Career & Professional Development

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

Author: careercenter

The “Orginal” Social Networking…

Meeting people face-to-face.

We all sit in classes where professors attempt to shed some “real-world” light onto our undergraduate lives. Sometimes we internalize it and other times we brush it off because all we’re really focused on is staying awake in class. We need advice straight from the horse’s mouth! And this time it’s coming to us from Microsoft Project Manager and Gonzaga Alum, Markus Weickenmeier. Next week’s A.S.K. event will give GU students of all majors a chance to hear internship and career advice from Mr. Weickenmeier, and eat a little free food in the process. Mark it in your calendars to make it a point to attend this event. No excuses!

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

7:00pm – 9:00pm

Red Lion Hotel, Shoreline Ballroom, 700 North Division St.

To RSVP, e-mail GAMP office at gamp@gonzaga.edu.

Written by Courtney Jacobsen, Class of 2011.

Take a big, huge bite and go to the Career Fair!

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Head to Cataldo from 10 – 2pm today and check out the Engineering and Computer Science Expo! Mmmmmmm,

employment opportunities are oh so sweet.

If you still need some last minute coaching before the Expo, come visit us in the Career Center.  We will be on call if you need us!

Don’t get burned: What Not to do at a Career Fair

Retro-Oven-Range_2E7BDBD2Going to tomorrow’s Career Fair could be a first meeting with a future employer and you have to treat it that way! Just as you wouldn’t sit down to an interview chewing a fresh piece of Big Red, there are some big taboos that must be avoided!

Here are a few of our personal favorite:

  • Wearing your backpack: Pulling your resume out of your Jansport that’s been crushed between your planner and math book is not acceptable! Drop it off in the coatroom, please.
  • Don’t come a few minutes before the Fair ends because some employers may have to leave early.
  • Don’t bring the whole floor of your dorm with you. The employers want to meet you, not your whole entourage.
  • Don’t walk up to a booth and as “So what do you guys do?” Do your homework and know about the employers you are interested in.

Going in with a professional mindset will definitely equip you to present employers with your best non-flip flopped foot forward.

Written by: Courtney Jacobsen, Class of 2011


Mix it all in a Bowl: Workin’ and Churnin’ a Career Fair.

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A Career Fair can be a little overwhelming, but as long as you know a few key skills and bring the pertinent supplies (i.e. copies of your resume, a smile, and a firm handshake) you’ll look like a seasoned veteran to the game.

Working a Career Fair centers around what you say to each company’s representatives. Developing a small speech to start out with will open a conversation door. Now, no index cards are needed because you’re going to be talking about one of your favorite subjects: yourself!

It’s a simple combination of name, class standing, major, opportunities you are seeking, relevant experience, highlights of skills and strengths, and knowledge of the company.

See? That won’t be too painful. Then just be ready to ask the representative questions about their company or any job openings they have. The most important thing to do is practice talking about you. I’m sure that your roommate would love to know about what career venues interest you.

Written by: Courtney Jacobsen, Class of 2011

Getting Ready for a Career Fair is Like Baking a Cake

foodpics 217aWhat to Wear to a Career Fair

Time to dig through your closet and push aside your favorite sweatpants and t-shirts. Remember, this could be your first meeting with a future employer so dress to impress!

Ladies: Style your hair so it doesn’t fall into your face; less is more when it comes to jewelry, makeup, and perfume; no flashy labels or designer names; no chipping nail polish; no cleavage; closed or peep-toe shoes, moderate heel, no sling backs

Gentlemen: Comb your hair; clean the dirt out from underneath your finger nails; conservative on jewelry and cologne; wear dark socks; no flashy ties; wear dark colored slacks or a suit (black can sometimes seems too formal)

Overall, dress like your going to meet your new love-interest’s parents for dinner! And remember, that your iron is your new best friend.

Written by: Courtney Jacobsen, Class of 2011

What can we Learn from the Bad?

Hopefully, everyone has marked down next week’s career fair. If you haven’t, pull that dusty planner out of your backpack and write this down right now!

Engineering & Computer Science Expo

Thursday, October 8th

10 – 2 pm in Cataldo

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Now that we are all anticipating this next networking opportunity, what should we be prepared to do as  we walk into that big, shiny ballroom with potential employers lined up like ducks in a row? This answer was given to us by the companies that attended last year’s Engineering & Computer Science Expo. Although they were very impressed with everything that Gonzaga students have to offer, they wish we were more prepared! Knowing some key points about a company’s mission and corporate culture will set you apart when you attempt to pick the

brains of these attending employers. And I hate to say it, but that means you have to do some research! Here’s a list of the companies that will be at the career fair next week:

  • Areva T&D
  • Avista Corp.
  • Barnard Construction Company, Inc
  • Coffman Engineers, Inc.
  • Fast Enterprises
  • FBI – Seattle Division
  • Itron
  • Janicki Industries, Inc.
  • Jigsaw Data Corp.
  • Kiewit Pacific Co.
  • Liberty Mutual Group
  • Max J. Kueney Co.
  • McKinstry
  • Montana Dept. of Transportation
  • Next IT Corp.
  • Oregon Dept. of Transportation
  • OST Spokane
  • PACCAR
  • POWER Engineers, Inc.
  • Puget Sound Energy
  • Puget Sound Naval Shipyard
  • SCAFCO Corp.
  • Tacoma Power
  • Turner Construction Co.
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • U.S. Navy Officers Programs

Find a company that sparks some interest, do a little research, go to the career fair next week and place your smiling face in front of that employer to “wow” them with who you are and what you have to offer!

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Keep an eye out next week for more tips in regards to next week’s career fair!

Written by: Courtney Jacobsen, Class of 2011

The Good, the Bad, and the Career Fair

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Career fairs are still successful in today’s economy! It is easy to think “why are there career fairs when the job market is so down?” One answer, the market still needs employees and colleges have an abundance of eager students chomping at the bit, and rearing to go.

In one part of the movie “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” there are two rival hit men who team up to look for gold hidden in a cemetery, each keeping their half of the clue to themselves, I would not call that team work!

However, Career Fairs: the employers, Career Centers: the mediators, and Students: the future employees are a team that share ALL their clues to find the treasure.

The Bad:

  • The economy!
  • The job market!
  • Employers still come to career fairs but their attendance rate is predicted to have a slight drop for 2009. To counter this, “employers may put more emphasis on social networking as a recruiting tool.”

The Good:

  • A NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) survey showed that students who used career center resources intensely were more likely to land a job or get a job offer than others who didn’t use or used the career center in a limited way.
  • 50 percent of those who reported intense use had a job offer compared to 43 percent of those who didn’t use the career center.

Colleges and their Career Centers have made adjustments to the ways they market career fairs and prepare students. The marketing has shifted towards seniors and alumni who “need jobs more now than ever.” There is a new focus on the marketing of Career Fairs like live video cam and blogging during the fair. Career Centers are doing everything to promote the event to make these events worthwhile for their students and the employers. A new addition in preparation for career fairs is to “ensure that students and alumni have a competitive edge are: miniature series of workshops to learn about resume preparation, what to say to recruiters at the career fair, what is proper business attire, and participate in a mock interview.

The Career Fair:

Some universities are taking advantage of ASK (Alumni Sharing Knowledge) at career fairs, ready to “assist students on how to maximize their time at the fair and present their 30 second pitch” to recruiters. Some career fairs are focusing events just on graduating seniors so that they have a smooth transition from college to career.

The economy has had a tangible impact on career services operations. But offices that are successful have identified challenges and adapted the way they deliver resources and services.

Today is not the time to skip career fairs, employers are coming out of their way to colleges to find employees, when people are already coming to them. Career Fairs are a privilege and having them ready and waiting for students and alumni to start networking is a huge benefit to your job search. Career fairs require a joint effort employer-employee. So when they come to campus, go to them, and get a leg up in the job hunt! Like Clint Eastwood you can ride away at the end with the loot in your saddle bags…maybe.

For further information on this NACE article http://www.naceweb.org/spotlight/2009/c081909.htm#3

Written by: Amanda Gilliam, Class of 2012

Finding a Perfect Match:

Does Your Resume Reflect your Personality & Accomplishments?

When a woman thinks about her most prize possessions, her mother’s gold locket maybe comes to mind, her new car with the zebra print seat covers, and of course, her shoe collection. Years of collecting these precious jewels to accent any outfit, a woman’s shoe collection is definitely something to showcase her personality. Like the beloved shoe assortment that sits at the bottom of every woman’s closet, the adoration they have for these should be echoed in their feelings towards their resume. Let’s take a small adventure into how our resume can take some tips from our shoe collection, from the flats to the stilettos.

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Every lady has that pair of “steppin’ out” high heels that add a good four or five inches onto her height. They’re flashy to show off some of her greatest assets and get her noticed wherever she goes. A resume should show off your greatest assets just like a pair of five inch, silver, peep toe stilettos do.  Now is not the time to be humble– if you have great legs and the ability to lead a group effectively and creatively, then let it be known to the world.

A pair of beat up tennis shoes is an essential element in a complete shoe wardrobe. It shows that you’re not afraid to work hard, be persistent in the tasks you take on, and are always ready to get down and dirty with a volunteer job or leadership opportunity.  A resume should highlight the commitments or services that showcase a dedication and a time commitment to something. This is something that employers look for when selecting a candidate for a job or internship.

Not to go old school on anyone, but a classic pair of black pumps is a staple in a shoe collection just as pizza delivery is to a college student. Because they can be worn with almost any outfit, from your favorite pair of skinny jeans to that little black dress, the pumps show versatility and the ability to adapt to any situation. It shows how you can walk into a brand new company and find a place within the mission that every employee strives for.

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Last essential element to every woman’s shoe collection is a pair of something that is uniquely you—whether that is a pair of Cookie Monster house slippers or your favorite pair of Nike Dunks. Corporations look for people based on their distinctive accomplishments and something unique that they can bring to the company atmosphere. A resume needs to illustrate what makes you who you are because if you eloquently and correctively present yourself and if that’s a right fit for the company, they will hire you.

So, just like your favorite pair of shoes, your resume should be something that you are proud to wear with your cover letter and references as matching accessories. Who doesn’t love a little professional bling bling?

Need help with your resume?  Are you feeling like it doesn’t reflect all of your personality? We are here to help! Here are upcoming resume “polishing” opportunities:

  • Drop In Hours: Every Tuesday & Wednesday from 12-1 pm.
  • Resume/Cover Letter Workshops: October 13th (4:00pm Rd to Bali, Crosby); Oct. 21st (7:30pm Rd to Bali, Crosby); Oct. 28th 93:30pm Road to Bali, Crosby); Nov. 4th 97:30pm Rd to Bali, Crosby).
  • Resumania: Oct. 15th 12-1.  (Free Pizza!)

Written by Courtney Jacobsen, Class of  2011.

Honey, I Think It’s Time You Admit You Have a Problem

sleep-learning

Don’t look away from the screen like I’m not talking to you. Yes you, reader whose face is slightly blue from the screen reflecting from your radiant skin. It’s time to admit that you have a problem along with the rest of the Northwest.

Diagnosis: Caffeine Junkie.

Addiction: Mass amounts of No-Fat Caramel Lattes, and Extra Espresso Shots fed scolding hot directly into your buccal cavity.

I know this may seem like a way to wake yourself up, but a recent article in the Wall Street Journal (click here for the full article) has recently linked coffee, along with several others, as hindrances of your regular sleep patterns. Here are few questions for you.

Do you find yourself sleepy after a long nights rest? This is probably because even though you slept you did not receive adequate REM or deep sleep in the night because you were too busy thinking of that paper due tomorrow, or that assignment at work.

Or, can you find that you can sleep anywhere at anytime? No, you are not just a very talented individual, you are sleep deprived. This can not only make you yawn endlessly throughout the day, leaving your mouth open to catch flies and airborne pathogens along with other things, but sleep deprivation has been proven to decrease college student GPA, your level of work performance, and make you hungrier and feel less full.

So what can you do to help get a better deeper sleep?

1. Reduce noise, light, and disruptive behaviors before bed. That way there’s nothing disturbing you before bed.

2. Have a “power down” hour before bed, removing things like your cell phone, blackberry, e-mail and Internet before bed. This stops your brain and slows it down before bed.

3. Create a “worry Journal” and when you can’t get to sleep write everything that you are stressed about at the time. This way all of your problems are on that paper, and not in your head.

4. Read a book. If you are really trying to get to bed, read a non-exhilarating book, say Fluid Mechanics or Anna Karenina, and it’ll put you right to bed.

So before you pick up that next coffee, think about your sleep and maybe go for a decaf. You’ll think about the wonderful sleep you had, before you started balding or going through menopause because your deep sleep only goes downhill as you get older.

Written by Marvin Dumas, Class of 2011

Don’t Be A Prisoner of Azkaban

Dementor

Sometimes I can’t help but link my life to Harry Potter. I don’t know how many of you have a similar problem, but there are so many Dementors, Voldemorts, and riddle spitting mythical creatures in my life that I am about to just drop out of Hogwarts. Psh, like my parents would ever let me do that.

However, after perusing the internet I have found at least one partronus that can help us all tackle one particularly bad Dementor: The Tough Interview Question. Who would think that your employer would ever ask you, “What sea creature defines you the best, and why?” or the ever popular, “Why should we hire you for the job?”

Well I, along with the help of Yahoo!hotjobs, have the answer for these questions so next time you won’t faint and need to be rushed to the nearest candy shop for a large piece of chocolate.

The “Why Question” or “Why Should we Hire YOU?”

Firstly KNOW the fine line between boastful and confident and DO NOT cross it. You are here to sell yourself, but do not come across as if you already have the job. Remember to highlight the specific aspects of your experience that pertain to this job.

The “Future Question” or “Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?”

Remember not to get too detailed, and tell them what is important to you professionally and how you plan to achieve your goals.

The “Salary Question” or “How Much Do You Plan To Make?”

First, try and gently deflect the question and ask them what about the salary for this job, but if they pressure you for an answer give them your range. Know that this question can and will be asked, and be prepared to offer a well thought out answer so you seem knowledgeable of the field and it’s typical pay.

The “Silly Question” aka “Which Country in the UN Describes You and Why”

First things first, DO NOT blow this question off. The employer uses this question to see how you react under pressure, and you should not take too long to think this over, but make sure you pick a creature or country that fits you well. For instance, take an animal like a ferret, and say how you always look for BRIGHT SHINY new ways to push yourself to new boundaries, and you get along great in a “business of ferrets” always helping your entire business to succeed.

So there you have it, a lovely business of ferret patroni to help you conquer your next job interview.

Written by Marvin Dumas, Class of 2011