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

“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

“ 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

“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 Assistant

 “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.”

We 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.

Tick Tok: 3 Loose Ends that Need Tying

 

Tik tok, on the clock
But graduation countdown don’t stop
Tonight, I‘mma apply
For the job of a lifetime 

Tik tok, on the clock
But second semester won’t stop
Tonight, I’mma scrape by
Til I reach the finish line

Yes, that was my very own career parody of KE$HA’s “Tik Tok,” please hold your applause. While I hope you found it funny, upcoming graduation is no laughing matter. In just a few short weeks, all of you grads will be walking across that glorious stage and receiving those hard-earned diplomas. But don’t get a severe case of senioritis just yet, because there are A LOT of things you need to get done before that big day (and I’m not talking coursework). Here are the top 3.

1. Job Search

Please, please, please don’t wait until the day after graduation to start looking for your first job. The time is now –  actually it was a month ago, but better late than later. Many people think that they don’t need to look for a job until they are actually available to work, but this is not the case. The hiring process is a long one and it takes a lot of time to find a job, get an interview, negotiate, and get hired.

2. Networking

Now is the time to reach out to your contacts. Let them know you are graduating in a month, and that you’re looking for a job. Connecting with them now is good because they can give you leads on jobs that may not be publically posted. People remember what it was like to be a wide-eyed college grad, and they want to help you! So don’t let your pride get in the way and let them.

3. Letters of Recommendation

A lot of job applications ask for a list of people they can contact for recommendations in addition to actual letters. This is the time to ask your professors and supervisors for those ever-coveted letters. By asking 6 weeks before graduation you give them plenty of time to put a lot of effort into it. You’re also half way through the semester, so they should be pretty familiar with your work ethic, strengths, and capabilities.

 

Best of luck to you wide-eyed hopefuls!

 

To-Do List: Winter Break Edition

happy holidays!

Hip, hip, hooray! Finals are done, you’re headed home for a month-long break, and you have nothing to do but binge watch Netflix… Wrong.

This is the perfect time to be productive in your job search. Don’t get me wrong, you will still have plenty of time to rest, relax, and eat a lot of delicious food, but it’s important to take the time you have off from school to be proactive in your job/internship search. Here are a few tasks you should accomplish over your winter break.

1. Revamp your resume

Winter break is a great time to update your resume. Did you join a club, get promoted, or hold a new leadership position over fall semester? Don’t forget to add these accomplishments to your resume. This is also the perfect time to update your address, GPA, major, minor, and any scholarship awards that may have changed over the last four months.

2. Start the job hunt

This is the time when companies start posting summer internship applications. Make sure you are actively looking for job opportunities while on break. If you find any, take the time and apply for the positions you find. Capitalize on your free time now while you aren’t busy with papers, projects, and readings for your classes.

3. Network

You know all those awesome holiday parties you’re going to?! Use them to your advantage and network with your friends and family. Connect with people and let them know that you are looking for possible career opportunities in the ___ industry. You never know if a friend or family member has a possible contact that can help you land your dream job. Remember: it’s all about who you know.

 

Photo Credit: Melissa Brawner

Summer 2013

Even though it’s summer, Career & Leadership Development still offers all of our regular career services to students and alumni. In fact, summer can be the perfect time to seek out career assistance:

  1. Career Staff have clear schedules. If you’ve ever struggled to get an appointment during busier times of the year, you will have your choice of meeting times during the summer months.
  2. You have time to complete career “assignments”. When you leave a career appointment, you will likely have some stuff to do. This ranges from starting a draft of your resume, revising your resume, doing career research, searching for opportunities on Hawk Jobs, etc. The hustle and bustle of the fall or spring semesters makes it hard to pencil in these to-dos. During the summer, you have a lot more time to get stuff done.
  3. Be better prepared for the year ahead. Next year is your year for an internship. You plan on attending the Hawk Career Fair at the end of September. You graduate in December 2013 or May 2014. All of these are important reasons to go into the new school year with a great resume, polished online image, and internship/job search plan in place.

Summer Career Services Available To UW-Whitewater Students & Alumni

Untitled

To schedule a summer appointment, contact Career & Leadership Development at 262-472-1471. If you are on campus, you can stop at our front desk in the University Center (Room 146, up the ramps/stairs across from Freshens). While most appointments occur in person, our staff is also open to phone and/or Skype appointments. Simply specify your needs when you schedule. And don’t forget about all of the resources on our Career Resources website.

Wishing all our readers a fun and relaxing summer break!

Hooray for Winter Break!

I don’t know how you feel, but this semester seemed to fly by faster than ever before. It has been a busy semester in Career & Leadership Development, but it’s all a good kind of busy. Just like you, we appreciate the short break between semesters. Amidst taking some time off, many of us will use the break to tackle projects that demand our full attention.

Winter

Over your winter break, you might wish to do the same. Have you been putting off career-related projects because of work, classes, or your social life? Winter break is the perfect time to do some of this work. Here are some ideas for your to-do list:

Do your career homework. Homework?? On break?! Don’t worry, this “assignment” should be enjoyable. Take time over the break to make some decisions on your career direction and the next steps you should take. If you are at the point of trying to decide on a major, explore the career possibilities linked to the majors you are considering. Then, do a little more research on the careers that sounds interesting. Start developing a Plan A, B, and C for career paths.

Develop a career plan for the spring semester. Without overloading yourself with too much to do during the spring semester, identify a few things you can easily accomplish that will get you closer to your career goal. The beginning point for creating your plan is understanding what employers in your field will be looking for in new hires. Here are some ideas for gaining the skills and background employers will be seeking:

Need more ideas? Check out this post from YouTern: Your Back-to-School Checklist Will Never Be the Same

Work on all of those traditional career tasks we tend to put off for later. Add content to your resume (or start writing it if you don’t have one). Spend time building or improving your LinkedIn profile. Create and order networking cards. Whether looking ahead to summer internships or that first job out of college, you’ll want all of these pieces in place for applications, career fairs, networking events, etc.


If you are working on any of these things over the break and have questions, we are still here to help. Our counselors and advisors are taking appointments, and most of us are open to phone appointments, too. You can also email us, which works particularly well for resume reviews. Just contact Career & Leadership Development at 262-472-1471 to schedule an appointment or find our direct contact information here.

Other Winter Break Posts:

Photo by Jarek Zok

Evaluating Company Hiring Practices

Occasionally students ask us whether or not we think a specific company offers a legitimate employment opportunity. Most often this occurs after a student has been interviewed, and something about the experience just doesn’t sit right with the student. During these type of conversations I think that the career advisors at UW-Whitewater, such as myself, can assist you best by asking many questions to help you think through the type of employment situation that best fits your professional goals and interests.

For example, some people aren’t bothered by and even excel in employment where all or most of your pay is based upon commission, whereas others will avoid this arrangement at all cost. A reasonable goal, therefore, is to select an employment situation that best meets your expectations for reasonable pay and your personal willingness to take risks.

Dave: Interviewed

With this in mind, here are a few of the issues and questions to remember as you talk with employers:

Is the company representative being forthright with the information they provide regarding your pay as well as other aspects of employment? It’s perfectly fine for a company to base their pay to you on how well you perform. Generally this occurs in sales positions, where sales reps earn a percentage of the sales they make, and we all understand that there is both an inherent risk and reward involved with this sort of arrangement. The important thing is that the information the company hiring representative provides you is clear. There may be a few companies who will want you to make an up-front financial investment to pay for your training or equipment, and if this is the case, this should be transparent as well so you can make an informed decision.

Are you being asked to make an unreasonably quick decision on accepting employment? If you interview and are offered the job on Monday, and they want you to let them know by the end of the day on Tuesday, then I suspect you may feel a bit rushed and uneasy about employment with this company. If you feel pressured to accept before the offer is recinded, then I’d be wary about employment with this company.

Things that make you go ‘hmmmm…’ While it may be acceptable practice in some industries to hold interviews in coffee shops or other public settings, generally speaking most recruiters will find a private, professional setting to conduct their interviews. Similarly, it may be alright to hold interviews at a hotel, but they should reserve a meeting room in which to conduct the interview, not invite you to their room for the interview. You want to use your intuition and ask yourself if the situation “feels right”. Often business is conducted outside of the traditional 9-5 workday, but the vast majority of hiring practices tend to occur within the work day and week.

If the hiring representative asks you questions that don’t feel right, or are illegal, then I’m not sure I’d want to work for that company. Trust your gut on this one, and be informed about the type of questions that you should never be asked during an interview.

Definitely seek out the advice of the staff of Career & Leadership Development whenever you have questions about finding the fit that’s best for you.

Photo by Dave Fayram.

Getting Warhawks to Work

Welcome to Career & Leadership Development!

Welcome to Career & Leadership Development

Another year begins, and with it comes….

  • Four different career fairs
  • Lots of resume “doctoring”
  • More internship and job searches
  • Interviews here, there, EVERYWHERE

The career counselors/advisors in Career & Leadership Development are ready to help you make progress towards your career goals! How exactly can we help? Let me tell you!

Career Counseling/Advising: We have five career counselors/advisors on staff to help you with your career development. Not sure what you want to do when you graduate? You can meet with a counselor to discuss options connected with your major and interests. Know what you want to do, but not sure if you’re doing everything possible to get there? A career advisor can work with you on a plan that will help you achieve success. Career questions big and small is what career counseling/advising is all about.

Job Search Strategies: Getting a job doesn’t just happen overnight. It takes work, and your search is basically a job in itself. Meet with a career advisor to plan your search – identify key job search strategies for your career field, have your resume reviewed, practice interviewing, and more.

Career Fairs: Every year, the UW-Whitewater campus hosts four career fairs. First up are the Accounting Career Fair and Hawk Career Fair. The Hawk Career Fair is the largest fair of the year, with upwards of 100 or more employers attending. Mark your calendar now for Wednesday, September 26, and get more information on Hawk Jobs and Facebook.

Hawk Jobs: Looking for a job on campus or around Whitewater? Looking for an internship? Looking for a job for after graduation? Hawk Jobs is your one stop shop for work opportunities. Not sure how to navigate the system? Meet with a career counselor/advisor for a quick overview.

This is just a sample of the ways we can help you with your carer plans. Schedule an appointment today: Stop by our office in the University Center (Room 146 – up the ramps/stairs across from Freshens smoothies) or call our main desk at 262-472-1471.

And be sure to connect with us on Twitter and Facebook for access to a ton of career advice! Best of luck with the year ahead, and let us know how we can help you with your career needs!

Take Charge of Your Career This Summer

Welcome to summer break! The time off from classes makes for the perfect time to do some career planning, and following are some steps you can start with over the break. Remember, our career advising staff will be here all summer to help, so don’t hesitate to contact us!

summer

Explore Your Career Interests

Take advantage of your downtime by exploring career options. Start with a resource like the University of Tennessee’s “What Can I Do With This Major?” website to see what kinds of careers might connect with your area of study. Take your research another step and learn about different kinds of jobs on Inside Jobs. As you narrow down your list, consider setting up informational interviews with professionals in the field. Not only are informational interviews great for learning more about a particular career, they are great for building your professional network.

Prepare for Your Job/Internship Search

Jump start your job or internship search for next year by putting all the pieces in place this summer. Resume need work? Make edits to your resume (or create your resume if you don’t have one yet) and have a career advisor take a look at it. Not in Whitewater this summer? No problem! You can email your resume to us for review – Send it to career@uww.edu and an advisor will respond with feedback.

Once your resume is in tip-top shape, move on to the other phases of the job/internship search. Hopefully, your resume will eventually score you interviews. Be an interviewing master before the time comes by scheduling a mock interview with a career advisor.

Finally, start planning your overall search strategy. There are lots of ways to find an internship or job. And the more tactics you employ, the more likely you’ll be to see success. Again, consulting with one of our career advisors is the perfect way to start.

Save the Date…

Speaking of the job/internship search, be sure to save the date for the 2012 Hawk Career Fair:

  • Wednesday, September 26th, Noon to 4:00pm, Williams Center Gym 1.

Connect with UWWCareer

Keep in touch with us this summer through social media. We’ll be sharing helpful information to keep you on track with your career planning: resume/cover letter tips, interviewing advice, job search strategies, and actual job postings.

If you’re at the internship stage, our Internship Coordinator shares internship-specific information on Twitter – @uwwinternships – and on Pinterest – pinterest.com/uwwinternships. And be sure to follow this summer’s intern bloggers on the UWW Internships Blog.

Again, we’re here to help through the summer months. We’re available to meet with you in person, on the phone, using Skype, or via email. The Career & Leadership Development office is open from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday during the summer. The best way to schedule an appointment is by calling (262) 472-1471.

Photo by e pants

Let’s Talk Money!

At some point during your job search process, you will likely run into a question related to your salary expectations. You may see it on a job application where an organization may ask, “What salary range are you looking for?” Or you may be asked during an interview, “What are your salary expectations?”

Money

No matter where you encounter this question, it often poses a challenge for job seekers. What do you say? If you quote a figure that is too high, will you price yourself out of a job? If you quote a figure too low, will you be selling yourself short?

One of the keys to successfully handing this question is to do your research during your job search process. Career & Leadership Development has several resources available to assist you:

As you review the salary information, keep a few things in mind. First, some employers offer very little room to negotiate salaries for entry-level positions. Be sure to set realistic expectations for yourself and establish a budget to determine what you need to make.

Second, when considering your future earnings, remember to account for other variables including the benefits that may be offered by the employer and the cost of living associated with the geographic location of the job.

By utilizing this information, you will be better prepared to handle the salary question. You may choose to tell the employer that your salary expectations are negotiable or that you are interested in learning more about the benefits program to get a complete picture on the total compensation offered by the organization.

If you do quote a salary figure, be sure to justify your response based on the research you have conducted, and cite your sources!

If you would like additional assistance regarding how to handle salary questions, or assistance with job searching and interviewing in general, schedule an appointment with a member of the Career & Leadership Development team.

Photo by Andrew Magill.

Unpacking Your Study Abroad Experience

Students who study abroad frequently describe their experience as life-changing. The opportunity to live in and learn from another culture, as well as see and experience another part of the world, provides the participant with a great reason to reflect upon their life, their culture, and their identity.

The experience demands an investment of physical and psychological energy which will test and enhance the participant’s communication skills, ability to solve problems, adapt to change and be flexible. And, not least of all, there’s a good deal of confidence to be gained by successfully negotiating the challenges inherent in living in another country.

Paris_10_2006_ 053

These mindsets and skills are highly transferable and will help students both obtain and succeed in their careers. What follows are a few tips that may help employers understand the value of your study abroad experience as you conduct your job search.

  • First, don’t assume that your interviewer understands the value of your study abroad experience. Chances are most recruiters and hiring managers haven’t studied abroad and may not fully understand the numerous, varied ways that the experience has contributed to your learning and career development. They may view the experience as interesting and fun, but miss the learning implications inherent in the experience. The student will need to “connect the dots” on their resume and in their interviews.
  • Second, many students who participate in study abroad present the experience on paper and in person as “academic tourism.” When asked about their experience during interviews, a common mistake is to talk about how much fun the experience was, or how incredible it was to experience Amsterdam or the Great Wall of China. While true, understand that the interviewer wants to know how your experiences have contributed to the development of skills and competencies they desire. Therefore, it’s better to talk about what you learned as a result of your experience and specifically align what you learned with the skills and competencies that the employer seeks in the ideal applicant for the position for which you’re interviewing. Basically, they want to know how your experience abroad will add value to their organization if you are hired.
  • Lastly, spend some time to reflect upon what it is that you’ve learned as a result of your study abroad experience. What did you learn about the culture of your host country? Did the experience expand your knowledge of your own identity and culture? What skills did you use to adjust and adapt to your host culture? Have your attitudes about your home culture and country changed as a result of the experience? These are just a few of the questions to ask yourself during and after your study abroad experience.

Photo by Ralf Schulze