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Author: Maura Bielinski

OPCD JOB FAIR SPRING 2019

OPCD JOB FAIR SPRING 2019

OPCD’s annual Job Fair is on Thursday, February 7, from 4:00- 6:00pm in the SB Hall Multipurpose Room. Some careful preparation can help you make a lasting impression and could lead to a great summer internship or even a full-time position after graduation.

Here are some things recruiters will notice:

  • Dress professionally.
  • Do your research and come prepared to talk to the companies that most interest you, but it’s not necessary to be an expert on every company. 
  • Work on your “elevator pitch.” It should include your name, your major, your expected graduation date, and your career goals.
  • While talking with a recruiter, give some insight into what you hope to do and highlight one or two key pieces of your resume.

A few more tips from the OPCD Career Counselors:

  • Be prepared to talk about not only what experience you have, but also what you hope to do in the future.
  • Thoughtful questions about an employer’s business will make a good impression.
  • Practice your elevator pitch, but don’t memorize it. You want to come across as personable and confident. If this kind of activity is outside your comfort zone, practice with a friend.
  • Bring extra copies of your resume in a padfolio or a plain folder.
  • Try not to be nervous about talking to employers. They will be there to meet you, and they want to hear about you.

The job fair is a great opportunity- don’t miss it!

To view a list of employers who will be present at the job fair, click here.

UD JUNIOR APPLIES FOR TRUMAN SCHOLARSHIP

UD JUNIOR APPLIES FOR TRUMAN SCHOLARSHIP

University of Dallas students apply annually to a multitude of prestigious post-graduation scholarships and fellowships. One such UD student, Kelsey Reese, a junior business major, is applying for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship.

The Truman Scholarship is a highly competitive federal scholarship, granted to college juniors who are pursuing a graduate education and demonstrate leadership potential and a commitment to public service. Applicants create their application around a particular social issue that they want to make a contribution to and write a policy proposal on how they plan to do so.

Kelsey Reese

Reese’s project centers on the prevention of domestic child sex trafficking. She plans to pursue this project through either a law degree or peace studies, in order “to get the tools I need to be able to solve these problems and then implement them in the community.”

She is focusing on the importance of preventative measures, by looking at how to stop the demand of child sex trafficking on both a local and national level. She aspires to raise awareness, stating, “Anything you can do to make the community more aware of it, instead of just putting on Band-Aids, is important. People think trafficking is a global issue, but it is happening in their own backyard, just ten miles away.”

Reese already has an Associates of Arts Degree in fashion design from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. Having a unique story and unique skill set, Reese is striving to find the right balance between her business and fashion degrees. She hopes to someday create a business that will play a significant part in the anti-trafficking movement.

Reese has demonstrated her commitment to her mission in multiple ways. In the summer of 2018, she was involved in Freedom and Fashion, a Los Angeles-based organization dedicated to the “reidentification and reimpowerment of sex trafficking survivors through fashion.” She mentored trafficking victims in the designing of a 19 piece collection for the Freedom and Fashion Show. “I guided them and polished their designs, and then I drafted the patterns, sewed the garments and fit the models.”

Freedom and Fashion Models That Reese Mentored Summer 2018

Through this experience, Reese was “grateful to be able to use the creative side of her brain but also be very helpful to the girls. Art can be hard to relate to after trauma but we found that art can express things beyond words. The clothing held way deeper meanings than could be imagined. It was amazing to be a part of.”

She is also involved in the local community through Traffick911, an organization which works with community centers in Dallas that deal with anti-trafficking.

Reese found inspiration to work against trafficking while volunteering in the Philippines, where she first encountered the toll of human trafficking. “I saw it happening it front of me, and this is where the spark of frustration grew that I couldn’t do anything. It was heartbreaking to see and have to walk away from the situation, so I want to do good from my experience.”

The Truman Scholarship application is due January 31, and applicants will find out in February if they are selected for an interview. Reese is set to graduate from University of Dallas in December 2019.

To explore scholarship opportunities, click here.

To schedule an appointment with a career advisor, click here.

Intern Spotlight: Elisa Ron

Intern Spotlight: Elisa Ron

Every summer, University of Dallas students spread all over the world to gain experience through internships and jobs. In the summer of 2018, Elisa Ron, a senior and double major in politics and economics, had the opportunity to intern at the Liberal Democrat Headquarters in London.

Ron interned as a policy researcher in the policy unit of the Headquarters. Her tasks involved reading, researching, and summarizing academic reports and government reviews. Her major project of the summer on immigration policy entailed researching and drafting a project on race equality issues in Britain.

Elisa Ron

Ron reflected that working with Liberal Democrats, the UK’s third party, was interesting because it is a smaller operation and isn’t as prominent as the other two major parties. “The smaller office and smaller team meant there was so more responsibility. It allowed interns the chance to do things they wouldn’t normally do.” Ron also mentioned that she hadn’t expected to be taken as seriously as she was. Being an American, she didn’t know how she would be received, but she appreciated being seen as a colleague there.

Ron also reflected on what it means to become involved in the political sphere as an intern. “You aren’t there to express your opinions; you’re there to do your work. It is easy to become involved in the partisanship and the polarization, especially in politics, but you shouldn’t. You want to be known for what you contributed, not what you say.”

One of Ron’s favorite aspects of the internship was the chance to go abroad, and she spoke on the uniqueness of being an international intern. “It was really good experience, the kind of experience I wouldn’t have gotten in the United States. Working abroad is totally different ball game than studying abroad. You have to navigate a different world culture, and make an effort.” Integrating herself as an American put a different twist on the internship experience, she said, because she learned how to interact with people that she never thought she’d interact with.

Ron discovered this opportunity when researching for an international internship, and the Hansard Society helped her get placement at the Liberal Democrat Headquarters. Strengthening her application was a strong GPA, letters of recommendation, experience abroad in the UD Rome Program, work experience as a tutor, and her expressed interest in the city of London.

While interning in London, Ron also took the opportunity to study at the London School of Economics as part of her program, taking classes in British Parliamentary Politics.

Saying she would highly recommend this internship to anyone considering a political or international position, she encouraged, “Don’t let finances get in the way. I was nervous about the cost, but I made it work because in the long run, it’ll really benefit in so many ways.”

She also cautioned, “Be aware of cultural surroundings, and don’t be afraid to apply to a prestigious position. I never thought I would have this opportunity in London. You never know, so just give it a try.”

To make an appointment with a career advisor, click here.

Don’t Sweat the Interview: A Guide for Successful Interviewing

Don’t Sweat the Interview: A Guide for Successful Interviewing

The University of Dallas’s OPCD was pleased to have Elliott Freise, a representative of Enterprise Holdings, speak at a recent Lunch and Learn event. As the Talent Acquisition Manager for Enterprise’s Dallas Group, Freise has accumulated a great deal of experience in the interviewing and recruiting process. She spoke to a group of UD students on interviewing successfully and shared common interview questions and ways to prepare. Freise presented five steps in the process: job hunting, resume crafting, applying, preparing through research and reflection, and finally, interviewing.

In respect to job hunting, Freise recommended reviewing job boards such as Indeed.com, CareerBuilder.com, Craigslist.com, and Glassdoor.com, “the Yelp of job hunting.” Reviewing company websites, peeking into company culture through social media, and finding sites and articles on BusinessWeek.com, Forbes.com, Collegegrad.com, and Experience.com are all good ideas, she said. Finally, she stressed the importance of networking: “There is no such thing as bad networking. Practice interpersonal interaction, so that you become a pro by the time of the interview. Do all that you can now!”

The next step is crafting the resume. Freise encouraged checking multiple times that all information is correct, and admitted that when she sees typos, a resume becomes useless. “A recruiter spends approximately seven seconds looking at it. Why? It only takes that long to discern whether they want to either meet you or not meet you.” However, while a resume can secure an interview, it does not secure a job.  It is necessary to put thought and care into it, but the heavy preparation should be set aside for the job interview.

As for applications, Freise advised filling them out carefully, because errors are easily made. “Double and triple check contact information. Fill in every box, even if lengthy, and don’t say ‘see resume’, because that reflects laziness.”

Freise made several suggestions on how to prepare for a successful job interview. “Know the company and know yourself,” she said. Freise shared her routinely first questions when conducting an interview. Her first is, “Tell me about yourself.” To answer well, she said it is best to “practice your elevator pitch of who, what, why. Have three to five sentences about your education, experience, and career goals, short-term and long-term. What are your skills, qualifications, values, and weaknesses? Practice! Do a mock interview or film yourself so you know your nervous tics, such as not knowing what to do with your hands.”

In order to make a good impression, Freise stressed the importance of being conscientious of both non-verbal and verbal communication, saying, “Presentation is everything. Smile and offer a firm handshake. Show them you are happy to be there.” Recruiters will gauge delivery and animation, presentation of ideas, interest in the position, and desire to improve and have goals.

Freise’ second question is always, “What do you know about the company?” To prepare, she suggested doing research on the company beforehand. This includes looking for things that are personally important such as shared values and the company’s vision statement and having goals in mind.

Freise mentioned several questions to count on being asked in a job interview, so it’s best to put some thought into how you’ll answer them. Friese says that your answers should highlight your work ethic, leadership skills, flexibility and your career goals. She added that it’s highly likely that you’ll be asked what are called behavior-based questions, which begin with: “Can you tell me about a time when…”

When asked for an example of adversity and what you learned from it, provide a positive result and improvement. Freise shared that she had heard “awesome stories of improvement in interviews.” Another common question is, “Do you have any questions?” Freise advised having three to five ready, ones that showcase a willingness for growth and interest, such as “How quickly can I advance?,” or “What challenges might someone encounter in this position?”

Freise had several thoughts on wrapping up the interview: “Be prepared with questions, make sure you completely understand the position, and ask for the next step in the interview process. Express interest, and say that you are looking forward to the next step.” She also said to inquire when you can expect to hear back from them, so that you know when it is appropriate to follow up. She recommended sending a thank you note by mail or email, either the same day or next day, and following up by phone if the company has not called by the time they said they were going to.

A personal deal-breaker to Freise, as an experienced interviewer, is the interviewee’s professionalism, and a lot is included in that: simple details such as punctuality, bringing a resume, no profanity, and steady eye contact. “Those things go a long way.”

A thank you to Elliott Freise for her time and willingness to offer advice to UD students at the OPCD’s Lunch and Learn!

To schedule a mock interview, set up an appointment with a career counselor, or any other questions, click here.

Intern Spotlight: Cristina Goerdt

Intern Spotlight: Cristina Goerdt

“What I take from the responsibility of an internship is the importance of the little things–dress code, showing up on time, being polite, turning in work on time–and how they lead to big things,” Cristina Goerdt said about her internship in the summer of 2018. A UD junior majoring in history and politics, Goerdt was a Public Diplomacy intern at the US Embassy in The Hague, Netherlands.

During her internship at the Embassy, Goerdt did research for and ran social media campaigns, photographed and wrote on official events, and made contributions to the Embassy’s website such as features on Dutch Fulbright Scholarship applicants.

The internship was a learning experience in several regards for Goerdt. Her assignments gave her experience in practical, real-world research and practice on concision, focus, and clarity in her writing. She found that the necessary research in her internship differed greatly from academic research; she had been accustomed to “researching on platforms such as JSTOR, but this research is a different kind. It is looking at companies you could partner with or looking for products.” She also described how it was interesting to observe culture in the workplace, “how much, say, the United States has abroad and how diplomacy is not something that you learn in textbooks. Real diplomacy is demonstrated in ways like the celebration of Dutch-French Friendship Day.”

Internships often provide some clarity and guidance in career choice. After this summer, Goerdt said that she is considering journalism more seriously and looking at a career in the State Department. The exposure to the political domain, networking opportunities, and experience with information gathering and synthesis were all valuable aspects of her internship.

Goerd highlighted her skills and experience in journalism, social media, and research when applying for the internship. Goerdt encouraged, “Don’t be scared to apply because you never know. Many people are discouraged before even trying to apply.”

When writing an essay for an internship application, she recommended focusing on your interests and what is important to you. While a company may be looking for a certain skill set, they also want to see that an intern demonstrates the capacity to learn new things. “I didn’t expect the variety of tasks I was asked to do and the amount of responsibility they gave me as an intern,” Goerdt said. “I also learned the importance of taking initiative. I continually asked for more work to do, which provided me with the opportunity to work on projects and learn skills I would not have otherwise learned.”

Goerdt enjoyed the internship so much that she has applied to work at the Embassy in Paris and several other State Department jobs for the summer of 2019.

Now is a good time for undergraduates to consider internships for the next summer, because many require early application deadlines. To schedule an appointment with a career advisor, click here.

UD Student Presents at Physics Conference

UD Student Presents at Physics Conference

The University of Dallas was proud to have Sophia Andaloro, a senior Physics major at the University of Dallas, recently present at the Fall Meeting of the Division of Nuclear Physics of the American Physical Society in Hawaii. Andaloro’s submission to the conference was based on her research at the Cyclotron Institute at Texas A & Mrom the previous summer.

The conference had a selective acceptance process that narrowed applicants to 110 undergraduates, choosing only very involved applicants who had made an impactful contribution to research. Andaloro’s independent research project on machine learning, a form of artificial intelligence, entailed the examination of neutron-gamma discrimination in their detectors. She investigated the best ways to use machine learning to improve current methods of this discrimination.

Andaloro described the Division of Nuclear Physics Meeting as a great learning experience. She enjoyed a two hour poster session, in which she conducted discussions and interacted with professors and experts in the physics community. Discussing her research and the physics behind it taught her a lot about her own project. The best thing, Andaloro said, was finding out “how and in what way my research was failing, and what I could do to improve.” Andaloro stated that she was encouraged her to consider it her duty to publish this for the rest of the scientific community in order to make her contribution to scientific progress.

Spending five days in a community that has the same enthusiasm for physics and is very supportive of undergraduate physics research was eye-opening and rewarding, according to Andaloro. She said this conference gave her perspective on how undergraduate research can have a big impact and is a great opportunity. “It is a chance to do something important,” she said. “The resources available to us as undergrads were surprising.”

Conferences provide students the opportunity to meet and connect with others who have similar interests. Although Andaloro said she hadn’t known anyone in the physics field before the conference, she now has contact with professors she would be excited to work with. While conferences can be a considerable commitment of time and money, it is always worth looking into whether there is funding available.

Andaloro had several pieces of advice for other undergraduates looking to attend a conference: “If you go to a conference, especially one in a field of science, have materials that supplement your presentation, have business cards, have a personal summary. Don’t be afraid to network and give people your name.” Andaloro also recommended that “the best way to prepare for a conference, especially one that is hard to get into, is to give it your all in your research project, admit your mistakes, and be honest.” After the Meeting of the Division of Nuclear Physics, Andaloro said she is thinking more seriously about her career, and is especially interested in one in nuclear physics. She is currently applying to graduate school and for external fellowships.

For more information or to make an appointment with a career advisor, click here.

Intern Spotlight: Marquel Plavan

Intern Spotlight: Marquel Plavan

“Being able to work in a foreign country is eye-opening,” Marquel Plavan remarked on her experience in Italy this past summer. Plavan, a senior Literature major at the University of Dallas, was a Public Affairs intern at the United States Consulate to Milan.

During her internship, Plavan routinely researched potential speakers for upcoming programs, events, and organizations to be sponsored by the State Department, and assisted in drafting a plan for the next year.  A major part of the experience was also networking. She would attend staff meetings and accompany Public Affair Officers in their endeavors to recruit speakers. Plavan remarked that this internship gave interns license to “get what you want out of it.” She had some freedom to work in an area of interest, and so she was able to “find a niche in an internship that wasn’t necessarily her cup of tea.” For Plavan, that niche was journalism. As part of a project, she recruited a speaker on slow journalism, the focus of which is “an authentic and diligent writing process and the return of truth to the forefront of journalism, instead of giving the quickest account of news.” Plavan edited the English writing of her fellow Italian interns, observed how journalism differs in Italy than in the United States, and strengthened her writing skills over the summer.

Plavan remarked on the lengthy application process and extensive security clearance process, but several past experiences prepared her for the challenge of this internship experience. Plavan held previous internships with Dallas magazines and is currently the Arts and Culture editor for the University News. A strong GPA and a semester abroad in Rome further strengthened her application. Plavan also mentioned, “UD connections make all the difference!” Because of previous UD student interns, UD has a growing relationship with the Consulate.

For those considering this internship or a similar one, Plavan recommended keeping a few things in mind. “If you are applying abroad, it can be expensive! But it is a wonderful experience and if you’re passionate about travelling, it’s worth it. Also, knowing as much Italian as possible would help!” Plavan also suggested talking to anyone who has done the internship before, so that “you can go into it with your eyes more open.”

To schedule an appointment with a career advisor, click here.

Guidance on LinkedIn

Guidance on LinkedIn

Upon first joining LinkedIn, it’s difficult to know the best approach to navigating and taking advantage of all that the employment-oriented social and business network has to offer. At the OPCD’S latest Lunch and Learn, Todd Strosnider provided guidance on LinkedIn profile presentation and networking methods. An MBA graduate of the University of Dallas, Strosnider has accumulated extensive experience in HR management training and business consultation. He is also an active member of the Alumni Advisory Panel for the OPCD.

First and foremost, Strosnider encouraged undergraduates to take LinkedIn seriously: “As an employer, I go to search for someone on LinkedIn, because resumes are losing impact in my mind. LinkedIn has a lot of momentum right now, and it is definitely worthwhile investing time and energy into your presence there.” He commented that the network is growing, as 95% of job recruiters are focused on LinkedIn.

Strosnider offered a number of recommendations for creating a strong LinkedIn profile. There are many factors in cultivating a positive online image, and a profile picture is the first impression. “What do you want your presence to be online? Think about what your online reputation says about you. Be professional, but not stiff,” he recommended. In regard to the summary section on a LinkedIn profile, Strosnider suggested keeping it fairly short. If it is too long, viewers are less likely to read completely through. The headline of a LinkedIn profile should be concise and descriptive, or “what you want to be seen as.” As a student, highlight projects, volunteerism, leadership, and relevant coursework; try to make past experiences, even if it is not an extensive list, connect to future career aspirations.

Regarding networking opportunities on LinkedIn, Strosnider said that it is important to remember that the more active you are, the higher you’ll appear in searches, which increases the number of potential employers and contacts finding and seeing your profile. Reposting or sharing others’ content and adding tags to your profile picture, such as “sports marketing,” are examples of remaining searchable.  Strosnider also recommended making a regular practice of updating your LinkedIn profile, even by tweaking just one or two words; this activity will set you higher in searches. Unless you turn the setting off, notifications will be sent out to your entire network whenever you make an edit, so make sure you are confident in your profile. Another method of becoming searchable is joining virtual groups on LinkedIn and even creating a group for colleagues or classmates. When sending out an invitation to connect with another LinkedIn member, “be thoughtful about how you want to reach out. A quick little blurb could make the difference when reaching out to prospective employers. Be very intentional when networking.”

Strosnider provided further suggestions for using LinkedIn in the best way. The URL of every LinkedIn profile is editable, and appears most professional when it reads your name. LinkedIn is also a great avenue to search for jobs, and offers job notifications based on personal searches. When searching for jobs, use filters; for example, searching “University of Dallas” and the company with whom you are seeking employment reveals any UD alumni working at that company and provides an immediate contact to connect with.

Strosnider encouraged undergraduates to shop around for ideas when creating a profile, ask others for honest feedback, and search other great profiles. “Having no LinkedIn profile is worse than having a bad one,” Strosnider shared, and encouraged the investment of time and energy into LinkedIn in order to advance professional opportunities and goals.

UD students are welcome to stop by the OPCD to have a formal headshot for a LinkedIn profile picture taken. To schedule an appointment with a career advisor, click here.