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

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.

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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.

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Career Counseling Internship

By: Whitney

As the semester is winding down, so is my internship, sadly. Luckily, I will be back next year filling another role in the office. Here is a glimpse into my journey as a C&IS intern.

WHY I CHOSE TO INTERN
There are many reasons I chose to do an internship for credit this semester. Number one, I wanted to gain experience in a psychology related field to assess if I really wanted to go into this field. Number two, with all the other demands of being a college student, I knew if I didn’t have a class to help me set deadlines and keep on track in the process of actually getting the internship I probably wouldn’t prioritize it. In my wildest dreams, I never thought I would be interning in Career Counseling, I started my degree wanting to go into human services with children and families. Going through college, however, I started to get to know myself more, take on challenges, and grow. One of these opportunities was my role as a peer mentor for transfer students. After being involved with that program I realized that I was open to working with a broader range of people than only children and that I really enjoyed working with college students. I followed my interests, discovered this internship through the psychology department, and the rest is history.

WHAT I LOVED ABOUT IT
What I’ll miss most about it (at least while I’m gone over the summer) is the people. I spent about nine hours a week with the employees of the C&IS office and I loved getting to know them! The professional relationships you build with co-workers is important for way more than just networking. They are what makes up the work environment and office culture. Every workplace is unique. With C&IS office I think I hit the jackpot. The office is very open and welcoming, I would describe it as being a “professional family.” I looked forward to coming to work because I enjoyed the work I was doing and the people I was doing the work with. If I had one without the other it would have been incomplete. In the 40-hour-work-week world, office culture becomes even more important.

CHALLENGES AND ADVICE I WOULD GIVE MYSELF
The first few days in a new job are always a little nerve-wracking, soon enough though I got to know people in the office and settled into my role. At first, I wasn’t sure exactly what it would look like. Looking back on my experiences I would tell myself to jump into my role sooner even if I was a little unsure. I would also tell myself to ask about shadowing career counseling appointments and set them up earlier on in the internship.

Keep respectful communication between you and your supervisors, let them know what you are hoping to learn through the experience and collaborate on how to make it happen. Advocating for yourself is important, employees are busy and sometimes you need to ask if you could join in on something rather than waiting for someone to suggest it for you. And remember, you are there to learn. It’s fine to ask questions if you have them, just don’t hound people with questions.

Sometimes things are a little outside your comfort zone. Prime example: me writing for the C&IS blog. It can be tough to put your work out there for people to read, because who knows how it will be received. I also have never written for a blog before, much less one tied to an official organization. My advice would be to jump on those opportunities anyway because they could lead to something amazing.

CAREER COUNSELING
Another main reason I wanted to intern with C&IS was to see if career counseling and/or higher ed were fields I could see myself going into in the future. What is the profession like? What is it all about? I learned there is a lot of behind the scenes work that goes on in a career counseling office, from setting up and attending job fairs, to classes and presentations, to making sure C&IS is providing their clients with the help that they are seeking. I also learned that there is so much to know as a career counselor and it is not possible to know it all. Which just means that if an answer is unknown they put on their sleuthing hats and help the client find the needed info.

Another thing to mention, we are not alone if we ever feel anxious about our career journey or what decisions to make. We are all in the same boat with that, and while career counselors can’t tell you what exactly to do with “the rest of your life,” they can certainly help you clarify what is important to you at this point in your life and assist you in assessing your options.

CONCLUSION
Internships can be a fantastic way to gain an understanding of what you want to do in your future career and even not so great experiences can teach you this as well. I really enjoyed my internship and I discovered that career counseling is something I could see myself doing in the future. It pushed me a little out of my comfort zone at times, helped me grow in confidence in my ability to navigate being a part of the professional working world and allowed me to meet some wonderful people and make some fond memories!

Of Possible Interest

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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

Introducing Disability Resources

By: Alissa

Hi there! Did you know Career & Internship Services and Disability Resources at UMD are collaborating this year to bring you tons of cool and new information around the topic of disability in the workplace? Well, now you know!!! I am so excited to be a guest author this upcoming school year and maybe be able to teach you a thing or two about this topic. 😉 My name is Alissa Stainbrook and I am a Disability Specialist on campus working in the Office of Disability Resources. I am also a Licensed Social Worker and am just wrapping up the MSW program here at UMD. So I totally get what it’s like to be a student too….best of both worlds — working and education, am I right?!

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Alissa in her office.

Our office is a pretty awesome place. We are located in the Multicultural Center on campus as we consider disability a part of diversity and want to spread the awareness to others as well. Our office is here to ensure access for students with disabilities. What do we do here in DR you may ask? Well, our office does the following: coordinate academic accommodations, provide a testing location for students who need accommodations, work with students to coordinate access to other on-campus resources, and offer guidance & support.

What does DR do

Another important question we get asked is who does our office work with? 

  • Our office serves any students with documented disabilities who need to arrange academic accommodations for their classes. This includes students who have ADHD; Mental Health Conditions; Autism Spectrum Disorder; Acquired Brain Injury; Physical, Sensory, or Learning Disabilities.
  • Our office works to educate the campus community about access and disability related issues. We also work closely with UMD faculty and staff members.

This year DR and C&IS are teaming up to bring you a pretty awesome series around Disability in the Workplace. There are a number of topics we want to cover including: disclosing disability – when, how, and why; differences between disabilities and what accommodations are reasonable; how to ask for accommodations; how to be a better advocate for yourself; what resources are available to you; mental health and well being in the workplace; and personal stories of students who have graduated who have disabilities and are now working.

We cannot wait to chat with you and are totally open to any suggestions of other topics around disability in the workplace and what you want to know!

It is going to be a great year, all!

Of Possible Interest:

Photo source: graphic 1

Starting the School Year

Happy first day of classes!

If you’re brand new to UMD, welcome! Not new? Welcome back! It’s been a little too quiet around here without you this summer. With the start of the school year, we thought it would be helpful to remind you of our services and upcoming events we have.

Contrary to popular belief, we work with students of all ages…not just juniors and seniors. Here’s a rundown of why you may want to stop by SCC 22 in the Wedge.

You are:

  • trying to figure out your major and/or minor (picking, changing, confirming, etc).
  • looking for an internship or job.
  • exploring career options for your major.
  • wanting to start your resume or have it reviewed.
  • getting ready for job fairs, interviews, and/or applying to professional or graduate school.
  • wondering what your options are for graduate school.
  • lost, and want to find your way (on-campus or in life).

We’re here for you!

Welcome CIS

Upcoming events to keep in mind:

  • Workshop schedule (first one is Sept 5th).
  • Sept 14: E-Fest Job & Internship Fair for science, engineering, and computer science majors.
  • Resume Drop-ins are every Tuesday and Wednesday, 2-4pm, in SCC 22, while classes are in session. Yep, they start on Tuesday!
  • LinkedIn/GoldPASS drop-ins are every Thursday, 2-4pm, in SCC 22, while classes are in session. They start on Thursday.
  • You can stop by to have your resume reviewed anytime we’re open, M-F 8-4:30pm.
  • Oct 6: Head of the Lakes Job & Internship Fair for everyone.
  • Employers will be interviewing on-campus. Check GoldPASS for the latest schedule.
  • Full event schedule.

Cool New Features for 2016-17

  • We are collaborating with Disability Resources both in-person and online. Our two offices are working together to bring you a workshop series to help address the unique challenges students may face related to disability and the job search. Starting next week we’ll be launching a year-long blog collaboration to address topics around disabilities in the workplace. We’re sooo excited about this collaboration.
  • #BulldogOnTheJob is a new blog series we’re launching this week. Every few weeks we’ll be featuring UMD alumni as they share their journeys and advice about life after UMD.

Feel free to check our office website for information on everything related to careers. Stay tuned to the blog awesome new topics from students, for students, coming your way!

How to Apply for a Position on GoldPASS

By: Cameron

Are you a University of Minnesota student or alumni looking for a job? An internship? Or even volunteer work? If so, then GoldPASS is a great place to start! For those of you who aren’t familiar with GoldPASS, it is a University of Minnesota owned job site where you can find jobs, post jobs, apply for jobs, sign up for interviews, sign up for job fairs, and much more. Within this blog post I will provide you with a brief walkthrough of how to apply for a job, internship, and/or volunteering position using GoldPASS from start to finish.

GoldPASS

How to get started.

Once you have visited the website at www.goldpass.umn.edu you will want to sign in using the login ID provided by your UMN institution by clicking on “Students & Alumni: LOGIN” located in the upper right hand corner of the page. From there it will bring you to the homepage.

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If you are a first time user, you will want to fill out your profile. To do so, click on “My Profile” listed under “My Account” in the upper left hand corner of the page. IMPORTANT: Make sure to fill out your profile completely! Sometimes you won’t “qualify” for a position if you forgot to fill out something small like your GPA. For more information on how and what to fill out on your profile you can read my other blog post titled “Common Questions About GoldPASS.”

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Next you are required to submit a resume. You can submit your resume by clicking on “My Documents” under the same “My Account” tab located at the top left corner of the page. You can then add a resume by clicking “Add,” choosing a file, naming the file, and then clicking “Save.” If you need to write a resume, start here and here.

Once you add a resume your account will still be inactive until a Career Counselor or Peer Educator in our office has reviewed and approved your resume, if you’re a UMD students/alum. Once it has been reviewed you will receive an email indicating your resume’s approval/denial along with a few suggestions for improvement. This process should take no more than approximately two business days. This approval process only happens to the first resume you upload. Once your first resume is approved, you can submit other resumes or update the first resume without having to repeat the process. We have this review process in place so that we can ensure that you’re using a resume that employers will actually want to see.

If you have multiple resumes then you can select one as your default. The default resume will be the resume that all employers are able to see. Other documents you can add include transcripts, cover letters, references, samples of your work, and more. Typically a resume and cover letter is sufficient.

How to search for a job.

Now that you have your profile filled out and all your documents uploaded you can start searching for openings. To get to the job search engine click on the “Job/Internship Search” tab at the top of the page.

As you’ll notice the search engine has several categories. The main categories I try to stick to are the position type, job category, degrees seeking or attained, and majors. Also, make sure to check the box that says “Exclude Records with ‘All Majors.’” For more methods on searching for positions, reference Common Questions About GoldPASS.

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Once you have narrowed your search you can click on the position labeled in red to see the description. If you are interested in the position, you can click on the button at the top of the page that says “Add to Favorites.” Make sure to read the posting carefully. Each posting is created from a form that the employer fills out. For this reasons there is always a chance that they have not filled out certain information.

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How to apply for a position

Once you have found a position you like, start building a cover letter. It is important to always customize your cover letter and even your resume to include keywords from the job posting. For more information on how to do this, you can refer to my other blog post titled “How to Break Down a Job/Internship Posting.”

Once your resume and cover letter are ready to go and uploaded you can start applying to the position. You can start by clicking on the button at the top of the posting that says “Submit Resume.” This will take you to another page where you can select the resume and cover letter that you want to submit. Make sure to select the correct documents. You can even write the employer a brief message expressing your interest in the position.

Some postings don’t have the button at the top that says “Submit Resume.” Whether the posting has this button or not, you will want to check the category within the job posting that’s labeled “Application Method” and “Application Method Details.” Most postings will ask you to both apply via GoldPASS and email or their company website. Regardless, you will want to apply every way that you can. If they ask you to submit it via email but there is no email in the “Application Method Details,” then scroll to the bottom of the page and you can typically find an email address in the section under “Contact Information.”

There you have it! Here is a brief overview of how to apply for a position using GoldPASS from start to finish. Hopefully this will help you obtain that position you’ve been searching for. Good luck!

Of Possible Interest: 

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