May 3rd, 2012
Finals Week & Four Year Plan
As the end of the semester draws near, the Career Center would like to take time and wish each and every UMaine student the best of luck on your finals! We understand the pressure and stresses this week can bring to our students not only because of the exams and final presentations you will have, but also because it marks a period of transition in your life. For some, you will be graduating on May 5th and for others, it denotes the end of another year (until the next comes along) at UMaine.
Graduation is an exciting time with an overflow of dreams and aspirations but for many students, the time leading up to graduation and the start of a first job is also often chaotic and stressful. You are trying to complete your college career without too much of a senioritis meltdown while also dealing with the demands of job-hunting, interviewing, and facing the reality of the end of your studies. It is quite the intense transition (to say the least) and we want to provide you with advice and resources to help make it as smooth as possible for you!! Most importantly, you should enjoy this time in your life and remember that as big as it feels, your decisions are not set in stone!
For our returning students, whether you realize it or not, you too will be facing a transition in your life. You will be embarking upon yet another year of school—another year that brings you closer to your graduation date. It is important to keep in mind the tasks that you should be accomplishing in your time at UMaine in order to best position yourself for a smooth transition out of school and into the workplace.
With this in mind, we have created a section at the bottom of our Career Center website titled, “Most Popular Handouts.” Here, we have listed the top five handouts for UMaine students to access in order to gain some perspective as to what they should be thinking about or doing in regard to their future plans. The handout we’d like to focus your attention on at this point in time is the handout titled, “Four Year Plan.” This is an extremely informative breakdown of information for undergraduate students that you should consider when approaching the next year of your education. If you have any lingering questions or concerns after viewing this handout (or questions in general), do not hesitate to get in touch with us at the Career Center. One of our career counselors would love to meet with you and discuss a course of action tailored to your vision and future goals!
April 26th, 2012
Facts On File – Ferguson’s Career Guidance Center
While many of our UMaine students may be familiar with Facts on File, there may be some information on this very helpful and informative resource that you may not have been introduced to yet! Stay tuned to learn more…
To begin, we would like to address the students who are not yet familiar with this wonderful feature located right at the bottom of our website under Career Exploration. Often times, we encourage our students to use Facts on File when they are trying to figure out what major would be best for them, what career they can pursue with the major they’re in, or in consideration of transferring to a different major. Facts on File requires a username and password, which can be obtained by visiting our office on the third floor of Memorial Union. Once you are logged into this website, you will be provided with the opportunity to explore the many possibilities and the unlimited amount of information for many if not all of your inquiries. Facts on File provides individuals with the opportunity to browse all job and industry profiles—choosing a career can be an extremely daunting process. In order to assist the search process, Facts on File has broken down jobs and industries into 16 clusters: Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources; Architecture and Construction; Arts, A/V Technology, and Communications; Business, Management, and Administration; Education and Teaching; Finance; Government and Public Administration; Health Science; Hospitality and Tourism; Human Services; Information Technology; Law, Public Safety, Corrections, and Security; Manufacturing; Marketing, Sales, and Service; Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics; and Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics.
Within the 16 industries listed on Facts on File’s database exists an opportunity for students to explore and gain insight to what types of careers particular majors yield. You can enter the website, type in a career you think you may be interested in and it will break down the different facts about that career including (but not limited to): majors required to fulfill that position, salary range, job description, and the career ladder one would have to climb in order to obtain the position. It also gives similarly related jobs in case the position you selected initially turns out to be something you cannot see yourself pursuing.
Additionally, if you are looking for something in particular, there is a handy keyword search box located in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. If you are looking for jobs that require you to be creative, you could simply type the word “creative” in the search box, press enter, and you will get a huge amount of results (in this case, 1190 opportunities related to the word creative). It is important to keep in mind that the more specific you are with the words you enter into the search box, the more narrow the results and the broader you are with your words, the more results you will get.
Now, for the highlight topic of the week:
FINANCIAL AID DIRECTORIES
On top of career and major information, Facts on File provides our students with information on financial aid/scholarships for undergraduate, graduate, and vocational education by field!! More than 3,300 sources are listed and information is divided by major, student profile, and by special types of aid. Contact information for more than 1,000 organizations and offices that provide financial aid information are also included.
You simply have to sign into Facts on File and direct yourself to the College Planning and Financial Aid section on the lower, left-hand corner of the screen. Here, you can look for particular schools, enter the financial aid directories to determine the aid that may be available to you. The College Planning and Financial Aid section also has a link to information about applying for student loans! It is a very detail oriented, informative, and hands-on website.
If you would like to learn more about Facts on File, please stop by the Career Center or call today to make an appointment with a career counselor (581-1359).
April 11th, 2012
By Sean Sevey
OUT for Work
Hello Black Bears! In honor of Pride Week, our highlight for this week’s blog is OUT for Work—a non-profit organization looking to help LGBT students with their career plans.
The Career Center has recently been recognized with an A+ Gold Level status by OUT for Work due to our commitment to serving GLBTQ students! The University of Maine is in the top 6% of colleges and universities in the U.S. who have been awarded this status. We strongly feel that OUT for Work is an important resource for our students to know about and use. Therefore, we would like to let you know more about this non-profit organization and encourage everyone to check it out when done reading this blog!
What They Do
OFW functions as a complementary component in the total educational experience of LGBT students, primarily in the development, evaluation, initiation, and implementation of career plans and opportunities. OFW’s programs, resources, and services provide assistance to students in the cultivation and enhancement of skills to explore career options, master job search techniques and strategies, and research employment opportunities.
Out for Work Programs
OUT for Work offers year-round services to its partners. On average, they organize or participate in 15-20 events. Their college and university partners receive the benefit of participating in these events; below are some of this year’s events:
- The Creating Change Conference
- The Western Regional LGBTQIA College Student Conference
- The Midwest BLGTA College Student Conference
- OUT for Work LGBTQ & Ally Student Career Conference
& PRIDE Career Fair
- The Equality Forum
- PRIDE Events across the country
- The Out & Equal Workplace Summit
- The NACE, ACPA, NASPA, and EACE Annual Conferences
- On campus presentations and visits
- Customized events: OUT for Work can also organize a specific event for your organization.
OUT for Work’s Internship & Job Board is an internship and job-posting site dedicated to LGBTQA college students. You may use this board to find an internship or job from a multitude of organizations.
According to a recent poll conducted by CollegeGrad.com, 69% of college job seekers either do not have a resume or say theirs needs help. It is important to have a strong resume when searching for any type of position (whether and internship or full-time job) after graduation. For an individual who identifies LGBTQ, whether to be “OUT” on their resume is a very personal and, for some, difficult decision. To assist individuals in this situation, OUT for Work offers free resume support services.
If you are interested in using these services, e-mail your resume to: email@example.com. OUT for Work has assembled a team of LGBTA HR professionals who are available to review and provide timely feedback for your resume on areas such as appearance/style, completeness/length, content/layout, focus, format/approach, perspective, professionalism/integrity, use of accomplishments, and use of keywords/action verbs.
Some questions that OUT for Work suggests you should take into consideration when creating a resume are:
Are most of your friends, peers, and support networks GLBT?
Are you active in any GLBT organizations?
Do you enjoy going to GLBT events such as Pride, GLBT concerts, etc?
Do most of your friends and family members know that you are GLBT?
If you have a partner, is he or she out in most situations?
Furthermore, what would you say most describes your comfort level:
- Being “Out” is who I am. Being visible will provide me with equal treatment and support,
- Sexual orientation is only a small part of what defines me as a person. I am very careful about who I tell and don’t tell, or
- Sharing information about myself is not preferred. I tell very few people, if anyone at all.
Knowing the answers to these questions and understanding where your comfort level is will help career counselors determine how you might want to design your resume and which companies you may want to consider (or not consider) submitting your resume to.
If submitting your resume to an unknown individual is not your cup of tea and you are interested in coming into the Career Center for in-person help on your resume we have career counselors who would be more than happy to work with you to ensure that you have a resume that best represents your strongest traits!
For more information on OUT for Work, a link to their website is located at the bottom of the University of Maine Career Center’s home page: www.umaine.edu/career
OUT for Work offers free webinars covering a variety of topics. Check out the upcoming webinar called OUT in STEM which will discuss being LGBTQ in the STEM field. The webinar will be held on 4/20 from 3-4:15pm. To register visit: http://www.outforwork.org/default.asp#2
4/11/12 @4:00pm the Career Center is hosting a presentation entitled: OUT for Work: Career Strategies for GLBT Students. This workshop covers issues regarding the job search process for GLBTQ students, what sexual orientation and gender identity mean to you in the workplace, and what resources are available to prepare for all of that at UMaine! The workshop takes place in the Career Center, third floor of the Memorial Union.
If you are unable to attend the presentation, feel free to stop by the Career Center for a copy of the PowerPoint presentation!
April 4th, 2012
Interview and Dining Etiquette
This week, the Career Center would like to talk to you about etiquette. We know, we know…that word can be very intimidating to someone—it seems so proper. However, etiquette is really just an umbrella term for a set of all good manners—it is the definition of your respect and consideration for others, and it is quite possibly one of the most important factors to keep in mind whenever you have a job interview or a potential job-related dinner.
Perhaps you are in a situation where your resume has landed you a job interview. First of all, congratulations—that is the first huge step in the process of obtaining that job you want. But now, you are going to have to walk your talk. Your resume presented who you are, but your etiquette (good or bad) will ultimately show them.
Maybe your interview etiquette appears to be in tip-top shape—you can hold appropriate eye contact, you know how to dress appropriately, you assert a firm and honest handshake, and you are well versed and ready for anything they throw your way. What happens if you are asked to dinner by these potential employers? Are you going to know which fork to use first—is it outside -in or inside-out? Are you familiar with whether you are supposed to pass the salt and pepper together or just one at a time? What about eating—how would you go about eating that preliminary bread that they set out for all to enjoy? Even more, what about the speed of your eating style—have you ever thought about how eating fast may possibly make someone feel uncomfortable?
Your situation may be one where you have gone through an interview/dinner with a potential employer. What now? Should you send a letter? Should you call them up to talk to them about how you did? What is the appropriate action to take to ensure that you are being respectful and considerate?
If any or all of these scenarios spark your curiosity or make you feel like you may not be prepared for an upcoming interview or professional dinner setting, please stop by the University of Maine Career Center. We have several handouts on interview etiquette (behavior and attire) and dining etiquette, and our career counselors would be more than happy to talk with you and address any questions or concerns you may have. Don’t have time for an appointment? Perhaps you could check out some of the latest and greatest on appropriate interview attire for women and men. Visiting these websites can be helpful if you are unable to come in and visit with one of our career counselors or grab some of our handouts.
To make an appointment, either stop by our office on the third floor of Memorial Union or call 581-1359. Our hours are 8am – 4:30pm Monday through Friday.
Have a great week!
March 26th, 2012
Listen up everyone! Spring is finally here and that means fall registration is literally days away.
Are you still undecided on declaring a major? Are you struggling to see the “bigger picture” and can’t quite grasp exactly what you’d like to be doing when you attain your degree? Perhaps you are in a particular major and feel that it may not the right fit for you. If you can relate to any of these situations, the Career Center would like to help!
We have several resources that may assist and benefit you when deciding a major and/or trying to focus on your career goals. The Career Center has self-assessment resources on paper and also via the internet that will help you identify which major and career might best fit your personality, characteristics, traits, and much more. For example, a program that we present to a lot of first- and second-year undecided students is FOCUS. This program allows our students to login and take some self-assessment tests. After you are done, it will assess your answers and you can explore the many possibilities of majors and careers that might suit you best. Of course, you may not feel that the FOCUS program has “hit the nail on the head,” so what we suggest is making an appointment to talk with a counselor about your results after taking the self-assessments. Our career counselors will look over your results with you and then listen to what you have to say and how you feel about the results. From there, a discussion can form about some options that are available to you.
Another great resource we have at the Career Center is a whole wall full of academic fact sheets for all majors in each college at UMaine. This may better help guide your decision making because each sheet lists the core academic requirements for the particular major. Let’s say, for example, that you may be interested in Nursing—you know you love working with people, you want to do something that makes you feel good at the end of the day, and you are also looking for a decent income when you get into the real world. Then, you come into the Career Center and pull out the Nursing academic fact sheet and realize that there are a lot of sciences that you will have to take in order to obtain this degree (sciences may not be your strongest area). Whatever you do, don’t make a hasty decision! It is always best to think things out and talk with others; the people who know you best (parents, friends, a professor you feel close to) and an outside source (a professor you might not know from the Nursing school, someone who is knowledgable in the field and know what it takes to attain your goals and/or career counselor at UMaine). This will help you in making the decision that is right for you!
The last thing we want our students to feel is stress—we understand that you already have a lot on your plate with current classes and any co-curricular activities you may participate in (work, a band, parenting, sports, etc.). Registration should be an exciting time for students; it is a time when you should feel liberated in your decisions about your schooling and your future. We want to help you in any way we can with those decisions, so please stop by the Career Center or give us a call to make an appointment at 581-1359. Our office hours are 8am-4:30pm, Monday-Friday.