Thursday, November 17, 2011

Straight from the employers: Tips on standing out

The October 2011 issue of The Tapestry (Multicultural Student Center Newsletter), written by Rachel Kuo, had a great article with advice on how to stand out to an employer. Read on to get some tips directly from the mouths of recruiters.

Know how to communicate your strengths and experience.

“Make a strong first impression and communicate your values by explaining your choices and processes. It’s impressive when you can walk people through your decisions.” - Paul Taylor, Cooper Bussman

“We look for energy, leadership, outgoing personalities, communication skills and adaptability in potential employees. Don’t be afraid to show yourself off in an interview by telling us your stories of success.” –Kathy Backstrom, Target

Get involved as much as possible.

“Volunteer and service experiences provide graduates with transferrable skill sets in time management, team leadership, data collection, communications and critical thinking.” - Kobena Marcus Collins, CityYear

“You can make yourself more competitive for internships by taking on leadership roles in classroom projects or student organizations.” -Kathy Backstrom, Target

Research the company.

“Tailor your resume for the specific job you’re applying for and be prepared for questions that aren’t just technical-based.” -Joel Harmon, Cargill

Academics are just as important as work experience.

“The key pieces to success are to keep your grades up while also gaining working and leadership experience.” - Ya Yang, General Mills

“Internships are a great way to stand out in the job market, and they provide a real opportunity to combine course work with real job applications.”

Check out some photos of students who took advantage of the networking event prior to the Multicultural Career and Internship Fair last month.

Kuo, Rachel. "Employers Give Some Tips on How to Stand out as a Potential Candidate." Tapestry (Oct. 2011): 5.

To stay updated on job, volunteer and internship opportunities, follow @UWMulticultural on Twitter or like "UW-Madison Multicultural Student Center" on Facebook.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Professional Development- What is that?

You may have heard the words "professional development" as a way to build your skills and resume for your future career. Attending professional conferences is one form of professional development. Read on to hear about Lauren Foley's experience as an undergraduate student who recently attended her first professional conference.

On October 21st and 22nd I had the privilege of attending the Wisconsin College Personnel Association (WCPA) Conference in the Wisconsin Dells to participate in the Student Affairs 101 portion for undergraduates. This was my first time attending a professional conference, and I was very excited and interested to learn more about the student affairs field and network with other undergraduates, graduates and professionals.

Right from the start I was introduced to undergraduate students from every University of Wisconsin college, where we participated and listened to seasoned professionals in smaller workshops. We were able to attend two of the three workshops on Student Development Theory, Resume Writing, and Introduction to Student Affairs. Working within career services, I opted for the Student Development Theory and Intro to Student Affairs. Paul Shepherd, a professional from UW-River Falls, gave us a glimpse into Student Development Theory, and how it relates to Student Affairs. He introduced us to this topic because it is a core part to curriculums of Student Affairs graduate programs. I really enjoyed his workshop because as a future graduate student, I was able to see a glimpse of what one of the courses would be like.

The Intro to Student Affairs workshop I attended was led by Scott Seyforth, an educator from UW-Whitewater, and PhD student at UW-Madison. Right away he and I connected with our love of the Badgers and all things football, as well as all things Student Affairs. The best element of this workshop was realizing that within a university, Student Affairs covers so many different areas and aspects of a University.

Thinking about my own career path, although I have a general direction I am headed, I realize that I have so many options it’s almost overwhelming! During and after the workshops, we had chances to interact and network with other undergraduates and talk about their student affairs experiences. Most of them were from Residence Life, who really influence freshman and other students living in the residence halls. After hearing more about it, I became really interested in this area, and I was sparked to look into possible residence life opportunities for internships and graduate assistant positions in graduate school.

Later in the conference I was able to meet additional professionals and hear about their background. I loved learning where they earned their undergraduate and graduate degrees. Each person I met with had a really different path and interesting story for how they stumbled into Student Affairs, and every one of them loves what they do. Everyone I met with at the conference and everyone I continue to meet in Student Affairs has a passion for bettering their university, and influencing student’s lives in a positive way, whether that is in Residence Life programs or where I work, as a Peer Advisor helping students with resumes and career advice. This positive energy surrounding Student Affairs has really encouraged me to continue my journey towards finishing my undergraduate degree and pursuing graduate school in the field.

I intend to take part in any other professional development opportunity available to me, as I suggest any student should. You can learn a lot, and build relationships with others in the field, which can prove very beneficial to me now and in the future.

Lauren Foley is a Junior at UW Wisconsin- Madison studying English with certificates in Educational Policy & Integrated Liberal Studies

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Recap of Day in the Field Visit to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


On a warm fall day on October 14th, a group of 9 students and 3 Career Services staff members took a Day in the Field Trip to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. This was one of the best Day in the Field programs that occurred, in which there were many opportunities for the students to meet with all levels of staff members to learn about the most current trends in journalism, communications and digital media, and how the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is positioning itself to best meet these trends.

Highlights of the visit included a tour of all 6 floors of the historic downtown Milwaukee location, including a trip back in time to the old printing press in the basement that was used for many decades. Visits to the newsroom, marketing/advertising departments, circulation section, and the publisher/editor gave the students an excellent sense of the inner workings of one of Wisconsin’s major media sources. The Journal Sentinel boasts a strong investigative reporting focus, with some of their reporters recently receiving Pulitzer Prizes for their work.

Perhaps the finest part of the experience were the thorough speed networking sessions that the students had with all of the executives of the organization and newer employees. These sessions enabled each student to have one-on-one networking and informational interview time. Students were personally invited to submit their resumes for anticipated future internships and career openings at the paper.

Student testimonials from the trip, which were drawn from student evaluations about their experience include:

1.) The field trip today was excellent because students got a more in-depth feel of working at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Meeting the staff one on one was very helpful because they offered practical, hands-on advice about getting started on job search and finding opportunities. My favorite part was by far sitting with executives also one on one and learning about the different career paths available at the newspaper. Those opportunities are rare and I am happy I was able to participate.

2.) The trip was a rewarding experience because it gave me a glimpse into the life in a newsroom. It was nice talking to people who worked there because it gave me insight into what I need to do to establish a career in communications and/or journalism.

3.) I really enjoyed being able to meet with the managing editor and publisher. I'm in this constant worry about finding a job and they gave me advice that the future of a journalist is really not just being a reporter but being someone who knows about the technological aspects of everything; how to make and manage a website, social media and search engine optimization. That was great to hear since we learn so much technology in the journalism school and there are some moments when I wonder if they will actually come into play again.

Interested in more experiential opportunities with the Journal Sentinel? Please stay tuned for more information about our Winter Break Job Shadow program that will soon be on the L&S Career Services website