Career & Professional Development

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

Month: September 2010

Not Job Hunting? Six Reasons to Still Attend a Career Fair…

Dr. Joseph Barber

If you are a Freshman or Sophomore, sometimes it’s confusing of why to attend a Career Fair.  (Especially that our Engineering & Computer Science Fair is right around the corner on Oct. 4th) Well, courtesy of UPenn’s Career Center, check out these six things you can do at career fairs even if you aren’t actively looking for a job.

1) Hand people your well-formatted, mistake-free, Career Services’ critiqued resume. OK, if you are not looking for a job, this is one that you might be able to skip. But…, what happens if you are chatting with employers (see below), and someone asks about your experience, and then says, “do you have a resume I can take away with me?”. As you don’t want to miss this opportunity to network, which is the better answer:

  • “Errr…., no, but I can write my name and email on this napkin”
  • “Yes, this reflects my experience to date, and obviously I am going to be gaining more experience over the next few months/years. If I were interested in this type of opportunity, can you see any areas where additional experience might help me in this career field?”
  • “What’s a resume?”

2) Network. People with effective networks build them continuously over time, and may not seek anything from their contacts for many months or years. They spend their time developing and maintaining their network so that when they do need help, the network is already there for them, and the people within the network know and trust them. The best time to network from a career perspective is when you are not actively looking for a job. You have more time, and you come across as less desperate. If you work hard to help people remember you by staying in contact, then you increase the likelihood that they’ll be thinking of you when future job opportunities arise. So, take time at career fairs to share your information with people in different career fields, think of creative ways to maintain contact with them over time to establish an effective relationship, and ask the most important question of all to gain access to their network: “Do you anyone you think I should talk with to find out more information?

3) Think about Plan B. You may have your heart set on one type of job, or working at one specific organization, and it is important that you work hard to achieve what you want. However, it never hurts to have a back-up plan, your career Plan B. If you are a graduate student, then you may be planning on following the tenure track, and seeking only academic teaching or research positions. The academic job market is hard to predict, and will always be changeable, but it will always be highly competitive, and there will always be someone who does not get the job they interviewed for. We hope that person is not you, and we’ll work hard with you to help you be the successful one, but it never hurts to be thinking about Plan B. If you need to switch tracks at a future date, will you have enough transferable skills and experiences to make you a competitive candidate in a completely different career field? At the career fair you can ask recruiters what they are looking for in resumes for the types of jobs they have available now. They might be able to help identify the kind of experiences you can gain in the present, and over the next few months/years, that might make you competitive for other types of jobs in the future.

4) Tell people about yourself. The question “tell me about yourself” will come up whenever you meet new people (whether spoken or inferred), but can also be asked during phone and in-person interviews. You need to have an interesting, succinct, and confident answer. You are the expert in the subject of you, and so it is the one topic that you should have no hesitation talking about. Career fairs are a great place to practice talking about yourself, as you need to summarize who you are, what skills you have, where you want to be going in the future, and how the person you are talking with might be able to help, all within about 30-60 seconds. When you are networking, people need to know what your network goals are so that they know how they can help you. For example, are you looking for information, opportunities, or future contacts?

5) Talk about your research. Graduate students have two types of tricky questions to answer in terms of what they have been doing with themselves. When telling people about yourself, you will of course mention the research you do, but research is not the only topic you should talk about. The “tell me about yourself” answer needs to be slightly broader (e.g., what brought you to Penn, what are some of the key skills you have, how have your experiences changed the way you think about aspects of the world, and how do you see yourself using your knowledge and skills in the future). When talking more specifically about your research, you will need to summarize what you do in a way that makes your subject understandable to a range of different people with differing degrees of expertise in your specific area. Can you tailor a summary about your research on ancient Aramaic texts or Tribble genes to experts in the field and to HR representatives? Can you make your research interesting and relevant to them? Again, career fairs are a great way to practice talking about your research, and it does take practice.

6) See how it is done. You don’t want your first career fair to be the one where you need to find a job. You want to work out all of your career fair nerves beforehand. Even if you don’t talk to any employers (and you really should – they won’t bite), you can still watch how your peers handle themselves at career fairs? You can see how they are dressed, and whether they are keeping their right hand free to shake hands with people they meet, without having to juggle paperwork and drinks (and that means thinking about which shoulder to hang your bag on, so it doesn’t slip off when extending your hand). Small things can sometimes count when you are trying to make a good first impression. You can listen to the types of questions they ask, and you can learn to emulate or avoid the good or bad approaches they use.

Be sure to join us for our Career Fair season!

  • Engineering & Computer Science Fair, October 4th
  • Business & Liberal Arts Fair, Nov. 9th
  • Portland Trek Career Fair, Jan. 4th
  • Seattle Trek Career Fair, Jan. 7th
  • 17th Annual Partnership in Employment Fair, Feb. 24

From the University of Pennsylvania’s Blog “Penn & Beyond” http://ulife.vpul.upenn.edu/careerservices/blog/?p=2949

Spokane Full Time Opening

DATE:                                                September 10, 2010

TITLE:                                               RECRUITMENT COORDINATOR

DEPARTMENT:                              Donor Recruitment

SHIFT:                                               (1) Full-Time, Benefited Position, Days, May Include Some Evenings/Weekends

Regional Headquarters in Spokane, WA, $2,709.20 – $4,064.67 per month DOE

DATE POSITION AVAILABLE:    09/24/10

PURPOSE OF POSITION:            Achieve annual and monthly territory collection goals through effective donor recruitment, territory/account management and calendar management.

QUALIFICATIONS:                         Graduation from an Associate Degree Program and two-years’ experience in sales, marketing and public relations; or equivalent combination of education and experience in related field.  Territory management experience desirable; basic math and record keeping skills; ability to effectively use computer applications to include Microsoft Word, email and databases; excellent verbal/written communication and customer service skills; valid driver’s license and safe driving record. Self-starter; ability to exhibit flexibility in work schedule, work independently with others as a member of a team; maintain positive media relations, work with and motivate diverse groups; and ability to lift up to 25 pounds frequently.

APPLICATION METHOD:             INBC Application for Employment

APPLICATION DEADLINE:          09/24/10

CONTACT PERSON:                     Claudia Campbell, Human Resources

AN EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY/AFFIRMATIVE ACTION EMPLOYER

Inland Northwest Blood Center  S  210 West Cataldo Avenue  S  Spokane, WA  99201

www.inbcsaves.org S (509) 232-4543 or (800) 423-0151 x 4247

ZagTrax Postings Set to Close Soon…

If you are still job hunting (or even internship hunting for that matter) keep in mind ZagTrax! The positions listed below are about to close on our internal job board… does one spark your interest?  Consider applying!  Go to ZagTrax, under Job Postings search with the listed ID # in the Keyword Search function.  Make sure to note the various deadlines!

Is your resume not quite perfect yet? That’s okay, we can help with that too! Drop us an e-mail at careercenter@gonzaga.edu.

Direct Support Professional, ID# 5094 (9/8)

Server System Administration / Systems Engineer / Unix / Dababas, ID# 5079 (9/10)

Hardware & Software Sales Consultant, ID# 4899 (9/11)

Music Magazine Seeks Fall Intern, ID# 4931 (9/11)

FRESH ONLINE WRITING TALENT WANTED (copy), ID# 5081 (9/12)

Staff Auditor, ID# 4907 (9/14)

Business Loan Processor, ID# 5161 (9/15)

Marketing Communications Specialist, ID# 4963 (9/15)

Senior Logistics Analyst-Import Export, ID# 4996 (9/15)

Soldering Production Employees, ID# 4999 (9/15)

Radio Sales Account Executive, ID# 4926 (9/17)

Commercial Producer, ID# 5099 (9/18)

Entry Level Mortgage Professional, ID# 4924 (9/18)

Insurance Sales Representatives, ID# 5132 (9/18)

Clinical Informatics Analyst, ID# 5108 (9/19)

RN – Home Care, ID# 5106 (9/19)

Field Organizing Intern, ID#4921 (9/20)

Electrical Engineer, ID# 4965 (9/21)

Executive Assistant to the President, ID# 5087 (9/21)

Import/Export Manager, ID# 5086 (9/21)

Marketing Web Specialist, ID# 4964 (9/21)

OEM Sales, ID# 4966 (9/21)

PT TV Production Tech/C.G. Operator, ID# 724 (9/21)

Soldering Production Employees, ID# 4967 (9/21)

Jr. Software Engineer – Infrastructure & Workflow, ID #5123(9/22)

Field Sales Representative, ID# 5124 (9/23)

IT Services Specialist, ID# 5129 (9/23)

Executive Director – New Instructional Initiatives, ID# 5073  (9/24)

Accounting Trainee, ID# 5141 (9/25)

Information Systems Trainee, ID# 5143 (9/25)

Production Trainee, ID# 5146 (9/25)

A Peace Corps Recruiter Discusses Success…

The Career Center recently recived this blog article submission from employer partner: Peace Corps, discussing defining success.  Interested in learning more about Peace Corp post-Gonzaga?  Join the Peace Corps at any of the following events on Sept. 16-17th:

Info Table
Thursday, September 16
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Crosby Hall

Info Session
Thursday, September 16
3-4:30 p.m.

Crosby Hall: Road to Utopia

Gonzaga Servicefest
Friday, September 17
10 a.m. -2 p.m.

Cataldo Hall

Gonzaga Post Graduate Service Fair
Friday September 17
Panel
12-1 p.m.
Fair
5-6:30 p.m.

Cataldo Hall

It’s not surprising Gonzaga students make excellent Peace Corps volunteers.

Zags understand the value of service and cross-cultural exchange. Plus, they develop their natural talents into useful technical skills through rigorous coursework.

Success as a Peace Corps volunteer comes in many forms. We value concrete development outcomes like new wells, improved school curriculums and increased crop yields, but success is also sharing your stories with your host community, learning a new language, and adapting and thriving in a different culture. Being a Peace Corps volunteer is a challenging job where volunteers often learn as much as they teach, develop technical skills, and expand their perspectives of the world. Gonzaga alumni make a difference in their Peace Corps assignments, but they also prepare themselves for successful careers when they return to the U.S.

As a Peace Corps Recruiter, I see this in the many students who apply for Peace Corps service every year. But I also saw it in the field when I served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Zambia where I had the opportunity to work with Gonzaga alumni. They were teaching farmers sustainable agriculture skills, educating deaf children, and working to give Zambians the skills they needed to improve their own lives. When I returned to the U.S., I jumped at the chance to work with Peace Corps applicants from Gonzaga because I knew of their caliber having witnessed alumni in action as Peace Corps volunteers.

Currently, 19 Gonzaga alumni are serving in the Peace Corps, ranking the university No. 7 in the country among universities its size. Since 1961, 273 Gonzaga alumni have served in the Peace Corps. Washington also has a strong

Peace Corps legacy – historically, it’s the third-highest producing state of Peace Corps volunteers.

The newest bunch of Zags to go overseas includes the university’s first student in the Peace Corps Master’s International (PCMI) program, which combines graduate school with Peace Corps service. Megan McCann will depart for Nicaragua in August for a 27-month education assignment.

McCann, who is earning her master’s in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL), will be an English teacher and high school teacher trainer in the Central American country. She’ll also be fulfilling requirements for her Master’s in Teaching English as a Second Language.

While the Peace Corps serves in many sector areas, education is the largest, with approximately one-third of Peace Corps assignments falling into this category. It’s also the area experiencing the most growth with more countries requesting English teachers from the Peace Corps. We’re always looking for dedicated, globally-minded students to fill thousands of volunteer positions.

Gonzaga students who are interested in challenging themselves and continuing the Gonzaga tradition of Peace Corps service can contact me any time to learn more about the many life-defining opportunities available.

Elly Slakie

Regional Recruiter

Peace Corps Volunteer, Zambia 05-07

1601 5th Ave. Suite 605

Seattle, WA 98101

206-239-6616