Monday, October 31, 2011

Boo! Don't Be Afraid, Just Do It!

I often tell people that as a student, I was a great example of what NOT to do. I think I spent most of my time paralyzed by indecision and looking back I realize that the best thing I could have done was... anything. I was so worried about making the perfect decision, the perfect plan, and having everything all figured out that I didn't do anything for fear that I would go down the wrong path or waste my time.

As a Career Counselor I now meet with students who act similarly to how I acted way back when. I am always so excited about this because they have a chance to do better than I did! And it is simple... but you have to start.
  1. Think of a couple of things that you like. Kids? Sports? Animals?
  2. Go here to find a couple of student organization to research; join one or two that reflect your interests.
  3. Volunteer - you may love what you are doing, but if you hate your experience, you just ruled something out!
  4. Get a part-time job or an internship related to your interests. As you dive deeper into your interest is it still something you want to do?
  5. Ask people about their jobs and their career paths. You will probably be surprised to find out that most people do not follow a straight path from their major to their career.
If you are anything like I was, you may not know how to start and that's okay! Come to the Career Services Center and we'll help you get started... but don't let fear get the best of you.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

What are your skillz?

What do scrapbooking, keeping a planner and talking like there’s no tomorrow all have in common? Well, maybe nothing for you, but for me, they comprise the things that I am best at doing. In short, they are my skills; skills that I have used to create a major, develop an internship experience and begin a job search in my four years at MU. These "skills" might seem odd…what exactly does scrapbooking have to do with drafting a successful press release, you might ask? However, it’s important to realize that skill sets don’t always envelope only the talents that you learn in class.

Take my example. I have kept a scrapbook since I was about 10, when I first understood that combining pictures with stickers and wacky scissors was way more fun than playing legos with my dweebie brother. Sibling disputes aside, scrapbooking taught me to be creative, to take pride in a final project and to mind details. I started my first planner in 8th grade, and while I mostly used it for writing down friend’s phone numbers and upcoming school dances, it instilled a discipline for keeping commitments and fostering organizational skills that I still use as a senior in college. Talking? Well, that might be the least impressionable of the three, but public speaking in front of my senior high school class on graduation led to a love for communication that has become more obvious since coming to college (meeting with clients, giving presentations and working in groups, for example).

In brief, these skills helped me decide what I wanted to be when I grew up. Want to figure out what your best skills are? Or better yet, how and where you can use them? Sometimes, your skills are more obvious than you think. The Career Services Center is offering their monthly On the Road series in November just for you! Join us as we build and identify individual skill sets with career counselors and a professional representative from Kohl’s Corporate. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention—the free lunch of the month is Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes (yum!). Perfect for chilly November weather, so we’ll see you there!

November's On the Road to Your Career
Powered by Kohl's
Date: Thursday, November 10
Time: 12:30  – 1:20pm
Location: AMU 157
Topic: Building/identifying skill sets
Menu: Swedish meatballs, salad, mashed potatoes, with coffee, hot tea, iced tea and water

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Big East Virtual Fair Is Coming Soon!

For those of you in the midst of your job search, you are probably spending a considerable amount of time mining through various job postings and networking with professionals in your industry of choice. Good for you, this is exactly what you should be doing. Like anything else in life though, you eventually start to slow down after the initial push, and begin to rely on a couple of favorite resources. The good news is that there is another resource that will be available shortly that allows you to expand your job search without even leaving your couch!

Each year the Big East hosts a Virtual Fair in the fall as a complement to it's Spring Fair at Madison Square Garden. This year is no different, and the event will be held from November 1st through the 3rd. Students from all 16 schools (yes, even Syracuse and Pittsburgh still!) are invited to register and interact with employers from over 40 companies. You can visit to check out which organizations are registered in advance so you can prep accordingly.

What is really intriguing about this year's Virtual Fair is that it will actually be interactive. There are some online fairs that amount to not much more than a temporary job board. Those are nice, but really don't give you the chance to learn too much about the organizations. This time is different. Each company has a dedicated chat room developed for their organization where you can communicate directly with their representatives. I've tested it out and it seems to work incredibly smoothly. What better way to start the process with a new potential employer than to be able to identify the job and network simultaneously, all from the comfort of your own home?

We hope to see many of you registered for this event to show the country what we already know; that Marquette students are the best around!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Do You Know What You’re Doing with Your Life?

As a soon-to-be college graduate, I am confident of the direction my degree will take me. But that hasn’t always been the case. In fact, it took no less than 3 changed majors, 4 internships, 5 on-campus jobs and more info sessions than I can count to get me to this point. The Career Services Center (CSC) on campus especially helped me make decisions that realistically, I wouldn’t have made on my own. What I’m saying is it’s not easy deciding what you want to do with your life, but if you can garner some kind of interest in one area over another and pursue it, you’re well on your way to becoming a super star. Oh, and also be ready for the ominous “real world.”  
My senior year of high school, I had an epiphany: I wanted to be on TV. Not in an I’m-going-to-be-the-next-Angelina kind of epiphany. I wanted to be on the news; reporting stories, reading off of a teleprompter, working crazy hours…all of it sounded extremely appealing. Half-way through freshman Preview, however, I ran into Career Services, who asked me some questions to help me realize that I was someone who preferred options, and keeping those options open. As I learned where MU grads worked (all radio stations, news rooms and newspapers), I didn’t feel 100% satisfied with my decision. To graduate with a degree in Broadcast and Electronic Communication seemed too final—I didn’t want to be left without any other options. Alas: Communication Studies. 
To be fair, Communication Studies isn’t what I want to do with my life. Many of my classes are extremely theory-based, and while interesting, are not as applicable as How to Write Press Release 101 or Networking 2000 might have been. But I’m getting ahead of myself. An info session sponsored by none other than the CSC (funny how that happened), brought me to my senses. Instead of closing myself off with my major, which I was terrified of doing, why not supplement that major with some other things that I enjoyed? For me, those things were writing and talking speaking, er…with clients and in meetings, yes. That realization opened the Public Relations door. Most likely, if you like doing something, there is a minor/independent study out there for you, and someone to help you find it.
I am happy with the combination of communication, writing and networking that I have discovered via my Communications and Public Relations fields, an “epiphany” I might not have made without the help of that CSC Booth I visited before I even stepped foot inside a classroom. 
Jeremy Eudaly, a Career Counselor with CSC is hosting a similar session after Fall Break, on November 3rd from 3:30-4:30pm. Why not go and see what it’s all about? Besides, you might decide that you do want to be the next Angelina…the CSC can help you figure it out. RSVP to if you are interested in infusing your personality into choosing a major and making career decisions that work for you. I know it worked for me. :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Volunteer Your Way to a Job

I recently read this great article on the "Fast Company" website that ran through all of the benefits of volunteer experience as you move toward the world of work ( I encourage you to go check it out, but here is a brief overview of what volunteer experience can do for you:
  • 41% of employers polled said they considered volunteer experience as valuable as paid work experience
  • 20% of the hiring managers polled in the survey admitted to making hiring decisions based on volunteer work
  • Volunteer experience is the next level of assessing if a person is someone worth hiring when education and work experience are equal among candidates
So, read the article, decide what you would like to give your time to, and go out and do it!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Who Doesn't Want Free Money?!

I knew that would get your attention!

The Marquette University Career Services Center is excited to announce our first ever career programming scholarship!

Kohl’s Corporate has partnered with Career Services to offer scholarships to registered student organizations to help fund career education programs. Examples of a career education program would be a networking event, alumni panel presentation, site visit to an employer, etc.

We know that many student orgs on campus already plan great career related programs. Why not have some/all of the programming costs paid for? This is also a great opportunity for a student organization to plan their first-ever career program with the help of our office and Kohl's!

How do you get free money for your organization?

It's not as hard as you might think. Click here for application, full details, and programming ideas. Don't delay! The deadline is Friday, Oct. 28, 2011 for spring programs.

Questions? Need ideas? Contact Kristin Adler, Assistant Director of Employer and Campus Relations today!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Panera and Clandestine Operatives

I've always been a fan of spy shows. For awhile I wanted to be Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner) and get a new Alias every week. Alas, I am but a humble career counselor helping people achieve their dreams...

One really exciting part of my job is to hear about other jobs. Yesterday it was the CIA: National Clandestine Service. I have to be honest, I never thought all of those gadgets and secrets and covers were really possible. I just pictured people sitting behind desks listening in on inane conversations to gather intelligence.

The stories two agents told, we'll call them Linda and Phil (which may be their real names but I doubt it), were captivating. Linda, married with children, has successfully managed a double life for about twenty years. Phil had one life and then joined the CIA after a military and then a computer career.

I learned about the endless possibilities with the CIA: becoming an agent, designing covers and disguises, learning several languages... It's all possible. They have an internship program too.

What are they seeking? People who are passionate about their country, knowledgeable in foreign affairs with the ability to keep a secret! While this in no way describes me, I have to wonder what such a life would bring.

If this interests you, the application deadline has been extended until October 15. Visit for more information and how to apply.

Oh, I almost forgot. We had Panera for lunch. A little tip: Get a salad or the Mediterranean Veggie as the Sierra Turkey Sandwich (formerly my favorite) has 33 grams of fat! That's 25 ww points plus points for those who care

Special Agent Laura Kestner a.k.a. Director, Career Services

How to be a STAR when interviewing

I’ll admit, I spend just as much time on my Blackberry everyday as I do talking to other people. Sad, I know. But the dependency on technology seems to be getting stronger with each new wave of incoming students and as I walk through campus, I don’t see faces anymore; I see cell phones and laptops. Face to face conversations have lost their luster and have installed a fear in people’s ability to ‘sell themselves’ in an interview. As our office is in the midst of our busy season and companies are hosting on-campus interviews, I find it only appropriate to take some time to review some basics of interviewing.

There is almost a 100% guarantee you will be asked one if not both of the following questions: “Tell me about yourself” and “Tell me about a time when…” I also find these questions to be the hardest for students to answer when I helping them during a practice interview.

For the first question of “tell me about yourself” you should have a prepared ‘elevator speech’ or 60 second commercial. This answers the basics about yourself: name, year in school, major or degree, your past experiences (as they relate to who you are speaking to), and your future career goals. Practicing this with a friend or in front of the mirror is an easy way to figure out what to say before an interview.

When answering the second question, this is an opportunity for you to tell a story related to what the employer would like you to address. Here is an easy way to structure your story:

S – Situation

T – Task

A – Action

R – Result

Describe a specific time either on a class project, at an internship, a job, or volunteer experience. Think about the situation you were in, what the task was that you had to accomplish, the action or steps that you took to get there, and the end result. Highlight your best self and be a STAR!

So my advice to all the job seekers out there - put down your cell phone, turn off your computer, and unplug for a few hours and practice!

Monday, October 3, 2011

On the Road to Your Career: Career Planning

Who is driving your career?  

Join the Career Services Center for this luncheon series focusing on a monthly hot career topic.

Each month a professional from Kohl’s Corporation representing specific career fields will share industry and expert career advice alongside your Marquette University Career Services Center counselors. 

If you are navigating your career, don’t miss this opportunity to gain valuable information while filling up on a free lunch!

Date: Friday, October 7
Time: 12:00 p.m. – 12:50 p.m.
Location: AMU 157
Topic: Career Planning
Menu: Soup & Salad with coffee, iced tea, and water

Would you like help with finding direction in your career planning process?  Join us this Friday!