Use Your Time Wisely

By: Kendra

Typically, us college students are extremely busy with classes, working, being involved, and schoolwork that it seems like we don’t have any spare time. In adjusting to our new ‘normal’, I have found myself having free time that I just don’t know how to fill. I am sure many others are feeling this way, too, so I decided to come up with a few tasks you can do to productively spend your free time. 

Complete your profile in GoldPASS powered by Handshake.
If you are unfamiliar, GoldPASS is the University of Minnesota system’s online platform for connecting students and employers. Students are able to search for jobs and internships, connect with employers and other students, as well as learn more about recruiting events going on across the system in GoldPASS. Having your profile updated and complete is important because it allows employers to find and reach out to you. See “The Three Must-Haves on Your Handshake Profile” to learn more about completing your profile. Additionally, I have written a two-part guide to using GoldPASS powered by Handshake (Part 1 & Part 2). Our Employer Relations team would be more than happy to help you with any GoldPASS related questions and can be reached via email at hirebulldogs@d.umn.edu

image: notebooks laid out on white background
Text: Use your time wisely. Complete profile on GoldPASS powered by Handshake. Research companies. Practice interview skills. Update resume.

Use this time to get ahead on researching companies.
This will help guide you in your future searches for an internship and/or a job after graduation. There are a few different resources that can help you research companies: 

  • GoldPASS powered by Handshake: Once your profile is complete, use GoldPASS powered by Handshake to see companies that have recruited at UMD in the past. In GoldPASS, you are able to see employers who have attended career fairs in the past by including past fairs in an event search. You can also search for jobs and internships on this platform. If you see a position that interests you, look further into that company to learn more about it. 
  • Internship Data: Many students at UMD participate in internships each year. We have compiled data from the past two years that shows where students of certain majors interned. Here is the 2017-2018 academic year internship data, and here is the data for the 2018-2019 academic year. Research these companies to learn more about the work that they do to see if it seems interesting to you. 
  • Graduate Follow-Up Report: The Graduate Follow-Up Report is an annual document our office creates to show where our students end up after graduation. It includes information on where students were employed after graduation, where students continued their education, and more. This information is so valuable! 
  • LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a platform that allows you to create a professional network, search for positions, and showcase yourself. By first creating your profile and completing it, you will be able to connect with professionals to begin networking. You will be able to connect with other students at UMD, as well as alumni, to see where they are currently employed. 
  • Google: While the remainder of the resources I listed were ways to see where other UMD students landed positions, don’t feel limited to only those companies. Conducting a Google search can be quite overwhelming, which is why I think it is best to start out by using some of the resources I listed previously. Take what you have learned from that research to Google to find even more companies that might interest you. 

For example, say I, an accounting major, am researching the companies where previous accounting majors have interned. I am learning more about those organizations and find that the ones that most interest me are all public accounting firms. I take this knowledge to Google to find more public accounting firms, as well as to learn more about them in general. This method of learning more about companies and their industries can be applied to any major, too, not just accounting. 

You can take your research to the next level, too. If you find a company you are really excited about, find a contact and reach out to them! Scheduling an informational interview, or just a time to chat with a representative of a company can be extremely beneficial in learning about the company, as well as opportunities within it. If you are looking for advice on how to contact companies, what to say, etc., our Career Handbook has some excellent information. Additionally, our career counselors would be more than happy to help. You can get in touch with them by emailing carserv@d.umn.edu or calling 218-726-7985 to schedule an appointment.

Practice your interview skills.
As a student at UMD, you have access to InterviewStream, which is a wonderful resource that allows you to do this. InterviewStream is a website that allows you to conduct practice interviews, record them, and watch them later. You are able to customize your interview by selecting questions that relate to the type of interview you want to practice. You can also record your practice interviews to watch later, which will help your future performance in interviews. This is an excellent way for you to practice interviewing without anything being on the line, so I highly recommend taking advantage of it. 

Update your resume.
Using our Career Handbook, you can refine your resume or create one if you haven’t already. In our handbook, you will find a guide for creating resumes, example resumes, and more that will help you create your document. Once you’ve updated your resume, upload it to GoldPASS so that employers can view it. If you would like to have your resume reviewed, just following the submission instructions on our website

I hope this inspires you and gives you a few ideas of how to fill your time. As always, the staff in Career & Internship Services is always available to answer any questions you might have, so don’t hesitate to reach out.

Of Possible Interest:
Internships; Job Search – all our blog posts on the topic
Ace the Job Search; Turn Your Major Into a Career – our Pinterest boards filled with articles & resources

Read Kendra’s other posts

Photo Source: Unsplash | Plush Design Studio

Creating Comebacks Through Setbacks

By: Paying

One month ago, I wrote a blog post on how excited I was to complete my Career Planning Process. I was excited to use all I have learned in the past four years at my new summer internship that would start in June. Another opportunity I looked forward to was a Publishing Internship Fair that would have multiple employers seeking future interns for their programs which I wanted for the following fall and spring after my summer internship. Once Summer 2021 comes along, my goal was to apply for and get accepted into Penguin Random House’s Editorial Internship Position which would help segway into a career there. This was my plan after graduation in May 2020.

image: snowy mountain peak with blue sky above 
text: creating comebacks through setbacks

Two weeks ago, the Publishing Internship Fair was cancelled. I lost the chance to speak with the employers there who were seeking interns. I lost the opportunity to introduce myself and share my interest in their companies and my career goal of becoming an editor.

Three days ago, I received an email from my supervisor at the summer internship, it had been cancelled. Although the reasonings behind it were very understandable, I still felt discouraged and soon began to have doubts about my career plan with so many lost opportunities and chances at gaining experience.

‘What am I supposed to do now?’

‘I shared the news of my acceptance with everyone so how am I going to be able to say I’m no longer going to be an editorial intern?’

‘I don’t want to go back to square one, can I just give up?’

The uncertainty of my future worried me and I couldn’t gather my thoughts well enough to respond to the email I just received. 

‘Should I reply?’

‘What would I say?’

‘What could I say?’

I could still thank them for the opportunity. I could reply in a positive way because it must’ve been a tough decision. I could turn this setback into a comeback.

After a few hours having a meltdown, I came back to my senses and realized all the opportunities I lost were still in reach. I can still email the employers who were listed to attend the fair and ask about open positions/internships. I can still apply to various positions already posted online. I can still keep my connection with my summer internship employer and mention that I am still interested in future opportunities. 

After those realizations, I came to a conclusion that this year of delays could instead be a year of preparation and connecting, which may benefit my future in the long run.

After receiving a reply to my email, I felt like I had started my comeback already. During a tough time in one’s life along with everything going on in the world, it’s important to stick together and try to seek the good things in all the bad. 

When something doesn’t go your way and causes setbacks as well as doubts, it’s up to you to decide how you’re going to use that to create another version of your planned future. Will you let these obstacles affect your motivation and drive negatively or will you use this to move you forward in a new direction to the same goal? 

Robert Cheeke once said, “Sometimes small setbacks are just blessings in disguise. They enhance your determination and whole-hearted dedication to achieving your goals.”

Of Possible Interest:
Internships; Job Search – all our blog posts on the topics
Ace the Job Search; Turn Your Major Into a Career – our Pinterest boards filled with articles & resources

Read Paying’s other posts

Photo Source: Unsplash | Mads Schmidt Rassmussen

Tips for Attending Your First Job Fair – After the Fair

By: Kendra

Here’s part 3 of my tips for attending your first job fair (if you haven’t yet, check out Prepare & At the Fair). Just before spring break, I attended the Spring Head of the Lakes Job & Internship Fair, my very first fair I attended where I spoke to employers for my own personal reasons (instead of just working at it).

I want to preface by saying that I did not attend the fair with the goal of scoring a job or internship. Rather, I was looking to learn more about accounting internships and firms in the area. My goal was to learn, which I definitely achieved!

Image: young woman in suit jacket talking to people
Text: Tips for attending your first job fair - after the fair

Here are my tips for what to do after you’ve the job fair.

Connect with employers.
This is something that I did not know before attending the fair. Employers I spoke with asked me to connect with them on LinkedIn, so of course I did. This is another way for employers to contact you later if they wish to. You can also connect with employers you spoke with by emailing them. Almost everyone I spoke with gave me their business card, so I used that to email them. Because I wasn’t seeking a position, I just thanked the recruiters for speaking with me and gave them my contact information for the future. 

Collect your thoughts.
Job fairs can be overwhelming! Talking to recruiters all day and learning so much about several different companies is a lot, so I spent some time reflecting after the fair. I had notes from talking with each employer and I later elaborated on my notes. I wrote what I learned, what I liked/disliked about each company I spoke with, and any specific information they gave me such as how to apply for their internships, etc. I have these papers saved so that I can reference them in the future when I actually need an internship. 

As a student who attended a fair strictly to learn more, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to start going to job fairs before you are actively seeking a position. By going earlier, you familiarize yourself with the atmosphere and with talking to employers. You also get super valuable information by just putting yourself out there and speaking with people. 

I know that job fair season has come to an end for the year, but I still hope this gives you some advice that you can use to prepare for fairs in the future. A lot of preparation and thought goes into attending a job fair, so hopefully this helps you feel a little bit less overwhelmed when job fair season comes back around. As always, Career & Internship Services is more than happy to answer any further questions that you might have!

Of Possible Interest:
Job Fairs – all our posts on the topic
Mastering the Career Fair – our Pinterest board filled with articles & resources

Read Kendra’s other posts

Photo Source: UMD Career & Internship Services

Tips for Attending Your First Job Fair – At the Fair

By: Kendra

Thanks for coming back! Check out my tips for preparing to attend your first job fair. Here’s a quick recap about my situation. Just before spring break, I attended the Spring Head of the Lakes Job & Internship Fair, which was hosted at UWS. As you might know, my job in Career & Internship Services is employer relations, so I do a great deal of behind the scenes work for our job fairs. So, yes, I have been to job fairs before, but I was always working at them — never actually speaking to employers for my own personal reasons. Just a few weeks ago was my first experience doing this, so I figured I would share what I learned!

I want to preface by saying that I did not attend the fair with the goal of scoring a job or internship. Rather, I was looking to learn more about accounting internships and firms in the area. My goal was to learn, which I definitely achieved!

Image: young woman in suit jacket talking to people
Text: Tips for attending your first job fair - at the fair

Here are my tips for when you’re at the fair.

Get a map.
Checking out the map of the fair should be one of the first things you do after you’ve gotten to the fair and checked in. Take a walk through the fair space to get a feel for it. Then, find somewhere to sit and locate the employers you want to speak with on the map. I did this at the fair I attended and it helped me feel less overwhelmed and lost in the space. 

Review your notes.
Before speaking to an employer, review your notes on that specific company. This will refresh your memory of what it is they do, as well as the questions you have for them. 

Be confident!
When approaching employers, just be yourself and be confident. If there is one thing I have learned by working in employer relations, it’s that recruiters are people just like you and I. They have been in our shoes before, so they know how nerve-wracking it can be to attend a job fair. They are there to help, so don’t be afraid! Remember to give the recruiter you’re speaking with a good handshake and make eye contact with them throughout the conversation. Be engaged and be yourself and you’ll do great! 

Offer your resume to employers.
You brought them for a reason, might as well hand them out! Giving an employer your resume helps them remember you and gives them the availability to contact you if they wish to. This interaction completely depends on the employer. Some will ask for your resume, but you’ll need to offer it to other employers. I found that resumes came up in conversation with many of the employers I spoke with, so that was when I offered mine. With that being said, some employers do not accept resumes at fairs. Don’t be offended by this — it’s not you, it’s just what their company does.

Check out the next part of this series – After the Fair

Of Possible Interest:
Job Fairs – all our posts on the topic
Mastering the Career Fair – our Pinterest board filled with articles & resources

Read Kendra’s other posts

Photo Source: UMD Career & Internship Services

Tips for Attending Your First Job Fair – Prepare

By: Kendra

Just before spring break, I attended the Spring Head of the Lakes Job & Internship Fair, which was hosted at UWS. As you might know, my job in Career & Internship Services is employer relations, so I do a great deal of behind the scenes work for our job fairs. So, yes, I have been to job fairs before, but I was always working at them — never actually speaking to employers for my own personal reasons. Just a few weeks ago was my first experience doing this, so I figured I would share what I learned!

I want to preface by saying that I did not attend the fair with the goal of scoring a job or internship. Rather, I was looking to learn more about accounting internships and firms in the area. My goal was to learn, which I definitely achieved!

Image: Young woman in suit jacket talking people
Text: Tips for attending your first job fair - prepare

Here are my tips to help you PREPARE for attending your first job fair.

Identify your purpose.
Going to a job and internship fair to learn more and connect with people is different than going to secure a position for the summer or following year. Before you go to the fair, you should know what your purpose in attending is, as that will help you best prepare for it. 

Research the fair to get a feel for the types of employers that will be in attendance.
Oftentimes, fairs are designed to attract certain students. For example, at UMD, we host E-Fest and STEM that are centered around science, technology, engineering, and mathematics students. Head of the Lakes (both fall and spring) are much more general — there is something for everyone!

Research specific employers you want to talk to.
Know a few things about each employer you might speak with, such as their industry, their location, and the general nature of their work. You do not need to know everything — that is what questions are for! I made a Google document with my notes compiled about the companies I was interested in speaking with. I had bullet points with very basic information about each company and then I also included a question or two I wanted to ask each specific employer. It doesn’t have to be super detailed. 

Know what you are going to say when approaching employers.
Some people call this an elevator speech, but I find that term rather intimidating. Just think of it as an introduction of yourself. You want to show the employer who you are in a really short amount of time, so it is important to prepare for this. In my case, I was just looking to learn more about companies and their internship programs for accounting majors, so my introduction went something like this: 

“Hi! My name is Kendra and I am a sophomore at UMD. I recently changed my major to accounting and am looking to learn more about potential accounting internships for the future. I noticed _(company)_ has _(title of the program)__ internship, could you tell me a little bit more about that?” 

It is important to practice what you are going to say when approaching employers, but it is also critical that you not sound scripted. Try not to put so much pressure on this — just be yourself! 

Update your resume.
You will want to bring copies of your resume to the fair to give to employers even if you are not actively seeking a position, so updating it is a great idea. I had one of the Peer Educators in our office help me update mine to best suit the type of employers I would be speaking with at the fair. 

Dress professionally!
This does not mean you need to be uncomfortable or go on a shopping spree. Try to find something that you feel confident and comfortable in, as this will help you feel your best on the day of the fair. If you are in need of professional attire, check out Champ’s Closet at 245 Kirby Plaza. 

Come prepared!
Be sure you have everything you need when you are heading to a job fair. I recommend getting a padfolio to use at the fair. This will hold your resumes, a pen, and your notes about the companies, as well as serve as a place for you to write notes about the companies you speak with. I would also be sure to bring your UCard, as they are typically needed for registration.

Check out the next parts of this series: At the Fair & After the Fair

Of Possible Interest:
Job Fairs – all our blog posts on the topic
Mastering the Career Fair – our Pinterest board filled with articles & resources

Read Kendra’s other posts

Photo Source: UMD Career & Internship Services

Getting Involved as a First Year Student

By: Kiara

Going into my freshman year, I was unsure of what activities would be the best fit for me, but after completing my first semester I am thankful for how much I have learned from each activity. Sometimes it can be intimidating or feel overwhelming to try new things, but challenging yourself to do so can help you grow in the long run.

During the start of the first semester I became involved in the figure skating team, the University Honors Program, and started working at Career and Internship Services. Actively participating in these activities throughout the year helped me to build a community, pursue my interests, and develop transferable skills.

Image: colorful pens on white background
Text: Getting involved as a first year student

Build a Community
Being a part of the University Honors Program has given me the opportunity to meet new people and engage with my surrounding community. Through this program, I volunteered at a local assisted living facility in Duluth which made me feel more connected with my new community. I also attended other events within this program that helped me to gain critical thinking skills and learn with an open mind which can be valuable tools for a future career. Immersing yourself in a club or an organization can leave you feeling more integrated within the campus. Creating connections and a community can also give you a stronger sense of purpose or identity. 

Pursue Your Interests
UMD has so many great opportunities for students to get involved in things they are passionate about or interested in exploring such as a variety of clubs, sports, and other organizations. Personally, I joined the intercollegiate and synchronized figure skating teams since I wanted to continue to figure skate. This connected me to others who have a similar passion and taught me the importance of teamwork. I also continued to pursue my individual figure skating tests, which taught me a lot about self-discipline and self-motivation. During setbacks, it can be tempting to quit in the moment, but getting back up and overcoming these challenges are typically worth it in the end. The lessons we learn from pursuing our interests can aid us in our career development since we most likely will encounter adversities such as not getting a job offer, facing rejection, and receiving tough criticism. 

Develop Your Transferable Skills
Joining new clubs and organizations can help you gain essential transferable skills that you can apply to almost any field. Being a member of a club gives you a chance to run for an officer position which can be a valuable leadership experience. Planning events or leading meetings can also strengthen your work ethic and show your dedication to the team. Working as a front desk receptionist at Career and Internship Services has helped me improve my communication, organization, and time management skills. Employment opportunities or activities you are involved in can also enhance your resume and highlight important experiences.

Through managing your time well and working hard, it is possible to balance your academics and be involved in meaningful experiences outside of the classroom. Hopefully participating in extracurricular activities will give you the skills needed to face potential career roadblocks down the path. These are some of my interests and I hope you are able to pursue yours!

Of Possible Interest:
Building Your Resume – all our blog posts on the topic
Boost Your Career in College – our Pinterest board filled with articles & resources

Read Kiara’s other posts

Photo Source: Unsplash | Olia Gozha

Learning Without Limits

By: Rachel

Maybe you’ve caught on that our last few posts have been about experiences some of our student employees have had learning outside the classroom, and how we’ve pieced it all together in ways that have advanced not only our professional lives but our personal lives too. Well, I’m here to lend my two cents on the same topic.

I’ve always been a big believer in the value of education, and I think it’s something most of us take for granted. I also believe learning is even more important than education. Lifelong learning is something we’ve talked about before, but in this post, I want to share a bit about how learning can extend beyond the limits of education.

Image: empty road going towards horizon of mountains
Text: learning without limits

When I started college, I was coming off a senior year of high school where I was heavily involved in academics, multiple jobs, my community, extracurriculars, etc. To be honest, I was looking forward to the opportunity to start over and have a break from all the activities. I spent my first few months trying things out and being very conscientious about what I said “yes” to. I was intentional in the things I pursued: I knew I wanted to be involved in a faith community, so I sought that out right away. I took a job at Career & Internship Services because I was very interested in the ways they supported students. I was asked to serve on a few committees within my school and agreed, because I thought I could lend some perspective on what matters to my fellow classmates.

I never could have guessed the outcomes of the things I signed on to be a part of. I’ve learned so much about management and writing, how to craft a resume and how a school stays accredited. More importantly, I’ve learned the stories of a wide variety of people and forged relationships I never expected. I grew closer to professors who exposed me to careers I didn’t know existed. I developed skills that allowed me to land positions I truly enjoy. I’ve taken on challenges I really didn’t think I was capable of facing and surprised myself along the way.  This probably all sounds cliché, but part of the point is I learned who I am through what I was learning.

So, if I could give you a tip or two, here’s what I’d share:

  • Seek out opportunities to learn, no matter where you are. (This might be especially true right now as we all are facing many changes in our daily lives due to the coronavirus.)
  • Be intentional about what you say yes (and no!) to.
  • Search for the meaning and lesson to be learned in every experience.

If I’m being honest, now, three years into college, I’m probably more involved than I was even in high school.  But as I live and learn, I’ve realized busy isn’t always a bad thing when you’re busy with the right things. The experiences you build up during college can help you land an awesome job, but they also offer you the opportunity to learn about and shape the person behind that future professional.

Best, Rachel

Of Possible Interest:
Building Your Resume – all our blog posts on the topic
Boost Your Career in College – our Pinterest board filled with articles and resources

Read Rachel’s other posts

Photo Source: Unsplash | Matteo Paganelli