Monday, January 23, 2012

Preparing Your Elevator Speech

Approaching a Company Representative

It can be nerve-wracking to introduce yourself to someone new, especially recruiters. There are so many variables to consider when trying to make a good impression. Do you shake hands? Do you address their company and its work before discussing your own goals? And most importantly, how do you market yourself as a potential employee?

Then once you finally start talking with them, you’ve got thoughts going through your head like “Was that supposed to be a joke? Should I laugh? Am I making too much eye contact?”

Become confident talking with employers by preparing an “elevator speech."
What is this “elevator speech” I’ve mentioned?

It is a short introduction of yourself, what you are looking for, and how you can benefit the company. Your speech should only be about one minute.

Parts of an Elevator Speech

1) Where are you now?
• State your name and major, and shake hands with the representative.
2) What have you done?
• What experiences have you had, and what strengths and skills do you have to offer?
• Also include volunteer experiences and other activities
3) Where are you going?
• State why you are interested in that company/position. Do your research. Address their corporate goals and mission while explaining how you can be an addition.

This elevator speech is one part of networking with employers that may make you nervous, but it’s an important step in appearing marketable as a job candidate. Confidence is key in making a lasting impression- and practice helps!

How L&S Career Services can Help

We have handouts on how to use career fairs to your advantage, a resume critique service, and career counselors available to help with everything from what you want to do in life to creating your “elevator speech” for introducing yourself to employers.

Looking for more tips on approaching employers, or maximizing your time at the career fair?

Stop in at our extended drop-in hours:
This week M-F 9:00am - 4:00pm
Monday, January 30 – Tuesday, January 31, 9:00am – 4:00pm

Also check out our upcoming career fair prep workshops. You not only can leave with career tips, but we will also be raffling off free prizes for attendees.

Resume Writing / How to Make the Best Use of a Career Fair
Wednesday, January 25, Noon – 1:30pm, Room 120 Middleton Building or
Monday, January 30, 4:30pm – 6:00pm, Room 120 Middleton Building

To see a list of employers attending each of the career fairs coming up soon, follow the links below.

Public Service Fair
Thursday, January 26
11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Great Hall, Memorial Union
Participating Employers
Find full-time, volunteer, and internship positions within the public service and government sectors. Whether you want to help with the environment or at-risk children, there are opportunities available. Come see how you can make a difference.

Spring Career and Internship Fair
Tuesday, January 31
4:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Kohl Center
Participating Employers
At the largest career fair of the semester, meet with representatives from more than 175 local, regional, and national employers. Begin a job or internship search, start networking with employers, or just start researching companies and careers.

Badger Career Night
Monday, February 6
7:30 – 9:00 p.m.
Kohl Center
Participating Employers
This fair, targeted towards student athletes and student leaders, offers students the opportunity to meet with employers specifically searching for the skill set they’ve acquired through their activities. All students are welcome.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Take on a Cross-Country Adventure After Graduation in a 27-Foot Long Hot Dog!

The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, headquartered here in Madison, is a Badger tradition. Every year, twelve lucky dogs are chosen to drive the Wienermobile as Hotdoggers, and UW-Madison has a proud tradition of graduates who cut the mustard. A few years ago, even Bucky the Badger took his turn behind the wheel.

Hotdoggers serve as goodwill ambassadors through media interviews and event appearances. Other than experience in the business, public relations and marketing industry, perks of the job include a competitive salary, expenses, benefits, clothing and a head-turning company car. Because of the incredibly unique experience shared between Hotdoggers, you also gain a great network of friends who work in a variety of fields that you can tap into as a resource for future career opportunities.

Tyler Mielke graduated from UW-Madison last year with a business degree in Actuarial Science and is part of the current Hotdogger team. Tyler (or Turkey Dog Tyler, as he’s known on the hot dog highways) discusses how the Wisconsin Experience has helped him manage his job responsibilities and what the life on the road has taught him.

From left to right: Caleigh Robertson, Tyler Mielke and Tracia Johnson

This year, three UW-Madison graduates relish the opportunity to drive the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.

Why did you want to become an Oscar Mayer Hotdogger?
TM: I really got the travel bug during my four years of college at UW-Madison. I had summer internships in Chicago and Mexico City, and I took spring/winter break trips to Ireland, England, and Italy to visit other Badgers who were studying abroad. Being a Hotdogger seemed like the perfect way to continue seeing the world.

Where are the different places you traveled to during your first half and what is your favorite place?
TM: During my first half I traveled through the southern region of the states, so I’ve been all the way down to the southern tip of Texas, as far east as Florida, through California for a couple weeks, and through 10 other states during our journey from headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin. My favorite event was the Corvette FunFest in Effingham, Illinois. We spent four days at the largest Corvette festival in the world and even led a parade of Corvettes around the city on the festival’s opening day.

What do you love most about being a Hotdogger?
TM: I love trying new food on the road. We talk to the “locals” every day, so we always get recommendations on what grub to try in a new city. I had some awesome sushi in San Francisco, California that I just can't get off my mind!

What have you learned about yourself, personally and professionally, after being on the road?
TM: Being a Hotdogger demands a pretty flexible person who isn't scared of things not going exactly according to plan, and I've learned that this is something I really enjoy in a job. I'm able to adapt pretty well to whatever situation, so for me, it is always exciting when things happen spontaneously. I have also learned to work with well with different types of people. Most of the Hotdoggers are from different parts of the country, studied something different things in college, and have a different way of getting work done, so I've learned a lot from the others on my team.

How have your previous experiences, through student leadership, work and academics, helped you become more successful in this position?

TM: As an undergraduate I was a member of the Wisconsin Alumni Student Board, Actuarial Club, and the Sellery Hall Association. My experiences at UW-Madison help me every day on the job as a Hotdogger. The Wisconsin Experience is all about applying learning inside and outside of the classroom, and living out this idea on campus has really helped out as a Hotdogger. My time on the Wisconsin Alumni Student Board helped developed event-planning and teamwork skills, and my job at Wendt Library helped me become a very independent worker. Both of which are important on the road.
What advice can you give to students who are interested in the position?
TM: Be yourself in the interview. The Hotdoggers are a very diverse group of people, and Oscar Mayer is always looking for a unique candidate for the position. Let them know what makes you special for the position.

As a graduate from the UW-School of Business, what professional skills and experiences have you gained this year that you will use in future jobs?
TM: I've learned some great communication and public relations skills. Every day I talk to people of all ages and backgrounds, so I really feel confident that I can engage in conversation with anyone. Also, I can say that I've created press releases and pitched media to all types of media outlets such as newspapers, TV news stations, radio stations, and blogs. I have quite the portfolio from this experience, especially for a person with a degree in Actuarial Science.

Oscar Mayer is currently accepting resumes through January 31st for a one-year position beginning in June. Bilingual candidates are encouraged to apply. Send resumes and cover letters to (Attn: Hotdogger Position).

Find out more about the position at the informational session on Wednesday, February 1 from 5-6pm in Union South. For the exact room location, check out TITU at the Union Entrance or online ( the day of the event.

- By Rachel Kuo, former Hotdogger and current Social Justice Educator and Communications Specialist at the UW-Madison Multicultural Student Center. Follow @UWMulticultural to stay updated career opportunities and tips.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What is your New Year's Resolution?

It's about two weeks into 2012. There is always buzz and motivation for new year's resolutions in the month of January. To get to know our office staff a little better, I posed the new year's resolution question to them. Read on to learn about what the L&S Career Services Staff hope to accomplish in 2012.

"Work out at least three times a week."
- Sara Schumacher, Peer Advisor

"Personal: drink more water. Professional: update my LinkedIn profile" -Andrea Lowe, Coordinator of Advising

"Save money on eating out and food in general and learn how to cook/bake healthy food while on a college student budget." -Lauren Foley, Peer Advisor

"My New Year's resolutions:
Eat more caramel apples and pumpkin pie (my two favorite desserts) - they should not be reserved just for the fall season!
Rescue a dog from the humane society.
Walk at least two miles with that dog everyday.
Start working on a ceramics exhibit that came to me in a dream one night . . .
Here is an example of my ceramics. It reflects how I will feel when I'm walking my new dog!"
-Molly Krochalk, Career Counselor

"My resolution for 2012 is to live in the present and enjoy life day-to-day and not worry about what happened in the past or what the future holds."
- Jared LeBlanc, Peer Advisor

"Watch a new movie every month."
-Nicole Velez, Peer Advisor

"To be the MSSC Ping Pong Winter League Champion."
- Amanda Mueller, Career Counselor

"I don't have my own kids, but have a niece who is starting as a freshman at Middleton High School this year. So, my resolution is to attend Middleton High programming and/or Parent/Teacher Organization meetings, as some new ways to get involved!"
- Greg Iaccarino, Career and Internship Advisor

My New Year's Resolution is to drink green tea every day. I keep hearing how good it is for you and I thought it's time I start! - Ashley Overson, Peer Advisor

"My new years resolution is to maintain better control over my email inbox! I want to keep my "unread" email to 1 page." - Stephanie Salazar Kahn, Internship Coordinator

"To finish converting all the old Koko family photos (a project started at Christmas) to digital to share with friends and relatives."
- Marie Koko, Career Counselor

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Does it fit? Determining if an internship is legal and a good fit for you

Over the past year, students I meet with have continuously asked me whether an unpaid internship is legal, and unfortunately the answer is “it depends”. As many of you know, the laws surrounding unpaid internships by the Department of Labor are vague to say the least. As it currently stands, internships provided by government agencies or non-profits are not held to the same laws as corporations/for-profits.

Despite the vague language and recent media attention surrounding internships, here are 10 parameters that may help you figure out if an internship is legal AND a good fit for you:

1.What type of organization is the internship with?
2. What type of work will the intern be responsible for?
3. What will the intern’s role be?
4. Who will be the intern supervisor?
5. What kind of supervision will the intern have?
6. What opportunities are there for training or professional development at the internship?
7. How does this internship further your career aspirations?
8. What skills will you have the opportunity to develop at this internship?
9. What are the costs to you in taking this internship? (Examples include travel, housing & tuition)
10. What monetary benefits will this internship provide you with? (Some internships provide stipends, housing accommodations, hourly pay or salary to name a few)

When all is said and done, if you still have questions about an internship, utilize your campus career services. UW-Madison L&S students can stop by L&S Career Services Monday-Friday from 12:00-1:00pm for internship drop-ins.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

L&S Career Services is Open for Break!

Looking for a New Year's Resolution?

Discover the resources at L&S Career Services in 2012.

Top 10 reasons to stop by Career Services:
1) You've declared your major, but unsure what you can do with it in the "Real World"
2) You want to find an internship, but not sure where to start
3) The Public Service Fair (Jan. 26) and Career and Internship Fair (Jan. 31) are just around the corner- gotta get that resume up to date!
4) Free Oscar Mayer Wiener Whistles at the front desk
5) How soon do I start job searching?
6) You've studied abroad, but unsure how to market that in your resume/ interview
7) Check out the newly formed Academic and Career Advising Center
8) BuckyNet... what is that?
9) A little nervous for interviews? We can give you tips on how to prep.
10) Friends all out of town? Come see our staff's smiling faces.

Note: Drop-in hours are canceled through January 13, so please make an appointment by calling the front desk at 608-262-3921

Happy Holidays!