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Job Fair Insights from the Other Side of the Table

Posted on October 16, 2014 with No Comments

Build Your IT Career at Fast

Here’s the inside scoop from a recruiter who attends A LOT of job fairs!

What can students do to stand out (in a good way) at a Job Fair?

One of the first questions we ask a candidate at a career fair is, “have you heard of Fast Enterprises?” Students should find the companies and opportunities that they are interested in ahead of time and check out their website & social media. Doing research shows that you are interested in and excited about the opportunity to work at a company.

What do recruiters like best about attending a Job Fair?

We love to meet candidates face to face! This is a candidate’s chance to explain their qualifications to us, rather than us simply viewing their resume on a computer. Tell us about you, what you are looking for and what you can bring to our team. Make a great first impression.

What do recruiters like least about attending a Job Fair?

Because FAST is a smaller company, not many students have heard of us and don’t stop by our booth to learn about us. Instead, they stand in line at the large companies that they are familiar with. We recommend considering the smaller or unfamiliar companies. Just because you haven’t heard of the company before does not mean that they do not have great opportunities available! Be flexible at a career fair and open to all job prospects.

Why should first-years and sophomores attend a Job Fair?

Career fairs can seem intimidating, but attending during your freshman and sophomore years is advantageous. It will help you practice your networking skills and it shows employers that you are motivated, and a go-getter. We love sharing the FAST stories with all candidates and we even give tips to younger students about how they can become a better candidate for FAST in the upcoming years.

~Gina Somsen
Recruiter, Fast Enterprises, LLC

Talk with Fast Representatives Sarah Berry and Chris Schmidt (& 125 other employers!) at the Fall Job Fair on October 22, 2014. 2-6pm. Davis Center

World of Work: Hannah Richman ’08, California State Parks

Posted on October 8, 2014 with No Comments

Hannah Richman in her Park Ranger uniformHannah Richman ‘08
State Park Peace Officer (Ranger), California State Parks
Major: Anthropology & Political Science

How would you describe what you do on a typical day?

As a Park Ranger, I am charged with protecting the parks from the people and the people from the parks. It’s a balancing act between allowing people to explore and enjoy California State Parks while protecting the area for future generations to experience.

Tell us about your career path to this position.

I was an Anthropology major at UVM and had no idea what I wanted to do after I graduated. During my senior year of college, I went to a race at Angel Island State Park in California. When I got off the ferry, there was a Park Ranger on the island who struck up a conversation with me based on my hat (a State Parks hat I found at a thrift store). We started talking about his position and what an amazing job it was. He suggested that I go to the website and apply for a position in the spring. From there, it took me approximately 2 ½ years to get my job with the California State Parks and now I can’t imagine doing anything else.

What is your favorite part of your work?

Every park has different needs. At my current park I spend the majority of my time patrolling in various off-road vehicles, making sure the people are behaving safely, and rendering first aid where needed. A part of why I like my job so much is that I am not confined to doing just one thing. I always wanted to be a lawyer, teacher, doctor, or someone who doesn’t have to sit in an office all day. As a Park Ranger I am an EMT who gets to practice my skills on a regular basis, I have an extensive understanding of the law and the criminal justice system, and every day I get to speak with the public and teach them about the area they are visiting. As a bonus, I learn more about California’s natural and cultural resources every day.

What three words would describe your work environment?

Dynamic, Challenging, Entertaining

What advice do you have for students searching for jobs or internships in your field?

Anyone who is interested in working for California State Parks should go to www.parks.ca.gov and look under the jobs or volunteer headings. There are many opportunities to work for State Parks either as a volunteer or as a paid employee. Some of the jobs are part-time and seasonal positions and others are full-time employment. The Park Ranger position has many steps. Once the position is announced, the first step would be filling out a standard application found on the State Parks website.

Savvy Seniors: Resumes- Think Twice

Posted on October 2, 2014 with No Comments

Cat Meme about resumes

You probably have one. You’ve learned a thing or two along the way about how it’s “supposed to look,” listed your experience, and tried to format it with some underlining or bolding to make certain items pop. It’s a “to-do” that you may have already checked off of your list.

Before you move on to the next step however, take a moment to ask yourself the following questions about this important document:

  • Does my resume market my best assets and experiences?
  • Is my resume pleasing to look at, consistent and error free?
  • Would my resume stand out in a pile of 50-100 applicants?

It might help to put yourself in the shoes of an employer who is seeking to fill a position. The recruiter looks at the giant stack of resumes (50-100!) and gives each resume perhaps 30 seconds before sorting them into initial piles: No, Maybe, Yes. She’s trying to winnow the pile down to those candidates with whom she thinks it would be worth having an initial screening interview. She’s busy, and looking to fill this position sooner than later. Takeaway: The recruiter is trying to eliminate as many applicants as possible.

What does this mean for you, the applicant?

The recruiter is not looking at your resume and imagining where you might fit in with their organization.They are looking for a very specific set of skills and experiences that were articulated for this position in the job description. You need to connect how your skills fit with their needs for this position.  It is important to provide evidence of your attention to detail by having a resume that is consistent and error-free. Most employers also like to see that you’ve gained communication, teamwork and leadership skills, in addition to industry specific knowledge.

~Kala

Want to know more?

Learn how employers really see your resume and what you can do to make yours shine at this Senior Series workshop with special guest Duff & Phelps:

Resumes 2.0 Tuesday, October 7 12-1pm at the Hub.

Internships vs. Research

Posted on September 25, 2014 with No Comments

Intern and Researcher Collage

The line between an internship and research can sometimes be gray.

Internships and research are both valuable experiences that can build your resume, and students often ask about the differences between these two options.

Both research and internships are supervised experiences that allow you to gain knowledge, skills, and abilities in a particular field. Each offers the opportunity for reflection and evaluation of the information learned. These experiences will allow you to build your resume, explore your interests, and build connections that may be important for your future career. They can also help you develop “soft” skills, like critical thinking and problem solving, flexibility of mind, as well as allowing you to gain “hard” skills, such as grant writing, using databases, manuscript creation, using GIS, or printmaking.

Here’s where they differ:

An internship is experiential learning that combines classroom learning with work in a professional setting. Internships:

  • Are career-related work experience
  • Can be in nearly any field
  • Apply classroom theory to real world applications
  • Allow you to learn career related skills
  • Can be a chance to “try out” at a company or organization, which may decide to hire you after graduation

In contrast, The Council on Undergraduate Research defines research as, “An inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline (www.cur.org)”. Research:

  • Allows a student to be involved in the planning, conducting, and (ideally) reporting of a research project that leads to the creation of original knowledge in the discipline
  • Can happen in any academic field
  • Can be good training for graduate or medical school, getting your first job or the one after that
  • May allow you to publish a paper, have your own art show, or write a thesis
  • Can let you strengthen connections with faculty mentor (which may also lead to a letter of recommendation)

Interested in learning more? Come to the Internship Hop on October 8 from 1:30-4pm to hear about both research and internship opportunities. You can also check out the internship page on our website, or take a look at the website for the Office of Undergraduate Research.

~Amanda

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

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