C&LD Internships: A Day in the Life

In present day, it seems like every entry level position out of college wants to see some sort of experience. This experience is usually gained through an internship. While the internship search can be daunting and challenging, there is a department on campus that offers great internships. As current interns for Career & Leadership Development, we spoke to other interns in the office to see how working here has not only given them job experience, but so much more.

We started in the SEAL office, where we talked to a few interns about what it is like being a part of SEAL and C&LD:

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“I love being an intern because of how connected we all are yet our jobs are all different. I also like working in such a busy atmosphere.”

-Shawn Giese, SEAL Homecoming Chair 

“I have really enjoyed my internship position with Career & Leadership Development. It has helped me grow as an individual and has really shaped the person I am today. The endless amount of opportunities and experiences that I have gained throughout this internship has helped me further my education and career path here at UW-Whitewater.”

-Kayhla Sadowski, SEAL Social Media Intern

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“My time in Career & Leadership Development (C&LD) has changed my life. I know that sounds cliché, but I have a family in C&LD on the SEAL team. While I have only worked here this year, I have learned so much about entertainment, marketing, and students on campus. Working as the Large Event Intern has been one of the best decisions of my life, and I hope to learn more and grow as a student while on campus for the next two years.”

-Jessica Faust, SEAL Large Event Intern

After talking to those SEALS, we decided to go over to the PB Poorman Pride Center to see what the PRIDE Interns had to say: 

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“The past 2 years being a PRIDE Intern in Career & Leadership Development have been so crucial to who I am as a leader. Every opportunity I’ve had has shaped me in ways that will not only help me in my career, but throughout the rest of my life.”

-Alyssa Reetz, PRIDE Intern

“Working as an intern in C&LD has helped me value myself and develop a professional identity.”

-Lisa Helms, PRIDE Intern

“C&LD has adopted me into their family!”

-Connell Patterson, PRIDE Intern

The next stop on our journey through C&LD brought us to the Student Involvement Office, where we talked to Hope Schmidt, the Community Service Intern:

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“The confidence I have gained as a C&LD intern has been tremendous. Things I never thought I could do…I can now say I do.  Because of this internship opportunity, I feel like a better-rounded individual. I have learned skills that I can now take with me wherever I go after I leave UW-W!”

After all this traveling, we ended up back in our office that we share with Jamie Hinze, the Human Resources Intern and she gave us some insight into her experience in the department:

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“During my first year with Career & Leadership Development, I was employed as a Customer Service Associate working at the front desk. This was a fun and flexible position that taught me how to provide exceptional customer service and significantly strengthened my interpersonal communication and problem solving skills. Later, I earned the title of Human Resources Intern – a new position in the department in which I assist in the coordination of departmental student employee experience, specifically in selection, professional development, and evaluation. This internship has allowed me to explore my interests and career goals while giving me the opportunity to network with employers, students, and UW-Whitewater staff. My supervisors are incredibly supportive of my goals and needs as a full-time student and they have tailored the experience to fit me.”

As you can see, there are many different facets of C&LD and each offers a different experience. Whether you are looking to be a social media guru, coordinate community service events, or just learn something new about UW-Whitewater and what it offers to students, C&LD is a great place to gain all these experiences and many more.

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The applications are open until March 3rd! If you are looking for an internship and want to be a part of the C&LD family, then go to uww.edu/cld and apply today!

Tips for the Multicultural Career Fair

With the career fair coming up soon, here are some tips for you:

Before the Career Fair

11. Research the companies that you want to speak with. Before you go to the career fair, you should do some basic research on what the company does. This way you can spend your time telling the company representative about yourself, rather than asking them questions about what their company does.

When choosing which companies to speak with, be open minded; just because you have never heard of a company doesn’t mean that they don’t have something great to offer. Make sure that you prioritize the companies that you want to speak with, you don’t want to run out of time.

22. Prepare questions to ask employers. After you have researched which companies you want to talk to, come up with some questions that you have for them. These could be specific to positions that they have open, or more general questions about what it is like to work there. You should also come up with some general questions for companies that catch your eye at the fair that you had not already researched.

At the Career Fair

3. Attend the Career Fair alone. However, don’t push yourself. If this is your first career fair, you don’t want to discourage yourself by being uncomfortable. If you have never been to a career fair, instead of walking in and talking to someone right away, walk around the room for a little and get a feel of the environment. Once you are comfortable, start talking to an employer.

4. Treat it like an in-person interview. Proper business attire is crucial, no bold colored blazers! Make sure that you are acting professional the entire time you are in the room. The employers are always watching and if you just had a great conversation with them but then went and goofed off across the room, they may notice that and count it against you.

35. Remember that the employers are people too. Don’t be afraid to talk to them. The days at the career fair are just as long, if not longer for them. They are here to find candidates from our school, so make their trip, and your trip, worthwhile.

6. Be honest. This includes any experience you have had. Employers can sense when you’re being superficial. However, don’t be embarrassed by what experience you have. Everyone needs to start somewhere and even if you only have a little experience, you could still be a great candidate.

7. Know what makes you unique. You are unique and you have something great to offer an employer. Use this to your advantage. Employers want to know why you would be the best fit for the positions at their company. Don’t be afraid to brag about yourself, this is the perfect setting for it.

8. Know what you are looking for. This could be a full-time position for after graduation, a summer internship, a part-time position, or an internship that starts right away. You should also know what you want to get out of the opportunity and center questions around that (i.e. networking, professional experience, professional or personal growth).

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9. Keep track of who you talk to and what you talk about. Write this information down to follow up after. Make sure you have specific notes of what you talked about, i.e. the recruiter and I talked about how we both had pet goldfish when we were kids. It doesn’t have to be something career related, but you want the employer to remember who you are.

 After the Career Fair

10. Follow up. Make sure that you follow up with the employers you talk to. This could include an email, or a formal thank you letter. Just make sure that when you are following up, you reference something that you talked about when talking with the employer, this could help them remember you.

Follow up with all employers, even ones that you may not be interested in. Just because you don’t want to work for their company now, doesn’t mean that they couldn’t be a great resource or connection in the future.

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How I Landed My Dream Job

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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.

 

Tick Tok: 3 Loose Ends that Need Tying

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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!

 

Colliding Worlds: Student & Professional

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You’ve been a student your entire life! The daily ritual of getting up, going to class, and doing homework has become nothing short of a habit for you. But unlike Peter Pan, you have to grow up and become a professional with a career. Here are three easy ways to act like a professional while you’re still technically a student.

1. Polish your image

You’ve slowly created a public image of yourself over the years. Whether it’s your voice mail, e-mail address, or social media presence, they all speak about who you are. For this reason, it’s important as a professional to polish your professional image. Change your voice mail to a simple one that a recruiter will understand and respect. Make sure you create an e-mail address that is professionally appropriate, no more “h0tbAbe545@aol.com.” Instead, opt for an e-mail address that includes some variation of your first and last name. Lastly, make sure your profile pictures across all media are appropriate. While you can make these accounts private, people can usually still see your profile picture.

2. Invest in business cards

Business cards are a great way to make sure your new connections have a way to contact you. I know it sounds a little weird to have business cards as a student, but they are the easiest way a person can retain your contact information. You can buy relatively inexpensive business cards, some sights, like vista print, even offer free business card options. As a student, consider putting your school name, major, and expected graduation date on your new cards. Be sure to include your full name, e-mail, and phone number. Bonus: if you have a LinkedIn Account, then include your URL.

3. Become an industry expert

Whether you’re a media major or a finance major, you need to know the industry. Make sure you’re up to date on trends and hot topics within your industry. Nothing is more worse than not being able to answer an industry related question in an interview. Here are some relevant trade publications for advertising, book publishing, business, finance, media, nonprofit, science/health, technology!

 

*Some of these tips are from Lindsey Pollak’s book Getting from College to Career. It’s a great read, and I highly recommend it!*

Put the “Work” in Networking

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“It’s all about who you know.” As much as you might not want to believe it, there is nothing truer than that statement. For this reason, it’s crucial to network in order to ensure your future career’s livelihood. Having a connection can make the difference between landing your dream job and staying unemployed (sad but true). In order for your connections to work, you have to be actively reaching out to them. It’s time to put the work in networking.

Step 1: Create a network

Even if you haven’t started your professional career you still have a network. Your network can include friends, family, classmates, and professors. Anyone you have a connection with is a part of your network, so make sure you maintain good relationships with everyone around you. Creating a network is not a task you can complete; it’s an enduring process that will continue throughout your professional life.

Step 2: Reach out to YOUR contact(s)

Just because you know person X, Y, and Z at a company doesn’t mean they’re going to be looking for a job for you; that’s on your shoulders. If you’re starting your job search make sure to send out a quick e-mail to your contacts asking them for advice on whom to contact at the company. They’ll likely have their own network at the company and will help you get your foot in the door. Make sure you always attach a current resume to these e-mails so they have something to pass along to HR or whoever their inside contact is.

Step 3: Reach out to THEIR contact(s)

After you reach out to your contact, they are likely to give you additional contacts at the company to reach out to for more information. When you are contacting this person make sure your e-mail is strictly professional. When you send them an e-mail make sure you (a) mention who your mutual contact is and how you know them, (b) attach a current resume, and (c) treat the e-mail like a cover letter and format accordingly.

From there it’s a waiting game. Hopefully this contact will pass your resume to the person who is in charge of hiring. Remember to be appreciative and professional, these people are doing you a favor and it’s important they know how thankful you are.

 Happy networking!

How to Jump-Start Your Internship Search

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The time has come to begin thinking about your summer internship. Yes, I know it’s only December, but some summer internship applications are already closed!

When I started my internship search last year, I had no idea where to begin; I had no industry experience, no connections, and no idea what to do. But I did have ambition, drive, and a good internet connection. Here are 3 ways to jump-start your internship search.

1. Reflect

The first step is to take some time and really reflect on your professional goals. Take a minute to consider the different career paths you could pursue, and where you would be happiest. For any major, there are a number of different careers to choose from, so make sure you know what you want to do.

2. Research

Once you have an idea of what kind of position you’re interested in, it’s time to research it. Learn everything you possibly can about the industry: Where are the best companies in that industry located? What is the job like? What is the industry culture like? Do they have a hiring season? These are all important questions to ask yourself. Nearly every company has a website. Use it to your advantage to learn everything about the specific companies your interested in working for. Also, check the company’s website for job openings; if there aren’t any posted don’t hesitate to contact their office to ask if they have an internship program.

Not only should you research the industry and the companies, you can also research the job market. Sites like InternMatch (that’s how I found my internship), Intern Sushi, and indeed are great internship search engines.

3. Reach Out

After you’ve found some perspective internships to apply for, reach out to people that work there. If you don’t already have connections to the industry LinkedIn is a great tool for finding people that work for a specific company. As awkward as it may seem to reach out to a complete stranger, it’s totally worth it. But don’t reach out asking for a job or an interview, when you connect with someone make the conversation about them. Fore example: ask them what they do on a daily basis, what they like about the job, or how they got to where they are.

 

 

Photo Credit: Kate Hiscock

Friday Favorites – Five Awesome Upcoming Events

This semester, Career & Leadership Development, as well as other UW-W departments and colleges, are hosting five exciting events coming up which you can all take part in!

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UWW Career Cover Model: Valentines Day Contest

The other social media intern, Heather, and myself, will be hosting a Facebook Cover Photo Contest that starts today! Students can submit a completed form explaining their experiences from a job, internship, or career-related experience that they loved. The chosen student will be featured on our Facebook Cover Photo and this blog and will also recieve some awesome prizes! For more details, visit the official contest rules and entry form.

Remember, this contest starts today and ends on February 7th so hop on the UWW Career Cover Model Contest bandwagon and start sending us your submissions!

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Resume Doctor

The career counselors of Career & Leadership Development will be holding their annual event, Resume Doctor, on Tuesday, January 29, Wednesday, January 30, and Thursday, January 31, from 1-4pm in the Andersen Library. There are separate Facebook event pages for each day: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

  • What do you need to bring? Your resume, a pen, questions, if you have any, and a good attitude!

Look out for three more Resume Doctor events at the end of the semester, on Tuesday, April 2, Wednesday, April 3, and Thursday, April 4. They will be from 1-4pm in Andersen Library as well. There are separate Facebook event pages for each day: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Individuals in need of accommodations or those with questions should contact Laura Jacobs for more information.

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Multicultural Career Fair

‘The Multicultural Career Fair is an annual event co-sponsored by the College of Business & Economics, the College of Education and the UW-Whitewater Minority Business and Teacher Preparation Program. The event will include freshman through graduate students and will provide them with the opportunity to network with the representatives from the public and private sectors, as well as with school personnel.’ This information was taken from the College of Business & Economics website.

The Multicultural Career Fair will take place on Wednesday, February 6, from 12-4pm in the UC Hamilton Room. For more information, contact Freda Briscoe or Kathy Milnar. Check out the Facebook event page too!

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Disney College Program Information Night

For those of you who are interested in the Disney College Program, there will be an information night on Tuesday, February 19, from 5:30-6:30pm in the Timmerman Auditorium, Hyland 1000. Be sure to sign up on the Facebook event page.

If you’re ready to apply to the program now, you can attend the Disney College Program Apply NOW Session or sign up on the Facebook event page. The UW-Whitewater campus advisor for the program, Laura Jacobs, will be hosting the event along with the UW-W Campus Reps, students who have already completed the Disney College Program. They will be able to offer assistance and answer any questions you may have. This event will be held on Wednesday, February 20, from 5:30-7:30pm in McGraw 19A, which is a computer lab. You can stop in whenever you can and don’t need to stay for the whole time.

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Community & Human Services Career Fair

The Community & Human Services Career Fair helps to connect students in Psychology, Sociology, Social Work, Women’s Studies, and Counseling with employers looking for interns, volunteers, or permanent employees. It is a smaller fair with only 20-30 organizations who will be present, but it is very focused for students looking to go into the human services profession or nonprofit sector.

This event will be on Wednesday, April 10, from 2-5pm in the UC Hamilton Room.

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I hope you all take advantage of these great events throughout the semester! If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to send an e-mail to mediacld@uww.edu. Have a great semester!

Photo by UWW Career.

Friday Favorites – Top Job Searching Tips

December has been a busy month. With wrapping up job or internship duties, studying for final exams, figuring out your plans for the holidays and possibly even graduating, you might not have had any time to search for a job. That’s where I come in! I’ve provided you with the best job searching tips – from using a job board to utilizing social media. It’s all there!

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If you’re searching for a job for the first time, have no fear! It’s not as hard and scary as it seems. There are many steps, but what better time to do them than over winter break?!

To get started…

  • First, do research. You need to find out what kind of company you would like to work for and if there are job openings. You can usually find a ‘career’ or ‘employment’ tab at the bottom of the page.
  • You can also utilize job boards, such as Hawk Jobs! You can filter your search on many levels, you can post your resume so employers might see it, and you can even get e-mail notifications for when jobs you might be interested in have open positions.
  • Then, narrow your search. Which companies have openings in your state, or near the city where you live? Make sure you target your search so you’re only applying for the job you want, not a job that you might be qualified for and you might enjoy.
  • Beggars can’t be choosers. With that in mind, don’t pass up the good job for your dream job.

Create your personal brand

  • Make sure you create a professional profile on LinkedIn, and if your Twitter or Facebook profiles are public, make sure you clean it up incase an employer searches you. Be yourself, but do it with class. (via Ryan Park)
  • Make sure you know your personal brand as well. Mashable has a great step-by-step  formula to show you how you can create your personal brand!
  • Then, prepare your ‘elevator speech’. Now is no better time to prepare your ’30-second resume’! There are many aspects that go into this, and I suggest checking out this article which is all about preparing your own elevator speech.
  • When was the last time you updated your resume? Now is a good time to do that too, before you’re flooded with networking events and interviews!

Network, network, network!

  • Reach out to your network. Talk to your supervisor, your coworkers, even your aunt Sally. They could have great ideas for you and they might even know someone who works at your dream company.
  • Did you know that you can find a job on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook? So the next time your mom catches you on Twitter while you’re supposed to be job searching, just present her with this article by Mashable!
  • This goes without saying, but make sure you are on your best behavior when out looking for a job. If you are dropping off your resume or waiting to talk to an employer,  the employer or receptionist won’t be the only one who will notice you. Dress appropriately, be prepared and be organized.
  • Never be afraid to ask questions! I’m sure employers would rather have a person clearly interested in the company by asking questions than a quiet one not saying anything.

While you’re waiting to be called back for that interview…

  • Volunteer! This will look great on your resume, and you’ll be able to mention that during your interview.
  • Read! Whatever job you’re applying for, make sure you’re knowledgeable on the ins and outs on the type of job path you’re going into and the company itself. Knowledge is power.
  • Travel! What better time to travel than now? Your potential interview, job boards, and dream job will still be there when you get back. If you’re worried about all the travel expenses, think about how quickly you’ll be able to pay them off when you score a new job!

What not to do while job searching?

  • Don’t hide out online. Sure, social networks can have their perks and benefits to job searching, but there are other ways to find a job, such as going to networking events, parties and having conversations face-to-face.
  • Don’t forget to prepare! If you do snag an interview, make sure you’ve done research on the company, have your resume up to date and dress nicely.
  • Don’t be a negative Nancy. Keep your head up, keep networking, and keep a smile on your face.
  • Never give up! Job searching can be tough, but if you stick it out, you may score that job you’ve always wanted.

If you’re still looking for more tips, check out Career & Leadership Development’s Job Search Strategies.

Photo by Kate Hiscock.

December Graduates – What Comes Next?

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

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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.