pennyMay 23rd is National Lucky Penny Day.  We are sure you have heard the phrase “see a penny, pick it up, all day long you’ll have good luck.”  Well, that is the theme of National Lucky Penny Day!  Common activities include walking and looking for pennies, and researching the history of the Penny.  Fundraising has a lot to do with luck –speaking to the right people at the right time –but there is a good deal of strategy involved, as well.  Here are some things to think about when you are fundraising for your group, event, or start up business.

A great source of funding is securing a sponsor or an investor.  Ask for money –it seems so simple.  The important things to remember when asking someone to fund your mission are to be knowledgeable, flexible, and creative.  Know your goals and be confident in them.  You need to sound like you are operating a well-oiled machine and instill confidence in whoever you are pitching to.  Your pitch needs to be creative and engaging but not harsh.  You should of course be tough and determined, but be adaptable and respectful too.  You want to show them you value their time, but you want to show them you value your own time as well.

It’s important to be ready for any questions, but you do not need to come up with an answer for everything –be realistic.  According to consultant Paul Graham, one question you do not have to answer is “how much money are you trying to raise?”  You do not need to have a fixed number.  You should tell them there are different options depending on how much they are willing to give or different routes the venture could take depending on how much money you obtain.  The message should be, “we will succeed no matter what, but we will do it faster or better if we have more money.”

In fundraising it is important to keep learning what works and what does not.  In working with sponsors or investors, get over rejection quickly, learn from it, and go in again stronger.  With other projects, take note of things that seem to be a better fit for your donors and your company.  Keep the ideas flowing.  It’s important not to put all your trust into one funding project, but there is a point at which you can have too many.  You need to be in complete control of your funding plans, and not being able to contribute a significant amount of time to them will cause them to fail.

For the smaller groups, there are many exciting fundraisers you can do through a simple Google search which will produce infinite results and ideas.  It is great to try things that are unique –the car wash and the bake sale do not promote excitement like they used to.  Creating funny fundraisers will encourage people to invest in your group or mission just because they trust you are innovative and organized.  Some of my favorite new ideas I found within a moment of my search were “capturing” an individual who has to raise “bail” to be released, or planting plastic flamingo’s in a company’s or a family’s yard with a note saying you will remove them for a fee, and put them in another yard of their choosing.  The possibilities are endless.

It is important to make appropriate sacrifices when you are fundraising.  You are expecting others to give up their funds to you, so it is fitting that you will give some things up, as well.  Do not hesitate to put a little of yourself into your own project or group –be willing to give up your cup of Starbucks for a while and put that money to your mission.  Or be willing to put your time into a rent-me-as-your worker fundraiser.  Do what you can to connect yourself to your goal.  In doing this, you are building trust with others and inspiring them to contribute.  Donors are essentially giving to YOU.

Hopefully you had a little luck this Penny Day and picked up a few.  But for the rest of your funding needs, consider what options are out there, and remember the tips we shared.


Posted by Casey Anderson, Career Services Assistant

flowersGraduation is fast approaching for many at Oregon State, and with friends here and elsewhere attaining jobs, you may find yourself worrying and stressing over your lack of opportunities, or perhaps over your lack of a life goal in general. To you, the directionless majority, I am here to say, “Don’t worry. Stop stressing. Enjoy the ride.”

You have spent the last 4 years of your life attending class, studying for exams, and writing papers, and yet there is a good chance that what you majored in is now vastly different from your life aspirations. This is normal. This is ok.

I graduate next month with a Master’s in History, and yet now, after 4 years spent working towards a Bachelor’s and an additional 2 to get my Master’s, I know categorically that a career centered on History is not for me. This, too, is ok.

While many of us, including myself, are stressing over what our first post-college job will be, know that that job does not need to be the job you have for the remainder of your professional career. It is ok to try jobs outside of your comfort zone or away from your academic discipline. What we have learned in college is important and will continue to shape our personal and professional lives, and yet too often we allow our college education to shape and dictate everything about ourselves, sacrificing our creativity and personality along the way simply in order to obtain that first job that society approves of.

Don’t leave college thinking that your time here at Oregon State was a waste simply because you were unable to relay that newfound diploma into a high paying job. Look back on your time here as an experience in which what you learned outside of the classroom – living on your own, adjusting to a new city, meeting new friends – was just as important in shaping who you are and what you will do, as the courses you took and the pedagogical understanding you gained from them.

And to you, the few and proud who have a post-graduation job lined up, well you shouldn’t be reading this anyway. Get back to work.

Posted by Peter Rumbles, Career Services Assitant

Greetings from Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida!

phone interviewJust a few short months ago, I applied for an internship here at Disney World at the Disney College Program. I completed a web-based application and was then scheduled a phone interview. My head was spinning with confusion after the phone interview was scheduled, because I had never done an interview over the phone before. I have a very outgoing, cheerful personality, and I was worried that I wasn’t going to be able to relay those characteristics over the phone.

I sat down with my roommates here at Disney World and talked to them about their own phone interviews and some tips they would give to those preparing for an interview over the phone.

If you already have a phone interview set-up, or are in search of a job where you could potentially have an interview over the phone, here are some tips from our Disney College Program experiences to ensure that you are successful:

  • Make notes ahead of time & take notes during: My roommates, Maddie and Amanda, say writing down potential questions and answers before the interview proved to be most beneficial to them. They both wrote down short bullet points in regards to common interview questions such as “Why are you applying for this internship?” and “What would you say your number one skill is?” This can be helpful in all interviews, however, over the phone you have an advantage and are able to have the notes in front of you, so making sure they are well written and thought out can be helpful. Dana Schwartz, of Come Recommended Blog, also suggests using a hands-free device in order to take notes on important key points during the interview.
  • Call a friend ahead of time to practice your interview on the phone: Being on the phone forces a barrier between you and the person on the other line. Something that my roommates and I all did was call a friend and have them ask us potential questions, not only to practice responding to the questions, but also to see how our voices sounded and were coming off over the phone. This can also be beneficial if you have a phone interview scheduled early in the morning, like I did. If your voice tends to be fairly scratchy when you wake up, waking up an hour or two before the scheduled interview time to call a friend and practice can relieve that scratchiness in your voice. (I called a friend the night before to practice, but didn’t call anyone the morning of my interview, so I hadn’t talked to anyone yet and my voice was still a little scratchy. It was frustrating to me throughout the interview, as I’m sure it was for my interviewer as well.)
  • Treat it like an in-person interview: Without the interviewer physically with you, it can be easy to lose that sense of professionalism. Dressing up as you would for an in-person interview can boost your confidence and ensure you are not losing that professionalism. The Come Recommended Blog also states that using a hands-free device can additionally allow you to use gestures that you normally would, helping you feel more natural and comfortable while on the phone.

In addition to phone interviews, our modern advances in technology have also caused a rise in interviews conducted over Skype. Skype interviews allow you to showcase a little more than phone interviews, but there are still some key tips to keep in mind:

  • Being familiar with proper webcam etiquette, such as looking at the camera rather than the screen and sitting up straight
  • Speaking slowly and clearly because of freezes and stalls that webcams sometimes endure
  • Being in a location with few visual distractions for the interviewer, such as a room with a solid background behind you

Whether you have a phone or Skype interview scheduled, or may have one in the future, the most important thing, like during in-person interviews, is to relax and be yourself! You want the interviewer to get a sense of who you are and how you will fit in with their company. On the phone and over Skype it may be a little more difficult, but with these tips and the right preparation, you will be just as successful as if you were in-person!

OSU Career Services offers a convenient room and webcam set-up if you need a place for your phone or Skype interview!

Come Recommended Blog

Posted by Erica Evans, Career Services Assistant and currently interning at Walt Disney World in the Disney College Program

dream jobIs there a specific company within your area of interest you have always dreamed about working for? Are you ready to start taking the necessary steps to get your foot in the door?

Than follow these tips of advice and you will be heading in the right direction to land that dream job!

Confidence is key! Whenever you are looking for a job and even more so when it is a job that you are very interested in it can be scary, but don’t take yourself out of the mix before it’s even started. Believing in yourself and your abilities and actually take the steps to apply. Of course it can be intimidating applying to a large company or an organization you have dreamed about, but take the chance!

Networking: Most jobs that are available are not posted anywhere; individuals refer those they know to contact the individual in charge of the open position. That is why it is incredibly important to build professional relationships and connections with those within your field and at the company you hope to work at.

This is the first step and one of the most important! Start setting up Informational Interviews and connect with those already in the field.

A Good Fit: Make sure that you research the company you are hoping to gain a job at; you may think that the job is perfect for you but the environment also has to be a good fit. If you get an interview ask the current employees what they like the most about working there and what their favorite part of the job is, this will give you insight into the environment and nature of the company.

Meet the Necessary Qualifications: In order to be suited for the job you have to have necessary experience and qualification or at least be able to speak to how your skills can transfer to the job responsibilities. Do your research on the background of current employees at the company; if their experience matches yours, you are likely to be more qualified for the job. Looking at the minimum qualifications will tell you right away whether you will be given an opportunity or if you need to gain more experience or different credentials.

Check out these References for additional tips:

Posted by Ciara Lynn, Career Services Intern

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.

Adam editName: Adam Fargher
Major: Electrical Engineering
Year in School: Junior
Internship: Bonneville Power Administration (BPA)

1. How did you find out about this internship?
This past Fall term, a Human Resources rep from BPA came and gave a presentation on BPA. In addition, several students already in the Pathways internship program explained their involvement, experience, and what they learned. I researched the BPA website and kept my eye out for the Pathways positions and once they were posted I immediately applied.

2. What will you be doing in your position?
I will being working in the transmission services department of BPA. The program has 3 rotations that students work in. Anything from projects, system operation, system design, and a field rotation as well. The interns in this program don’t just make coffee runs and photocopies. This program is structured so that interns dive in head first and gain hands on experience as well as receive organizational and industry knowledge that you just can’t learn from a textbook.

3. What advice do you have for others interested in finding an internship?
Advice for those looking for internships: First, ask yourself, “What am I passionate about and what  kind of organization would give me experience in my major as well as get my foot in the door?” Then search hard. I scoured the web, googled companies and researched what they were about and if any positions were available, went to career fairs and industry nights, and read every single newsletter that OSU College of Engineering distributed to see if there were any new internship postings.

4.Did Career Services or anybody else assist you in anyway with your career development? If so, how?
Career services played such a huge role in this process. They supplied me with a plethora of resume and interview resources. I must have visited several times to make sure my resume was the best that it could be. One of the most valuable resources from Career Services was the mock interview. Jen Busick Stewart hosted a practice interview for me that was tailored specifically for me, the position, and my major.  She asked the detailed questions that made me think about myself, skills, and experiences. My actual BPA interview would have been a little shaky if I didn’t put in that practice with Jen. The practice interview was critical!! My academic advisor also played a role and gave me some technical interviewing tips and advice. I also reached out to a friend of mine and as a professional engineer he gave me some solid advice on interviews and the industry.

Some of you may have never heard of LinkedIn before, so I will give you a little overview on what it is, then share a list of my top 5 reasons to get on it! For those of you who do know about LinkedIn bear with me a bit while I bring everyone else up to speed. LinkedIn is the world’s largest free professional social networking site, where you can connect with past and present coworkers, employers, companies and classmates, and make new connections through your current network.

Why YOU should get on it:

  1. Establish Credibility – Having an account will allow potential employers to look up your profile to learn information not necessarily on your resume. You can add skills to your profile, which people in your network can then endorse, showing employers that other people also value your abilities. Also, employers can see your connections with companies, people, and professional associations, which can build a well-rounded appearance.
  2. Build a Professional Network – LinkedIn allows you to connect with professionals within your field, whether you know them or not, with prior or current employers and coworkers, as well as classmates. Many of these connections can speak to your abilities, and may be able to give you professional advice or provide a connection for a potential job opportunity.
  3. Learn about Companies – Use LinkedIn when you are applying for jobs or are preparing for interviews to learn about the company and the people who work there, to show you have done your homework. Or research companies and you may find awesome job opportunities, or make new connections. You can even use your connections to ask questions about companies that you wouldn’t necessarily be able to during an interview, such as, “Did/Do you like working for the company?” or “What do you dislike about your work?”
  4. Discover New Opportunities – Your network (people and companies) have tons of knowledge just waiting to be called upon. You can start a discussion feed or create an update asking for opportunity information. Also, the more connections you make, the broader your network will get and the greater possibility for opportunities to arise when you aren’t even looking for them.
  5. To be Found – It is nice to be able to be found by potential employers online, especially when you are building your network, and when you are prepared to make a great impression. Most of us would much rather an employer find our LinkedIn account than our Facebook or Twitter accounts, even if you have them private, or manage your content.

If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, you should definitely think about making one, especially since you will only benefit from it, and it doesn’t take much time to create or manage. LinkedIn provides many training tutorials to help you get started!

Posted by Sami Kerzel, Career Services Assistant

Ever wonder how you can gain experience while you’re attending school? I know it can seem tough when having a busy schedule with classes, but it’s totally doable! Often times students become frustrated when thinking about what to put on their resume because they haven’t done anything besides take classes in college. Take my advice and get involved! Check out the list below for how to gain more experience while you’re in college.

1. Start in the office of your college or university’s career services office. Use your career services office resources to help you step foot in the right direction to finding an on campus job or internship.

2. Partake in one or more internships. By participating in internships you gain valuable experience and ultimately they help you to decide whether you want to stay on that career path or possibly switch if you aren’t enjoying it. OSU’s Spring Career Fair takes place on Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013 and it is a great place to find out about internship opportunities!

3. Find a job on campus. Several places hire students on campus such as the dining centers, residence halls, the recreation center, advising offices, etc. Check out “On Campus Jobs” section of the Career Services website for strategies to finding one at OSU.

4.  Volunteer. This will help you to gain valuable experience, make a difference in the community, and to gain new network contacts. Check out the Center for Civic Engagement at OSU for volunteer opportunities.

5. Join student organizations. Every college has multiple organizations, so find one or two that interest you. They often help students gain management and leadership skills while collaborating with peers to organize various projects.

6. Capitalize on class projects. Students often downplay the importance of class projects to prospective employers. The end product can often be used in a portfolio to show at an interview and large, term length projects show dedication and organization skills to the employer as well. Check out this example of how to demonstrate class projects on your resume.

7. Undergraduate research. Try to participate in research in your academic department to learn more about what it is they study. This is extremely beneficial to students looking into applying/attending graduate school.


Posted by Carly Larson, Career Services Assistant

Often, the most common reasons a resume gets thrown out are also the easiest mistakes to avoid. Here are a few things to watch out for when you’re writing your resume to maximize your chances of getting called in for an interview:

1.      You’re not actually a fit for the job

The first thing to do when you’re hunting for jobs is to make sure you would actually be a fit for that position. Do you meet all of the minimum qualifications? And have you made it clear that you do? Make sure that you’re being explicit about having the skills and qualifications that they’re asking for, because making the information hard to decipher is only doing you a disservice.

Another part of making it clear that you’re a good fit for a position is tailoring your resume. Read the job description carefully and write your resume using important words and phrases from it. For example, if a job description lists teamwork as an important skill to have in a candidate, write an accomplishment statement detailing working on a team to achieve a specific outcome. Hiring managers often will only look at each resume for a few seconds, so don’t be afraid of being extra-obvious.

2.      Your resume is unprofessional

There’s a fine line to walk between making your resume unique and having it become unprofessional. Definitely avoid pictures and art, unless you’re in a field like graphic design and you know for a fact that an artistic resume is expected. Even then, look up examples of resumes for your field and see what kind of design is expected. Also avoid funky fonts and colors, as they can make your resume harder to read and annoy a hiring manager.

If you’re wondering how to spice up your resume, definitely focus on the formatting. Feel free to use bold and italics, different font sizes (within reason), and play with the actual layout of your resume. You may be tempted to use a resume template, but it is strongly recommended that you don’t because you won’t have as much freedom with how it looks and they often turn out bland.

3.      You didn’t spend enough time on it – and it shows

A huge turn-off to hiring managers is a lack of attention to detail. Spelling and grammar errors are especially bad, and many recruiters will toss your resume at the first error they encounter. Don’t rely on spell check to catch everything (it definitely doesn’t), instead actually read through your whole resume and have other people read through it as well. It’s always good to have multiple sets of eyes on your resume to catch mistakes that you might have unwittingly missed.

Another sign that you didn’t spend enough time on your resume is if you’ve used a lot of clichés and vague statements. So many people say things like “hard worker”, “team player”, or “innovative thinker” – but don’t offer any proof. Use your accomplishment statements to prove that you have these qualities. Instead of just saying “team player”, detail a time when you worked with a team of people to achieve something. Be as quantitative as possible, because hiring managers are much more likely to be impressed with numbers and concrete facts about what you’ve accomplished. Quantitative accomplishment statements do take some time and may seem overwhelming, but they’ll be well worth it in terms of making you stand out from the crowd.

Be patient with the process of building your resume. Good resumes take time to make, but the time spent will benefit you in the end when you get called in for an interview.


Posted by Deirdre Newton, Career Services Assistant


Monday was April Fools’ Day and normally when one hears the word “April Fools’ Day” it’s normal to automatically think of April Fools’ Day as a day full of pranks and jokes, but it is advised to think twice before you celebrate this day of pranks at work.

Most work places suggest leaving the pranks and jokes at home because supervisors often aren’t amused by April Fools’ Day. According to a 2010 national survey study by The Creative Group, 68% of marketing and advising directors consider April Fools’ pranks to be unsuitable and unnecessary for the office. Many directors find that April Fools’ is counteractive to the professionalism that companies strive for and instill in their workers.

Depending on where you work and who you work for April Fools’ pranks may be appropriate based on the environment and position you hold within in a company. Knowing when to pull a joke is something important, for instance, you shouldn’t pull a prank during a major meeting with corporates, or pulling a mean prank on co-workers such as telling them an important meeting was cancelled when it wasn’t wouldn’t be wise. Unless your prank is work appropriate, can make someone laugh and have a good feeling at the end of the day then that’s tolerable amongst company directors.

It is important to understand the culture and philosophy before pulling a prank.  Instead of pulling pranks at work on April Fools’ Day you can create other suggestions to bring some fun and laughter to your work environment without it being over the top and inappropriate.  Here are some examples of ways to make everyday a fun day at work and not just on April Fools’ Day:

  1. Create awards for co-workers: Honor your fellow workers in a fun way by creating certificates with nicknames that describe the person. An example would be someone who helps the most customers a day; you could honor them by saying “highest number of customer service daily”. Recognizing someone builds confidence and highlights their positive contributions to the company. Creating a positive work place builds stronger connections with your co-workers and bosses.
  2. Don’t limit celebrations to once a year: Don’t just have that one big ‘end of the year party’, instead opt for celebrating more of the little holidays that don’t get much recognition. Have celebrations for other things that you think are important, for example you can have a celebration for the sequel of The Hobbit. That is a fun way to keep the office entertaining, amusing and engaging. Who doesn’t love The Hobbit?!
  3. Celebrate outside the work place: Who said work is only till 5 pm? Take your co-workers and have fun outside of work. This is where you can pull pranks and jokes. Whatever is done out of the office should be kept separate from the office. Knowing when to keep things professional is essential. Having fun with co-workers outside of the office is a way to get to know each other while maintaining the standards of your superiors while in the office.

There are many ways to celebrate pranks and jokes not just on April Fools’ Day; the internet provides many fun ways to celebrate as an office in a professional manner. Take the time to look some of them up, apply it and have a blast. Don’t make your boss mad by pulling a horrible joke at work on him/her, instead be a good worker, work and know when to have fun. In the long run you will be thankful you didn’t pull a nasty prank during that corporate meeting, you just saved yourself your job.

Did any of you pull an April Fool’s prank in the office?  Or have one pulled on you? Please comment if appropriate!


Posted by Lali Kaapana, 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: Kellie Trafton
Major: Human Development and Family Sciences
Minor: Business & Entrepreneurship
Year in School: 4th year, Senior
Company: Target

1. How did you find out about the internship?
I found out about the possibility of an internship with Target through the Fall 2012 Career Fair that was held at the CH2M Hill Alumni Center. I talked with several companies but seemed to have an instant connect with Target. I passed along my resume with an expressed interest in their internship program.

2. What will you be doing in your position?
I will be job shadowing a Group Leader at the Albany Distribution Center. I will be identifying and coordinating daily activities of 20-40 team members, collaborating across departments to drive optimal productivity, and foster an environment in which diverse backgrounds are respected and valued. Finally, I will ensure personal plans are set, maintained and continuously improved.

3. What advice do you have for others interested in finding an internship?
Utilize the career fairs! They are set up for your benefit! Companies are actively looking for students in all different majors so do not limit yourself to specific companies. Be willing to shake a lot of hands and put yourself out there. It is important to know your resume by heart and be able to expand on certain points if employers have any further questions. If you are asked to do an interview, over the phone or in person, do some background research on the company. Know their business philosophy, goals, objectives, mission and values (if available) and be able to add those concepts into your answers. This will show the interviewers that you did your homework and are interested in the company.

4. Did Career Services assist you anyway? If so, how?
It is because of the Fall 2012 Career Fair that I made the connection with Target and got my foot in the door! I was able to shake hands with one of the people who ended up being on the interviewing team for my internship. Having that initial face-to-face interaction was extremely beneficial and gave me a step up that the other intern candidates may not have had.