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The END (of the semester) is near!!

By Sam Kunz
Graduate Intern

I don’t mean to be an alarmist, but the end of the semester is right around the corner.  Spring 2014 will soon be in the books.  As you are scrambling to wrap up papers and projects, it might be hard to see past that first week of May.  Rest assured, however, summer is indeed coming.  So when you take a break from cramming for those finals, it might be a good opportunity to review your plans for the summer one more time.

If you haven’t landed your summer job yet, it’s not too late.  The Career Center has loads of tools to help you build and refine your resume or cover letters.  We also have up to date listings of available jobs and internships.  If you need a little help working on your resume, call to make an appointment for a half hour resume review session with one of our counselors.  Or just feel free to stop by to use our library.

Summer break is also a great time to explore your career options by getting some experience.  If you have a summer job lined up, and you won’t be able to commit the hours needed for a formal internship, why not consider job shadowing?  A job shadow can provide clear insight into the inner workings of a career often without a long term obligation.  Shadowing experiences can be flexible, ranging from a few hours to a few days.  That said, always treat them with the professional respect you would bring to a job interview.

There are many ways to arrange a job shadow.  The Career Center has hundreds of connections via the Maine Mentor program, and we would be happy to help you find a meaningful connection with a UMaine alum.  Also your friends and family are great resources.  Ask them if they know of someone who works in your field of interest.   This could also be a great time to use your network of Facebook contacts, too.  Post a simple and clear message that you are looking for a job shadow experience in a particular field and would appreciate any leads or connections.

A more direct route would be to contact the HR department of local companies and businesses you are interested in and ask about their policies on shadowing.  Start with a call, but be prepared to follow up with a professional letter formally requesting the job shadow.  And no matter what the outcome is, don’t forget the ever important thank you letter, even for just considering your request.  Granted, the goal of a job shadow is to provide you with experience and insight.  However, the experience of landing the shadow can be just as valuable as you hone your professional soft skills.  Those, as they say, are priceless!

If you need any help with researching possible shadowing opportunities, drafting letters, or anything else related to your job search, you can always find us on the third floor of Memorial Union.  Our office will be staffed all summer, so don’t hesitate to call or stop by.

Now go hit the books!

Spring Break

By Sam Kunz
Graduate Intern

Spring break is right around the corner and that means rest, relaxation, and recharging.  But it is also a great time to hone and focus your career search tools.  Wisely investing some time over spring break can help you get a leg up on finding that summer job, internship, or simply be better prepared for when opportunity decides to knock on your door.

Going home?  This is a great chance to network and set up summer internships or jobs.  Also you can use this time to explore possible careers by contacting companies or businesses that interest you.  Their human resources office is a good place to start if you are looking for an informational interview or a job shadow.  Our own Maine Mentor Program is a fantastic opportunity to connect with UMaine alumni who are now professionals in hundreds of career fields.  And don’t be fooled by the name, Maine Mentors are not only here in Maine.  We currently have mentors in over 39 states!

Maybe this should be filed under “late notice,” but there are many companies that offer week long internships during typical spring break weeks.  Usually the applications need to be submitted several months in advance, however the actual deadline depends on the company.  But keep this in mind for future breaks. In fact, why not research possible internship programs for next spring over this break?

Juniors (or sophomores), are you thinking about grad school?  This is a great time to explore graduate schools and programs that you are considering attending.  It wasn’t that long ago you were visiting campuses looking for the right fit for your undergrad education. It’s kind of the same now, except that you are a little older and wiser.  Before you contact the graduate school admissions office, plan out the questions you need answered to help you determine if the program is a good “fit” for you, gain a little insight on applying, and then get on campus!  Applications won’t be due for quite some time (usually December or January), but remember any work you do now will help out when those deadlines come around the same time as you’re preparing for finals.

Are you participating in Alternative Spring Break or doing some other volunteer work?  Just remember that volunteering isn’t only good for the community, the world, and your soul… it’s great for your resume, too!  Don’t sell yourself short.  Sure, employers want to know about your education and work experience, but they also want to know a little more about you.  This shows that you value community, have drive, and aren’t afraid to step out of your comfort zone.  You can read more about the growing relevance of volunteerism on your resumé in this New York Times article.

So you get the idea.  It’s break, but make the most of it!  The Career Center will be open our regular hours over break, so if you are staying in the area come on up and see us!  We would be glad to go over your resumé, cover letter, or help you plan to make the most of your time off!

Otherwise, have a great break and check back soon for our next blog post!

Real Life UMaine: Professional Dress

Here are some more great examples of professional dress from
UMaine Student Government leaders.

prof dress2from left to right
Justin Conant
Major: Financial Economics
Year: Junior
Position on Senate: Senator, Executive Budgetary Committee
Campus Involvement: Sigma Phi Epsilon, SPIFFY

Jennifer Ferguson
Major: Political Science, Honors College
Year: Senior
Position on Senate: Senator, President’s Cabinet
Campus Involvement: All Maine Women, Dirigo Tour Guide, Student Ambassador

Andy Prusaitis
Major: Bioengineering
Year: Junior
Position on Senate: Senator
Campus Involvement: Sigma Phi Epsilon, Bioengineering Club, Intramural Soccer

Real Life UMaine: Professional Dress



We visited the General Student Senate meeting on Tuesday and found great examples of professional dress from some of the fantastic student leaders on campus.  Every week we will be posting a few new looks in order to share how students on campus are interpreting professional dress.




UMaine Student Government (from left to right)

Corey Lynn Morton
Major: Anthropology, Pre-Med, Honors College
Year: Senior
Position on Senate: Senior Senator, Services Committee Chair
Campus Involvement: All Maine Women, Panhellenic Council, Alpha Omicron Pi, Alternative Breaks

Aaron Ortiz
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Year: Junior
Position on Senate: Vice President of the Student Body and President of the General Student Senate
Campus Involvement: Sigma Phi Epsilon

Nick Smith
Major: Business Management
Year: Senior
Position on Senate: Vice President for Student Organizations
Campus Involvement: Senior Skulls, Class of 2014 Council

Etiquette Tip of the Week: What interviewers don’t care about

It’s time for a little tough love.  This is difficult for me to say, and the last thing I want is for you to take this the wrong way.

But interviewers don’t care what they can do for you.  There it is.  The skunk is on the table.

They don’t care that the job might be a great stepping stone in your career or that you would have a tremendous sense of accomplishment if you worked for them.

I know!  That’s so selfish of them, isn’t it?  Who knew they could be this uncaring and unfeeling?  It’s all about them.  So typical.

The same for sales relationships — the person buying products from you doesn’t care if you meet your next target or that writing a big order would help you buy the new Corvette with the V8 engine and over 600 horsies… not even if it would get you more dates. (…or a date.)

Employers and potential customers want to know what you can do for them.

So when writing a cover letter or a sales pitch, don’t say, “I feel like this job (or sale) would be a great opportunity for me.”

Do say:
“I know my legal expertise and writing skills would be a great asset to your company.”
“With my social media background, I am confident I could help define your target audience and expand your reach.”
“These new widget-magidgets will double the productivity of your team and give you more time to focus on distribution.”

Now get out there and get that job or land that big contract!  It really is about you, but that can be our little secret.

Culture and Manners Institute

Etiquette Tip of the Week: Emailing the CEO

The higher a person is in an organization, the shorter the email response.  Some shift through hundreds of emails a day.  So if you email your plan to a CEO or VP and he/she gives you a one sentence response instead of the paragraph-by-paragraph, thoughtful analysis you were craving, it’s not personal.  It’s a time thing.

Digital communication is rapid and allows us to make contact from anywhere. (Even Antler, ND has wi-fi, don’t cha know.)  We fire off emails quickly.  That’s also how we read them.

Most people don’t read every word in an email, they skim it.  Write emails with that in mind.

  1. State your purpose early.
  2. Mention attachments early. (As soon as you type, “attached,” attach the document so you don’t forget.)
  3. After you draft it… half it.  Eliminate excess words.

Etiquette is about being attentive to others, so when you write, write with the other person in mind.

Culture and Manners Institute

Etiquette Tip of the Week: How to offer a toast

It’s the season of graduations, weddings and many other celebrations — and time to raise a glass.

At a wedding, the toast often comes at the beginning of the meal.  At a dinner party, the toast comes after the main course.  It’s the privilege of the host to offer the first toast.  If the host does not offer a toast, any guest may ask permission of the host to offer a toast.  The guest of honor or recipient of the toast may offer a return toast (“Thank you for a wonderful evening and delicious food…”) after the host’s toast, or at dessert.

In an informal dining situation, guests remain seated during the toast.  For more formal occasions, all guests rise.

Hold the glass at chest level while delivering a toast, then raise the glass to eye level and drink.  Contrary to popular belief, you do not “clink” glasses with everyone around you. Some cultures clink glasses after a toast, but in America, you are not supposed to clink.  (I know some of you are rolling your eyes and thinking, “Everybody does it here.”  It’s poor form… and so is rolling your eyes.)  Sip from the glass, don’t drain it.

If you are the one being honored by the toast, remain seated and do not drink to yourself.  It’s like saying, “Hooray for me!” (You may do that in front of your mirror at home, but not when guests are present.)

What words do you use?
Begin: “Please join me in a toast to…” or “It is my honor to offer a toast to…” or “I would like to offer a toast to…”
End with best wishes for the future: “Here’s to (name or names)” or “Here’s to your health…” or “Here’s to your happiness…”
The guests may respond with approval for the toaster, “Hear, hear,” (not “Here, here”), which means, “Hear him/her.”

Culture and Manners Institute

Summer Hours Starting July 1st!

sun_clipart_4Summer Hours

 July 1 – August 22, 2014

 Open Monday – Thursday      8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Closed Fridays


 If immediate assistance is needed please see someone
in the Student Life office.

You may also leave a phone message at 581-1359 or an email message at and we will respond to your message as soon as possible.  Thank you.

Have a great summer!

Our normal hours will resume August 25, 2014

Open Monday – Friday 8:00a.m. – 4:30p.m.

Etiquette Tip of the Week: Great…once you get to know them

Last week, I had some down time on a speaking trip to Los Angeles, so I sat in on some Toastmasters club meetings.  A young man named Travis Jones at the Claremont Foothills Toastmasters at Claremont Graduate University said this: “I don’t want to be the guy who people say, ‘He’s a great guy… once you get to know him.’  I want to be the great guy from the start.”

That is what first impressions are — doing what you can so people think well of you from the start.

At a networking event, very rarely will someone take you by the arm and say, “Let me introduce you to the most fabulous people in the room.”  Networking takes effort on your part. (There is a reason “working” is the root word here.)

If you see someone standing alone, introduce yourself.  “Hello, my name is (first name, last name).”  The person who introduces himself/herself is more memorable than someone who hangs back and waits to be introduced.
When the person offers his/her name, say, “How do you do, (name)?”

When you see a group of people talking, stand outside the group until you hear a lull in the conversation, then step forward and introduce yourself.

To keep a conversation going, ask questions of the other person.  People will appreciate you when you take an interest in them.

Be the person people want to know from the start:
Make eye contact with people in the room and not with your cell phone.

Smile — this shows you are open to communication.

Dress so people respect you… not inspect you.  If you show too much skin (you too, Mr. Saggy Britches), the right people will avoid you and the wrong people won’t.

Culture and Manners Institute

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