How I Learned to Be More

In March, I wrote about attending a national conference and questions to ask yourself when attending a conference. Well, since then, I attended the annual national conference for the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) in Baltimore, MD, and had an awesome learning experience. If you are a student in a professional organization, try to take advantage of the lower costs to attend a conference (whether it’s state, regional, or national).

The conference theme for this year was: “Be More.” Simple, right? Each session, talk, and interaction helped me to realize that I need and WANT to be more of a professional and to excel in the field of student affairs.

Here’s how I learned to BE MORE:

  • When attending sessions, challenge yourself to pick topics that you don’t have experience with. The knowledge will broaden your horizons and ultimately help you understand your students even better.
  • Become involved and be intentional with that involvement. Check out committees or other small groups within the larger organization. They may even have a student specific group! ACPA has the Standing Committee for Grad Students & New Professionals & I’m a part of that group (along with the Standing Committee for Women).
  • Twitter can have an amazing power. I met so many people in person that I’ve been connected to online for a while now. It’s amazing to meet someone in person for the first time and to have them give you a hug as if they’ve known you forever. (true story) Plus, it was great to be the presence of great, talented, movitated, and innovative people.
  • When suggesting to meet by “the escalators,” make sure to specify which set of escalators as there can be up to three sets of them on one floor. Oops.
  • Take notes. You never know who you’ll be sharing the information with (co-workers, classmates, future co-workers, etc.).
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you don’t understand what’s going on in the session.
  • If you are worried about meeting people, volunteer at the convention and you’ll automatically make connections. I applied to be a part of the ACPA Ambassadors group which directly connected graduate students with higher level professionals involved in the inner workings of the organization.

When I reflected on the conference once it was all over I discovered that I will be more: Involved, Aware, Thoughtful, Reflective, and Present in Life Outside of Work/School.

Have you challenged yourself to BE MORE recently?

Green Career Resources: Twitter

With this week being Earth Week, I thought going through some green career resources would be most appropriate. The biggest thing to remember is that the green economy is growing and constantly changing. If you really want to be a part of it, keep up with the current events, the changes, the trends, and the major players.

Here are some previous posts we’ve done on green careers that you might find useful and interesting:

Another great resource to learn more about and keep up with the green economy is through Twitter! Increase your social media skills by connecting, interacting, and contributing to the green economy landscape. Here’s a listing of some entities to follow to find out about news, jobs/internships, and general information.

UWW Career (@UWWCareer) – we give you general job search/career advice, event notices, and links to great articles

National Park Service (@NatlParkService) – find out how you can get involved with the 390+ sites within the National Park Service

Student Conservation Association (SCA) (@the_sca) – connecting students with a variety of conservation opportunities all around the country

SCA Internships (@SCAInternships) – internship postings through the SCA

The Nature Conservancy (@nature_org) – great news source

Tree Hugger (@TreeHugger) – news, ideas, & links; also check out their blog

Jobs in Sustainability (@JobsinSustain)

Sustainable Biz (@SustainableBiz) – news from the green business world

Idealist (@idealist) – helping put your passion into action; large job/internship/volunteer search site for a wide variety of causes

Green Collar Jobs (@GreenCollarJobs) – initiative for creating green jobs in the Chicago area

Green Job Spider (@greenjobspider) – job search engine for green jobs

Carol McClelland (@CarolMcClelland) – expert in the process of finding green jobs; also check out her website and her book, Green Careers for Dummies

National Wildlife Federation (@NWF) – work to protect wildlife

Sierra Club (@Sierra_Club) – follow in the footsteps of founder John Muir to help protect communities, the environment, wild places, and the planet.

Zero Foot Print (@zerofootprint) – helping to reduce our environmental footprint

Sustain Lane (@SustainLane) – learning more about sustainable living; make sure to check out their job board

Cool Works (@coolworks) – find a career or seasonal job in some of the coolest places on Earth; their job board also has come cool job search categories (i.e. Jobs on Horseback or Jobs on Water)

Photo by Moyan Brenn.

Spring Break To-Do’s

Spring Break is a time to relax and recharge before finishing off the rest of the spring semester. The time off can also be a time to start getting some traction on career-related items…especially if you’re graduating this coming May.

Here are posts we’ve written previously about career-related things to do during break time.

Have a wonderful Spring Break, stay safe, and we’ll see you when you get back!

P.S. Getting your resume ready for applying for jobs would be an EXCELLENT thing to do during spring break!

It’s Conference Time!

It is conference season in the world of Student Affairs and Higher Education. Luckily, I have the opportunity to attend the ACPA (American College Personnel Association) National Conference in Baltimore, MD, in just a few short weeks. I’ve been a grad student member of the organization for about three years and this is my first opportunity to attend the national conference. However, I have attended conferences on the state level for the past two years. I thought I would share with you my experiences before, during, and after the conference. Before and after will be covered here on the blog and you’ll be able to catch the “during” over on our Twitter account (http://twitter.com/UWWCareer) when I use my assigned day of tweeting to cover what I’m learning at the conference.

So how does my going to a conference affect you as a student? It’s to prove that becoming involved in a professional association related to your field is important while you are still a student. Plus, the fees are generally quite a bit cheaper as a student!

The student affairs field has several professional organizations to choose from. A few associations are for general student affairs and others are function-specific. Some associations include:

While these associations don’t represent every single association in the student affairs field, it’s a good start. Do research into your own industry. Which associations look interesting to you? Which have opportunities specifically for undergraduates or graduates to become involved? Which associations stretch your thinking about your future industry? Once you’ve found a professional association you want to join – do it! Then find out how to get involved.

Here are some questions to think of prior to attending a conference (no matter what level of the association – i.e. state, regional, or national).

How will I benefit from this conference?

Professional Development, knowledge, exposure to new ideas, networking with professionals already in the field, etc.

Can I further my participation at the conference besides attending sessions?

Participate in Case Study Presentations (put your classes into action!), present research, or volunteer your time to help (I was lucky enough to be selected as an ACPA Ambassador and will be participating in a variety of activities and volunteering my time while in Baltimore)

What is the social media backchannel?

If you’re connected to social media (such as Twitter) you can follow the backchannel (attendees tweeting live!) of the conference whether you’re there or not. The ACPA conference will be rocking the #ACPA11 hashtag on Twitter for all to follow the many experiences, thoughts, and revelations that attendees are having.

What are the different networking opportunities?

Speed networking, receptions, dinners/lunches, socials (organized or informal – such as tweet-ups)

What is the expected etiquette?

Dress, behavior, attendance to programs or evening events

Are you going with anyone, such as a classmate or colleague?

If you are attending with one or more other people, I suggest creating a plan of attack and planning out who is attending which sessions. You’ll be able to acquire more information/knowledge from the conference if different people are attending different sessions.

Share the information you learn with others. Talk about sessions afterwards to give yourself a chance to process what you have learned. Talking through the information together may improve your understanding of the content.

Is there an opportunity to interview for job positions while at the conference?

Higher Education can be somewhat unique in that we have “placement exchanges” in conjunction with conferences so people who are job searching can interview with multiple schools all in one place (TPE & C3). Generally, the next step after this is to have an on-campus interview if you’re in the running for a position. Check to see if your industry/field does events like this.

How can I continue the conversation once the conference is over?

Connect with people you’ve met at the conference through email/Twitter/LinkedIn once you get home from the conference.

Get involved in the organization: committees, write for newsletters, join if you haven’t already, if you attended a national conference – check to see if there is a state or regional chapter you can join.

That’s all I have for pre-conference information. Let us know if you have questions by connecting with us through the comments section, Twitter, or on our Facebook page. We’d love to hear from you!

Follow my national conference experience through the @UWWCareer account on Twitter on March 29th.

Office Services

Here’s just a quick reminder of the services we offer for career development.

We are open 8-5p, Monday through Thursday, and 8-4:30p on Fridays.

There is a wealth of information available on our website including:

You can schedule appointments to meet with a career counselor by calling us at 262.472.1471 or stopping by our office in the University Center (Rm 146) across from Freshens.

Check out Hawk Jobs to apply to internship and job postings, find a job on campus, and explore resources such as: Internships.com, Going Global, EmployOn, and Vault. You can also find lists of employers when career fairs are approaching. It’s FREE and all you need is your UWW username and password to login!

Visit us at our Resume Dr. table. We’ll be available for quick questions and resume reviews a couple different times throughout the semester in different buildings on campus. Stay tuned for date and location announcements. (Our first Resume Dr. is Feb 2-4! Click here for dates, times, and locations.)

You can “like” us on Facebook to find out about events, advice, and links to articles about what is happening out in the “real world” economy.

You can follow us on Twitter through @UWWCareer and @uwwinternships to learn about the changing landscape of the world of work, office events, and jobs and internships from local employers. You can also ask us questions through Twitter!

Winter Break To-Dos: Part 2

Last week, I covered a few things to work on towards your career goals while you’re enjoying winter break. This week I have another item that you can have as an option for during winter break. Create your LinkedIn account and start networking with professionals in your intended career field. This social media platform allows you to join groups with other professionals that have similar career interests as you, you can do an extensive amount of company research (find out everything from who was recently hired to how the company shows up in the news), and also job searching.

Here are some useful handouts and guides to help you get started:

If you are currently getting ready to look for an internship, check out Laura’s tips internship winter break to-dos.

We will be taking a break from updating our blog for the duration of Winter Break. We’ll be back in action towards the end of January. We will be tweeting throughout winter break, so you can follow us there for the latest news about the world of work and UW-Whitewater.

We will be closed on the following days:

  • Friday, December 24th (Holiday)
  • Monday, December 27th (Furlough)
  • Friday, December 31st (Holiday)

Photo by: Ellen Hatfield

What to Do During Winter Break?

This week and next, I’ll be providing you with some ideas of things to work on during winter break. These ideas are to help you get closer to finding that dream internship or job.

We have written previous blogs about ideas of to-do’s during a break period. Previous ideas included: volunteering, job shadowing, visit/research cities where you are hoping to live/work, informational interviewing, job/internship search, arrange for out-of-town/state interviews, work on resumes/cover letters, prepare a job search portfolio, buy your interview suit/outfit, and research employers/companies/organizations. Here are the links to the previous posts so that you find out more information about the list above.

I strongly encourage you to pursue some of the suggestions that we’ve made in prior blog posts. I also have a few new ideas to add to the list.

Bikes@Naz ... in Winter – Nazareth College, Rochester, NY

Learn a New Skill. While reading a recent article on the USA Today College website, I read about how to utilize winter break to learn a new (or develop further) computer skill. Look at programs that could be helpful for your future career. Programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Excel, or Microsoft PowerPoint can be useful in upcoming classes and your future career. I have used Microsoft Excel in several of the jobs that I’ve held currently and in the past. It’s a great skill to have! If you are going into a field that frequently utilizes social media, use winter break to become familiar with LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media platforms. Mashable is a great resource for beginners.

Solicit some help from your parents. Are you currently thinking, what? I am reading Lindsey Pollak’s book “Getting from College to Career: 90 things to do before you join the real world” and she had some great ideas of how parents can be helpful. She mentions that parents can be a great sounding board and source of support while you’re looking for a job or internship.

Her ideas of where parents could get be helpful include: reviewing assessments together, rehearsing for interviews, proofreading documents (such as resumes, cover letters, and personal statements), networking (they probably know a lot of people who know people who could possibly connect you with an informational interview, job shadow, or someone to look at your resume), and accountability (checking in with you periodically to make sure you’re sticking to your job/internship search plans).

Lindsey also highlights areas where parents should NEVER be involved. I completely agree with her! Those areas include: calling a recruiter or employer for any reason, attending a job interview or career fair with or for you, and sending out your resumes. You want to show employers that you’re independent and ready to join their company. Having mom and/or dad at your side while you’re interviewing will not send that message.

Stay tuned for next week when I introduce a few more new ideas of productive things you can do while you’re on winter break.

Photo by Nazareth College.