Organization Matters: Fri Fun Facts

Recently I had a student in my office who had his next two years planned out–typed and ready for my review. I get this. I did this. OK, it was hand written, but I also planned like this. Today’s Friday Fun Facts is dedicated to planning your post-secondary education. And, here I assume that this plan is after the first year, so that the student has at least taken several course as they figure out what they like or don’t.

1. After you’ve met your undergraduate requirements for the degree review the requirements for the degree programs that you’re the most interested in for your major and or minor.

2. Related to the above point, I actually suggest to students that they at the very least have a major and a minor. Preferably, I’d suggest a double major. For some the preference might work best as a major, minor and co-op. The students who are focused on graduate school should look if the department has an Honors Program.

3. You should meet with the Undergraduate Advisor(s). This will vary at campuses. In some the office might be in the department (your major area) or there might be an Advising Center. Either way–these professional staff or faculty are there to help you. They can best help you when you are well informed and when you have questions for them.

4. Talk to other students to find out what they suggest. They will also be useful to find out which departments and professors you should look into for your degree program.

5. Remember that this is your education and you need to own it. You must be your best advocate in and out of the classroom. This means that you need to keep an eye out for deadlines and make meetings with the appropriate people or offices for information.

6. And, if you’re like the student from earlier this month and me, you can map out your courses for your degree program. It’s useful to actually see what you need and what you can take. Do it! It’s not in stone, but it makes you organize what you need to do.

May I suggest that you get a copy of the rules and add post its and highlight all the key information. Nowadays so much of this information is online and somehow you need to get familiar with the information regarding your degree program. Bookmark the appropriate webpages.

On the Job Market: Undergrads

This post is going to offer some suggestions for students who are entering the job market. Some of my suggestions were shared previously, but they are worth repeating.

1. Go by the Career Services or similar offices on your campus. Usually Alums can also use this service.

  • When there check out the services.
  • Attend a resume writing workshop or ask one of the staff to review your resume
  • Attend any other useful workships that the office staff offers

2. Chat with your mentors. If you don’t have any–chat with your current or former professors. If you feel unsure, then contact the Undergraduate Advisors and chat with her/him.

  • Let this contact know that you’re on the job market and see if they have any suggestions for you.
  • Ask this person if s/he is willing to review your resume or CV.

3. Work your networks.

  • Let everyone in your network know that you are looking for work. (This might include your partner, girlfriend/boyfriend, parents, coworkers, pastor, coach, etc.
  • Make coffee appointments or other appointments with people and come with your resume in hand. Let people know that you are looking for work.
  • Ask your contacts if they have any leads or suggestions for you.
  • Offer to take the person out for coffee…chances are that you’ll go dutch or the other person will want to pay, but you really should be willing to offer.
  • Research if there are other means of engaging in the community–social media, Chamber of Commerce, and other groups related to your area.

4. Keep a positive attitude.

  • it might take you several months to find work that meets your requirements
  • Be willing to get your foot in the door and accept an entry level position
  • Sleep, eat right, exercise, and try to save money or spend as little money as possible as you’re set on your job search goal.

5. Be flexible

  • Make sure that you’re willing to take a job that isn’t your career. This job might help you get to the next step.
  • Don’t dismiss the job. The connections you make might turn into gold for the next job or get you toward your career goal.

6. When you get an interview offer for your dream job or even plan b

  • Talk to a trusted mentor about questions to expect, dress, and other points so that you’re ready for the interview
  • Try to coordinate a mock interview with a few trusted friends–preferable people who have interviewed more than you.
  • Think about the questions you might get asked and work out answers. You might even practice in front of a mirror.
  • During the interview, remember that it’s acceptable to pause for a second–get your bearings and then answer the question.
  • e. Send a thank you card after the interview. Keep it simple: thank the person, committee or team for the interview and note that you look forward to hearing from them.
  • f. Do not bad mouth the company or any of the employees on any social media.

7. You get an offer

  • Try to negotiate for more pay or benefits. It doesn’t hurt. Particular to women–we tend to not negotiate and accept the offer.
  • Review the offer with someone who you trust.
  • Counter offer and wait. (Be reasonable with your counter offer)
  • Do not involved your parents in the counter offer—your mom or dad should not call and complain about the offer!

8. Accept the job

  • Work in the position like you are in probation. You might be on probation! So you have to prove to your employer why you are invaluable.
  • Dress for the job you want and not just the job you have.
  • Be professional in dress (note 8 b) and in your attitude.

Remember your job does not necessarily define you. Each job can provide you useful experience and build your resume.