Summer Vacation: Play Hard, Work Warder

Written on 9:43 AM by Xavier Career Development

“How was your summer break?”
“It was awesome but it went by way too quickly!”
“I know right? I wish summer lasted all year round.”

Summer vacation is everyone’s favorite break because it definitely is the longest vacation, the weather allows for so many fun outdoor activities, and we are able to engage ourselves in time with friends, family, jobs, and play. Summer is also the best season for many people to build their resumes! There are so many opportunities to gain work experience- whether it is through a job or internship, volunteer experience, or even studying abroad! If we do any or a mixture of these, how do we neatly organize our experiences on a resume? What if we did any of or a mixture of all of these activities and want to know how to neatly organize our experiences? That is where the Career Development Office comes into play!

Although we are all on summer vacation, the Career Development Office is still alive and running in the CLC 530! They offer all of the services they offer during the school year: resume help, meeting with career coaches, job search techniques, and so much more. Being able to transcribe the experiences from your summer into clear resume material can be difficult, and the career coaches are more than happy to listen to your summer involvements and assist with putting them onto paper!

If you are a senior like myself, and think that after graduation the Career Development Office is no longer relevant to you, I have to correct you because that is not the case! Xavier alumni are treated just the same as current students: they are offered resume and cover letter help, interview preparation, career exploration, Hire A Muskie and more. So do not fear graduating seniors, Xavier’s motto of “All for One and One for All” truly lives on!

So whether you are working as a country club lifeguard, headed to your dream grad school, or entering the working world come this May, I wish you the best. No matter what you do this summer, every chance is a working and learning experience. My best advice is to keep track of and write down everything you do over the course of vacation: you never know what contact you may want to keep in mind or what job treated you the best! Most of all, enjoy your vacation like it is your last because sadly, eventually there will be no more summer vacations as you grow older. Have a great summer, make it efficient, and as always, Let’s go X!

Graduating Senior,

Jenny Mendoza

Undecided, Under No Pressure

Written on 9:57 AM by Xavier Career Development

It’s a big world out there with lots of career options to pursue. Since about age 4 or 5 we are asked what we want to be when we grow up. If you were as bright and intelligent as I was at age 4, my answer would be to be a pizza, and if that didn’t work out, then I would be a dog. Clearly I knew what direction my life was heading since my early childhood. If you ask me that question today, I would give a more realistic answer which is working within advertising, marketing, and communications. (But by the amount of pizza I consume I think I am very close to actually becoming one after all.)

When we enter college, the big question that everyone asks you is “What is your major?” Followed by “What do you want to do with that after graduation?” You may be feeling overwhelmed, seeing as how you are adjusting to your college lifestyle and wondering what is out there that can be studied and explored. Some people have no idea what they want to declare their major as, and that’s ok! You are not alone in your search to find the right fitting major for you. The Career Development Office is here to help you!

There are three steps to successfully finding a major that fits you.

Step 1:  Self-Assessment

This calls for some reflection on your part:
·         What are your interests: your likes and dislikes?
·         What do you like to study?
·         Skills and abilities: being able to decipher your strengths and weaknesses.
·         Values: Do you value working independently or with a team?
·         Finally, personality: Do you appreciate structure in your studies or do you enjoy spontaneity?

Step 2:  Major Exploration
This is where you get your hands dirty and conduct research on the areas of study you are interested in. This calls for meeting with professors, meeting with a career coach, or joining a club that supports various career fields. Another option is coming to the Career Development Office to take a few assessment tests such as FOCUS 2, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and the Strong Interest Inventory to view how your personal interests and work styles mesh together with many work environments and values.

Step 3:  Making a Decision
The third and final step is making your decision. Ultimately, you are the one taking the courses and doing the work, so you should not be weighed down by the fear that one path will determine the rest of your life. There are plenty of people here at Xavier who are happy to help you realize what your dream career could be!

From undeclared freshman to Communication Studies senior,
Jenny Mendoza

Spring cleaning- Keys to an organized internship search!

Written on 10:30 AM by Xavier Career Development

The classic internship search: tirelessly staring at a computer screen, writing cover letter after cover letter, and crossing your fingers hoping for some sort of luck on the other side of the screen. It can get so old so quickly, and sometimes we end up not even remembering what positions or companies we have applied for! The key to a successful internship search is making sure to stay organized! By clearly laying out your goals, intentions, and seeing that those can become realities, the task of locking down a summer internship is no longer extremely daunting!

There are a few simple steps to organizing your internship search:
1.      Make a list of companies you want to target
2.      Find out if their internship opportunities are posted
3.      If yes, apply. If no, set up a “job alert”- meaning, making a note to come back to this later.
4.      Find contacts at each company, whether it is collecting email addresses or LinkedIn profiles!
5.      Reach out to express interest in the job or the company by sending a cover letter email with your resume attached
6.      Keep track of the dates of communication and follow up!

The first key to keeping your search organized is tracking. The simplest, and in my opinion the most efficient method, is to create an excel spreadsheet.

By labeling each column with specific titles:
I want to intern
Intern opportunity listed on company website
If yes, did you apply- list the date if so!
If no, did you create a “job alert”
List of contacts at company (or LinkedIn page)
Did you follow up? If yes, when?

This allows for a super easy cross off list that allows you to stay on top of your job or internship search! As long as you keep at it with a positive mindset, a fountain Coke, and work hard, your internship search will be over before you know it!

Wishing you the luck of the Irish,
Jenny Mendoza

Spring Career Fair?! No Sweat.

Written on 8:57 AM by Xavier Career Development

February is upon us, Muskies and we have a lot to look forward to! We hope that the groundhog does not see his shadow so spring arrives quickly, we celebrate African American culture throughout the month, and of course, we anticipate attending the Spring Career Fair on February 17th!

I myself could go on and on about the career fair- what to wear, how to prepare, follow up, etc, etc. Seeing as how this is my blog, I volunteer you Musketeers my advice all the time, and figure you would like to hear from other Xavier students for a change of pace! I have asked students who have attended the career fair for their advice and opinions on how to achieve the most success!

Nick Henrichs, Class of 2015-Marketing Major, Psychology Minor: “Honestly, the career fair isn’t as huge of a stress-enduring deal as most students think it is. It really boils down to three main points: professionalism, preparation, and being polite! Of course, you want to dress your best in business professional clothing- there is absolutely no room for jeans or tennis shoes. Do your research! In order to wow the companies/representatives at the fair, you want to arrive with knowledge of what that company does, and if they are interested in hiring a person like you with your area of study. Having said that, come prepared with questions about possible future employment, whether it’s for a summer internship or a full time job after graduation. Lastly, following up with the employer you talked to is just as important as making a good impression on them- sending them a personal thank you note lets them know you appreciated the time they spent with you, and can make you stand out amongst the dozens of people they spoke to the day of the fair. As long as you stick to those three main points, the fair should be no sweat!”

Kacie Hoyt, Class of 2015-Biology Major: “Being a biology major, through my freshmen and sophomore years I didn’t even give the career fair a thought since I assumed it was strictly for business majors or those alike. It wasn’t until I had heard from other people in my major who had attended at least one career fair that there are employers searching for students with all areas of study! When the spring career fair rolled around my junior year, I picked up a copy of the Career Fair tabloid and found that companies like Procter and Gamble and Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation were going to be right inside Cintas, looking for candidates like myself! My advice to you is don’t skip out on the career fair because you think no one is hiring-you never know who you could speak to and where it could lead you!”

So fellow Musketeers, there you have it. The Career Development Office wants you to succeed in every way possible, and attending the Career Fair is one of the best ways we can help you begin to reach your career goals! Feel free to visit our website or drop by our office if you have any questions!

Best of luck,
Jenny Mendoza

Welcome home, transfer students!

Written on 9:29 AM by Xavier Career Development

Hello transfer students and welcome to Xavier University! I am so excited that you made the choice to join this great community of Xavier students, faculty, and staff! We really do live and act by the motto “All for One and One for All,” so we are all here to embrace and welcome you into Xavier Nation. I am sure you are trying to get settled in your dorms, figure out why there is a ton of construction in the middle of campus, and master the fine art of eating just enough cafeteria food so that you are full, but don’t overindulge yourself so much that you are unable to get up and walk home. Amidst all of these mental processes, we here at the Career Development Office just want to let you know we are here to support you! You may find the following tips helpful through your time here at Xavier University.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
This probably seems like common sense and something almost every person you have met so far has advised you to do. It may be irritating to hear repeatedly, but we express this because we all want you to succeed in every way possible! The only way to know what resources are available to help you grow is to reach out and seek help when you need it. There is absolutely no shame in admitting you don’t know something and need advice- this is something I learned on the first day and still am learning.

Set personal time aside for yourself.
It can be extremely easy to get absorbed into the everyday hustle and bustle of campus life- class, meetings, emails, and study groups. Consistently being involved in a routine of academics, time with roommates and friends, and trying to keep up with laundry so you are not forced to wear the same sweatshirt for two weeks can make any person go a little stir crazy! From personal experience, I can tell you it is so beneficial to set aside mandatory personal time for yourself every once in a while. Whether it is just Netflix binging in order to think about anything besides that lab report, or taking a walk and having a beautiful view of campus and Cincinnati by standing outside the 10th floor of Schott Hall, having a clear mind is vital to your physical and mental health!

Immerse yourself in Xavier Athletics!
What’s a college experience if it is all work and no play? Whether you choose to attend a men’s or women’s basketball game in Cintas Center, a baseball game on Hayden Field, or a soccer game on the XU Soccer Complex; attending any athletic event at Xavier is truly a fun and memorable experience, and a great way to represent your school spirit!

So fellow Musketeers, welcome to your new home. If you see Fr. B giving you a wave and saying “Hi, Saint!”, the smell of fresh bread being baked at Subway, or the sound of the pep band playing the Xavier fight song, know that these sights and sounds are all are yours to claim as part of your Xavier experience. Let’s go X!

Your friend,
Jenny Mendoza