Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Looking for an opportunity to give back once you graduate? Check out City Year Milwaukee on Nov. 1

“Own your experience.” Those were the words of wisdom passed down to me by a City Year alumnus during my first few weeks of training. I wasn’t quite sure what that meant, but I felt compelled to do just that. So, I embraced the “squishy” moments, took on the leadership opportunities, jumped into the culture and perhaps the most important, devoted myself to my students.

Those ten months flew by with great speed. So much happened within that time span that has helped to shape my character. As a corps member, I wore many hats with my service to my students. I was a teacher, a tutor, a mentor, an older sister, a counselor, an event planner, and so much more. I thought that I was a patient person before I came to City Year, but my students taught me a whole new meaning to patient. Tutoring sessions could change into conflict mediation at the drop of a hat. However, I learned how to adapt to the ever-changing situations of the day.

While serving as a corps member, I realized that service is something that I want to be apart of for the rest of my life. That is why I am thrilled to be working as a Children’s Associate for the Sojourner Family Peace Center. I am able to combine my love for education and social service with this position. The skills that I developed during my service year continue to help me today. I still use the system of Q2Qs, which we used for detailing meetings and event planning, to keep me organized. Not to mention, my boss is amazed by my ability to ‘in-kind’ or get food donated for the programs that we host, another skill I obtained at City Year.

I am very grateful for my time with City Year Milwaukee. It provided me with a good opportunity for me to give back to my city. I served alongside a dynamic group of individuals who provided powerful service each and everyday. This was a life changing experience that has helped to shape me into the leader that I am today and continue to strive to be for tomorrow.

Written by Alimatu Sirleaf, Founding Corps Member of City Year Milwaukee.

Above Photo: Alimatu Sirleaf (center) with fellow City Year Milwaukee Corps Members on the day of Corps Graduation, including UW-Madison Alumnus, Sasha Moore (far left).

You have the chance to visit City Year Milwaukee Headquarters on
Tuesday, Nov. 1 (3-9pm).
  • Meet current corps members, alumni, staff and potential corps members
  • Learn about the application process and how to become a corps member
  • Hear about the benefits of serving with City Year Milwaukee
RSVP required.
Please contact Greg Iaccarino at gjiaccar@wisc.edu
by October 26

Transportation Provided by Letters and Science Career Services for the first 12 students.

Please visit CityYear.org for more information on how to become a volunteer.
Next application deadline: November 15th.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Dressing For a Job Interview

Let’s face it, as college students our daily outfits often consist of sweatpants, leggings and T-shirts that you may or may not have slept in last night. Comfort is king and sometimes it’s hard to snap out of that mode. But what if the occasion requires it? Job interviews are one of the few reasons to take off the sweatpants and pray you still fit into that suit your mom made you buy in high school.

Because job interviews are all about creating a good impression and doing what’s appropriate, the rule of thumb is to play it safe and stay traditional.

As a style blogger who soon will be doing some interviewing of my own, I have given considerable thought to this subject. Read on to see outfit choices for men and women.


Wear a suit! You’ll look sharp and professional, especially if it is black, navy or dark gray. Wear it with a white or pastel colored shirt and pair it with a coordinating silk tie, making sure the pattern of your tie isn’t too crazy. Wear dark colored socks – no gym socks! The socks should coordinate with your suit and/or shoes, but if you don’t know what color is appropriate, just wear black ones. Make sure there aren’t scuffmarks on your shoes and that the heels aren’t run down. Get them shined or repaired if there is time. Get a haircut the week before your interview and if you have facial hair, make sure it is neat and trimmed. Don’t wear earrings if your ears are pierced, and try to keep other jewelry to a minimum. In other words, wear the class ring but leave the gold chain behind.


The same rules apply to you, believe it or not. Wear a suit! A business professional woman can still look chic, as long as her suit is up-to-date and tailored. Stay conservative with your blouse, sticking to classic white or pastel colors. You should wear heels, but only if you are comfortable walking in them. Make sure they aren’t your highest stilettos and make sure they are closed-toe. If you’re more comfortable in flats, make sure they are dressy, basic and in a neutral color (again, black is best). If you’re wearing a skirt, wear hosiery. Wear your hair in a natural and simple style;. If you have bangs, make sure they are trimmed and don’t cover your eyes. Wear makeup, but don’t make it obvious – stick to neutral colors and leave that red lipstick at home. Make sure your nail polish is a normal color – no greens, blacks or purples – and trim your nails so that they aren’t daggers.

Both Men and Women:

I cannot emphasize this enough: do not wear overpowering cologne or perfume. You will most likely be in an office, and suffocating your interviewer with Old Spice or Clinique Happy will NOT land you the job. Don’t chew gum or suck on a mint during your interview. Keep your pockets empty; you don’t want to jingle when you’re walking down the halls of the office. Bring a briefcase or portfolio with you and put a extra copies of your resume, a legal pad and pen in it.

Exceptions to these rules:

There are certain circumstances in which dressing with a little more creativity for your interview might benefit you. If you’re interviewing for a job at an advertising agency, graphic design company, music industry or the like, you can probably put a little more personal touch into your outfit. For women, add a statement necklace or a colorful bag. For men, play around with the pattern of your tie or add a pocket square to your suit. But remember, first impressions are everything, so don’t go too crazy.

There are plenty of places to shop for these looks, from less expensive stores like H&M to more expensive stores like J. Crew and Banana Republic (J. Crew even offers a student discount!). But remember, a suit is an investment and you will most likely be wearing it for many years to come (especially if you nail your interview) so spending now will most likely pay off. And you can always break up a suit and wear just the bottoms or just the tops to make it more versatile in the future.

Anna is a junior at the University of Missouri studying Advertising and Public Relations. She runs a style blog called Forward or Die.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Top Do's and Don'ts of Interviewing

Need some advice on talking with recruiters? I talked to several hiring personnel who have lots of experience interviewing candidates. They’ve seen it all – including one woman who wouldn’t go home, but insisted on finishing her interview after getting sick, according to Nicole Hilsenhoff from Epic. Use their expert tips to avoid being known as “that horrible candidate,” instead being the perfect one who gets the position!


1. Don’t swear in an interview no matter how casual the environment.
- Nicole Hilsenhoff, Epic
2. Don’t flirt with or ask your recruiter out – it’s not as charming as it sounds.
- Nicole Hilsenhoff, Epic
3. Never mention money/salary. Most companies will have already done research in order to provide the most competitive salaries possible for the position and location. Therefore, be aware that salaries will be relative to location (i.e. salaries for the east and west coast locations may be higher than the Midwest, but the cost of living is also much higher).
- Ya Yang, General Mills
4. Never talk bad about a co-worker, a previous employer, or fellow student to make yourself look better. In business there will be conflict, and we like to see how you turn negative situations into positive ones.
- Ya Yang, General Mills
5. Don’t rush through an interview – don’t schedule appointments immediately following an interview in the event that it runs longer than anticipated.
- Nicole Hilsenhoff, Epic


1. Let the recruiter know that you're interested in the job and why you'd be a good fit.
- Nicole Hilsenhoff, Epic
2. Have examples ready for an interviewer’s questions (i.e. “Tell me about…”).
- Vickie Bortz, Federal Bureau of Prisons
3. Let the recruiter know what impressed you about the company and how you connect to their mission.
- Nicole Hilsenhoff, Epic
4. Do research on the company.
- Ya Yang, General Mills
5. Make good eye contact.
- Vickie Bortz, Federal Bureau of Prisons
6. Have an idea of what you want to do. For example, if you’re a Finance major, have an idea of what areas of finance interest you.
- Ya Yang, General Mills
7. Be yourself. Recruiters can tell when you're being phony.
- Nicole Hilsenhoff, Epic

For more in-depth interviewing preparation visit our website: http://www.lssaa.wisc.edu/careers/students/interview_prep.html