Posted by Anne Lapour, Career Counselor

If you’re looking for a full-time job right now, you may have heard that applying to work for the federal government is a good option.  Absolutely…it’s really important to consider working in a diverse range of industries.  The more variety you can add to your job search, the better.  There’s just one problem…USAJOBS

The application.  It’s no secret–government applications can look a little different, and feel a little confusing.  This goes for Oregon jobs too.  But fear not–it just takes a little persistence and a lot of homework.  For instance, if you’re applying to a state job in Oregon, be sure and check out their webpage and click the link for “application tips”.

If you’re applying for a federal job, they have a similar resource for deciphering their application.  And if you have questions during the submission process, here are some helpful links.  And finally, check out these 15 tips for acing your federal government application.  Good luck!

Posted by Anne Lapour, Career Counselor

snowmanFor many Oregon State students, the winter break is just what the name suggests…a break. If you’re planning to spend your time off skiing, visiting friends, or working at your favorite coffee shop, then enjoy!  But for many of you, the break means something else—the job search.  Spring is coming, folks, and sorry to sound like a broken record, but the sooner the better when it comes to hunting down that post-graduation gig.  Yes, it’s overwhelming.  Yes, you’d rather not think about it.  But there are a few things you can do to really capitalize on your time away from tests and paper assignments.  A few ideas…

  1. Use your contacts back home to do at least one informational interview.
  2. Spend at least 30 minutes a day doing internet research:  research companies you’d like to work for, current industry trends in your field, and search engines like BeaverJobNet.
  3. Have some new people—some fresh eyes—look over your resume and cover letter.  You can never have too many people do this!
  4. Start making a list of the events you’re going to attend next term (e.g. Career Fairs, conferences or workshops, etc.)
  5. Take some deep breaths, and STAY POSITIVE!

Posted by Fernando Ramirez, Career Services Career Assistant

If you haven't heard, school is expensive!
If you haven't heard, school is expensive!

Getting scholarships:

Once you’ve found the scholarships you qualify for, it is time to begin submitting applications. Investing a proper amount of time on the scholarship application is crucial if you intend on winning. Scholarship applications require more than just your contact information. Applications require other supporting documents, such as a transcript, cover letter, letter of recommendation, and an essay. Take the scholarship application very seriously. Here are a few tips for winning scholarships:

Tips for winning scholarships:

  • Start Early: Scholarship deadlines can pass by you pretty quickly. Do not wait until the last minute to start working on that scholarship application. Nothing is worse than working for weeks on a scholarship essay to have it be rejected because of a missed deadline.
  • Apply to as much as you can: The more scholarships you apply for, the greater the chances are that you’ll receive one. Don’t disregard small scholarships. A $500 scholarships is not the same as a $2000 scholarship, but it can still help pay for books and supplies.
  • Get letters of recommendation: Many scholarships ask that you submit one or two letters of recommendation with your application. Get to know your professors, and let them get to know you, that way when you ask them for a letter of recommendation they’ll actually have something to write about. When you ask for a letter of recommendation, make sure the person knows about your interests, career goals, and other involvement. Give them plenty of time to write your letter.
  • Edit your essays: Many scholarships ask that you submit an essay along with your application. In that essay you must show why the scholarship should be given to you rather than the next guy, so take it very seriously. Spent a good amount of time working on your essay. Then, have several people edit your essay. The more time you spend on your essay, the better it will be.
  • Save your essays: As you search through scholarships, you’ll find that many of them ask very similar essay questions. Questions like “What was your most significant obstacle and how did you overcome it?” or “What is your long-term career goal?” appear over and over in scholarship applications. Save a few generic essays for questions that reappear in scholarship applications.
  • Search the entire year: A lot of students search for scholarships during spring term and then forget about searching until the next spring term comes. Scholarships are offered the entire year, and if you limit your scholarship search to one period of time each year then you are missing out on a lot of free money. Search throughout the entire year. There are many summer scholarships that only a few students take advantage of.

Scholarships can be of great help to students. Obtaining a college degree is very expensive, but there is help out there. The key is to work hard and be patient; your work will pay off. There is a lot of searching to do, so get to it.

Posted by Fernando Ramirez, Career Assistant, OSU Career Services

Everyone could use a little help!
Everyone could use a little help!

Do you need money for tuition, books, and supplies? Probably. Being a college student comes with an extensive list of expenses. Because of this, many organizations who sympathize with students offer scholarships to help pay for student related expenses. There are many excellent sources of financial aid that students can benefit from. Below are just a few of them:

Sources of Financial Aid:

  • FAFSA:  U.S. citizens and eligible noncitizens can apply for financial aid from the government by filling out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Schools and other scholarship programs may also require that you file a FAFSA to obtain financial aid. FAFSA should be completed as early as possible beginning January 1.
  • Fastweb: Fastweb is an online scholarship search engine with an extensive database of scholarships. After filling out a profile, it will search for and display the scholarships that you qualify for. Fastweb can save you the time it takes to manually search for scholarships, as well as find some that you might have missed otherwise.
  • OSAC: Oregon residents can fill out an application with the Oregon Student Assistance Commission (OSAC ) that contains hundreds of scholarships for Oregonians based on year in school, major, area of residence, income, high school, etc. With a single application, you can apply to as many scholarships as you are eligible for. The application is available online and is due on March 1. FAFSA required.
  • Department-Based Scholarships: Most departments in school offer scholarships especially for their students. Check your department’s website or ask your counselor about these scholarships.
  • Minority and Career-Based Scholarships: Many organizations offer scholarships for certain minority groups or certain career paths. A good way to search for these scholarships is to use a search engine and type in “scholarships for” followed by a career or ethnicity. For example, a Hispanic student may type “scholarships for Hispanics.” Go to the links and review the scholarships.
  • Financial Aid Office: Your financial aid office has information on scholarships, grants, educational loans, and can answer all of your financial aid questions.

Stay tuned for Fernando’s next post on how to submit a winning application!

sponsor-teach_for_americaIn America, education is supposed to be the great equalizer and the primary vehicle for upward mobility. But, the reality today is that all too often, where children are born determines their educational prospects. In fact, the 13 million children growing up in poverty face tremendous challenges and often don’t have the extra support in school to reach their true potential.  This reality disproportionately impacts African-American, Latino, Hispanic, and Native American children, who are three times as likely to live in a low-income area.* You have the power to change this.

Teach For America seeks individuals of all backgrounds, majors, and career interests who possess the leadership skills and experience that will enable them to change the prospects of students growing up today and ultimately to exert broader societal influence in our nation that will make it a place of opportunity for all.

Come join us at an information session to learn more about this opportunity to affect lasting social change after graduation.

Date: Monday, October 26th

Time: 5:00-6:00 p.m.

Location: MU Room 206


*Source: National Center for Children in Poverty, 2007

One day, all children in this nation will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education.


Next Application Deadline:  Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Posted by Galina Romantsova, Career Services Graduate Assistant

Career Fair is located at the CH2MHill Alumni Center
Career Fair is located at the CH2MHill Alumni Center

This to-do list can help you with your preparation:

Mark your calendars! OSU wide Career Fair is on Tuesday, October 20th, 11am – 4pm. Engineering Career Fair is on Wednesday, October 21st, 11am – 4pm.

Go to Beaver JobNet and find out what companies are coming to the Career Fair.

Research the top companies that interest you. Spend time researching, so you’re aware of what each company does, and so you can ask great questions at the fair.

Get your resume ready. Go to Career Services and get help with your resume. Bring lots of resumes to the fair — at least two for each company for which you have an interest. If you have multiple interests or job objectives, make sure you bring enough of each version of your resume.

Prepare your one-minute “infomercial” to be ready to tell about yourself (education, professional experience, professional goals, the reason you are interested in this company, the key benefits that you can offer the organization).

Get ready for an interview. Sign up for a mock interview at Career Services. Prepare answers to interview questions just as you would do for any employment interview. Make sure you also have some questions ready to ask the interviewer.

Create your Game Plan. You need to determine an order of interviewing. Some experts suggest meeting with your top choices first thing in the morning, interviewing with your other choices in the middle of the day, and returning to your top choices at the end of the day to thank them again for their time. But remember to stay flexible as your top choices may be the top choices of many, creating long lines that you may wish to avoid.

Choose the right attire. Know what the expected attire of your profession is and dress accordingly. It is always better to be overdressed than underdressed.

Posted by Anne, Career Counselor86060366

Are you interested in working for social justice as part of your career, or maybe as part of an internship experience?  Non-profit organizations provide wonderful opportunities to gain professional skills, and engage in work that satisfies that social advocate in you!, a great website for non-profit job/internship opportunities, is hosting two upcoming events in the Portland area.  Don’t miss them!

1. The Portland Nonprofit Career Fair, on Wednesday, October 14, from 11:00 to 3:00

2. The Portland Graduate School Fair, on Thursday, October 22, from 5:00 to 8:00

Posted by Anne, Career Counselor

What does your future hold?
What does your future hold?

Let’s say you have a really important interview coming up.  (This is no doubt because you attended our fall Career Fair and you scored an on-campus interview opportunity!)  Anyway, you’ve done your prep work.  You’ve prepared a list of strengths and weaknesses, generated your top 5 “success stories” from college, and practiced in front of the mirror til you’re tired of looking at yourself.  You waltz into that interview room, and nail those questions.  And then the interviewer asks…

“So, where do you see yourself in 5 years?”

Yikes.  The one question you didn’t prepare for.  You were so focused on what you’ve done that you forgot to explore where you’re going.  You’re so focused on this job, that you forgot to plan ahead.  This is common, and this particular question can be a tough one.  The best answer will differ depending on your industry, but here are some great pointers and some responses you want to avoid when elaborating on your future goals.

Now back to the mirror…more practice!

Posted by Anne Lapour, Career Counselor and Career Development CoordinatorBack2SchoolClock

Hello to all you Beavers out there.  It’s the first day of school!  Maybe you’re excited to be back in Corvallis–seeing friends, starting new classes, and meeting new people.  Or maybe you’re already missing those lazy summer afternoons.  No matter which is true for you, Career Services wants to wish you a sincere “Welcome Back”, and we hope you’ll come see us soon.  We have an exciting year planned, and we hope you’ll join us for our annual events, as well as some new ways to connect with employers, alumni, and opportunities.  Don’t miss the following…

Career Fairs: The All-Majors Fair is on October 20th, and the Engineering Fair is October 21st.  Dress spiffy, dust off that resume, and come meet some wonderful employers.  Check out the lineup by visiting BeaverJobNet.

Speed Mock Interviewing: Every heard of Speed Dating?  Well, now’s your chance to do the professional version while brushing up on those interviewing and networking skills.  The event will take place on Monday, October 19th.  Contact Career Services for more info (737-4085)!

Career Exploration Group: Feeling lost when it comes to your direction in life?  Want to connect with other students in a small group format?  Our fall career exploration group begins on October 28th.  Contact Anne Lapour at Career Services for details (737-4085).  Space is limited!

Posted by Anne Lapour, Career CounselorInterview_1(1)

Have you ever found yourself wondering, I know there are jobs out there that may be perfect that I’ve never heard of.  How do I find them? Most people ask this at one time or another.  There are many ways to research occupations, but one of the most effective is:  Informational Interviewing.

What is “informational interviewing”, you ask?  An informational interview is an interview that you initiate with someone in a field that interests you.  You ask the questions, because the purpose is to obtain information.  This is one of the best sources for gathering information about what’s happening in an occupation or an industry, because you’re talking to people actually working in the field.  You get to interact with someone and have a dialogue—something you can’t do with a computer screen. Informational Interviews allow you to:

  • explore careers and clarify your career goal
  • discover employment opportunities that are not advertised
  • expand your professional network
  • build confidence for your job interviews
  • access the most up-to-date career information
  • identify your professional strengths and weaknesses

Informational interviews can teach you about those mysterious job descriptions you’ve never heard of, and give you insider information about your field of interest.  And best of all, they can teach you what kinds of experiences you’ll need to give yourself a leg-up in the job market during these tough economic times!

To conduct an informational interview, follow these steps:  1) Identify the occupation or industry you wish to learn about, 2) Identify People to Interview 3) Prepare for the interview, 4) Arrange the Interview, 5) Follow Up.

More questions?  Come to the Career Center and meet with one of our career counselors.