Valentines Day Cover Model Winner

Congratulations to our UW-W Career Cover Model winner for the month of February, junior Accounting major Dong Hoon Lee!

Donghoon Lee

After serving in the Air Force for two years, Dong was an English elementary school teacher in Seoul, South Korea. What an awesome experience! Read his interview below.

What did you love most about your job?

The kids! Even though there were times I struggled with teaching and disciplining them, the kids made my experience as a teacher so worthwhile. Everyday interaction with my kids was the best thing about my job. I fell in love with the kids. They were so cute and made me smile even on the toughest days and in situations. Kids are so pure and innocent. If they receive love, they cannot go down the wrong path.

What did you learn about yourself through this job?

One thing I really valued about this experience is that I learned I could be a positive influence to others. Kids looked up to me which made me behave more carefully. They learned from my behaviors. So I had the power to change their lives! It’s just like how I look up to my professors here at UW-W. I have so much respect for the professors or teachers because they are the ones who can impact future generations.

This whole experience gave me a goal to be a professor one day because I also want to impact my students in a positive way in their growth (not only academically, but also personally and in the areas they need help and guidance with).

What advice would you give students about the job/internship process?

My process was a little bit different than what most typical students will go through when they apply for jobs. But one thing I would like to share with my peers is that they should not be afraid of trying things they dream about doing. Dreams can come true! When I have to make a decision, I ask myself this question: “Will I regret it if I didn’t give it a try?” If the answer to the question is “yes”, I go for it without missing a beat. While we are in college, we should go ahead and pursue our dreams. Who knows where it will take you?

Would YOU like to be a Cover Model winner? You can fill out the contest application and send it to!

Photo by UWW Career.

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

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

Side of the VE Monument

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

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

 Documentation needs (Passport, Visa, and Work permit)

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

Getting a Job

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

Common Careers Abroad

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

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

Photo by Ben Demey.

Is Teaching Abroad Calling Your Wanderlust?

On April 23, I worked at the Wisconsin Educational Recruitment Fair (WERF), which was attended by about 500 teacher candidates, as well as 38 school districts and organizations from Wisconsin, other states, and other countries. I met a representative from EduConUS, who was recruiting for teaching opportunities in South Korea and the Middle East, a rep from Teach and Learn with Georgia (the country, not the state), and a rep from Contact Singapore.


Attending WERF reminded me of the adventurous job searches of several recent grads, or current students, with whom I’ve worked with in the recent past.

“Anthony” is an English ed grad who has taught abroad for two years and is now teaching in the Philadelphia area. He landed his job as a result of working with EPIK, and his girlfriend benefited from working with Korea Connections.

“Michael” is a non-traditional, post-baccalaureate student who has taught abroad in Bangladesh and South Korea. He has worked with a number of placement agencies, but has less than positive things to say about them and urges caution.

“Lucas” is a post-baccalaureate chemistry student who has also taught abroad in South Korea. He did not use a recruiting agency, and instead researched everything on his own. He found the email address of a HR Director of a company called YBM Sisa, which for him ended up being a more effective approach and outcome than working with a recruiter.

If you are considering teaching abroad, here are links to some of my favorite resources over the years:

Here is a quote from one of the students mentioned above about the adventurous nature of teaching abroad:

‘Going abroad to teach is like rolling dice. Even if you read the books and prepare yourself, you never know what you’re really going to get. You need to be okay with that. It helps to remember that a bad year abroad is still better than a year in your hometown watching TV and working at a job that pays $10 per hour.’

Whether you’re seeking teaching opportunities out of the country, out of state, or in Wisconsin, please schedule an appointment with me, Brian, in Career & Leadership Development to discuss resources and strategies that will help you secure employment.

Photo by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Teacher Career Fairs: Should You Bring Your Fishing Pole?

Sound ridiculous? Hope so. Yet, that’s what happened at a teacher job fair several years ago when a teacher candidate, with an apparent affinity for fishing, brought his fishing pole into the job fair, fully extended, with an index card on the hook stating, “Fishing for a Job.”

Fishing on Kalunkijärvi, Käylä near Ruka

Memorable? Yes.

Recommended? Probably not.

If you are an Education major who is graduating this semester and seeking a teaching job, attend a teacher job fair to diversify your job search strategies and to sharpen your interpersonal and interview skills. A job fair is a great opportunity for visibility, especially if you make a good impression in person, and even more so if your in-person impression is better than your on-paper impression.

In keeping with the blog post from two weeks ago, you may have to extend your geographic boundaries to consider employment in a location that may not be your first choice in order to help you secure your first professional job. Think of relocation as a great opportunity for your personal and professional growth.

In chronological order, here are several upcoming teacher job fairs in Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin:

Multicultural Career Fair
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Noon to 4:00pm
UW-Whitewater (University Center, Hamilton Room)
Cost = Free
While this fair consists mainly of companies and corporations, several school districts have registered to attend, including the School District of Holmen, Milwaukee Public Schools and Verona Area School District. The Boys & Girls Club of Dane County has also registered to attend.

Mid-America Educator’s Job Fair
Monday, February 27, 2012
10:00am to 3:00pm
Northern Illinois University (Convocation Center) – DeKalb, IL
Cost = $10 for non-NIU candidates
NIU students/grads are eligible to attend at 9:00 am, whereas all other students/grads are eligible to attend beginning at 10:00 am. Schools/districts from Arizona, California, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Texas and Honduras have registered to attend this fair. Review each district’s profile to determine their anticipated vacancies.

Lake County Education Job Fair
Saturday, March 10, 2012
8:00am to Noon
Adlai Stevenson High School – Lincolnshire, IL
Cost = Free in Advance Online; $5 at the Door
At the time of this post, 16 school districts from the Chicagoland area had registered to attend this fair.

University of Northern Iowa (UNI) Teacher Job Fair
Saturday, March 24, 2012
8:00am to 5:00pm
University of Northern Iowa – Cedar Falls, IA
Cost = Free
School districts from Arizona, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and Wyoming have registered to attend this event.

Southeastern Wisconsin Teacher Recruitment Fair
Saturday, April 21, 2012
8:00am to 1:00pm
South Milwaukee High School – South Milwaukee, WI
Cost = $15 in Advance Online
Typically, about 12-15 school districts from the Milwaukee area attend this event. Districts are yet to be announced. Preregistered candidates can enter the job fair at 8:00 am, whereas onsite registrants cannot enter until 10:00 am.

Wisconsin Educational Recruitment Fair
Monday, April 23, 2012
2:00pm to 7:00pm
Monona Terrace – Madison, WI
Cost = $5 for students/grad from sponsoring Wisconsin colleges/universities
The name of this event is a misnomer in that the fair is not limited to Wisconsin school districts. At the time of this post, districts from Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Texas and Wisconsin had registered to attend. In the past, districts from Alaska, Arizona, California, Georgia and Nevada have also attended. Click on ‘Candidates,’ ‘District Recruiters’ and then on the District name to reveal the district’s areas of recruitment interest. Registration, via WECAN, begins in March.

Take time to review the information for each fair carefully, because each event has nuances. Also, go back to the fair websites periodically, and especially as the event draws near, for any changes to the list of participating districts and their recruitment intent. Finally, arrive early, bring your professional image, pleasant demeanor and enthusiasm, teaching experience and knowledge, and plenty of resumes – and leave your fishing pole at home.

Photo by Heather Sunderland