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

Link Yourself to Success

Written on 8:23 AM by Xavier Career Development

Most college students have heard by now that they should create a LinkedIn profile.  If you haven’t already done so, creating a professional page would be a wise decision.  LinkedIn is an extremely powerful tool to help grow your professional career.  Not only does the site expand your professional network, but it communicates your personal brand and connects you to opportunities to help you grow your career and your business. 

Creating a profile is the easy part, but how do you make your page stand out to employers?  Here are some helpful tips to enhance your LinkedIn page. 

-       Be sure your profile photo represents you as a business professional… your picture is likely the first thing viewed and first impressions count! Lucky for you, the CDO is providing free professional head shots at the spring Career Fair on February 18th!

-       Have a strong headline to get noticed.  Your profile is not the place to be shy!  Write a concise yet descriptive headline to stand out.

-       Talk about ALL of your relevant experience!  Every experience makes you more marketable even if it isn’t paid or called by a fancy title.    

-       Add rich media to visually enhance your profile and showcase your work.  (40% of people respond better to visual info than plain text and 46.1% of people say a website’s design is the #1 criterion for determining the credibility of a company.)   

So now that you have a strong, stand out profile, here are some cool things you can take advantage of on LinkedIn.

-       Search the “Student Jobs Portal” for a list of all the entry-level job and internship postings on LinkedIn.

-       Ask your networks for help! 70% of jobs are found through networking, so don’t be afraid to reach out to your connections and ask about job openings or advice.

-       Visit “Company pages” of the organizations where you want to work and see if you’re connected to anyone who works there or has previously worked there. 

-       Check out LinkedIn’s “Alumni Tool” to see what Xavier grads are doing today.

There are so many different features to LinkedIn that students don’t realize are available.  It can be the major link to you landing your dream job.  So get out there, strengthen that profile, and start connecting!

For more helpful tips on using LinkedIn, please visit:

Live, Laugh, and LinkedIn Muskies,
Bridget Tully
Career Development Office Intern