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: 

Read PJay’s other posts

Photo Source: UMD

Job Search Tips – Part 2

By: Ellen (Career Counselor & guest blogger)

Here’s part two of the job search tips we sent out during the summer on our Twitter account. I should explain this briefly. We frequently send out job search related content on our Twitter account. This was a concentrated effort (with a hashtag & everything) to share a #JobSearchTip every day that we were sending out content on Twitter. If you haven’t checked out part 1 yet, do so.

Job Search Tips

I thought it would be helpful to have all those tips in one (or two) places. Today, I’m sharing all of the job search tips that we tweeted out during July. Even if it’s not July, these tips can be helpful for whenever you’re conducting a job search.

Bullet Journal Job Search Habit Tracker

There you have it. So many job search tips in one place. Go forth and conquer the job search process!

Of Possible Interest: 

Start on the Right Foot

We are rapidly approaching the beginning of the academic year. Freshmen move in tomorrow AND classes start August 28th! We’ve put together a mini to-do list for career-related items that ought to be completed by the end of the September (or earlier). Here’s a full breakdown of career-related items you can be working on during each year of your college career.

Start the school year off right

Freshmen:

  • Come find us! We’re located in Solon Campus Center 22 (aka: The Wedge). You can also find us online at any, and all, of these locations: websiteFacebookTwitter, InstagramLinkedIn, and Pinterest. I’d list our blog, too, but if you’re reading this, you’ve already found our blog. Kudos to you!
  • Get involved on-campus – in something. This could be a student organization, your residence hall, working on-campus, and much more.
  • Start your resume…even if it just has your HS involvement, the fact that you’re now a UMD student, and any jobs you may have had up until now.

Sophomores:

  • Research careers related to your major. Check out the Follow-up of Majors, from our Graduate Follow-up Report, to see where recent UMD grads have landed jobs right out of college (with YOUR major!).
  • If you haven’t decided or declared your major yet, you can take one of our career assessments (Strong Interest Inventory, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and StrengthsQuest).
  • Get involved in something on-campus. Build your resume so you’re ready for whatever opportunities may come your way in future years. If you’re already involved in something, see how you can increase your involvement. This could be a leadership role, more responsibility, etc.

Juniors:

  • Update and polish your resume.
  • Prep for upcoming job & internship fairs (E-Fest for Engineering, Computer Science, & Science is Sept 13, Head of the Lakes Job & Internship Fair is Oct 5, and the Government & Non-Profit Career Fair is Oct 20).
  • Consider possible internship sites.

Seniors:

Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash

Job Search Tips – Part 1

By: Ellen (Career Counselor & guest blogger)

This summer we sent out job search tips during June and July on our Twitter account. I should explain this briefly. We frequently send out job search related content on our Twitter account. This was a concentrated effort (with a hashtag & everything) to share a #JobSearchTip every day that we were sending out content on Twitter.

Now that summer is winding down, I thought it would be helpful to have all those tips in one (or two) places. Today, I’m sharing all of the job search tips that we tweeted out during June. Even if it’s not June, these tips can be helpful for whenever you’re conducting a job search.

Job Search Tips

  • Set up job search alerts on the different job search sites you’re using.
  • Don’t job search from your couch. Go somewhere. Treat searching for a job, like a job.
  • Use GoldPASS as part of your search strategy – all you need is your UMD login info.
  • Do different job search related tasks throughout the day. Don’t spend all your time just surfing 1 job search site.
  • Research different career paths that go with your degree. This could introduce pathways you haven’t considered yet.
  • When applying for out-of-state jobs, make a point to include on your resume and/or cover letter your reasoning or plans to relocate.
  • Use social media to your advantage in your job search.
  • Attend local networking events and/or join young professionals groups. Meet the people instead of always being a number in the online system.
  • When you have an interview ALWAYS bring a printed copy of your resume for your interviewer.
  • Follow companies you’re interested in, on social media. See how they interact with customers.
  • Use the skills listed in the “qualifications” section of a job posting to help you figure out what to highlight on your resume.
  • Applying for jobs and getting no response? Your application materials potentially could use some work.
  • Google job search tips & tricks to guarantee better results. Via: YouTern
  • Have a disability you’re not quite sure if, how, or when you want to disclose it in the search process? Tips: on our blog.
  • Check out our Ace the Job Search Pinterest board for numerous articles/resources to help w/your search.

Ace the Job Search Pinterest board screenshot

Stay tuned for tips we sent out in July.

Game of Thrones Characters Choose Careers

By: Kirsi (a major Game of Thrones fan)

If a Game of Thrones character walked into Career and Internship Services… What kinds of questions would they ask? Would they come in with a plan of action? Or be completely bamboozled?

Tyrion Lannister Game of Thrones

Tyrion Lannister
Despite confidence he could land an internship by sweet talking recruiters without even practicing an elevator speech, Tyrion decided to make use of all available resources and seek professional career advice. Tyrion strutted into SCC 22 with a battle plan – draft of a resume, draft of a cover letter and a couple of positions he wanted to apply for. Among the desired positions included a Pathways Internship with the Department of Defense, a summer internship with the NSA (National Security Agency) and a semester long opportunity at the White House. Tyrion picked a Peer Educator’s brain, finding ways to reword his accomplishments and best communicate his qualifications.

Daenerys Targaryen Game of Thrones

Daenerys Targaryen
Slamming her hands on our welcome desk Daenerys demanded an internship. Surprised that the … enthusiasm… was coming from a student and not a parent, a Peer Educator explained that students have to pick out desired opportunities and the office helps with the application process. Daenerys understood that landing an internship would set her on the path to victory to rule the Seven Kingdoms, whatever that means, but did not know what industry she would fit best in. A Peer Educator set her up with career assessments; StrengthsQuest, Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), and the Strong Interest Inventory. After discussing results with a Career Counselor, Daenerys found her top strength is “Activator”, she identifies as an INFP (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Perceiving) through the MBTI, and she would be good at circuit speaking and political campaign interning.

John Snow Game of Thrones

John Snow
John is the comeback kid of our office. He has been rejected from career opportunities after online applications, interviews, and cold calling but does not lose hope. John Snow first came into the SCC 22 knowing nothing except that he wanted to work in cooler climates, like Antarctica or Alaska. After scheduling an appointment and meeting with a career counselor, John found a great research opportunity studying ice cores with the United States Antarctica Program, job openings for students in Alaska, and plans to talk to UMD’s Study Abroad Office about a semester in Europe.

Cersei Lannister Game of Thrones

Cersei Lannister
Sitting on a throne of academic awards, A+ essays and a senior design project Cersei asks “Now what?”. She, unfortunately, waited until her senior year to visit Career and Internship Services. Although it is ideal to stop in SCC 22 as early as freshman year it is not too late for Cersei to take complete control of her future! Fortunately during her years at UMD Cersei was involved in student organizations such as Greek life, and Industrial/Organizational Psychology Club, Political Science Association, Socratic Society and rugby to enhance her resume. A Peer Educator showed Cersei how to use GoldPASS, a portal of job postings especially catered for University of Minnesota schools students. After her resume was approved Cersei found dozens of jobs she was qualified for.

Samwell Tarly Game of Thrones

Samwell Tarly
Shy yet armed with tons of knowledge Sam sought interviewing help in preparation for the Fall E-Fest Job and Internship Fair. Sam wants to intern at an engineering firm next summer, familiarize himself with popular interview questions and curb his social awkwardness. A Peer Educator shared helpful interview tips with Sam and showed him how to use InterviewStream, an online interview practice tool. Sam quickly became conscious about the number of “um”s he uses.

Photos by HBO, Paul Schiraldi and Sloan Helen from “Game of Thrones”

Read Krisi’s other posts

Proper Email Etiquette

By: McKenzie

The official form of communication between students and the University of Minnesota Duluth is email. The emails that you sent in high school to your teachers and peers may not cut it here because in the professional world email etiquette is essential.

Make the subject line clear and concise
Anyone receiving your email is going to judge it by the subject line. A lengthy, cluttered subject line has already lost the attention of the recipient before they have even begun reading your email. Keep it short and sweet.

Address the email recipient
When you directly address the email recipient they will know the email was intended for them. Doing this also engages their attention because they know you expect a response from them personally and prompts them to respond more hastily.

Keep it short
Generally speaking, most people don’t have a lot of time in their days. Keeping emails short allows you to quickly engage them before their mind wanders to the other tasks they need to complete. A lengthy email will likely get skimmed and disregarded.

Proper email etiquette

Appropriate salutations
Always consider your recipient. While your friend may expect you to end the email with your typical, “Peace out,” your employer may expect something more formal. There are very few office environments where you wouldn’t speak to your boss professionally, and even in those environments it may still be best to end the email formally.

Include a signature
At the end of an email you should include your signature. While some prefer to write this out, yours may be too long to write out every time. Luckily through your email provider you can program and save a signature that will automatically appear at the end of an email. Not only will this save you time, but you’ll also keep peace of mind knowing that all your information is correct.

Maintain formality
It never hurts to be too formal. Regardless of who the email recipient is, it is always better to be overly formal instead of informal because the email shapes the way the recipient perceives you. If the recipient responds and tells you that you can be more relaxed that is better than being told that you aren’t taking the conversation seriously.

Bonus tip
Don’t respond to an email while angry. If a situation is upsetting to you, take a few moments (or a day) before you respond. Stepping away from your email allows you to process the situation and formulate a more emotionally even response. Having someone else read your response before you send it can also help you keep emotions in check. Communicating in writing is very different than in-person and we don’t want you to inadvertently burn any bridges.

Read McKenzie’s other posts

Photo source: Unsplash | Alex Knight

What is Career & Internship Services Tabling?

By: Willow

One of the things I get to do a lot with my job at Career & Internship Services is help out when we table at events. We table at tons of different events: major/minor fairs, prospective student events, things of that nature. When I am tabling, I talk to people about all the great things we do at Career & Internship Services. 

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So what are those things?

We have a very extensive Graduate Follow-up Report and it is a great resource, especially for students in their first couple years of school. Looking at the Graduate Follow-up Report you can see how many people in each major have a job related to their major, studied abroad, had an internship, and so much more. You can see the average income of a major, and even get a full list of jobs people have gotten within a year of graduating UMD. Our Graduate Follow-up Report is a really wonderful way to explore different majors and what you can do with them.

At Career & Internship Services, we also do a lot to personally help students pick a major.When I say personally, I mean one on one, with a real person. We have several very qualified counselors who will talk with you and work through any questions and problems helping you to find the major that is best for you.

A common question we get while tabling is “what kind of internships do you have?” None. We don’t have internships. What we do have are ways to help you get the tools to get any internship you want. We also host job and internship fairs to help you find those opportunities. Essentially, we don’t give you the fish, we teach you to fish. We’re very philosophical like that.

We also talk about the top reasons freshmen visit our office, especially at prospective student events. When tabling, we also generally have at least one student, who works in the office, present. The students can talk about their experiences in their majors and the time they’ve been at UMD. We also get a lot of questions about why we have a Pillsbury Doughboy on our table. The simple answer, we got it from an employer and think it’s fun. In reality, it’s a great conversational piece.

A big problem I see at UMD is the misconception that Career & Internship Services is only for seniors, or students that are looking for an internship at that moment. That is just not true. The earlier you start the better off you will be. Stop in anytime.

Read Willow’s other posts