Posts Tagged how to

6 Steps to Finding the Grad School for You

Posted on September 18, 2014 with No Comments

Graduation caps in the sky

If your graduate school search involves typing some buzzwords into Google with hopes of generating a condensed list of programs of interest, you will be pleased to know there are more efficient ways to research your options.

Although a basic Internet search can be a great way to begin, most people find the pure volume of information to be overwhelming. Here are 6 ways to tailor your search:

1. Ask professors, staff and graduate students in your field of interest. You’ll not only be able to learn about their own search process but they’re likely to give you recommendations of programs that fit your personal and professional goals.

2. Connect to professionals doing work that excites you. These folks have “been there, done that” and offer lessons from their own careers.

3. Research professional associations. Many provide graduate school advice and search resources.

4. Search online graduate school databases. Use these sites to conduct advanced searches that allow you to filter on criteria such as location and type of degree.

5. Visit your local library. Libraries often have books and catalogs about specific programs and preparing for graduate school.

6. Speak directly to admissions coordinators at schools of interest. Websites are helpful but they never tell the full story. Ask questions and make an impression.

One bonus option: Attend this year’s Grad School Fair on Monday, September 29 from 3-5 pm. You’ll be able to accomplish many of the steps listed above and increase your confidence!

~Ashley Michelle

Savvy Seniors: How will YOU define your final year at UVM?

Posted on September 4, 2014 with No Comments

Bowl of cherries

“Is life a bowl of cherries?”

There’s a lot of metaphors for what life is and how one chooses to live it. You’ve probably heard everything from the food comparisons (“life is like a box of chocolates” or a bowl of cherries) to the journey descriptions (life is a highway or a marathon).  These descriptions are more than cute sayings, they are worldviews that shape how a person approaches their days and makes decisions.  For example, if life is a marathon, then steady effort day in and day out is required and making it through means to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

It’s important that you think about your own worldview and the metaphors, values and beliefs that guide you if you want to be the captain of your own ship (another great metaphor!)  While that may seem overly lofty, you can break it down to this year: your final year at UVM. How do you envision this year for yourself? You are the only one who can decide how you want to shape this year, what you want from it, and what it means to you.  Your conception of this year will be reflected every day in the choices you make: to study or not, to go out or not, to get good rest or not, to start thinking about your life after college or not.

If you are looking for a roadmap to help guide you through this final year and get you to your next destination, may we recommend the 4 Year Plan for Career Success. Look at the Senior Year of the Plan and start to articulate your vision for this final year. The Plan gives you ideas, suggestions, and benchmarks to help you see the possibilities and identify your own goals.

~Kala

We’d like to help you plan for your final year and life after college.  Join us for:

Careers + Coffee: A Senior Open House Wednesday September 10, 3-5pm at the Career Center L/L E-140.

Five Steps to Take to Find Your Fall Internship

Posted on July 11, 2014 with No Comments

Calendar Pages

Though it’s only July, it’s about that time to start looking for your fall internship. There are many great reasons to pursue an internship, and here are five steps to take to secure an opportunity:

1) Identify what you’re looking for

Is there a certain industry that you would like to test out? Skills you might want to learn? Try to take inventory of what you want so that you can narrow down your search later on. One item that might be easy to narrow down is location: If you plan to take classes at UVM in the fall, you will likely be looking for opportunities within driving distance of Burlington.

2) Start doing your research

Do some searches on Catamount Job Link for internship opportunities near Burlington. Check out Vermont Business for Social Responsibility (VBSR)’s website for a list of companies and organizations offering paid internships. If you have a LinkedIn profile (and you should!) you can also take a look at LinkedIn’s “Find Alumni” tool to see where UVM alumni work in the area.

3) Make your list of targets

Gather the relevant information that you will need for your internship applications: The name of the company, the internship title, the application materials that they require, and due dates. A great way to keep track of your internship applications is to use a simple spreadsheet, like the one below:

Internship Tracking Sheet

4) Assemble your materials

Most internships will require a resume and cover letter. Try to create one based on the samples on our website, and stop by during drop ins to have a career counselor give you feedback on your drafts.

5) Submit your documents and follow up

Persistence can be rewarded. If you haven’t anything from an employer after a week or two, try to politely reach out to confirm that your application was received. Contacting the company demonstrates your continued interest, and can make you stand out of the applicant pool.

Depending on how competitive the field is, students typically apply to anywhere between four and ten internships. Still have questions? Come by our Drop In Hours, or contact the Career Center to set up a one-on-one appointment with a counselor.

~Amanda

Top 5 Tips to Make the most out of LinkedIn this Summer

Posted on June 25, 2014 with No Comments

LinkedIn

Whatever you are doing this summer (job, internship, volunteering, travel), you are probably meeting interesting people. Stay connected with your summer connections through LinkedIn. Here are 5 simple tips to keep in mind as you network on LinkedIn:

1. Connect with a purpose.  LinkedIn is a professional social network, not a personal social network.  Don’t spam professionals with connections requests, be thoughtful and connect with a purpose.

2. Include a personal note in your connection request.  Why are you reaching out to connect?  To learn more about a members career path?  To set up a 15 minute call to learn about your prospective professional connection?  State your purpose in the connection request.

3. Participate in group conversations that align with your professional goals.

4. Follow the companies you aspire to work for and learn more about.

5. Share relevant, professional, through provoking content. Look like a thought leader as a young professional.

And remember to join UVM alumni groups on LinkedIn as well!
University of Vermont Career Connection on LinkedIn
UVM Alumni Association on LinkedIn

Good luck to you all and be confident that you can do anything you set your mind to.

Cheers,
John Kelly O’Connor, ‘05
Account Executive
LinkedIn Marketing Solutions

Using the STAR Method in an Interview

Posted on April 24, 2014 with No Comments

Computers shaking handsOver the last few years, we’ve written various posts about the interview process and how to best prepare for such a daunting step within the job search. However, the one thing we haven’t discussed is the importance of learning and practicing the STAR method, so you’re probably asking yourself; what do we mean by the STAR method? Well, it’s a tool you can use when you’re asked either a situational or behavioral question during an interview. STAR is an acronym for:

Situation, Task, Action, Result/Resolution

So, if an interviewer asks you:
“Tell me about a time when you led a team and it went well?”

    • By using the STAR method, you’d describe an example when you led a team and it was a success- the Situation.
  • For example, “Last year, I coordinated and led a team of volunteers on an Alternative Spring Break in New Jersey where I was responsible for 6 students for a week.”

    • Next, you’ll want to describe the work or Tasks you performed.
  • For example, “I drove all of us to New Jersey to help a small community center with the restoration of their town center near the waterfront where Hurricane Sandy occurred.”

    • At this point you’d want to describe your role as the leader- your Actions.
  • For example, “As part of my role, I collaborated with the Community Center Director each day to determine the top priorities, whether it was clean up or restoration of the building, then I’d delegate a job for each of our student volunteers.”

    • Finally, you’d want to describe the result of your leadership- Result.
  • For example, “By giving each volunteer a job, we created a more efficient work environment and ended up finishing the restoration sooner than we had expected.”

    So, what are the benefits of using the STAR method?

    • You’re guaranteed to answer questions with clear examples.
    • It should keep you within the suggested 2 minute time frame for your answers.
    • And it will showcase the skills you’ll bring to the position you’re applying for.

    Practice using it, and then try it in your next big interview. It’s guaranteed to help you succeed.

    ~Danielle

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