Summer Job Searching, Had Me a Blast

By: Cassie

Okay, so I know it’s only March, but if you take a minute to think about it you realize that we only have April and then the first week of May and then BOOM summer is going to be here before you know it! When I think of summer I think of lying on a sandy beach and being able to relax. WELL, I am here to remind you (and myself) that you should probably start looking for a summer job. I know, it sounds like the last thing you actually want to do, BUT you have to realize that if you don’t start looking now, your options may be very limited! But not to worry, I am here to tell you all the great options for finding something to do this summer!

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Internships

If you’ve read any of my recent posts, you know about my recent struggle in the world of internships. If you would like an internship I would recommend looking now! The summer is a great time to do an internship! A great way to find internships is through networking and personal connections. If you can’t find an internship this way there are resources on the C&IS website like Glassdoor or GoldPASS and there is even a list of resources specifically for interning! Some of these include the best places to intern or summer research opportunities for graduates!

Volunteering

If you are looking for experience in your field, but aren’t quite ready or don’t fully want to commit to an internship, then volunteering is a great option for you! Volunteering allows you to gain experience and it also gives you the flexibility to figure out what you really want from an internship experience. It also can be really eye opening in terms of deciding whether your field is the right field for you. There are so many places you can volunteer. For example, I have volunteered at a hospital and you wouldn’t believe how many different areas you can volunteer in. If you look on our website there are links to multiple volunteer sites. Even if you aren’t interested at volunteering with any of those organizations, it might spark some ideas about where you can really start looking for a volunteering position. Another resource to help in your search for volunteering is VolunteerMatch. The great thing about volunteering is that you can volunteer as much or as little as you want with as many organizations as you want, even if you have another job or commitments.

Summer Jobs

If you aren’t ready to commit to an internship or if you don’t really think you want to volunteer, then a regular summer job is a great too! There are so many seasonal, part-time, and even full-time jobs you can get during the summer. You can find a job where you can work outside; examples of these are working at a golf course or being a nanny. You can also take the route of working in a nice air-conditioned place, like an office as a secretary or in a retail store at the mall. There are a lot of options out there, but I recommend you start looking now! Most places are willing to be flexible with interviews with college students if you want to live at home during the summer. Another option is staying in the campus area and finding a job around here for this summer. There are so many options out there and you just need to find out what the best fit is for you!

Good luck on finding something to do for this summer, and if you need help, or aren’t exactly sure what you want to do, you are always welcome in C&IS and we can help you find the best option for you! Also remember that it is never too early to start looking! So maybe before buying that swimsuit you desperately want off of your favorite store’s website, tune up your resume first so you can get that summer dream job!

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Ready! (Or Not?) Internships Here I Come!

By: Cassie

Did you read my last post? If you did great! If you didn’t, don’t worry. I get it, you’re busy and I’ll try to not be too hurt. If you still don’t want to go read it, I’ll give you a brief synopsis of what it said. I talked about the incredible pressure we as college students feel to get internships. I also talked about the steps you can take to get yourself on the right track towards what the best internship strategy is for you. Well today, I am back to tell you I started on my track and it was the most beneficial thing I could have done for myself, and I now I’ll tell you why.

Internship Ready or Not

I had no idea what I wanted to do. I also knew that I was running out of time to get an internship as summer is fast approaching and I knew everyone else has probably been out there looking for internships for at least a month or more by this point. I had my mom emailing me like 10 internship listings a day in fields I wasn’t even interested in. Some people may like finance (and kudos to them) but honestly the thought of doing a financial internship all summer made me cringe. Having a major in Health Care Management, my field is so broad that I didn’t even know what area I wanted to go into for my internship. I could do HR, PR, finance, accounting, medical records, shadowing, and honestly, so much more. Finally, I just took the time and made an appointment with a counselor in C&IS and it was the most helpful thing I could have done.

Now, I know you probably might be thinking “well she works for C&IS so she probably is just trying to promote them” and I want you to know that is not the case. Yes, I LOVE my office and I love the things they can do to help students, but this is not just a ploy to get you to stop by and visit. I sat down with a counselor and talked about all the things that I was worried about in an internship. Then she did something super important and asked me what my biggest concern was. After a minute I realized that it was that I was stressing myself out about things that I didn’t quite need to worry about yet. I am only a sophomore and I haven’t started my upper division classes yet, which most employers will look at when you apply for an internship. I also can build my work experience this summer by volunteering or finding a less stressful hospital position like working in a gift shop or shadowing for a day. You can never have too many things to put on a resume, and no one has ever thought that gaining experience in your field of interest is a bad thing. By not getting an internship this summer I have time to think about what I really want to gain from an internship for next year. All in all I learned there are so many other things I can do before I take the huge leap into the internship world.

I know this post is a lot about me, but overall I hope you took something from my experience. It is not always the time for an internship. It is OKAY to not be ready and it is OKAY to wait until you are. That doesn’t mean that you should give up on internships entirely. Look for other ways to gain experience or take the time to learn what YOU really want. So don’t listen to your parents, or your friends who have internships. You need to listen to yourself and know what is best for you right here and right now. If you don’t know what is best for you, that’s okay too! I didn’t know until I sat down and talked about it, so maybe that’s what you need to do too! There are so many people who are willing to help you and you just need to take that first step!

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Photo Source: Unsplash | Negative Space

Under Pressure: Internship Edition

By: Cassie

When you hear the word internship what is the first thing that you do? Do you think about all the positive things that can happen from getting one and gaining experience? Do you get excited about going through the application and hiring process? Well, for me, and I’m sure for a lot of you out there, that is not what you are thinking about at all. Personally, when I think about internships I start to break out in a cold sweat and the initial panic begins. The pressure to get an internship is something that is very prevalent and it’s something that does not get talked about enough. Searching for internships is time consuming, stressful, and confusing, and I’m here today to tell you that if you’re stressed out about your internship search, you are not alone.

Under Pressure Internship

One of the things that can be the most stressful about finding an internship is the constant feeling of someone breathing down your neck. Some majors have an internship built into their curriculum so you have to obtain one to graduate. So, that means at some point you are going to have to get one, no questions asked. Then your professors tell you how beneficial they are, they will stand in front of the class and tell you stories from their own internship experience. Let’s top that off with constant emails from people higher up about internship opportunities that are opening up and how you should compete with a large pool of fellow students when you apply. Then to make it extra special you have your mom and dad sending you email links to internship applications and telling you, you need to get it together. Now, some of that might not be true for you, but even if you are experiencing some of these you are sitting in the pressure cooker that is the search for internships. As college students we have a lot of things going on. We have our classes, clubs, jobs, social lives, and, when we have the time, we like to sleep. So, it is honestly hard to find the time to look through the “hidden job market” to find an internship we qualify for or that relates to our major or interests. Then, when you have people consistently telling you how important they are, you feel like you HAVE to start searching for them and add another thing on your already full plate. It’s exhausting.

Now, let’s talk about why the internship process is so time consuming. The first part is searching for the internship, which is not as easy as you would ever think it would be. You have to make professional and personal connections because by knowing more people there is a larger chance you will know somebody who can help you find a position somewhere. Don’t have any connections or don’t have any connections who can help? Go to the job fairs and find companies you are interested in. Still don’t have connections? Then you have to scour the Internet and hope that you find something that interests you. If you don’t know exactly what you want out of an internship it can be SO hard to know what you’re looking for. If you have a major that is not specific or is hard to find an internship for, then it is so hard to know what you want out of your internship experience. Say you do find an internship that really interests you, you then have to tune up your resume and cover letter. Thankfully, we have a lot of people at C&IS who can help you through this process, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not time consuming. Next you submit your application and you have to wait and stress about whether you are going to be given an interview or not. Then you have to prepare for said interview, which C&IS can also help you with. You have to do a lot on your own, but there are people to help you as well. And let me tell you, they LOVE to help you. It’s what they’re here for!

I am not trying to scare you about internships, they are very rewarding and insightful experiences that everyone really should have. I just wanted to take the time to tell you that if you are scared, or if you feel pressure, or you have a lot of questions, you aren’t alone! We, as college students, are all going through a similar experience and we should be able to openly talk about our fears and stressors. Internships are a huge deal and there are so many people who want to help you through this process, you just have to be proactive in your experience to get the most out of it. I hope now the next time you talk about internships you don’t break out in a cold sweat, or if you do, that’s okay. Just remember that there is help and that you can do this!

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Photo source: Unsplash|Skyler Smith

Trust Me, There’s a Club for That

By: Cassie

What is the one thing that you remember most about touring colleges? Was it the size of the dorms? Was it the food served in the dining hall? Was it that the school had the program that you really wanted to be accepted to? Well for me it was all summed up into just two simple words, GET INVOLVED. Every college I went to and every tour guide I talked to talked about the advantages of involving yourself in clubs and activities on campus. By the end of my college hunt I felt like I knew every club at every school and I felt like I was the fountain of “get involved” knowledge, so to speak. Well, when I finally got here I didn’t use my so-called “knowledge” like I should have.

There's a club

During my freshman year, I told myself that I would put myself out there and get involved in everything I could. I went to the activities fairs and thought I knew what all my options were based on the information from the tours. Then when the time came to sign up for all these clubs, I just simply didn’t join. I couldn’t exactly pinpoint the reason that I wouldn’t push myself to get involved, but I think it was mostly that I made a lot of excuses for myself. Some of these included wanting to do well on my homework, being scared to meet new people, and overall just feeling dorky for joining something I had no previous friends in. The funny thing is, most of the time I just sat and did routine Netflix marathons and didn’t acknowledge my homework during that time. I also didn’t branch out and make new friends, I stuck with my high school friends and really I was kind of miserable. I wasn’t getting all the things that I thought I would be getting out of my freshman year. I saw everyone else with new friends and having the time of their lives, so this year I decided to make a change.

I am currently in my sophomore year, and this year I have involved myself in more ways than I can count. I have really immersed myself in the business school and the clubs that it offers because I think it is so important to get involved in clubs that relate to your major. I am currently in Women in Business and the Student Healthcare Management Association. They have taught me the value of putting yourself out there and getting yourself involved with people in the business field. This doesn’t just apply to business majors either; I cannot emphasize enough how important networking is for EVERY MAJOR. It is also great to get involved with clubs in your major or collegiate unit because you can get together and talk about your fears, struggles, and your future because they are all in the same boat as you and talking is one of the most beneficial things you can do! I also was recently accepted into a study abroad program through the business school and I am so excited to see all of the new opportunities it brings me.

I know I am just highlighting the clubs in the business school, but I promise you that your collegiate unit has a club too. In fact, they most likely have one for your major! If you don’t want to get involved with clubs in your major, there are SO many other clubs and activities that are out there for you to get involved in, you just have to be willing to find what you like! Don’t be like freshman year me and take your opportunities for granted! Though I never thought I would emphasize it this much, there is so much to be gained from GETTING INVOLVED.

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Photo source: Unsplash|Jeff Sheldon

MAJOR-ly Confused

By: Cassie

Majors, we all have them, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we all took the same path in choosing them. Some people are in their majors because they are following in someone’s footsteps. They were encouraged to be something and they are doing it to make someone proud. Some people choose their majors because they don’t know what else they could be doing. They feel stuck and they just want to get out of school in four years. There are those who choose their major based on what they love, they are so passionate and I envy these people for always knowing what they have wanted to do. Then there is me and because I don’t like to make things easy for myself I chose a path that is completely different from anything I just listed.

I never really knew what I wanted to be. When I was little I would tell my parents I wanted to be a seal feeder at the zoo because they got to see the seals everyday and I thought that was the coolest thing in the world. Then I wanted to be an archaeologist because of a period I had where I strictly watched the History Channel when I got home from school. Then for a while while I was a rebellious teenager I decided I was going to be a counselor so I could help other teens who were “misunderstood” even though I was just going through everyday high school issues. I thought about counseling for a while and I realized it was a great path, just not quite the right path for me. My major search came to a standstill and I didn’t know what I was going to do.

When I was in my junior year of high school, and had just started looking at colleges, I was fortunate enough to be able to go on a mission trip to Tanzania. During my trip I saw miraculous things I never thought I would be able to see, and there were a few that were my favorite. I got to see a hospital and an orphanage and they really spoke to me. I realized I wanted to make people’s lives better and what a hospital does is just that. I had volunteered at Region’s Hospital in St. Paul and loved it, but I never really thought I could make that a career, and my trip showed me I could go into health care.

Originally, I thought I could be a nurse, and then I sat down to think about it and didn’t know if I could handle all the blood, guts, and late nights. Then as I was looking through different programs at different schools I found the health care management program at UMD. I loved UMD and it was my top choice school. When I looked up everything that the major was about I realized it was exactly what I wanted to do. So I applied, I got in, and started in the business school. I started working in the C&IS office where I took career assessments we offer and realized that I was also strongly suited for communication. I added it as a minor and honestly I could not be happier with my decision.

I know that was a lot to take in, and I just wanted to tell you my personal story to help you understand that it’s okay to not have a set plan sometimes. Following a set course isn’t always what happens and sometimes you have to learn from experience what your strengths are and where you want to go. I was confused about what I really wanted to do and now I love what I’m doing. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t consider all my options in the first place. Keep an open mind and try new things or you’ll never know what else you could be doing.

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I Have No Idea What I’m Doing, but I Know I’m Doing it Really, Really Well

By: Cassie

I will be the first to admit I don’t really have it all together. Don’t get me wrong there are occasional moments when I feel like I might pull it together, and yet another curveball is thrown at me. Life as a college student is stressful, and I’ve accepted that it’s okay to feel like your world is falling apart. We all have exams, papers, and hours of homework and reading to do (pro tip: yes, when a professor assigns readings you are actually supposed to do them). On top of all of that we balance social lives, jobs, internships, clubs, sports, and let’s not forget to add in time to eat and sleep. But fear not, because I am here to tell you that it is okay to not be okay all the time.

Sometimes, doing things the hard way is the best way to do them. That’s not saying it doesn’t stink when you make a mistake, because it really does, but sometimes learning lessons the hard way might be the most effective way to get them across. As an example, say you stayed in bed all day and watched a whole season of your favorite show on Netflix instead of studying for your midterm. You probably didn’t do so well on the exam and you now know that in order to succeed you have to be willing to put in the work. It’s okay that those mistakes happen now because then you’ll know you can’t do that when you get out into the real world. Believe it or not, when we get out into the real world our lives will get even more chaotic. The more lessons we learn now, the more we will be prepared for our future.

The future is scary and you might not know what your future will hold. The thing you have to remember is that you don’t always have to know exactly what you’re doing. Now is the time to try new things, get involved, and find out what you really like to do. It is better to find out you don’t like something now, rather than later. If you have any questions about careers, absolutely come see our counselors at Career and Internship Services. They can help you take the first steps to find where you want to go, or get you going towards your goals. They can also help you talk through any issues you might have or that may come up in the process. Taking the first step is the best thing you can do to figure out what you want to do. I know that talking about the future is scary and that it might just scare you away if you are already dealing with all of the other stuff in your life, but I can’t emphasize enough about having a plan for yourself. You don’t have to follow the plan exactly, but having some sort of structure will help you navigate whatever comes your way.

We might not always know what we want, what we need, or how to get where we’re going. That doesn’t mean you are a mess. There are so many people who are willing to help you and so many lessons you can learn in the process. Yeah, growing up is scary, but if you want to get the most out of your college experience I think that it is important that I emphasize how okay it is to not be okay. You can be a mess and still have it together. Even if you don’t have it all together just remember that even if you don’t know what you’re doing, make sure that you are doing it really, really well.

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Meet Cassie

Cassie Web Version

Name: Cassie
Major: Health Care Management
Minor: Communication
Year: Sophomore
When I first started working at C&IS: I started calling in February 2015 and started at the front desk in September 2015.
Favorite Place in Duluth: Bentleyville in the winter!
Favorite Hobby: I love singing and listening to music.

Best career advice I’ve received: “Define who you are and where you are headed.”

Piece of career advice I have for other students: Never settle, keep trying new things, and keep pushing your own limits because otherwise you’ll never know what you’re truly capable of. Setting goals for yourself, big or small, is the best thing you can do to get where you are going!