Taking the Risk

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In high school, if you had asked me to point out Whitewater, Wisconsin on a map, I would have had no idea where to look. I was just a girl from the North suburbs of Chicago looking for a great place to go to college. I would have never guessed that I would end up in the small town of Whitewater at this University.

Making this decision was not easy. I knew that Whitewater had a great business school, there were not too many students, and it wasn’t too far from home. However, being from the North suburbs of Chicago, there were not a lot of people who came here for school. I would most likely be the only person from my high school coming here, a scary thought to any freshman.

With that in mind, I decided to take the risk and attend this University. My random roommate ended up being from another North suburb that was just around 15 minutes from mine. We were both in the same boat. We knew that if we wanted to get the most out of our college experience we would have to get involved.

This brought us to sorority information nights. We went through recruitment and joined Delta Zeta. As a new freshman, I would have never thought that joining that organization would bring me to where I am today. My sorority sisters never failed to encourage me to take risks, like the one I had taken when I chose to attend Whitewater.

My junior year, I was elected as a co-recruitment chair for the Panhellenic Council, the governing body for sororities. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Through this role I had the opportunity to attend the Association of Fraternal Values and Leadership conference in Indianapolis last winter. This conference gave me great insight into what it means to be a leader and how being Greek can help that.

Shortly after returning from the conference I decided to take another risk and apply to be on the Homecoming Steering Committee, something I quickly realized was nothing like I thought it was going to be. As the first semester of my senior year was coming to a close, I quickly realized that all these leadership positions that I had held were ending. I knew that I wanted to spend my last semester on campus giving back to something that had given me so many opportunities and helped me grow from the scared, lonely freshman I was to the confident senior that I am now. So I took my final risk and accepted this position as a Social Media Intern.

I am excited to spend my last semester here representing Career and Leadership by writing for this blog and posting from our various social media pages. I will be providing a student perspective on the scary process of searching for, applying to, interviewing for, and accepting jobs and internships.

Interview with WSG President

I had the opportunity to talk to the Whitewater Student Government president, Justin Murphy, about involvement, what he loves about WSG, and his advice for freshman students. Justin is a fifth year senior double majoring in finance and integrated science and business with an emphasis in water resource.

Justin transferred from UW-Platteville when he was a junior, and has been in WSG for three years now. He started off as a senator, then became the business and financial services director on executive board, and he was elected president last spring.

One of his favorite things about being president is getting to know the higher-ups, such as the chancellor and the provost.

‘I got to know the chancellor very well and I’m getting to be pretty good friends with the provost. Their opinion matters a lot as far as WSG goes. We run ideas by the provost and see what her opinion is. Her feedback is invaluable. Being on WSG has definitely helped me learn how to interact with all different kinds of people.’

Justin also does a lot of professional development processes.

‘As president, I got to hire five directors, so we had an application process where I looked at resumes, went to interviews, and chose five people who we work with directly. That was good experience to have, to see the whole hiring process, from start to finish. We have to figure out how to handle situations in a professional way and not lose your head over it.’

Justin Murphy

He strongly encourages students to get involved. He describes himself as a go-getter, and admits to signing up for a dozen orgs at the Involvement Fair when he transferred to UW-Whitewater a few years ago. His favorite organization he’s involved in is WSG, of course.

‘I met a lot of great people through WSG. They are some of my best friends now. We have a great executive board. I couldn’t ask for a better crew.’

If you’re interested in joining WSG, their open meetings are at 7pm every Monday night in UC 259.

Photo by UWW Career.

Interview with SEAL Manager

I had the opportunity to sit down with SEAL manager Sara Molnar, and talk to her about her experience on SEAL, her new-found love for event planning, and how getting involved can help students’ futures! Sara is a fifth year senior, double majoring in history and special education. Last year, Sara was an entertainment intern for SEAL, Student Entertainment Awareness League, and this year she is the manager.

SEAL

‘I actually heard about SEAL when I was a sophomore,’ Sara says.’I was working on event crew, and Melissa Grosso was my boss, so we worked pretty closely with SEAL and we went through the same training program, so that’s when I first really knew what it was.’

Sara really enjoyed what she did with the event crew, but it was solely staffing and working the events, and she wanted to do more. Her being on the event crew helped her make a smooth transition to entertainment intern her first year on SEAL.

‘Melissa [Grosso] actually reached out to me and asked me, ‘Have you ever thought about applying for SEAL?’ and I hadn’t really, so her asking if I’d thought about it got me to think about it. I thought it would be a lot of fun to put on your own events for campus.’

Although she wasn’t interested in getting into the event planning field last year, she can definitely see herself being an event planner in the future, and she has SEAL to thank for that!

‘Being on SEAL has definitely opened up a lot of opportunities for me. Not only has it taught me a lot about a potential new career choice that I want to go into, but it’s also allowed me to really grow professionally. When I was on the entertainment team, we had to reach out to the artists and agents, really got me to learn how to communicate with people, more than I had to in the past. Also I think it really showed me what this campus has to offer and how you can give back to the campus by hosting events for students.’

One of the biggest things Sara has learned from being on SEAL is time management and understanding how strict deadlines are, especially in the event planning field.

‘We [the SEAL interns] would be given four or five events per semester, and the event would be set the semester before, so you couldn’t change the date. You had to have everything done by that date. In the classroom, yes, you have to follow a deadline, but sometimes they can be a little more lenient. When an event is coming and you haven’t done anything for it, it can totally flop. You really need to manage your time and prioritize, which is something that I’m still learning. You need to prioritize, what’s most important, what should I get done when.’

SEAL does not only deal with event planning, though. They focus on marketing, promotions, public relations, social media, and mainly bringing an event up from nothing.

Sara Molnar

Having an internship is great for networking, and connecting with Career & Leadership Staff and interns is extremely beneficial when it’s time to enter the workforce.

‘When you need something so small like a letter of recommendation, and if you don’t have those experiences, you have no one to help you. Networking and being able to get yourself out there and making a name for yourself now makes your future better. Who knows what kind of opportunities they can provide. Having those resources will help you for the future.’

Sara’s last piece of advice? ‘Get involved. It’s really important, especially when you’re younger, because then you have the opportunity to get bigger positions when you get older.’

Are you interested in being on SEAL? They are hiring for the spring semester! Apply here by November 11!

Photos by UWW Career.

Interview with AMA President

I had the opportunity to talk with American Marketing Association’s president, Briana Roy, about leadership, involvement, and, of course, AMA. Briana Roy is a senior, with a corporate health and communications major and marketing minor. She joined AMA her second week of her freshman year and has loved it ever since.

‘Joining AMA was the best decision I’ve ever made,’ Briana says. ‘I love it. I’ve been involved ever since freshman year. I’ve made so many great connections through networking; I’ve grown in ways that I would not have if I wouldn’t have gotten involved.’

There are about 200 students in AMA, and their meetings are every Wednesday night in the Timmerman Auditorium in Hyland Hall at 4pm. They are always open meetings, so everyone is encouraged to attend! Briana says there are 17 positions on AMA executive board, and every position changes each semester.

‘That gives more students the opportunity to get on e-board faster, say if they don’t join AMA until they’re a junior, they can get on board right away. Also you get to hold more positions that way,’ Briana says.

Briana Roy

Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to be a marketing major to join AMA.

‘AMA is very broad,’ Briana says. ‘We have advertising, we have finance, we have IT, accounting. It’s really open to everyone, especially sincemarketing is such a broad field, that’s one reason why we’re so big. If you really like sales, we do sales. If you’re interested in retail, we do retail. If you’re interested in finance, we do finance. Last year we had Photoshop workshops. There’s so many opportunities that you can’t say that you joined AMA and didn’t find something that was for you.’

AMA is also a professional organization, and students at UW-Whitewater connect with their alumni regularly.

‘An AMA alumni talked to us and one of the biggest things she took from AMA was learning how to talk with professionals. In college you get to talk to other students and professors but you don’t really necessarily get to talk with other professionals but when she got into her job she found it really beneficial that she knew how to talk to higher-up management, whereas some people might be more intimidated by that. If you’re in a leadership role you’ll have that experience.’

Briana’s last thoughts about AMA? ‘It really gives you a hands-on opportunity. You’re not going to go into a classroom and do the kinds of things that you can do with AMA. I can go into a job interview and say ‘I managed a team of 33 people’ and you just don’t get that in a classroom.’

Are you interested in joining AMA? Contact Briana Roy at RoyBC19@uww.edu.

Photo by UWW Career.

Friday Favorites – Make a Difference Day

Last Friday, the staff of Career & Leadership Development, Greek organizations, and other prominent UW-Whitewater students and staff took part in Make a Difference Day. The weather was beautiful and everyone volunteering was smiling and having a great time! Enjoy some pictures from the event!

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Career & Leadership Development staff Brian Goetsch, Jay Bazylewicz and Nicole Golden.

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Career & Leadership Development staff Glenn Carson, Jessica Kearney, Cat Gangi and Mandy Shepherd.

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Check out all the volunteers in their bright yellow t-shirts!

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Career Social Media interns Heather Schwartz and Kelsey Welke.

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Chancellor Richard Telfer made an appearance at the event!

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Here are some volunteers cleaning up the parking lot by Drumlin Dining Hall.

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These volunteers picked up trash in downtown Whitewater.

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After the event, we celebrated by eating Qdoba and Toppers in Starin Park!

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The Community Service intern Jay Bazylewicz did an amazing job managing the event!

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Here we see Career & Leadership Development associate director Jan Bilgen and Kristi Pedersen share a moment.

To see more pictures from Make a Difference Day, check out our UWW Career Facebook page.

Photos by Heather Schwartz.

8 Ways to Boost Your Confidence and Overall Happiness

We all need a little pick-me-up or self-esteem boost every once in awhile. But if you’ve been feeling down in the dumps lately, it’s time for a change! Confidence and self-esteem are not only essential for success but also for overall happiness.

Regaining Confidence

It is important to remember that there is no secret formula for happiness, and each person can find joy in different ways. But here are eight effective ways you can start living life to the fullest and become a more confident person.

Discover What YOU Like
After years of going through the interview process, I am proud to say I can honestly and confidently answer the question, “What do you like to do outside of work?” One of the most important parts of being a confident person is knowing who you are and what you like. Always be open to trying new things, joining new organizations, and exploring new territories. The more things you try, the easier it will be to find the things that bring you joy.

If you are a UW-Whitewater student, check out our Student Involvement Office to join one of more than 200 Student Organizations, get a job on campus, join an intramural team, volunteer your time as a Warhawk Ambassador, or to go Greek!

Master the Game of Balance
Life is all about balance. In order to be a happier person you must be able to balance a handful of tasks, relationships, and plans. It is easier said than done, but by keeping things organized and prioritized you will be able to keep your stress under control and really enjoy your life.

You can find more tips on how to keep balance in my previous blog post, College: The Game of Balance.

Inside and Out
Sometimes we forget that taking care of ourselves means several different things. In order to become a more confident person, it is important to exercise your body AND mind.

This can be difficult – I know from experience! The times I am really focused on getting into shape, my academics and work start to suffer. And when I focus all my energy on classes or getting ahead at work, my workout routine suffers. So make sure to schedule your time accordingly and fit both in. You’ll thank me later!

Stay One-Of-A-Kind
An amazing thing about being human is that each person is different, but sometimes we forget to celebrate the things that make us unique.

Unfortunately, media and society have portrayed beauty, success, and happiness in very specific ways. And when certain parts of our lives don’t measure up to the “status quo,” it can get discouraging.

The important thing to do is to create your own definitions of beauty, success, and happiness. You can do this by surrounding yourself with those who love and support you, accept and embrace who you are, set personal goals, do the things you enjoy, and start using positive self-talk.

Stay Motivated
A great way to stay self-confident is to have goals and to always be working towards something. I know the days I lounge around my apartment and watch TV, a typical Sunday, I don’t feel 100 percent. Those are the days I don’t have a lot of energy, I lack motivation, and I don’t feel very good about myself.

So even if it is taking the dog for a walk or getting a jump start on a project, make some sort of small goal each day you want to accomplish. That way when you accomplish it you will feel great about yourself!

Stay Humble
It is important that when you do have moments of success to not let it get to your head. There is a quote I always tell myself to stay grounded, “Never let failure get to your heart, and never let success get to your head.”

Don’t get me wrong, achieving your goals is an amazing accomplishment, and you should be proud! But it is important to remember if you put yourself on a high horse you could have a harsh fall.

Here is a list of 50 ways to stay humble.

Stay Optimistic
Guess what, the world didn’t end in 2012! So that means it is no longer an excuse for our actions and emotions. When things get overwhelming it can feel like the end of the world, but it is important to remind yourself it really isn’t.

A good way to stay optimistic is remind yourself of the good things and people in your life. Another great way to stay positive is to restore your faith in humanity. Here is a Pinterest board filled with amazing stories and photos that will help you stay positive when you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Give to Others
One of the best ways to boost self-esteem is to help out others. There are many opportunities out there to get involved. Find a cause you care about and boost your self-esteem by getting involved with your time.

Here are some community service opportunities through UW-Whitewater.

If you want more tips on how to become more positive or have questions about health and wellness, feel free to email me at MediaCLD@uww.edu and use “Health and Wellness with Heather” as the subject heading.

Photo by Heather Schwartz.