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Graduate Outcomes from both undergraduate and graduate school

Applying for Prestigious
Scholarships and Fellowships

Applying for Prestigious
Scholarships and Fellowships

Have you ever dreamed about studying at Oxford University? Pursuing advanced research at MIT?  Where will you go after your studies conclude here? Is there a Rhodes, Fulbright, or Truman in your future?

Image courtesy of Fastweb

Merit based prestigious scholarships and fellowships enable select students the opportunity to undertake undergraduate or graduate studies or research experiences, either domestically or abroad. Candidates who are awarded these scholarships have achieved meaningful recognition and experiences of life-long significance. For a list of opportunities, visit UD’s Prestigious Scholarships and Fellowships website.

The road to earning these nationally competitive awards is rigorous and personally challenging. And while preparing an application for one of these awards can seem daunting, the Office of Personal Career Development and the designated faculty advisors for each award are here to help. “OPCD can also give you information about which scholarships and fellowships are available and give you advice on the application process,” said Gaby Martin, Prestigious Scholarships and Fellowships Advisor. Deadlines for these awards vary, and staying on top of what is due when is a crucial step in the application process.
         
While the major fellowships and scholarships such as Rhodes, Fulbright, and Truman require a school nomination, many others do not. For those, as well as the nominated scholarships, seek assistance from the specific scholarship/fellowship’s advisor, as well as from faculty in your area of study, your academic advisor, the Academic Success Office, and Ms. Martin from OPCD. This will ensure that each application is representative of your best work.

Although OPCD and faculty advisors will work with well-qualified individuals, it is ultimately up to you to submit a well-written application and to get the supporting documents in order to be nominated.  

For more information, contact OPCD.

6 Keys to a Professional LinkedIn Profile

6 Keys to a Professional LinkedIn Profile

This post originally appeared on June 30, 2016.

Statistics show that about 80 percent of today’s jobs are landed through networking. But how, exactly, do you go about finding opportunities to network? Robert Yale, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business, spoke to Director of Career Services & QEP Julie Janik’s career development class about making professional connections and building your personal brand through LinkedIn. “LinkedIn is not Facebook for the over-40 crowd,” said Yale. “It’s a social network for professionals with over 450 million users. It can be the bridge between you and potential employers if you work diligently to create a profile that sets you apart.”

Here are the dos and don’ts that make for a successful student LinkedIn profile:

Get a professional photo
Eye tracking studies show that recruiters spend 20 percent of their time focused on the photo in a LinkedIn profile. Because of this, Yale says you must use a professional image: “Use a tightly cropped photo. Wear business attire and make sure you’re recognizable.” And make sure you’re the only person/animal/object in the photo: “Don’t use an image of you with a dolphin unless you’re a dolphin trainer.” And beware: if you don’t upload a photo, LinkedIn will choose one from another of your social media accounts. What first impression do you want to make?

Don’t list your class year
According to Yale, listing your class year (freshman, sophomore, etc.) can exclude you from a recruiter’s searches. If, for instance, you forget to update your status from sophomore to junior, any keyword searches looking for juniors will bypass your profile. Another note about searches: list your degree by its acronym (BA, MBA). That’s what automatic searches are programmed to look for.

Complete the experience section with future employers in mind
This means don’t list your title as “student” in the experience section. “College is about more than being a student,” said Yale. “So in the experience section, list all of your volunteer and extracurricular activities, as well as your internships and summer jobs.” Think hard about what you learned and how those experiences translate into transferable skills. List those skills in your profile.

Don’t sell yourself short
When writing about your experience, don’t minimize the work you did by over-clarifying the position. If you were a student worker, list your job title only — do not list it as “student worker for XYZ Department.” Don’t describe your work at a day camp as a “short summer job.” Instead, focus on how you met your employer’s expectations and what skills you gained as a result of the experience.

Be definitive and declarative in all your profile entries
Don’t say you are “planning to go to graduate school” or “hoping to land an internship with a large accounting firm.” Instead, show the steps you are taking to reach that goal. Statements like “preparing for medical school” or “completing course work required to secure internship” are straightforward and goal oriented. As Yoda says, “Do or do not. There is no try.”

Make connections
Yale hears many students say they don’t have connections beyond school. “So get creative,” he said. “Start thinking about your parents and their friends, aunts, uncles, and your friends’ parents. Once you make your first layer of connections, the doors are open for you to connect with their connections, and so on.” This is also where networking comes in. When you go to a job fair, pick up cards from employers that interest you and add them to your network. If you notice that one of your connections is linked to a person that could help you or a company you’d like to work for, ask your connection if they will introduce you. “Be diligent, and your network will grow exponentially,” said Yale.

Visit the OPCD website for more career advice.

2017 Grad Named Fulbright Teaching Assistant in Germany

2017 Grad Named Fulbright Teaching Assistant in Germany

Emily Collins, a 2017 graduate of the University of Dallas, has been named a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Andernach, Germany. Her ten-month assignment begins in September.

Emily Collins

An English and Economics double major, Collins lived in Germany as a child, an experience which helped her decide to concentrate in German at UD. As part of her concentration, she worked as a marketing and communications intern at the Dallas Goethe Center, where she interacted with other staff members in German.

Collins gained classroom experience while at UD by teaching German to third graders at Holy Family of Nazareth Catholic school. “I created my own lesson plans centered around the German version of “Little Red Riding Hood” (“Rotkaeppchen”),” she said. “Each week I taught them different vocabulary pertaining to the story–first food vocabulary, then parts of the body, family members, clothing, furniture, etc. I then reinforced the vocabulary with songs and activities.”

Collins believes this combination of experience made her Fulbright application competitive. “Having been exposed to a non-profit and teaching the class was a plus,” she said. Collins said that the application process consisted of two essays and an on-campus interview. Her application was then sanctioned by the university and submitted for the award.

During her time in Germany, Collins is looking forward to becoming part of the Andernach community. “One of the most important aspects of the program is community involvement,” she said. “One of the application questions asks what you would do to become part of the community.”

For more information on prestigious scholarships and fellowships, click here. To make an appointment with a career counselor, click here.

UD Students Excel At Sales Competiton

UD Students Excel At Sales Competiton

University of Dallas students Rachel Sullivan, Michael Dinh and Dominic Del Curto returned from Florida International University’s sales competition with a lot to be proud of. The national competition consisted of 3 rounds with progressing levels of difficulty. The UD team was the only team who moved through all 3 rounds without losing a single member. Members of the group received a University of Dallas Experience Award to offset the costs of attending the competition.

Dominic Del Curto, Rachel Sullivan, Michael Dinh

Sullivan placed first in her group during all three rounds of competition. Del Curto placed third in rounds one and two and first in round three. Dinh placed second in round one and third in rounds two and three.

All three members of the team said that their success was due to their preparation and the guidance of their mentor, Dr. Laura Munoz. “When we got there, we were really nervous,” Dinh said. “But then when we heard people talking, we realized how well-prepared we were compared to the other contestants.”

In order to mimic the actual sales process, competitors were placed in role play situations, during which they were videoed making a mock sales call. They were given research materials in advance and were expected to learn about not only about the product they would be selling, but also about the industry itself. This required research into the needs of potential clients as well as possible objections. “It was sometimes hard to know exactly what we should prepare ahead of time,” said Del Curto. “So we just did lots of research and lots of role-playing.”

Del Curto, Sullivan, Dinh, Dr. Laura Munoz

Sullivan said that the entire process of preparation and competition helped her realize that any career will require the skills learned in sales. “Everyone should take a sales class,” she said. “Anyone working with people needs these skills, like doctors working with their patients.”

Dinh echoed that thought. “I think I learned how to instill trust,” he said. “And I know in the future I might have to sell my boss or a coworker on my ideas and having these skills will help me do that.”

Del Curto said that the both his sales class and the competition taught him to actively listen. “I learned to probe and question and to try to understand the other person’s problems,” he said.

The competition also included a career fair, and Sullivan, a senior, was contacted for an interview by one of the participating companies. Dinh has accepted a position as Pricing Strategy and Analytics Intern with the Walt Disney Company after his graduation this May. Del Curto, a junior, has a summer internship with the Fund for American Studies in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Laura Munoz, the group’s coach, said she could not be more proud of them: “Having competed gives them an edge in their professional lives. Here at Gupta College of Business, we pride ourselves in engaging in experiential learning and the competition allows them to do so. They learned the professional selling process and skills needed and were able to analyze and articulate this knowledge as the competition evolved. The training and actual competition allowed them to get to know themselves better and equally important, gave them a huge affirmation that they are capable, confident and smart young professionals.”

The UD Experience (UDE) awards encourage students to engage in activities in which they will present themselves professionally in pursuit of their vocational goals. Speak with your advisor and consult the UD website for specific details about the application process.

 

UD Alum Receives Fulbright Research Award

UD Alum Receives Fulbright Research Award

University of Dallas alumnus Phillip Wozniak (BA Biology ‘15) has been awarded a Fulbright Research Award to conduct medical research in Spain. He will be conducting a pre-clinical trial that focuses on finding an alternative treatment for preventing severe respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), an infection that can be deadly to premature and immunocompromised infants. His research will focus on the use of medical nanotechnology to develop the treatment.

Phillip Wozniak

Wozniak is currently a Clinical Research Coordinator at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the pediatric teaching hospital associated with Ohio State University. He believes his Fulbright application was particularly strong because of his relationship with a pioneer in the medical nanotechnology field, Dr. Maria Angeles Muñoz-Fernández. “Many applicants come up with a research idea and the beg around for someone to mentor them,” Wozniak said. “But I worked closely with my mentor to develop a research proposal that already had the support of a leader in the field.”

Wozniak will defer medical school for a year in order to conduct the research. And although he understands that the transition won’t be easy, he thinks his time at UD helped prepare him to live abroad. “Having the Rome experience helped me understand at least some of what I will be in store for me in Spain,” he said.

For more information on Prestigious Scholarships and Fellowships like the Fulbright Award, visit the OPCD website or to make an appointment, click here.

Judgement Call: Is Law School Right for You?

Judgement Call: Is Law School Right for You?

Going to law school is a common next step taken by many liberal arts graduates. And while there may be some good reasons to go, there are some equally good reasons not to, according to Dr. John Baker, University of Dallas alumnus, professor at at Louisiana State University, and visiting professor at Georgetown University. Dr. Baker spoke recently to a group of UD students about the ins and outs of law school.

“Here are the reasons not to go to law school,” Baker said. “Don’t go because your parents or anybody else wants you to go. And don’t be go because you don’t know what else to do.” Baker said that not knowing what to do with a liberal arts degree is sometimes a problem for UD students. “Don’t be afraid of the world,” he said. “You have a lot to offer.”

Baker said that UD students can stand out in the competition to get into law school because so many undergraduates are not being taught how to think, and since the best law schools have intellectual depth, unprepared graduates can’t compete. But broad thinking liberal arts majors must be prepared to make the transition to a new level of detail in law school. “Law school is granular,” Baker said. “You have to be ready for that kind of attention to detail.”

Baker said that those considering law school can make themselves competitive by bringing a special skill to the table. This will also help law school graduates differentiate themselves when competing for jobs after graduation. “Since law schools are basically agnostic about majors, try to get a background in anything,” Baker said. “Whether it’s a foreign language, business, or medicine, try to develop an expertise in something.”

“An undergraduate internship with a law firm is another good way to see if the law is right for you,” Baker said. In addition, he suggested that becoming a paralegal for a while before applying to law school can let students test the waters of a law firm before committing to law school.

Baker recommended that if students apply to law school, they should accept the best school they can get into. “There are some good schools in this area,” Baker said. “If you want to stay in this region, consider University of Texas. If you want to stay in Dallas, consider Southern Methodist University.”

For more information about applying to graduate school, contact OPCD by clicking here.

 

The Road Less Traveled: UD English Majors Talk About Various Paths to Success

The Road Less Traveled: UD English Majors Talk About Various Paths to Success

University of Dallas students often hear the remark, “You can do anything with a liberal arts degree.” But what exactly does that mean? A panel of UD alumni, all English majors, spoke on Friday, February 21, to a group of students about how they translated their degrees into successful careers and graduate studies.

Panelist Michael Traylor parlayed his degree into a career as a landman, a job that CNN Money calls the third best America. “I didn’t really have a big plan when I was a senior,” Traylor said. “I kept looking around for the perfect unicorn job.” Although some of Traylor’s friends had decided on law school, he wasn’t so sure. He eventually got job researching property rights and leases for oil and gas drilling. “It’s like lawyer-lite,” Traylor said. “I read deeds all day, and businesses rely on my interpretation of them.” A job as a landman might not be on every senior’s radar, but it is an example of one of myriad positions available to not only UD English majors, but to liberal arts majors in general. “Your education prepares you to do anything,” Traylor said, “But narrowing that down can be a difficult process.”

John Corrales, Social Media Editor for the New York Times, said he was idealistic but certainly not deliberate when he was a senior English major: “I had these vaguely romantic ambitions, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do.” After graduation Corrales moved back to his hometown of Odessa, Texas and got a job working for the local newspaper. After realizing this wasn’t for him, he wandered about a bit trying different jobs until he finally reached out to a friend’s cousin, who helped him land a job at the New York Times. “You really have to trust yourself,” Corrales said. “You make your own luck. You just have to want it.” And as far as the job he left Odessa, Corrales encouraged students to take a job that’s it’s in front of them, even if it’s something they don’t necessarily like. “You’ll learn something from every experience,” he said.

Seth Gonzalez, videographer and Staff Writer for The Texas Catholic newspaper, also changed jobs a few times before settling in his current position. “You have to bring something to the table,” he said. “You can’t just say that you are passionate about something without bringing some kind of skill related to it. Develop your skills on your own time if you have to.” Seth agreed with Corrales that individuals make their own luck: “Someone told me once that failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”

Maria Walley has taken the entrepreneurial route as the co-founder and marketing director of Kandid.ly, a fledgling digital marketplace for photographers. “It’s kind of like Etsy for amateur photographers.” Walley said that liberal arts majors can have success in just about any field because they think differently than those graduates who have more specialized skills. “Instead of just learning a process, we’re trained to think about the process from the outside,” she said.

Megan Wadle, who taught middle school before pursuing PhD work at Southern Methodist University, said that although it’s sometimes difficult to narrow down career possibilities, the naïveté of not knowing one’s limits can be a good thing. “Sometimes, you sign up for things that are really too much for you, but you learn as you go,” she said.

Nate McCabe, also a graduate student at SMU said that he had to make a conscious decision to be aggressive in pursuing his goal of getting into graduate school. “I got waitlisted by SMU and was working as a barista. I decided that I had to go harder to get the door open,” he said. “I started emailing professors. I had just about given up, but as soon as I closed the door on graduate school, I got the call from SMU that I got in.” Nathan said that although he doesn’t get much choice in what he studies, he got a good piece of advice from UD’s Dr. Greg Roper that keeps him going. “You have to suffer the 90% you don’t like to get to do the 10% that you do,” he said.

In closing, the panelists each offered practical advice for soon-to-be graduates:
Corrales: Find an internship. Gain some sort of useful skill–it’ll make you unstoppable.
Gonzalez: Develop an insatiable appetite. Dig into what you’re passionate about.
Traylor: Find the person who has the job you want and find out how they got there.
Walley: Meet with people to learn about different careers. And surround yourself with people who lift you up.
Wadle: Talk to someone who’s actually in the profession you’re interested in. Nobody knows it better than they do.
McCabe: Don’t just analyze information. Learn to synthesize it.

To make an appointment to meet with an OPCD counselor, click here.

Alumni Spotlight: Mariana Zayas

Alumni Spotlight: Mariana Zayas

Even before she graduated from UD in 2012, Mariana Zayas (BA ‘12) knew that she wanted to work in human resources. “I love people and I really wanted to make a difference in people’s lives,” she said. Zayas started her HR career on campus as an intern for the UD Office of Human Resources. She said that one of the most valuable parts of the experience was learning important professional skills: “I learned things like how to communicate within the boss/subordinate relationship.”

Mariana ZayasZayas was able to translate her HR internship into an entry-level position with Omni Hotels and has since moved up to the role of Corporate Human Resources Manager. “Our employees are spending eight or nine hours a day away from their families,” she said. “So employee relations is the best part of my job because I can help those hard-working people grow.”

Zayas credits the critical thinking skills she developed at UD with helping her hone her ability to communicate professionally. “When I’m in a meeting, I have to listen to what people are saying, then make my case and support my conclusions with facts, just as if I were writing a paper in Lit Trad. UD grads are smart and eager to learn, and they reflect that when they become professionals.”

Alongside her career in HR, another way in which Zayas helps people grow is through her role as president of the Young Catholic Professionals Organization. “YCP brings together everyone from experts to recent graduates,” she said. “We host executive speakers and hold panel events and mixers designed to help you grow a network of friends who share the same values.” You can visit their website here for more information about the organization.

Zayas advises students to say “yes” to opportunities that present themselves: “Get to know your professors. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Be ‘that person’ that says ‘yes’ to opportunities and be passionate about what you do.”

Most importantly, Zayas said, is that you love what you do: “Make sure the company you work for is a good fit. And if you’re passionate about what you do, you’ll be motivated every single day.”