By Sam Kunz
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!
Here are some more great examples of professional dress from
UMaine Student Government leaders.
Major: Political Science, Honors College
Position on Senate: Senator, President’s Cabinet
Campus Involvement: All Maine Women, Dirigo Tour Guide, Student Ambassador
Position on Senate: Senator
Campus Involvement: Sigma Phi Epsilon, Bioengineering Club, Intramural Soccer
Image Description: prof dress2
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
Position on Senate: Senior Senator, Services Committee Chair
Campus Involvement: All Maine Women, Panhellenic Council, Alpha Omicron Pi, Alternative Breaks
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Position on Senate: Vice President of the Student Body and President of the General Student Senate
Campus Involvement: Sigma Phi Epsilon
Major: Business Management
Position on Senate: Vice President for Student Organizations
Campus Involvement: Senior Skulls, Class of 2014 Council
Image Description: profdress
Some people think, “I’ll never have an interview meal. Interview meals are for finance or accounting majors and law students.”
No matter what business you are in, you are always eating with others. There are meetings that run long, where sandwiches are ordered in; dining with clients or vendors; lunches and dinners with trade groups or at conventions; charitable fundraisers; company events with food; and if you have a cafeteria on site, you might lunch with many different people.
So what are some of the Interview Meal Quick Hits that apply to other business dining situations, too?
Culture and Manners Institute
When I give a dining tutorial, a frequent question is, “What if something falls off my plate?” This is usually asked during a salad course. Because salads are tricky. They are made up of items of wacky shapes and textures that don’t fit together like Legos. Cherry tomatoes roll. Croutons bounce. Leaf lettuce flaps this way and that. Dressing just greases the skids. Of course, it’s piled high onto a tiny plate.
If a piece of lettuce lands on the table, leave it (no pun intended.) When you are finished with your salad, put the leaf back on the plate before the plate is removed.
Do you ever feel self-conscious about bread crumbs left behind? It’s probably because you are imagining everyone else at the table looking at your crumbs on the dark table cloth and thinking, “Did any of the bread make it into his/her mouth?” Don’t sweat the bread crumbs. Into all our lives a few crumbs must fall. In some fine dining venues, a wait person will come to your rescue by scooping up the crumbs with a magic wand called a crumber.
Culture and Manners Institute
Image Description: Edward Jone
When I worked for Amana Appliances corporate headquarters, I remember being put on hold during my call to another department. The on-hold music was an elevator music version of “Light My Fire” by The Doors. I couldn’t help picturing a lonely musician in a studio somewhere, whose dreams of being a famous musician had long since been crushed, sitting in front of a keyboard tapping out this Easy Listening, elevator music version of Light My Fire.
We’re surrounded by music — and that’s a beautiful thing. Unless, it is the unwanted buzz of some kind of techno-pop racket escaping the “noise cancelling” headphones of the guy in the next cubicle or the teenager in the airplane seat next to you. What do you do?
First, lay the groundwork for a good relationship before there is a problem. If you work next to someone, greet that person each day and be friendly. Be a good cubicle or open office table neighbor, who doesn’t have smelly food like microwave popcorn. It’s much easier to take, “I hate to bother you, but could you please turn down your music?” from a person who is kind to you than from a cold fish who ignores you every day.
Same thing with the airline seat mates — greet the people sitting next to you when you sit down, so you start out in a positive light. Then your requests after that have more chance for success.
Culture and Manners Institute
Thanks to all the great UMaine students
who shared their tips on how to best prepare for the fair.
Image Description: cf14video