The Beloit Mindset List, created at Beloit College in 1998, is an annual publication that aims to reflect the world-views of the year’s entering college class. The appeal for this list is widespread, mainly because it’s helpful for those who wish to gain a better grasp of what our generation is all about: teachers, advisors, and even potential employers.

Ours is a generation largely disillusioned with the American Dream. We’ve grown up accustomed to recession and an ever-increasing unemployment rate. Gone are the days when a college education was a definite guarantee of a good job, and concerns over student debt are steadily mounting. These factors have led to a generation of young adults that are much more anxious and risk-averse than their predecessors, which generates criticism because we’re not doing things the way they used to be done. The problem is, we inherited a different world. Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, a research psychologist at Clark University, says this about Generation Y: “I think part of the answer is that it does take longer to grow up than it used to…Older adults are still comparing them to a standard that really is obsolete and really not fair anymore.”

Ron Nief and Tom McBride, the authors of the Beloit Mindset List, have expressed their belief that generation gaps have always needed glue. That glue is what they aim to provide by making us aware of our differences while clearing up damaging misconceptions about the younger generation. Like many aspects of life, generations aren’t better or worse than each other, just different. Those differences can make it hard to relate to one another, which is challenging when there’s a generational gap between you and a professor or a potential employer. Awareness of mindset differences and what kind of impression you give off to the preceding generation is the glue that will connect you.

All-in-all, I’m proud of my generation. I’m proud of all the young adults paying their own way through college, which is more expensive than ever. I’m proud of the importance my generation places on family and work/life balance. I’m proud of how technologically savvy we are, leading to a curious and innovative generation. I’m also proud of the renewed focus on balancing ambition with finding what you love to do, rather than focusing on just making the most money possible. Dear Generation Y – be confident! There is such a thing as being too cautious if you’re never putting yourself out there. Dear Generation X – You helped raise us to be totally awesome, thanks! We’re all in this together.

Check out the most recent Mindset List.


Posted by Deirdre Newton, Career Services Assistant

When the month of February begins, many are eager to know if the groundhog will see his shadow or not. According to legend, if the groundhog sees his shadow, winter will continue for six more weeks.

Since 1996, however, the beginning of February has also marked a new holiday and initiative called National Groundhog Job Shadow Day. Groundhog Job Shadow Day is a joint effort of America’s Promise – Alliance for Youth, Junior Achievement, and the U.S. Department of Labor in which students of participating schools are paired with a mentor from participating organizations, who they will “shadow” throughout the day, to experience how the skills they learn in the classroom can be applied in the real world. National Groundhog Job Shadow Day, celebrated the first week of February, is currently most commonly practiced in middle and high school settings, but grows as a national initiative each year.

Job shadowing can be important…

  • in your own personal career development. By overseeing someone in a particular profession, you can get a sense of what working in a position like theirs would entail and if it’s an area you could see yourself pursuing a career in. Some job shadows may even result in future internships or jobs.
  • on your resume. All job shadows may be unique in some way. Some may include hands-on experience, while others might include observing research in a lab. Either way, job shadowing can show experience on your resume, in addition to skills like communication, time-management, and professionalism.

So, while there is a chance that the groundhog may not see his shadow this year, know that more than 100,000 businesses will have shadows: those of more than one million students participating in National Groundhog Job Shadow Day, which you can become a part of by considering a job shadowing experience. For more information about job shadowing, check out the Career Services website.


Posted by Erica Evans, Career Services Assistant

“Not everybody can be famous but everybody can be great, because greatness is determined by service.”  ~Martin Luther King, Jr.


As a Career Advisor, I often work with students who are dismayed by the resume writing process. They don’t have experience directly relevant to their field of interest, and it seems like they need experience to get that experience. Before I learned about career development and targeting resumes to specific opportunities, I thought this way too. How do I get a job if I need a job to get a job?

But there are tons of ways to gain experience in your field or to develop transferable skills that you would use in almost any field. It’s all a matter of how to frame your experience to show potential employers that you have the skills you need to do the work. You can do internships, seasonal temporary jobs, on-campus jobs, and join student organizations. You can do undergraduate research or start your own small company. The avenue I’d like to advocate for today, in light of the upcoming holiday celebrating the incredible inspiration of Martin Luther King, Jr., is to volunteer.

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” With this statement, he was calling on all of us to step forward and serve. If you get involved in community service, you will help others. You will forge lasting and rewarding relationships. And others will teach you incredible lessons about their lives and what needs to change in this world to make it better.

Think about the skills you already have that you could offer. Are you great at designing websites? Organizing people? Planning events? Fundraising? Working with children? Do you have particular expertise that a nonprofit or human services organization would find useful? Offer that expertise up to an organization and commit some of your time to their work. Or, on the other hand, do you want to learn more about a specific area within human services or what environmental nonprofits do? Offer your volunteer hours to an organization in that field and commit to doing whatever the organization needs. I would be willing to bet that you will probably get more out of the experience than you ever thought possible. It will surprise you how much you will learn, about yourself and what you are capable of accomplishing, as well as the field you volunteer in. And you will be helping others and the world in the process.

The added bonus is that you can easily record this information on your resume, highlighting any transferrable skills or knowledge that relates to the positions you apply for. These volunteer experiences show employers a lot about you. They show a lot about your character and the values you hold. They show a ton about your work ethic and ability to multitask, juggling school and volunteering responsibilities. They also can show, dependent on the organization you work with and the work you do, relevant skills for your field of interest. In addition, you will build a network of people who can be a support to you in your job search and may offer referrals or connect you to colleagues. Finally, your volunteer experiences will teach you amazing things about how to work and communicate effectively with others who may be different from you, which is a skill you need in any workplace. You can write about those people skills on your resume.

I hope you will take a moment this coming 3 day weekend to reflect on the ways in which you serve and could serve others, in honor of an amazing man who called on us all to do so. And I hope once you reflect on that, you decide to volunteer. A couple of events are coming up around campus that can help you make this happen. First, participate in the MLK Day of Service, sponsored by the Center for Civic Engagement. In addition, February 6th, Career Services and the Center for Civic Engagement are teaming up to sponsor the Nonprofit and Volunteering Fair. Also, Career Services has a page dedicated to finding volunteer opportunities, as does the Center for Civic Engagement.

You can make a difference in the lives of others by offering your time and your skills, and you will learn and grow and develop in the process. Try it!

Posted by Jessica Baron, Graduate Assistant Career Advisor in Career Services

Career Development refers to the skills and experiences that can help you grow personally and professionally. Here, at Career Services we offer a wide range of services that can help you attain this value knowledge that can be helpful for you when seeking a career:

Beaver JobNet

Beaver JobNet is OSU Career Services’ online career management system and it is a great way for students and alums to get started in their job/internship search. Students/alums can connect with employers from a variety of organizations as well as from locations around the country and around the world. Employers are seeking applicants for positions including full-time, co-ops and internships, summer camps, national parks employment, and volunteer organizations such as the Peace Corps. You can access Beaver JobNet 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Career Fairs

Career Fairs are a place to find jobs and internships. This event offers you the chance to network with employers and explore a position or organization that you had not previously considered. These employers travel to Oregon State University just to see you. Take advantage of this opportunity to get started on your career!

Resume and Cover Letters

Drop-in sessions are approximately 15-minute sessions that do not require an appointment.  At the drop-in sessions, career services staff are on-call to critique your resume, cover letter, curriculum vitae, or graduate school application.  We can also help you with any Beaver JobNet questions.

Drop-in hours are: Monday through Thursday from 1:00 to 4:00 PM in Career Services (basement of Kerr Administration Building)

No appointment is necessary, simply come in and sign up for the next available time and a career assistant will help you with any questions you may have.

Informational Interviews

One of the best sources for gathering information about what’s happening in an occupation or an industry is to talk to people working in the field. This process is called informational or research interviewing. An informational interview is an interview that you initiate – you ask the questions. The purpose is to obtain information and build your network! Find out more about how to go about doing an informational interview on our website or check out our blog post on informational interviewing.

How to Explore Majors and Careers

Explore what you can do with a certain major or degree. For example, what can you do with that history or English major?  Hint:  There’s more than just teaching! Check out the section on our website, “What Can I Do with This Degree” or learn more about yourself through SIGI3, a special tool that can help you to plan your career. Among the features offered on SIGI3 you will find tools to help you research occupations, choose, change, or clarify a major, and evaluate your interests, skills, values and personality.

Consider visiting OSU’s University Exploratory Studies Program, which provides outstanding advising and resources for students in the process of deciding on a major.  And consider taking ALS 114 (Career Decision-Making) for a structured and engaging career exploration experience.

Make an appointment with a Career Counselor to discuss your options.

These are just a few tips that can help you be successful in career development. If you need further help, call us at 541-737-4085 from Monday-Friday 8-5, we will gladly assist you with any career related needs.

Posted by Phi Vu, Career Services Assistant

The most daunting aspect of your senior year of college is not the heavy course load or the thought of no longer being a college student. Rather, it has to do with the job search – the long and arduous process of looking for a career that can simultaneously utilize your unique talents and your brand new $100,000 education.

I spent my formative college years doing all the right things – playing a club sport, working part-time jobs, applying for summer internships, getting good grades – and yet when I began to look for a job in my field – History – I found myself at a loss. I had labored under the impression that if I chose a major in an area that I enjoyed, there would be jobs in that field awaiting me upon graduation. Boy was I wrong.

After an initial and unsuccessful search, I realized that if I wanted to work, I needed to look for jobs that, while not necessarily in my academic field, required the same sorts of skill set that I already possessed. Though history is perhaps not the most glamorous or specific major, I knew that the skills I had learned in my classes covered a variety of areas that could help me to land a job. Though I would no longer be writing history papers or reading vast amounts of text, I knew that the skills that I had learned in those courses were transferable and could help me succeed.

To many, a history paper is bogged down with names, dates, and places, and offers little outside of an academic setting. However, I knew that they included much more. Time management, research and writing skills, and creating concise and influential arguments were all important lessons that could be transferred to other fields. The work it requires to successfully research and write a paper – for any class or major – is not one that should be viewed lightly. It takes a great deal of intelligence, self-discipline, and effort to succeed in college, and employers know that. All employers look for employees that can work with a team and independently, can organize their thoughts and their tasks to stay on track, and who remain vigilant and detail oriented to get the job done. In every major, though these skills are not explicitly taught, they are always gained.

Though I did not receive my dream job right out of college, I know that the skills I learned in and out of the classroom during my undergraduate years prepared me to succeed in a variety of disciplines. With the experience I gained in those jobs, I was able to strengthen my résumé, obtain an understanding of a variety of disciplines, and create professional contacts that eventually helped me obtain a job in my desired field.

Post by Peter Rumbles, Career Services Assistant and Oregon State University Graduate Student

The path may have many forks, bends, and waves, but the skies are clear!

Hi, OSU Career Beavers blog readers. It’s Finals Week of spring term 2012, and I’ve been writing to you all year about my changeable and wavy career path. I’ve taken many roads! Since graduating with my undergraduate degree, I’ve been an actor, a waiter, a receptionist, a creative writer, a college composition instructor, a gas station attendant, a high school drama coach, a substitute teacher, a real estate office manager, a writing workshop leader, a nonprofit program director, and now, while I’m in graduate school, I’m a career advisor! Imagine that, me with my wavy path, I get to help other folks figure out their paths, write their resumes and cover letters, prepare for their interviews, and search for jobs. One thing I’ve learned from helping students with these skills is that the better you’re able to articulate who you are and what your goals are, the easier it will be to explain those things to potential employers, through your resume, your cover letter, and in an interview situation. When I work with students that learn how to do this, they have the ability to land the jobs and opportunities they want.

If you’re still searching and your career path may be wavy like mine, you can still have goals and a strong sense of your identity. I needed to take the path I took in order to discover that advising at a college would be a great fit for my skills, my needs, my strengths, and my goals and priorities. But along the way, I was still able to tell others why the next experience, whatever it was, was the experience I needed to get me closer to my goal. Goals change, people change, but from where you sit right now, what is your goal? What is your dream job? If you could wave a magic wand, where would you work? Now, what do you need to do to get to that dream? If your dream changes in the process of getting there, that’s fine. The important thing is to have the dream and a plan.

In this swiftly changing economy, workers of the future will need to be adaptable. That is a given. So, why not look at change as opportunity, change as the ability to learn more, change as a way to explore another facet of who you can be in this life. I’ve always viewed change as positive and exciting. We only get one chance at this life thing; we might as well learn as much as we can!

Thanks for following my story this year. Good luck to you in your own path. May you be always learning more, about yourself and the world of work, so that you can create the place where the two meet and like each other a lot.

Jessica Baron is currently a Graduate Assistant in Career Services at OSU and a full time student in the College Student Services Administration Program.

Howdy, Career Beavers blog readers! Week 7 of spring term already, and the Career Changer is back to continue the story of her wavy career path. All school year, I’ve been writing the story of the shifts and changes on my professional path that got me here to OSU after graduating with my undergraduate degree twelve years ago. In my last post, I told the story of how I began working as a real estate office manager in Colorado, a totally new position in a totally new industry for me. While I was contributing to this office, I was also keeping my ears open about other opportunities. One arose about nine months later that could be a good fit for my skills, experience, and personal goals.

In the small town of Creede, the arts are very important. So important, in fact, that in addition to the Creede Repertory Theatre, there is a local nonprofit arts organization that sponsors gallery shows, arts education, art in public spaces, and other arts related events. The Creede Arts Council’s director was leaving after many years of building a set of programs that added value to the community, events that people had come to expect and count on to sustain them year after year. The Council needed a new Director.

With my background in writing and theatre and because I had completed an internship in nonprofit development while in graduate school, I was chosen to direct this organization of very dedicated volunteers as they worked hard to provide arts programming for their community. This opportunity may not have happened in a big city, but the available candidate pool was small, so I got lucky! Because it was part time, I continued working in the real estate office while taking on grant writing, volunteer organizing, event planning, and marketing.

Some of these tasks were brand new to me. Some of these tasks were new facets of skills I was already comfortable with. All of these tasks were a challenge, so I learned as I went, asked the board and the previous director lots of questions, and tried things out to see if they would work. I learned so many useful skills in this job that there isn’t the space to list them all. Looking back on it, I’m so glad I took a chance in applying, and they took a chance by hiring me!

The most valuable skills I cultivated regarded working on a team while leading that team. A volunteer board hired me to manage them but also to serve their needs. I needed to balance my leadership style with the goals and purpose of my position, supporting everyone’s ideas and acting as a facilitator for conversations to decide the direction of the organization. So, many of the skills I cultivated in that job are skills I use today and skills I will continue to use in the future. However, I still knew I wanted to work in higher education. In Week 9, I will tell you about my next steps in achieving that goal. Have a great week!

Jessica Baron is currently a Graduate Assistant in Career Services at OSU and a full time student in the College Student Services Administration Program. Before making her way to Oregon State, Jessica worked as an actor, waiter, online tutor, receptionist, college composition instructor, creative writer, gas station attendant, nonprofit program director, writing workshop leader, high school drama coach, Hallmark card straightener, substitute teacher, real estate office manager, and SAT tutor, not necessarily in that order. Her “Confessions of a Career Changer” will focus on her wavy career path and the challenges and joys of wanting to do everything.

Working in real estate helped me to improve skills and abilities in different areas!

Welcome to week five!!! The Career Fair last week was a huge success, and we’re inching closer and closer to the end of this academic year.  As we do, I’m inching closer to the end of my story of a Career Changer. Or maybe not the end, but I’m definitely inching closer to my present moment, where my career path is right now; though it’s always a living and breathing thing that can morph and change.

Last time we talked, I had just graduated from my MFA program and realized that I didn’t want to teach; I wanted to advise. Because of this switch late in the game, I decided to take the summer “off” from thinking about the future by working as an actor at the Creede Repertory Theatre again. It was great fun to perform again, be with friends, and regroup.

As the fall and the end of the season neared, my time was taken up by wedding planning for a September date. After the wedding (A great party, you should’ve been there!), I started to ask around town for possible winter jobs. If I could find something, we could just hang tight, work in Creede for the year, and I would job search for my advising dream job from there. In a small town like Creede, it didn’t take long. A couple of people approached me about work they needed done. I got my substitute teacher’s license so that I could work at the school. I was asked to work part time as the high school drama club coach for a small stipend. Then, rumor had it that one of the local real estate offices was looking for an office manager.

Now, I’d worked in offices before, but not in a long time and never for real estate. But my skills in writing were unusual, as was my facility with different software programs. I brought a resume into Broken Arrow Ranch and Land Company and spoke with Anne, the owner and main broker. The following Monday, I started at an hourly wage.

One thing I want to stress was that I was able to sell my skills to Anne, letting her know that I would be comfortable with taking on marketing, writing up advertising, filing, phones, etc., and also that I would be comfortable learning everything I didn’t know about her business. She trusted that my previous experience as an instructor would translate to managing her office well. And although it took me some time to learn the procedures of real estate, I jumped in to learning about a brand new field with both feet. As you move into a new industry, it is important to acknowledge what you don’t know and what you need to know in order to do the job well. I spent much of my first week studying the file folders on the computer network, learning how to use Microsoft Publisher, and asking a lot of questions. Soon, I started offering small suggestions for streamlining some of her processes and improving her advertising. I was in a totally new field, and it was really fun!

So, all this is to say, be flexible, be open, be a learner, and you never know what doors will open. Although my job at Broken Arrow Ranch and Land Company was not in the industry I hoped to be in, I was learning skills and honing abilities that would help me get that dream job someday.

Have a great midterm season, and I’ll be back Week Seven with the next chapter in my Career Changer life!

Jessica Baron is currently a Graduate Assistant in Career Services at OSU and a full time student in the College Student Services Administration Program. Before making her way to Oregon State, Jessica worked as an actor, waiter, online tutor, receptionist, college composition instructor, creative writer, gas station attendant, nonprofit program director, writing workshop leader, high school drama coach, Hallmark card straightener, substitute teacher, real estate office manager, and SAT tutor, not necessarily in that order. Her “Confessions of a Career Changer” will focus on her wavy career path and the challenges and joys of wanting to do everything.

Me Near the Colorado Sand Dunes After Graduating

Welcome back, everyone! Can you believe that we are already in the third week of spring term? Hope your courses are going really well, and you’re enjoying warmer, sunnier weather every day.

So, I’m the Career Changer, Jessica, and I’ve been writing all year about my wavy career path to illustrate that the straight path isn’t always the right path to a rewarding life’s work. The last time I wrote, I told you about how I was teaching composition and creative writing in an MFA program, enjoying my students, and learning about myself every day. Although stressful and busy, these three years were an amazing period of my life!

As I was finishing my thesis, (a 120 page book of poetry!) I began to realize that the moments I most enjoyed with my students were one-on-one. As part of my writing course curriculum, I had several conferences set up over the course of the term with my students, and I loved when they would come into my office and tell me what was going on in their writing AND in their academic lives. It was exciting to hear about the diverse paths, interests, and goals of my students, almost like getting to experience all these things myself by learning about their strategies to find their way in the world. I began to provide my students with feedback and resources so that they could make more informed choices, and it was really fun!

When I graduated from the program, I knew that what I really wanted to do was advising of some sort. At first, this was disappointing because I had spent the past three years preparing for a career in writing instruction. But I valued the experience, and I felt that a lot of to skills I learned in those three years applied directly to advising. But since this was a shift in my plan, I needed some time to regroup. I decided to go back to the Creede Repertory Theatre to work as an actor for the summer again; I’d figure out what was next after that.

What was next was a wedding and a winter in a very cold house and a couple of new jobs that taught me a ton along the way. I’ll fill you in on these next time.

Jessica Baron is currently a Graduate Assistant in Career Services at OSU and a full time student in the College Student Services Administration Program. Before making her way to Oregon State, Jessica worked as an actor, waiter, online tutor, receptionist, college composition instructor, creative writer, gas station attendant, nonprofit program director, writing workshop leader, high school drama coach, Hallmark card straightener, substitute teacher, real estate office manager, and SAT tutor, not necessarily in that order. Her “Confessions of a Career Changer” focuses on her wavy career path and the challenges and joys of wanting to do everything.

So, what are your plans for this short week away from school? Are you going to be sunning and sailing, reading a book on a beach somewhere? Or do you have a trip planned to Vegas or LA or NYC for some fun? Or will you be working at your job and preparing for next term? Maybe you’re going to keep it low key by spending your days relaxing at home. Well, some OSU students are going to have a pretty incredible experience this coming week doing an alternative to all of that: Alternative Spring Break.

Instead of spending the week with the usual spring break activities, three teams of 12 to 20 OSU students are going to spend their spring breaks serving others in several Pacific Northwest communities. The participants on the first trip go to Yakima, Washington to learn about the city and the local Native American Reservation, Yakama Nation, and help nonprofit organizations there serve residents. The participants in the second alternative spring break experience this year are headed to San Francisco to work with the local homeless population. Finally, the students on third trip are staying close to home to restore vital ecosystems near Newport, Oregon. The trips cost $120 to $350 for a week of lodging and most meals as well as all programming and transportation, pretty minimal.

Why would someone devote their spring break to learning about Native American culture in Washington, helping the homeless in California, or cleaning up the beaches in Oregon, you may ask? Well, for one thing, Alternative Spring Break is a great way to engage in a meaningful service experience while having fun and traveling. It’s a way to make a difference. Participants will challenge themselves and form lasting friendships. And as a bonus beyond the inherent value of the experience, Alternative Spring Break is a way to gain leadership experience that can go straight on to a resume in a compressed amount of time. In a week, with some preparation before and debrief time after, students will gain knowledge, insight, and leadership skills that an employer would be excited to hear about in an interview.

So, next year, ask your advisor about going on an Alternative Spring Break trip or apply directly through the Center for Civic Engagement, You’ll get more out of the experience than you ever thought possible.