Victoria Williamson: Member of UD Alumni Advisory Panel (Launching Soon)

Victoria Williamson: Member of UD Alumni Advisory Panel (Launching Soon)

Victoria Williamson

BA Psychology, 2013

Career Sectors: Healthcare, Technology

Graduate Degree: Master of Arts, Psychology
Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Current Job Title: Program Manager

Current Employer: Catalyst Health Network

What career path led to your current position?

I interned for a technology recruiting and professional services company during my final year of grad school. The VP of Professional Services was interested in my background in psychology. Once I completed my masters, he hired me to work with our technology teams. I became involved in our organizational training and client services programs. After two years, I joined a healthcare start up as their technology and program manager specialist. I’m currently working for this organization. I specialize in designing technology products and managing new product offerings.

What kind of credentials, education, training, prior experience are needed to pursue this path?

A bachelor’s degree is absolutely required. A master’s degree is strongly preferred, but could be acquired later. More than anything, you need a strong work ethic and a drive to solve any problem.

How was your major and/or your degree from UD related to your current work?

My background in psychology has proved invaluable. My employers specifically hired me for the psychological insights I bring to the table.  

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.
Dean Crawford: Member of UD Alumni Advisory Panel (Launching Soon)

Dean Crawford: Member of UD Alumni Advisory Panel (Launching Soon)

The Office of Personal Career development is working with the Office of Alumni Relations to bring the expertise and advice of UD’s outstanding alumni network directly to students. When the panel goes live, UD students will be able to peruse the background of participating panelists and pose questions to alumni from a variety of career fields. Here’s one of our panel members.

Dean Crawford

BA Mathematics, 1994

Career Sector: Consulting

Graduate Degree: MS, Mathematical Engineering, University of Texas at Dallas

Current Job Title: Senior Consulting Actuary

Employer: Willis Towers Watson

What career path led to your current position?

I was a high school math teacher for five years after UD and graduate school and then decided to pursue a career which combined my communication skills from a liberal arts university with my love for mathematics.

What kind of credentials, education, training, prior experience are needed to pursue this path?

Successful progress toward the completion of actuarial exams are ultimately needed in this career. Credentials are earned through the Society of Actuaries and the IRS Enrolled Actuary programs. Typically, full certification takes 6-10 years as you work as an analyst in the field.

How was your major and/or your degree from UD related to your current work?

UD encourages communication skills as a measure of true intellectual success. My clients appreciate an ability to share complex ideas in an applicable manner to drive change in their organizations. A math degree from UD demonstrates a student’s ability to think outside the box and master concepts across the mathematical spectrum. Narrow minds do not succeed at UD or in the consulting world.

 

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.

Interviews

  • 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.

 

 

 

 

 

Advice From an Entrepreneur: Ken Wardle–Jet Capital

Advice From an Entrepreneur: Ken Wardle–Jet Capital

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.

Ken Wardle

Jet Capital was founded by a group of experienced small business owners and startup veterans on a mission to empower entrepreneurs with access to small business funding solutions that meet their unique needs.

  • When I was in graduate school, I wrote an business plan for a class to create a subprime auto lending company. Eventually three friends and I got together and started a company. After selling that, I’m working with another start up on a business-to-business online lending platform.
  • I knew before I started the business that I needed to be ready for lean times. So my wife and saved money to get ready for lean times.
  • You really have to have the confidence to take a big swing. And working on a team helps. Sometimes the person you least expect can come up with great ideas.
  • Talk to your parents’ friends about internships. Make connections wherever you can.
  • Because of all the experience I’ve had in every part of business, I’m not highly specialized like my former coworkers. For instance, I knew one person who was in charge of one spreadsheet. She was a VP, but a VP of one spreadsheet. I know every part of the business so my resume looks better than many of my peers.
  • People often ask me if I would do it again. Absolutely.

To make an appointment with the Office of Personal Career Development click here.

 

 

 

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

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

Image courtesy of pixababy.com

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

Research

Look at job hunting websites like indeed.com and higheredjobs.com, 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.

Relevance

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.

Repeat

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.

 

Advice from an Entrepreneur: Laura Quinn–President, PJ Quinn Inc.

Advice from an Entrepreneur: Laura Quinn–President, PJ Quinn Inc.

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.

Laura Quinn–President, PJ Quinn Inc.

PJ Quinn Inc. is an independent pharmaceutical market research consultancy focusing on oncology.

 

  • I had a great job as a senior VP of a global pharmaceutical marketing company, but I never got to see my husband. I was stretched too thin, and my life wasn’t what I expected it to be, so I started my own company, PJ Quinn. It was scary. But was the best at what I did, so my clients followed me.
  • Take something you do and do it better than anybody else.
  • Owning my own business allows me to spend more time at home and do things that are important to me outside work.
  • My medical school background helped me differentiate myself. I brought more than marketing expertise to the table.
  • If you start your own business, you have to think about how you will want to grow. You have to plan for today, tomorrow, and the more distant future.
  • Starting out was nerve wracking. I worried about what would happen if my clients fell through. But now I can be selective about which clients I work with. I keep lots of cash reserves and I keep my risk tolerance low.

To make an appointment with the Office of Personal Career Development, click here.

Rachel La Costa: Member of UD Alumni Advisory Panel (Launching Soon)

Rachel La Costa: Member of UD Alumni Advisory Panel (Launching Soon)

The Office of Personal Career development is working with the Office of Alumni Relations to bring the expertise and advice of UD’s outstanding alumni network directly to students. When the panel goes live, UD students will be able to peruse the background of participating panelists and pose questions to alumni from a variety of career fields. Here’s one of our panel members.

Rachel La Costa, PA-C

BS Biology, 2011

Career Sector: Medicine

Graduate Degree: Master of Physician Assistant Studies

UT Medical Branch, Galveston

Current Employer: Children’s Medical Center

What career path led to your current position?

I was always interested in pursuing a career in medicine, and when I discovered the Physician Assistant field, I knew this was a perfect match for me. While at UD, Dr. Doe was an insightful and knowledgeable advisor who helped to ensure that the courses in which I enrolled and extra-curricular activities which I pursued would align with my goal to become a PA. I was accepted to the PA program at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and obtained my Master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies. Following graduation, I have worked in pediatric oncology and truly enjoy caring for patients as a PA.

What kind of credentials, education, training, prior experience are needed to pursue this path?

PA school has many requirements for admission, including an excellent GPA, required prerequisite courses, the GRE exam, and health care experience. The application process is extremely competitive. Upon completion of an undergraduate degree and acceptance into a PA program, completion of the Master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies is required to sit for the board exam, called the PA National Certifying Examination. Upon passing this exam, the “PA-C” designation is granted, allowing the PA to apply for a state license and subsequently practice as a licensed PA.

How was your major and/or your degree from UD related to your current work?

My biology degree from UD was pivotal in preparing me for my future studies to become a PA. The courses I took as a UD student were challenging, but fascinating, and inspired a curiosity about the biological sciences that supported my desire to pursue the practice of medicine. Equally instrumental in my preparation to become a PA was the high caliber of the professors in the biology department at UD. The biology professors sparked and kindled my interest in the biological sciences. They took the time to answer my questions inside and outside of the classroom. They allowed me to participate in their personal research projects. These experiences prepared me to study efficiently and inspired me to pursue my career of interest as a PA.

Becoming an Entrepreneur: Risks and Rewards

Becoming an Entrepreneur: Risks and Rewards

Becoming an entrepreneur is a dream for many, albeit a risky one. Those who’ve taken the leap and started their own business will tell you it’s scary and rewarding all at the same time. 

Mark Shrayber

Three local entrepreneurs, Mark Shrayber, President and co-founder of muv, a Dallas-based events and transportation company; Sonia Kirkpatrick, founder and CEO of PediaPlex, an all-inclusive pediatric diagnostic and therapeutic clinic; and Jake Thompson, founder and Chief Encouragement Officer of Compete Every Day, a global lifestyle brand, spoke to Dr. Laura Munoz’s Global Entrepreneurship class at the University of Dallas about what it takes to start and grow a successful business.

The panelists began by answering a question about networking. Shrayber, who started his business at fresh out of college at age 22, said that a big part of networking is hustle. “I’ve worked since I was 13 so I know how to hustle,” he said. “So I talked to anyone who would listen. In order to build

Sonia Kirkpatrick

your network, always have your radar on. But don’t network just for the purpose of networking. Learn to care about other people.”

Thompson agreed. “Networking is not speed dating,” he said. “The key to networking is giving more than you get. Ask other people questions like ‘What are you working on? How can I help you?’”

Kirkpatrick, already successful in business by the time she started PediPlex, relied on her contacts to help her grow her network. “I started my business as a capstone project during my MBA at the University of Dallas. Plus, I won a Texas Business Hall of Fame scholarship and I got insights from some of the top business leaders in the state,” she said.  “They all agreed that you should always surround yourself with people who know more than you do.”

Jake Thompson

Although having a strong network of contacts can help entrepreneurs navigate tricky situations early in the startup process, all three panelists agreed that a little ignorance can be advantage. “At age 22, I think I was too dumb to know any better,” said Shrayber. “I tried to do everything. I was operating a limo company but I hated the headache of running the cars and drivers. Sometimes you have to decide what you are going to be great at. I realized I would be great at solving bigger problems for my clients.” Schrayber added that eventually, an entrepreneur’s confidence grows as they gain success over time. “But confidence is not the same thing as arrogance. Confidence is something you gain over time,” he said.

The panelists also discussed how to overcome the fear of failure that goes hand in hand with starting a business. Kirkpatrick said that quitting a great job was definitely scary: “About two years in, I said to myself, ‘Oh my gosh, what have I done?’ I had a lot to lose at the time.” Although starting a business comes with risk, Thompson recommended running head-on into failure: “So what if you fail? The world’s not going to explode. Nobody really cares. The people you really care about will help you pick yourself back up and keep going,” he said.

Doubts often accompany the fear of failure during the early days of their businesses. Thompson said that sometimes he questioned if he actually had what it would take to make it work. “I would ask myself, ‘Can I really do this?’” But a friend pointed out to him that since his brand focuses on inspiring people to greatness, he really had no choice. “He said, ‘You gotta keep going, no matter how hard it gets. It’s who you are.’” Kirkpatrick said although she had doubts, one person kept her going—her husband. “He wouldn’t let me give up,” she said. Shrayber added that many entrepreneurs succumb to their doubts and give up too early instead of adapting their plans to meet the needs of their market. “Sometimes it’s just luck, he said. “But you can make your own luck by keeping your radar on and staying humble. Always be a student and willing to learn from others and from your mistakes.”

 The University of Dallas Executives on Campus program was founded to further the University’s mission of providing practice-based education, by inviting successful business leaders to share their experience with graduate and undergraduate students in the classroom. Through this program, alumni, business leaders, and their companies are invited to partner with the University in our shared pursuit of management excellence. For more information click here.