Year of Service: Living Out Our Ignatian Spirituality

Written on 1:37 PM by Xavier Career Development

“Go to college, a university. Get a real job-that’s what they said to me.” That’s what Joel Madden from Good Charlotte sang about our futures back in the year 2003. But this is the year 2014, and not all of us want to follow the routine pattern of jumping straight into a working environment immediately after graduation. Some of us are pursuing graduate school, and others are considering a year of service: being a man or woman for others and giving their time and talent to those truly in need. Xavier graduate Matthew Mellon, class of 2009, describes his life changing experience with post-grad volunteering.

What was your scenario that made you decide upon your year of service?
A year of service was a logical place to start my career after college. I always knew I wanted to work in something related to social justice. At that point in my life, I was also exploring the connection between social justice and faith. So, spending a year with the Lutheran Volunteer Corps fit my priorities quite well, because they were a faith-based program and most of their service placements were explicitly focused on social justice. 

Did you attend the post-grad fair at the Center for Faith and Justice during your time at Xavier?
I did attend! I went my Junior and Senior years.

What is it you did during your year of service?
Immediately after graduation, I went into my year of service with Lutheran Volunteer Corps. I was placed at DC Employment Justice Center, a law center for low-wage workers. I worked on the advocacy team, where I lobbied for workplace protections for low wage workers in Washington, DC at the city council. I also did some case work with our clients and helped them navigate legal issues related to their employment (I was supervised by an attorney). I heard about Lutheran Volunteer Corps (LVC) through a friend who had applied a year earlier. I also think I talked to them at Xavier's Post Grad Service Fair, but I can't remember for sure.

 Did this require you to re-locate from your hometown? Did you complete the year of service alone or with others you knew?
Yes, I left my hometown of Cincinnati, and relocated to DC. I didn't know anyone beforehand, but I became good friends with most of the other 21 people in my LVC cohort.

What are you most glad about after having completed your year?
Well, this is a bit difficult to answer. There are many things that I am deeply appreciative of after finishing my year of service (which was four years ago). If I had to pick one, I think it was learning about the policy-making process in DC City Council, and more importantly how important policy advocacy is in social justice work. Advocacy has been my career, in one way or another, since finishing my year of service.

What followed your year of service?
Right afterward, I started a one year leadership development program called Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellowship, which took me to Arizona to work on hunger related issues. After that, I moved back to DC and worked for several years in health policy, then as a researcher at a hospital. Now, I am in graduate school pursuing degrees in public health and public policy.

A year of service could be a viable option for you, but the definite way to find out is to attend the Graduate School and Year-of-Service Fair on October 28!
Click here for more information!

Cheers to the future,
Jenny Mendoza

The Career Games: We All Volunteer As Tributes

Written on 12:54 PM by Xavier Career Development

Hello fellow Musketeers and welcome back to what is going to be a great year here at Xavier University! The month of September has kicked off which means leaves are covering the ground, pumpkin spiced lattes are back, and let’s not forget something equally as exciting and important: The Fall Career Fair! The Career Fair is the time twice a year where all of us Xavier students are able to step forward, present our best professional selves, and throw ourselves into the working world force hoping to come out of the district (our in our case, Cintas Center) a winner! The Career Fair is Tuesday, September 16 from 3:00-6:00 in Cintas Center. For those who may not be familiar with what the Career Fair is, it is an event where over 84 registered organizations (such as Luxxotica, Dewey’s, and Kroger) will have the chance to meet students and alumni interested in full time and part time jobs, as well as internship positions.

The Fall Career Fair is not something to be intimated by, but is something that should be given some time and effort prior to attending- much like attending class! One word is going to lead to key success at the Fall Career Fair: research! Doing your research beforehand allows you to know both the employers present and whom they are looking to hire. Having this prepared knowledge is going to save yourself and the employers from wasting time and allows for more efficiency all around!

A few pro-tips that will allow for a successful career fair:
·         Research companies that are attending the fair, and match those to your degree and interest(s.)
·         Prioritize your time!
-          Stop by organizations that you are strongly interested in first.
-          Next, stop by organizations that may not be hiring in your field but you still have an interest in.
-          Finally, network yourself! Make yourself known-you never know when a recruiter could think of you!

After you have completed your research and are ready to attend the fair, keep the following in mind:
·         Re-vamp your resume and bring multiple copies with you!
·         Dress professionally and appropriately.
·         Be confident- keep eye contact and practice a firm handshake!
·         Most importantly, just be yourself!

Whether this will be the first career fair you attend, or this may be one of your final career fairs here at Xavier, the Career Development Office is always here to help and answer any questions you may have.

Check out our website:

May the odds be ever in your favor,
Jenny Mendoza




Summer-Work Hard, Play Hard

Written on 11:40 AM by Xavier Career Development

Summer. For some of us, we know exactly when that moment may begin- for me, summer begins on May 9th at 12 pm. While we may be able to pinpoint exactly when it is that our summers begin, are we all able to give a definition of what our summers may entail?

Summer is my favorite season and I would enjoy nothing more than catching up with friends, going swimming, and just having fun. As ideal as that sounds for a lot of people, summer actually can be the most productive season for your résumés!  Whether you are traveling, studying abroad, or working, summer is definitely the time to get a jump-start on your career path.

Working or having an internship isn’t the only thing that employers look for when reading résumés. The smallest things that you do can go a long way. A great example of this is volunteering. If you go on a weeklong service trip or just volunteer at the free clinic in your spare time, volunteering is something that employers love to see listed on your résumé. Remember to take down names and numbers of supervisors you worked with in order to use them as a resource later on down the road!

Studying abroad is another great résumé add-on. This shows that although you were not in the country working over the summer, you were focusing on your studies and still gaining great experience establishing yourself around the globe.

Finally, an internship, co-op, or full time or part time job is just as useful as any of the summer options already talked about. Whether it is a new experience or maybe a repeat of an experience from last summer, there is always something to add onto or spice up your résumé.  Keep your eyes open and remember the different ways that you made your work experience one to remember- whether it is updating the company website, creating ads, or promoting the business in your everyday life through social media!

So, whether you are working in a bakery or in a high-rise building downtown, be sure to make the most of your 3 month vacation. You only have so many to embrace!

From Chicago, Illinois
Jenny Mendoza

The How-To Guide for Social Media

Written on 7:37 AM by Xavier Career Development

Social media-we hear this phrase often in school, work, and pop culture. What exactly does it mean? Most people immediately think of the usual suspects Facebook and Twitter, but this is hardly the full definition of the term “social media.” Social media can be used for good, for bad, for fun, and for business.  As college students and growing adults in the work world, when and how can we properly use social media?

We all know the drill. You’re sitting in class or you’re sitting at work and suddenly the lecture or meeting becomes extremely boring so you go ahead and decide to check Twitter, or maybe even tweet about how boring that class or meeting is. Perhaps it’s a Monday morning and you’re sifting through your photos from the weekend, and decide to go ahead and post them- as flattering or as unflattering as they may be.

While all these things are certainly tasks to keep us busy and things to keep others entertained with, checking, posting, liking, swiping, pinning, or you name it may not always be the smartest or most career-savvy move. Since we are college students, hoping to move into the working world after graduation, it is important to remember that we should use our best judgment.

Think about it this way: if you were a boss or supervisor coming around checking on your employees and you see one of them sitting in their office being unproductive and checking their news feed, what would you think of this employee? You would see that they are not valuing their time at work and that they are re-directing their energy elsewhere. In another example, what if you and your boss were Facebook friends and s/he happened to see those not so flattering pictures of you and your friends out the weekend before? That’s probably not the image your boss would want representing the company you work for.

I myself use social media everyday and I know first hand it certainly is not easy to always be consciously thinking “Is this appropriate to share? Do I really care who sees it?” The good news is that in the work world, there for sure is one source of social media that is completely acceptable to be used during and outside of work: LinkedIn! LinkedIn is the professional social media site of the business world, it is Facebook with a suit. It is a networking site that allows you to upload your resume, connect with other professionals, and discover the latest news and professional ventures! LinkedIn is definitely something that employers love to see being constantly updated, and being used to help promote your career! 

So, in this crazy busy world where everyone wants to know where you are and how you feel about that doughnut you just bought from the coffee shop down the street, just remember that there is a time and place for everything. Maybe someone is looking to hire at that coffee shop and is interested in you!

On the flip-side of the computer screen,
Jenny Mendoza

eRecruiting: Making the internship search easier!

Written on 1:54 PM by Xavier Career Development

“Oh, get a job? Just get a job? Why don’t I strap on my job helmet and squeeze down into a job cannon and fire off into job land, where jobs grow on jobbies?!” Although this quote from Charlie Kelly may be a bit exaggerated, this is certainly how beginning the job or internship search process may seem.

The first step is the most challenging, and that is finding jobs or internships; whether they are right in your backyard or over 500 miles away. Google seems to be the answer to everything now-a-days. But rather than tirelessly typing “marketing internships in Chicago” or whatever major and location you’re interested in, there is a much simpler solution for us Xavier students- eRecruiting! eRecruiting is Xavier’s online job and internship site that is exclusive to Xavier students and alumni. Everyone has an account that is easy to use! To log in, use your 9 digit banner ID followed by XU. The password is Jobs. Now you’re in!
eRecruiting is a fantastic tool to use for many reasons. First off, this website is specifically tailored for Xavier students. Jobs, internships, and co-ops are all career-related opportunities from employers specifically seeking Xavier candidates. (Talk about the Power of X!) Once you find your ideal job or internship, most of the time all you have to do is upload your resume and cover letter, then click on “apply,” and voila! Super easy.

I personally love using eRecruiting because the website is very user-friendly and simple to follow.  Aside from most internship or job recruiting websites, eRecruiting allows you to specify exactly what it is you are looking for. Using the keyword function allows you to sort through a number of different search options from specific career functions to location! For example, if you wanted to zoom in on graphic design internships, you can search by those terms to find experiences related to that field.

On your personalized homepage, you will find a list of Xavier’s upcoming career events, programs, and job fairs; giving us Xavier students extra information we may find helpful. You can also sign up for on-campus interviews as well. Other links, such as Going Global, provide job seekers with helpful resources about job searching in US cities and other countries. So if you have always wanted to live in Italy, this resource will give you great tips on an international job search.

Along with being utilized as a “search engine,” eRecruiting allows you to become very personal with your search history. eRecruiting allows users to upload and save their resumes, cover letters, writing samples, and other documents. eRecruiting also keeps track of your application history in order for you to return and track your progress.
So, along with Easter, Reese’s Eggs, and warm spring weather, be sure to stay on top of the internship/job search! Recruiters are sitting on the other end of the computer screen awaiting your application- make it easy on yourself and utilize eRecruiting to your advantage!

Hoping the Easter Bunny brings you a job or internship,
Jenny Mendoza


Finding A Major, Not Necessarily The Answer

Written on 11:35 AM by Xavier Career Development

“You must declare a major by the end of your sophomore year” were probably the most intimidating 12 words I have heard in my two and a half years here at Xavier. Although I originally entered my first semester freshman year as an Athletic Training major, that game plan was one that was not fully executed. I found that was not the major for me, and was absolutely lost once I found myself to be undeclared. I had no idea where to even start thinking of new career ideas- because finding and declaring a major is basically setting the path for the rest of your life right? Nope! Not at all.

Knowing Xavier as the Jesuit institution where we are men and women for others, I turned to the Career Development Office and met with a career counselor. This resource was one that not even Google could help me with. I met with my counselor many times and discussed everything- she really wanted to know not just what it is I might want to do, but who I am and how I could fit in many career positions that I had never thought of myself.

I was able to discover this by taking three different assessments: MyPlan, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and the Strong Interest Inventory. Between all three of these assessments, I was able to view how my personal interests and work styles mashed together with not only various professions, but also their work environments and values. After I completed these, along with discussions with my counselor, the fog on my career window was gradually starting to fade away.

So, before you freak out and think that college just isn’t for you, take a deep breath and as the saying goes, “keep calm.” Don’t let the titles of the majors and minors offered at Xavier scare you into thinking you are destined to one career path and that you have to discover it alone. There are so many people available who want to help you out! Talking it out with an adult who has experienced the same things as you really is the best way to see all solutions to your task at hand.With Fall 2014 course scheduling around the corner, it’s a great time to start this process, whether you are undecided or unsure about your current major.

For more help on selecting a major or visiting Career Development, please visit:

All for One and One for All,
Jenny Mendoza

Interview Anxiety? Fear No More!

Written on 7:04 AM by Xavier Career Development


Job interview. One of the most daunting tasks on your calendar. Also, one of the most important tasks for college students to master.

It is hard to believe that it was my junior year of college before I had my first official interview for an internship. It was incredibly nerve-wracking. But, why? Why does it always seem so difficult to talk about yourself? The essential behavioral questions, strengths and weaknesses, and what if’s; it is almost always the same in every interview. So, for those of you who know exactly what I’m talking about, or for those of you who want to know, read on.

There are helpful hints about acing interviews everywhere you turn. In today’s market there are a multitude of successful and unique students striving for the same positions. We have no choice but to stand out and be remembered. Harvard Business Review author Amy Gallo offers a few quick and easy tips that actually do help, trust me. 

“Prepare, prepare, prepare.” Seriously, prepare. If you walk into an interview without knowing anything about the position, how are you going to market yourself as a perfect choice for that position? Make sure you know the qualities you have that align with the job description and make sure to address those confidently in the interview. Knowing yourself is the easy part. Make sure you also prepare by knowing the brand of the company, their mission and their vision for their employees, as well as their customers. If possible find out who is interviewing you, and dig up all the information you can on them. Prepare yourself by going into the interview knowing all about how you, the company, and the interviewer could be a great match.

“Emphasize your potential.” After all of your intricate preparation you may find that some parts of the job you are vying for are not necessarily your best skills. Keep in mind that no interviewer expects you to know how to do everything on the job description list perfectly. Exhibit the fact that you are willing to learn and that you’re good at learning, after all you are a Xavier student!

“Ace the first thirty seconds.” Your entire life you’ve been told that first impressions make a difference, well, with interviews it’s no different. Look the part, talk the part, and walk the part. Make sure you appear excited to be there, introduce yourself first, and stand up straight. Remember that even if you give a stellar answer to a question a blank facial expression will run it right into the ground. Your body language and facial expressions speak just as loud as your words, if not louder.  

In her article, Gallo offers more helpful tips, so for the full story click here. Make sure to keep an eye out for the post-spring break blog on declaring or changing a major. Until then, remember to take these tips to those interviews!

Good luck Muskies!
Victoria Sabato
Career Development Office Guest Blogger