The Road to Productivity: Exploring How Warhawks Persevere and Prevail

“There will be obstacles. There will be doubters. There will be mistakes, but with hard work there are no limits!” –Anonymous 

It’s that time of the year again when workloads outweigh energy levels! Winter is quickly approaching and finals are right around the corner for us Warhawks. During this time of year it’s easy to become stressed out, burnt out, or just down right depressed from the amount of work you have to complete.  So in an effort to alleviate some of that stress, here’s what a few fellow Warhawks from Career and Leadership Development had to say about how they stay productive during late semester chaos:

Lisa Helms: PRIDE Intern

Lisa Helms

“With school it is a little harder for me to stay focused but I usually pull things together at the last minute. However with work, I stay focused by making to do lists when I get into the office. I start by checking my email to see if there’s someone that I need to communicate with right away and I just take it one step at a time.”

Cherish Golden: PRIDE Intern

Cherish Golden

“ I usually go to the library and sit at a table in a quite area to stay focused on academics. I don’t get on the computers because then I’d be distracted.  At work, when I’m all out of tasks, I just find little stuff to do to stay busy. Even if it’s just fixing the chairs, I have to stay busy and remain on my feet in order to be productive. “

Radaya Ellis: Biology Major

Radaya Ellis

“Well I have a productive playlist that I listen to when its grind time to get me back focused. Artist on my productive play list include artist such as Lil Boosie, to help motivate me, and Kirk Franklin, to uplift me. Listening to artist along those parameters helps keep me motivated both in work and at school. “

Katie Barbour: Involvement Office Graduate AssistantKatie Barbour

 “A lot of times around the end of the semester I have a lot of big projects to do. So for me this semester I have two large group papers, as well as projects in two different classes. So at this point, it’s really a matter of working effectively with my group members and trying to be a leader within those two groups to make sure we get things done. Especially since finals are right before graduation and that’s when those things are due, and frankly I don’t want to be overwhelmed with group projects that late in the semester. So I think just being proactive and making sure you get things done ahead of time really helps relieve some of the stress”

Becky Wintringer: Warhawk Connection Center Intern

Becky Wintringer

“To-Do Lists are a big thing for me. I have post-its and color coded notes and stuff all over the place. I use my calendar to color code everything! Blue things are for class, green things are for work, and purple things are for organizations. I just try to stay managed by plotting out certain times of the day for individual things so that I’m not just doing all homework for three hours but individual tasks during individual times.

Anthony Richardson: Seal Entertainment Intern

Anthony Richardson

“In order to stay productive I pretty much just remind myself of why I’m here and I use that as motivation to assure that I persevere throughout the rest of the semester.”


I hope these tips can help you achieve your fullest potential and maximize your productivity during stressful times. Be sure to finish up this semester strong and don’t be afraid to join the dialog. What are some strategies that you live by to manage  stressful times and remain productive? Comment and share your ideas.

How I Landed My Dream Job


Hello friends! As the days until graduation dwindle, I can’t help but look forward to the next phase in my life. I’m fortunate enough to have landed my dream job post-grad *YAY.* I don’t mean to brag, I really don’t, but it took a ton of work to get to this point, and I really want to help all of you reach your dreams. Here are 4 quick bits of advice to help you earn your dream job. 

1. Know your dream

This might seem like common sense, but you can’t really achieve a dream if you don’t know what it is. Look at the possibilities of your future career and aim high! Nothing is impossible. I don’t care what school you went to, what your degree was in, or what your grades were like – you can pretty much do whatever your little heart desires (so cheesy, but I’m being 100% serious). So put on your favorite PJ’s and get to dreaming.

2. Plan

Good things come to those who wait, not those who wait around. Once you have your dream in mind make sure you develop a plan that will get you there. You can’t just expect your dream job to fall into your lap without any effort.

Ask yourself: Who do I need to contact? What are the stepping stones? How do I even get started?

3. Network like nobody’s business

“It’s all about who you know.” People aren’t just saying this to hear themselves talk, it’s the truth. Before my first internship I knew NO ONE. However, after I interned with my first agency, I met a lot of people that had their own connections to other people in the industry. I ended up with a pretty good connection with someone at almost every major advertising agency in Chicago through my co-workers. Everyone knows somebody who knows somebody, so take advantage of those connections.

Side-note: don’t just network with industry people, network with your peers. They have connections too!

4. Embrace failure

The likelihood of you getting your dream job on your first try is slim. I was turned down the first time I applied to mine, but I said thank you and kept in contact. A “no” doesn’t always translate to “never,” sometimes they just don’t have room for you at that time. Take this time to gain more experience that will make you an even better candidate and try, try again.


Psycho-What? The Many Paths to Become a Mental Health Professional

The U.S. is welcoming back thousands of wartime veterans, national homelessness is arguably increasing, and mass shootings are becoming routine news. By no coincidence is the demand for mental health practitioners on the rise by more than 20%, or faster than average, over the next ten years. The stigma placed on mental health is gradually decreasing, making the mental health profession one with several opportunities.

Pieta House Press Pack - Joan Freeman, CEO Pieta House - Pieta House (12 of 28)

Want to be a clinical genius? Some professions include counselors, psychologists, and social workers. The paths to become a mental health professional are many, so let’s take some time to break down your options!

The Masters of Social Work

  • Graduate social work programs will oftentimes have different ‘tracks’ in which students can concentrate. Consider a track that will prepare you to pursue licensure in clinical social work. Social work programs will usually take 1-2 years to complete and will oftentimes include at least two semesters of field work experiences.

The Masters in Counseling

  • These programs typically award various degrees (i.e. M.A., M.S., M.Ed) with different terminology (i.e. mental health counseling, counselor education). Escape the potential confusion and focus on the most important distinction: accreditation. Programs will usually be accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). If a program is not CACREP accredited, it may not provide preparation for licensure, which is essential to becoming a professional counselor. Programs will usually take 2-3 years to complete and require a yearlong internship.

The Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy

  • In order to engage in Marriage and Family Therapy you do not need to be a licensed marriage and family therapist or complete a marriage and family therapy graduate program. However, a graduate degree in Marriage and Family Therapy provides the most efficient route towards licensure and practice as a marriage and family therapist. Marriage and Family Therapy programs will usually take 2-3 years to complete and include a yearlong internship.

The PhD.

  • PhDs come in two areas: Counseling Psychology and Clinical Psychology. Both programs are relatively similar: they both take about 5 years to complete, include a dissertation, and require a yearlong internship. Graduates with an interest in clinical work typically pursue licensure as a psychologist.

The Psy.D

  • The Psy.D, like the PhD., will require a pre-doctoral internship and prepare graduates for licensure as a psychologist, but will only take about 4 years to complete. The Psy.D may or may not require a dissertation, but will always place less focus on research and more focus on practice.

The M.D.

  • The M.D. prepares graduates to become psychiatrists. One of the greatest distinctions between the practice of Psychiatry and the aforementioned fields is that psychiatrists can prescribe medication. Psychiatrists are required to spend 4 years to obtain a medical degree and an additional four years of residency training in psychiatry.

Deciding which path fits you and preparing yourself is the greatest challenge. Feel free to visit Career and Leadership Development to work with a career counselor and explore the path and preparation that best fits you!

Photo by Joe Houghton.

Where Will Your Career Take You? Tips for Preparation & Common Careers Abroad

Earlier this year we shared information about where the job search may take you. Traveling outside of Wisconsin after graduation is a huge step and it is even more significant when you desire to pursue an international career.

Side of the VE Monument

Traveling abroad has become increasingly popular. Every year, the U.S. has nearly 300,000 students study abroad in addition to the cultivation of unique programs such as Semester at Sea. Traveling abroad provides several benefits such as learning a foreign language and developing a global perspective. Now on to the big question: what happens when you want to work abroad?

Here are some tips on preparing for a career abroad and some common international careers.

 Documentation needs (Passport, Visa, and Work permit)

  • While passports may be applied for through the U.S. Department of State, obtaining work visas and work permits are a bit more challenging. Many countries will require that you have a job offer prior to obtaining a work visa or work permit. Additionally, some countries will require a special type of visa related to work (i.e. business visa, work visa) and a work permit. Going Global, a career resource located on Hawk Jobs, provides excellent information on work visas and work permits.

Getting a Job

  • Preparation: According to the Institute for International Education of Students, you are more likely to secure a job abroad after completing an international internship. In addition to international internships, working domestically, gaining proficiency in a second language, and building a global network are other ways to prepare for an international career.
  • Before or After: Make the decision as to whether you want to have a job prior to traveling abroad or after you have settled abroad. There will be challenges either way, but there are useful strategies for each situation.
  • Study your Country: Different countries have their own unique benefits and challenges. Make sure to gather information about the economy and top companies of the countries you are considering.
  • Build a Global Network: Take some time to get to know individuals from different countries in your field of interest. Try to find out more information about how they have prepared for and obtained their job. This is always easier when you have had some previous travel abroad experience. In any case, using LinkedIn can be a useful tool as well.

Common Careers Abroad

  • Government and International Relations: This includes Foreign Affairs, Government Intelligence, and work with the United Nations.
  • Domestic to International: I once worked with a student seeking marketing opportunities in Israel. After some searching, we found some companies and job postings. Many positions available in America will also be available abroad.
  • Teaching English: We shared some information on teaching abroad earlier in the year.
  • Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO): If you have a passion for issues that span internationally, such as poverty, women’s rights, or community development, then you may want to consider NGO’s with international opportunities.
  • Miscellaneous: Other common careers abroad range from agriculture (WWOOFing) to working as an Au Pair.

You never know where your career will take you! Stop by Career & Leadership Development to find more information about working abroad.

Photo by Ben Demey.

Preparing for a Career in Occupational Safety

Occupational safety is one of the under-the-radar majors offered at UW-Whitewater, but it shouldn’t be. Year after year, graduates of the program experience a strong employment rate, along with one of the highest paying entry-level salaries of all majors at UW-Whitewater.

Power line safety IMG_5317-

Career & Leadership Development compiles an Annual Report of Employment & Continuing Education, a record of where the past year’s graduates are employed or are attending graduate or professional school. Here is a sample of where some of the safety grads from the past couple of years were employed after graduation:

I contacted several of the employers listed above, and here are some selected attributes that they expect students to demonstrate in their employment preparation before entering the Safety profession:

  • As a UW-W Safety graduate myself from several years ago, one of my personal recommendations for students looking for internships or their first job would be to spend the time up front on their resumes. I believe one of the most beneficial decisions I made as a student was to have Career & Leadership Development and the Safety faculty review my resume in advance.
  • Make your resume uniquely and effectively different in terms of organization, layout, communication, relevance and substantive content that speaks to the job description.
  • We are looking for students who can demonstrate that they have a strong work ethic. When reviewing resumes we are always looking for evidence that they are active in their education. Resumes should highlight past work experience, current GPA and coursework, and student or professional organizations. Review and have others review your resume before submitting.
  • Resume presentation and interview performance are samples of how one presents oneself; this is a skill that will be needed many times in the Safety profession.
  • During the interview, internship candidates should be prepared to provide examples that support their resume. We are looking for candidates that can demonstrate examples of problem solving, leadership, initiative, conflict management, and teamwork. A general understanding of the company and their product or service also goes a long way.
  • During the interview, express energy, passion, initiative and a hunger to enter the Safety profession; be willing to do what it takes to succeed. These characteristics may be verbally and non-verbally communicated by tone of voice, mannerisms, confidence and conviction expressed during the interview.
  • Lack of confidence during an interview can be a deal breaker. Know yourself well and practice interviewing so that you seem more sure of yourself.
  • Demonstrate a balance of sincerity and conviction for Safety compliance, along with interpersonal toughness and resilience when getting employees to buy in to Safety procedures.
  • I think the most important characteristic an aspiring Safety professional needs to have is being personable and relating to your coworkers. Knowing all the regulations and all the safety information in world won’t matter if you can’t build rapport and form relationships with your coworkers. Aspiring Safety professionals must understand that in order to get coworkers and management to buy into safety, you have to explain why you need safety, how to work safely, and most important is asking for coworkers’ and management’s input on safety. People are more likely to do something that they suggested or helped develop. A Safety professional has to know how to deal with all different types of personalities and leverage those different styles to help move the safety program forward.

Several employers seeking safety candidates attended the Hawk Career Fair on September 26. This semester and next, some employers will also be conducting interviews in Career & Leadership Development’s Bailey Interview Center for employment and internship opportunities in safety.

To find out which employers will be interviewing, check Hawk Jobs for interview schedules and attached job and internship descriptions.Then, be prepared to impress the employers, based upon the tips that are provided above, and the research that you’ve conducted about them.

Photo by N A I T.

Insurance Careers – Take a Closer Look at this Rapidly Growing Industry

Can you name one of the fastest growing industries for new college graduates to begin a professional career? Did you say insurance? If not, perhaps you should consider taking a closer look at this job sector.

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Job Outlook Survey for 2013, the insurance industry is projected to grow by nearly 13%. While this projected growth has made jobs in the insurance industry one of the hottest categories in the finance sector, insurance companies offer a wide variety of jobs and recruit students from all academic majors – both business majors and non-business majors alike.

Money and Magnifying Glass

Here is a sample of the types of careers available in the insurance industry and some of the required skills for each position:

  • Underwriting – Insurance underwriters review and evaluate insurance applications to assess the degree of risk involved. They also help to determine coverage amounts and premiums. Underwriters need to have solid communication skills, critical thinking abilities, and problem-solving skills.
  • Claims Adjuster Appraiser – Claims adjusters investigate, analyze, and evaluate insurance claims. They help to determine whether an insurance company must pay a claim and, if so, how much. Claims adjusters must have the ability to think critically, utilize complex problem solving skills, and demonstrate solid judgment and decision making.
  • Personal Financial Advisors – Some insurance companies also offer clients a variety of investment tools and resources. Financial advisors work with clients to assess financial objectives, insurance coverage, risk tolerance, and income to establish personalized investment strategies. They must have the ability to communicate effectively, analyze complex data, and actively listen to the needs of their clients.
  • Broker/Agent – Insurance agents and brokers sell life, property, casualty, health, automotive, or other types of insurance. They explain various policy options to customers and help them choose the products that are right for them. Agents must have excellent communication skills, the ability to build relationships, and negotiate a sale with clients.
  • Actuarial – Actuaries analyze statistical data, construct probability studies, forecast risk and liability. They work with clients to develop strategies and policies that minimize the cost of that risk. Actuaries need to have strong technical skills and the ability to analyze and solve complex problems.

For more information about careers in the insurance industry, I encourage you to utilize these resources:

Photo by Images Money.

Plan Your Perfect Career: Careers in Event Planning

Gaining in popularity over the last few years, event planning is a hot career track for many students. How do you break into the field? What exactly does an event planner do? Is it the right career for you? Let’s take a look.

Event Planning Is NOT Party Planning

Event planners work with special events of all kinds. Some events are social and some are business-focused, while others fall somewhere in between: Celebrations (ex. weddings), Education (ex. conferences), Promotions (ex. fashion shows), and Commemorations (ex. memorials).

National Association of Government Labor Officials Conference

But being the event planner for any special occasion is far from just planning a good party. Some of the responsibilities that fall to an event planner are:

  • Conducting research
  • Finding a site and arranging for food, decor, and entertainment
  • Sending invitations and arranging for necessary accommodations
  • Hiring employees to work the event as well as coordinating and supervising their activities

As you can imagine, being the event planner for a huge, national convention would require a lot of work and thousands of tiny details. A small wedding, on the other hand, might not be as overwhelming. However, event planners often work with very personal events – weddings, anniversary parties, memorials – that require a sensitivity to the emotions of the clients involved.

What Makes a Good Event Planner?

As with any field, certain skills and qualities are necessary and/or desired. Event planners should:

  • Have strong organizational skills and possess excellent attention to detail.
  • Be confident, flexible, and hardy. Planners are in charge of entire events, and things can go wrong. One must be ready for last-minute changes.
  • Be able to make decisions, immediately at times.
  • Have superior communication skills. Planners are working with vendors, staff, and their clients. Sending and receiving the correct messages is integral to ensuring everyone is on the same page. Tact is also important. Sometimes event planners have to break bad news to their clients.
  • Enjoy working with people. Event planning is a very people-oriented field.
  • Possess creative talents. Events often include some element of design, so creative skills are helpful. But creative skills also help with those last-minute snafus.

How to Start Your Career as an Event Planner

Earn a degree in a related field. Some great choices are communications, public relations, marketing, and management.

Look into internships with organizations that offer events frequently. Think about convention centers and hotels/resorts. Also, consider nonprofit organizations. Many nonprofits hold events and fundraisers for their causes.

Get involved with event planning on campus. Some UW-Whitewater examples include SEAL Internships, the UWW Event Planning Organization, and the Young Auditorium. And those are just a few of many great opportunities around campus.

Check out these additional resources to learn more about or to find opportunities in event planning:

Are you trying to pursue a career in event planning? What successes or struggles are you having?

Is the Music Industry Singing Your Name?

So you love music, but what on earth are you going to do with a degree in music? Well, there are a lot more opportunities and options than you think, and many of them are right under your nose. Even if you are not specifically a major in “music” but you enjoy it as a hobby, there are still ways for you to combine your passions.

Music - an art for itself - Headphones and music notes / musical notation system

Perhaps you have decided to pursue a degree in music, you have spent countless hours in the Greenhill Center of the Arts, and now its graduation time, or close to it. There are many fields you could pursue with your degree that people often overlook. Maybe you have a passion for music, but for the law as well. You could consider becoming a Music Lawyer and protect rights of composers, artists, and copyrights. Perhaps you have a passion for media as well as music. The position of a Mix Engineer would be perfect.

Let’s say you have majored in some area of business, but you still play an instrument or like to spend your free time singing and just are not ready to let go of that interest. There are still plenty of opportunities for you.

  • Stage Design and Management
  • Tour/Road Management
  • Talent Scouting
  • Song Plugging

How do you get experience in these fields? Start off by working for the local campus radio station, volunteer for industry events, work in an audio equipment sales store to learn more about the technology, or organize song writing session with other students. Below are some websites that can help you with your music career search.

UW-Madison Music Career Services

Inside Jobs

Photo by photosteve101

Careers in Biology: Tips from Sciences Employers

BPAE cells

Each year, Career & Leadership Development compiles an Annual Report of Employment & Continuing Education, a record of where the past year’s graduates are employed or are attending graduate or professional school. Here is a sample of where some of the biology grads from the past several years were employed after graduation:

I recently contacted some of the employers that have hired UW-W science grads, and here are some selected comments from them about employment preparation.

Online Image

  • Facebook is fine, but control access and privacy, and pay attention to what’s on your page. If you’d be embarrassed for your mother to see it, it is most likely not going to make a good impression on an employer.
  • LinkedIn – Use it! This is where you can really refine your professional online presence. Highlight your education, publications, accomplishments, and get recommendations from reputable sources (professors, respected researchers) as appropriate. Read LinkedIn profiles of recent grads from your major/profession to get an idea of what should be present on your page.
  • Twitter is good too, but tweets should be relevant. Tweeting every weekend about how awesome the latest party was won’t help you in the long run.


  • Creative resume formats are not rewarded in science professions. Your resume should be professional, clean, and very easy to read.
  • Highlight your research topics and skills along with your talents and accomplishments.
  • Be succinct. Writing should be short and to the point. Run-on sentences or entire paragraphs will just get glossed over by a hiring manager.
  • Employers don’t care about anything from your high school unless you are an undergraduate looking for internships.


  • Be sure to contact your references to verify that their contact information is correct and to inform them that they may be contacted to serve as a reference. It is always most professional to ask permission of each person you desire to use as a reference. You want your references to be prepared to speak to your strengths.
  • Once a person agrees to serve as a reference, you should help them understand the company and type of role you are pursuing. This will allow the referee to tailor their comments accordingly.


  • Go through mock interviews. Ask a career counselor, professor, or science professional to interview you as if they might hire you. Ask for honest feedback after the fact about your interview performance and demeanor. Make sure you do not have any nervous habits that can be distracting to a potential employer.
  • It’s difficult to overcome an unfavorable first impression. Portraying yourself in a professional manner is crucial for a successful interview. A significant part of a hiring decision is based on grooming, clothing, accessories, body language, eye contact and listening skills. It is important to carefully plan the professional image you want to project. Campus clothing and work clothing are two completely different worlds. Unfortunately, many recent grads underestimate the importance of conservative, professional clothing when interviewing.
  • Get a suit or other appropriate business attire. This is especially important when trying to get a job in industry. Showing up in jeans and your “nice” shirt will not send the message that you are serious. Consider the money for a good interview outfit to be an investment in your future.

Several science employers have scheduled recruitment visits to UW-Whitewater in April, and several others are in the process of scheduling. Watch for announcements for those events, and be prepared to impress the employers based upon the tips that they’ve provided.

Photo by Joseph Elsbernd.

I Study Psychology, But What Should I Do With My Life?

What do William James and Sigmund Freud have in common with Natalie Portman and Hugh Hefner? Strangely enough, they all majored in psychology. People with a degree in psychology find work in various fields. The American Psychological Association has almost 60 internal divisions that represent topics ranging from environmentalism to consumerism.

Carl Jung Quote

Students who study psychology have a wide range of skills that can be applied to several fields. These skills include understanding individual differences, writing skills, research methods and analysis, interpersonal skills, gathering information, and problem solving, among several others.

Several different fields of work employ students who study psychology. Even Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, employs doctorate graduates in psychology. Here is a list of some areas of work for students who study psychology to consider:

  • Human Services (Direct care, Administration): Examples – psychotherapy, advocacy, grant writing
  • Research: Examples – market research, experimental psychology
  • Education: Examples - teaching, higher education administration and student support services
  • Human Resources: Examples – employment and recruitment, labor relations
  • Business and Industry: Examples – sales, public relations, insurance, real estate

With all of these career options, one of the major factors to consider is whether or not you desire to pursue a bachelor degree in psychology or various types of advanced degrees (i.e. master, doctorate) in psychology.

For example, if you desire to work as a therapist, an advanced degree will be required.

Additionally, you will have to consider ways to gain certain skills and experiences that will make a psychology degree more valuable in different fields. For example, if you are studying psychology and aspire to work in business and industry or human resources, it is essential that you pursue related internships and employment opportunities prior to graduating.

It is important to consider the level of your degree and the career you desire to pursue in order to make the best decisions about graduate school and about opportunities you seek while in college.

Here are a few resources for students majoring in psychology:

And as always, if you are considering graduate school options in psychology or thinking about you can gain experience, such as internships or employment, contact Career and Leadership Development to make an appointment.

Photo by David Webb/Psychology Pictures.