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UD SENIOR NAMED FULBRIGHT SCHOLAR

UD SENIOR NAMED FULBRIGHT SCHOLAR

Alexandra Koch, a University of Dallas Politics and German double major, has been named a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant. In the fall of 2019, she will travel to Germany to teach English for a ten month assignment.

“Seeing the legacy of Fulbrighters at UD, especially in the German Department,” partly inspired Koch to apply for the prestigious scholarship the first time she visited the University of Dallas. “I distinctly remember meeting a Fulbright recipient and thinking that maybe could be me one day.”

Alexandra Koch

Koch said she is foremost excited to become an ambassador of the United States and member of the local community. Her project for the Fulbright’s grant proposal focuses on community service, such as volunteering with the church and getting involved at the local level. “I hope to be a caring community member and a good representative of the US to show that there are more to Americans that the international media might present,” she said. Koch is also looking forward to the opportunity to reach a higher level of fluency in the German language.

Koch had an impressive resume to strengthen her application to the scholarship. Besides international work and study abroad experience in Germany and Rome, Koch is also very involved in the UD community. She is a part of the UD Senate, the German club president, a German language tutor, and part of a mentoring program. She also mentioned that taking a language pedagogy class prepared her for the challenge of teaching a foreign language abroad and strengthened her application.

Koch expressed that “receiving the Fulbright could open doors in the future and help provide clarity about my interest in foreign service and international affairs.”

For anyone considering applying for the Fulbright, Koch suggested applying and meeting with professors and advisors as early as possible because it is a very lengthy process.

Visit the OPCD to get more information about prestigious scholarships, for interview practice, and resume advice.

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

UD Senior Presents at Coral Reef Conference

UD Senior Presents at Coral Reef Conference

“Being in a professional environment and sharing your own research is a grounding experience. It’s so cool to see so many people interested in the same thing you are, and an awesome feeling to be somewhere where everyone is just as excited as you are about your research.”

This is how John Paul Dieffenthaller described attending and presenting at the Reef Futures Conference in December 2018 in Key Largo, Florida. Dieffenthaller, a senior biology major, presented a coral restoration project, an ongoing research project he and several others have been working on in the University of Dallas biology department.

Explaining that fifty percent of the world’s coral is dead, Dieffenthaller advocated that this decline is not something to be ignored. “The coral reef is so important, because it has many uses: medicine, food, and an essential part in marine life.” Dieffenthaller started doing research with Dr. Deanna Soper of UD’s biology department last summer. He and his co-researchers are looking at how to restore the coral reef’s former state through microfragmentation, a process used to accelerate coral growth, and are collecting data for a biochemical explanation for the success of this process.

On December 14, 2018, Dieffenthaller attended the Reef Futures Conference presented by the Reef Restoration Consortium. His poster presentation focused on the Hippo Growth Pathway in Orbicella faveolata, or a mountainous star coral, a critically-endangered species.

As he had never presented before to that big of an audience, Dieffenthaller expressed that he hadn’t known what to expect from the experience. “It was amazing. Seeing that this subject is being investigated worldwide, making those connections, and getting to talk with coral reef experts taught me so many different things. It helped provide direction on where to take our project in the future.”

Dieffenthaller said that the perspective gained in the conference altered his group’s project in subtle ways.  “We are looking at why microfragmentation works on a more specific, molecular level, rather than taking the broader perspective and measures like most approaches, like planting more coral.”

In terms of advice for those attending or considering attending a scientific conference, Dieffenthaller mentioned that it is very important to prepare in advance, and avoid last-minute preparation. If worried about how your research will be received and how much interest it will attract, he encouraged, “Don’t worry about people not being interested, because people will want to inquire. It felt natural, and after, you realize you’ve learned a lot.”

Dieffenthaller’s future plans include pursuing a Master’s degree in Education in order to teach biology and keep advocating for coral restoration.

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.