Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Testimonials and Success Stories From L&S Career Services Spring Break Job Shadow Program

The L&S Career Services Spring Break Job Shadow Program, which occurred during Spring Break (April 2 to 6, 2012) was a very successful opportunity for approximately 16 students to visit 7 employers in major geographical regions of the U.S. The goal of the program was for students to explore their career interests and goals, learn about various types of job functions at an employer, and build a network of professionals and mentors. In turn, students were able to identify internship and full-time opportunities available at the employers.   Participating employers in the program were Covance, Her Exchange, John Kohler Arts Center, Rockwell Automation, Teach for America, UW Credit Union, and Wisconsin Trails Magazine.

Most of the employer hosts were UW alumni that either worked directly with L&S Career Services or with other UW affiliated programs. The alumni hosts provided opportunities for students to observe meetings, go on informational interviews, do case studies, and get some hands-in practice with various job functions.

We are pleased to share some testimonials and success stories from both the student and employer hosts. These were drawn from the results of a survey sent to the participants and hosts.   Our office looks forward to building on the success of this program as we look ahead to the summer and coming academic year.   Please do not hesitate to contact me for any additional information or if you have any questions.   Meanwhile, please enjoy the testimonials!    Greg Iaccarino,


Do you have a better understanding of the types of jobs at the employers you visited?
What did you learn?

At the UW Credit Union headquarters I learned quite a deal about the various positions, the organizational structure, the benefits of the company, and the education and experience background of many of the current employees.

I learned how the UWCU works and runs. It helped me understand more about different positions and their roles.

I shadowed  a TFA Teacher  at Hayes Bilingual Elementary. It was interesting to see a fourth grade classroom in action and it helped me figure out which age I would like to teach if I become a teacher and/or participate in Teach for America. I was pretty set on doing Teach for America before hand and I am just as sure now.

My experience with TFA was excellent, Kurt did a great job of both answering my questions and showing me what an average day looked like. I was able to hear about the legitimate pros and cons of the program  and learn more about the type of skills and attributes necessary to succeed in the problem.

I learned the company culture, and what specific jobs each employer does.

The job shadow was very helpful in showing the job positions and guaging my own personal interest.
L&S Career Services and the employer I visited were very helpful in setting up everything very well and laying out a structured plan for everyone.

Thank you for setting up these opportunities in the community.


What were some positive aspects about your visits with the students?
Did you find your time to be positive and productive with the students that you worked with? 
Did you sense that the students felt that they had a quality experience at your organization?

I felt that the time my colleagues and I spent with the student who shadowed for the day was very beneficial. I think she learned a lot about HR - the way that departments are structured in a large organization, the different types of roles, internships, what we do day-to-day etc. We also talked a lot about the transition from college into the working world - both positives and challenges. We would like to stay in touch with the student who came in to discuss future internship opportunities with her.

We perceived that the students had a very positive experience. 

One of the UW students stayed until the end of the day and did a question and answer session with my fourth graders. My students were really excited to have a college student in the classroom and had a lot of great questions for him. Will was very gracious with his time during the day and was a great sport answering questions my students had.

My visitor asked a lot of great questions and was able to see what TFA was like first-hand.  I also had an opportunity to introduce him to co-workers and my principal, who essentially offered to provide an interview if he decided to do the program in the St. Louis area in two years.  Overall, it seemed like a good experience on all fronts.

Our student was very inquisitive, and we felt she asked a lot of appropriate questions about our organization and about HR.   Good job preparing her!

I like the idea of the program, and hope such efforts continue on a larger scale in the future.  In these times as the costs of higher education continue to increase due to lack of state and federal funding and the lengthening of average time to graduation for many students, it's important that students (especially in the letters and sciences, where the path to a career is often not as explicit as say in business or in a professional program) have career exploration opportunities.  Tapping into the broad Badger network is a great way to provide such experiences.

By Greg Iaccarino, Career & Internship Advisor, Job Shadow Program Coordinator

Monday, April 23, 2012

My Experience as a Peer Advisor

Students often complain about the part-time jobs they have during college; however, I am proud to say that I am extremely content with my job at Career Services. I am sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and have been working for Career Services for one year now.  As a peer advisor for the College of Letters and Science Career Services, I have learned a tremendous amount about the exciting and intimidating world of professional development.  Through my training as an advisor and interaction with both career development professionals and a variety of employers, I have grown from an overwhelmed student worrying about my future career to a more focused and confident young professional.

When I was first hired by Career Services, I didn’t understand what my new office actually did.  I always thought of advisors as people who helped you pick out classes and made sure you graduate on time.  On my first day of work, I was instructed on the rules of resumes.  After getting an example of what an excellent resume should look like, I thought about my own resume and how it matched up in comparison.  As it turns out, my resume was pretty terrible, but over time, I learned how to improve both my own resume and those of the students I assisted.  As I became more confident in my abilities to offer students advice, I began to learn not only about resumes, but also cover letters, interviewing skills, graduate school options, career possibilities, and the inner workings of the professional world.  I have become more comfortable in my interactions with professionals in a business setting and improved my interpersonal and public speaking abilities.  After working as a peer advisor, I am no longer afraid of entering the real world, but am instead excited and looking forward to the next phase of my life.

Working in L&S Career Services has provided me with so many opportunities, from learning about my personal career goals and values to making wonderful new friends, and without it, I would be a different person than I am today.  While part-time jobs may sometimes seem like just a way to make money while going to school, you can gain a lot of valuable skills that are relevant to the full time job you’ll be looking for one day.  Think about the skills you are developing at your part-time jobs and how these relate to the skills that employers are looking for in applicants.  Interested in finding out what skills employers look for the most?  Check out this website -  Maybe you’re developing some of these skills at your part-time job!

Best of luck in your career development,

Jared LeBlanc
L&S Career Services Peer Advisor

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Is Your Resume Ready for the UW STEM Fair?

If you are planning to attend the UW STEM fair tomorrow, you want to make sure your resume is in top shape.

When crafting your resume, keep in mind these essential ideas:
  • Clarity. Easy to Read- clean format, not too fancy
  • Concise. Describe your experiences, skills and achievements in bullet points rather than full sentences
  • Consistency. With fonts and placements
  • Relevancy. Highlight the most relevant information. Place it towards the top of your resume.
Speaking of relevancy, consider including a skills section in your resume. This can help you stand out by highlighting important programs, lab techniques, etc. that employers often look for in technical fields.


Computer: Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint (proficient),
Microsoft Access, Page Maker (familiar)
Languages: French (proficient), Swahili (conversational)
Laboratory: DNA Cloning, ELISA, IR Spectrophotometry

One thing many students don't think about including in their resume is school work. If you don't have much related experience and are looking for that first internship or related job opportunity, consider including some class projects where you gained some related knowledge and skills.


Related Experience
Project Name Fall 2011
Course Name Madison, WI
  • Description of the nature of the project
  • Describe any skills or knowledge gained, accomplishments

Thursday, April 12
1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Main Lobby, Engineering Centers Building
*Admission for UW-Madison students and alumni only

A list of employers attending can be found at: