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Student / Alum Spotlight

April 8th, 2014

Ready to get inspired for your job, internship, or career search? Career Services will spotlight an OSU student that has inspired us when it comes to their career development. Check out their success stories—besides inspiration, they also show that academic major does not have to restrict your goals and that there are many ways to define success.

Want to nominate an OSU student or alum for the Student/Alum Spotlight series? Or do you want to share your own success? Then please fill out this quick form and Career Services will contact the person nominated.

Name: Molly Coffman

Major: Mathematics and Economics, minor in Actuarial Science

Year in School: Senior

While a student at OSU, what have you done so far to gain experience?

I joined the OSU women?s lacrosse team when I was a freshman and volunteered to be an officer my sophomore year. Since then I was elected president and have been so for the last year. This has taught me how to be a team player and leader. I recently just finished my evaluation and assessment internship at KidSpirit. My job was to input progress report data into an Excel database.  I am continuing to work for KidSpirit during my senior year in the field of finance and special projects.

What are your career plans?

Being a math major, I want to get a job in mathematics as soon as I graduate.  I am interested in becoming an actuarialist so I will continue studies in that specific field.

What advice do you have for others who are preparing for their job or internship search?

Start early! Write your first rough draft of your resume as soon as possible but not later than your sophomore year and continue to work on it through your time at college. Meet with career services just to talk through what you want to do doing your time in college and what you are interested in as a career.

Did Career Services and/or anybody else assist you with your career development and preparing you for an internship or job? If so, how?

Yes, very much so. Just simply sitting there and listening to them explain where you want to go in life and giving you options on how to get there was a great help. It is also important for someone to continue to ask you why you want to proceed with one goal because your mind might change throughout each year in college on where you want to be after graduation.  Also, they have resume writing help, mock interviews, job fair information, and general data on prospective employers.

How To Get “THAT” Job

March 21st, 2014

Harvard Education expert Tony Wagner says that the world no longer cares about what you know; it’s all about what you can do with what you know… Essentially, they (employers, interviewers etc.) want to know one thing: Can You Add Value? What does that mean for you, as an undergraduate or graduate student? Ever wonder why you were rejected? Read on my friend – people get rejected for primarily two reasons: 1) they were not showing the employer how they could help add value to the company’s forward movement and 2) they didn’t know what they wanted – believe it or not, this type of thing shines through for employers because the candidate has clearly not done the research and or learned the necessary skills for the position that they are interviewing for.

So what?? Here I am, telling you that the working world no longer cares  about those many qualifications you may possess – which isn’t entirely true – but the point is that they care about how you present yourself, what you can do with what you know, and how you can better their company in both the short and long term. Simply presenting your bachelor degree or certificate of qualification is not enough.

Coming back to the title of this blog – “How to Get That Job” – I’m going to let you guys in on a few little tidbits I’ve retained from my personal experience and research.

 

1)       STOP LOOKING FOR A JOB

Surprised? Believe it or not, a common fad for unemployed people is to equate looking for a job with sending out a resume (or a mass of resumes) or simply answering a few ad’s on a job board.. WRONG. The only time you should be sending out a resume (or resumes) is when you’ve established that there is a real job at a company for which you’re being considered, or if a headhunter is trying to fill an open position and requests a resume.

 

Key idea here à Instead of presenting yourself as an out-of-work job seeker, (sending out mass resumes, seemingly desperate, and or lazy) come across as a resource; let people (employers) know that you can solve their problems.  **Note: not personal problems, I’m emphasizing on problem solving skills that you (hopefully) possess and can then transfer into your work for the potential company – thus ‘solving’ their (the company’s) problems.

 

2)       STOP focusing all of your energy on your Resume….

WHAT?? I know, coming from a Career Assistant – but focus on what I’m really saying here… Obviously a clean, clear, concise and updated resume is mandatory, but that’s not all that’s helping you get ‘that job’. More and more companies/employers are relying on LinkedIn (or other various professional social media types) to get to know a candidate better – professionally. A lot of students ask me what happens if they don’t have a LinkedIn profile, and another candidate does… My answer: they automatically have the upper hand (in most cases). That doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll get the job over you, but it does mean that going into the interview, that interviewer will have a better concept of that other candidate. Then, of course, I’m asked if that is a good or bad thing. Answer: Eh, debatable – but I always highly recommend and encourage students and new (or experienced) professionals to not only obtain, but also maintain a LinkedIn profile. At least consider the possibility by listing out the Pro’s and Con’s – do some of your own research regarding the benefits… Figure out if the company that you are applying with and or interviewing with has a LinkedIn Group etc. If so – common sense suggests you invest in a profile.

 

**Note: An ‘adequate’ profile on LinkedIn is worse than none at all – simply put, if you don’t have the motivation to create and maintain a stellar LinkedIn profile, don’t bother.

 

3)       Hold the Speech Pal….

Once 15-20 seconds goes by of spouting off numbers, facts, and stereotypical accomplishments – no one really remembers what you’re saying. Tell a story instead. No, not a personal life story, employers don’t care, not to mention that type of conversation is inappropriate for an interview; but rather translate that 20 second elevator pitch of qualifications and figures into a memorable story. Make it entertaining, humorous etc. Example: if you’re considered to be a connector, talk about how that strength has helped you to find successes within your previous (and, if applicable, current) job(s).

 

4)       DO NOT talk about YOURSELF

Don’t lead your conversation off with the latest news about your personal life – keep it professional. There’s a fine line people tend to walk and cross when it comes to talking about them self during an interview. You’ll want to really focus your energy and conversation on how you can better serve them – them being the overall company and perhaps your division (depending on how the company is set up). However, with that being said, remember to focus on them, the interviewers; be inquisitive – show an interest in their accomplishments and needs. Networking, believe it or not, (sarcasm) is not all about listing off your accomplishments – it can and typically is much more than that.

 

5)       Take Breaks

The job search process can make us pretty crazy and emotional at times – especially when you go into that 5th interview and then are told that the firm has decided to go with someone else for the position… booo… Whatever you do, DO NOT TAKE YOUR FRUSTRATION TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD. If  you’re having a bad day, distract yourself – check emails, do research, OR, if you’ve read my other blog post – go work out!! PUMP YOURSELF UP! The hiring and decision making process is, essentially, out of your hands – learn to let go, and keep moving forward. Easier said than done? That’s your opinion, how you react, how you feel and how you grow is all in your control. Decide who you want to be, define it, and then proceed.

 

**Remember: it’s easy to get into a repetitive cycle where you go on a couple of interviews and then stop… YOU CAN’T STOP. Until you have an offer, you have absolutely nothing**

posted by Sydney Veenker, Career Assistant

Marketing Myself as Multicultural

March 14th, 2014

Aligning myself with many other job seekers, the skills section of my resume included the word “bilingual,” being that I can speak English and Spanish.  In my mind, I already had a foot up on thomulticultural blog picse who are restricted to one language, yet unbeknownst to me, I was selling myself short. The idea of thinking of myself as “multicultural” in a professional manner didn’t occur to me until a recruiter at the 2014 Career Fair made a point to tell me to put the phrase on my resume. After the recruiter glanced at my resume the conversation soon shifted to inquiring about my bilingualism. Our conversation delved deeper into where I was from, how I learned Spanish and what my family and upbringing was like, all which led the recruiter to let me in on a little secret, “multicultural individuals are better able to relate to a wider variety of audiences, they are better able to recognize issues others might surpass and they are able to come up with creative solutions to those said issues.”

I had honestly never thought of the concept in such a concrete manner. Perhaps I took my understanding of Mexican culture for granted, but once I thought about it, being able to say words in another language is a whole different ball game than being able to understand the challenges that a particular population is facing. For instance, I can tell you about family members in Mexico being thrown in jail because their small town business was forced to comply with drug lord demands, and I have woken up to the squealing of a pig being slaughtered outside my bedroom door in preparation for a festival later that night. My exposure to Mexican culture through food, festivals, religion, family members and friends have allowed me to market myself as being “multicultural.” My ability to identify issues that others might not as readily recognize is something that I can apply to my field of study, Public Health. Public heath looks to improve the health of entire populations, where being able to pinpoint issues from an internal point of view can be useful in determining causes and solutions the health issue Mexican Americans face.

So I ask you, what’s that one thing on your resume that can set you apart? For me, I didn’t realize how much being multicultural brought to the table, but I’m glad that someone took the time to point this out to me. Regarding resumes, it’s easy to put down skills that we think employers are looking for, like “being a leader, or being a good communicator,” which don’t get me wrong, are valuable assets, but I challenge you to think more intentionally than that. In addition to putting down skills that employers have specifically stated they are looking for, and even beyond listing the skills that are applicable to almost any field, like being a team player, list some skills that are unique to you and to your field, skills that set you apart from the pack. As I found out, being 50% Mexican has more perks to it than the occasional real enchiladas in my belly (which, might I add, don’t come from your local Juan Colorados).

posted by Adriana Aguilar, Career Assistant

No Plans for Spring Break? Choose an Alternative Break!

March 7th, 2014

Choose one that interests you the most!

  • Hunger & Homelessness in San Francisco, California, Estimated Trip Cost: $435 (includes 4 dinners and breakfast)
  • Community & Cultural Engagement in Yakima, Washington, Estimated Trip Cost: $145 (includes 4 dinners)
  • Environmental Restoration & Conservation: Ashland, Oregon, Estimated Trip Cost: $205 (includes 4 dinners)

What will I get out of an alternative break? 

  • Engage in meaningful service to impact change related to an issue you care about
  • Learn about and reflect upon the complexity and interconnectedness of social issues and problems
  • Improve your leadership, critical thinking, and dialogue skills in dynamic real world scenarios
  • Build meaningful relationships and a new community of civic-minded OSU students
  • Develop skills in negotiating multiple perspectives, viewpoints, and stakeholders’ interests in decision making and actions
  •  Develop an increased capacity to work across differences to build communities
  • Experience a program that will likely inform your future career path and lifestyle

More information…

What exactly is an alternative break? – An alternative break is a trip that engages a group of students in volunteer service and learning. Alternative break trips originated with college students in the early 1980s as a counter to “traditional” spring break trips. Trips typically have a focus on a particular social issue, such as (but not limited to) poverty, hunger and homelessness, education reform, health and wellness, immigration rights, and the environment. Students learn about the social issues and perform projects with local non-profit and community-basespring break alternative imaged organizations.

What does an alternative break look like? – Teams of approximately ten students will spend the week of March 22 to March 29 on three different trips in Oregon, Washington, and California.  Teams will engage in pre-trip planning and orientation meetings and post-trip debriefing and reflection, a structure that promotes continuous learning through the emphasis on critical reflection and reciprocity.

Hurry and Sign-Up today! Spots are limited!

http://oregonstate.edu/cce/alternative-break-application

Questions?

Contact Carina Buzo, Civic Engagement GTA, at carina.buzo@oregonstate.edu or 541-737-3172

 

posted by Whitney Cordes, Career Assistant

5 Tips on Creating Your Personal Brand

February 28th, 2014

Branding yourself isn’t just for people already in, or pursuing, a career in marketing. Whether you realize it or not, you are marketing your personal brand every single day to everyone you meet or encounter in your classes and even at work. The personal branding process starts with who you want to be as a person, which can be whoever you want I might add! So take a step back, look at what you really want out of life and start building ypersonal brand imageour personal brand with this foundation. Here are five steps to help you begin thinking about and creating your very own personal brand:

1.)    Define who you want to be as a person, know what you want out of life!

2.)    Identify your personal skills and ownable attributes (the ones you have now or the ones you want to acquire over time).

3.)    Make sure you can excel at each of those skills and attributes.

4.)    Determine whether you can use them to differentiate yourself from others.

5.)    Consider if these skills will bring you success and happiness over the course of your life (the most important part).

Once you have some of these things in mind, begin to think of all the areas in your life that you want success. Of course this would include your career but also think about your social life, relationships, children, and so on. Remember that your personal brand should be aspirational, so what you want out of life, not necessarily where you are right now. This is just a start but it should guide down the right path for personal branding success!

 

posted by Carly Larson, Career Assistant

Student / Alum Spotlight – Joshua M. Hunsaker

February 14th, 2014

 

Joshua M. Hunsaker

Joshua M. Hunsaker

While a student at OSU, what have you done so far to gain experience?

Over the past two years at Oregon State I have gained experience in several ways. Although I have not become involved in school clubs or activities, I have found ways of

my own to gain invaluable experience. One way I have done this is by running my own tutoring business and aiding students in the areas of my major. This helps me to stay fresh with basic concepts and helps my communication and organization skills. A second way I have gained experience is by volunteering my time. An example of this is by participating in a mission trip to Mexico. On this trip, with my church, we build houses for people in need from the ground up.  We do everything from mixing the cement for the floor to framing walls and finally putting on a roof.  Over the years it has shown me that time is often much more valuable than money. I have learned I need to budget my time well, not only to get all of my work done but to create time in my schedule to help others. A third way I have gained experience is by working. Over this last summer I worked for a general contractor which has given me experience not only as an engineer but as an employee. As an engineer, seeing the building process is invaluable because it helps me design better and more efficient products. Working has also given me experience as an employee and allowed me to see the many different hierarchies that businesses utilize.  The more I work the more experience I gain with these different work structures so I know which one works best for me. These are just a few of the ways I have gained experience over the past few years as a student at Oregon State and though I am not involved with University clubs or activities I am very proactive about finding other ways to stay involved.

 What are your career plans?

 As a mechanical engineer my career plans involve internships, hard work and possibly more school. As an engineer at Oregon State I have had the opportunity to apply for the Multiple Engineering Cooperative Program (MECOP). MECOP allows engineers to participate in two separate six month paid internship experiences which helps them to gain industry experience and to connect with members of industry.  As a result of a great deal of hard work and preparation I was accepted into this program. Over the next two years I will be involved with these internships. After I graduate I would like to work for an engineering firm and hopefully have a job specializing in fluid/thermal dynamics. With diligence and perseverance, I hope to make my way into management so that I can work with teams of engineers, oversee projects and work with administrative branches of the firm. In this pursuit, if it becomes advantageous to acquire my MBA, and if I have the time and the resources, I will. My career plans any further into the future are still forming and depend on what the next few years hold and what opportunities present themselves.

 What advice do you have for others who are preparing for their job or internship search?

 If I had to give a single piece of advice to anyone preparing for a job or internship search, I would say, “Prepare, prepare, prepare.” Without preparation it is almost impossible to succeed and I have found this true with job/internship searches. When I was preparing for my internship search I first went to career services and had them review my resume and give me hints for success. I then scheduled mock interviews and continued to do so until I felt comfortable answering all of the questions the counselors could find. I recommend rotating through as many of the counselors as possible because each one gives different, yet helpful, advice. Career Services can help with everything else in your search as well. Frequently, I would find myself at the end of a mock interview asking all sorts of questions about my search. The next biggest piece of preparation I had was researching the individual companies themselves. Whether it is for an internship or a job, I have found knowing the company you’re looking to be with imperative. In my opinion it is better to know too much than too little. That is my advice for anyone looking for an internship or a job, start preparing and do so early.

 Did Career Services and/or anybody else assist you with your career development and preparing you for an internship or job? If so, how?

Career Services helped me immensely in preparing me for my MECOP Internship interview. I scheduled more than five mock interviews and would have done more if I had time. They helped answer all of my questions from general process to advice on particular courses of action. I would not have been as prepared as I was without the career services. I highly recommend them to anyone preparing for industry in any way.

10 Reasons to Attend Career Fair as a First Year Student

February 13th, 2014

1.       All your friends are doing it. (Or, they will, if you go! Think of how inspiring you’ll be . . .)

2.       There are, in fact, internships and other opportunities specifically available to first and second year students.  A common misconception is that you must be senior standing to benefit from a career fair. However, it is often the case that employers are looking to recruit first and second year students as a way of “getting in early” and starting a long-term and in-depth professional relationship with future employees. Check out the employers listed at the Career Fair web page, for more information on who is recruiting for what.http://oregonstate.edu/career/career-fairs

 3.       You can stop and get coffee at Dutch Bros. on the way. And check out the new Beaver Store!

 4.       It’s a chance to see how long you can wear those fancy shoes before you have to take a break. Often, there aren’t a lot of opportunities to dress professionally as a student. For Career Fair, it is a chance to dress in your best business casual or business formal attire and practice behaving as a professional—which is what you are! It can be fun, and definitely confidence boosting.

 5.       You can eavesdrop on professional conversations! You will be walking through and standing close to many people who are conversing with professionals and recruiters from various industries. As a first year student, take advantage of the time to “listen in” and learn some of the nuances of a networking conversation. You might learn a bit about what to expect for conversations in your future, and what you might want to think about or practice.

 6.       Practice your “30-second Infomercial” or “Elevator Pitch”. Beyond just listening in, this is a chance to try out an introduction of yourself, your interests and skills. Because you may not be seeking employment this early in the game, there is little pressure to perform in a specific way—which makes it a prime opportunity to take a risk, and just give it a try. Who knows? You may learn something! If you need some help prepping your “pitch”, check out the example “30-second Infomercial” at http://oregonstate.edu/career/handouts

 7.       See who’ll be there next time. Career fairs occur at OSU every term except during the summer. While there are different employers present every fair, there are also returning employers. If you can introduce yourself this time, or get an idea of who might be there in the Spring or Fall, you’ll have a jump start on preparing, terms in advance!

 8. Get familiar with the setting. It can be intimidating to walk into an unfamiliar place and attempt to put on a professional face. Use this time to just get comfortable with the environment—where to go, how to dress, how to drop off your backpack and what to bring. You can get an idea of the venue and the culture of the fair, so next time, you aren’t navigating any confusion in that way, but can focus just on getting to know the recruiters.

 

9. Find some motivation for those classes you’re taking. During coursework on campus, especially in the first two years or so, it can be difficult to see how what you’re learning is going to apply in the “real world” (Chemistry, Calculus, and Writing, oh my!). When you interact with employers in this setting, you may start to develop a more accurate and interesting picture of how your education now will be applicable in the future. The experience can also help you get a sense for what you might want to pay attention to and work on “between the lines” of the syllabi for classes. For example, how are your communication skills? Critical thinking and problem solving? What sort of transferable skills can you strengthen and learn, even while getting through that Health requirement?

 10. Get some candy, pens, bags, and other forms of SWAG—all while making connections and practicing your social and communication skills the old-fashioned way, which most employers still value more highly—without a screen separating you from them! Collecting goodies is not the point of any career fair. However, approaching a table to grab a cool water bottle may open up interactions between you and any number of professionals. You will be creating connections, taking risks and learning about yourself and the world, in actual face-to-face encounters, which are becoming more and more rare. And then, as a bonus, you get to go home with some gadgets and pens and candy, as a reminder of your experience and some encouragement tcareer fair photoo come back next time!

 Remember– University-wide and Engineering Career Fairs are next week, February 19th and 20th in the CH2M Hill Alumni Center, across from Reser Stadium! Stop by and say hi and have a fun and productive time!

 

~ Malia Arenth, Career Counselor

Global Internships

February 10th, 2014

Here at Career Services, we definitely encourage students to complete at least one internship befglobal internships imageore they graduate. But what if you’re interested in study abroad as well? Of course, you could always do a study abroad and an internship at different times, but another great option is to do an internship abroad! OSU’s Study Abroad office works with a program called IE3 Global Internships that aims to place students in an internship position in another country. Students can also receive academic credit for their internship. For more information check out this link: http://ie3global.ous.edu/campus/osu/

Read a firsthand account of a student’s experience in an IE3 internship. Ben Spearing recently returned from an internship in Namibia, where he was working at the Cheetah Conservation Fund, and you can read about it at his blog http://benspearing1.blogspot.com/

 

Note:  This post is linked to a external blog and the content for the post approved by Oregon State University Career Services. We are not responsible for the content on the guest blogger’s personal website and do not endorse their site. 

 

posted by Deirdre Newton, Career Assistant

Non-profit and Volunteer Fair February 5th 2014

January 31st, 2014

On the first day in a graduate student counseling internship with a local non-profit, I was given the requisite tour, asked to review appropriate paperwork for documenting interactions with clients, and then led to a portable unit and informed, “This will be your office space until construction on the main building is finished”, and was introduced to my three other intern office mates. By the end of the first week, I was signed up to co-facilitate counseling groups in the local correctional facility, to expand experiential therapy groups at the Boys and Girls Club and had met with representatives from CARDV, Jackson Street Youth Shelter and the Benton County Health Department. At the end of the first week, I had a person I’d never met before walk into my “office”, sit down, and burst into tears, and I knew I was in deep.

Over the next several years, I interned, case managed and counselor-ed my way through a rigorous, fun and, ultimately, extremely valuable experience in that same non-profit setting. I learned that the first day of my internship was extremely telling: I had been  introduced to a very accurate picture of non-profit social services work. It is driven by passion, concern, a lot of hard work, and often with space and resources that are ever-changing and new. I came to know that working with a non-profit is personal, and requires a level of engagement that is sometimes hard to navigate. I also learned that the experience is one that has set in place a very focused and strong foundation of my own career development and exploration.

Non-profit work is not for everyone. But it is for a lot of people. If you think you might be one of those, or just want to know more, please attend the Non-Profit and Volunteer Fair next week, Wednesday, February 5th, at the OSU Memorial Union Ballroom.

Get to know who’s addressing challenges head-on in the community and beyond.

 

Interested? Find all the information, including date/time and who will be attending here:

http://oregonstate.edu/cce/fair

 

posted by Malia Arenth, Career Counselor

How an Internship Led Me to a Career

January 27th, 2014

Internships are such an important step on a college student’s path to a career. As a student, you are generally not qualified to attain work experience in a field that you are considering going into. As a result, students often obtain work experience in the job market that is not relevant to their field of interest. This isn’t to say that this kind of wRebecca image for Jan 2014 blogork experience will not have value, but it is hard to convince someone that you are capable of being an event planner, when your only experience has been as a cashier. Internships, on the other hand can often provide hands on experience in an area that you hope to work in someday. This not only provides you with relevant experience and skills, but also lets you discover whether or not you would actually like the job.

While I was an undergraduate student, I sought out any opportunity that I could to inexpensively travel abroad. As a result, I ended up learning about an internship program called Camp Adventure Child and Youth Services. What drew me to this program was the fact that they paid for your flight to a foreign country and provided you with free housing and a living stipend. Basically free travel? Tell me more! There was a catch, however. In exchange for my free trip around the world, I would need to provide services to the children of U.S. Military members for forty hours a week. The internship was seeking students who were interested in working with children as a career. I thought to myself, “I like kids. I can do that for a free trip to Europe.” Did I have any real experience working with kids, you may be wondering? The answer was no.

Luckily, I ended up being placed as an aquatics counselor and taught swim lessons to preschoolers for the summer, which I really enjoyed. I later did a very short break camp as a Day Camp counselor and realized that I would NOT have survived for a whole summer in that position. I was also lucky that I had chosen a program that provided a lot of training prior to my summer internship. I had a great summer in Japan my first year and went back for a second year in Italy, as well as the short break camp in Hawaii. I loved getting to travel with the program, but I realized that I was officially not interested in working with kids as a career.

When I graduated from college, I wasn’t really sure what to do with my degree. But Camp Adventure asked me to work for them as a trainer for their summer program. I had become a leader during training throughout my time working for them and enjoyed doing it. So I took the part time position. I soon began to realize that although I didn’t love working with children, I did love working with college students. I was so excited to prepare them for their summer internships and see them come back as newly competent individuals and leaders. I realized that if I could make that a full-time career, I would. So I started looking into the field of College Student Affairs and realized that it was a perfect fit for me. I already had experience working with college students through Camp Adventure and I felt confident that my resume matched what a university employer would be looking for.

I am now on a path with a certain destination. I am currently in graduate school pursuing a degree in College Student Services and Administration. Interning for Camp Adventure ideally would have helped me gain a job working with children. Thus, when I first graduated I felt like my internship had been a frivolous waste of time. Why did I spend so much time working with kids, when that is not even what I want to do? Why didn’t I pursue other internships? Maybe I should have. But I think why I continued to work for Camp Adventure was because of the training process. Every year I was drawn back in by the prospect of working with new interns (besides free trips to Italy). In the end, it was a perfect transition into my current career path.

I encourage students to explore internships and to find something that you enjoy doing. You may not realize the value in an experience until much later down the road. Sometimes that value might simply be discovering what kind of work you do and do not like doing, but it’s better to find out sooner rather than later.

posted by Rebecca Schaffeld, Graduate Assistant with Career Services

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