Meet Paying

Paying headshot

Name: Paying
Major(s): English
Minor(s): Digital Writing, Literature, and Design
Year in school: Junior
When I started working at UMD Career & Internship Services: August 2018

Favorite place in Duluth: The first few places that first popped up to mind were the usual Canal Park, Enger Tower, and other touristy areas, however, I love the ‘hidden gems’ and places that may be overlooked. Due to the memories made and how amazing the views are, I’d have to say the cliff at the First United Methodist Church and a cliff off to the side of the road on the way to Enger tower which overlooks the city lights at night!

Favorite hobby: Hands down it’s got to be sports. Although I am a very lazy person, when it comes to sports I become very energized due to my competitive nature. I enjoy playing volleyball, flag football, and soccer!

Best career advice I’ve received: “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” – Marc Anthony

Piece of career advice you have for other students: Don’t be afraid to explore who you are more as a person. Whether you have chosen a career path already or not, knowing what your passions are will show you if you’ve chosen the right path for yourself or if you need to go down a different one.

What to do When You Haven’t Completed an Internship

By: Eva

As I round the final turn for my undergrad I find myself in a strange spot. In December I will get an anthropology degree that isn’t directly related to my desired profession, which is career counseling. I actually can’t be a career counseling “intern” since I would need to be enrolled in or have completed a Master’s program in order to interact with people in that manner. But internships meant for anthropology majors don’t overlap with counseling. So… What did I do?

I worked at UMD’s Career and Internship Services! I am a Peer Educator, which means I help students and alumni work on their resumes and refer them to other office services, like internship searches and degree decision counseling. Although I am not an intern and don’t work directly with students like a counselor, this position does give me a lot of exposure to the field. This summer I was one of several student employees to stay on during the break. I took on a lot of fun and challenging projects that are essential to understanding the inner-workings of a modern career office in a four-year public university. Being in a career office for 30 hours a week has also allowed me to talk with the counselors about their profession, be part of office meetings, and see how each person’s role functions as part of a larger whole. I could not have found a more relevant internship if I had tried!

Stack of books; what to do when you haven't completed an internship

What are other options if you can’t find an internship?

Research! If you have done a major research project for a class, with a professor, or on your own time, you can totally list this under the related experience section on your resume.

Hobbies! When I talk with students and alumni in the Career Resource Center I am amazed at how many people have awesome hobbies that are closely related to their desired jobs. Are you a computer science major who codes for fun? Do you want to be a professional photographer or videographer and you take your Canon Rebel with you on your weekend trips up the North Shore? Are you an English major and have your own book review blog? All of those activities can be put on a resume!

Freelance work! I know someone with a graphic design degree who took graduation photos and designed grad party invites during high school. This evolved during college into advertisement design projects for offices on campus, and one of the connections they made on campus helped connect them to their first out-of-college graphic design position. They used a lot of those freelance projects on the resume they used to land that first professional job!

Art Shows! There are a lot of opportunities for photographers, clay artists, print and digital artists, mixed media artists, and even more to get their work out in public. Coffee shops, tattoo studios, business offices, salons, college campuses, banks, restaurants, and city and state government buildings all often have areas dedicated for local artists to show their work. I definitely suggest writing up a quick contract for yourself and the place manager/owner to sign to make sure that your contact info, art, and sales are protected.

Community Programs! Community programs are great ways to get involved in your area as well as gain invaluable experiences. There are tons of local choruses (Twin Ports Choral Project), theaters (The Duluth Playhouse), outdoor education clubs (Youth Outdoors-Duluth), environmental organizations (Environmental Association for Great Lakes Education), and social activist groups (Program for Aid of Victims of Sexual Assault or PAVSA). These are just a few examples of many places you can start to look for an internship alternative.

Of Possible Interest: 

Read Eva’s other posts

Photo Source: Unsplash | Sharon McCutcheon

Bad Grades Doesn’t Mean a Bad Employee

By: Heidi

I will be the first to admit I’ve had bad exams and just not great grades in my overall academic career. Receiving a bad grade can be really discouraging as a student. You sometimes may think to yourself “why do I even bother trying harder…I may not be doing my absolute best but at least I’m getting by.”

I’m not here to tell you how to turn around your whole academic career, make the dean’s list, or get the 4.0 you’ve always been dreaming of. Performing well on a project or test is great and it feels good to do good, but grades are only just a small representation of you as a student.

desktop with electronic device and black coffee cup with "hustle" on it; quote: work hard in silence, let your success be your noise. by Frank Ocean

So what is this whole “bad grades doesn’t mean a bad employee” thing? Well, this summer walking into my internship I had an “epiphany” if you will. I was working at a good company. I was producing good work. That doesn’t mean I didn’t struggle along the way at all, but what I did realize is that all the time and energy I spent about worrying what grades I got really meant nothing at the end of the day. I knew I could work hard and my boss acknowledged that. So that is what I believe matters most. Focus on the effort you put in and the results will follow.

At the end of the day, grades are just a small measurement of you as a student. It doesn’t make up entirely who you are and all else that you do. I believe our words are powerful and especially the words we say to ourselves. If you’ve never tried using affirmations, I would highly recommend trying it out as your thoughts become your words, and your words become your actions.

“My grades are important to me but they don’t define me.” Repeating this affirmation to myself when I feel discouraged then instead encourages me to focus on the effort I put in rather than my attachment to the grade I receive. As long as I know I am putting in my best effort, that is all that matters to me.

Of Possible Interest:

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Photo Source: Unsplash

Brutal Honesty

By: Kirsi

Calling someone out for not contributing during a group project is exceedingly easier than owning up to your own shortcomings. Professors have twisted humor to subject students to group projects, especially when group members are picked at random. “As if I will ever be drop-kicked into a situation involving a group of strangers working to meet a common goal and a lofty deadline?!” WRONG. (Maybe some wisdom was acquired when they earned that Ph.D.) In the work force, there is life after college, you may find yourself in a group project type scenario again. Get comfortable with the uneasiness of cat herding, negotiating, and communicating because it’s not getting any easier.

View of earth from space

I have participated in a handful of internships, co-ops, and summer jobs during my time at UMD. At the conclusion of each experience, I have a false sense of accomplishment that, “I cannot possibly learn more than I already have this summer!” Without failure, every summer, I am steamrolled by a new life lesson. Fall 2017 I learned about adaptability when my co-op was delayed by Hurricane Harvey and how to do more than your assigned project summer of 2016. This past summer I was assigned to a sort of group project, but a group project with so many people that some of the participants weren’t even stationed on Earth. While Co-Oping with the International Space Station‘s Mission Control this summer I learned about communication, more specifically brutal honesty. Embarrassingly, I learned how to be the shameful sap who owns up for not getting their work done in a group project.

People sitting at big desks with many computer screens

Sitting console in International Space Station Mission Control.

Operating a space station requires trusting a lot of people to contribute their parts. Space travel, humanity’s greatest group project. When someone doesn’t contribute to a college group project your group’s grade suffers, or at least the slacker’s grade does. When someone doesn’t contribute to flying the Space Station worse things happen; maybe a light bulb isn’t replaced, maybe something gets thrown away that shouldn’t, or maybe the station deorbits? Mission Control has a reliable way of reassigning responsibilities if someone is unable to get the job done it is handed off to someone else. The key to reassigning work is letting your flight team lead know you can’t complete the work.

This summer I failed to communicate that I could not get one of my tasks done. Fortunately, it was not a task involved with real-time space operations. Yet, it was a task assigned to me that my mentors expected me to complete. Although my reasons for not getting it done were very valid, fearing to admit the brutal honesty that I could not get it done prevented my mentors from receiving the information they needed. If I had owned up to not being able to complete a project sooner it could have been assigned to a different intern. Unfortunately, the task simply didn’t get done at all.

At the conclusion of my Mission Control Co-Op I asked, “what more is there to learn?” At least I am equipped with the confidence that brutal honesty is better than hiding a failure. Don’t be THAT PERSON in your group projects of life.

Read Kirsi’s other posts

Photo Sources: Unsplash | NASA; Kirsi

 

Tips From Job Fair Recruiters

By: Kirsi

Typically I attend a job fair in a tizzy to find a summer internship. With a summer position already locked down, I was able to navigate the job fair in a calmer manner and get a unique perspective. At UMD’s E-Fest Job & Internship Fair, I asked recruiters from various engineering and tech companies for advice for students attending job fairs. They shared wisdom about communicating with recruiters and how to polish your resume.

layered pieces of white paper with the large text of "Tips from job fair recruiters"

Recruiter Communication Tips from Employers

Maintain good posture. Body language makes a difference.

Know why you are interested in the company. Do your research. Avoid canned compliments such as, “I’ve heard good things about you.”

Approach the employers like you are having a conversation rather than giving a speech.

Let your interests and personality shine. We look for the whole person.

Talk with companies even if you are not sure if they have any openings for your major. You may be surprised about what they need and what you can offer them.

Prepare an elevator speech. Give your name, major, what position you are looking for, and why you are interested in the organization.

Several students walking around dressed professionally

Resume Tips from Employers

Layout your resume in an organized chronological manner. Make your major clear on your resume.

Present your resume confidently when you introduce yourself. Don’t hide it!

Share your experiences effectively without being too wordy.

Show what clubs you got involved in on your resume. It helps to demonstrate that you have initiative and hands-on experience.

Of Possible Interest:

Read Kirsi’s other posts

Graphic Source: Unsplash | Brandi Redd
Photo Source: UMD Career & Internship Services

Lessons Learned from Transferring to UMD

By: Eva

Hello, my name is Eva. I started college in 2013, and at this point in time, I have credits from four different colleges and universities. Right now I am working on a Bachelors in Anthropology, but I was enrolled at various points throughout college for Business, Nursing, Biology, English, and Medical Lab Technician. Although it’s meant graduating later than most people my age I am honestly very grateful for the experiences I have accumulated. Here are a few pieces of advice for transfer students…

Keep the paper syllabus!
We all know that the first class of the semester is usually a waste of time, but if anything, go just for the hard copy of the syllabus. Many instructors do have their syllabi online, but if the link is broken, the syllabus has changed since you took the class, or if the instructor or class is no longer at the institution, it will be WAY more difficult to find.

Be ready to defend your education.
I almost had an American History class not transfer to UMD. I talked with the professor at UMD, the History Department head, and the CLA office. I filled out two petitions and sent well over two dozen emails and rang about five different phones. I was super duper polite and considerate the entire time, which worked to my benefit later. I almost think I got so annoying they wanted to get rid of me and allowed the class to count towards my minor. Although it took a lot of time it was worth the time and money in the long run.

Lessons learned from transferring to UMD. Book stack.

Recognize if you’re chasing the wrong career.
Before I transferred to UMD for Anthropology I tried to transfer for a Biology BA. All the biology, chemistry, and anatomy classes I had taken as core classes at LSC only counted as elective credits at UMD. It would take another three years to graduate if I stuck with biology and I was already burned out from trying to make my brain work with numbers and formulas instead of words and ideas. My utter despair at the idea of spending six more semesters in laboratories and blinking through dry biology textbooks helped me realize that what I wanted was not what I was good at.

Double and triple check the classes you’re taking will transfer.
Although it all worked out, I was pretty peeved when my LSC biology courses weren’t considered equivalent to UMD’s. I had been told that they would transfer just fine and that they would be protected because they were part of the MNTC and my Associate’s degree. Just because an advisor says the credits transfer does not mean the system will allow them to transfer. Talk with the other institution to make sure you’re putting your time and money in the right place before you sign up for classes. Make sure to get your answers in writing with an official signature or email.

Ask for help.
I’ve cried in three different staff offices at UMD as I asked what are my options during the transfer process. I cry at the drop of a hat, but all of the staff were incredibly kind and offered me many tissues as I apologized for my overactive tear glands. When we’re in stressful situations we often tend to clam up and protect ourselves. It can be scary to reach out to people in unfamiliar settings but I learned pretty quick that the staff at UMD are there because they want to help students succeed. Even if I talked to the wrong person for my question, that person usually knew someone else with a better answer.

I had one main person who I would email and call on a regular basis. Because she was familiar with my situation she was able to connect me with the people and resources I needed, and I knew I could trust her to help me out.

All in all, even the process of transferring was part of my education. I learned a lot of life lessons by running into obstacles, replotting my educational career, and navigating large and small university systems. I hope that these tips are useful for transfer students, whether you are coming or leaving UMD.

Of Possible Interest: 

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Photo Source: Unsplash | Sharon McCutcheon

Life Lessons in Anthropology

By: Eva

When I tell people I am an Anthropology major their first comment is always “Oh, so you learn about dinosaurs?”

Not that dinosaurs aren’t cool, but anthropologists learn a lot more than just how to identify fossils. We learn a lot about ourselves, too.

My emotions are valid.
Anthropology has several different fields, and I focus on cultural anthropology. This means I study what people say, what people do, and what people say they do. To understand all of this involves a lot of talking and interacting with people and recording all of it, and this includes my personal reaction. In a way, anthropologists have to study their own emotions when they’re in the field with just as much care they would give to the people they are working with. In-depth self-reflection has become very important for anthropologists in the last few decades to make sure that the safety and well-being of every participant is looked after. I think this self-study, combined with gentleness and patience, is important for everyone.

Life lessons learned through Anthropology; water surface

Everyone has biases.
Anthropology is a science, but it’s not the kind where you can throw all the data into an algorithm and have it figured out. There is simply too much “humanness” for that to work. Before I switched to Anthropology from Biology I associated bias with weakness. After all, how can you have bias when balancing a chemistry formula? My Anth classes have strongly emphasized the fact that we all have biases and that it is important to acknowledge them, and that bias is not inherently bad. When you do this, you can see how you may have influenced a situation or why you may have reacted in a certain way. This opened my eyes to better understand myself and the people around me and helped me gain more empathy.

Everyone is interesting.
Everyone has cool stories. They just need to be asked. We tend to think that we’re not that interesting because we don’t have a 4.0, don’t have plans to become the next Malala or Obama, or aren’t going into a career that will make millions. But to be honest, that’s most people, including myself. Anthropology has taught me to celebrate the everyday experiences of everyday people. If most people know what it’s like to feel a certain way or experience a certain thing, then those ordinary stories also have the answers for a lot of the worlds’ problems. It just takes someone who wants to listen and find out what those answers are.

Of Possible Interest: 

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Photo Source: Unsplash | Tyler Yarbrough