Let's make it an efficient Christmas!

Written on 5:35 AM by Xavier Career Development

Class, caf bonding, rigorous walks to class, work, updating music for the iPod, extracurricular activities, keeping up with a hectic Twitter & Instagram feed— trust me, I know there is no time in our day to set aside a couple hours to search, prepare, and apply for jobs.  We all prefer to put it off and have it sit in the back of our minds to stress us out.

Instead of procrastinating, take advantage of your time over Christmas break!  Make a quick list of some things you would love to have done when you come back in January.  Here are some ideas…

-          Shop for professional attire (while you can maybe squeeze it on your parent’s dime!)
-          Research open positions- Click here to use the e-recruiting site to see available jobs!
-          Write or edit your resume
-          Talk with your parents about your major/career plans
-          Make a folder of work samples
-          Create or enhance your LinkedIn page-  Click here to visit LinkedIn.com
-          Apply for 5 jobs
-          Meet with your mentor
-          Talk to your uncle/aunt/cousin about their jobs and career paths
-          Schedule an informational interview with someone holding  your dream position
-          Find places to volunteer or clubs to join to strengthen your resume

I asked a couple fellow musketeers what they hoped to accomplish with their free time over Christmas break.
Senior psychology major, Lauren Heap, is a Colorado native that spoke of her goals for Christmas break, “I want to research different positions available in Colorado.  While I’m home I really want to network with local companies so I can get a job in Denver after graduation.”

Sophomore, Shane Crutchfield said, “My dad is an executive recruiter so he sees several LinkedIn pages and resumes every day.  It can be hard to get his help over the phone so I want to sit down with my dad and get his help with strengthening my resume and LinkedIn page.  I want to get this done so I am already prepared for opportunities that arise in the future.”

Maybe you could even throw some items on your Christmas wish list.
-          A simple necklace to complete your “workplace chic” look
-          The perfect tie to nail the interview
-          A padfolio to impress employers

Career opportunities can arise when you least expect them.  With tests, papers, work, and everything else going on, it is hard to give the job search your full attention and focus.  Therefore, over Christmas break, get things done so when an opportunity arises you are already prepared and are ready to present your best self. 

Happy Holidays Muskies,
Bridget Tully
Career Development Office Intern

MAJOR Decisions- Tips for Undecided Students

Written on 1:10 PM by Xavier Career Development

Deciding a major feels like a big decision that no one wants to make because it seems like you are determining the rest of your life!  However, it is nothing to stress about!  You just need to do your research and make an informed decision.  Companies today do not rely on your major as heavily as they do the skills & abilities you can bring to the table.
I did not declare my major until my sophomore year at Xavier.  When I came to college I knew what I was interested in, but I did not feel like I was informed enough to make the best decision.  I didn’t want to declare a major because I didn’t want to end up in a study that I didn’t enjoy. 

Therefore, my freshmen year I focused a lot on my core requirements and enrolled in classes that would teach me more about different areas of study.  I also had several conversations with older students who were declared majors in the areas I was interested in.  It really helped speaking with other students because they gave me real advice and experiences.  I would ask about the teachers, the work load, the types of assignments, the opportunities their major presented, if they would’ve done anything differently, and anything else that I would wonder but probably wouldn’t ask a teacher. 

I also went to the Career Development Office and met with a career counselor.  This was a resource that helped me in a different way than students were able to.  I sat down with the counselor and listed things that I enjoyed doing and then listed things I did not enjoy as much.  We also discussed my ideal jobs and areas that I would love to pursue.  My counselor was able to tell me about specifics in certain job areas.  She told me the kind of work that might typically occur day to day, what the pay is like, what my responsibilities might include, etc.  It was very helpful to sit down with an adult who has a grasp of life after college.

So before you let the decision stress you out, just take a breather and do as much research as you can!  It is so helpful to ask around and get different perspectives.  Xavier offers so many great programs that you can’t go wrong!  Call the Career Development Office today, or visit us online, to schedule with a career counselor to discuss your options!

Love and Muskie Pride,
Bridget Tully
Career Development Office Intern

What can Post-Grad Volunteering do for you?

Written on 7:19 AM by Xavier Career Development

Are you thinking that you're not quite sure about diving into the job market or grad school after Xavier?  Not a problem! Consider a gap year or more of post-graduate service by attending the Post-Graduate Volunteer Fair.  Xavier graduate, Stephanie Howes, describes her life changing experience with Post-Grad Volunteering. 

When I was a senior in college, I was stressing out about applying to grad school and all the work that would follow once accepted. I needed a break from school but I didn’t want to be that recent biology grad that worked in a lab and lived at home.  I wanted an adventure that would allow me to give back. While I was struggling with this decision, the Center for Faith and Justice held the Post-Grad Volunteer Fair. Attending this fair led me to the perfect post-grad opportunity.
When I first got to the fair, it was a little overwhelming. There are a lot of options out there. Thankfully, I had a good mentor at the CFJ who helped me narrow it down to only the projects I was passionate about. I decided that I wanted to work with women or children who have been abused or neglected in some way. This led me to Good Shepherd Volunteers (GSV) because of its mission to provide “full-time volunteers with the opportunity to use their God-given talents to serve women, adolescents, and children affected by poverty, violence, and neglect”. Originally I thought I wanted to go abroad, but through my discernment and interview process, I realized that I should volunteer in my own country and understand the need here before going anywhere else.
In August of 2012, I began my year as a GSV in New York City working with foster care youth in the Bronx. I moved into my apartment in Astoria, Queens, which gave me an opportunity to explore one of the world’s best cities with a built-in group of friends. On top of the volunteer experience, I was able to experience the different cultures NYC has to offer. I learned about race relations through my co-workers and learned about cultural festivals such as Holi (see photo) through the free events around the city. Throughout my year, I was amazed by all the city had to offer and how much fun I was having.
This year was also an important year of personal growth. I learned how to live in NYC on $200 a month for food and recreation. Professionally, I learned how to be a productive member of a busy social services team. I learned about the psychological issues and social justice issues surrounding bad parenting and a broken foster care system. This was hard because I never even looked into foster care. This caused me nights of crying over horrible stories of abuse and neglect, and days of smiles and celebrations of accomplishments of the youth with whom I worked. On top of all this, I learned about me.
My volunteer year created an opportunity for me to learn about myself. I lived in an intentional community with 6 other people. We all had varying religions, worldviews, personalities and experiences. My community members taught me how to resolve conflicts and how to really “agree to disagree”. I learned about Buddhism, Agnostics, and how to be open to questioning. They pointed out questions about my faith and life and helped me to find answers. I learned about my personality and how I present myself. I now have a better understanding of how people perceive me and how to be a more emotionally healthy person. This all came through tools and support that my volunteer staff, co-workers and work supervisors gave to me.
As my year came to an end, the GSV staff asked the current volunteers if anyone would like to go abroad. Since this was my original plan, I was really interested in the opportunity. I was eager to spend another year living in a community with marginalized people and the changes that it would bring to my worldview. I am excited to tell you that in January, I will be starting my second GSV year by moving to Nong Khai, Thailand. There I will be working with communities affected and infected by HIV/AIDS. This will only help my future goals of being a public health official. To learn more about my program please visit: www.gsvolunteers.org or to learn more about next year please go to: https://app.etapestry.com/onlineforms/GoodShepherdVolunteersInc/stephaniehowes.html
I hope that you too consider the post-grad volunteering option. You never know how giving a year to others will change you.

-Stephanie Howes, Guest Blogger
 Xavier University Class of 2012

The Post-Grad Volunteer option could be the best decision for you!  But there is only one way to find out so be sure to attend the Post Graduate Volunteer Fair on October 30th.  Click here to learn more! 

Your possibilities are endless Muskies,
Bridget Tully
Career Development Office Intern 

Let The Job Choose You

Written on 6:32 AM by Xavier Career Development

The thought of joining the “real world” is an exciting, yet scary and stressful idea to ponder.  For that reason I figured it would be helpful to hear about the experience from a recent Xavier grad.  Leslie Boersma graduated from Xavier in May 2012 with a degree in organizational communications and a minor in psychology.  She now works full time as a special events coordinator at the Children’s Hospital Foundation in Colorado.  Here’s what she had to say about her first grown up job!

After talking to Leslie and hearing how much she enjoys what she is doing, my first question was how did she manage to land this coveted position so early in her career?  She told me it was a long journey but it started by simply following what she loves. 

Leslie described to me that her first experience with a non-profit organization was when she volunteered at a Make-A-Wish Foundation event her senior year at X.  That opened her eyes to the concept of raising money for a good cause through fun events.  After learning more about the culture and dynamic of non-profits, she knew that field was something she wanted to be a part of.  Then, after graduation Leslie returned home to Colorado and got a job working at a camp for children with life threatening illnesses. 

I asked her about that experience and she joked, “Well I think essentially they were paying me to be there because the pay was that bad.  But that part did not matter for me because I loved it so much and I was able to constantly meet families, children, and doctors who were involved at the Children’s Hospital which ultimately was where I wanted to be.”  Leslie explained that her experience in the field and her networking opportunities were the difference that allowed her to stand out and land her event coordinating position. 

Leslie is part of a special events team that manages 90-120 events per year.  Her typical daily responsibility is to foster the relationships that go along with event fundraising.  A few of Leslie’s responsibilities include: taking on volunteer recruitment and management, assisting the families with their donation process, and connecting with local community organizations to find ways for them to help.  

“It doesn’t feel like work when I get to work with women I consider friends.  On top of that, I get to plan fun events like golf tournaments, marathons, and fashion shows that raise millions of dollars to save children’s lives.  I get to meet sick children and their families and then have the opportunity to make a difference in their life and see that result first hand.” 

I asked Leslie what her advice would be for students getting ready to join the work force and she emphasized networking, getting experience in the related field, and following what you love to do.  She didn’t know exactly where she wanted to end up working, but she continued to pursue and learn about areas that interested her and from there she said, “The job chose her.”

Love and Muskie Pride,
Bridget Tully
Career Development Office Inter

Career Fair- Advice, Tips, Tricks, Guidance... Call it what you want, we've got it all!

Written on 7:03 AM by Xavier Career Development

Anyone who has attended one of Xavier’s Career Fairs can tell you how beneficial they are.  However, unless you prepare properly, a Career Fair can be overwhelming.  Let me share with you some things that I have done in the past to get myself Career Fair ready. 

Going to a Career Fair is a lot like going to the mall; if you do not map out your route then you waste a lot of time wandering aimlessly.  For example, would you walk into a Pottery Barn if you’re searching for a breathtaking Friday night outfit?   No, you wouldn’t.  The same concept applies to the Career Fair.  If an organization is looking for interns with a strong interest in biology, and let’s say bio isn’t your forte, then don’t make that organization a top priority.  Doing your research beforehand and knowing which employers you want to talk to allows you to be efficient and get the most out of your Career Fair experience. 

Tips to Prep
-          Research organizations attending the fair and see which ones match your interests
-          Prioritize the organizations
·         Organizations you LOVE that you can’t leave the fair without talking to
·         Organizations that maybe aren’t hiring now for what you’re looking for but you still want to learn more about them
·         Organizations that if you have extra time you could stop by to network
-          Spruce up that resume & make several copies!  Make a few specific resumes for the companies you have strong interest in and fit well with.
-          Dress to impress!  Make sure you have an appropriate attire prepared
-          Write up general questions so you are ready for any conversation

And if you don’t want to take my word for it, we asked employers attending the fair to give students their best advice.  After seeing the responses, there were a few tips that seemed to be reoccurring…

-          Research organizations that you have a strong interest in!  This will allow you to highlight your strengths in relation to the company and the positions they are recruiting for.  It will also show the employer that you are very interested and informed on the position. 
-          Dress appropriately to make the best first impression
-          Be confident with eye contact and a firm handshake; don’t be afraid to talk about your strengths
-          Be yourself and be personable

Just remember, a recruiting manager might meet a hundred people at a Career Fair so be sure to do everything you can to make yourself STAND OUT! 

Visit the CDO website for more details about the Career Fair and to view the list of employers attending.

Best of luck!  I know you’ll do great,
Bridget Tully
Career Development Office Intern

All signs point to Mentor Program

Written on 5:52 AM by Xavier Career Development

Don’t you wish you had an insider on the world of work?  Lucky for you that is exactly what Xavier’s Mentor Program offers!  Having a mentor is essentially having a personal expert available to assist your every professional and personal endeavor.   A mentor is just one more way to gain guidance and insight that will prepare you for the real world that we are all so terrified of! 

Senior entrepreneurial studies and English major, Robyn Campbell, shares her experience with the Mentor Program and tells us how it helped her.

The mentorship program is a must-have. I met my incredible mentor, Bill Woods, during my sophomore year. He’s helped me grow academically, professionally, and even personally. As a sophomore, I knew I loved writing and business, but was unsure how to combine the two. Bill encouraged me to pick up a major/minor that incorporated both of my passions, and we discussed the best courses for me to take. He also sent me articles that demonstrated how I could combine my love of Entrepreneurship with my love of writing. On a personal level, we discussed shared hobbies, family stories, vacation plans, and current life events.  He even gave me advice about dating! All in all, I learned a lot from him. I am honored to have him as a mentor, and would highly recommend the mentorship program to anyone who needs academic, professional, or personal guidance.
-Robyn Campbell, Guest Blogger
Majors:  Entrepreneurial Studies & English

The Mentor Program is designed to assist students in developing their character, academic and professional skills and social responsibilities.  Freshmen be sure to keep this program in mind when you head into your second year at Xavier!

The program is not just designed for business majors, I was matched with my mentor as a junior communication studies major.  With a hectic schedule I thought I would never have the time for a mentor; but creating a mentor relationship was one of the smartest decisions I have ever made.  My mentor has helped me immensely with my professional efforts; whether it be by giving suggestions for interview attire, helping me to strengthen my resume, or providing me with helpful tips to make myself marketable.  I have met with my mentor in person with my favorite Starbucks Java Chip Frappuccino in hand and I have sent my mentor rushed e-mails with a quick advice question.  Whatever it may be, the Mentor Program is an easy process that will provide you with several advantages!  I would highly recommend the Xavier Mentor Program to anyone and everyone striving for professional success!

To participate in the Xavier Mentor Program, attend one of the Information Sessions  in Smith Hall 137.

Until next time Muskies,
Bridget Tully
Career Development Office Intern

Let's get the party started Muskies!

Written on 1:50 PM by Xavier Career Development

Start this school year out right with some assistance from the pros, aka us, aka The Career Development Office.   We’re here for you!  Come to the CDO for any questions or assistance you need to plan your career as a student and in the real world.  We offer major/career planning and decision-making assistance for everyone.

Surgeon?   Lawyer?   Teacher?  CEO?
Who knows what you’ll be.  College is filled with so much opportunity.  Try on different hats and figure out which ones fit!  It’s never too early (or too late) to start mapping out your career path.

Freshmen:  Start your Xavier career on the right foot!
It’s already hard enough to make decisions about school and work, but it’s even more difficult when you don’t have all the information.  Come to the CDO to get the low down on major planning, on-campus employment, career help and more.

Sophomores:  Start building that resume!  
We offer personalized coaching and networking assistance.  Need help with that resume or cover letter?  We help with that too.  You’ll be able to ace your interviews with confidence.

Juniors:  Don’t wait until the last minute!   
Practice makes perfect.  In order to get an internship and job experience, it’s essential to practice interview techniques.  Get that experience through mock interviews with the CDO.

Seniors:  It is almost time for the real world!  
We want to send you out into the world with an edge over the competition.  The CDO can help you with graduate school planning, individualized career coaching, and more.

The CDO is here to help everyone plan and realize their dreams.  Come on down and we’ll show you the ropes!  We’re looking forward to meeting you.

Love and Muskie Pride,
Bridget Tully
Career Development Office Intern