Jenny Mendoza is the Communications Intern within the Xavier University Career Development Office. Her blog posts will feature peer-to-peer career advice and guest bloggers including employers and alumni.
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.
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.
you attend the post-grad fair during your
time at Xavier?
I did attend! I went my Junior and Senior years.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Although Matthew’s experience was
within the United States, there are many international opportunities as well! A
year of service could be a great opportunity to explore a career field and gain
experience. To find out, attend the
Graduate School and Year-of-Service Fair on October 28!
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
·Dress professionally and appropriately.
·Be confident- keep eye contact and practice a
·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
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!
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
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
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
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!
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.
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!
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.
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
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
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.
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!
the Easter Bunny brings you a job or internship,
“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:
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!