Your LinkedIn Toolbox: Finding Alumni

By: Sadie

LinkedIn has all sorts of hidden tools that you may not know about. Today I will be talking about the “Find Alumni” feature. You can find this under the “Connections” drop down menu at the top. This provides you with all the information you might want to know about your fellow alums. You can get information on where they work, what they do, and where they live. LinkedIn automatically fills in the years in which you attended school, and shows you classmates who attended your school, or who are currently going to that school. For a broader search, you can adjust the graduation years at the top.

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5 really awesome details about this feature:

When you first click on the “Find Alumni” link it will show you a list of places where your connections/alumni live, where they work, and what they do. If you look below that list there will be a link that says “Show More,” this will list even more potential places people live, where they work, and what they do. BUT WAIT, it gets better. If you click on the arrow located by the section of “What they do” it will show you what your connections/alums studied in school, what skills they have, and how they are connected to you.

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If you’re trying to determine a major the “Find Alumni” feature can be very beneficial. If you’re unsure about what you can do with your major, say for example you’re majoring in Psychology, but maybe you’re thinking about Education as well, you can specifically click on “Psychology” and “Education” and it will list people with those academic backgrounds and you can look into what those people are doing for occupations.

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The “Find Alumni” feature can also help you with searching for a career. For example, if you’re a nurse and you’re interested in working at Essentia Health you can find it under “Where they work” or search it in the search bar, and find who’s currently working there, then you can make connections based off of that. If you don’t see a business or organization that isn’t listed, you can always search for it.

If you click on “Notables” at the top, you can find notable connections/alumni in your area. For example, Don Ness, the mayor of the city of Duluth.

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And lastly, while you’re searching under “Students & Alumni” you can change the university you’re looking at, so that if you’re interested in transferring schools (which I don’t know why you would even do that because UMD is the best school ever) you can find out information about that specific campus.

Of Possible Interest: 

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3 Tips to Finding a Volunteer Experience to Benefit Your Major

Consider why you want to volunteer:

People volunteer for all sorts of reasons. Some are required to do it for a class, some may volunteer to use as a resume builder, and some may just want to get more involved in their community and help make positive changes. It might be a combination of all of these things. No matter if you’re aspiring to end world hunger, or just volunteering to get a good grade in class, you’ll be doing good and doing it for a reason that is right for you.

Choose an organization meaningful to you:

In my mind, why would you want to waste your time doing something that doesn’t mean anything to you? Think about issues you feel strongly about and build off of that. For example, if you think education and literacy is important, find volunteer opportunities that revolve around tutoring. Do some research and find an organization in your community whose mission is in line with your own values. There are a million different organizations with different purposes, so if spending your time at a soup kitchen doesn’t sound appealing, try an animal shelter, hospital, city park, or nursing home. My advice is don’t ever settle. Take your time finding something you enjoy rather than just agreeing to the first thing that comes along.

Seek out an organization to suit your skills and interests:

When I started seeking out place to volunteer, I was overwhelmed with the amount of places available. One thing that helped me narrow down my decision was looking at organizations that seemed interesting to me. I tried to find something that seemed do-able with the skills I already have, something in tune with my field of education, and somewhere that seemed fun. The key here is finding something compatible with your interests and skill set. For example, if you’re outgoing, and consider yourself a “people person,” you might not have very much fun doing something like sitting in an office and filing papers. Ask yourself basic questions such as: Do I like to work with people? With children? Animals? or Do you prefer to work by yourself? If you aren’t really sure what you like or dislike, volunteering is a great way to find these things out. Volunteering is like sampling dishes at the deli, it lets you dabble in a little bit of everything until you find what you like.

Getting Started:

Volunteer Opportunities:

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Proud to be an Ally

By: Sadie

What does it mean to be an ally?

You may have heard the term “ally” mentioned from the acronym, LGBTQA, which stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Asexual or Ally. The “A” in LGBTQA can also stand for Aromantic, Advocate, or All. My personal definition of an ally is someone who not only supports homosexuality, but someone who supports people of all diverse backgrounds. An ally stands up for the rights of any individual, focuses on diversity and inclusion, and displays mutual respect and personal safety for people of all backgrounds. An ally is not so much of an identity, but a behavior. It is more about what you do than how you identify. Most importantly, being an ally means being a friend, a supporter, and a voice for those who can’t always speak up for themselves.

Why am I an ally?

My freshman year of high school, I joined the Gay, Straight, Alliance Club. I was asked by my best friend, who wasn’t out at the time, to join because he was too afraid to go to the first meeting of the year by himself. He wanted to meet new people and I was hesitant at first, not really knowing what this club would do for me, but I went anyways to support my friend. Looking back, joining the GSA club turned out to be one of the best experiences I had in high school. The club educated us on multiple topics, created a safe space for students, and served as a positive, inclusive organization at our school. This is where I first learned what it meant to be an ally.

After attending weekly group meetings, I really got to know the people who were once strangers to me. They told their stories, taught me how to listen, how to break down those judgmental barriers, and how to truly understand how it feels to be different in the world.

What are some things you can do to be an ally?

  1. Attend an event on campus that is diversity related, or something you wouldn’t ordinarily think about going to! Here is UMD’s Multicultural Center Events Calendar:
  1. Take a class that touches on topics of race, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities, religion, etc.
  1. Join a club, maybe something out of your comfort zone that you would like to know more about! Here are all of the different types of organizations offered here at UMD:

Of Possible Interest: 

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Diversity Issues in the Workplace

By: Sadie

In a previous blog post, GLBT in the Workplace, Meg talked about some challenges of being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender in the workplace. Today, I’m going to touch on some of the challenges associated with diversity in the workplace. Diversity is not just about the color of someone’s skin. It includes gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, religious beliefs, political beliefs, disability, or anything that makes you different.

First, I’d like to share why this topic is so important to me and why I’m such a strong believer that students should be educated about diversity and how important it is. As students, diversity enriches our educational experience. Interacting with people whose experiences, beliefs, and perspectives that are different from our own expands our learning and teaches us skills that we will use for the rest of our lives. Diversity also promotes personal growth and a healthy environment for everyone. Diversity helps students learn how to communicate with others whose backgrounds might be different than theirs. As well as learning how to look past stereotypes to treat everyone fairly. Overall, diversity strengthens a community. Education with diverse settings prepares students to become well-rounded, respectable citizens and prepares students for future career success. Lastly, diversity prepares you for working in a global society. No matter what profession you choose, you’ll be working with a number of people with diverse backgrounds. By experiencing diversity in college, you are laying the foundation for being able to work and interact comfortably with individuals of all backgrounds.

As we know, there are people in the world who are not very accepting of diversity, or they are not very well educated on how to interact with people who are different than themselves. After graduating college, you will be entering the real world, with a big person job, and things might not be as laid back and accepting as they are in college. There will be issues in the workplace revolved around diversity. Some of those issues include prejudice, racism, discrimination, and an overall lack of respect. What you can do if you see this happening in your place of employment is to be a voice. Don’t let things slide, be an ally, and model suitable behavior as a role model of the office.

Be the change you want to see in the world.

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Women’s Issues in the Workplace

By: Sadie

Editor’s note: Sadie’s post today barely scrapes the surface of the issues women face in today’s workplace. Use it as an introduction. For on-campus resources of more information, check out the Commission for Women and WRAC (Women’s Resource Action Center).

Since the early 1900s, women have been fighting for their equality in the workplace. Over the years, women have continued to prove how vital their role is in the economic development of the country and how their contributions are just as important as their male counterparts. Women have come a long way in being respected as an equal in the workplace; there are still several issues and problems that women face today.

  1. Pregnancy and Maternity Leaves: Women still sometimes choose to conceal their pregnancy to a supervisor because of a number of fears they have. One example being that they might lose their chances of getting a promotion with how much leave they have to take after having a baby. Another example is being scared to tell a possible employer during an interview about their pregnancy for the fear that they would think she wouldn’t be able to work long hours after the baby is born and that a different person would be chosen for the position. Lastly, women might not receive the sufficient amount of leave and a supervisor might not be flexible with letting a mother work from home, taking off more time, etc.
  2. Appearance and Sexual Harassment: A woman could be discriminated against in the workplace by her clothing or physical appearance. An employer might hire a woman based off of her looks to increase sales or the same woman might not get hired because of the supervisor’s fear of numerous men in the workplace and the possibility of sexual harassment law suits that might arise. Sexual harassment in the workplace includes whistling, obscene jokes, threats, derogatory remarks, and comments on a women’s appearance.
  3. Unequal Pay and Wages: In some instances, a woman who has the same job title, level of seniority, and responsibilities as a man is paid less. If an employer is caught unequally paying its employees, they can be sued under provisions of The Equal Pay Act of 1963 that made it illegal to pay men and women working under the same circumstances with different salaries.
  4. The Glass Ceiling Effect: Many women say they experience the “glass ceiling” effect in their profession. This phrase refers to the invisible barrier or “glass ceiling” that prevents a woman from achieving further success at their place of employment. A woman can see through the “glass ceiling” and can see those above her who are more powerful, but is unable to achieve the same success because of the ceiling that is preventing her from rising any further.

Of Possible Interest: 

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Making Progress During Winter Break

By: Sadie

Your semester is slowly coming to an end and winter break is right around the corner. You’re tired. Tired from endless studying, tired of the food on campus, tired of getting out of bed at 9 am for a lecture class, and you just want to go home. You want to see your friends, family, eat your mom’s home cooking, and lay in your bed and binge watch Netflix until it’s time to go back to school. After a couple of days of fun and relaxing, you ought to start being proactive and complete those tasks you’ve been putting off.

Here are some of the tasks I am referring to that you can do over winter break:

Sick of your family asking you what you want to do with your life? Finally decide on a major or a minor:

Write your resume, cover letter, or personal statement (or all three!):

  • Use our online Career Handbook to help you develop your resume, cover letter, and personal statement.
  • Visit our resume drop-in hours for one-on-one, immediate help.
  • Or if you don’t have time to sit down with someone, fill out a review request form to drop off or email your resume/cover letter/personal statement to be looked at.

Now that you have a rockstar resume, search for a job and/or internship:

  • Visit the U of M’s online database, GoldPASS, to post your resume and search for a job, internship, or volunteer opportunities.
  • Plan to attend one of our workshops or presentations for tips and advice on how to land a position.
  • Plan to attend a job and internship fair.
  • Schedule a time to job shadow a position you are curious about.
  • Take a look at additional resources offered on our website.

Found your dream job? Now practice your interviewing skills.

  • Practice interviewing online with InterviewStream.
  • Set up an appointment with one of our career counselors for a mock-interview.
  • Visit the Career Resource Center located in the Career & Internship Services office that has books with sample questions and tips for interviewing.

PS: The Netflix can wait, these important opportunities can’t.

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Careers in Social Work

By: Sadie

As you may have read in my previous post about social work, I discussed what exactly social work is, what social workers handle in their profession, and what the social work program is like here at UMD. Today, I’m going to talk about some of fields you can go into after you graduate with a social work degree, education requirements for social work, and certain disciplines that intersect with social work.

Careers in Social Work

So, if I graduate with a social work degree do I have to be a social worker?

The answer is no. This is something that I questioned before I decided to pursue a social work major. I didn’t want to be limited to only being able to be a social worker.

Here are some of the places that social workers practice:

  • Hospitals
  • Schools
  • Criminal Justice Systems
  • Government Agencies (i.e. services to children and families, services to adults, financial assistance)
  • Mental Health Clinics
  • Private Practice
  • Policy (i.e. Local City Council, State Legislature, Congress)
  • Residential Treatment Centers/Group Homes/Shelters, etc.
  • Community Agencies that address domestic violence, homelessness, community development, disabilities, etc.

Is having my bachelors degree enough to get a career in any of these professions?

For some, but not all. Depending on the type of field you want to go into you may need to go through more schooling. If you decide to further your education you can get a Masters of Social Work (MSW), your Ph.D. or Doctrine of Social Work (DSW), or you can get certain licensures.

What could I minor in, or double major in with a social work degree?

Many disciplines intersect with social work. Psychology, Sociology, History, Biology, Psychiatry, Economics, and Political Science are all majors or minors that compliment a social work degree.

Here are some other helpful sources that go more in-depth with what you can do as a career with a Bachelor of Social Work:

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