Archive for the 'Networking' Category

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Why Attend A Career Fair?

Two words; free pens. I can’t say I knew what to expect for my first career fair experience but it turned out there are no clowns and there are instead oodles of free pens.

I’ve been to a few fairs in my younger days, but this was my first formal attendance of the Career Fair on the Fox. Unlike my childhood memories of cotton candy and merry-go-round rides, this kind of fair involved much more mature opportunities like booths with company names on them (some still have candy), company chap-stick, and brochures. However as crazy as it sounds, I realize that a job opportunity has higher value and may last longer than a bit of sticky sweet pink fluff that dissolves in your mouth.

I wasn’t fully prepared for the enormity of the event with over 140 companies lined up in booths and waiting for me to approach them and strike up my best elevator pitch with the flourish of my well-rounded resume. In fact, I wandered through the aisles a couple times just taking in all the companies’ names and representatives smiling at me with their “ask me anything,” attitudes.

The first few booths made polite chit-chat but they just didn’t seem to have a position that I found desirable considering my Journalism Major. Reaching the homestretch of the final row of booths in the field house, I was drawn to the 4imprint company which posted openings for a graphic design position. I’m not a full fledged designing genius but I know how to work some of the newer graphic programs so I shyly smiled at Lia Cummings and we struck up a conversation about 4imprint and the potential career opportunities I may want to consider. I left with her business card, but the true gift had been the amount of information I had compiled today.

I also had a professional picture taken for free, which I can use for business cards and networking. The fair offered resume reviews and great interviewing experience. My reaction to this wonderful opportunity is that it really helped me practice and get comfortable with connecting to potential employers as well as learn about how to market myself and create positive and lasting  impressions.

Top Tips to Prepare for a Career Fair

Feeling hesitant about attending the Career Fair because you don’t know what to expect or how to present yourself? No problem! The Career Services Staff has you covered. Here are some tips straight from the office on how to prep, present yourself with confidence, and make the most of your Career Fair experience.

Go outside your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid to talk to companies and explore opportunities that you may not have been considering.

-Aleah Van-Gheem, Career Resource Specialist

Research and Identify Employers you may want to connect with prior to the Fair to avoid getting overwhelmed at the event.

-Rich Marshall, College of Letters and Science and CNL Career Advisor

Make sure to wear professional dress and bring several (5-10) copies of your resume.                                                                                                      

-Justin Lyons, Career Resource Specialist

Bring a business card. You can order them online or if you’re short on time make your own by going to a local supplies store such as Office Max or Staples and they can print them up on cardstock.

-Sarah Kriha, Career Event & On-Campus Interview Coordinator

Prepare and practice your pitch, a 30 second “elevator speech” which is a brief introduction you can give to employers which includes your name, major, academic year, and job positions you’re interested in.

-Chelsey Cegielski, Career Service Staff

Career Fairs are filled with opportunity and information, so don’t be afraid to polish your presentation, put yourself out there and make connections.

Take a look at last spring’s Career Fair on the Fox!

 

 

 

My mentor, my big sister

 

By Emily Colon

Four years ago I met one of my biggest role models, Adria Maddaleni, a UWO alumna. It was the evening of my fifteenth birthday. She was probably the best birthday present I have ever received. I met Adria through a pre-college program called Sponsor-A-Scholar that is run through the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee. Although it is called a pre-college program, it actually continues throughout your college career.

As a part of this program, I got assigned a mentor based on my personality and interests. I could not have asked for a better mentor. One of the reasons Adria and I got matched was because she is an attorney and that is one of the things I inspire to be in the future. She is currently an attorney for Milwaukee Public Schools.

During my high school career, Adria was there for me from day one. She has taught me so much and everything I have learned has been valuable. She has taken me to many places that I would have never gotten the opportunity to visit if it wasn’t for her. Throughout the years we have gone to movies, restaurants, museums, exhibits, college visits and so much more. Through those outings Adria helped me become the young woman I am today.

She always was there for me and gave me advice and support. During my senior year in high school Adria gave me lots of guidance in where I wanted to go with my future. We spent countless hours at her house just working on my college applications and all those essays. She has been there for me both academically and personally.

Having a mentor has been truly beneficial. Adria is mainly one of the reasons that I am a student at UWO today. When I was still in high school, she brought me up to visit the UWO campus and I fell completely in love with all it had to offer. Even though she would have supported me with any decision, I know that she is happy that I chose her alma mater for my undergraduate education. I love it here just as I know she loved it here.

Adria is more than just a mentor to me; she is the big sister I never had and I know I will be able to count on her for the rest of my life.

UWO Human Resource graduates give advice via webinar

By Emily Colon

When you hear HR Webinar what probably comes to your mind is an exclusive event for human resources majors. Well let me start by telling you that you are completely wrong. This webinar was useful to any major or person. This webinar was basically structured as question and answer. I was the only live audience member so that was a pretty cool experience. I got to meet the two gentlemen after the webinar and they were both very nice.

The two employers who participated in the webinar were Andrew Ingebrigtson and Carlos Rodriguez. They were asked questions from many different aspects of the work field. The first question they were asked was what challenges they face when trying to hire applicants. Carlos said a problem he faces is that applicants limit themselves. Andrew stated that what he struggles with is qualifications, especially in his field where there is a skills shortage in engineering.

Andrew Ingebrigtson

Carlos Rodriguez 

Next they gave advice on cross-transitioning. Carlos said moving from one job to another can help you develop skills not already in your expertise. A word of advice from Carlos was to stay positive with your previous employer. Andrew agreed with Carlos and added that you should be willing to volunteer for experience or go back to school for the skills you need. He also said that you should show your skills, especially things that might not be conveyed in your resume. When going from industry to industry, Carlos said to show your new employer that you have the skills necessary for that new position, and to sell yourself not your title. He also mentioned that a great thing to have is references.

The next topic was interviewing. Here are some tips that Carlos and Andrew gave:

  • Maintain good eye contact
  • Have a good pitch
  • Show your self-confidence
  • Be prepared and comfortable speaking about yourself
  • Sell yourself

They also talked about appropriate attire for an interview. A great piece of advice Andrew gave was to research the company and dress to what is expected for that position. Some people wonder what to bring to an interview. Carlos said that a resume and questions tend to be enough. A portfolio or project you have done that shows your skills for that position is more appropriate in a second interview. Andrew said it never hurts to ask what they would like you to bring beforehand.

 

LinkedIn: Why don’t people accept my requests?

By Craig Smith

Social networking is the current way of the world.  We have put ourselves in situations where we can be as distant and obscure as possible so as not to actually verbally communicate with someone. While this has increased the ability for employers to network with mass numbers and allowed young adults to avoid their fear of face-to-face networking, it has not removed from all of us that feeling of rejection. The question is, why are we getting rejected or not responded to?

If we focus on the social network of LinkedIn, we tend to make the exact same mistakes we would at a networking event. The toughest thing to do is approach somebody and start the conversation. The beauty of LinkedIn is that the employer is already open to conversation by having a profile, so approaching them is easy. Just like in face-to-face interactions, if I have met the employer or I have had a class, group, club or organization in which they spoke, I have an easy approach to introduce myself. I would not just approach them and say “I’d like to add you to my professional network.” Instead I would communicate to them how I knew them then quickly give my elevator pitch before asking a question about their company.

 

EX: “Hello Mr. Smith, I heard you speak during Social Justice Week on campus and really liked your passion for social work.”

ELEVATOR PITCH: “What do you think is the most important skill I should leave UW Oshkosh with?” or “What excites you the most about your current position?”

 

You do not have to worry too much about your elevator pitch because it is already done on your profile. So, what is the next step in networking? Remember, the best networkers listen 80 percent of the conversation and speak less than 20 percent, and with your elevator pitch already done for you, you can go right into your question.

 

EX. “Hello Mr. Smith, I heard you speak during Social Justice Week on campus and really liked your passion for social work and was hoping to connect with you here on LinkedIn. What do you think is the most important skill I should leave UW Oshkosh?”

 

The ability to network cannot be completely dismissed because we have found a way to be less personal in our approach. The keys to networking have not changed; they just need to be adapted.

  1. What is my reason for approach? Examples:
    1. I have researched their company and want to know more
    2. I have met them in the past and want to develop our relationship further
    3. I have heard them speak or present and want to develop our relationship further
  1. Do I have an Elevator Pitch and up-to-date online profile? Examples:
    1. Who I am, what I am interested in for a career
    2. My path, my skills/strengths
  1. How do I get them to talk about themselves? Examples:
    1. Something you researched or heard them talk about that you really want to know more about
    2. How they got started, what was their path
    3. What strengths/skills they think are of the greatest worth in their industry

The more personal we are, the more difficult we are to dismiss. The more vague and obscure we are, the less relatable we become. It is important to remember that some people take time to respond to their LinkedIn profile requests, emails and/or phone calls. Be patient. Be a networker without being a pest and always network with a purpose.

Click here to learn more about LinkedIn.

Creating Connections Recap

By Emily Marie Colón

Creating Connections was held on April 25 in the Reeve Memorial Union Ballroom. It was from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., but many people stayed for a while after that. The event was hosted by Career Services in partnership with the Student Organization of Latinos (SOL).

This event was a total success. Being part of the behind-the-scenes action, I had many expectations for this event. With all the planning and marketing we had done, I was hoping for the best. In preparation for the event, the Career Services marketing team worked to spread the word all throughout campus, and reached out to many organizations such as the Asian Student Association, Hmong Student Union and the LGBTQ Resource Center.

As the event was beginning, I began to get nervous. I knew that we had done all we could to market the event successful, but attendance worried me. Everything else was in place; all that was left was for students to arrive. As the time got closer to the beginning of the event, my nerves kept rising. Then all of a sudden students started showing up and things were under way. Before the event began, I got the opportunity to mingle and I got the chance to meet Amanda Betts, one of the alumni speakers.

The alumni panel was new this year at Creating Connections. We had four wonderful alumni speakers: Adria Maddaleni, Amanda Betts, Jacob Griesbach and Jes Berndt. Prior to the event as I was speaking to Amanda, I learned a lot about her. It was pretty awesome because she was journalism major and Spanish minor just like me, so I thought that was really cool. All four alumni shared stories of their time here at UW Oshkosh, of their networking experiences and of where they are now.

After the alumni speakers, employers and students got the chance to network. There were two sessions with two different questions, one for each round. The first one was: what would you do with a million dollars? This question was a good question to start off with because it eased the tension and started conversations between students and employers. The second round was open networking where students could talk to employers of their choice and had the chance to enjoy refreshments. During the open networking round, I saw the room filled with students and employers and they all looked happy and seemed to be enjoying their selves. That made me very happy.

At the end of the day, Creating Connections was a total success. My nerves eventually calmed down as I saw that the room began to get filled with students. Everyone seemed to be having a good time and employers looked happy to be there. I felt all the hard work that we all put in paid off. I had a wonderful time at the 2nd annual Creating Connections: Empowered through Networking event.

 

Brewers Career Fair at Miller Park

By Chrissy Lambie (@chrissylambie)

On Monday, April 23, career adviser Erin Rammer and I attended the Brewers Career Fair at Miller Park. Both Erin and I are big Brewers fans and when we saw the opportunity to combine our love of baseball, Brewers and helping students make connections in the sports industry, we had to make the trip!

Erin and I arrived at Miller Park at 4:00 p.m., and to our surprise there were many candidates looking to make connections with the representatives from the organizations in attendance. Both Erin and I are career fair pros and were pretty amazed that there were waits up to half an hour to speak to some of the representatives. We are used to seeing a line of 3 or 4 to talk to a representative, but when you see a line of 40 or 50 it can be pretty overwhelming.

Not to be intimidated, Erin and I talked to representatives from the Chicago Rush, Chicago Sky, Milwaukee Wave, ESPN Radio 540/1510, Wisconsin State Golf Association, Milwaukee Admirals, and Milwaukee Brewers. The few groups that we didn’t get a chance to talk to were the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (where we have established connections already) and the Milwaukee Bucks. Also in attendance were a couple of graduate programs from the Milwaukee area promoting their sports management programs.

It is our hope that by making these connections students at UW Oshkosh interested in breaking into the sports industry will have the opportunity to see internships and other positions posted in Titan Jobs. Also, we hope to help students make connections with the various representatives associated with these organizations.

As a result of this trip, I’ve already made a great connection at ESPN Deportes 1510 that is interested in students that want a radio experience and have Spanish speaking skills.

While this trip was a combination of work and play, Erin and I felt it was successful on both hands. We made some great professional connections that may pay off for UW Oshkosh students in the future!

On a fun note, after the career fair we were able to watch Brewers batting practice where I walked away with a practice ball that was tossed into the stands by third-base coach Ed Sedar. And during the third inning both Erin and I were featured on the jumbotron in the US Cellular fan photo of the day with the player cutout John Axford. We won his t-shirt. Erin was gracious enough to let me take the t-shirt home! Thanks Erin!

Creating Connections 2012 Video

UWO Journalism student Katherine Pecora is here to share her experiences at the last Creating Connections Event! This year it is on April 25th at Reeve Union ballroom from 5-7 p.m. Stop by to network with professionals who want to meet with YOU! For more on the event, check out Emily’s blog.

Networking with a Purpose

By Craig Smith

Everybody remembers their starting point; mine in the coaching industry was as a permanent substitute and coach in the Southwestern Wisconsin School District. At the time I was applying for college coaching jobs and posting the rejection letters on my refrigerator as motivation. Two years and 17 rejection letters later, I walked into the office my college football coach and asked for a job. He laid out some ground rules and told me that I would be working for below minimum wage and if I didn’t carry my weight I would be let go.

Those rejection letters were the last jobs I have applied for without being contacted by an employer, which had spoken to somebody in my network, asking me to apply or hearing about a position through my network. When I first started networking I did it without a purpose, no goals, no real understanding of what I was trying to accomplish, then complaining that it was impossible to get interviews when you don’t know anybody.

The whole process seemed impossible to me. Essentially, I was attempting to network with CEO’s and wondering how to become them instead of identifying those that held my position at a higher level or those in higher positions at the same level and building that network. Once my delusions of grandeur subsided and I started to build honest solid relationships, opportunities presented themselves, doors opened and I was prepared to walk through them. 12 years later I am not ready for the job that I thought I was entitled to when I started in this profession.

I continue to learn my craft to better myself and those I work with for the position I currently hold. Recently I had the opportunity to go to the University of Michigan for three days to meet with their coaching staff to see how they do things first hand. The goal was not to leave Michigan with a job offer, my goals were as follows:

  1. Meet and network with those that are in the same “field” as I am within my career
    1. Learn about their philosophies as it relates to the game and player development
    2. Discuss their philosophies on what it takes to be a coach today as well as trends they have seen or see coming
    3. Discuss their career path and their goals
    4. Meet and network with other college or high school coaches throughout our visit to give exposure to UW Oshkosh and myself

This opportunity is no different than any other conference people attend to better develop their skills.  While networking is a piece that presents itself, the goal of professional conferences is to get better at your career. You cannot be there to network 100% of the time. People will notice that and will question your loyalty and commitment to your current job. Who would turn around and hire a person that they did not trust?!

When meeting people that are in the same job at a higher level or at a bigger company, they go through the same ups and downs as you but theirs get amplified. They are a great reference to learn from through informational interviews, but you do not want to waste their time selling yourself. Remember, the best networkers talk less than 10% of the time!  Have questions prepared, do not let opportunities slip through your fingers because of lack of preparation. Know who you will be meeting, their product, and what similarities you share.

Asking questions about the person can be tricky. It helps in my situation they have bio’s up online for me to read through first. The easiest questions, in my opinion, are asking where they attended school, what they studied and where their first position was (for more tips see Conversation Stack link below).

http://podcast1.uwosh.edu/users/careerservices/weblog/d9c15/Conversation_Stacking.html

Always be prepared to be the one being networked with. For every position there is somebody trying to get there. Do not be a one way networker! Do not only find the time to network when it is a benefit to you, you must be willing to give back and help the development of others. If you have trouble with that, think about it from this perspective, you never know whose niece or nephew you are talking to or what field you may end up in or on.

For more on networking and to find networking opportunities on campus, click here.

Creating Connections Empowered through Networking

By Emily Colon (@emimariec)

Creating Connections Empowered through Networking is a career event that will be hosted this spring for its second year on Wednesday, April 25. It is an event that is directed to students of color, women and LGBTQ students. The directive is aimed at them mainly because those groups are underrepresented in management positions. Employers who will be present are directly seeking these kinds of students. However, don’t get discouraged if you don’t fit into those categories. The event is open to everyone and I encourage everyone to come.

This event will be held in Reeve Memorial Union Ballroom 227. It will go from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and will be split up into two sessions; one going from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., and the other from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. If you should choose so, you may stay for the duration of both sessions. I know I am!

Employers who will be present include:

This is event is formal yet relaxed, allowing students to explore opportunities and build relationships with employers, so dress business casual. If building meaningful relationships with employers doesn’t allure you, I am sure the next thing will. We will have delicious free food for participants. It doesn’t end there, we also have door prizes! Two lucky winners will receive a $100 Reeve gift card each.

After reading all of that, I am sure you can’t wait for April 25th to get to the event. Well I am with you! I wish it was April 25th as well, but there are still some things to do first. First off, you have to register for the event on Titan Jobs. You can register for one or both time slots.

Second, make sure that you update your profile on Titan Jobs and upload your resume if you have one. After doing that, if you feel like you are nervous and don’t know what you will say to an employer, have no worries. We have an event that will serve kind of like a practice run for you, and it will be held just one week before the event.

Join us here at Career Services for our Networking Workshop on Monday, April 16 at 5:00 p.m. I Hope to see all of you there. To view photos from last year’s Creating Connections event, click here.

If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me at: colone98@uwosh.edu


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