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!


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


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


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


Career Social Media interns Heather Schwartz and Kelsey Welke.


Chancellor Richard Telfer made an appearance at the event!


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


These volunteers picked up trash in downtown Whitewater.


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


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


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 and use “Health and Wellness with Heather” as the subject heading.

Photo by Heather Schwartz.

Friday Favorites – Volunteering & Study Abroad

If I told you that volunteering, joining certain non-profit organizations or studying or working abroad could help you stand out to employers, would you be surprised? Probably not.

Having experience volunteering, studying abroad or working with special organizations can give you an advantage against other candidates. Plus, it will help you learn new skills, it will expose you to a whole new field, with a whole new group of people, and you may possibly be put in a leadership position, which is always attractive to employers.

VISIONS Service Adventures, British Virgin Islands, community service summer programs for high school students

Here are five ways you can get involved on your campus, in your community and even internationally, and a few resources related to them.

Community Service/Organizations on Campus

If you’re looking to volunteer on or near campus, there are multiple places you can volunteer at, such as the Center for Students with Disabilities and at elementary schools in Whitewater. Tutoring other students or reading to children at the Children’s Center on campus are easy and fun ways to volunteer at UW-W.

Getting involved in Greek life is also a great way to volunteer on campus, as they contributed to 83% of the community service completed in the 2011 school year and continue to do many community service and philanthropy projects throughout the year.

Local Organizations

As for local organizations, meaning within Wisconsin, there are tons of organizations and programs you can volunteer with, from working with animals at the Humane Society, to working with underprivledged children for City Year.

National Organizations

Some students still want to volunteer, but don’t want to deal with the hassle of traveling overseas and dealing with a different culture. There are a few national organizations, which work specifically within the United States.

International Organizations

For some students, they might have caught the travel bug, they might want to take a year off after graduation, or just feel that volunteering internationally is their calling. There are various international organizations that students can work with, and programs can last for one week to three years.

Study Abroad

Studying abroad is one way to set you apart from the rest of the crowd. Even some corporate recruiters highly value students who have studied abroad. If UW-Whitewater’s Center for Global Education doesn’t have the right program, university or location you want to study at, there are multiple international organizations you can work with as well, and here is a list of a few of them.

Hopefully these resources will help you look for opportunities to volunteer with, because volunteering is a really irreplacable experience you can have, either while, during, or after college.

Have I missed any important businesses or organizations? Where have you volunteered at? I would love to hear your stories and input!

Photo by Visions Service Adventures.

Make A Difference Day

Last year over 4,500 UW-Whitewater students participated in volunteer service projects on-campus, in the community, and internationally. Collectively these students amassed more than 31,000 hours of service, and raised and donated in excess of $94,000 to local and national charities. UW-Whitewater students have consistently been generous with their time and talents, and have demonstrated the compassion and commitment to make a difference in our world.

What does this have to do with career development? Well, everything. Especially in more in-depth volunteer service roles, students have the opportunity to gain knowledge and practice skills that serve as valuable evidence in their job search process. During an employment interview you will be asked to give an example of a time when you worked effectively as part of a team, for example. It doesn’t matter whether or not the evidence you provide is part of a paid, work experience, or a volunteer service experience – the fact that you have evidence is what’s important to the individual conducting the interview. Collectively and individually, your service experience provides evidence of the knowledge and skill you would bring to the job.

On April  29th, UW-Whitewater and the City of Whitewater will again sponsor the annual Make-A-Difference Day. This service activity accommodates hundreds of student and community volunteers, all working together to contribute to the public good. For those students who have yet to begin their service journey, the Make-A-Difference Day event is a great introduction to the benefits of service, and I encourage both experienced volunteers and those new to service to participate in this wonderful event. Students (and faculty and staff) can register by going to their MyUWW site. Community members should go to the City of Whitewater site to register for the event.