Monthly Archives: July 2013

3 Ways to Trouble-Shoot Your Resume

3 Ways to Trouble-Shoot Your Resume

We read articles from all kinds of blogs, but we really love reading via Vault! This week they had a great piece on resumes and ways to show what a great candidate you are. Take a look! What are some tips you would want to share with someone writing a resume?

Susie Benitez; ACRE Student: From Fleece toYarn

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After getting our fleece washed, Professor Trimpey and I revisited Linda at R Ewe Spinning to learn some more about carding. Carding is when you take paddles that resemble hairbrushes with metal prong and brush the fleece. The goal is to get all of the fibers straight and parallel. Some of the smaller clumps and leftover seed matter also come out when carding. What results from carding is called roving. You can roll the roving up and use it to spin from.

We tried to do some carding on our own before going to see Linda. Professor Trimpey had done a little bit of carding before, so she gave me some pointers. I found an excellent video online during which a woman teaches people how to card and really breaks down the process into simple steps. I tried to use the video as a guide, but it wasn’t until Lina gave us a few tips that I began to grasp the technique.

            I enjoy going to Linda’s shop. She always has some new type of yarn or cute samples of various projects. When we arrived, Linda was all set up to teach us about carding. She had a few chairs out, a bag of the fleece that we practiced washing with, and newspapers laid out on the floor to catch any of the seed matter.  We took out our carding paddles. Linda showed us how you load a bit of fleece onto one of the paddles. Then you hold the paddle with the fleece in your left hand and begin to brush it with the paddle in your right hand. You start brushing lightly from the bottom of the paddle and then work your way up.  Linda told us that it is important to make sure that the fleece you are brushing doesn’t roll back on itself because it will create clumps in the roving. After everything looks nice and straight, you take the fleece off the paddles and do the process over again until you have carded all of the fleece.

            I found carding to be rather relaxing and I got better as I got more practice at it. As we continued to card, Professor Trimpey, Linda, and I told each other stories and talked about our days. This made the whole experience that much more fun.

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Christina Daniels Corporate Intern for Store Operations at American Eagle

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So I have finally uploaded some photos for you!! Although there is a lot I can’t show you, here is some fun stuff that I can.

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Here is a photo from the production set.  This is where they film most of the training videos for associates that work in the store.  Here we were filming for a training video for Aerie stores for a new bra launch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This was my our (my roomates and I) first trip to the famous Primanti’s in Pittsburgh.  This is the original location!  Their famous sandwhich has EVERYTHING on it. If you get the “Pittsburger” it includes steak, cheese, coleslaw and fries and is about the size of your head. The challenge is actually getting it into your mouth….

 

 

 

 

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Here are some of the women I work with at the shoot for MY Aerie video.  On the left is my former manager Madison who works in the same department as me.  She is in charge of all the Aerie training videos so she helped me fufill my lifelong dream and put me in the script.  Abby is on the right and she is in charge of styling for the videos and various other odd jobs.

 

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 Here is a photo from set.  We had to shoot my portion of the video in the actual Aerie store a block from the office.  So we had to be in at 7 before the store opened.  Here val is fixing my makeup during a short break. It was alot of fun!  I had a teleprompter for my lines so that made it alot easier!

 

Now for some real talk.  I highly recommend (if you haven’t already) getting any and all internships that you can get your hand on.  This being my third internship, I have learned completely different things from all of them.  But American Eagle definitely has been my favorite.  Not just because it is a 4 billion dollar company and looks great on my resume, but because of all that I have been able to learn from it from those in the department.  I have been able to sit in on high level meetings, attended District Managers conference, and work on projects that people in my department have also worked on, not just “an intern project”.  As I’ve said before, they place a high level of importance on the interns, and while that can range in different departments here, those I work with truly treat me as an equal.  Which has been great for my benefit because I have been able to see and learn so many things because of that.

Now as far as classes go, some may seem pointless and daunting now (accounting), but when you enter the real world, you see yourself utilizing them whether you like it or not.  My InDesign class I thought was cruel torture when I first began.  I slowly started to enjoy the work as my knowledge base improved and when my mentor realized my skill with the program, he began seeking me out for any InDesign work he had.  Or take accounting.  That class was the death of me.  I couldn’t understand it, didn’t get it and flat out hated it, but I see the terminology used as we go to classes and when we visited the distribution center where they mentioned they are a FIFO company and as cliché as it may be, it felt really good knowing what they were talking about!  So far my knowledge used has mostly come from my InDesign classes, computer classes (from back in the day, as I work a lot in Excel), English, Visual Literacy (as I’ve had to do alot of document layouts in InDesign), my styling class (that I took while in London) and working in Aerie was a HUGE help.  At first I took the job just to get into the field, but I don’t know where I would be without it now! I wouldn’t know alot of the terminology, standard operating procedure, the POS system……I WOULD BE LOST!!!!  Never in a million years would I think that retail (or school) could teach me so much………

What to Avoid When Writing a Cover Letter

What to Avoid When Writing a Cover Letter

We talk a lot about writing a resume, but we don’t talk about cover letters nearly enough. Here are some great tips from Careerealism to keep in mind as your write yours! Remember, your resume and cover letter should never go anywhere without each other (unless your specifically told when you apply to only include one)

Christina Daniels Corporate Intern for Store Operations at American Eagle Outfitters

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I am in week 6 now at my internship and boy has it flown by!!!  I had 2 self evaluations in that time where I get feedback from my mentor and both went so well!!  I was really excited.  I am surprised by how often I have been using the InDesign program in the office.  I have had so many classes working in depth with the program so I am so thankful now!!! I have actually come to really like working with it.  I have done a bunch of document that usually my mentor Nathan types up and then I transfer them into InDesign and make them more visually appealing.  

 

My former Aerie boss was also developing a new bra training program for stores so that training was more detailed and standardized among the company.  So I have been helping alot with that as well since I was an associate.  We did a test group that was made up of associates, store managers and district managers to “test” the program out on and get their feedback and they loved it!!! Madison has been working on it for 3 months and the training books have finally gone to print and will be shipped to stores in a few days!!!  It has been really exciting to be involved in such a big project that will have a large impact on the company.  I’ve come to understand how even if I am doing simple menial tasks, in the larger picture it actually makes a big difference.  There was a store visit document I helped create that will be seen by every  manager (and there are roughly 900 stores) so by about 2700 people.  So I ALWAYS double check for spelling errors!!!

 

There have been about 3 new additions to the department so I have been able to piggyback onto some of their training to further my own as well which has been really beneficial.  The Store Operations department is SUPER confusing.  They use so many different programs to communicate to stores and over so many different technologies.  They do voicemails, iPads and their computer systems just for stores.  And HOW they get all their information from other department and then there is “effective” dates and “release” dates and not to mention all the terminology! Luckily I have been able to follow most conversations from knowing the store lingo and have asked as questions about vocal have come up in meetings and such.

Some cool things I have been able to be included in is the AE TV program.  I was able to be in a training video!! It was so much fun!  I have also helped story produce and style other training and style videos which has been amazing.  I was able to go on a floorset walkthrough which is basically when the visual team presents the store layout for a season and it is the last time they can make any changes.  I’ve also gotten a bunch a free clothes which hasn’t exactly hurt either!!  Well I don’t want to overload you with information so stop back later this week for some more detail on my projects!!!

Abby Walke-Studying Abroad in Costa Rica

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Visiting a Volcano

Today we went to the visit the Irazu Volcano in Costa Rica! There are three different craters, two of which are safe to walk on, while the other one is still dormant. We got a bunch of pictures with the amazing view! We hiked up the hill to the highest point, which overlooked all three craters. We were so high up that the clouds were below us. Technically it’s the rainy season in Costa Rica, but luckily the weather was beautiful and sunny the entire day.

After the volcano, we enjoyed lunch at a restaurant in the mountains at a place called Sanchiri that also had a spectacular view. The food was pretty good too! Then we visited two churches. The first church was located in San Jose and is the oldest church that is still has services. They also had a small museum attached with items from the church over the years. The second church we went to was much bigger than the first and amazing. It also has an interesting story to it of why it was built. The story is that a little girl found a statue-like doll in the woods one day. She brought it home and the next day while wondering she found another, but when she returned home she discovered the first one was missing. On the third day, she found the doll again in the woods and the second one was then missing. She was confused so she went to the priest’s house and showed him the doll. He didn’t think much of it at first, and left the doll in the tabernacle while he went to mass. He brought some priests to the place in the woods where the doll had been found each time. The doll was there and they understood it as the Holy Virgin wanting a church to be built where the doll was, so they built it.

Afterwards we returned home and ate dinner soon after. Our host parents went out for the night, but while we were eating dinner, a huge spider the size of my fist crawled across the floor! The other two girls I live with and I jumped up in our seats. One girl, Loni, grabbed a can of Raid and we got rid of it with that. Still though, that was the biggest bug I’ve probably ever seen in my life! Tomorrow we’re going zip lining in a canopy tour, which should be lots of fun!

 The view from the volcano:

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The first church we visited, in San Jose:

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The second church we visited, in Los Ángeles:

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And the HUGE spider from dinner!

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Abby Walke-Studying Abroad in Costa Rica

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After a four-hour flight and a long line at immigration, I had finally reached Costa Rica! It was a little overwhelming walking out of the airport, into a crowd of people waiting for others to arrive. I found the CIS greeter that led me to the bus of students and we were taken to our host families. My host family is a young couple with a cute little dog named Molly. There are three other students living with me. We each get our own room, which is nice and their house is great! I had arrived in the afternoon so I had the rest of the day to unpack and get settled. I met one of the other girls from the host family, Christina, and we all ate dinner together. One of the other girls, Elise was on a field trip for the weekend, while the other girl, Loni, was arriving later that night. For dinner we had this tomato soup with tortilla chips, avocado, and cheese in it. It was amazing! Our host “dad” couldn’t believe that Christina and I had never seen “American Pie” so after dinner we watched it on Netflix. Then we went to bed after.

The next day we had a CIS orientation and took a tour of the city, San Jose. It’s a beautiful city! The rest of the day we had free so a couple of us explored some more of the city, and then we went back to our host families for dinner.

On Monday, we had an orientation for the university that we were attending called Veritas. We took a tour and attended a lecture where they talked about the cultural differences between Costa Rica and the United States. For example, they mentioned a study that had been done in cafes across the country where they watched couples to see on average how much they touched during conversation. In San Juan, Puerto Rico (which would be the closest comparison to Costa Rica) they touched about 180 times per hour while in England (which would be the closest to the U.S.) they touched on an average of 0 times. That was definitely intriguing and showed how different two cultures could be. They also talked about culture shock and how we could be affected by it while we stay here. Overall, it was a very interesting lecture.

On Tuesday we started our classes. I had my first class at 10a.m. in the morning, which because of the two hour time difference felt like 12p.m., so I was definitely okay with that. My first class was about alternative health approaches and my professor is definitely a character. After giving us an overview of the class, the professor had us stand up and do some breathing exercises called Chi-Kun and then he ended the class by giving us each a hug. It was definitely different than any class I’ve attended at Albright, but I liked it. After lunch, I had my Intermediate Spanish for Health Professionals class. The professor did not know any English and she was very difficult to understand. The class was four hours long and was very overwhelming. Although I was considering switching to the basic level, I decided to stay in it though and just stick it out. The second day was a little bit easier and I feel like the more I have class with the professor, the more experience I’ll have understanding people speaking Spanish with strong accents.

Overall, the Costa Rican experience has been great so far! It may not be exactly what I expected, but I’ve loved almost every minute of it.

My Room:

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Street Art

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 And last but not least, my host family’s dog, Molly 🙂

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Susie Benitez; ACRE Student: From Fleece to Yarn

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            Early one morning, Professor Trimpey and I started to wash our fleece. We started with half of the East Friesian ram fleece. There are five basic steps in washing a fleece: pre-soak, wash (with Dawn dishwashing liquid), rinse #1, rinse #2, and air dry. The water for the soaks/rinses has to be consistently around 140-160 degrees in order to break down the lanolin. Also, as Linda of “R Ewe Spinning” warned us, the temperature of the water can’t change drastically between steps because the wool might felt.

We lined up three large tubs in the parking lot, put on some gloves, and began heating the water for our rinses. Special thanks to Jeff Lieder and Gail Wolfenden-Steib of the Utah Shakespearian Festival because they allowed us to heat water using the large die vat. This really saved us a lot of time in the washing process because we could heat enough water to fill about two tubs to the temperature we needed in about a twenty minutes to a half hour.

We filled up the first tub for our pre-soak and put the fleece into it. We let it sit for about twenty minutes and you could already see the difference in the color of the fleece and the amount of dirt that was in the water. Professor Trimpey and I continued the washing process and let the fleece sit for about 20 minutes in the wash tub and the two rinses. By the last of the rinses, the water was practically clear which showed just how much cleaner the fleece was then when we started.

Professor Trimpey and I decided to come up with an easy way to dry all of the fleece that we had washed. We took a couple of the small garment bags that you use to wash delicates in the washing machine and filled them with clean fleece. We then took them and swung them around as fast as we could to force some of the water out. We also went to the hardware store and bought hardware cloth which resembles chicken wire or fencing. We tied the hardware cloth to a garment rack at one end with wire and carried it to my porch where we tied the other end of the hardware cloth to the porch. We spread out the clean fleece on our “drying contraption” and covered it with a “quilt” that we made out of cut up garment bags. We tied the “quilt” to the hardware cloth with twine to be sure that the fleece wouldn’t blow away. Professor Trimpey and I screwed hooks into the doorframe of the apartment and used those to tie the garment rack up so that the entire thing wouldn’t fall over. The whole contraption was rather elaborate, but it allowed the air to go through the drying fleece on all sides so that it would dry evenly and quickly.

While we waited for the fleece to dry, Professor Trimpey and I decided to explore Cedar City a bit. We drove up to the top of Cedar Mountain and went for a short hike to a lake. It was my first time hiking, so it took me a while to get used to it. The mountain was beautiful. You could look out for miles and look into the canyon. Professor Trimpey showed me what plants you could eat if you ever got stranded on the mountain. I also touched snow in the middle of the summer which was pretty cool.

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Abby Walke-St. George’s University Summer Medical Academy

ImageI have to be honest. Before my two-week trip to St. George’s University to attend their Summer Medical Academy, I had never heard of the island, Grenada. I soon learned though that it was a great little island located in the Caribbean. It had beautiful beaches and nice, but generally humid weather. In early June, I took three connecting flights to get there. Once I was in Miami, I met up with a couple others that were attending the Summer Medical and Vet Academy. Everyone became fast friends. The first official day on the island, we were taken to the beach and were allowed to explore the town.

The second day was completely different as we dived into the curriculum of a medical school student. We had lectures and lab in the morning where they taught us about the musculoskeletal system. After the first lecture, they introduced us to the cadavers. I was worried of how I would react to them since I knew if I went to medical school, I would have to deal with them everyday. Although the formaldehyde smell from them was awful, the cadavers were more interesting than disgusting to me. From the first day I could definitely see how they are essential in medical schools. The rest of lab consisted of quizzing us about muscles and bones, which was a little overwhelming for me because I hadn’t taken my anatomy course in college yet. After lunch, we returned to the science hall for clinicals where we split into groups. They had us interview patients to get a complete patient history and also gave us another small lecture about histology. They also taught us how to use ultrasound machines on patients and showed us the differences between nerves, blood vessels, and bones on the machine. At night we had even more lectures that dealt more with the social aspects of medicine. Overall, the first day was overwhelming, but showed me that there were so many aspects of medicine to learn about. This was the general routine that we had most days, in which we learned about different systems in the body at a medical school level.

Although on the first day I felt unprepared for the quizzing the professors did about anatomy, by the fourth or fifth day I felt more prepared answering their questions and was quickly learning. Along with the lectures, we also were taken to a nutmeg factory, an amazing waterfall, and of course to beach where we were given massages from blind massage therapists. So even though there was a lot of work involved in the trip, the people planning always made sure there was time for fun too. We even went to an underwater sculpture museum that we snorkeled through! One of my favorite parts of the trip was when they gave us white coats and stethoscopes before we visited the local hospital. We even were taught how to suture a wound and were able to practice on cadavers! Overall, the two weeks on the trip reaffirmed the fact that I want to go to medical school after college and eventually become a doctor. Medicine is fascinating to me and I couldn’t picture a better career choice. I’m so glad that I went to this academy and met some amazing people.

On another note, I’ll be heading to Costa Rica on Saturday for my study abroad experience. I’m very excited! I’ll be taking a class that involves medical terminology in Spanish and another that teaches alternative health approaches!

Mid Year Review

Mid Year Review

Performace reviews stress people out. People waver between fear of getting ripped down and excitement of having new goals. For some people, it’s not easy to get face to face time with their supervisor, and this is their only chance for a long time. It’s much easier to sit down, think for a while, and give yourself your own evaluation. And now is the time to do it! Careerealism has a great article on questions to reflect on the past six months and to prepare for the next six. Be nice to yourself, but also be willing to learn from mistakes you may have made. What are some of your goals from now until the end of the year?