Deciding to Relocate for Work?

By: Michael

One of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make over the past couple of years was whether or not I would be willing to relocate or move to a different city for work. I have had my own experiences travelling, studied abroad, and interning in other cities, but I was never faced with the concept of considering a ‘permanent’ relocation. The idea was initially terrifying for me, mostly because I would be leaving all of my friends, family, and familiarities behind and trade it all for something new and unexpected. I have spent the past few weeks gathering advice and talking to friends and family about my decision to move and assembling some options for cities I’d like to move to as well as companies I’d like to work for. To help aide others in what to expect if they decide to relocate for work, I’m going to describe some of the stresses and obstacles I’m currently facing and will expect to face in the near future. Hopefully some of this insight will help prepare some of you for the future if you decide to go a similar route.

1. Resigning or rejecting offers or commitments in the town you are planning to leave.

This one should seem kind of obvious, but there are some certain aspects of this that were uncomfortable for me. I had never had to turn down a job offer up to this point; it was awkward and a little nerve-wracking for me to figure out how to properly turn down a job offer. I also will at one point have to quit my current job at a bank, where I have worked for the past 2 years. I also currently bank at a local bank and will need to switch either to a larger bank or to a branch located in the city I move to.

2. Applying for jobs located in the new city.

The next step I undertook was to apply for jobs. I have been submitting cover letters and resumes to a number of different accounting firms and businesses in a number of cities that I am interested in moving to. This has been a little more difficult than it seems, especially when applying to larger metropolitan areas such as Chicago, where I am unfamiliar with the area and suburbs. It is hard to know if some of the locations you are applying for are a good fit for you without doing your research, which brings me to my next point.

3. Research the Location Before Committing to Move There.

I’ve been spending an extensive amount of time looking at different cities here in Minnesota as well as Iowa and Illinois. Initially I looked for cities with a significant amount of accounting positions available, compared cost of living estimates, population sizes, and crime rates (especially when looking at specific neighborhoods or suburbs).

These are a few of the steps I have taken thus far. I am still waiting to begin interviewing with some of the companies that I have applied for. Once I know more about which city I am moving to, I will likely provide more insight into the ‘transitioning’ face, rather than the planning phase of relocation. In the meantime, if any of you are considering moving for work, I hope this advice helps you as much as it has helped me this semester. There really is a lot that goes in to it and right now the best thing is to take it one step at a time.

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Welcome to the Fall 2014 Semester!

By: Ashley

Hey Bulldogs! Everyone here at Career & Internship Services wants to welcome all of you sophomore, juniors, and seniors back and we want to give a special welcome to all the new freshmen! Classes are now in session and some of us know the drill and for others it’s a whole new experience. The significance of this post is to remind and introduce all the services we offer here in our office (SCC 22).

So if you find yourself needing help with:

Then Career & Internship Services is the place that has the answers for you! Of course the above list is not all inclusive, we offer many more services designed to help all current and former University of Minnesota Duluth students. Many students come in for a variety of things; below are a few more of our services summarized in case you are unfamiliar with our office.

One-on-one Career Counseling

Career counselors are available to meet with students and alumni to provide professional guidance in order to help those students/alumni to succeed in an evolving global workforce. They have the tools and the know how to help you find your way, whether you have a  dream to study abroad, to find an internship, go to graduate school, or  if you need help deciding on your major, our counselors can help guide you towards the resources needed to make your dreams a reality.

Career Assessments

We offer 3 in-depth career assessments in our office that are designed to help you along your path towards finding a career that is right for you, if you choose to take one of the assessments an appointment is scheduled with a counselor where they sit down and interpret the results with you. The three assessments we offer are:

  • Strong Interest Inventory – designed to compare you interests with interests of other people in various career fields and generates a list of occupations that relate to your interests.
  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator – identifies your personality type which is then related to potential career fields and working environments.
  • StrengthsQuest – identifies you top 5 strengths and relates them to your educational and career plans.

Workshops

We hold several workshops designed to benefit all the students at UMD, below are some of the workshops:

  • Getting ready for the job & internship fair workshop- where you can find out what to wear, what to bring, and how to make a good impression
  • Getting ready for the education job fair workshop- where you can find out what to wear, what to bring, and how to make a good impression this workshop is tailored for teaching and education services majors.
  • How to land an internship workshop- where you learn about tips and resources to help you land that an internship.
  • Interviewing workshop- where you learn what it takes to be successful in an interview while practicing your own skills and receiving feedback during this hands-on workshop
  • Preparing for graduate & professional school workshop where you learn about the timeline for applying, different pieces that are required in the application, deadlines and helpful tips to prepare your application.
  • Writing personal statements workshop -where you work on writing a personal statement for graduate or professional school

Resume and LinkedIn/GoldPASS Drop-In Hours

Drop-in hours were created because we know students have a busy schedule. We’ve designated times for when students can stop by and get a little help from our Peer Educators and Career Counselors, drop-ins are located in our Career Resource Center in SCC 22.

  • Resume Drop-In Hours – Every Tuesday and Wednesday from 2-4 pm
    • September 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30
    • October 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29
    • November 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26
    • December 2, 3, 9, 10
  • LinkedIn/GoldPASS Drop-In Hours – Every Thursday from 2-4 pm
    • September 4, 11, 18, 25
    • October 9, 16, 23, 30
    • November 6, 13, 20
    • December 4, 11

Alongside all the things listed above, we also provide the Graduate Follow-Up Report, InterviewStream, GoldPASS, cover letter help, and so much more. As you can see we offer a lot of services that are tailored to the needs of our students and all we ask in return for these services is that you use them! So if you need some help or just have some basic questions don’t hesitate to pop on in, we would be happy to help. We are open Monday- Friday from 8am- 4:30pm and are located in Solon Campus Center 22, hope to see you there!

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Sell Well in Presentations: Tips from a Tour Guide

By: Glen

I stumbled upon an article on The Daily Muse which discussed one method to improve any of your presentations: Comedy. As a tour guide the last two summers, I can tell you that this is completely true. Whether you are giving a presentation at work, school, or a conference, there is something all of those speeches have in common: You are a salesman (or woman). For most of us, our presentations will try to get our audience to learn a lesson or to buy into an idea. Either way, you have to be riveting and convincing. I am going to focus on the former. Be riveting!

Comedy Opens an Audience

When you are giving a presentation, you will be throwing fact after fact at your audience. If I had to take a guess, the large majority of us would rather attend a presentation or lecture that was given by someone who could make the material enjoyable. If you can make an audience laugh, you will lower their defenses in a way that makes them more likely to listen and absorb the information you are giving them.

In addition, I have noticed during my tours that if you want to interact with your audience, getting them to laugh will make them more agreeable toward you. There is nothing worse than a tour group that looks like it is suffering.

Now, this does not mean your presentations should make an audience laugh at every moment. Again, as a presenter, you are selling something. The Daily Muse article mentioned a sweet spot of 4-5 jokes in each of your presentations. With my tour guiding experience, I would personally say 4-5 jokes is good number for a 45-50 minute presentation. If you are going an hour to an hour and a half, 6-8 would probably be a better range.

Tips from Tour guide

All of this discussion about jokes begs a tough question: How do I make the audience laugh?

Joke Creation 101

The best jokes come from (or seem to come from) personal experience. If you are giving a presentation on a subject in which you do not have a funny personal experience, that is fine! There are some basic elements to good jokes that can be created using almost any material. Here are two methods to create some good humor in your presentations.

Personal Stories

One of my favorite teachers here at the University of Minnesota Duluth teaches some complicated upper-level psychology courses dealing with brain chemistry. For a lot of people, this can be dry material. This teacher uses personal stories to spice up the lectures.

  1. Start out broad. The set up to your story should be relatable or easily imagined. My teacher would usually start out stories describing to us some kind of lab, and having us imagine we are researchers.
  2. Get to your specific story. My teacher would usually explain some odd case that he or his colleagues were working on in the lab.
  3. Deliver the unexpected. One example of how a joke would end is, “… that filter is actually made out of a specific brand of women’s pantyhose. Who knew that pantyhose would be better than lab equipment?”

The Random Method

If you delve into the anatomy of a joke such as what is described above, you can actually see that the funny part is the unexpected. From my tour guide experience, I have learned to tell jokes about random things within the subject matter I deal with. If you do not have a personal experience in your presentation subject, this is a great method to create humor.

Here is an example of a joke I tell on most of my tours: When exiting a specific room, we have to exit the same way we entered the room. There is another exit, but it is a fire escape, so I use that to make a small joke, “Alright, we are going to turn around and go back the way we came! Unless you want to set off the fire alarms, but that was not in my list of things to do today.”

It might not be comedy gold, but some kind of unexpected one-liner should be able to get a couple of chuckles, opening up your audience a bit. When you have to present ANYTHING, whether it is in class or at work, impress your audience with your ability to both entertain and educate. With this skill, your teachers and supervisors will respect the way you can handle the pressure of a room filled with people.

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Referrals: A Boost to Your Career Search

By: Michael

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘it’s not what you know, but who you know?’ Check out this article by CNN, where they focus on this very question. In this article, CNN takes the time to explain that it isn’t just who you know, but that there are a variety of other factors that come into play, such as how you know them, how well you connected, and whether they are a respected member of the organization. After my previous internship experience, I have been spending a lot more time networking and relying heavily on the ‘who you know’ aspect of things. It has helped me narrowly define the companies and careers I want to apply for as I approach my graduation this December.

Referrals

A perfect example is one that occurred very recently. I had met with a good friend of mine whom I went to high school with and inquired about his position as a credit analyst and that I was graduating soon. He was dismayed to tell me that if only I had asked him a couple months prior, there was a position open that I could have applied for. This discussion occurred at the beginning of the summer, but two months later I received a message on LinkedIn from his manager notifying that my friend had referred me and asked if I would send my Resume. I scheduled an interview that next week.

Another example was when I was applying for an internship through Minnesota Power. Although I did not receive the position, I met a lot of valuable contacts through referrals from one of my classmates who had interned there previously. I ended up going through informational interviews and even getting a referral for the position.

The most important lesson I take from this idea of ‘it’s not what you know, but who you know’ is that it is important to connect with others while networking, and I mean really connect. The more you get to know a potential reference while networking, the more valuable and viable their recommendations of you will be. I know that many of you will probably be attending the upcoming job fairs this fall, and my advice to you is this: take some time to research exactly which companies you are interested in talking to, don’t try to rush from table to table, take as much time as you can at an individual company’s table and make sure to get business cards to follow up with potential contacts. Be open, talk about your interests, why you want to work for the company, etc. Try not to focus on meeting the most contacts, but focus more on having a pool of contacts that have a much clearer idea of who you are. That’s how you will get to that next step towards your dream job: The Interview.

Of Possible Interest:

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Ways to Showcase Research on Your Resume

By: Glen

Previously, I have discussed how research is helpful as a career builder, and how to get involved in research. Once you have been a researcher, being able to put your skills into words is important. Explaining your project(s) to potential employers could make or break your application for employment. Today, we will break down a few examples of how to write about your research participation on a resume. All four of the following examples are used directly from the University of Minnesota Duluth Career & Internship Services Career Handbook, 11th Edition.

Example 1

Example 1

Example 2

Example 2

The above examples are located in the “Experience” section of the resume. When writing in the sections featuring your positions, the bullet-point list is a tool that can (and should) be used to your desire. Depending on how much you want to extrapolate from each experience, you will find that positions, projects, and activities will vary in the amount of points you can write. If your involvement in research is something you want to highlight as a main focus, I would recommend having around three to six bullet points with the details of the project, as shown in Example 2. If an experience was worth noting, but you only wish to cover a couple of details, two or three bullets is a good range to shoot for, as per Example 1. If a specific position is not the most important thing on your resume, do not be afraid to just write a brief piece like this:

Example 3

Example 3

In this example, the bolded title of the research position is the name of the program. The Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program was formed to give undergraduates at UMD a chance to lead research. This includes writing a competitive grant application to be funded for their time researching. If your research project was a part of a larger organization, you could put the organization’s name as the title, as shown above in Examples 1 and 2.

Example 3

Example 3

This final example uses the “Education” section to briefly note undergraduate research involvement. Similar to the previous example, featuring the position was not the main goal. These examples use the brief indications of lab work to supplement other experiences on the resume.

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Surviving the First Year of Grad School

By: Justine

Editor’s Note: We’re welcoming Justine back for a guest post! Check out all her previous work on the blog from when she was a student!

Even though I can hardly believe it, I have completed my first year of doctorate degree in physical therapy. The year has gone fast and with this post I will share a few things I found helpful throughout my first year in the program.

Surviving Grad School

Get to know your classmates

Once you have made it past the application process, your acceptance into a grad program marks the end of the competition with your fellow peers. Getting to know your classmates has many benefits beyond forming friendships. Each of my classmates shares a common interest in physical therapy but our backgrounds and past experiences make us each unique. Some students with an athletic training background are more familiar with sports injuries while others have a background in geriatrics. You can learn from your classmates as they may be able to share ideas or explain concepts you have difficulty with.

Set up a study schedule

Another benefit of getting to know classmates is to find other students who have a similar study method as you. A big part of physical therapy is patient education which requires not only that you are able to understand a concept but are also able to explain it to your patients in terms that they will understand. Due to that focus, I would frequently get together with a few classmates before or after our classes to go over lectures and break down the more complicated concepts so we could fully understand the material. Find classmates who have similar study methods as you in order to make your study time the most effective for your learning.

Learn to manage free time

This one isn’t much different from an undergrad piece of advice. However, once I started school again I became a bit jealous of my graduated friends working full time jobs without an extra homework load to do in the evenings. This was a change from my undergrad days because at that time all my friends were in school and had times where they needed to study as well. Someday, I will be able to relate to a 40 work week without homework (and a paycheck instead of loans!) but until then I will be spending a little more time with my nose in my textbooks. For the time you are in graduate school, make it a priority to get comfortable with a study schedule, with a few study breaks squeezed in for the occasional social outing or get-together with a friend.

Maintain the knowledge

This is going to be your career field. One of the big switches I had to change in my brain from undergrad to graduate school was commitment to the material. I can confess that in some of my undergrad classes I would hold onto the material until the exam and then it would fade away. Now it’s much easier for me to see the application of the material I am learning, it will help me to understand my patient better and allow me to answer patient questions when they arise. Finding the right career path for you will make learning much more meaningful and purposeful and eventually support a career in a field that you love.

One of the most rewarding aspects of grad school is that I’m being taught by physical therapists, in a classroom of students who want to be physical therapists, who will one day be working in a field with people who need physical therapy. It’s a very welcoming environment and after making it through my first year, I know that this is the right field for my future. To anyone else who is starting or continuing within a graduate program, I wish you luck and hope that you find success in all that you do!

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3 Skills Undergraduate Research Can Improve

By: Glen

I recently posted a piece extrapolating on how to get involved in research as an undergraduate, but what is the fuss about undergraduate research? Is that not what graduate school is designed for, practical experiences to fully certify the student? This may be true, but research at the undergraduate level can give you much needed experience earlier in your career. Here are some skills that (in my experience) undergraduate research can improve.

Critical Thinking Skills

Here is a truth that conducting undergraduate research has driven home: If you are going to make a claim, you need to be able to back it up. Research experience can teach you how to ask questions about the world, and search for good answers to those questions.

For example, the internet is filled with posts filled with information that may or may not be true. When you find yourself reading some of these reports, your research experience will have taught you the correct way of being skeptical. You will find yourself asking instinctive questions such as: who conducted the research, what methods were used to make this judgment, can I see the actual data? Heck, maybe you are reading this post right now, and asking questions like: why should I listen to you, what are your qualifications, what proof of these claims do you have? All I can say is this is my personal experience, but I digress. Point is researchers are trained in the importance of hard facts. This is a great skill to have in the workplace.

3 Skills Research

Creative Problem Solving

I have found that the development of my critical thinking skills has led to an increased ability of solving problems in the work place. In the past, I was someone who could solve problems that I had faced before with ease, yet I would struggle with new problems I encountered. I am finding that pattern to be changing as I become more educated. If I were to point toward a cause of this growth, I would point toward my experience conducting research and time spent in my research-oriented classes. Discussing the methodological construction of research studies has opened my eyes to the many ways questions can be answered. Do NOT underestimate this skill.

Lab Skills

This might seem pretty obvious. “You gained lab skills by doing research? No way!” The important fact is that gaining lab skills as an undergraduate can look fantastic on your resume. I am very glad to have my own research experience, because if I decide to go to graduate school, I will be prepared! A number of my professors have told us students stories from former students explaining how grateful they were to have research experience. Apparently, the students with lab practice were much more comfortable with their graduate programs, due to training with statistics and methodological design.

In conclusion, I figure research experience just makes for better people and better employees. Having technical experience looks good, and will make you a more efficient thinker. Now, this is not to say that every person needs to have research experience, but if the opportunity arises, try it out. Perhaps your career path is taking you in a different direction. Maybe you feel like you would be better served with on the job training, internships, or some similar method of gaining experience. Even then, I would highly encourage any student to conduct research if they have the opportunity. It will diversify your skillset, and that looks mighty impressive.

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