Valentine’s Day, like many other holidays, offers us a chance for reflection. We ponder our life choices, our current state of happiness, and what to do for our loved ones to show them how important they are. I’ve always been of the opinion that Valentine’s Day is not only a chance to show your appreciation for your significant other, but should also be a chance to show your appreciation for your closest friends and family who have always been there for you and probably don’t get thanked nearly often enough.

In fact, rather than being sad if you’re single this Valentine’s Day, take it as a chance to make the choice to change your attitude about the holiday. Being positive and not taking for granted all the good things you have going for you will undoubtedly become apparent in other aspects of your life, such as at work and at school. Take the time to appreciate your coworkers, schoolmates, professors, and bosses. It’s so much easier to be happy if you dwell on the positives rather than the negatives, and positivity can take you a long way in your professional development.

Also, holidays such as Valentine’s Day can offer valuable lessons when it comes to things like the job search or maybe advancement within your current career. Giving the same care and attention to your professional development as you would to your significant other can result in huge payoffs in the end.

Tailor your resume. Just like you wouldn’t give a regifted item to your significant other, don’t reuse the same resume/cover letter. Every time you turn in your resume, you should look it over and make sure it’s relevant to the position you’re applying for. You can even go so far as to use some of the specific language that’s in the original job description, to make sure that it’s obvious that you’re a good fit for the position.

Dress to impress. You probably wouldn’t go out for a romantic Valentine’s dinner without looking your best, so approach interviews as opportunities to “woo” the employer. Dressing your best to make a great first impression is almost as important as the entire rest of the interview.

Stand out. Let’s face it: flowers and chocolate aren’t exactly the most original gifts to give on Valentine’s Day. To really make the occasion memorable, you have to think outside the box. The same thing applies to your career: in order to get the job or be recognized for your hard work at your current job, you have to make the effort to stand out among your peers.

Be proactive. Relationships usually don’t just happen, they take a certain amount of work to initiate and keep going. Likewise, a career won’t just happen without any effort on your part. Take the extra step to follow up after you turn in your resume and after an interview so that you maximize your chances of standing out among your competition.

With these tips in mind, I hope you have a successful Valentine’s Day and some new ideas about your professional development!


Posted by Deirdre Newton, Career Services Assistant

With umbrellas showing up in movies, song titles, photographs, commercials and pretty much everywhere on rainy days (except in Oregon), it seems appropriate that there is a National Umbrella Day. Each year on February 10th pull out your umbrella to celebrate. While we all may own an umbrella, most know little about them, so here are some fun facts to help you brush up on your umbrella trivia. Around the world umbrellas are also known as a parasol, brolly, parapluie, rainshade, sunshade, gamp, bumpershoos and umbrolly. Also universal, their main objective is to provide protection from rain and shade. Umbrellas began to appear around the 11th Century B.C. in sculptures in the Middle East and China, looking pretty much the same as they do today.

Even though many Oregonians often opt for a raincoat, umbrellas are one of the most common accessories worldwide. With the Career Fairs and interviews coming up, select an umbrella! To ensure you make the best impression with employers arrive crisp and dry, by adding an umbrella on top of your raincoat. Just like your professional attire and briefcase, add to your ensemble a professional umbrella. Of course always dress yourself for the company you are applying to, so if it is an Oregon based outdoor wear company don’t bring along your umbrella; however, if it is a more corporate location keep dry with a nice looking umbrella. Here are a couple tips to selecting the perfect umbrella:

  • Canopy – Make sure it is well made and watertight, or else there is no point.
  • Frame – Check out the quality of the frame to make sure it will not collapse or flip out on you when a gust of wind comes up.
  • Color – While the bright pattered umbrellas may draw your eye, for a professional umbrella find one with neutral colors.
  • Type – Figure out which type of umbrella you like and which will suits you best, be it a traditional, automatic, compact, bubble, or high fashion umbrella.


Posted by Sami Kerzel, Career Services Assistant

While the economy is still mired in a recessive state, slowly working itself back towards high employment and higher wages, it seems that the students who find it hardest to get a job upon graduation are those who major in the humanities or liberal arts. While engineers, scientists, and accountants slot easily into new jobs, English, history, and philosophy majors find themselves only able to apply for jobs that are marked with the dreaded “All Majors Welcome” label. This is not a slight on those who receive a job, merely a factual statement that demonstrates the complete reversal the United States had undergone since C.P. Snow’s “The Two Cultures” – Science vs. Humanities – in the early 1960s.

I myself am a historian, someone who got his bachelor’s degrees in 4 years and then graduated in 2010, right in the middle of the worst recession since the 1920s. My options were few and far between, and no matter how hard I looked, jobs never appeared. Instead –and perhaps against my own best judgment – I chose to return to school, again choosing history for my graduate program. As I plan to graduate in June of this year, I find myself stressing over the thought of looking for and applying to jobs. It is not the process that scares me, but rather, the fear of being told “No” or, worse yet, not being told anything at all.

While this may seem somewhat depressive and very much not arguing for the humanities as the title implies, the realization that students in the humanities have a harder time finding a job has actually changed my perspective and opened my eyes to the possibilities that we sociologists, historians, and language majors can offer to the professional world.

As a history student, the skills that I have learned and the knowledge that I have gained may seem like little more than a memorization of names, dates, and facts to an outsider. However, to me, I know that I now possess critical thinking skills that allow me to synthesize and evaluate a variety of sources and compile them into a larger body of work that conveys a new importance and a new meaning. I have gained a knowledge and appreciation for different cultures and their histories, allowing me to connect with their stories and better understand what they have gone through. Similarly, I now have better communication and collaboration skills, working efficiently and effectively with others to succeed in ways that others cannot.

When I graduate from OSU, I may not become a historian and my understanding of a war or a famous historical figure may never again come in handy. That does not make my degree in the humanities a failure or a waste of time, rather it demonstrates that sometimes the content of what we learn is not the most important, but rather, it is the context, the process, and the manner in which we learn that will truly help us in the future.

Posted by Peter Rumbles, Career Services Assistant

Ever see random people standing on the corner of a street with a sign that says: “Free Hugs”? Well believe it or not National Hug Day is a non-public holiday that occurs on the 21st of January. The purpose of this holiday is to help everyone show more emotion in public by offering “free” hugs to anyone and everyone you want.

Kevin Zaborney is credited for creating this holiday. An interesting fact about National Hug Day is that the date, January 21 marks the midpoint between Christmas and Valentine’s Day. Studies show that at this midpoint everyone is at their emotional low. With National Hug Day everyone who is embarrassed to show their feelings in public can change that with a simple hug whether it is from a family member, someone you know or even from a complete stranger.

Wondering what the benefits of hugging are? Studies have shown that human contact has many benefits; it improves both physical and psychological development. Hugging also helps to build and maintain healthy immune systems. Hugging someone can also help them if they are having a bad day; you never know what a simple hug can do for someone. This National Hug Day is practiced all over the world because hugging is simply a kind gesture.

So don’t forget to participate in this Holiday, and don’t forget that even though it may not be National Hug Day someone could always use a hug!

Posted by Hulali Kaapana, Career Services Career Assistant


For nine years Black Friday has been recorded as the busiest shopping day of the year. The shopping extravaganza, which takes place the day after Thanksgiving, begins anywhere from midnight to 4am when lines of eager shoppers await various store openings in order to snatch up some of the best deals seen all year. Much like preparing for a job interview, Black Friday involves much planning and preparation. Here are 3 ways preparing for Black Friday is like preparing for a job interview:

  1. Do your Research. When preparing for your job interview, research can be helpful in learning a little bit about the company such as its missions and goals. It can also give insight on statistics and competitors in the particular field in which you will be interviewing. Doing your research for Black Friday is also important. already has Black Friday ads for 2012 posted for major stores like Walmart, Best Buy, and Sears. Researching and comparing ads from different stores can be helpful to ensure you are getting the best deal. To go even further, researching past and current prices of the item you are hoping to buy can also be helpful to ensure you are really getting a deal. (I bought a camera last year on Black Friday and it turned out I waited in line at 4 in the morning for a small 10 dollar discount on it! Sometimes the small discounts might not be worth all the hassle of Black Friday.)
  2. Prepare & Practice. Though you don’t know the specific questions that will be asked of you in your interview, there are still a few ways you can prepare and practice. Making a list of your skills and accomplishments can help you give specific examples in your interview answers, while practicing and recording yourself answering questions can make you aware of your mannerisms and habits. Making a list for Black Friday is important in helping you stay on track and stay focused. Many big stores like Target and Walmart get so crowded with shoppers that things can become very overwhelming and intense. Sometimes with limited number of items, stores have people pushing and shoving for the latest and greatest deals. This is also why practice can be important in preparing for your shopping day. It can be helpful to visit the stores you plan on going to and get familiar with the set-up and layout of the store. Some stores may also rearrange their layout for the big day, so sometimes maps are placed in their Black Friday ads which show where big items and different departments will be set up.
  3. Image. The last step in preparing for your interview is deciding what to wear. “Dressing the part” can be crucial in the interview process, sometimes making or breaking the outcome. Dressing the part for your interview usually varies depending on the company and position. In addition to dressing the part, making sure you are comfortable can be important, as well as being conscious of things you might fidget with or that might be distracting like hair, jewelry, etc. With long lines and crowded stores, dressing the part is just as important on Black Friday. Being comfortable is also highly recommended for Black Friday since you will be doing a lot of walking and a lot of standing in lines. Having comfortable clothing can also make moving through the stores easier, helping you get in and out at a quicker pace. (I waited in line at a store for 2 hours on Black Friday 3 years ago!)

There you have it…so be sure to do your research, get prepared, and get comfortable and you will be ready to take on those Black Friday deals as well as an interview!

Posted by Erica Evans, Career Services Assistant