My name is Zack Sperow and I am going to graduate in the next few months. I am starting to get nervous about graduation – I have already had a 2 job offers but denied them both because they did not feel like the right fit, and currently I am working on 3 more job offers with some pretty awesome companies. My friends wonder how I am able to get so many interviews and offers with so many great employers. I always tell them that I act as my own sales representative to help me get recruited. Here are 4 tips to help you become your own sales rep while on your road to a job after graduation:

Zack Sperow, Career Assistant
Zack Sperow, Career Assistant


1. Lead Generation: Researching and finding companies is actually harder than you may think. Just like a salesperson might look for qualified leads to make a potential sale, you will need to see if the company fits the culture, job, location, and pay you are looking for.

2. It’s a Numbers Game: Much like Sales Reps need to meet with many prospective customers to make a sale; You will need to meet with many employers to find the right one. Look at your industry and know if it is in demand or not and then start making educated guesses. In example I apply to 10 jobs, get 3 interviews, and in the end receive one job offer. If I want 3 job offers then I will need to apply to 30 jobs. (It’s a lot of work!)

3. Sales is a Relationship: Sales people constantly need to be in contact with their customers and building relationships with potential customers. You will need to build relationships in your network to help you find the best jobs. Figure out how to connect to people on a professional level and get them to like you.

4. Close The Deal: Sometimes a sale won’t happen unless you ask the question. This is really a delicate dance when you are the job seeker. You do not want to offend the employer  but at the same time, you want to know if they are already thinking you are a good fit. When closing the deal remember not to be in a rush, if you have other opportunities try negotiating your pay. Be willing to walk away from the deal if the employer cannot reach your needs.


Wish you all the best,



As a student that isn’t very involved in their chosen field yet, it can be hard to come up with a list of companies to target when it comes time to search for a job for after graduation. You can do general Google searches, but that process is inefficient and can actually be surprisingly ineffective. Even Career Fairs will be very limited help if the field you’re going into doesn’t have a lot of prospects in this region of the US. Here are a few options for you to help you target new companies in your job search.

Be aware of geography. Maybe you’re someone graduating with a major that can work anywhere, but not all majors have that freedom. Do some research on what geographic areas have a high concentration of companies in your field (a well-known example is Silicon Valley) and concentrate your research there. It’s not impossible to find jobs in areas that don’t have a lot of companies relevant to you, but it is going to be harder.

Join a professional organization. Many professional organizations will have specific career resources available to you. You can discover companies in your field through the career resources they provide or even through who they’re connected to on LinkedIn – assuming the professional organization has a LinkedIn presence (they usually do).

LinkedIn is a useful tool in general. You can find jobs, follow companies and see related companies, and even enter cities that you’re interested in and it will pull up companies in the area. Don’t be afraid to message people on LinkedIn to start making connections – either by directly expressing your interest in working for them or using it as an informational interview experience.

Use the internet to your best advantage. Sites like Monster and Indeed are well known, but it might be advantageous to find less well-known sites that are set up differently. For example, Glassdoor is a site that’s more about researching companies rather than finding any job listing – what it’s like to work for that company, salaries, etc. AfterCollegeJobs is a site that specifically advertises entry-level and internship positions that are appropriate for a new graduate. There are undoubtedly many more tools you could use, you just have to find them!

Meet with a Career Consultant. Last, but certainly not least, career consultants are professionals in the field of helping you build your career! Meet with a Consultant at OSU’s Career Services office to get great tips on how to optimize your job search. Sign in to Beaver Careers to make an appointment!

posted by Deirdre Newton, Career Assistant

Why Network? Boom you’re welcome!


According to ABC News 80% of jobs are landed through networking, so stop spending so much time applying and get working on networking.


  1. Does everyone in your network know you are looking for the next step in your career? If no, let them all know, keep them updated on your opportunities, interviews, and offers. This is not only great marketing of yourself but also helps trigger peoples minds the next time they hear of a job opening.
  2. Why LINKEDIN? – It is in all caps for a reason. It is an unlimited resource for staying connected to your professional network but also helps you connect to people who you may want to work with. I landed a job interview with a company I really wanted to work for just by asking the CEO on Linkedin. So take some time connect with everyone you know and post about topics in your industry to the newsfeed. This shows you are educated of what is happening in your field but also helps people remember you for what you are great at.
  3. Relationships are like pulses. You need to pump in order to keep them alive. Start going to coffee, lunch, or dinner with people that might be able to help you or keep you informed on another career opportunity. This takes a lot of work. It may seem weird to contact someone who you haven’t talked to for a year but just do it! Most people respond well.
  4. Once you have some momentum in your career, start helping others and pay it forward. It seems simple but most people get into their offices, sit at their comfy desk, and never think to maintain relationships outside their inner circle. So pump the relationship and be there for people when they are exploring their own careers.
  5. Send Thank yous! Why is it so hard? Oh wait, it isn’t. This creates a great image for yourself when you show gratitude and also makes you happier.
  6. Being happy, staying focused, and pursuing your passion should make you excited in the morning when networking. If not, maybe it is time change it up and find a new career you want.

posted by Zack Sperow, Career Assistant

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!

zack for blog
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.




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

There we all are, browsing through job postings, looking for that little nugget of gold that will match ME specifically, a place that I will be happy and valued. There it is, a job title that is exactly what I want to do, and so I click on it. It’s a startup company… great. Less pay, and more responsibility than in a bigger corporation, no guarantee of a job five years from now? Eek! Next.

But why shouldn’t we all consider those startup companies? Don’t they have a lot to offer? Startups offer Culture, Opportunity, and Responsibility; whereas many of the corporate companies that might approach you will offer higher pay, benefits, and stability. Haven’t you ever wanted to be part of something big though? Something new that you can make your own? What if your startup takes off and their product is huge? Keep in mind, Facebook is only 10 years old right now, and there are still market niches that need to be claimed, so are the benefits of working at a startup worth taking a small gamble, and accepting a little less pay?

Let’s talk about culture. Working at a startup you will probably be in a small group of individuals that were all hired for a different set of skills that they possess. This means that every conversation that takes place in the office will be something that might not have ever occurred before… a new mixture of different people that are thrown together will unknown results, and you have a chance to shape that culture too. In such a small environment you can make jokes, and enjoy the company of everybody in the office, not just sit in a cubicle or tackle projects with the other new hires in your corporate position. Go out and start traditions with your quirky new coworkers! Not to mention the laid back atmosphere. Want to wear jeans to work? No problem. Do you want to cut that down to shorts and sandals in the summer? Sure! As long as you are getting your work done, there’s no reason you should have to worry about it in your startup job.

But even better than the culture is your opportunities and versatility that is offered by startups. You might find yourself being pulled into projects that you never expected to end up in. You can really show your stuff and take on as much responsibility as you want— volunteer to run your companies blog— show how you have a talent for designing websites or brochures. Take ownership of all those skills and talents that you have accumulated over the years, and the next thing you know you will be renown in your little community for what you can do. And as soon as the company starts to grow, you might end up in charge of some people, or a whole department, all because you were able to demonstrate your skills, and received those opportunities. To be realistic, you can’t find any opportunities like that in a big corporate company.

Even if the startup doesn’t work out, you have just earned yourself 6 months, or maybe a year worth of good experience to put down on your resume, and that made you that much more desirable and valuable to the next company that takes a look at you. You are still young, so take some adventure with you in your life.

by Richard Thomas, Career Assistant