internship signThere are many ways to find internship opportunities and I always encourage students to implement all strategies. Before even starting to find an internship, it is a good idea to think about what you want to get out of the internship. In order to know what you want to get out of the internship, first think about what skills and experiences you need to have in order to get the job you want when you graduate.  Check out multiple job descriptions, talk to people in the field and make a list of those qualifications. Then note the ones that you have and the ones you still need to develop. The ones you need to develop could be incorporated into your internship. For example, maybe you need to know a specific software program, or maybe you need to have experience presenting to others – include these in your learning outcomes for the internship.

Once you have identified the learning outcomes you will feel more prepared to find opportunities and you will appear more focused and confident to those looking to hire someone. Networking is always important, no matter the field, so tell all of your family, friends, professors, advisors, etc. that you are looking for an internship. Don’t just tell them you are looking for an internship, prepare a 30 second spiel that articulates what you want such as the industry, some companies or organizations that interest you, what you would like to get out of the internship, and anything else that you feel is important to include. You never know who someone in your network may know!

Besides networking, other strategies include paying attention to the emails you get from your professors, academic advisors, department, etc. Oftentimes they send opportunities your way but you have to actually read and follow up on the email. If your school has a job database this is another place to look for internships since employers are posting on that site because they want students from that particular school (at OSU it is Beaver JobNet). Career Fairs also often have internship opportunities, so be sure to attend! Depending on your major and field of interest, some companies have actual internship programs and those you can typically find on the company’s website or just do an online search of internship programs in “fill in the blank of your field.” Another great resource for internship opportunities are through professional associations. Every field has at least one professional association or society and many offer a student discount rate to join. Many also have internship postings on their website and you don’t always have to be a member to view them. Some companies are now recruiting through social media. LinkedIn offers job and internship postings and you can also search Twitter for internships in a specific field, for example, marketing internships. Just remember to make sure you have a clean and professional online presence!

These are just a handful of strategies to finding an internship…now just make sure you do at least one internship while in school. You’ll not only build a stronger resume, but learn about yourself and your future career.

Posted by Jen Busick Stewart, Career Advisor & Outreach Coordinator

government jobsThe federal government has a tremendous amount of jobs across the United States. However, there are many myths associated with working for the federal government. These can drive students away from considering the federal government when looking for jobs and internships, leading them to miss out on great opportunities. By the end of this article, I will debunk these four myths.

Myth #1: Federal employees are paper pushers and are caught up in bureaucracy.
The federal government has more than 300 departments and agencies, and each performs different tasks, such as improving our education, advancing science, insuring our security and health, and preserving our environment. None of them is restricted to paperwork. Last summer, I had the privilege to intern at Brookhaven National Laboratory, the home of seven Nobel Prize winners and one of the sub-agencies of the federal government. This was not just an internship. I gained hands-on experience with cutting-edge devices, performed scientific research, made many connections with world-class scientists, and attended a wide variety of scientific lectures and career development workshops.

Myth #2: Salaries for federal employees are low and you are better off in the private sector.
The pay scale for many federal jobs uses the general schedule system and is graded from 1-15. The grades depend on the type of degree and several other factors such as class standing and GPA. For example, an undergraduate would be a GS-5, an undergraduate with honors GS-7 and graduate student GS-9. Each grade has ten steps, allowing for a range of salaries.  For example, an employee with a GS-7 step 1 salary gets paid $33,979 per year, while an employee with a GS-7 step 10 salary receives $44,176.

On top of these salaries, there is the student loan repayment assistance program. Some agencies may repay up to $10,000 of student loans per year. In 2008, 35 agencies provided 6,879 employees with $51 million in student loan assistance.

Myth #3: All federal jobs are located in Washington, DC.
In fact, only approximately 16% of federal jobs are located in the Washington, D.C. metro area. The rest are located throughout the United States, not to mention the more than 50,000 jobs overseas! The Department of Energy, for example, has office locations in 30 states across the U.S., and when I interned at Brookhaven, I was working in New York.

Myth #4: The application process is complicated and overwhelming.
I have met many students who find the application process through overwhelming. It definitely can look that way but it isn’t once you create an account and start navigating the website. The basic process of applying for a federal job is as follows:

  1. Find a job that you’d like to apply for.

When applying for a federal job, the first thing you must do is to look for available jobs before even creating your résumé. Nearly all federal jobs are posted on

  1. Create your résumé.

The federal résumé, like private sector résumés, should be tailored to each specific opportunity. That is why you have the option to build up to five résumés in USAJobs. Federal résumés have different structures and more detail than private sector résumés. When building your federal résumé, you have two options: you can create one and then upload it, or you can build one through the website. The second option, from my point of view, is the easier one, because it only requires filling in your information by using an online form. This ensures that all the necessary information has been included in your résumé. After you are done with these two steps, you are left with questionnaires and, for some jobs, essay questions.

Overall, the federal government provides lucrative job opportunities for any level of experience, from an internship while you’re in college to a senior executive. Don’t let these four myths stand stop you from achieving a meaningful career in the private sector. Check out for your opportunity today.

Posted by Ahmad Mohammad, U.S. Department of Energy Student Ambassador

NOTE: This post was written by a guest blogger and the content for the post approved by Oregon State University Career Services. We are not responsible for the content of  the websites linked in the post.

Blog photo (LinkedIn)LinkedIn has become known to be one of the best social networking websites for people in professional occupations. Some of the main purposes of LinkedIn are to make connections with other people in the professional world. Once this takes place and people upload their resumes to showcase their work within their communities, it can then be used to look for jobs. Employers can also list jobs and search for potential candidates based on what people put on their personal profiles. It is highly recommended to have a LinkedIn profile. It is important to stay on top of your profile; you want to make sure it is up to date so you look like the “ideal candidate” for your possible future employers. Here is a list of 5 ways/ tips to get noticed on LinkedIn, using that profile you worked so hard to create and keep polished.

1.)   Spruce up your career summary with relevant keywords. Recruiters and employers often look for skills and expertise a candidate obtains so highlight your qualifications by including certain keywords in your career summary.

2.)   Participate in discussions. LinkedIn is full of different groups you can join, so find ones related to your industry and occupation and respond to comments and questions using the discussion and message boards with intelligent/articulate answers, these may attract recruiters which may lead to a possible interview or job offer down the road.

3.)   Build up your connections. Connect with as many people as possible, from entry level employees to vice-presidents. Recruiters look at the number of connections you have, as well as who you are connected to, to evaluate your networking skills.

4.)   Post recommendations on your profile. If you solved a problem or contributed to an important project at work and a co-worker of yours writes a recommendation about you, make sure it gets posted to your profile as well, not just theirs.

5.)   Regularly update your status. Everyone you are “linked” to or who is in your network sees your updates when you post them, so make yourself more visible. It’s not a bad idea to post the fact that you are looking for work because all it takes is getting noticed by one person, the possibilities are endless!

Take these tips and suggestions into consideration when you start or continue to use LinkedIn. They could be extremely helpful to you getting more connections and hopefully getting that dream job you’ve been searching, waiting, and working so hard for. Good Luck!


 Posted by Carly Larson, Career Services Assistant

JKRowlingPA_468x461It’s not uncommon for people to either change their career path partway through their lives, or even to fail many times before finding success. Here are some famous examples to help encourage you to follow your dreams and never give up:

J.K. Rowling

Rowling had it rough before Harry Potter hit success. Her mother died, she was divorced, and ended up in poverty raising a child by herself. Hers is the ultimate modern rags-to-riches story, going from living on welfare benefits to being a multi-millionaire in a matter of only a few years. She used many of the hardships she endured as inspiration for events and characters in the Harry Potter series.

Harrison Ford

Believe it or not, Harrison Ford became a professional carpenter after spending some time in Hollywood as an extra or in very minor, often uncredited, roles. His big break came when he was hired to build cabinets in George Lucas’s home, who subsequently cast him in American Graffiti and then, a few years later, as Han Solo in Star Wars.

Martha Stewart

Before Martha Stewart became an icon for domestic life, she was actually a stockbroker. She ended up moving to Connecticut and starting a catering business which would eventually morph into the multimillion dollar enterprise we know as Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

Henry Ford

Henry Ford actually had multiple failed attempts at starting his own company. His first company, Detroit Automobile Company, was dissolved by his board of directors. His next attempt, the Henry Ford Company, he left because of business disagreements with his partner. Learning from the mistakes he made along the way, he was able to recover and finally established the Ford Motor Company.


50 Famous People Who Failed at Their First Attempt at Career Success

Seven Famous Career Switchers

11 Famous People Who Were in the Completely Wrong Career at Age 30

Posted by Deirdre Newton, Career Services Assistant

Ready to get inspired for your job, internship, or career search? Each month we 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.

summerName: Summer Li
Degrees: BS – Marketing/Finance, MBA
Graduated: June 2013
Company: Rubicon

1. Tell us about yourself.
My goal has always been to work for a company that is cause focused and Corporate Social Responsibility orientated. Rubicon’s passion in Education and dedication in giving back to the global community aligns with my personal values precisely.

2. How did you land your job with Rubicon?
I first learned about Rubicon in February at a MBA career conference and decided to apply. Following the conference, I did an informational interview with one of the team members present at the conference and then turned in my application. After two rounds of interviews I was hired!

3. What advice do you have for others who are preparing for their job search or career?
I truly believe it is all about the quality rather than the quantity. I decided back in February that Rubicon is where I wanted to be and I worked toward it.
a.      Scheduling an informational interview is very important as you get to leave an impression and truly learn from a reliable source that no other research can provide.
b.      Do all the research you can, we are often the most confident when prepared fully.
c.      People always say be yourself, and I know this sound repetitive, but it is actually super important to be yourself! The interviewers are human, too, and they want to hire candidates they can relate to, can mesh well with!
d.      Be sure to follow-up, I really think hand-written notes are much more sincere. When writing, use your heart, don’t use your brain!
e.      Just because the world around you thinks it’s a tough market out there, it doesn’t mean you will have no luck. We are capable of accomplishing anything our mind is set to accomplish, and experiences are what we shape it to be!

4.      Did Career Services and/or anybody else assist you in anyway with your career development? If so, how?
I have received numerous help from Jen, Marian, Carolyn and Doug from the Career Service office. They helped me with my resume, mock interviews, and the most important, encouragement!

Thanks Summer for being our Student/Alum Spotlight! If you are interested in learning more about the job search process,  there are many resources available to you on the OSU Career Services website, including a specific section on preparing for your job search.  Be sure to check it out!

networkingWhen it comes to networking, some of us are exceptionally great at it and some of us tend to struggle with this skill. Yes, networking is a skill that we all must work on and build.  Especially when it comes to finding a job; having such a huge but diverse networking group is very essential. The more people you know, the better it is for you.

Social networking is the most common way to establish, maintain and promote your skills, achievements and goals to new and old networking groups. Here are 5 ways to network and why you should network.

1. Online Profiles and Other Online Networking Sites:
Online profiles are a good way to network; believe it or not Twitter is becoming the “go to” place to advertise to employers about your skills and achievements. Also, by having online profiles you’re able to maintain relationships with your old networks while building new ones. Online is a great place to have a resume portfolio that potential employers can look at. LinkedIn is also a great place to network yourself; it’s a place for employers to see your skills. Here you can start to establish relationships and connections with potential companies that you are interested in working for.

2. Communicate Changes in Career:
Changes in your career choice is inevitable, track them down and let people know of the positive changes that you’re making in your career or positive changes that have happened in your career. Twitter is another great way of getting the word out about your changes. Shoot a #tweet, believe it or not employers do check out tweets.

3. Go and Discover Career Paths that You Wouldn’t Normally Go For:
Having a dream job is not bad, it’s good to have a dream job that you work for, but sometimes going into a profession that you would have never thought of before may be a good thing, too. Exploring will lead to more options, the more options you have the better skilled you may become and the more you can put on your resume. Having the same job can become boring; exploring will help you to find something that you may actually like to do.

4. Through Your Friends and Families, Make More and Newer Contacts:
Family and friends can be really helpful when making connections. If you’re going for a position and they know that person it could be very beneficial for you. Your network can become so much bigger if you take the time to contact and connect with the people your family and friends know. Again, don’t use or contact people only when you need them; this is where having a weekly or monthly check up with someone is useful. That way you maintain the relationship and when help is needed, you can ask your networks for assistance. If you have an uncle who works for a hotel industry that you are interested in, ask him if he can set you up with some of the people he knows to just have lunch and talk about things you are interested in. Ask them how they got to where they are at, talk about your goals with them and what you need to know about the industry. Then after the meeting, keep in contact with them and thus your networking circle just grew and now you have a relationship with that person in your desired industry.

5. Let the Job find you:
Sometimes, well most times, we get so stressed on finding that perfect job that pays a lot, has great benefits and is something that we desire to do every day. Yes, preparing and finding the right job isn’t wrong, but sometimes just letting the job find you is all you need. The internet is an advanced piece of technology that has changed the world forever; the internet always supplies you with ongoing things in the world. Set up accounts for jobs or companies that you prefer; if they have an opening let them tell you about it. Or with your built network you could possibly gain a job from that network circle you built. Everything ties in, social networking, networking, and resume building; they all play a vital role with each other. Letting the job find you may not be easy, but it will happen if you network correctly and effectively.

Networking is very crucial, the more time you invest in making those “right” connections the more beneficial it is for your future. It is never too late to start building your social network. Remember, whatever you put on the internet is for all to see, so keep it professional, fun and don’t forget to sell your skills!

These are just some ways to network yourself, there are many other suggestions out there. Find the ways that best compliment you!

Posted by Hulali Kaapana, Career Services Assistant


referencesChoosing references might seem to be one of the most straightforward parts of the job-application process. Just list a couple of your recent supervisors – along with someone who can testify to your personal character – and you’re all set, right? Maybe, if you’ve had a wildly successful career thus far; but for most of us, references need to be handled with more care. A poorly-worded recommendation, or one from the wrong source, may actually turn out to be a liability – while a reference who’s been properly prepped can give you a sharp edge on your competition. While you may be aware of the common CV mistakes to avoid, you may not know about the errors people make in their lists of references. Here are three ways you can make sure your references serve as relevant and credible advocates to your prospective employer.

Keep a distance
One of the most common job-application mistakes is listing references who look as if they’re too close to you to provide an objective opinion on your abilities. There isn’t necessarily any harm in listing a reference who knows you outside of a work environment, but providing close friends or family members as references can cast a shadow of unprofessionalism. “One time,” recalls Susan Heathfield, management consultant and guide to the human resources section of, “a candidate gave me his list of references, and when I called the first individual on his list and asked her what her relationship to the candidate was, she said, ‘I’m his wife.’ Turns out she’d advised him to list references who liked him and would say nice things about him.” Most of us know better than to list a reference with such an obvious stake in our own success, but this story conveys an important point about the job application process: If a reference supports you primarily on the basis of a personal relationship, that person’s commendations of your expertise and work ethic won’t carry much weight. What’s more, listing a reference who’s been close to you throughout your life may invite additional risk: “That person may – intentionally or unintentionally – reveal things about you that you wouldn’t want your prospective employer to know,” says Paul Barada, chairman of the board of Barada Associates. Employers may not mind an occasional character reference who’s known you since you were a child, and such recommendations could potentially work in your favor – “but,” Heathfield cautions; “no employer is going to hire you based on a character reference alone.”

Branch out
The obvious candidates for career-based references may not be the ones who’ll provide the strongest recommendations on your behalf. Your immediate supervisor at your current job probably works with you on a daily basis, which means that he or she is likely to be as sharply attuned to your mistakes as to your successes – not to mention that your current employer has a vested interest in keeping you on board. So where can you turn for relevant references? One potential goldmine is your previous positions: Supervisors from earlier jobs may be inclined to remember your work in a favorable light. Along the same lines, previous co-workers – especially those who served with you on boards or project teams – can provide detailed rundowns of your talents, as can fellow members in professional associations. Another option is to reach upward and solicit a recommendation from high-ranking officials in your current company, such as the president, VP and so on. Even if you haven’t worked closely with these individuals, they may be able to offer large-scale perspectives on your achievements, while also bringing some serious credibility to the table. Ideally, Barada says, you should aim to list a mixture of superiors, peers and subordinates. “A subordinate may have a lot of polite things to say about you,” he explains, “but a peer or a superior can provide a more balanced perspective.”

Provide guidance
Asking a reference to praise specific skills in your stockpile might seem like an exercise in egotism, but it’s actually a crucial step in the job-seeking process – especially if you’re looking to move up the career ladder. “Always prepare your references by talking to them and asking permission to list them,” Heathfield says. For one thing, this is just polite; it gives you the chance to alert your references that they may be asked to offer recommendations on your behalf. Chatting with potential references can also save time and energy in the long run: Some employers’ corporate policies prohibit employees from serving as references, aside from providing objective facts about your position and dates of employment with the company – so it’s worth your while to ask about policies like these before reserving a reference spot for a supportive co-worker. Perhaps even more importantly, though, preparing your references gives you a chance to coach them a little, and guide them toward the kinds of information on which your prospective employer is likely to look most favorably. If you’ve got a strong working relationship with a reference, you’ll be doing yourself a favor – and making the process easier on your reference – by specifying precisely which of your skills and attributes you’re hoping to emphasize to potential employers. Match each reference with his or her specific area of expertise, and these recommendations can serve as some of the most powerful tools in your job-application arsenal. “It’s not at all impolite to ask this,” Heathfield says; “in fact, it’s a very common practice, and it’s also considered good job-searching behavior.”

Competition for high-ranking positions is fierce in any industry – so if you’re gunning for a higher salary or a corner office, you’ll need to bring all your talents to bear on the challenge. No single success can take the place of presenting a powerful overall image, from your CV to your social connections. Still, even overnight successes can’t succeed entirely on their own – and a list of well-chosen, well-prepared references will help tip the odds in your favor.

Posted by Ben Thomas who writes feature articles in which he offers job hunting advice for The Riley Guide. For more information on colleges and careers, check out

NOTE: This post was written by a guest blogger and the content for the post approved by Oregon State University Career Services. We are not responsible for the content of  the websites linked in the post.


Attention Graduating Seniors: Are you looking to explore options outside of Oregon after graduation? There are many great cities within the United States that are looking to hire recent graduates. If you haven’t already made plans for after graduation start the job search process using our checklist.

mapAnd check out this list of the top 10 cities recruiting new graduates:






  1. Seattle, Washington: Famous for its coffee and outdoor markets, the average income is a little over $54,000 and rental for a one-bedroom averages around $1,300.
  2. Atlanta, Georgia: Head to the heart of the south in a big city where the cost of living is definitely reasonable for a recent college graduate and the possibilities or careers vast.
  3. Washington, D.C: Are you looking to get into politics? Than this is the place to be, although it can be a little more expensive once you get started here it will be hard to leave, and with the unemployment rate being only 5.2% it’s no wonder why.
  4. Denver, Colorado: Not only worthy of its outdoor appeal but city and recreational activities too, with the average income of $50,300 and average cost of housing being $970.
  5. Boston, Massachusetts: This city pretty much has it all, rich culture, museums and history anything you could really imagine and the average income is around $57,000.
  6. Dallas, Texas: This city is full of culture all its own, with food, cowboys and of course its very own charm. If you are a recent college graduate this city has it all jobs, fun and immense opportunity.
  7. Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota: If you are the type of person that is drawn to small town charm these may be the cities for you. Minneapolis and St. Paul are also very environmentally friendly and known for their values.
  8. Houston, Texas: Looking to get out of the rainy season, Texas is known for its hot weather and the city of Houston especially. If that is the environment for you, it may be time to head south!
  9. St. Louis, Missouri: Another city filled with southern charm, excellent food and of course lively music scene. With average income of $44,200 and the average cost of housing at $960 for a one bedroom.
  10. Raleigh, North Carolina: There is so much to do in this town it will keep you busy and having fun whether you work or just vacation here. There are plenty of opportunities for employment and this city really has the best of both worlds with activities and southern charm.

So, although Oregon is a wonderful place to live, there are also opportunities across the US! If you need help with the job search, Career Services is here to support you.


Posted by Ciara Lynn, Career Services Intern

crop380w_istock_000003608048xsmallSalary negotiation is an important step of the job hunt, especially for recent college graduates – your very first salary sets the bar for your salary for the rest of your career. It’s important to know how to successfully navigate salary negotiation so that you can set your bar at a reasonable level.

The whole process might feel uncomfortable, especially since negotiation isn’t really a big part of our culture like it is in other countries, but just keep in mind that salary negotiation is a normal part of the process. Just be confident and prepare beforehand, realizing that the employer is probably going to start low and expect you to negotiate.

The first thing you should do is figure out the minimum amount you need for living costs: food, rent, transportation, etc. This should be your baseline and while it typically doesn’t directly factor into your negotiations, it’s good to know just for the sake of awareness. Then, do some research on your job and what a typical salary range for your position would be. A good resource for this is the NACE Salary Calculator.  This salary range is what you’ll base your salary negotiations on, to make sure you’re receiving at least the market rate based on your position and experience. Come up with your “magic number”, aka your ideal salary that you aim to negotiate towards. It might even be a good idea to bring a hard copy of your research and your salary request to the meeting with the employer.

You should avoid mentioning salary and compensation before receiving an actual job offer, that’s jumping the gun a bit. If the recruiter brings it up prematurely, try to smoothly change the subject to further discussing your qualifications. Once you receive a job offer with an initial salary offer, present your salary research and request. If the employer can’t or won’t meet your magic number, explore the possibility of non-cash compensation to bridge the gap, such as vacation time or benefits. Give them time to think about your counteroffer, they might have to consult with their higher-ups or decide if they even have the budget for your counteroffer. If your counteroffer gets rejected, don’t be disappointed; talk with the employer about what you can do in terms of performance to assure an increase later, or if it’s really a problem then it might be best to politely reject the offer and try again elsewhere.

Lastly, you can always make an appointment with a career counselor to discuss salary negotiation and get deeper into the etiquette and details of the process. Good luck!


Posted by Deirdre Newton, Career Services Assistant

Ready to get inspired for your job, internship, or career search? Each month we 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: Maria Garcia
Major: Human Development and Family Sciences
Year in school: Senior
Graduate Program: College Student Services Administration (CSSA)


1. Tell us about yourself (include your background, career goals/aspirations, etc.).

I am a first generation student who comes from an agricultural family. I was introduced to the idea of Student Affairs as a career from one of my mentors during my first year as an undergraduate.  I loved the idea of working with students who come from marginalized groups and providing the support that they need to succeed in college/higher education.  I hope to one day work within student recruitment, orientation and retention and provide students the resources they need.

 2. How did you decide to apply to grad school and what did you do in your undergrad to make you a strong applicant?

I applied to graduate school because the thought of having to look for a job after I finished my undergraduate scared me.  I feel like I need the specific information that only a program, such as CSSA, can provide.  I also really liked the cohort model and ability to have assistantships and internships as I completed my master’s.

I can definitely say that I took the extra time to put myself in different experiences that would shape my ability to work with others as a whole.  I volunteered my time at the local elementary and high school and ensured that I was involved on campus.  My two main jobs as an undergraduate also shaped my opportunity to learn as I engaged with others at the OSU Writing Center and the Campus Visitor Center.  Two of my internships at the Dean of Student Life at OSU, and the Independent Living Program at the Corvallis Community Consortium, influenced me to help others who might need extra help.

 3. What advice do you have for others when it comes to their career search and ways to find out their passion?

Explore!  Go out and try new things.  Sounds easy, but you will only know what you like and don’t like if you give it a shot.  You also have to prioritize stuff when it becomes too much or have additional responsibilities.

4. Did Career Services assist you anyway? If so, how?

Career Services was part of my success in the process of filling out my application!  Initially I worked with Jessica Baron on my resume, and later on established a partnership with Jen Busick to work on my essays.  I found it amazing to work with Career Services because they were flexible and willing to help.  My appointments were also very personalized to my needs and was able to be very productive.

Thanks Maria for being our Student Spotlight! If you are interested in graduate school there are many resources available to you on the OSU Career Services website, including a specific section on graduate and professional school. Be sure to check it out!