Monday, September 15, 2014

Top 10 Things Employers are looking for on Studying Abroad: How will you develop these skills and abilities?

To put things in a few words, study abroad is… pretty awesome. Right? We all know how exciting it is to not only dream of traveling the world but making that dream come true. You make up your mind. You pack up your suitcase and without looking back; you take on an adventure to sail around the world for several weeks, months, or the whole year. You begin to wonder what happens next after going abroad and coming back to tell the tale of an AMAZING EXPERIENCE!!! I know you are thinking, how I can condense SUCH enormous experience into brief statements to share with a potential employer who wants to know what skills and abilities you developed as you sailed around the world. Luckily, several study abroad professionals have several answers to this question. Common wisdom has it that those who studied abroad have greater advantage over those who were too afraid to go places. Whether or not you traveled abroad, the skills and abilities you acquired may be easily transferrable into the working world if and only if you are able to link your skills and abilities to match those of the company. Here at the International Programs, we have identified some skills and abilities employers are looking for at the end of your adventure:
  • An independent thinker yet still a major asset to any group or team
  • Have a diverse and knowledgeable worldview
  • Think objectively and have a calm demeanor
  • Ability to communicate effectively in another language and/or cross-culturally
  • Showcases independent thinking and resourcefulness.
  • Flexibility- you have experienced a realm of good and interesting experiences and are probably able to better understand how important something is. Is it a crisis or just a small set back. Studying abroad allows an attitude of having an idea on the ‘big picture’ which cannot usually be gain unless it is first hand.
  • Global corporations highly value students’ who are exposed to different cultures, show independence and self-awareness.
  • Study abroad candidates have an advantage in interviews because they are better prepared for interview questions and more comfortable meeting future employers.
  • Interviewees who study abroad are able to incorporate examples of their study abroad experiences to answer complex interview questions.
  • You are a great in international asset
  • You don’t get flustered every time someone with an accent speaks to you (or at least, not anymore). These characteristics are fantastic to have, especially if you are applying for a position that will require you to deal with anything internationally.
  • In the end, YOU ARE COOL!
- Rachael Awoyemi, Peer Advisor, International Programs Office
Rachael Awoyemi

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Top 100? (Really?) resume and interviewing tips to land your part-time job!

The new school year has officially begun! It’s a very exciting time, full of food, fun, and non-stop activities. Of course, the majority of you will not be able to fully appreciate this time, because you can’t stop thinking about finding a job. Whether you are looking for an on or off-campus job, the search can be exhausting. Here at the CDC, we have compiled a list of the top 100 ways that you can better prepare yourself for landing a part-time job. 

#72 – Relax, the job search can be difficult, but it can be rewarding and will help you build your skills for your future careers.

#81 – Don’t use comic sans as your font in any of your materials. NO MATTER WHAT!

….OK, I’m just kidding. You are not going to get a list of 100 tips, because ain’t nobody got time for that!

However, I will give you a short list of resume and interview tips that will hopefully make the process easier. These tips will help get you started, but if you want more in-depth information, then stop by the Career Development Center for Quickstop, which is from 11am-2pm Monday-Friday. This is the top 5 (maybe 6) tips for resumes and interviews.

  1. Include your contact information (and keep it updated)! Oh, and a quick reminder to update your voicemail message when you start applying so that potential employers don’t have to hear the song, “Who let the dogs out,” before trying to offer you an interview.
  2. Don’t sell yourself short – remember to include non-paid experience, such as volunteer work, as well as any paid experience that you might have had. All your experiences contribute to who you are as a person and as employee. Don’t give the employer an incomplete picture. You never know what might pique their interest
  3. Have your resume reviewed, even if it isn’t by the Career Development Center. Having another set of eyes can help you get a better idea of how others view your resume.
  4. Be careful about what you include before you started college. Often, high school attendance is not very important once you are admitted to college. Also, if you were very active in high school, it might look strange if you have decided to not continue participating in the same areas when in college
  5. Before an interview, take some time to think about your experiences. Take some time to write down some stories that you want to tell in your interview or even some potential answers to tough interview questions. Any interview can be stressful and there is no need to add additional anxiety by having to search for answers and examples to give when you haven’t given it any thought.
  6. Be yourself! Sure, it may seem like simple advice, but it is one that students often forget when job searching. The person who is hiring wants to know what you bring to the table, but they also want to know who you are as a person. You are already in school, working towards a long-term goal and currently achieving it! How can you stand out if you are trying too hard to blend in?

Hopefully, some of these tips will help you. As always, feel free to make an appointment with any of our fine staff in the Career Development Center if you need a more personal touch in your job search. Just remember, winter break is only 15 weeks away!

- Josh Foss, Graduate Student
Josh Foss

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

How do I find a part-time job?

Part-Time Job PowerPoint

How do I find a part-time job while in school? On campus?

Everywhere you go on campus you will see students working. Students are directing traffic, selling textbooks and snacks at the CSU, washing dishes, writing parking tickets, and refereeing games at Campus Recreation. 

Many of these students found their job on but some also used “Networking” as a method for finding a job. Networking is just communicating with people about possible opportunities. Get out there and ask around. Talk to everyone about your interest in finding work. 

Start with the areas you are interested in. Do you work out at the gym every morning? Maybe the Recreation Department needs help at the gym. Are you good at Math? Maybe the Center for Academic Success needs a math tutor. Are you a Law Enforcement major? Maybe Campus Security has an opening or will have an opening soon. 

Some Networking Tips – make a good first impression, keep it friendly and enthusiastic rather than desperate and intense, and find ways to make it easy by getting involved with clubs or volunteering.

For most students off campus jobs are also a good option to consider. Did you know it only takes 20 minutes to walk the 1 mile to downtown Mankato? Local employers depend on college students to fill many part time jobs and the Mankato area has been growing very fast recently. Take advantage of this local growth spurt by knowing this will mean more jobs and maybe you are a perfect fit for one of those opportunities.

Don't forget to go to the annual "Campus & Community/Part-time Job Fair" (Sept 4, 10am-1pm at Myers Field House) where this all comes together in one place and one event; talk to campus organizations and local businesses, get leads on potential job opportunities, submit applications, enjoy the free food and more!

- Matt Carlson, Career Exploration Coordinator

Matt Carlson

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

“Welcome to Mr. Slushy Dawg, may I take your order?”

Welcome back to classes, Mavericks!

With some luck, your internship, part-time job, or volunteer experience over the summer was something directly related to the career you want to pursue after graduation, and the skills and experiences you had are a no-brainer for your resume. If so, that’s great - write it all down now before you forget, so your resume is ready to go when that next dream opportunity comes at you out of the middle of nowhere!

For the rest of us who ended up working at the Mr. Slushy Dawgs of the world, we may need to put a little more thought into how we list that job on our resumes, to show off our best selves to potential future employers.

Bottom line is, you need to be thinking about “transferable skills”.  Sure you were slinging hot dogs all summer – but was that really all you were doing?  If you think about it, you were:
  • Prioritizing and organizing different work orders
  • Practicing good customer service skills through setting customer expectations, and politely and professionally handling difficult situations and customers
  • Working as part of a team, potentially even leading a team, or filling in for other roles and responsibilities as needed
  • Being responsible by showing up when you said you would, and maybe even on time!

And lots more, I’m sure.  Guess what? These are all skills that employers – all employers – are looking for!  If you can translate your transferable skills into a resume, and give solid examples of how you practiced those skills in an interview, you’re going to be just fine whenever you apply for your next job – whether that’s in accounting, or nursing, or construction, or managing a music studio - wherever you want to go!

Need help? Stop by QuickStop here at the Career Development Center (WA209) between 11am-2pm, Monday through Friday, for a quick 15 minute walk-in session, and we’ll be glad to help!

Don’t have time, or aren’t ready for an in-person chat? Check out some of our online resources – one of our favorites is the Career Development Center’s own Job Search Handbook, but we have lots more resources available on our website as well:

Need a hint on what types of transferable skills you might have picked up over the summer without even realizing it?  Check out the lists here for some ideas:

As always, we’re just a phone call or email away, and we’d be glad to help you sort out any questions you might have about translating your skills in a way that will make you a very attractive candidate to future potential employers!

Career Development Center

Monday, August 4, 2014

5 Tips to Become Successful In College

We all have different reasons for attending college - some want to expand their way of thinking, or gain a competitive edge in their field of study, and others simply want to make more money. In the end, we all strive to become successful in college and meet the expectations we have set for ourselves. At this point you are probably thinking, how do I strive to be successful in college? Well have no fear, this blog will provide you with some general tips to become a successful college student!

1.       Show up to class
  • First things first, you got to show up to class. Don’t press the Snooze button. Get up and go to class! This shows how you have good time management skills, and the willingness to learn new things.   

2.       Stay Organized
  • Possibly use a planner to keep track of what assignments are due for all of your classes. Take the time to print up all of your syllabi and sit down with a planner to stay organized and on top of your game for all your classes.

2.       Become familiar with resources around campus
  • Go the extra MILE and Explore campus to see all the great resources MSU has to offer you. For instance, the Center for Academic Success is a wonderful place to accommodate all of your tutoring needs. If you need help with any subject you are studying, the Center for Academic Success is the place to be.    

3.       Don’t PROCRASTINATE
  • “Oh I will just study the day before the exam and I’ll be fine.” DON’T DO IT! Plan in advance and set time aside to study for the big exam. Develop good study habits to avoid studying the night before the exam. Gather some of your classmates together to form a study group, or go solo. Plan in advance how much time you need to study for each of your classes.

4.       Get involved on campus
  • There is always something exciting happening on campus. Check out all of the student organizations being offered through Student Activities or possibly create a new student organization and become the president.  There is always something going on at the CSU.  

Overall, just show up to campus with a positive attitude ready to learn and bring a smile, ready to take on new challenges, and to gain great experiences. Also, check out these links about being successful in college:

- Antonio Moore, Graduate Assistant, Career Development Center

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

6 Reasons why YOU should use MavJobs!

THIS JUST IN! MavJobs is constantly trying to find ways to improve, and make your experience using the job search engine one you won’t forget, and here is why you should use MavJobs.    

1.    Great For Storing Your Resume and Possibly Landing A Job
MavJobs is a great place to showcase your experiences to employers and really show off your talents. Additionally, employers can search resumes on Mavjobs and possibly land a job, and/or internship, so try uploading your resume. Eliminate the hassle of searching for your resume, because you will have it conveniently uploaded on to MavJobs. No more searching through piles of emails, and no more thinking “where did I last save my resume?” because your resume will be saved on MavJobs.    

2.    Job Search Site With Strong Ties To MSU Alumni
“The Maverick pride is strong with this one”; Minnesota State University, Mankato is such an AWESOME university that employers specifically post job openings to MavJobs to get people like you. 

3.    Want To Work Overseas?
Well MavJobs has you covered! By connecting you with sites like Going Global and USA Jobs you are able to get connected to job and internship opportunities around the world.  

4.    Keeping You In The Loop
The news feed on the home page of MavJobs is great for keeping you in the loop of what events and fairs the CDC will be hosting, and providing you with advice on career-related topics. Job and internship openings are also posted in the news feed to keep you up to date on what is currently available for you. Don’t be left out of the loop; check out the MavJobs news feed. 

5.    Investigate Possible Careers
Learn about different careers through Mavjobs under the “Explore Career Resources” tab. You are able to do some investigating to determine a career path and see what steps you will need to take to be a professional in a specific field you desire. Take a look under “Learn about potential employers” tab to do some additional investigating - take on the role of Sherlock Holmes, to break the case and discover your potential career! 

6.    Scheduling Appointment Made Easy
MavJobs makes it easier to schedule an appointment with a career counselor here at the CDC.  You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your dorm room or apartment, or even your bed, to schedule an appointment. If you have a computer handy, just log into Mavjobs and scroll down a bit, on the right hand side of the screen you will find the “Schedule an appointment” shortcut.

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Now that you read this blog about MavJobs, and discovered all the cool stuff you can possibly do, go experience MavJobs for yourself. The experience is truly one you won’t forget.

- Antonio Moore, Graduate Assistant, Career Development Center