A Guide for Alumni

By: PJay

I would like to write this post for the UMD alumni. Last year, most of my friends and peers who I looked up to graduated. Some have jobs, some went to graduate or professional school, and some are still discovering what they want to do with their unique majors. For those of you who feel like you have no idea what you are doing, you’ve come to the right place! This post is going to give you some goodies about our office and tips for you to rediscover your passion.

UMD Commencement overhead view

After graduation, you can still use all of the services in our office for FREE!!!
We are literally one phone call away. Whether you have questions about jobs, resume, personality assessments, graduate school, please contact us. Being an alumnus does not mean we forget about you. We want you to succeed. We love helping people and want you to get on the right path for you.

We offer phone and Google Hangout or Skype appointments.
The reality is that after we graduate, we will probably be relocating somewhere else. Even if you can’t make it physically to our office, we will still do our best to help you in other ways. By using the beauty of technology, the career counselors can still meet with you one-on-one to make sure your appointments are accessible wherever you are.

If you are a recent graduate, can still attend the U of M job fairs.
Being a “recent graduate” means that you have graduated within the past three years. Take advantage of this! These job fairs are some of the most life-changing events. Not only do you meet your potential employers, you also meet new people to find new opportunities.

Push yourself to ask for help.
I understand you may feel embarrassed to ask for assistance to find a job, but trust me, we get phone calls about this more than you would think. The world is a competitive place to live in, so do not feel ashamed if you don’t get your dream job right away. But in the meantime, don’t be afraid to practice for that career. It might just be that your resume needs a little more tweaking, or that you need should set up a mock interview for more practice. Whatever it is, our office is here for you.

Lastly, remember to not compare yourself to others.
It may seem like all your friends have their life together. But the honest truth is everyone faces adversity. Some of us are just better at hiding it than others. Also, take life at your own pace. Your life story is perfectly and uniquely written for you. Your opportunities are just not here yet, but with time, everything will come together.

I know you may be questioning: “why haven’t I found a job yet?” or “did I make the right decisions in college?” or other questions about your worth. But know that you are worth something to someone. Take this time to reflect on what you can be doing to change the way you feel, rather than doubting yourself. I know you are more special than you think you are. You survived some of the biggest changes and challenges in your life, your college years. Therefore I know you can do anything you want. Just put your mind into it and everything will fall into place.

Of Possible Interest: 

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Photo Source: UMD

Tori’s Senior Bucket List

By: Tori

Three weeks. That’s how long we have until the semester is over. Three weeks.

So close, yet so far away. Three weeks until we graduate and are no longer UMD Bulldogs. But, once a Bulldog, always a Bulldog….right?

If you’re like me, you are realizing your time at UMD and in Duluth is running out quick! You’re also realizing there are MANY things you haven’t done yet, that have been on your college bucket list since the summer before freshman year.

I have compiled a “Top Five To Finish” bucket list to complete before the senior year comes to a close.

Go mountain biking. I have never been! How is this possible? After 4 years in Duluth, I have never been on the trails. I am hoping the snow clears by the end of may to go at least once. Some of the best trails (or so I’ve heard) are Lester Park and Hawk’s Ridge.

Listen to live music at the Red Herring. All my friends rave about how awesome the live music is in Duluth. My ears need to be blessed with this before I depart!

Jump off the Icehouse. Every fall when we come back to school my goal is to jump off the icehouse before it gets cold. Well, it usually gets cold before this happens for me. We will see if there is a heat wave mid-May and I cross this off the bucket list.

Camp out at Bean and Bear Lake. I hiked this part of the Superior Hiking Trail with my sister freshman year and have always wanted to go back. Now is the time to make this happen. Even if it is 50 degrees outside while I sleep.

Eat at Duluth Grill. Okay, I will admit I have done this a few times before but it’s SO GOOD. How can I not put this as my final bucket list?? I think I will even stop there for lunch the day I move out and leave Duluth.

These are a few of my bucket list items before I leave this beautiful place! What do you want to do before you graduate? Think about it now so you can maximize your memory-making as a Bulldog and Duluthian. I am sad to leave this place but excited for what’s next (and to cross these off my bucket list!).

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Using Creativity to Disconnect

By: Heidi

How often do you take the time to disconnect? Like really disconnect away from your phone, computer, constant notifications, and email. In this day and age, we are constantly surrounded by technology as it is how we communicate, used for school, and work. Because of this, we are in constant connection with our friends, social networking notifications, and email. Although this is really beneficial, it can be detrimental to our health as we are always able to be reached nearly 24/7.

Using creativity to disconnect - sketchbook on desk with watercolors

Now that you’re thinking about how often you disconnect, ask yourself, how often do I take the time to slow down. Like really slow down as in the to-do list can wait, the kitchen doesn’t have to be spotless, you didn’t get home as early as you wanted because you stayed after class to catch up with a friend type of slow down.

I wanted to bring this to your attention because I often find myself being in a state of #1 constantly connected to my phone and #2 not always taking the time to slow down.

So you find yourself in the same boat struggling to disconnect and to slow down and enjoy the moment or day that we have.

I propose to you take to make the time in your day whether it be ten minutes or one hour to explore and pursue your creative outlet. Yup. That’s it. A creative outlet. Why? Because all humans, whether you believe it or not, were meant to create. Creating something can mean so many different things. This can consist of dancing, painting, photography, doodling cartoons, playing a musical instrument, baking, gardening, and more. Whatever it is that you choose, allow yourself to have fun with it, share it with others, and not place an expectation on it that it has to be this perfect thing. For example, have you seen the Netflix show ‘Nailed It?’ These people are on a baking competition show trying to recreate these really intricate cakes done by professionals and the people trying to recreate them bake out of a hobby. The thing is, these cakes turn out laughably bad but that’s the point. It doesn’t matter how bad the cakes turn out, they all had fun (or were stressed by the pressures of reality TV…who knows) during the process.

When you become so engaged in an activity you enter ‘flow mode.’ During this flow mode, you lose track of time and get lost in it allowing the pressures and anxiety of daily life to melt away.

It is unfair to deem ourselves as creative or uncreative. You owe it to yourself to make the time to explore a creative outlet as this will allow you to disconnect and be better for your overall wellbeing.

Of Possible Interest:

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Photo Source: Unsplash | Tim Arterbury

Quick Tips for Writing Your Resume

By: Tony

Now is the time of year when we all start quietly (or not so quietly) start panicking. Projects and papers are becoming due, final exams are on the horizon, and all the stress is starting to pile on. You know there’s something else you’re forgetting, but you’re not exactly sure what it is… Oh yeah, you still need to get a job/internship lined up! Just what you need, even more stress! Hopefully, these tips on improving your resume will make the job hunting process to a little more smoothly.

What is a resume?
A resume is a document stating your qualifications for a certain position.  If your application is a request for employment, then your resume is a crucial part of your support for why you should be employed. You want the resume to be comprehensive, but concise.

Quick tips for writing your resume

Content

  • Bare bones of a resume
    • Name, Contact Information, Objective, Education, Experience
  • Objective
    • Each iteration of your resume should reflect the exact purpose that it is for, whether it be for a job fair or an application. It can be a quick statement of the purpose of the resume (ex. A full-time position at [Organization] as a(n) [position title]).
  • Education
    • Name of school, where is it, degree name, year of graduation, major, minor, and GPA if greater than 3.0/4.0.
    • Once you have entered your junior year of undergrad, you will want to remove your high school information from your resume.
    • Education-related sections you can also include: Relevant Coursework, Honors, Research.
  • Experience
    • Like the education section, everything should be listed in reverse chronological order.
    • Include experiences that are relevant to the purpose.
      • The less applicable they are to the purpose, the more likely they should be removed or only take a minimal amount of space on the resume.
    • Volunteering experience is just as valuable as paid and academic experience. It matters what you did, not if you got paid for it or not.
    • Categorize your experience based on the purpose (Computer Science Experience, Engineering Experience, Healthcare Experience, etc.).
    • Each position should include 3-5 bullet points detailing what you did in that position.
      • Each bullet point should talk about a single aspect of your position.
      • Each bullet point should demonstrate how you already have the skills and qualities necessary for what you are seeking.
      • Each bullet point should start with an active verb.
  • Additional Sections
    • You do not need to include a statement saying that you have references available upon request.
    • Clubs and activities are nice if they are relevant or you need to fill the page.

Formatting

  • Page Layout
    • 1” margins on the side; 0.5-1” margins on the top and bottom
    • 10-12 point font; name should be about 2 points larger than the rest of the text.
    • Section headings can be bold and all-caps.
    • No lines. They can be confused as page breaks by some scanners and tracking systems. Use lines of white space instead to separate sections.
    • Stay away from templates. Adjusting the formatting can be troublesome in the long run. Plus, if we can spot a template from a mile away, imagine how easy it is for an employer.
    • Sections should flow from most important to least important.
      • The objective is always first, and education almost always follows.
  • Education
    • Schools should be listed in reverse chronological order, with the school you currently attend or have most recently graduated from being first.
    • Name of degree, major, minor, and GPA all in bold.
  • Experience
    • Like the education section, everything should be listed in reverse chronological order.
    • Name of position, organization/company, location, timespan you were there. 

Still need help?
If you still need clarification on anything related to your resume, please do not hesitate to reach out for help. Career & Internship Services is located in the Wedge (SCC 22) and is open 8:00-4:30 Monday through Friday. During those hours, there is always at least one Peer Educator, such as myself, who would be more than happy to answer your questions.

Of Possible Interest: 

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Photo Source: Unsplash | Kelly Sikkema

Art of Patience and Persistence

By: Kimberly

It’s amazing how fast four years can fly by and how you end up competing with time to the finish line. But let’s face it, there is no finish line if anything it is just another beginning. As I wrap up my last semester here at the University as a senior, I find myself drowning in the job search process. I hate to admit that a part of me regrets wishing for this day to come. But don’t get me wrong, I am beyond excited to walk on that stage and receive my diploma. It’s just the responsibilities that come with this day that stress me out. Now I think there are few things that I can say from experience that can benefit and reassure you in this job search process.

Don't give up. Great things take time.

First, if you end up being that person who still hasn’t found anything while everyone else around you has, don’t lose hope. I know that’s a little easier said than done but you’re going to have to master the art of patience and persistence. You might take longer than others to find a job and just know that it’s not impossible. Plus give yourself some credit for all the effort you are putting into this process, it’s not an easy one.

Secondly, I know it’s overwhelming with how many job search engines/websites that exist and or the number of job postings that exist. But someone wise once told me to never let that fear stop you from applying. You have nothing to lose and only something to gain.

Third, don’t shy away from reaching out for help. I, myself, sometimes wish I would’ve done it a lot sooner. But believe me when I say there are staff/advisors who really do make a difference in this process. They know what it’s like, the challenges, struggles, everything. These staff/advisors will work with you until you have succeeded, you just have to be willing to make the time and effort.

My last piece of advice for you, that I have received as a reminder for myself is, find balance through all this by having some fun and treating yourself. Don’t forget to enjoy your last moments in your undergrad. Eventually what is meant to be will fall into place.

Of Possible Interest: 

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Photo Source: Unsplash | Filip Zrnzevic

Classic Songs That Describe Your College Experience

By: McKenzie

Being an adult is hard, but becoming an adult is harder and “the college experience” is what we label the messy journey to adulthood. As you trek the path to the being a full-fledged adult you will learn there are few things as emotionally relatable as music. Here is your college experience in the form of some of my favorite classic songs.

Welcome to the Jungle – Guns N’ Roses
It’s the first day of your freshman year. You are surrounded by other giant children pretending to know what they’re doing. You’re lost, hungry, and haven’t seen a single face you recognize in hours. You know where you are? You’re in the jungle baby. Welcome to college.

Total Eclipse of the Heart – Bonnie Tyler
You’ve made it through freshman year and are trudging through the first semester of your sophomore year. You still have no idea what’s going on. Homework is piling up. You mutter, “Every now and then I get a little tired of listening to the sound of my tears,” into your open textbook. You’re only surviving because your love from your friends fuels you to stick around.

Livin’ on a Prayer – Bon Jovi
You just finished your sophomore year. Woah, [you’re] halfway there [and] woah you’re living on a prayer. You’re not sure how you made it this far, but you must keep going. [You’ll] give it a shot!

Eye of the Tiger – Survivor
Here comes your junior year. You did [your] time, took [your] chances. Went the distance, now [your] back on [your] feet. Just a man and his will to survive. This is the toughest year of your life but you’re kickin’ fall semester’s butt.

Where is My Mind? – Pixies
It’s spring semester of your junior year. Time is a social construct and you aren’t sure you actually exist anymore. You’ll keep asking yourself, “Where is my mind? Where is my mind?” At this point, you aren’t sure you can actually survive another year.

Fight For Your Right – Beastie Boys
You wake up late for school, man you don’t want to go. You might still go, but you actually won’t because on a scale from 1-10 your level of care is zero. The senior slide is real. You joke that you gotta fight for your right to party, however, everyone knows you’re too old to go out and are probably in bed by 10 PM.

School’s Out – Alice Cooper
It’s done. It’s over. School’s out for summer, School’s out forever (unless you’re headed to grad school, then good luck).

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Advantages of Being a Peer Educator

By: Kirsi

We're hiring! Multicultural Outreach Assistant and Peer Educator. Apply via UMD HR by April 2nd.

Peer Educators, Fall 2017

When I saw the job posting for Peer Educator position I figured it would be a great way to make a few bucks reviewing resumes. What I did not expect was the extra benefits of being a Peer Educator, in addition to the extra Taco Bell money.

Master Job Applications
Sometimes submitting job applications feels like discarding hopes and dreams into a black hole. Depending on the job, hiring managers may never give applicants feedback. Peer Educators complete training that unveils the mystery of job applications, what hiring managers want to, and strategies to display qualifications. Peer Educators complete comprehensive training before being trusted to review fellow student’s resumes and LinkedIn profiles. This training is much like a crash course in hire-ability. Newly recruited Peer Educators must familiarize themselves with the Career Handbook, “perfect” resume reviews, attend diversity training, and learn about resources the office offers such as InterviewStreamCareer Assessments, and GoldPASS. Career Handbook familiarization is especially important because its resume and cover letter examples follow expectations of hiring managers around the region.

Transform Passions into Professions
Helping a fellow Bulldog land an internship makes the training and attention to detail worthwhile! Equipped with experience, interviewing confidence, and a resume that clearly communicates your qualifications you too can transform your passion into a profession. I enjoy demystifying the job application process. Even the most seemingly unattainable career can be reached with the support of Career Counselors, Peer Educators, relevant experience, and grit. Peer Educators are a bridge of communication between the office and students. Peer Educators reach out to students about the office’s services on Facebook and occasionally on Instagram stories.

Student working at job fair

Kirsi working at the UMN Job & Internship Fair, Feb 2018

Make Unlikely Connections
As an Engineering and Computer Science double major I rarely interacted with students outside of Swenson College of Science and Engineering until becoming a Peer Educator. The Peer Educator team is comprised of students from all of UMD’s colleges, by coincidence! I have a newfound respect for majors outside of the STEM realm due to connections I have made with my coworkers. Peer Educators often work in pairs and complete training together. I help edit resumes and review LinkedIn profiles of students of every major. A project I worked on in addition to reviewing resumes includes small web development tasks. I updated the following Career & Internship Services webpages: “Graduate Follow-Up Report“, “Graduate Follow-Up By Major“, and “Graduate Follow-up Report Archive.” During these projects, I learned about careers graduates from each major acquired. During the summer of 2017, I helped with the office “Love Your Major” campaign helping students choose, change or embrace their major.

The Peer Educator position is regularly recruiting for new students every spring (usually after Spring Break). Take a look in the UMD HR system for openings.

Of Possible Interest: 

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Photo Source: UMD Career & Internship Services