Career & Professional Development

Helping Gonzaga University Students and Alumni Clarify and Achieve Their Academic and Professional Goals

Seattle & Portland Treks with Vicki Hucke

Seattle and Portland Trek Info with Vicki 

This upcoming break between Fall and Spring semester, Career and Professional Development has two opportunities to continue career building outside of the classroom. Like years prior, CPD is hosting both a Seattle and Portland Trek, however this time these events are virtual, increasing access for any student! To talk more about what Treks offer students, we spoke with Vicki Hucke, Manager of Employer Engagement in the CPD office. 

What is a Trek with Career and Professional Development? 

Vicki: A trek is an opportunity for students to connect with employers. Students can see these employers out in the world, get an inside look at organizations, take a tour of the facilities, hear from team members and see various positions in a company. The Seattle and Portland trek are unique because they feature a career fair. 

In a normal year, the Portland and Seattle Treks consist of a two-hour career fair where students meet with employer. Then, they select one of eight potential excursions where they get to visit one or two companies and receive a tour along with meeting potential employers. The students then come back and take part in a networking social with alums in the area along with the employers.  

While these events are open to any Gonzaga student, is there a certain grade or major you would recommend this to? Or do you think anyone can get something out of this event?  

Vicki: This virtual event is intended for all students, whether that is a Freshman Communications major or a Senior Biology major. It is never too early to start building and meeting contacts that can help you with a job. There is a wide range of employers from various industries, and as registration is still ongoing, the list of employers is increasing. There are also a variety of alums from the area that will be attending the networking social, and so even if a company doesn’t seem to represent an industry you are interested in, there will be somebody there for you to connect with.  

Do you have to be from Seattle or Portland to take part? How will this event help me even if I’m not from these areas? 

Vicki: This event is open to all students, no matter their geographic location. Anybody who’s interested should attend. In typical years, it is planned the week before the end of break, so students typically will stop at these treks on their way back to Gonzaga. It’s common, especially at the Seattle and Portland Treks, for those not from the area to come. Now that it’s virtual it’s even more accessible. Everyone should take advantage, and no matter where you are from, it serves as a wonderful experience to interact with different employers and network, and to see whose hiring and what’s going on.  

What employers will be there? 

Vicki: In the past, participants have included: 

Seattle: Alaska Air, Amazon, SAP Concur, Chinook Capital, CostcoBoeingPACCARStarbucksTableau, and more. 

 Portland: Nike, Keen, Portland Trailblazers, Intel, Adidas, Woodmere brewing, Mentor Graphics, Hp, and more. 

Currently, registration is open for employers and the amount attending is growing. Students are encouraged to regularly check back and see as new employers are added to this list. As you can see, there is a wide variety of companies at these events. Anyone, no matter their majors or interests, will be able to find a company they can connect with.  

What can students expect the schedule to look like now that these events are virtual? 

Vicki: To transition virtually, we wanted to still supply the same number of opportunities while keeping it manageable for students as it is digital. We have a two-hour career fair and expo. All our key employers will take part, and then following that will be a networking social with representatives from these companies along with alum from the area. 

The career fair and expo, occurring from 2-4 pm, is available for registration on ZagsIgnite. On the day of the event, Students can log into ZagsIgnite. They can then see the employers available for each event and join a queue to chat with employers one-on one. Once the employer is ready to talk to you, you get a link to their chat, and then individually chat with them and meet one on one. Later, during the Networking social, there will be a welcome message from Seattle alums, followed by a Keynote Speaker who will be a Gonzaga alum. Students will then be placed into breakout chats, which will consist of a local employer, alums, and then 3 or four students.  

What can students do to prepare for these events? 

Vicki: I would recommend checking out employers that are coming and do some research of questions that you could potentially ask them. It is also useful to prepare an elevator pitch, which is a quick synopsis of background and experience. Include who you are, what you’re studying, and what you want to do in the future. Students should also dress professionally, as if you were meeting an employer.  

Another thing that employers tend to look for is a current resume. If you need help with this, I recommend booking an appointment with our career center. This is super beneficial for students of all majors and is extremely easy to set up as well. All students need to do is visit ZagsIgnite, go to appointments, and schedule one that will work with their schedule. Everyone and Career and Professional Development is here to help you succeed! 

What else would you like students to know about these Treks? 

Vicki: I would overall recommend students to attend and really take advantage of this unique opportunity to be able to meet so many potential employers virtually. This event is completely free, and one of the great benefits of coming to GU is our large and supportive alumni network that students will have access to at this event.  

If you have any more questions about these events, feel free to contact Vicki Hucke at hucke@gonzaga.edu.  

Career & Professional Development has various resources to help you prepare for attending these events. Check out more blog posts along with our social medias listed below.  

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Get Ready for Career Fairs with Kareena

Next month, Career and Professional Development is hosting the Beta Alpha Psi accounting fair, open to anyone interested in Accounting or Finance. This event will occur on February 3rd from 1:30-3:30 pm. Our Fired-Up Friday this week focuses on this event, featuring an interview with Kareena Byrd, CPD’s recruitment coordinator.  

Kareena Byrd, Recruitment Coordinator at CPD

What makes this fair different from our other career fairs? 

Unlike other career fairs, like the All-Majors career fairs, which is centered around any major, and the engineering and science career fair, which targets engineering and science majors, the Accounting Fair is primarily for Accounting and Finance majors. Hosted and organized by BAP, Beta Alpha Psi, Gonzaga’s accounting, finance, and information’s systems organization, it has a focus on these fields of study. 

There will be accounting employers and general business employers looking to find students in these fields. This event is for anybody who has an interest in learning about accounting and finance related items. Firms will be hiring for various positions, and this is a fantastic opportunity to connect one on one with recruiters. 

Why is there both a Fall and a Spring Accounting fair this year? 

Typically, BAP does this fair in the fall in person, but because of COVID circumstances students now have even more opportunities to connect. There will be new employers along with ones from the earlier fair, and so students who attended the earlier fair along with those who did not will find opportunities at this event. 

What employers are attending, and what positions are they looking to fill? 

Currently, most of the signups from the employers occur closer to the event, and students can check the current attendees on the event page on Zags Ignite. There will be a wide range of employers that are looking to hire for accounting positions, not only accounting firms. Some of these institutions include public sector finance firms, government entities, and banks. At the earlier fall fairs, there were institute of management accountants, Providence Health, and even engineering firms.  

What are some things students should do to prepare? 

There are three steps students can take to ensure a successful career fair experience. 

  1. RESUME 
  1. Students should have a resume that is reviewed and then uploaded into zags ignite.   
  1. QUESTIONS 
  1. Formulate a list of a few questions to ask so you are prepared when talking to employers. 
  1. CONTEXT 
  1. Do your research on firms that are attending which will aid in showing your interest to recruiters. When talking to them, it helps your conversation in giving you more context and background.  

What grades should attend? 

I would think any grade should attend. Especially if you are undecided on your major, this is a fantastic opportunity to attend and see if this career path would be a good for you. If you are a Freshman or Sophomore, this will give you a good idea of what companies are recruiting for and will help you prepare better in the future. When you are talking to the recruiter, let them know you are a Freshman or Sophomore and ask to stay connected and touch base. This will show your interests early, any ask about special events or mailing lists. This can help you find a firm you would like to be a part of, and you can ask them for specific steps to help stand out. This will give you tools and build awareness of what the firms are looking for.  

What are some tips for follow-up after the event? 

One of the most important things to build connections is the follow-up. Recruiters appreciate getting an email reintroducing yourself and thanking them for meeting with you. This sets up a personal connection and shows your interest. For Freshman and Sophomores, this creates that connection and reminds them that you are a candidate. The recruiter will remember you and be more likely to choose you for a position. It is especially important to follow up after. For your own information, it can be helpful to keep notes during the event. You can keep a notepad with an evaluation of the company, asking yourself, “Is this a good fit?”, “Did I connect well?”, “What do I like about the company?” This will serve well as a record in the future when applying for internships and jobs. 

For more questions, contact Career and Professional Development. 

Visit 

CROSBY 
502 E. BOONE 
SPOKANE, WA 99258 

Call 509-313-4234 or email careers@gonzaga.edu

You can register using the link below:

rb.gy/oxlo2j 

How To: Create a Work-Play Balance In 2021

As we move toward a new semester, it is important to take time and reflect on our past and see where we can improve. 

What many people aren’t making a priority is the concept of self-care and how important it is to stay healthy, especially in times like these.  

Hard work is going to push you closer to your goals, but it is important to take a step back, create balance in your life, so you can avoid getting burned out. 

Here are some of the best things you can do to stay focused, and keep a work-play balance:  

  1. Create A Routine 

Schedule yourself designated “work” hours and “downtime” hours. This will help you organize your time and encourage you to get more of your tasks done in a timely manner, and you are able to reward yourself with a well-deserved break.  

BONUS! Only do your work at a desk and don’t touch that desk until you “go back to work/school.” If your mind is always occupied with one more thing that needs to be done, you’ll never find that good balance between work and play. 

  1. Give yourself “Me Time” 

It’s easy to break plans with ourselves. But this backhandedly diminishes our own value in our minds. We make the decision that spending time on ourselves is not as important as time spent with other people or on work. It’s important to shift this idea. Plans you make with yourself are as important as plans you make with others. 

  1. Allow time to be social 

Even if you have to schedule it a week in advance! This will give you time to stop thinking about school/work, and focus on yourself and your friends, and it will give you something to look forward to at the end of the work week.  

  1. Don’t feel guilty! 

 You can’t feel guilty for doing the things that make you you. You’ll be more productive in the long run by allowing yourself to enjoy life. Obviously you can’t overdo it – that’s what vacations are for, and that is a post for another day. But taking 45 minutes on a weekday or hanging out with friends on the weekend might be just what you need to relax. You work hard and deserve it. 

Prioritizing personal time can create a sense of fulfillment, rejuvenation, and happiness. This year, try to keep the balance lasting throughout the entire year. 

Seattle and Portland Trek Info with Vicki 

Vicki Hucke Portrait

This upcoming break between Fall and Spring semester, Career and Professional Development has two opportunities to continue career building outside of the classroom. Like years prior, CPD is hosting both a Seattle and Portland Trek, however this time these events are virtual, increasing access for any student! To talk more about what Treks offer students, we spoke with Vicki Hucke, Manager of Employer Engagement in the CPD office.  

Seattle Trek takes place on JANUARY 5TH, 2021, 2 PM – 4 PM 

Portland Trek Takes place on JANUARY 7TH, 2021, 2 PM – 4 PM 

What is a Trek with Career and Professional Development? 

Vicki: A trek is an opportunity for students to connect with employers. Students can see these employers out in the world, get an inside look at organizations, take a tour of the facilities, hear from team members and see various positions in a company. The Seattle and Portland trek are unique because they feature a career fair. 

In a normal year, the Portland and Seattle Treks consist of a two-hour career fair where students meet with employer. Then, they select one of eight potential excursions where they get to visit one or two companies and receive a tour along with meeting potential employers. The students then come back and take part in a networking social with alums in the area along with the employers.  

While these events are open to any Gonzaga student, is there a certain grade or major you would recommend this to? Or do you think anyone can get something out of this event?  

Vicki: This virtual event is intended for all students, whether that is a Freshman Communications major or a Senior Biology major. It is never too early to start building and meeting contacts that can help you with a job. There is a wide range of employers from various industries, and as registration is still ongoing, the list of employers is increasing. There are also a variety of alums from the area that will be attending the networking social, and so even if a company doesn’t seem to represent an industry you are interested in, there will be somebody there for you to connect with.  

Photo of Seattle Skyline

Do you have to be from Seattle or Portland to take part? How will this event help me even if I’m not from these areas? 

Vicki: This event is open to all students, no matter their geographic location. Anybody who’s interested should attend. In typical years, it is planned the week before the end of break, so students typically will stop at these treks on their way back to Gonzaga. It’s common, especially at the Seattle and Portland Treks, for those not from the area to come. Now that it’s virtual it’s even more accessible. Everyone should take advantage, and no matter where you are from, it serves as a wonderful experience to interact with different employers and network, and to see whose hiring and what’s going on.  

Everyone should take advantage, and no matter where you are from, it serves as a wonderful experience to interact with different employers and network, to see whose hiring and what’s going on. 

What employers will be there? 

Vicki: In the past, participants have included: 

Seattle: Alaska Air, Amazon, SAP Concur, Chinook Capital, CostcoBoeingPACCARStarbucksTableau, and more. 

 Portland: Nike, Keen, Portland Trailblazers, Intel, Adidas, Woodmere brewing, Mentor Graphics, Hp, and more. 

Currently, registration is open for employers and the amount attending is growing. Students are encouraged to regularly check back and see as new employers are added to this list. As you can see, there is a wide variety of companies at these events. Anyone, no matter their majors or interests, will be able to find a company they can connect with.  

What can students expect the schedule to look like now that these events are virtual? 

Vicki: To transition virtually, we wanted to still supply the same number of opportunities while keeping it manageable for students as it is digital. We have a two-hour career fair and expo. All our key employers will take part, and then following that will be a networking social with representatives from these companies along with alum from the area. 

The career fair and expo, occurring from 2-4 pm, is available for registration on ZagsIgnite. On the day of the event, Students can log into ZagsIgnite. They can then see the employers available for each event and join a queue to chat with employers one-on one. Once the employer is ready to talk to you, you get a link to their chat, and then individually chat with them and meet one on one. Later, during the Networking social, there will be a welcome message from Seattle alums, followed by a Keynote Speaker who will be a Gonzaga alum. Students will then be placed into breakout chats, which will consist of a local employer, alums, and then 3 or four students.  

What can students do to prepare for these events? 

Vicki: I would recommend checking out employers that are coming and do some research of questions that you could potentially ask them. It is also useful to prepare an elevator pitch, which is a quick synopsis of background and experience. Include who you are, what you’re studying, and what you want to do in the future. Students should also dress professionally, as if you were meeting an employer.  

Another thing that employers tend to look for is a current resume. If you need help with this, I recommend booking an appointment with our career center. This is super beneficial for students of all majors and is extremely easy to set up as well. All students need to do is visit ZagsIgnite, go to appointments, and schedule one that will work with their schedule. Everyone and Career and Professional Development is here to help you succeed! 

Happy ethnic woman sitting at table with laptop

What else would you like students to know about these Treks? 

Vicki: I would overall recommend students to attend and really take advantage of this unique opportunity to be able to meet so many potential employers virtually. This event is completely free, and one of the great benefits of coming to GU is our large and supportive alumni network that students will have access to at this event.  

If you have any more questions about these events, feel free to contact Vicki Hucke at hucke@gonzaga.edu.  

Career & Professional Development has various resources to help you prepare for attending these events. Check out more blog posts along with our social medias listed below.  

Facebook Instagram YouTube Twitter Pinterest 

Graduate School Resources with Katherine Brackmann

This week, our goal here at Career and Professional Development is to help students learn how to prepare them for the career goals and allow for them to learn and decide if graduate school is the right path for you. For guidance, we interviewed ​Katherine Brackmann ​who is the ​Assistant Director, Graduate & Professional School Engagement.

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your job at Career and Professional Development

Katherine: Since graduating from Gonzaga in 2010, I am excited to be back here and helping students here in CPD! I work with students who are interested in pursuing graduate programs, and how they can fit that into their career paths. Some specific things that I help with include helping students understand the ins and outs of applying, perfecting their resume, help with writing personal statements, understanding the interview process, and how to search for schools that will be a perfect fit.

How can students who are interested in a graduate school start preparing now?

Katherine: It is important to think about whether grad school fits into your career plans. To help with your decisions or start preparing now, you can network with other professionals in your industry of choice and learn about their career paths and see how they got to where they are today. Not only that but you can also connect with mentors and other faculty members here at Gonzaga as well!

What are the benefits of attending graduate school?

Katherine: Oftentimes attending graduate school is mandatory to pursue a specific career, but also it can deepen your knowledge on a specific field. This will enhance your job prospects, give you the opportunity to gain more experience, and increase the potential of gaining an increased salary because of the increase in positions available to you. Not only that, but attending graduate school can open the door to a change in career path as well.

How can CPD help jumpstart students who are interested in this path?

Katherine: To start, we will discuss how graduate school fits into a student’s ideal career goals. From there, we will look into the application process depending on where they want to go. It is important to discuss application timelines, and also we will help them connect with industry professionals as well as Zag Alum! In our meetings we can offer feedback on applications, interview tips, and help you search for which schools will be the perfect fit for each individual student. Set up a meeting with us on ZagsIgnite, and let’s chat!

Given that our entire world has gone digital, it is so much easier for students to connect with admission reps all over the country.

Katherine BRackmann

How can students still get involved and start exploring, despite the COVID restrictions?

Katherine: Given that our entire world has gone digital, it is so much easier for students to connect with admission reps all over the country. Remember this! Don’t be afraid to get in contact with the school. Get out there and talk about you, and your goals, and learn about what each school can offer you. Especially in a time like this, graduate programs may be offering incentives for people to apply!

What is the most important thing for students to remember when looking into graduate school?

Katherine: The most important thing for students when looking into graduate school is to know your why. Why is this the path for you? How will this better you? Not only that, but staying organized and knowing deadlines is extremely important during the application process. This will help you avoid the stress! Lastly, know your resources. Career and Professional Development is always here to help, faculty is here to answer questions, and know your options financially as well.

What is the best piece of advice for students applying to grad school?

Katherine: Timing is everything. Giving yourself time and grace with everything during the process because it varies with each person. This might be taking time to work and grow professionally and personally which is very beneficial before you further your education. It is vital to remember that everyone is on their own timeline and allowing yourself to reflect on your own timing and finding what you need to do to reach your goals.

Getting Involved, Building Experience, and Giving Back

This week, our goal here at Career and Professional Development is to help students learn new ways to get involved in their communities to prepare them for the career goals and allow for them to start learning skills while still in school.  

For guidance, we interviewed Anthony Medina who is the Assistant Director of the Center for Community Engagement at Gonzaga.  

How does CCE help students get involved?

Anthony: The Center for Community Engagement (CCE) coordinates community and public service programs, including community engaged learning courses, community-based volunteer and outreach programs, and volunteer/advocacy projects. We offer a variety of opportunities to support causes that matter in our world, and serve to develop valuable leadership skills and carry out Gonzaga’s Jesuit mission of working in and with communities. 

Where are the service opportunities located? 

Anthony: In typical times, we offer opportunities to engage in many different locations. From volunteering locally with one of our many non-profit partners, to mentoring youth in our public schools and here on campus, to engaging deeply with communities across the country through our immersion programs, our programs provide students with the opportunity to engage in meaningful community engagement and transformative work. 

When should students start looking for service opportunities? 

Anthony: We offer opportunities to engage in the community year-round. For those students taking a community-engaged learning (CEL) class, we recommend starting your search early at the beginning of each semester. Additionally, most of our CCE programs require at least a semester-long commitment, so connecting at the beginning of each semester is also recommended. Throughout the semester, we can help connect you to one-time service opportunities and opportunities out in the community. Our current context has placed restrictions on one-time and group opportunities to serve. Reach out to find out more about individual programs and partners! 

How can students still get involved, despite the COVID restrictions? 

Anthony: While our current context has placed many barriers to in-person community engagement activities during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is still a great need and opportunity to collaborate with our community partners in positive and meaningful ways through hybrid, remote, and virtual community engagement activities. 
 
These altered ways of engagement are new to many of us, but with flexibility, patience, and in a spirit of solidarity we have still been able meet our goals of addressing community-identified needs and provide meaningful experiences for our students. 

Although our opportunities to connect in-person may be limited, we know from our community partners, that meaningful connection and engagement in our communities are more important than ever. 

What is the most important thing for students to remember when looking for ways to get involved in the community?  

Anthony: There are so many important things to consider when looking for ways to get involved in our community. For students looking to get involved, holding a spirit of reciprocity is extremely important. Reciprocity involves building mutually beneficial relationships that benefit you, as a student, and our community partners, meeting community-identified needs. Our student have this great energy and a wonderful passion for engaging with our community. But this is slow work that requires relationship and developing partnerships built on trust and mutual respect, with shared vision, voice, and power. A good place to start is to participate in programs that are already established instead of trying to start a new initiative. I would also say, let the community lead. We all have great ideas for programs and ways we can “help”. But the work shouldn’t center us and our desire to help. That can lead to “saviorism” which is harmful to our community and is the opposite of responsible engagement. Reciprocity means that we value our community partner’s expertise, recognizing them as sources of perspective and wisdom. Holding reciprocity at the center of our engagement sets us up for a successful partnership. 
 

How can students who didn’t return to campus still get involved? 

Anthony: For students who did not return to campus, there are still plenty of ways to be involved this year. Some of our programming has been reimagined to include virtual engagement. Our Youth Programs and Initiatives have shifted to include virtual mentoring opportunities. Our Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice program has also shifted to be delivered virtually and engage our students in advocacy no matter where they are situated this year. Many of our community partners in Spokane have also had to reimagine engagement and have begun to offer ways for students to engage remotely. Remote students can also join us for our monthly online Zoom show “Community Chat” which is designed to share the good work happening in our community and introduce our students to critical issues and topics in the Spokane community. Finally, we have partnered with university partners across Spokane to offer Learning Together Spokane, a public, virtual learning environment, bringing Spokane professionals alongside college and university students for shared, weekly reflection. For more information about these offerings and other alterations to our service opportunities, please go to www.gonzaga.edu/cce and view “All Service Opportunities.” 

How can CCE pair with Career and Professional Development to help students find the opportunities they are looking for? 

Anthony: The CCE and CPD have some established programs that can help students find ways to engage in their communities. The CCE works closely with Career and Professional Development to host a Post-Graduate Service Fair in the Fall and a Careers in Social Justice Panel in the Spring with the aim of helping student connect their passion for serving community with their career aspirations. Serving with a public or nonprofit agency full-time after graduation is a great way to explore a career, pursue a passion, and develop skills and knowledge. 

How can performing service benefit the lives of students, but also their communities? 

Anthony: Wow! There are so many benefits to engaging with our communities. Both for students and for our community partners and neighbors. For our students, engaging with service through the CCE provides them with the opportunity to better know their own communities, to explore critical social justice issues more deeply, to connect their academic learning with community knowledge, and to make meaningful connections with peers and community members. For our communities, partnering with Gonzaga helps build capacity for the work they’re already doing, allows them to tap into students’ energy, and can help solve issues facing the community in collaboration with the academic knowledge present at a university. When we develop authentic relationships with one another, the outcomes are transformative for both the student and our communities. 

Former CIA and Recruiter-in-Residence, Patty Hetu-Tkacik Chats About Careers in Government

This week in Career and Professional Development, we are talking about how students who are interested in working in the government can get started in the career journey. To help provide some advice, we interviewed Patty Hetu-Tkacik, Recruiter in Residence, on how students can start to explore careers in government.

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your job at Career and Professional Development

Patty: I started working for the government as a part of the CIA, which then developed into my career as a recruiter for the CIA. I would travel to the west coast, and visit Gonzaga and University of Washington and recruit students who were interested in working for the United States Government. After deciding to retire here in Spokane, I came back to Gonzaga and offered my help to the CPD team to help students to discover where they can apply their knowledge and skills to government positions.

How can students who are interested in a career in government start preparing now?

Patty: For students who are interested in Government, to start the process they should discover where they feel most called to. Sometimes, government jobs require one to give more than they receive, and the best thing to do is pursue something that you have a true passion for. For example, if you have a passion for the environment look into positions where you can make a change and add your input to make an impact. From there, you can look into internship positions where you can explore these passions on a deeper level, and actually take advantage of them.

How can CPD help jumpstart students who are interested in this path?

Patty: Set up a meeting with me! That is my job here at CPD, and together we can discuss all of the difference between the types of government, where you want to help and feel most called for. Based on this, we will point you into the direction of an internship. I will ask you a variety of questions to help navigate what is the best for you.

How early should students start building their resume if they are looking for a career in government?

Patty: Honestly, the earlier the better. Many people start as early as high school, navigating where their passions lead them, but are open to learning with internships, volunteer opportunities. Pursue opportunities that fit your interests and passions early on.

How can students still get involved and start exploring, despite the COVID restrictions?

Patty: Looking at it from a big picture, when the economy is in a decline, the government is still hiring and internships tend to be wide open. Use this time as an opportunity to do some research to see, and they are always looking for students to help in different majors or skills.

Bonus! After the inauguration in January, be on the lookout for new internships because there tends to be a spike after the election year.

What is the most important thing for students to remember when looking for a job in government?

Patty: The key for students and recent graduates to remember is to have patience when looking for a job in government. This is an extremely rewarding career but the process of hiring can be quite extensive at times. It might take a couple of tries to find the perfect position for you, but with patience, dedication, and a driving passion it is almost identical as if you were to be hired by a private company.

Who is the Armed Services Panel for, and what can students learn if they attend?

Patty: The Armed Services Panel is for all students in all majors. Whether you have an interest in the armed services, or interested in looking at what else they have to offer then this is for you! A lot of the services have internships for current students! Things are always changing in the military, and you will have the chance to talk to the recruiters and learn where you can add your expertise in the Armed Services.

If you are interested in attending the Armed Services Panel, it is Monday, Nov 09, 2020 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM. RSVP here on ZagsIgnite!

Don’t hesitate to reach out to Patty here at Career and Professional Development. She is here to help you. Set up an appointment on ZagsIgnite as well.

Writing Thank You Cards to Employers

Career Month is ending at Career & Professional Development, and now is the perfect time for students to build upon the connections that they have made throughout our various career fairs and digital treks.

A great way to maintain these professional relationships is to practice writing and sending thank you cards to those you have interviewed with, sought guidance from, or networked with. To strengthen these communications and ensure a great future contact, here are some steps you can take and tips to lead you to success:  

  1. When do I Send It?  

Once you WOW an employer after an interview, you want to make sure your great first impression remains fresh in their minds. It is generally recommended to send a thank you message within 24- 48 hours of your interaction, but for events taking place near the end of the week, messages the following week are okay, too.

Directly after your interview or meeting, write down a few takeaways that you can include which will then assist you later when writing the thank you message. 

  1. What do I Include?  

There are some key things you should cover to make a strong impression. 

  1. Clearly express your thanks!  Although this may seem obvious, demonstrating this message will be meaningful to employers. 
  1. Show Interest: Explain why you applied for this position, reached out during the career fair, or completed an interview, and why it is relevant to you. 
  1. Highlight Experiences and Top Traits: Share again why you would be right for the company or job and how your past and abilities will assist you to be the perfect candidate 
  1. Mention specifics from the Interview: In doing this, the interviewers will be reminded of how the interview went and demonstrate your attentiveness to what was discussed. 
  1. How long should it be?  

To keep the recipient interested in what you are discussing, it’s a good idea to keep the thank you message to a maximum of 250-300 words. The subject line should also be concise, e.g., ““Thank you – Sales Marketing Associate interview” 

  1. Proofread! 

When sharing your message, a thank you note that is free of errors will further confirm your professionalism and ability to be detail oriented.  

  1. How do I end my message? 

Finally, ensure your message has been well received by ending it with a simple and polite closing statement along with any further contact information so they can continue the dialogue.  

By following these tips and tricks, whether your Thank-You note is sent following an interview, interaction at a career fair, or following another connection, your professional network will be positively impacted and will lead to your success even after Career Month is over.  

Career Fair Etiquette

Career fairs are a great resource for navigating the process of searching for jobs and internships. Not only are participants able to connect with potential employers, but they also provide an environment to practice interpersonal skills, networking habits, and witness how your resume and cover letters will be received.

This October is Career Month at Career and Professional Development, and many career fairs will be occurring starting on October 14th. One skill essential to all students entering the workforce is demonstrating etiquette when attending these events, and so listed below are some tips to help ensure the best experience possible! 

  1. Research those attending: Career & Professional Developments provides attendees with lists of the companies that will be participating at their events, by looking at the event in ZagsIgnite. It is extremely beneficial to take a look at this beforehand, as it will enable you to look closely at what the companies stand for and what services they provide. This tactic will allow you more information on how to connect when networking.  
  1. Pick your top choices of those you want to talk to: When attending, it is important to not only research employers beforehand but also decide based on that information what jobs you think would best fit you and your needs. This will ensure the strongest interactions in a limited time frame. 
  1. Go the extra mile and show your style! Many times professional career events and employers like to see participants engage in business casual and business professional attire. By dressing appropriately, this will ensure you give off a good first impression and show employers that you are serious about your search.  This is true even for virtual fairs, where video chat is the primary method of communication, such as those taking place this month.
  1. Prepare what you want to say: Go in with an idea of the important things you are wanting to share. Often referred to as an elevator pitch, this will be a short description of your strengths, educational and personal interests, and experiences. By knowing this ahead of time, you will be able to express your preparedness along with providing employers a better understanding of who you are. If you need help clarifying your elevator pitch, check out our how-to guide.
  1. Bring a resume! Look at the theme of the career fair and tailor your resume around that. When talking to employers, be sure to begin the conversation by sharing this document with them, as they will be able to reference it throughout your conversation and provide them with extra information they can ask about. 
  1. Follow up: Ending your discussions, make sure to request either a business card or contact information from those you felt a strong connection with. This way, you can reach out and request either further information regarding the position or enquire about any questions you may have. This will reaffirm your interests in the company and remind employers of who you are.  

By reading this article and educating yourself on the etiquette required, you have already taken the steps needed to find greater success in this process, wow potential bosses and build connections to ensure a great outcome. 

If you have any questions or are interested in additional career fair prep materials, make sure to check out ZagsIgnite. You can book an appointment to review your resume, build your pitch, and get additional tips for networking. Don’t forget to check out all the resources on our downloadable resources page.

Tips for Keeping Your Social Media Professional

Have you ever wondered what an employer might find if they decided to “Google” you? Social media has become a regular part of our digital reality, and what many students forget is that it can be a powerful tool for hiring managers to learn more about their potential candidates. To help you navigate what works and what doesn’t, here are some tips and tricks to help you stay smart on social media, and
show your best self to the world:

1. Review your privacy settings
Become the gatekeeper to your social media content by adding privacy settings to your account. This will let you decide who is allowed to see your posts, follow you, become friends with you, etc. Facebook and Instagram make it super easy to protect your content, and it is only the people in your immediate circles who are allowed to interact with it. Privacy settings vary by platform, though, so when in doubt, maybe skip that post.

2. Allow your accounts to be a form of expression
Social media can be a tool that actually helps you in the hiring process, if you post about things that interest you and show off a little bit of your personality. This will help employers learn more about you and your life outside of the workplace. Creating a positive personal brand for yourself will make you more appealing as opposed to your other competitors.

A hand holds up a cell phone with an Instagram image pulled up. The image shows two people laughing in a grove of neatly trimmed pine trees.
Don’t be afraid to post about your life and interests! Just remember the audience might include potential employers.

3. Keep your photos G-Rated
Avoid posting content with any form of substance or nudity to make a good first digital impression with your potential employers. Remember this! Even if your post is set to private, don’t put all of your trust into the hands of these social platforms.

4. Grammar is key
Use proper grammar when posting on social media. It can be tempting to be informal when talking with friends, but your social media is one of the first things employers see and having good grammar will help boost your credibility online, and demonstrate that you are a well educated candidate.

5. Don’t bully others
This might seem obvious, but avoid posting content that is hateful or offensive. The best thing you can do is post about topics that bring happiness to one’s feed, rather than negativity.

In conclusion, the power of social media can truly benefit you as you progress into your professional life, and if you keep track of these tips when it comes time to post you will be well on your way to success.

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