Monthly Archives: October 2012

Study Abroad AND save money?

We know for many students, study abroad is a dream that may never come true because of finances. Maybe it’s having enough money up front to pay for tuition or airfare. Or maybe you need to work all summer or have a work-study job with your school. Below is a link to a great article from USA Today College regarding ways to save money, thus making your study abroad dream a little more feasible!

http://www.usatodayeducate.com/staging/index.php/study-abroad/how-to-save-money-while-traveling-abroad

The Quarter-Life Crisis: You Are Not Alone!

Although our center provides assistance to our alumni and adult degree completion program students, we work predominantly with current, traditional, undergraduate students. More and more, we are finding students very stressed out because they have a) a fear of committing to a career path and never succeeding in it or b) getting out and never being able to get started in the real world. We’re also finding that recently alums are stressed and feeling “stuck in a rut” and unhappy with how their life is going.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, the quarter-life crisis. Usually hitting anyone between the ages 25-35, people are getting depressed and frustrated because they aren’t making $60,000 right away or they don’t feel fulfilled in their life. They’re in a job they hate, they have no work-life balance, they still live at home, their friends are too busy to hang out, etc. More than likely, they have been told that they will walk across the stage at graduation and get a job the next day, they’ll get married, buy a house, and have a child and fulfill the American Dream, just like they thought in their five year plan. Unfortunately, that isn’t how it works anymore.

As studies are done on this population, we’re finding that there is a cylce in the quarter-life crisis. Research is showing that on average, it takes about two years to complete the process.

1. The person realizes they are stuck in life, or feel like they’re just running in a hamster wheel with no sense of personal satisfaction. 
2.They find a catalyst and decide everything needs to change. They may quit their job, break up with a significant other, move to another city or state, or any combination of the above. 
3. They do some self-learning and figure out what needed to change to help make their lives more satisfying. They may go back to school, find a new job, or find a way to make more connections. 
4. They will begin to start over, with a better sense of who they are and feel happier.

This can be a very scary and apprehensive time for young people. Many people can sympathize with them, so they feel alone. They are ridiculed with “not sticking with it” or “it’ll work out eventually” or “it’s all just in your head.” They aren’t sure who to ask for help, and many times it doesn’t seem smart to leave their job or take the time to understand themselves. In the end, it’s worth it. It’s always better to follow your heart.

Please know you’re not alone in this, and there are people who can help you. Connect with your family and friends, or reach out to your schools Alumni or Career Services. If you know a young adult who is struggling, reach out to them and help them find ways to change their life for the better. At this point in time, growing up is never easy, but it’s better with a little help and guidance.

Your Interview Doesn’t Have to be Scary

Sure, nerves can be healthy. And it’s absolutely normal to be nervous. But, wouldn’t you feel more confident if you knew you weren’t sweating profusely and going to freeze up on every answer? Here are some tips to help you prepare!

1. Do your research ahead of time. Google them, look them up on LinkedIn, read through their tweets and facebook page. This will give you a sense of familiarity with them. Find out the names of the people you will be meeting with and what position they work in. Come up with at least one question for each of them that relates to the job or the business. Make sure you know where you’re going for the interview, what time to be there, how much time it will take to get there, and if you need to bring anything aside from extra resumes.

2. Check yourself out in the mirror! Make sure your suit (if applicable) is dry cleaned, stain free, and has no wrinkles. Make sure your hair is clean and styled nicely. Keep the jewelry and the cologne or perfume to a minimum. Are you able to walk comfortably in your shoes?

3. Get yourself ready for the questions. Think about questions they might ask you. Your career center and google will be a great resource for you. Prepare answers to any questions you think you might get asked.

4.  Take the time to think about 6 opportunities for growth- where you excelled and where you struggled but still learned. What skills did you gain? What did you do, and what was the outcome? They can be examples from class, work, or internships. What are things you have done outside of the box, like a study abroad or a massive research project? Have you sat in on any webinars, received any certifications, or been recognized for outstanding work? The important thing here is to learn about yourself! Be proud of things you have accomplished AND learned from!  Be able to articulate these things.

5. Have questions ready for when they ask “Do you have any questions for me?” Remember to stay away from questions about salary, benefits, or time off. Also, don’t ask questions you could answer by Googling them. Think about questions like “What drew you to working here?” “What are the best and worst parts about working here?” “How do you see this position evolving over 5 years?” “What are opportunities for professional development?” and especially “What is your timeline for the rest of the process?”

Should you be an Elle Woods?

Should you be an Elle Woods?

HUGE thank you to USA Today College for this witty and informative article on the Graduate School Personal Statement process.

Why being a server or cashier is important

Many times I’ll meet with students who have summer jobs. They make pizzas, they answer phones, they bag groceries. When I ask them to tell me what they do, they look at me like I have three heads. “Like, seriously, all I do is bag groceries. Nothing special.”

Actually, dear student, yes it is!

The summre job back home, or the job on campus to make some extra cash, is very beneficial. It gives you something we call transferable skills. These are skills that are applicable to every single job you do. They may seem very basic, no brainers, or even unessential to discuss. But, it’s always good for an employer to know, right off the bat, that you have experience and utilize these skills.

Now, say you’re a cashier. What skills can you get with that? Attention to detail, accuracy, customer service, the ability to problem solve, ability to think quickly on your feet, comfortable with a flexible schedule, and a willingness to work with the team by covering shifts or staying late.

Or maybe you work in the dining hall on campus. You show up for work on time. You are able to follow directions. You comply with food and safety standards. You work well with your peers. You report problems when you see them. You greet everyone in a friendly manner.

How many of you, if you were an employer, would want an employee that has all of those skills? I know I would! So never doubt the fact that you’re a babysitter, or do house repairs, or caddy at a golf course. You’ll be able to exhibit skills that are essential to your position, no matter what field you go into!

Don’t be one of these applicants!

Don’t be one of these applicants!

Things to keep in mind about what your resume and cover letter say about you… from the employers perspective!

“What is the recipe for …

“What is the recipe for successful achievement? To my mind there are just four essential ingredients: Choose a career you love, give it the best there is in you, seize your opportunities, and be a member of the team.”

This lovely quote, as spoken by Bejamin F. Fairless, makes achievement seem attainable and impossible at the same time. Let’s break it down, shall we?

Choose a career you love. Sure, seems easy enough. But is your career a field you can spend 40 years of your life in? Does it give you opportunities to try new things, build new skills, and meet new people? Do you feel pride in what you do? Do the good days outweigh the bad? If some of these questions are answered with a no, then maybe it might be time to reconsider where you want to go professionally in life.

Give it the best there is in you. Seems pretty simple. You never know when someone is observing you, so make the most of every moment. Go above and beyond when helping a client. If you’re talking about something with a co-worker, send them an article about what you’re discussing. Finish up those last couple of things before you go home Friday evening. Make sure your shirt is ironed. Prepare to go one step further to make a good impression.

Seize your opportunities. The funny thing about opportunities is that you never know when they’ll vanish, and when (or if!) they’ll come back. Sign up to audit a class in something you’re interested in. Attend a webinar to learn more about current trends in your field. Be the one to step up and volunteer for new projects that will build on your skills. Ask youself, is this something I will regret if I don’t do it?

Be a member of the team. Even if you know you can do a project better by yourself, don’t be afraid to get input from others. They may have ideas you didn’t think of, or have skills that you don’t. Help others out, because you never know when you’ll need help, too. Chat with co-workers during your lunch break, and remember to wish them a happy birthday. Just as you can learn from others, they may learn from you. And if everyone works on their communication, work will flow much more smoothly!