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Intern Spotlight: Katie Macaulay

Intern Spotlight: Katie Macaulay

“Whatever you do in the professional world, it is important to have a strong work ethic and have strong mentality. I learned that taking advantage of every opportunity and networking is so, so important.”

This is what Katie Macaulay, a senior economics major, came to realize during her internship with Enterprise Rent-A-Car in Bellevue, Washington in the summer of 2018.

Having heard great things about the Enterprise internship program, Macaulay pro-actively connected to a recruiter in addition to applying online. In preparation for the extensive interview process and knowing that they were looking for hardworking people who were excited about Enterprise, she learned all she could about the company.

“It is so important to know why you want to work at a company before an interview. I organized reasons beforehand on why I wanted to work there specifically and spent time in the preparation.” Macaulay noted that her interviewer was impressed by how much prior research she had obviously done. “He could tell I cared about wanting it and knowing it.”

Enterprise Rent-A-Car has a structured internship program that includes shadowing, a week of training in daily operations, networking, and talks. “It was a very structured and well-organized program, because they were really supportive and provided great mentors.”

Macaulay and her fellow interns were also responsible for a very hands-on project over the summer. She worked in inside sales, looking at how to boost sales on damage waivers. She set clear goals for herself and, at the end of the summer, presented to Enterprise area managers and Regional VPs for western Washington on her project.

“Higher-ups want to see how you interact with others and how you incorporate things within the job. If you take the tasks they give you seriously, they will notice and admire you. The more comfortable I got in my position, the more managers pushed me.” Over the summer, Macaulay earned managerial trust and was given more complex tasks, such as going to outside sales or marketing.

One aspect Macaulay had not expected was how much she appreciated the people and the structure of Enterprise: “I didn’t know internal structure would be so important and apparent in everyday operations. The company really takes care of their employees and develops amazing customer loyalty. It made a huge impression on me that they would do anything for their customers, instead of just chasing profits.”

An internship can change your professional aspects or aspirations. At the end of the internship, Enterprise extended a post-graduation job offer to Macaulay, which she accepted.

Macaulay expressed how much she had been able to take in from this experience. “You learn a lot from a very successful company. It was very much an entrepreneurial experience, because I was able to witness their exponential growth, long term decisions, and a successful business model.”

For tips on a successful job or internship interview, click here.

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

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.

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.

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.

Intern Spotlight: Yeabkal Wubshit

Intern Spotlight: Yeabkal Wubshit

Some of the most rewarding internship experiences are those that both implement already-learned skills and contribute to personal and intellectual growth in ways that an academic setting cannot stimulate. Yeabkal Wubshit, a junior Computer Science major, held an internship in which he was able to apply his knowledge on a real-world platform. Wubshit was an Engineering Practicum Intern with Google in Sunnyvale, California, in the summer of 2018. His primary responsibilities included building libraries for verification of Google service accounts, and ensuring the authentication and authorization of service accounts.

Wubshit described his experience as the “best internship, because you work with some of the best computer science specialists in the world, you do something significant, and you get a good experience with working with others in a relaxed environment. Everyone is very excited to be there and very passionate.”

450 out of 50,000 applicants are accepted for this internship with Google, making the acceptance rate less than one percent, but Wubshit made a competitive candidate. He had conducted an on-campus project with NASA and other personal projects on mobile applications, and he is a member of the soccer team and the Programming Team. After the initial application on the Google home site, Wubshit had two highly technical phone interviews, including doing online coding over the phone.

One unexpected aspect of the internship, in Wubshit’s opinion, was the level of responsibility and freedom afforded to Google’s interns.  While it was overwhelming at the beginning, he remarked that helpful coworkers, great resources, and a very positive environment all supported him. Accustomed to projects in an academic setting, he appreciated the challenge an internship in the computer science field presented: “If you write just one extra line of code, it could cost your company a million dollars, whereas it wouldn’t matter if you messed up in an academic setting.  Whatever you do truly matters and is being used everywhere.” Wubshit expressed how gratifying it was to be so involved. “It’s crazy to think that part of my project is being used millions of times every second. It’s awesome to think I am a part of something being used worldwide.”

Wubshit enjoyed the internship so much that he has applied again for summer 2019, looking forward to making even bigger steps in pursuit of a career in software engineering.

Wubshit offered several pieces of advice for undergraduate students considering an internship, especially one in computer science: “It is important to stay open-minded and be able to adapt. Products may change in this field and you can’t be discouraged by that.” Being passionate about what you do and using the opportunities that come your way are key. He also quoted the application as one of the biggest mental roadblocks for college students in the internship process. “There is no way you’ll get there without applying. You have to believe in yourself. You have to like what you’re doing, perform your best, and present your best self.”

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