Browsed by
Category: University of Dallas Experience (UDE) Award Profiles

UDE Award Profiles

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.

 

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.

 

Hank Walter Sheds Light on Dallas’ Food Desert

Hank Walter Sheds Light on Dallas’ Food Desert

Hank Walter first became interested in food insecurity during his junior year, while writing a paper on the tradition of communal dining. During his research he learned about an area of Dallas, south of I30 and east of I45, which has been called a “food desert,” a term meaning that the neighborhood lacks sustainable sources of food for its residents. According to Walter, food pantries and soup kitchens are only a stop-gap solution: “The closest grocery store is a 2-hour round-trip bus ride,” he said. Through interviewing residents of the area, Walter found that a lack of easily accessible, healthy food sources creates not only health problems for residents, but also contributes to mental illness.

Walter’s research into the food desert culminated in his senior thesis, “Food Insecurity in South Dallas: Revealing the Harmful Effect of Food Deserts in a Developing Metroplex.” At the urging of his adviser from Human Sciences and the Contemporary World, Dr. Carla Pezzia, Walter submitted his paper to the annual meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology in Vancouver (April 29-May 2, 2016) and was accepted as a presenter. He received a University of Dallas Experience Award to offset the cost of attending the conference.

At the meeting, Walter participated in a panel discussion on food insecurity in urban areas. Out of the four panelists, he was the only undergraduate student. “It was really exciting to discuss my research and be able to contribute as an equal with other professionals,” he said.

In addition to honing his presentation skills, Walter also learned valuable lessons about networking at the meeting. “This was my first real introduction to networking,” he said. “I learned the norms and etiquette of going up to a random person and making a connection.”

Walter was also impressed by the variety of research and discussion topics represented at the meeting. “It was a really eye-opening experience. I had no idea that the study of anthropology included so many different areas,” he said. “I saw so much research from all over the world.” As a result of his experience at the conference, Walter is considering continuing his research into urban areas: “There are so many rich areas of study domestically. There’s a lot of work to be done.”

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 (http://udallas.edu/qep/ude/) for specific details about the application process.

Art Student Presents Paper on Roy Lichtenstein at Symposium

Art Student Presents Paper on Roy Lichtenstein at Symposium

Caitlin Clay’s chief goal in attending the University of Texas at Tyler’s Undergraduate Art History Symposium (April 16, 2016) was to deliver her paper on artist Roy Lichtenstein. But what she really gained was confidence in her presentation skills and her ability to network with other art history professionals. “The symposium was such a great learning experience for me,” she said. “Speaking to a large group as an undergraduate and learning how to prepare for small things like how to wear a mic will help me a lot in in graduate school.” Clay received a UD Experience Award to offset the cost of attending the symposium.

Caitlyn Clay
Caitlin Clay

Clay said that the laid-back atmosphere of the symposium encouraged networking among the participants. “Because I received the UDE Award, I was able to spend the night before the conference networking with other speakers and meeting art history students from other schools,” she said. One fellow participant later emailed Clay articles to help with her thesis. She also met a student from TCU where she will be attending graduate school in the fall. “It was a great opportunity to meet art historians from other universities—peers in my field,” she said. She has been accepted into TCU’s Master of Arts program in Art History and was granted a full tuition waiver.
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 (http://udallas.edu/qep/ude/) for specific details about the application process.

Alexa Acquista Awarded Travel Grant With Support from Politics Department

Alexa Acquista Awarded Travel Grant With Support from Politics Department

Alexa Acquista
Alexa Acquista

Alexa Acquista is hoping that her experience at the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. (March 2-5, 2016) will help will help her bring a new organization to campus. She was chosen by Turning Point USA to attend the conference, and she hopes to bring a Turning Point chapter to the University of Dallas. “Turning Point is a national non-profit with chapters in campuses across the country,” Acquista said. “Their mission is to educate and organize students to promote conservative values.”

At the CPAC meeting, Acquista attended lectures and policy panels on a variety of topics, including crime and foreign policy. “One thing that surprised me was hearing different approaches to the issues,” she said. “Although the panels and speakers represented conservative views, there were many different opinions on how to solve the problems.”

Acquista also attended leadership seminars and connected with representatives from organizations that sponsor similar conferences. “I learned a lot that I can bring back to campus,” she said.

With the endorsement of the Politics Department, Acquista received a University of Dallas Experience Award to offset the costs of attending the CPAC conference. 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 (http://udallas.edu/qep/ude/) for specific details about the application process.

Joseph Pecha Wins Award for Best Poster at American Chemical Society Meeting

Joseph Pecha Wins Award for Best Poster at American Chemical Society Meeting

Joseph Pecha
Joseph Pecha

The November 4-11, 2015 American Chemical Society meeting in Nashville was Joseph Pecha’s first big conference to attend. “There were a lot of people and a lot of specialties represented,” he said. “There was also a variety of different institutions.” Pecha was awarded a University of Dallas Experience Award to offset the expense of attending the conference, during which he presented a paper based on his summer research at Emory University.
Pecha also received the Best Poster Award in his division. He attributes his win to preparation. “I presented my paper at Emory and won 3rd place among my group,” he said, “And I practiced a lot over the summer.” Pecha also credits having an outstanding mentor as part of his success. “Although it’s hard, you have to have confidence in yourself while you’re conducting research. You have to be proactive and stick with it.”
Pecha said that attending the event would help him prepare for his future as a scientist. “It’s of critical importance for scientists to communicate the value and benefits of the work they’re doing to the public,” he said. “Presenting at the American Chemical Society Meeting helped me experience the importance of clear communication.”

Joseph Pecha is a Biochemistry and French major at UD. You can read here about his summer 2016 research experience related to orthopedic medicine.