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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!

 

 

 

Look to impress for less!

By Emily Colon

If someone gave you $35 to spend on professional attire, do you think that would be possible? I am assuming most of you said no. Don’t worry, I was with you too. That is until I actually went out and accomplished this.

Career Services gave me $35 to find a professional outfit to wear to events. The best and probably only way to accomplish this is at a thrift store. Career adviser Cassie Curry and I went to take on this mission. What I found was unbelievable. I really found this hard to believe, but it turned out to be a total success. One of the most shocking things was that I was able to find more than just one outfit. I was able to find a professional suit, a very fun hot pink blazer, a few skirts, shirts and even shoes.

It was a fun outing and not only did we accomplish our goal I learned a few things as well. First I learned that Cassie has great taste and knew just where to find everything. I am 100 percent positive that I would not have succeeded without her. Some of the things I learned were what you can and cannot wear to certain events and outings in the professional field; I also learned that it is unprofessional to wear open-toed shoes to a professional outing such as an interview. Lastly, I learned that even though this is common sense, you should wear neutral colors to a professional gathering or interview and my pink blazer would definitely be inappropriate.

If you have any questions on what you should or should not wear to an interview or professional outing, make sure you pay a visit to Career Services to get some great advice!

 

How to make study abroad dreams a reality

By Emily Colon

I think it’s safe to assume that many college students dream of studying abroad. Well, what if I told you that dream could become a reality? Every single time you talk to people who have studied abroad, they all tell you that it was the best time and experience of their lives. I don’t know about you, but I know that every time I hear someone talk about their experience, it makes me want to travel right then and there!

Unfortunately, I have not studied abroad because I am just a freshman, but I dream of studying abroad at least once if not more during my undergraduate education. What I want to tell you about is how to make studying abroad possible.

First off, the place to start is the Office of International Affairs located in Dempsey Hall. They can get you on your way. If your problem is not knowing where to go, that should not be a problem because you can pretty much go anywhere in the world. Many people’s first thought is that they can’t afford it, so they miss out on a chance of a lifetime experience. What most people don’t know is that there are tons of scholarships available. You can even use your financial aid to pay for study abroad expenses.

Okay then, once you have a location in mind and have found a way to pay for it, you have the basics down, but still have so much more to cover. Other things you might want to cover are what you plan to do in this foreign country and how long you will stay. Many more things need to be planned before you embark on your trip, but these tips will get you started.

A great place and resource that can help and answer a lot of your questions is available to you right now on your computer! All UW Oshkosh students have access toThe Big Guide to Living and Working Overseas, an online database that has a ton of resources that deal with studying, volunteering and working abroad. It has tips on what you need to do to prepare for a trip and so much more. I have been exploring the page and have found it really useful. The next time you are thinking of studying abroad or are just curious, make sure you visit The Big Guide online.

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.

Students helping students

By Emily Colon 

Have you ever needed help with your resume or had a question but were too scared or intimidated to ask for help? What if I could tell you that you can get help from a student just like you? I am not saying that if you need help you shouldn’t ask for it because that is one thing you should do, ask for help, and the perfect place to ask for help is at Career Services.

Let’s say that you have your resume and need it to be done in a few hours and don’t have time to sit down with an advisor but you would like a second opinion. Well all you need to do is go down to Career Services and ask a Career Resource Specialist to read it over for you and they will gladly do it. You are probably wondering what a Career Resource Specialist is.

A CRS is a number of people who are students just like you who you would see at the front desk of Career Services. You’d imagine that is all they do, but they do endless tasks, and I learned a lot of what they do in the week that I spent with them. It is amazing how much I learned about Career Services, what a CRS does, and about the Career Resource Specialists themselves in just one week.

CRS’s do so many things to help students. They work the front desk as I mentioned before, answer any questions a student may have, answer phone calls, schedule appointments, help with mail, do tasks assigned by advisors, keep track of who is in or out of the office, help direct students where they need to go, help students with quick resume questions or any other quick career questions they may have, make copies, help make and follow the calendar and check-in appointments.

So those are only a few of the many jobs that Career Resource Specialists do. If you ever need help with a resume or have a question about a job or career or even grad school, do not hesitate to come down to Career Services and get them answered.

Meet our past CRS’s

Pam Johnson graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies. An interesting fact about her is that she is from the suburbs of Chicago.

Bree Francour is an elementary education major in grades one through eight. She has a minor in Spanish. She is also a junior at UWO. She was the new Spring 2012 CRS lead and all of us at Career Services are very proud of her. A unique fact about Bree is that she studied abroad in Spain for a month on an interim trip.

Ashley Nealon is a finance major with a Spanish minor. She will be a senior at UWO and loves cheese.

Aleah VanGheem is a Music Education major. She will also be a junior at UWO. An awesome talent she has is that she can play five instruments. However, she wants to be a choir teacher in the future.

 

Charles Block will also be a senior at UWO with a major in supply chain management. An interesting fact about him is that he has four children.

Cassie James is an education major. An interesting fact about her is that she is from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Justin Lyons is a double major in Spanish and German with a history minor. He will be a junior at UWO and enjoys laughing at internet websites.

Which college majors will pay off in Northeast Wisconsin?

HIGHER EDUCATION – Prepping for a profession

Movers and Shakers: Meet Journalism Student Lindsey Noack

UW Oshkosh senior Lindsey Noack talks about her college career as a Journalism major with an emphasis in Public Relations.

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.

 

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.


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