Job Search

Networking 101

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Networking has become a powerful tool in creating and sustaining connections. These connections can include business professionals, professors, and long lost friends. Not only can these connections open up new avenues for future employment, but it can also pave the way for internships and volunteer work to build experience. What’s most important is the way in which you can develop and build upon professional relationships with multiple people.

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Here are a few tips to building those relationships:
• Let them get to know the real you- It’s important for your connections to get a sense of who you are as a person, as well as your achievements and goals and hobbies. Let them see anything that might be of some importance as it pertains to you. Stand out and be known!
• Discover the ins and outs of your future career- Connecting with people who are already in the career your studying for is a great way to learn about it before you even get there. This way you can better prepare for interviews or gain the necessary experience before you graduate.
• Participate in events/organizations- When you participate, you meet new people and they see firsthand your work ethic and drive.
• Try social networking- place all these connections into social media accounts. LinkedIn and other professional social media websites help you keep track of all your connections. It’s also convenient for getting in touch with people you have met but haven’t had time to build on a relationship in person.

Job Interview Fashion Tips!

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1. Do some research!

jobinterview1Look up the company you are interviewing with and see what they’re all about. Try and see if you can pick up on the feel/vibe of the company and dress accordingly. In most cases it’s best to dress nicer than you think you should because first impressions are extremely important. If you look put together, you will seem put together! For the more creative industries, you might be able to get away with an interesting color or pattern, but choose wisely and don’t overdo it!

2. Invest in a couple of good blazers!

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Blazers dress up any outfit and instantly make you look professional. Make sure to get two or three that fit you really well and in colors that go with everything. Black, grey, navy, and brown are all good options! You want them to be versatile so you get the most out of your investment and if you get the job, you can wear them with loads of different outfits!

3. Cardigans are your friends!

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Cardigans can be dressed up or down and have a similar professionalizing effect as a blazer. You will get a lot of wear out of a cardigan and you can get away with non-neutral colors! The best thing about cardigans is you can wear then out of the office/job interview setting so getting some new cardigans adds to your personal wardrobe as well!

4. Let’s talk shoes…

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Shoes can be the hardest part of picking a job interview appropriate outfit. Simple is better when it comes to shoes in this case. Flats are a safe bet, but make sure to go for a solid color, like black, nude, or brown. You can definitely get a pair with a nice, simple detail such as a small buckle but don’t go overboard. You might also be able to get away with a braver color choice if you keep it simple and elegant. The same goes for heels. Don’t get too crazy with heel height and always go for ones with a closed toe and nothing too strappy! Closed-toed pumps always look professional.
This is especially important for the job interview. If you get the job you can figure out the dress code, but it’s best to play it safe for the interview.

5. Be careful with accessories!

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When it comes to accessorizing for your interview, less is definitely more. Go for one bracelet, simple earrings, and maybe a simple necklace if it works with your outfit. Skip the chunky rings for the interview. Obviously, if your interview is in the fashion industry or a fashion-related industry, you have a bit more freedom for creative expression, but in general it is a good idea to keep it simple and classic.

Till Death (or graduation) Do You Part – Selecting a Research Topic

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The topics you studied in the general ed classes of your undergraduate years were one night stands; fun for the semester, but rarely thought about after. Selecting a research topic in grad school is the equivalent of dating in your late twenties; you’re looking for something serious that through all the toils and trials, will stand the test of time.

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Picking a subject that already has a fair amount of existing research is usually a smart way to begin your academic marriage. This probably seems counterproductive as you are thinking “Why would I pick something that already has been researched to death? What could I possibly discover.”As any experienced student will tell you, the starting point of all research papers is the literature review: the portion of the paper where you cite the works of people much smarter and more accomplished than yourself. One day, some wet behind the ears first year may be citing one of your many published works but for now, your professor is going to expect a certain number of citations to earn a passing grade. So while the 14th century mating habits of the indigenous people of Utah may sound like a winning topic, if your EBSCOhost search returns only three results, you my want to venture in a different direction.

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When you reach a certain age, you’re going to want to expand your family from just you and your partner, to a few children and maybe a corgi. As with your relationship, you’ll find it wise to select a topic in which you can branch out on during your time in your program. Keeping in mind you are selecting a thesis that you’ll be with from your intro class to your capstone, you most certainly will want one that will give you the most milage. My topic area of Greek Life has spawned research projects on diversity, privilege, academic success and hazing ethics. You and your topic will be expected to reproduce numerous times during your program, so pick one that is fertile.

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The most important aspect in choosing your topic area, is selecting something you are actually interested in. As with your significant other, you’re going to spend much time with your research topic. All of those long evenings hunched over your laptop in a coffee house or late nights closing down the library will be much more enjoyable if you’re studying something that piques and holds your attention. Just as passion fuels the fires of your romances, may it incite your academic pursuits as well.

Advice for Every Year of College

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It’s officially August! We all know what that means: classes will be starting before we know it. No matter what year of college you’re entering this fall, keep these little tokens of advice in mind.

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Freshmen: Welcome! I am so excited for you. Even if you loved high school, try not to hang on to it too much. Also, get to know your professors and advisors! They are only there to help and want to see you succeed. Finally, don’t be afraid to try new things. This is the best time!

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Sophomores: So you’ve got a year under your belt and you’re not so new around campus anymore. Approach each opportunity with the same enthusiasm that you did as a freshman. Use this year to get a few internships under your belt or study abroad before you have to start taking your upper level classes.

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Juniors: The past two years flew by super fast and the next two will fly just as fast so don’t miss a minute of it. Classes are going to get harder this year and you’ll get incredibly sick of people asking you about grad school. Hang in there.

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Seniors: Is it senior year already?! Make sure you’re keeping your GPA up even though senioritis is surely kicking in. Make sure your resume is in tip top shape for the job search that is quickly approaching. Some companies will even hire you before you graduate. Wouldn’t it be nice to walk across the stage with a diploma and a job waiting for you?

 What advice would you pass on to incoming students? Share your advice in the comments below!

5 Important Skills to Learn Before You Graduate

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There are some things you are definitely going to want to master before you finish college.  Finding a job after college is harder than ever and you want to be as prepared as possible.  You’ll likely start in an entry-level position and this list will prepare you for what lies ahead!

1. Photoshop

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The world is becoming increasingly digital.  Any company you end up working for has a website and one or more social media accounts.  Photoshop is a great skill to have in your arsenal because it will likely come in handy for a great number of future projects.  Photoshop can help you create/adjust logos, flyers, newsletters, etc.  This is an excellent skill to have on a resume because potential employers will see it as a great asset!

2. Microsoft Office

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This may seem obvious, but knowing all the ins and outs of Microsoft Office is essential.  Don’t just know how to use the basics of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook, know how to use every feature of each program.  You’ll likely be using Microsoft Office a lot in whatever job you have and you’re going to want to know everything you can; it’ll make your professional life much easier!

3. How to Use a Copy Machine Extensively

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When you’re first starting out in your professional life, the Copier is going to be a big part of your routine.  The last thing you want is to be the person that breaks the copier or needs help using it; to avoid this, take the time to learn how to use all of the features of one of the copy machines on campus—it may not be the exact machine you will have at your future job but it is a great start.  Also look over the machine to know how to fix it when it jams and how to change the toner!

4. How to Write a Professional Email

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 This is extremely important.  In most jobs, you will be corresponding with many different people and you want to always make a good, professional impression.  Whether it is an email between you and a co-worker, you and your boss, or you and a client/affiliate of the company, you want to make sure you come across as intelligent, organized, and professional.  This is also an important skill when you are emailing with a potential employer about an interview!

5. Social Media

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Learn the ins and outs of several social media platforms.  Most companies several social media accounts, so having a lot of knowledge about Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, YouTube, etc. is really important.  Having these skills is also great for your resume.  If you notice that your company has yet to make an account for a social media platform that is or is becoming very popular, suggest that they make one and maybe even offer to create and run it for them.  This shows initiative and can lead to more opportunities and responsibilities!