it, powerful. You might also look to a cool older sibling or friends who is in a professional position for advice. The best way to learn what to wear is to observe others who have experience.
What will you be wearing to Spring Career Fair?
How do you dress for success and stay true to your own style?
Let us know!
posted by Rebecca Schaffeld, Career Services Graduate Assistant
Blog Feed - Tue, 04/08/2014 - 4:32pm
Ready to get inspired for your job, internship, or career search? Career Services 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/Alum 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.
Major: Mathematics and Economics, minor in Actuarial Science
Year in School: Senior
While a student at OSU, what have you done so far to gain experience?
I joined the OSU women’s lacrosse team when I was a freshman and volunteered to be an officer my sophomore year. Since then I was elected president and have been so for the last year. This has taught me how to be a team player and leader. I recently just finished my evaluation and assessment internship at KidSpirit. My job was to input progress report data into an Excel database. I am continuing to work for KidSpirit during my senior year in the field of finance and special projects.
What are your career plans?
Being a math major, I want to get a job in mathematics as soon as I graduate. I am interested in becoming an actuarialist so I will continue studies in that specific field.
What advice do you have for others who are preparing for their job or internship search?
Start early! Write your first rough draft of your resume as soon as possible but not later than your sophomore year and continue to work on it through your time at college. Meet with career services just to talk through what you want to do doing your time in college and what you are interested in as a career.
Did Career Services and/or anybody else assist you with your career development and preparing you for an internship or job? If so, how?
Yes, very much so. Just simply sitting there and listening to them explain where you want to go in life and giving you options on how to get there was a great help. It is also important for someone to continue to ask you why you want to proceed with one goal because your mind might change throughout each year in college on where you want to be after graduation. Also, they have resume writing help, mock interviews, job fair information, and general data on prospective employers.
Blog Feed - Fri, 03/21/2014 - 10:56am
Harvard Education expert Tony Wagner says that the world no longer cares about what you know; it’s all about what you can do with what you know… Essentially, they (employers, interviewers etc.) want to know one thing: Can You Add Value? What does that mean for you, as an undergraduate or graduate student? Ever wonder why you were rejected? Read on my friend – people get rejected for primarily two reasons: 1) they were not showing the employer how they could help add value to the company’s forward movement and 2) they didn’t know what they wanted – believe it or not, this type of thing shines through for employers because the candidate has clearly not done the research and or learned the necessary skills for the position that they are interviewing for.
So what?? Here I am, telling you that the working world no longer cares about those many qualifications you may possess – which isn’t entirely true – but the point is that they care about how you present yourself, what you can do with what you know, and how you can better their company in both the short and long term. Simply presenting your bachelor degree or certificate of qualification is not enough.
Coming back to the title of this blog – “How to Get That Job” – I’m going to let you guys in on a few little tidbits I’ve retained from my personal experience and research.
1) STOP LOOKING FOR A JOB
Surprised? Believe it or not, a common fad for unemployed people is to equate looking for a job with sending out a resume (or a mass of resumes) or simply answering a few ad’s on a job board.. WRONG. The only time you should be sending out a resume (or resumes) is when you’ve established that there is a real job at a company for which you’re being considered, or if a headhunter is trying to fill an open position and requests a resume.
Key idea here à Instead of presenting yourself as an out-of-work job seeker, (sending out mass resumes, seemingly desperate, and or lazy) come across as a resource; let people (employers) know that you can solve their problems. **Note: not personal problems, I’m emphasizing on problem solving skills that you (hopefully) possess and can then transfer into your work for the potential company – thus ‘solving’ their (the company’s) problems.
2) STOP focusing all of your energy on your Resume….
WHAT?? I know, coming from a Career Assistant – but focus on what I’m really saying here… Obviously a clean, clear, concise and updated resume is mandatory, but that’s not all that’s helping you get ‘that job’. More and more companies/employers are relying on LinkedIn (or other various professional social media types) to get to know a candidate better – professionally. A lot of students ask me what happens if they don’t have a LinkedIn profile, and another candidate does… My answer: they automatically have the upper hand (in most cases). That doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll get the job over you, but it does mean that going into the interview, that interviewer will have a better concept of that other candidate. Then, of course, I’m asked if that is a good or bad thing. Answer: Eh, debatable – but I always highly recommend and encourage students and new (or experienced) professionals to not only obtain, but also maintain a LinkedIn profile. At least consider the possibility by listing out the Pro’s and Con’s – do some of your own research regarding the benefits… Figure out if the company that you are applying with and or interviewing with has a LinkedIn Group etc. If so – common sense suggests you invest in a profile.
**Note: An ‘adequate’ profile on LinkedIn is worse than none at all – simply put, if you don’t have the motivation to create and maintain a stellar LinkedIn profile, don’t bother.
3) Hold the Speech Pal….
Once 15-20 seconds goes by of spouting off numbers, facts, and stereotypical accomplishments – no one really remembers what you’re saying. Tell a story instead. No, not a personal life story, employers don’t care, not to mention that type of conversation is inappropriate for an interview; but rather translate that 20 second elevator pitch of qualifications and figures into a memorable story. Make it entertaining, humorous etc. Example: if you’re considered to be a connector, talk about how that strength has helped you to find successes within your previous (and, if applicable, current) job(s).
4) DO NOT talk about YOURSELF
Don’t lead your conversation off with the latest news about your personal life – keep it professional. There’s a fine line people tend to walk and cross when it comes to talking about them self during an interview. You’ll want to really focus your energy and conversation on how you can better serve them – them being the overall company and perhaps your division (depending on how the company is set up). However, with that being said, remember to focus on them, the interviewers; be inquisitive – show an interest in their accomplishments and needs. Networking, believe it or not, (sarcasm) is not all about listing off your accomplishments – it can and typically is much more than that.
5) Take Breaks
The job search process can make us pretty crazy and emotional at times – especially when you go into that 5th interview and then are told that the firm has decided to go with someone else for the position… booo… Whatever you do, DO NOT TAKE YOUR FRUSTRATION TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD. If you’re having a bad day, distract yourself – check emails, do research, OR, if you’ve read my other blog post – go work out!! PUMP YOURSELF UP! The hiring and decision making process is, essentially, out of your hands – learn to let go, and keep moving forward. Easier said than done? That’s your opinion, how you react, how you feel and how you grow is all in your control. Decide who you want to be, define it, and then proceed.
**Remember: it’s easy to get into a repetitive cycle where you go on a couple of interviews and then stop… YOU CAN’T STOP. Until you have an offer, you have absolutely nothing**
posted by Sydney Veenker, Career Assistant
Blog Feed - Fri, 03/14/2014 - 4:16pm
Aligning myself with many other job seekers, the skills section of my resume included the word “bilingual,” being that I can speak English and Spanish. In my mind, I already had a foot up on those who are restricted to one language, yet unbeknownst to me, I was selling myself short. The idea of thinking of myself as “multicultural” in a professional manner didn’t occur to me until a recruiter at the 2014 Career Fair made a point to tell me to put the phrase on my resume. After the recruiter glanced at my resume the conversation soon shifted to inquiring about my bilingualism. Our conversation delved deeper into where I was from, how I learned Spanish and what my family and upbringing was like, all which led the recruiter to let me in on a little secret, “multicultural individuals are better able to relate to a wider variety of audiences, they are better able to recognize issues others might surpass and they are able to come up with creative solutions to those said issues.”
I had honestly never thought of the concept in such a concrete manner. Perhaps I took my understanding of Mexican culture for granted, but once I thought about it, being able to say words in another language is a whole different ball game than being able to understand the challenges that a particular population is facing. For instance, I can tell you about family members in Mexico being thrown in jail because their small town business was forced to comply with drug lord demands, and I have woken up to the squealing of a pig being slaughtered outside my bedroom door in preparation for a festival later that night. My exposure to Mexican culture through food, festivals, religion, family members and friends have allowed me to market myself as being “multicultural.” My ability to identify issues that others might not as readily recognize is something that I can apply to my field of study, Public Health. Public heath looks to improve the health of entire populations, where being able to pinpoint issues from an internal point of view can be useful in determining causes and solutions the health issue Mexican Americans face.
So I ask you, what’s that one thing on your resume that can set you apart? For me, I didn’t realize how much being multicultural brought to the table, but I’m glad that someone took the time to point this out to me. Regarding resumes, it’s easy to put down skills that we think employers are looking for, like “being a leader, or being a good communicator,” which don’t get me wrong, are valuable assets, but I challenge you to think more intentionally than that. In addition to putting down skills that employers have specifically stated they are looking for, and even beyond listing the skills that are applicable to almost any field, like being a team player, list some skills that are unique to you and to your field, skills that set you apart from the pack. As I found out, being 50% Mexican has more perks to it than the occasional real enchiladas in my belly (which, might I add, don’t come from your local Juan Colorados).
posted by Adriana Aguilar, Career Assistant
Blog Feed - Fri, 03/07/2014 - 7:00am
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-737-3172
posted by Whitney Cordes, Career Assistant
Blog Feed - Fri, 02/28/2014 - 12:30pm
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 - 2:55pm
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 - 6:02pm
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 - 12:14pm
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 - 5:15pm
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 - 11:39am
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 - 5:34pm
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 - 1:21pm
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 - 4:43pm
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 | email@example.com
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.