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!

 

Friday Favorites – Seniors Job Search

For this week’s Friday Favorites, I had the chance to interview five UW-Whitewater students who are graduating in May and searching for jobs. They’re all at different points during the job search process and all have very different experiences and advice to give to other seniors. Check out their interviews below!

Murphy Waldhuetter

Nelson Ritthaler, a senior, is majoring in organizational communication and minoring in philosophy.

Are you worried about not finding a job? “Yes, sometimes more than other times but I’m trying to be optimistic. The closer I get to graduation, the more anxious I get.”

What advice would you give students who are going through the same thing you are? “Keep applying and keep getting feedback on your resume. A well written and well formatted resume can open more doors. The more you apply, the higher chances you give yourself to land a job.”

 

Jamie Selck is majoring in management with a human resource emphasis.

What kinds of platforms did you used when searching for a job? “I mostly used Hawk Jobs because it was so precise. The other job boards were very broad. With Hawk Jobs, everything was in one place.”

Were you worried about not finding a job after graduation? “I was worried, but I just got offered a job with Colony Brands. They were on Hawk Jobs and had a bunch of jobs listed so I submitted my resume for one of them, got an interview, got invited back for a second round of interviews at Monroe, which is where their headquarters are, and then they offered me the internship!”

What advice would you give students who are going through the same thing you are? “Start early, make sure you have a Hawk Jobs profile and a LinkedIn profile, so when it comes time to apply, you aren’t overwhelmed. Make sure you have a resume that you always update. Have copies of your resume and copies of your references with you at your interviews. Apply for everything; even if there isn’t an job you might not want, you should do the interview for practice.”

 

Patrick Johnson will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts with Instrumental Music degree and is minoring in advertising.

What kinds of jobs are you looking for? “Music administration, but also anything in public relations/advertising agencies.”

Do you have any worries or concerns about not finding a job? “Very. As far as jobs come, it’s very hard to find a job, so I’ve applied for internships. I’m worried the internship might not pay enough.”

What advice would you give to students who are in the same place you are, graduating soon and haven’t found a job yet? “Be patient. And don’t be afraid to apply for everything.”

 

Britt Asbach, a senior, is majoring in organizational communication with a minor in special education. She will be going to graduate school.

What kinds of platforms have you used when searching for a graduate school or job? “I use a lot of social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, and various career blogs and books) to research potential jobs and schools. Networking is also extremely important when searching for a job and this is a skill I’m always looking to improve upon. Half the battle is learning creative and innovative techniques to tap into the right medium to connect to new networks and interesting people.”

What kind of job would you like to get after you finish grad school? “After grad school, I would like to get a job with a medium size company or nonprofit organization and work in the human resources department as a director of staff training and development. I’m extremely interested in transforming leadership in the workplace and helping people to reach their full potential. I also want to understand the parallels between the family unit and the workplace. I desire to conduct training seminars, conferences, and travel internationally as a motivational speaker. Ultimately, I would like to end up working at an international children’s organization or at a big church in family ministry where I can use my leadership and development training to help children and their families.”

What advice would you give students who are going through the same thing you are? “Start thinking about your plans for post graduation by the end of your sophomore year. Time flies so fast in college and what you do with your time matters. I was lucky because my parents always kept me thinking about my graduation plans years ahead of time. They encouraged me to pursue my passions, but also keep a level head about my professional expectations after college ends. I would also encourage students to stop listening to much of the new stories about job markets today. The fact is that economy is always going to be changing and it is more important for you personally and professionally to continue to foster those “learning relationships” and key networks. You will be much more happier if you learn early on how to communicate your values successfully and live out your passion in the workplace.”

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Cameron Schultheis is majoring in media arts and game development with a minor in advertising.

What kinds of platforms have you used when searching for a graduate school or job? “The platforms I primarily use in job searching are agency website directories (agencypimp.com), and Big Shoes Network.”

What kinds of jobs are you looking for? “The jobs I’m looking for junior art director or art director intern positions. I’m heavily interested in the creative side of the advertising process.”

What advice would you give students who are going through the same thing you are? “If you work hard enough, and don’t give up, you have nothing to worry about. My advice to other students is to chase your dream and never give up. The moment you give up is the moment you forfeit everything you’ve worked for to get to that point.”
 
Thank you to all the students I interviewed! I know you all will be successful in whatever path you choose to take in life.
 
Photo by UWW Career.

December Graduates – What Comes Next?

For those of you who are graduating in December – this post is for you!

Graduates

First of all, congratulations! The day is almost here. Graduation can’t come soon enough, right?! Your mind might be focused on December 15, your cap and gown, and your graduation party, but… have you thought about what happens afterwards? There are many paths you can take after graduation, such as working at a full-time job, joining a non-profit organization or going to graduate school.

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For those of you who have jobs lined up, that’s awesome. You’re ahead of the game! But for those of you who are still looking, it’s okay. Finding a job takes time, and there are a lot of factors that go into it. Take some of these tips below into consideration.

Create a Job-Search Plan

  • Don’t rely on just one method when hunting for a job or internship. Searching online at job boards, such as Hawk Jobs, is a great method, but you can expand this by searching directly on employer’s websites and looking for ’employment’, ‘careers’ or ‘internships’ towards the bottom of the page.
  • Make sure your resume is up to date. You never know when you’ll need to reference it or e-mail it to a potential employer. Going along with these lines, make sure you have a LinkedIn profile as well.
  • Network, network, network! It’s important to talk to people who work in the field you want to get into. If your mom knows a friend of a friend who is the CEO of that company you’ve been dying to work for, ask that person if you can set up a phone call or informal meeting with them. Also, mention to your friends and family that you’re looking for a job. Having that word of mouth factor can definitely help you out in the long run, and being connected will make it easier to find a job.
  • While you’re on the job hunt, keep yourself busy. This may not seem like a big deal, but when you have your interview for X company, I guarantee they will ask you, ‘What have you been doing since graduation?’ Be prepared to answer that question with: I’ve been volunteering at the local hospital/I’ve been working on a new hobby of mine/I’ve been helping my father out at his landscaping business/I went on a mission trip to help build a church in Mexico/I’ve been going to graduate school, or whatever it is you’ve kept yourself busy with.
——————————————————————————————————————–If you’re not ready to settle down with a full-time job right away, joining a non-profit organization may be the perfect option for you.Volunteering

 
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Graduate school
is another path to take after graduation. Did you know that UW-Whitewater offers a graduate school program?Kristina Stankevich, a senior at UW-Whitewater, is studying accounting. She will be graduating in December and continuing her education at grad school at UW-Whitewater. She used Hawk Jobs as a resource to find her internship.
 
‘After I graduate, I will be attending graduate school at UW-Whitewater. My first semester as a graduate student I will be interning at Schenck, an accounting firm in Milwaukee. The accounting program has an internship program set up through Hawk Jobs that I interviewed through and I was able to be placed at a firm. I haven’t been actively looking for a full-time job. I still have a year and a half left of graduate school, so I have some time to find a full-time job. My goal is to work with taxes for the entirety of my career. Eventually, I would love to work with International Taxes.
 
‘Kristina, we wish you the best of luck at graduate school and your internship. Also, good luck to all the December graduates!

As one last tip, the career counselors at Career & Leadership Development will always be a great resource for you to utilize whenever you need it. The career counselors aid all students and alumni of UW-Whitewater.

Connecticut College graduates

Photos by Tulane Public Relations and manjidesigns.

Alternatives to Your Dream Job

graduation

Congratulations UW-Whitewater spring graduates! As you celebrate your achievements during various events, you are probably hearing several age-old quotes and clichés.

Graduation is a big thing, but you still may get doubts that the “the tassel is worth the hassle.” You earned a degree, but you may not be excited about your new employment or may have no job at all. Graduation can be sobering when you do not receive the outcome you expected four years ago.

Do not fear. Now is a good time to replace your worries with planning and preparation. Here are three roadblocks and four alternative career considerations as you pursue your ideal career.

Three Roadblocks After Graduation

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

  1. Graduate School: It is amazing when someone pursues a graduate program in which they are passionate, committed, and prepared. The dangers of graduate school arise when one pursues graduate school just to avoid the workforce. Do your research before attending graduate school.
  2. The Couch: In 2011, the New York Post reported that up to 85% of graduates were moving back home. Disclaimer: Living at home does not mean a free-for-all on The View and Nintendo Wii. Continue to improve and develop skills through some combination of volunteering, internships, or other form of employment.
  3. Job Search Breaks: Continue your normal job search and set-up e-mail notifications for job openings. In addition, maintain your relationship with networking contacts and find ways to meet new contacts through various means (friends, family, professional associations, LinkedIn). Even if you have a job, stay up-to-date on position openings in your field.

Four Alternative Career Considerations

“Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.” – Malcolm X

  1. Duties of Interest: You may not immediately become a copy editor for HarperCollins or perform marketing for Google. For now, try to utilize the skills you love even if you are not working with the product, employer, or environment you love.
  2. Environment of Interest: Are you interested in working for the federal government? Get a job, any job, and use it to build networks and knowledge to help you move closer to your dream job with your employer.
  3. Service Programs: You may desire to build more experience or are still trying to discover fields in which you are interested. Try a service program to build experience and earn a few benefits along the way. City Year, AmeriCorps, and Milwaukee Teaching Fellows are just a few such programs.
  4. Temporary Work: If you are in the position to be flexible, staffing agencies can be a great way to build various skills. The key is to be  strategic about the types of positions you are willing to work.

Career services is here to help you develop and evaluate your job search strategies. Make an appointment at some point during the summer and we can assist you in your pursuit of your ideal career.

 “…if one advances confidently in the direction of his dream, and endeavors to live the life which he had imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
– Henry David Thoreau

Photo by Sean MacEntee.

What’s a Curriculum Vitae (CV) and How Do I Create One?

Research is an incredible way to prepare for graduate and professional school. UW-Whitewater has a number of opportunities to engage in research including the Undergraduate Research Program, the McNair Program, and various opportunities to participate in ongoing faculty research.

As you develop skills to become an effective graduate student, it will be very important to learn how to appropriately market yourself. When applying for employment, assistantships, fellowships, grants, and other opportunities, resumes will no longer be the document of choice. Instead, you will be asked to submit your Curriculum Vitae (CV). Curriculum Vitae is Latin for ‘course of life’. The purpose of the CV is to provide a snapshot of your education, professional background, and research interests.

Students in "class" on Bascom Hill

Academic and International CVs
There are two types of CVs: the academic CV and international CV. Several countries outside of the U.S. use the term CV to refer to their equivalent of the American resume. Domestically, it will be necessary to begin a CV if you fit into one of the following categories:

  • Planning to attend graduate school
  • Engaging in student teaching
  • Participating/conducting research
  • Interested in academia

CV or Resume: What’s the difference?
A CV and resume are both documents used to provide a snapshot of one’s skills and experiences. The CV differs from the resume in that it is:

  • More comprehensive and longer in length
  • Used primarily for jobs in academia, research and when applying for grants, conferences, or graduate school
  • Strictly a professional document that should be approached conservatively

How do I begin my CV?
Create a master CV document. It may be easiest to request the CV of faculty member in your field of interest to get an initial idea of how a CV in your field of interest will appear.

  1. Outline information. Outline the following information: contact information, education, professional employment, research experience (publications, presentations, grants, etc.), teaching experience, honors and awards, professional service, professional affiliations. The CV does not need to be limited solely to this information, but the aforementioned are a few samples. Accompany each experience with the position held, name of organization, dates present and location
  2. Create headings and organize. Create headings that are relevant to your experiences. The list in Step One identifies information that may be used as headings. Place corresponding experiences underneath headings. Research and teaching experiences are often the first sections following the education section. Note: In regard to section order, the most important information will be listed toward is the top of CV. However, information within each heading should be listed in reverse chronological order.
  3. Create descriptions. Fill in experiences with descriptions regarding your accomplishments. Use complete citations for research (including publications, presentations, and research in progress).

The CV length for undergraduate and graduate students will likely range from 2-5 pages. For more information, explore ‘Additional Resources’ below and make an appointment with a career counselor in Career and Leadership Development and faculty member in your department.

Additional Resources:
http://seaver.pepperdine.edu/careercenter/doc/CV%20Packet.pdf
http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/creatingmaintaining-your-cv/26887 http://chronicle.com/article/The-Rhetoric-of-the-CV/131404/

Photo by joelrivlan.

What Valentine’s Day Means for the Job Seeker

Valentine’s Day can oftentimes be a gift to the unaware. Stores are filled with candies, stuffed animals, and flowers behind an overlay of red and pink. Restaurants are creating a cozy and romantic atmosphere. It’s nearly impossible to forget that Valentine’s Day is near and love-related gestures are expected.

Today, during the week of Valentine’s Day, I want to offer students a similar gift by sharing when you should become a job seeker. There are no significant reminders through commercials and consumer products as to when to begin the job search. As a result, several students ride into the glory of graduation unaware: a college degree in hand, with no resume developed, no networking contacts and a job search that has barely began. This timing makes the task of finding employment even more daunting.

There is a great need to become a job seeker before becoming a graduate. Here are a couple of tips on becoming a job seeker.

  • Apply to job openings as early as the beginning of the spring. Employers are responsible for advertising a position, evaluating applicants through resumes and cover letters, interviewing, evaluating interviewees, checking references, and following a job offer, negotiating a salary. This process could take up to two months from the initial job advertisement. In addition, it is not uncommon for employers to allow two weeks to a month for new employees to begin work. Apply now and manage details of the starting date later.
  • Begin connecting with any networking contacts including current and past employers and internship supervisors, and other individuals who you know in your field of interest. Explain the type of job you are seeking out, ask for any advice of navigating your field, and ask for introductions to new contacts. Networking is a process, and if you begin at the start of the spring semester, your connections have the chance to introduce opportunities before you graduate.

If you are wondering about how to become a job seeker before graduation, make an appointment with a Career Counselor in Career & Leadership Development to organize your job search and discuss the best job strategies for you as a job seeker.

Have a great Valentine’s Day and take joy in the gift of reminders.

Photo by D Sharon Pruitt.

Graduate School: Prepare & Apply

The idea of attending graduate school always intrigued me during my years as an undergrad. With a desire to become a counselor I knew it was inevitable, but I didn’t know much about the process. Here are some of my tips for preparing and applying to graduate school programs.

Research

Research the University, the Graduate School, the Department, the Program and the City/Area in which the school is located. You’d think that this would be common sense, but from experience, I can tell you it’s not. Each of these levels can have a dramatic effect on your choice to attend or even apply to a specific program. For example, if the program is located in a city or state that you are unwilling or unable to move to, it doesn’t matter how strong of a program it is, it won’t be satisfying for you. Same thing goes with the department. If you are looking for a graduate program with a large full-time staff, a program that relies on adjunct faculty may not be your best bet.

Visit

If at all possible, once you have done your research, go on a campus visit. You can learn a great deal about a campus and a program by looking at the space you’ll be in as a graduate student. Listen to your gut if it does or doesn’t feel right.

Informational Interview

Consider setting up interviews with faculty members to learn more about their research or areas of expertise. Ask questions that you couldn’t find the answers to online or in print resources.

Contact current graduate students! Often time departments are more than willing to have prospective students meet with current students. Find out from students what the pros and cons are of the program and what suggestions they would have for you about how to navigate the grad school life.

Apply

If you like what you see and hear, apply! Remember that graduate school applications can be somewhat complex and generally require all or some of the following components:

  1. Application form (electronic or paper)
    1. For the Graduate School
    2. For the program
  2. Resume
  3. Cover Letter
  4. Personal Statement
  5. Autobiography Statement
  6. Letter of intent

For assistance with any of these documents, you can set up an appointment with any of the Career staff at Career & Leadership Development by calling 262-472-1471.

With your application, pay special attention to deadlines, specifics on where and how to submit your completed application or necessary admissions tests like the GRE or GMAT.

Overall when you’re thinking graduate school, start early and weigh your options. No two programs are the same and there is a “right one” out there for you!

Photo by: Collin College