Meet Eva

Eva headshot

Name: Eva
Major: Anthropology
Minor: History
Year in school: Senior
When I  started working at UMD Career & Internship Services: August 2017
Favorite place in Duluth: Lester Park and Amity Creek. There are dozens of trails and waterfalls
Favorite hobby: Reading books and figuring out how to use a DSLR camera

Best career advice I’ve received: Life is a continual process of challenge, growth, and accomplishment. “It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” – Ursula Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness.

Piece of career advice you have for other students: Try to not get too worried about making the perfect decision the first time around. It’s the general trajectory of your decisions that matter more than just one moment!

Tips For Surviving Junior Year

By: Heidi

For my last blog post of my Junior year of college, I thought a reflection would be fitting to wrap up the year. Junior year has by far been the most challenging year academically and also learning to balance everything as a whole.

I went from taking my lower division courses that weren’t really related to my major sophomore year, to jumping into upper division courses this year. I had no job my sophomore year and spent the majority of this past year working two. I hadn’t had any leadership roles freshman or sophomore year and ended up in three different leadership positions in student organizations and eventually had to close the chapter to one of them.

It has been a year of balance or trying to figure it out, to say the least.

Tips for surviving Junior year

Take care of yourself. Not just self-care every once in awhile, but every day. Self-care comes in different forms for everyone but find what works best for you.

Small chunks consistently. It’s a lot easier to accomplish a task if you work on it in chunks rather than trying to study or work on a project for 8 hours straight. Honestly, within an hour or two you’re going to find yourself distracted and won’t be able to focus to the best of your abilities. It’s not easy to plan ahead but it will save you a lot of stress in the long run.

Snacks!! They will get you through the long days. There are a few vital things I have learned to keep on me throughout the year. My go-to’s have been oven roasted dark chocolate almonds (brain food), green tea (perfect amount of caffeine for a midday pick me up), and a pack of gum (just necessary). No matter what your snack of choice is, it will help keep you fueled so instead of thinking about how hungry you are, you are able to focus and get the job done.

Take advantage of the opportunities campus has to offer. Whether it’s job fairs, on-campus interviews with recruiters, info sessions, or special guest speakers, make an effort to not only attend but be active and engaged in these events. The campus puts on a lot of stuff for students, so use it to your benefit!

Relax. The responsibilities are endless. It’s ok to take breaks, it’s ok to go see that new movie, it’s ok to just hang out with friends and do nothing. There will always be something to do and something you could do. This goes right along with taking care of yourself. One of the benefits I have learned from this is that taking time away from homework allows me to collect my thoughts and come up with new and often better ideas. This goes right into my next point.

Exercise! The idea of it may be grueling, but find some form of fitness or way to get your body moving! We all know there are many benefits to exercising, and some are more important to certain people than others. One of my favorite things I have discovered is that working out really helps me process my thoughts and work through my emotions. I have toyed with exercising in the morning before school but what I have ultimately found is that after school or evening workouts not only work better for my schedule but my well-being as it helps manage minor stresses I may encounter on a day-to-day basis.

Whether you’re graduating, or finishing up your freshman year of college, take some time to reflect on your experience. What went well, where can you make improvements, and how you can implement these skills and ideas into your future. Reflect now and be prepared for the future.

Of Possible Interest: 

Read Heidi’s other posts

Photo source: Unsplash | Denys Nevozhai

Undergraduate Reflections

By: Tony

As the last weeks of my time as an undergraduate student at UMD approach, I wish to take this time to reflect on these past four years and talk about my successes and a few of my regrets.

Freshman

My plan coming into UMD was this: I would give it a shot here, and if I didn’t like it, I could easily transfer to the Twin Cities campus and be closer to home. Clearly, that did not happen. Instead, I quickly found myself deeply involved with the Latinx/Chicanx Student Association (Then called Latino/Chicana Student Association) and became fast friends with all of its members. A few weeks later, I ran for the Freshman Representative position on the Executive Board and was elected. That was the beginning of my involvement as a student leader on campus. Like most other freshmen, I had no idea what I was doing, and I got lost more often than I would like to admit. Luckily, by the time spring semester came around, I had a decent knowledge of the layout of UMD, and I knew the basics of how to get through college successfully. That year, I also began texting with a girl who went to school in Mankato with a few of my friends from back home. I also lived on-campus and had a meal plan, and so my immediate expenses were so low that I did not see a need to get a job. In hindsight, I wish I would have had the foresight to work a bit and be able to save up the money.

3 students sitting at table

Tony, Emilie, & Eva in the Career Resource Center

Sophomore

My sophomore year was rather uneventful compared to the previous one. I served as a red RockStar during Bulldog Welcome Week, and that was an amazing experience that resulted in me losing my voice for a few days after yelling for several days straight. Outside of that and a few tours facilitated by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, I did not get much experience with being a student leader during my sophomore year. Luckily, that was compensated with better grades than I earned the year before, although that could easily be chalked up to having more experience with college classes in general. I also grew deeper friendships with my peers in LCSA and the Multicultural Center as a whole. Even though I was not an official student leader in the MC, my efforts to benefit marginalized students was recognized, and I was nominated and ultimately selected to serve as the Diversity and Inclusion Director for Student Association (student government) the following year. Additionally, I ran for a position on LCSA’s Executive Board for the following year and I got that position as well. That summer, I moved in with a few of my friends from LCSA to an off-campus house. Although I faced a lot more immediate expenses, with rent and utilities, I am actually paying considerably less out-of-pocket now than I would be paying through scholarships and student loans if I still lived on campus. Plus, having my own room is really nice. Much like the year before, I have regrets of not having the foresight to put myself in a better financial situation. I wish I had searched for a job and applied for scholarships outside of UMD.

Student at job fair

Tony at the UMN Job & Internship Fair

Junior

For the second time, I had the honor of serving as a RockStar during Bulldog Welcome Week. Early on in the semester, I also began dating the girl whom my friends in Mankato introduced to me during freshman year, so my year got off to a very good start. Holding leadership positions within both LCSA and SA were both amazing experiences that allowed me to further my advocacy and leadership skills. During the spring semester, I began working for Career and Internship Services as a Peer Educator. Serving as a Peer Educator has given me the opportunity to serve my fellow students in a new capacity. It has given me the chance to advise them on how to present themselves in the best way possible and how to better understand the qualities they have that will serve them well in their academic and professional lives. One thing I do regret from this year is not putting forward the effort to figure out if I could add a sociology major and still graduate on time. I kept thinking about asking, but I never actually did it.

Team of student presenters

Kyliah, Meg, Joel, Sherrill, & Tony presenting at UMD’s Summit on Equity, Race, & Ethnicity

Senior

For the third and final time, I served as a RockStar during Welcome Week. Naturally, this year has been full of doing things for the final time. A great deal of my time has been spent planning for my future and figuring out what I will do once graduation comes around. In the Fall semester, I studied for and took the GRE, a standardized test very similar to the ACT that most graduate schools want to see the scores from. At the same time, I also began looking at graduate schools back home in the Twin Cities, where I planned on living after graduation. Spring semester has entailed applying to those schools and looking for employment for the summer and more long-term. All of this, in addition to finishing strong with my classes, has been quite stressful over the past few weeks, but the support from my job, family, friends, and especially my girlfriend, has been amazing and is getting me through it. I have enjoyed the past four years here at UMD, and although I have had some regrets along the way, all the positive experiences and great lessons have greatly outweighed them. I’m definitely going to miss it here.

Read Tony’s other posts

Meet Tony

Tony headshot

Name: Tony
Major: Political Science
Minor: Sociology
Year in school: Senior
When I  started working at UMD Career & Internship Services: February 2017
Favorite place in Duluth: Enger Tower
Favorite hobby: Reading by the lake

Best career advice I’ve received: There’s no comfort in the Growth Zone and no growth in the Comfort Zone

Piece of career advice you have for other students: There’s very little that you have to do alone in life, ask for help if you need it.

Meet Heidi

Heidi headshot

Name: Heidi
Major: Marketing
Minor: Communication
Year in school: Junior
When I  started working at UMD Career & Internship Services: August 2017
Favorite place in Duluth: Park Point Beach, especially during the summer!
Favorite hobby: Dance Fitness

Best career advice I’ve received: “Learn to trust your own brilliance, go with your gut, and believe that you have something uniquely amazing to deliver to this world – because you do.” ~ Cara Alwill Leyba

Piece of career advice you have for other students:
Make the effort to get involved on campus. There is so much to learn from other students and you never know the awesome friendships you can build from becoming involved. There are so many recourses that campus has to offer so take advantage of them!

Logan’s Final Thoughts

By: Logan

Editor’s note: This is Logan’s final (tears!) post as a consistent author on the blog. He wrote this up about a month ago as school was ending for the semester. Enjoy!

I have finally made it. I am sitting here on the Thursday of Finals Week, done with college forever. It really is a bittersweet feeling. I have had so many great memories and so much fun, but I am also extremely excited to move on to the next phase of my life. This past week I have been thinking about the last four years and just how much I have learned, as well as how much I have changed. When I first started college I had no idea where I would be in four years, and I couldn’t be happier with the result.

Flashback to me as a freshman, wide-eyed and eager to learn. I began as an Exercise Science major and wasn’t sure what I really wanted to do. It is interesting to see I ended up going a completely different way with my career. My major changed to psychology and I declared a minor in sociology. As far as my field of work I will be working for a transportation company in their operations department. Four years ago I probably could not have even imagined myself doing something like this, but we change a lot in four years.

Personality wise, I believe I have changed a lot as well. As a freshman, I was far more concerned with my activities and organizations than I was with my academic and work life. It seemed like meeting new people and enjoying myself was the main concern. This isn’t all bad, I met a lot of people and made a lot of connections, which is important. As time went along, my focus shifted to my schoolwork and work performance. My GPA rose, and I put more time and effort into my work. I learned many skills on how to present myself professionally and about business etiquette, and I have the counselors at Career and Internship Services to thank for that. I believe when I first came into college I was much more carefree. I am still a relaxed person overall, but I understand I need to get things done in a timely manner before engaging in social activities.

Over these last few years, I feel like I have grown a strong social network, which I am quite proud of. I gained a lot of connections while I was in a fraternity for 3 semesters, I met a lot of students and staff through my work at Career and Internship Services, and I met a lot of great friends just by trying out new friend groups and not limiting myself. I am glad I interacted with so many people because once I leave this place I want people to remember me.

I think this is the most important thing I have learned in college. Sometimes when we start school we believe we must have everything planned out. We think we need to have a set major and career path declared as soon as possible. I have learned this is not how it works. College is a learning experience and you will not know what you like until you try it. I think some of my best decisions have been when I have went out of my comfort zone and tried new things and I have many examples of this. A large contributor to declaring psych as my major was trying out random psychology electives. I knew nothing about psych, but I tried something new and loved it. Do not limit yourself, try things you never expected yourself to try!

I think we all change a bit in college. We get to find out who we really are and what we like. This is one thing I have learned about myself. In high school, I felt like I had to act like who everyone wanted me to be. In college, I have realized you can honestly be yourself and you do not have to care about what other people think. College is far less judgmental and there is really a place for everyone. So go out of your comfort zone, be yourself, and enjoy your college years because, sadly, it doesn’t last forever.

Read Logan’s other posts

Meet McKenzie

mckenzie-f16-web

Hey, I’m McKenzie and I am a double major in Cultural Entrepreneurship and Hispanic Studies. After this semester I will have completed my sophomore year at UMD. I moved to Duluth in Fall of 2015 and I found my favorite place soon after moving here my freshman year. There is a spot on the rocks near Lake Superior that is a bit of a hike, but well worth it. During the day you can dip your feet into the water and during the night you can set up a fire and gaze at the stars. I enjoy going into the woods and exploring new areas. I like to take my friends along with me since it is a great bonding experience when you discover new places together. I began working at Career and Internship Services Fall 2016, and it has been an amazing experience. Some of the best career advice that I have ever received was when I was told, “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” My advice to peers about careers is an addition to the best career advice I have ever received. My advice is that our lives and the things that we love are constantly evolving, therefore our paths do not remain fixed, so always be open to opportunities and dabble with the ideas that grasp your curiosity.