It’s easier than you think. And you can do all of these in the first two weeks of the term.

OSU Fall Image with Bicyclist and Yellow Tree
Welcome Back for Fall Term, Beavs!

1. Show up to all your classes. On time.

Showing up is the first step to success. It sounds simple, but sometimes getting past all of the basics of negotiating life every day can make it tricky to fully “show up”, and especially to be there on time and prepared. Showing up on time and fully engaging in the activity in front of you speaks volumes about your ability to manage a schedule, assess other people’s expectations and contribute meaningfully to growth and learning. All of those things are essential to growing successfully in your own career!

2. Talk to a professor.

Epic career development, like the epic responsibility of becoming a successful human, is not a project meant to be done in isolation. Translation: make friends and connect now. Professors are typically more experienced versions of people, who have not only had to build their own careers, but have also been instrumental in providing guidance and learning for countless others’ careers. Most hold office hours and are available for networking and learning from NOW, not just during the term before you graduate.

3. Check out clubs and activities on campus.

How will you know where you’re going unless you know where you’re coming from? Getting to know yourself is an unending process and is supported by getting involved and learning more about how you operate in different environments. And there are SO MANY options. Did you know that there is a club for people who like water? And one for zombie apocalypse survivalists? And a place that provides access to a TON of opportunities to volunteer?

4. Update your resume. Or start a new one!

Now is a fantastic time to put your professional YOU down on paper. Why? Because it’s waaaaaaay easier to stay updated in real time, rather than try to catch up after the fact. Do an awesome project in class? Write it down! Finish up that summer job? Write it down! Learn the basics of a new computer program? Write it down! If you want some help or advice on how to put a resume together, check in with our fantastic Career Assistants during drop-in resume/cover letter hours, which are Monday through Thursday, 1-4pm!

5. Schedule an appointment with a Career Consultant.

Planning a career can be overwhelming and confusing. Just choosing how to start is sometimes difficult! The good news is, you’ve already started. The better new is, you don’t have to do all of this alone! You have friends, family, classmates, professors, advisors, coaches and more who are available to help. If you’d like to talk to someone who isn’t in one of those categories, schedule an appointment with one of our Career Consultants, through your Beaver Careers account. They are friendly and knowledgeable coaches and counselors who can help you sort through all sorts of questions: What major do I want? How do I find a summer job? How do I work on my grades? Where can I get involved? What is the difference between a resume and CV? Who am I, anyway?? And more!

6. Build a LinkedIn account! And then clean up your Facebook account. And Twitter. And Instagram. And blog. And Vine. And . . .

This is, like all the other steps, an ongoing process. Social media, in some form, is here to stay. And there are more options for engagement every day! If you want to use social media for professional purposes, creating a LinkedIn account is a great way to start now. It’s free and easy to use, and provides a lot of help and information for getting started and building your profile. Once you’re on, you can connect with other professionals, search jobs and companies, participate in discussions, join groups and write and receive recommendations from others.

With other social media, just make sure you clean it up. Over half of hiring managers and employers out there are using social media searches as “informal background checks”. Be sure that what you put out there is what you want your future boss to see!

 

What else do you do to keep moving towards an epic career? Tips? Questions? Let us know!

 

 

Recently, I attended an award ceremony for seniors graduating from the language department with honors. The opening speech was delivered by the very charismatic German professor Sebastian Heiduschke discussing an article he had read enumerating the reasons why GPA doesn’t really matter to employers. You can imagine that this was a little bit of a controversial topic, since every student receiving an award had at least a 3.8 GPA, and had worked hard to make it that way. But as Heiduschke took us on a journey through the facts, it became clear that GPA truly does matter.richard post July 2014

Let’s start off where he did, taking a look at the things that employers might look at rather than GPA:

 

  1. Knowing how you learn— understanding how you learn is an integral factor in success in education and work environments
  2. Applying theory to real-life situations— we have spent a lot of time getting a degree, we need to know how to use it too
  3. Time management— balancing a work schedule with a healthy social life, as well as all the individual parts of your work life
  4. Relevant Professional Experience— internships you have held, volunteer work in the field, and jobs that can relate to your professional life
  5. Portfolio Work— don’t tell me that all of the work you have done in school is for nothing, you can take all those big projects that you were so proud of and put them into a portfolio
  6. The ability to give and receive feedback— a lot of times employers will want to know that you can give input into a situation just as well as you can receive input and reform your projects
  7. Presentation Skills— not all jobs require this, but being able to present yourself well as well as present in front of others will help you in the interview process at the very least
  8. Writing Skills— and just general communications skills are important if you are going to be working with/for anybody
  9. Your Network— the people that will really get you the job are the people that can attest to your qualities as a worker and person, building healthy relationships with people will come in handy
  10. GPA— finally the employers will look at your GPA as a factor in your prospects as an employee

Heiduschke went on to point out that all of these skills are taught through language classes at OSU, whether they are taken to be a Baccalaureate Core requirement, a minor, or if you are a fully-fledged language major, you will pick up all of these skills in language classes. It just goes to show that language can be a key in our education even if it is not the focal point of our studies.

But, if employers are so interested in all of these before our GPA, why should we even care? Well, the fact of the matter is that all of these points will reflect on your GPA and so if you have a good one, you should flaunt it. But that doesn’t mean that you are out of luck if your grade point is sub-par, you will just have to work hard to get that foot in the door. Remember that it is your job to make yourself look good on your resume, so if you are lacking in one of these ten categories, it’s not the end of the world— just highlight the other categories and be confident in portraying what will make you unique to employers.

We spend a lot of time trying to develop skills that we lack in, but at the end of the day: “If you’ve got it, flaunt it.” We don’t get jobs by telling an employer which skills and attributes we don’t have, or what we are working on. We get the job by showing them just how good we are at what we do best.

 

~Thank you to Sebastian Heiduschke for inspiring this topic, and providing a large amount of input for the post.~

 

by Richard Thomas, Career Assistant

Take your career to new heights, know your strengths, and be known for being amazing at something!

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Zack Sperow, our stylin’ Career Assistant

Branding is all about the promise you give to your customer. It tells people what they can expect from you. But in a personal branding point of view; your brand should be what people think of you when you leave the room.

So here is your assignment. First ask 15-30 people that are friends, family, and people who you may have just met within the past few weeks, what are 3-5 words that describe you (The GOOD AND THE BAD). By getting a diverse group of people you will have diverse results and see the changes in responses from someone who knows you more than 10 years to someone who knows you you less than 2 weeks.

Next compile all your responses, draw together conclusions, and find word families. When I did mine I was surprised to see that many people used words like outspoken, honest,  or opinionated. It made me wonder is that the lasting impression I want to have on people  when I leave the room is that I am opinionated; Is that something I want to change about myself? After some critical thought I decided that I am outspoken and I should own it. I am honest when others aren’t but my goal should always be for the common good. I mean  HONESTLY, I am probably always the person who will stop a stranger and say that their shirt is inside-out or that they have spinach in their teeth.

After I made some conclusions I developed my personal brand which is exuberant, ambitious, entrepreneur,  outspoken, and connected. I will use these words as my guiding force for my interaction with people and over my social media.

Take it to the next level by putting these branding words on your own business cards and using these words to sell yourself into a career.This a perfect opportunity to show people that you care about yourself and you are always looking for ways of self-improvement. I think most employers would agree that they rather hire the person that is always looking for ways to improve rather than the stay at home nobody.

 

Go BEAVS

 

posted by Zack Sperow, Career Assistant

Summer break is definitely one of the things I’ll miss the most when I graduate. It’s three glorious months of relaxation and sunshine. That being said, it’s also the perfect time to get things done before school starts up again and you’re really busy and stressed out again. Here are some ideas of ways to keep busy this summer, separate from doing summer classes or working.

Deirdre photo for blog
Deirdre Newton, wonderful Career Assistant!

 

1. Update your resume so that next time you need it you won’t have to do nearly as much work! Career Services will be open all summer for career counseling appointments, so make an appointment to come in for resume and cover letter help!

 

2. Look into professional memberships relevant to your career. Buying memberships while you’re still a student is often significantly cheaper and a great resume builder. You can also get access to a lot of great resources, including job listings that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to access.

 

3. Go to a music festival or concert. So, this actually isn’t career development related. But honestly, when is a better time to do this than over the summer! There are a ton of festivals and concerts happening over the summer, taking advantage of the hordes of college students with time to spare. Treat yourself  and enjoy being young and carefree.

 

4. Get letters of recommendation if you foresee yourself needing them soon. Whether you’re applying for graduate school in the next year or trying to get a scholarship, summer is a good time to contact professors for letters of recommendation. They’re also most likely a bit less busy than during the normal school year, so it’s advantageous on both ends.

 

5. Learn a new skill or pursue new knowledge. Whether it’s relevant to your career or not, summer is a great time to learn new skills, read books, and catch up on TEDtalks. You could try learning a language, an instrument, a computer program, a programming language…the possibilities are endless. Maybe you’ve always wanted to do photography on the side – go for it!

 

What plans do you have for the summer? We’d love to know!

posted by Deirdre Newton, Career Assistant

It’s Moms Weekend at Oregon State University! Here come the moms!

mom blog

In honor of all moms and this weekend of festivities, I’ve compiled a list of ten phrases that are class

ic Mom Wisdoms (I use the term loosely), along with how actually listening to them may be beneficial for you in your education and career. If you disagree, let me know. And add your own—what did Mom (or Dad, or Other Parent) say to you?

“Stand up straight.”

This one time, I was in middle school. For YEARS. At least three years. And I hated middle school, but not for the reasons you’d think. I loved school and had friends and played sports and all of those theoretically healthy things. However, middle school was when my brain suddenly decided that every time I was in a conversation with someone who wasn’t a close friend, or when I had to talk in front of a class, it was a good moment to send all the blood in my body RUSHING to my face. It sometimes took an hour to recover my original pallor from the rush. And it sucked. Because I felt and believed, in those conversations, that I was confident and smart and had opinions. My face, though, said loudly “I’m super embarrassed!!! And maybe even incompetent! Or lying!”

The point is, non-verbal communication is exceedingly important, especially when your non-verbals don’t match   what you’re saying. Some body language is not in our control, but a lot of it is. Stand up straight and connect the confidence of your body to the confidence of your words.

Ever heard of power posing?

“Life’s not fair.”

Sometimes, I hate that this is true. However, it can be to your advantage to believe this: if life isn’t fair, that it will sometimes be unfair in your favor. If you’re not looking for ways to “screen yourself out” of opportunities that may otherwise seem out of reach (you know the thoughts: “I’m not good enough for this” “I can’t do this” “Everyone else is better qualified”), you may grasp a lucky chance rather than let it slip away. So perhaps this can be your mantra: Life’s not fair, and I’m so glad!

“Money doesn’t grow on trees.”

Uggh, yes. Thanks, Mom. I’m aware that it doesn’t grow on trees. However, I am going to behave as though it does, by spending my unsubsidized loan money as if it’s regular money, and using credit cards for new shoes (again), and forgetting, for years at a time, to actually use my savings account . . .

Get comfortable living within your means and thinking about your future self realistically and you’ll end up far better off in your options for education, career, and lifestyle flexibility. Need some help talking education finances on campus? Connect with these fine folks.

 “Clean your room!”

Organized people experience less stress and are more productive. Or, so I’ve heard. (Shout out to my mom for trying to get me to clean my room for somewhere around 18 years. A little tip from someone who knows: if you resist cleaning your room until you’re 30, your mom might just come in and do it for you around the holidays!)

But in all seriousness: organization and being able to utilize a structured and simple system to keep track of your goals, obligations, tasks and activities is essential to being effective in any job—whether you are delivering pizza or running an international corporation. Starting with getting your clothes off the floor at home is good practice.

“I’m going to count to three: one . . . . two . . . three . . .”

In this case the decision-making process is usually deciding between two choices you don’t really want to do as a kid: clear your dishes or lose a privilege, for example. However, it’s still a choice and needs you to make a decision. Decision-making is one of the top skills employers look for in potential employees. Being able to understand information and draw reasonable conclusions in a timely manner will allow efficiency in your work as well as inspire confidence in your clients and employer. It’s also an important skill in relationships, sports, crises, providing leadership, grocery shopping, being a good traveler  . . . .

“Always wear clean underwear in case you get into a car accident.”

No. Always wear clean underwear. Period. You don’t need reasons for why.

“So, if everyone jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?”

      Risk-taking is important. So is planning ahead and assessing your strategy without going along another person’s path without thinking. I hear this in my office all the time: “What should I do with this degree? Should I take Job A or Job B? What is everyone else doing with this degree?”. I think these are useful questions. I also think that they are completely missing the point of being a person. As soon as “should” is added to a statement or question, it implies that there is a proper way of doing something. As if the people who’ve already gone that direction have created a “one direction”. If jumping off the bridge means you land in a (safe) world full of interests and activities and people that are awesome for you, then, by all means, jump! If not, it’s time to reassess and trust that that particular bridge may not be the one for you.

  “You will always be MY baby.”

A lot of our choices in life are driven by core values and needs that were developed very early on in life. Being mindful of those and it will be difficult to take opportunities that aren’t a good fit for you. Need some help defining your values? Look here.

Also, this is important because of the unconditional positive regard (translation: love) that babies tend to get from moms. That love is an important rock for you as an adult and professional because you won’t get validation, recognition and encouragement for simply being an appropriate human being from many people around you. Hang on to t

hat mom love in times of doubt and feedback drought.

“Because I said so.”

      Sometimes you have to play the game and follow directions, whether you agree with the reasoning or not. I truly believe that those who become the most successful, in however you define success, are not only hard-working and committed to their goals, but who are open to following and leading. Get away from being defined with words like “entitled” and “lazy” by meeting expectations without complaint. Show up, keep your eyes and ears open, and do what you’re told. The ability to do all three will help you build relationships and a positive reputation with whomever you work for and with.

“Were you raised in a barn?!”

 Oh my goodness, I hope you were, or near one, like on a farm. Because then you’ll know all of the most important things about surviving in the work you do:

1.  If you open it, close it.

2. If you don’t know how to operate it, find someone who does or leave it alone.

3.  If it smells, don’t step in it.

4.  If it’s broken, fix it.

5. If you make a mess, clean it up.

6. If you use it, take care of it.

7.  Get up early. Go to bed early.

8. Some things are out of your control.

9.  With every season comes change. Get used to it and learn how to adapt.

10. Get your hands dirty. Let someone else do the sitting around.

Want to know what’s going on at Moms Weekend? Check here

Want to know what’s going on with your mom? Give her a call.

Happy Friday!

 

posted by Malia Arenth, Career Counselor

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

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

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

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

career trail one

College is the time to develop the  skills you need and Career Trail  is here to help!  Take advantage of the Career Trail Prep by Step program I am excited to be part of Career Services’ Initiative to reach out to OSU students both on and off campus by offering  a new way to engage students in career preparation and develop their skills! Student success is the focus!

Career Trail is our new online career development self-directed and interactive program to reach students and alumni 24 hours per day, making accessibility for all at their fingertips.  Career Trail engages faculty and staff by providing a resource including curriculum/assignments that can be used individually or in a classroom setting.  Career Trail engages users with diverse levels of experience.

One of the  aspects of the “Career Trail Prep by Step” program that I am excited about is how a student or alumni can quickly review the steps and determine where they are at in the career preparation process and find the step they are ready to engage in.  career trail two

  • The Career Preparation process begins with getting to Know Yourself, your strengths, values, interests, and personality.  What a great way to start!
  • Know the World of Work is the next step where you can learn about majors, what you can do with your major, and learn about jobs that excite you!
  • Next it is off to Develop Tools and Skills that will prepare you for a job.  Here you learn about building a stand-out resume and developing stellar interviewing skills.
  • Next you Learn How to Connect.  Connecting with others through your network, expanding your network through informational interviewing and using professional social media like LinkedIn can help you learn about opportunities and be ready to act on opportunities when they present.
  • You can even learn how to develop a professional website or blog under Now Keep Going!

career trail three

Link to Career Trail:  http://oregonstate.edu/career/trail

For more help or information visit us at Career Services|B008 Kerr Administration Building | 541-737-4085 | career.services@oregonstate.edu

 

Carolyn Killefer serves as an OSU Career Counselor with over 20 years of professional counseling experience in academic, community, private practice, and industry settings with a commitment to helping others reach their personal goals.