Friday, September 28, 2012

Would you flip a coin to determine your Career Future?

One of my favorite podcasts is called Radio LabRadiolab is a show about curiosity. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience.

Recently I heard a story about two brothers who read tea leaves, similar to flipping a coin,  to see which one would carry on the family business.  This game of chance changed their lives, their career paths, and their futures forever.

Would you leave your career path to chance? 

If you want a career path based on your interests, skills, and work values; one that fits who you are and what you are passionate about; one that gives you satisfaction... don't leave it to chance. 

Meet individually with a career counselor

Students meet with a career counselor to discuss the career issues of their choice. The counselor will likely ask about personal and career background, interests, coursework, and related aspects that effect career decision making to ensure a good understanding of the student’s unique situation.  Resources may be discussed along with next steps.

Schedule an appointment by calling 414-288-7423

The story actually turns out well.  Listen in... you won't be disappointed. 

fast forward to 13:30 in this podcast where Pat Walters shares the story of two brothers, Dennis and Kai Woo, who forged a deal with each other that wound up determining both of their futures.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Don't Let Your Hard Work Go to Waste: Follow-Up!

So you made it through the career fair last night!  You should be proud of yourself for preparing well, dressing the part, and having the courage to walk up to employers and begin a professional relationship.

Now it is time to build on that relationship.

Follow-up after a career fair is surprisingly uncommon and if you make the effort to connect with employers who piqued your interest, it helps you stand out from the crowd. All you need to do is send an email or hand-written note thanking them for their time at the fair and include a copy of your resume.  Don't forget to follow the application instructions provided to you at the fair and be sure to tell them in your note that you have submitted your application.

This one little step can make all the difference!

(And if you are going to the Technical Career Fair this evening - good luck! ...and don't forget to follow-up!)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Professional Organizations: But I'm a Student!

For those of you out there that have even glanced toward some research on your chosen field, you've probably come across something very familiar, yet equally foreign; the dreaded alphabet soup of Professional Organizations.  How are you supposed to know what all these 3-5 random letter combinations mean, or which ones are legitimately good?  It's a challenge that almost everyone faces as they begin the depth of their job or internship search.  For the ones that truly take advantage of such entities though, the search can be vastly transformed.

Professional organizations (or societies as they are sometimes known) can come in many different shapes and sizes.  For every national organization, there are usually regional, state, and sometimes even local versions of it.  Marquette itself even has student chapters of many large professional organizations, such as the American Society of Mechanical EngineersSociety of Professional Journalists, and Financial Management Association. With such a plethora of options out there, there really isn't much reason to at least check out a couple in your chosen field.

So once you determine which professional organizations to look at, or even join, then what?  What's the purpose?  Well, as students, I believe that these organizations are goldmines for pertinent information.  As I certainly hope you've heard (whether from us or anyone else), networking is the way of the world when it comes to job searching.  You know the line, "It's not what you know, it's who you know."  It's a maddening line for many students, because how are you supposed to know all these professionals who can help you get a job?  Let's think about this though step by step

1. You are in a professional organization
2. You have a member list
3. Other members are likely established professionals in your field
4. You can contact these professionals, and thus, NETWORK!

Sounds pretty good, huh?  Let's also not forget other added benefits of membership, such as professional development opportunities, interesting lectures, and, oh yes, a field specific job board!  I can assure you that any professional organization with a job board isn't going to get overrun with pyramid schemes!

So what are you waiting for?  Go out there and look for the best professional organization for you, and enrich your job search as a result!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Careers in Service

Career Services is aware that not every student plans on joining the work force immediately after graduation.  Some students may purse graduate school, others post-graduate internships, and yet another group, post-graduate service opportunities.  Offering a year or two of service looks different for every individual. There are hundreds of volunteer programs available offering a wide range of speciality areas, positions, living situations, and locations. 
Maybe you, in the past or presently, have considered a post-graduate service opportunity. If you  have, the Career Services Center will be hosting a Careers in Service panel:

Tuesday, September 18th
AMU, Room 163
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

The Careers in Service panel is an opportunity for students interested in a year or more of service after graduation to gain a direct perspective from current corps members and recent alumni on their experiences, the application and interviewing process, and much more.  Organizations in attendance include: Alliance for Catholic Education, City Year Milwaukee, Teach for America, Peace Corps Chicago, Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest.

Outside of attending the Post-Graduate Service Fair, we encourage anyone who's ever been interested in partaking in post-graduate service to attend this panel.  Come and get your questions answered by those who've been there!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My First Career Fair Experience

When I think back to my first career fair experience three things come to mind: sweaty palms, nerves and a lack of preparedness.  Although I was dressed to impress and had brought several copies of my resume with me, I went to the fair to talk to only ONE company.  I never even approached another business.  I went straight to the booth I wanted, dropped off my resume and quickly shook the representative’s hand before I scurried home.  Looking back on this experience I can’t help but wonder “WHAT WAS I THINKING??!” Yes I know I was feeling intimidated and overwhelmed, but I wish I had not been so closed minded and nervous. 

If I had the chance to do it all over again this is what I would do:
I     -I would have my resume critiqued by MUCSC and printed on resume paper (also available for          free in MUCSC)
-      -I would create business cards ($3 for 30 in MUCSC) and hand those out along with my resume
-        -I would push myself to visit more companies and map out a plan-of-attack ahead of time
-         -I would remind myself that this is a great learning opportunity
-         -I would create a 60 second commercial telling each company representative more about “Sam” (more then what can be read on my resume)
-        -I would practice and then re-practice my handshake
-        -I would tell myself to take a deep breath and not be so nervous

I know my experience would have been a lot different (and more relaxed) had I prepared for the fair more in advance.

With that in mind, I give you my last piece of advice: Determine what you want to achieve at a career fair and decide the best approach for getting the job done. No one ever said finding a job or internship was easy, but by planning early and using resources like the MUCSC, the road can be a lot less stressful. 

Good luck my friends and remember to just be you J