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Career Development and Alumni Relations Launch Alumni Advisory Panel

Career Development and Alumni Relations Launch Alumni Advisory Panel

Monica Abbracciamento, Alumni Advisory Panel member

The UD Office of Personal Career Development and the Alumni Relations Department have launched a virtual alumni advisory panel in which students can connect with experienced alumni and pose questions on career-related topics.

The virtual panel boasts of 33 members from a variety of career fields and graduation years. Students can post questions to the entire panel or to individual panel members. Questions and answers are posted on the Office of Personal Career Development’s blog. Students can also scroll through past questions and answers to look for topics that interest them.

Panelist Monica Abbracciamento (BA History, 2011) said that she’s serving on the panel because she’s grateful for her UD education and the impact it’s had on her professional growth. “I wanted to serve as a resource for students facing the same decisions I once faced,” she said.

Abbracciamento also believes that good mentors are crucial for the success of young professionals. “Liberal arts candidates, in particular, have many ways of adding value to business and other organizations,” she said. “I’d love to offer perspective and advice based on my own unique career progression.”

Click here to view the alumni advisors and pose questions or select the “Ask an Alumnus” menu on the OPCD blog’s home page.

To make an appointment with an OPCD career counselor, click here.


Students Forming
Women in STEM Club at UD

Students Forming
Women in STEM Club at UD

Why are there so few women in STEM fields and what can we do about it? Last year, students at the University of Dallas decided to tackle those questions head-on by forming a Women in STEM club at UD.

Patricia Hahn and Rebecca Kolbeck

Last spring, Rebecca Kolbeck, a senior biology major, joined a few friends for informal talks about starting a Women in STEM club at UD. “Some of the women who were in the STEM majors and were about to graduate mentored us and encouraged us to think about forming a club,” she said. They started out with a few informal events, including discussions about what the club would look like and even a trip to see the movie Hidden Figures for inspiration. Patricia Hahn, senior biochemistry major, and Tessa Rosenberger, junior physics major, are two other founding members of the group.

As the fall 2017 semester begins, Kolbeck and other members have turned to Dr. Sally Hicks, Chair of the Physics Department, and Dr. Ellen Steinmiller, Associate Professor of Chemistry, as mentors for the club. “We’re really in the formative stages now,” Kolbeck said. “So we’d like to research statistics on women in STEM majors at UD. We’d like to find out if female STEM grads actually go into STEM fields after graduation. And if not, why?”

Kolbeck hopes to eventually bring speakers to campus that can not only inspire young women to pursue STEM careers, but also prepare them for the challenges they might face in the traditionally male-dominated STEM fields. “We’d like to hear from alumni, female professionals, and UD professors about how they overcame the obstacles to being women in STEM,” she said. 

Kolbeck visualizes the Women in STEM Club inspiring the next generation as well. “We’d eventually like to talk about women in STEM fields in a broader sense, including how we, as college students, can motivate high school and middle school girls into pursuing STEM education,” she said.

For more information on women in STEM fields, read the American Association of University Women’s research report on the subject here.

For help in choosing a major or career field, make an appointment with an OPCD career counselor.


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.

Advice from an Entrepreneur
Flip Howard–Founder & President,
Meridian Business Centers

Advice from an Entrepreneur
Flip Howard–Founder & President,
Meridian Business Centers

A group of entrepreneurs spoke recently to students at the University of Dallas’ Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business. This series will highlight their best advice for those interested in starting their own businesses.

Flip Howard
Founder & President
Meridian Business Centers

Meridian Business Centers has been a trusted resource for office space in Dallas and Houston since 2001 by providing premier office solutions at an accessible price. Their executive office suites, virtual offices, coworking, and meeting spaces offer considerable value with very low overhead to small businesses.

  • While my friends were working for minimum wage, I painted addresses on curbs and made twice that much. I started my first business–a laundry service–in college. Now I own several companies, but my main focus is buying, renovating, and then leasing office space to small companies.
  • Most people think you need do something nobody else is doing in order to be an entrepreneur. But that’s not true–just take something someone else is doing and do it better.
  • Many people (especially younger ones) get caught in “analysis paralysis.” If you have an idea, just do it! I’ve talked to too many people that said they had always wanted to start something but never did.
  • I failed a lot, but I always learned something. Don’t be afraid to swing and miss.
  • Most successful people aren’t necessarily smarter or harder working; they just have confidence in themselves. They may fail, but they don’t care. They see everything that happens as an experience.
  • Find your parents’ five most successful friends and ask them to meet with you. Find out how they got where they are and listen to what they tell you.
Resume and Interviewing Tips
from an HR Executive

Resume and Interviewing Tips
from an HR Executive

Julie Allison, HR Executive

Who better to give you advice on your job search  than someone who looks at resumes and conducts interviews all day long? Julie Allison, an Irving-area Human Resources executive for a company that has hired many UD grads, shared some best practices for navigating the hiring process. Here are the highlights.

Job Fairs and on-campus events

  • Networking doesn’t have to be uncomfortable or scripted. It’s just a matter of walking up to someone and saying something like, “Hi. I’m Chris and I’m a student at UD majoring in Business. What do you do?”

Resumes and cover letters

  • If a resume comes across my desk with spelling or grammar mistakes, it goes in the trash.
  • The applicant uses the wrong company name in about 50% of the resumes and cover letters I see.
  • If your resume is short on work experience, highlight your campus and community involvement. This shows me that you are resourceful and adaptable. What I really want to know is what have you accomplished?
  • Your cover letter should state why you are interested in my company and why you think your background is a good fit for the position you’re applying for. Tell me why I should call you in for an interview.


  • During an interview, you should be able to articulate what’s on your resume. Be ready to talk about not only your accomplishments, but also how you went about achieving them.
  • Always ask questions after an interview. Thoughtful questions not only show that you’ve prepared, they show that you really want to learn about the company. The right questions will help you figure out if the job is a good fit for you.

Once you land the job

  • When starting a new job or internship, don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s OK that you don’t know everything. We don’t assume that you do–and neither should you.






Getting Your Job Hunt Back on Track
Research, Relevance, Repeat

Getting Your Job Hunt Back on Track
Research, Relevance, Repeat

Image courtesy of

Has your job hunt got you down? Here are some tips to from Julie Jernigan, Director of the University of Dallas’ Office of Personal Career Development, to get your search back on track.

“It can get frustrating if you’re applying to positions and not hearing back,” said Jernigan. “And if you’re not getting interviews, you need to reevaluate how you’re applying and what materials you’re submitting.”

Jernigan says to focus on the 3 Rs–Research, Relevance and Repeat


Look at job hunting websites like and, but don’t stop there. Go directly to the career sections on the websites of companies for whom you want to work and apply directly.

Read every word of the job description before you apply. In fact, copy and paste it into a text document that you can refer to later if the job posting is removed. Read through all pages of the company’s website and check out their social media and LinkedIn pages.

Jernigan also emphasizes that you must read ALL of your emails. OPCD often sends out job leads from companies that want to hire UD students and grads. You can also sign up for mobile job alerts by clicking here.


If you have 75% of the qualifications listed in a job description, then APPLY. Tailor your job description to the qualifications the employer is asking for. That means using strong verbs that show the employer that your experience reflects what the company wants for the position. According to Jernigan, a hiring manager should be able to tell within 6-10 seconds that your experience aligns with the job.


Jernigan says that if you are serious about finding a job, you should be applying to 5-10 positions per week: “Realistically, it takes two hours to apply for a job because each resume you use should be different based on the required qualifications of the job.”

To keep track of all your different resumes, Jernigan recommends creating a separate folder on your computer for each job you apply to. In the folder, put the resume and cover letter you used, as well as a text copy of the job description.

Another tip: create a spreadsheet with an entry for each job you apply for. Include the company name, the job title, the contact person, the date you applied.

For help with your job search or your resume, contact the Office of Personal Career Development.


7 Ways to Get a Jumpstart on Your Career This Summer

7 Ways to Get a Jumpstart on Your Career This Summer

Summer is finally here!

OK, we know summer’s not all about snow cones, flip flops and lounging around the pool. And although you’re probably busy working, interning or taking classes, summer is the perfect time to start thinking about and planning for your future. Here are some tips for taking advantage of your time away from campus.

        • Ask your relatives and your parents’ friends for informational interviews. An informational interview is really just a conversation during which you can learn about a career field or particular company. Speaking with someone one-on-one about what he or she does every day is a great way to learn more about what a job is really like. And while an informational is not an actual job interview, it is not an informal setting. You should behave professionally and come prepared with thoughtful questions. The UD alumni network and friends that have already graduated are also great resources for informational interviews.


        • Research internships—know the deadlines and use your time off to work on your resume and cover letter. Not only will an internship provide you with hands-on experience that can help you land a job after graduation, but it can also show the kind of day-to-day experience you can expect in a particular career field. Internships are an important step in the discernment process—you might leave an internship knowing exactly what you don’t want to do.


        • Start thinking about next summer’s research opportunities. If you’re a science major, conducting research is crucial to your success. The best REUs and summer research opportunities are highly competitive and will require a thoughtful application. Spend some time over your summer break researching these opportunities and preparing your application.


        • If you have a competitive GPA, check out UD’s Prestigious Scholarships and Fellowships page to see if you qualify for any opportunities. Review the requirements and deadlines for each award and begin work on your personal statement. Gaby Martin at the OPCD can guide you through the application process.


        • Look for volunteer opportunities. Not only will you be giving back to the community, you can gain experience that many employers will value. If you line up a volunteer opportunity for the fall semester, you may be able to receive course credit for approved community service.


        • Explore avenues to present your work to the public if you’ve written an exceptional paper or conducted in-depth research in your field. This could mean making a presentation during a campus event or sharing your work with an organization tied to your area of research. Many scientific, literary, and educational societies welcome student participation. You can apply for a University of Dallas Experience Award funding to offset your travel expenses.


        • Make an appointment with an OPCD career counselor if you are around DFW during the summer.  We can also work with you via email and phone. We can help you fine-tune your resume and cover letter, research internship opportunities, and apply for prestigious scholarships and fellowships. Make time now, before your new classes begin.


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.

College of Business Newsletter Notes from the OPCD: Does Your LinkedIn Impress?

College of Business Newsletter Notes from the OPCD: Does Your LinkedIn Impress?

In case there is any question about this topic – LinkedIn is useful. In my role, I regularly use it to recommend candidates to my connections, ask professionals from in my network industry-specific questions, solicit speakers for campus events, and more.  With more than 2,000 connections, I am always surprised at what a useful networking tool LinkedIn is (when it seems like it could be so overwhelming). Here are a few of my thoughts based on my experience with LinkedIn.

Update. Seriously. Be smart about it though. 
Even if you are not actively looking for a new position, updating your LinkedIn profile makes good professional sense. I receive lots of requests to link in, and I see that more and more candidates are adding their LinkedIn address to their resumes (also smart).
Be sure to format your address so it reflects your NAME..  Go to “Edit your public profile,” and by clicking on “Edit public profile URL” you can edit yours to reflect your name.  Mine is (feel free to link in with me, by the way).
And that’s just the beginning. Updating sections takes diligence, reflection, and strategic thinking. You also have to decide when to attach a copy of your resume. For example, I typically do not attach a copy of my resume to my LinkedIn, but if I began to seek a SPECIFIC type of position, I would tailor my resume to the skills and experience that recruiters would look for in that industry and post it.  If you know that you want a specific type of role with skills and experience that are generally accepted within that field, then you might want to keep a copy of your resume updated and attached to your profile.
 UPDATE all sections of your profile frequently and with accuracy and with the dual intent of impressing recruiters and serving as a professional resource within your field to the LinkedIn community.
A word about your photo – read THIS posting from Dr. Yale, and if you still don’t think the photo you choose is important, read THIS.
Read THIS advice about LinkedIn from a recruiter’s perspective.
Caution: LinkedIn sloppiness, errors, and lack of content make a bad impression…
Your profile is a marketing tool and you will either build credibility with your profile or… NOT.  Personally, I am skeptical of profiles with strange or grainy photos, lack of detail about accomplishments, out-of-date and missing information from the education and employment sections.
Read some Do’s and Don’ts about LinkedIn here (all shared with us by Dr. Yale).
When to Link and when to wait…
Link in with folks you can help. Link in with folks who might be able to help you.  That’s what this site is for.  If your page is not aligned with some of the professional interests of the person with whom you want to link, they are more likely to ignore your request.  As an example, I receive requests from people who do not seem to have connection to my past or present professional and educational background.  I ignore these.  At times, I receive requests from candidates who have really poorly constructed pages, and upon looking at their profile I am able to ascertain that they are UD students.  I (reluctantly) accept these, but I am concerned that the candidate is not someone I can refer to one of my colleagues.
Link in at will UNLESS you are submitting an application to the person with whom you want to LinkIn. For example – if I am applying for a job and know that Mr. Jones from ABC company is receiving my resume, I will hold off on linking in with him. Preferably, I will be selected for an interview at which time I’ll ask if I might link in. If I don’t hear back about the position after applying, I might wait a week or so and send a cordial message to accompany my LinkedIn request.  If he accepts – well, that’s not a bad sign!  An even better sign?  If you are seeking a position, and the recruiter or hiring manager asks to link in with you, at least you know that you are on their radar!
Know that if you are in the midst of applying for a job, the folks receiving your resume will look at your LinkedIn sites. My recommendation is that you build the best LinkedIn page possible and edit your settings to PUBLIC – making for easier viewing.

Do you have questions about your career search?  Ask Amy Young, Associate Director of Career Services: