Tuesday, April 15, 2014

No Regrets

By Social Media Intern, Jonathan Fernandez

Is there anything worse than a reminiscent blog post that starts with a huge cliché? Like “hindsight is 20/20” or “carpe diem” perhaps? The answer is probably yes, which is why I’m going to talk about having “no regrets” about my college career.

Everything. Yes, everything has shaped me to be proud of who I am. Every decision, every experience, and every mistake molded me to be a better person. The thing is in order for you to learn something you have to do something. Becoming involved in Greek life, holding positions on exec boards, and participating in events like PhilADthropy were all chances for me to learn something about myself.  These are the times where you become self-aware and understand how to conduct yourself. One of my biggest takeaways from college is that it’s not all about what you know—sometimes it’s who you know.

Reputation plays a big part. It’s what makes you successful at networking. When you’re self-aware, you know who you are. Then you’re pretty much set for life. Seriously, because when you know who you are, difficult decisions become much easier. At some point, I just realized what I needed to do to accomplish my goals. I feel like a lot of choices are hard because we are afraid of change. But, if you keep in mind what makes you happy and what you want to achieve there’s nothing to be afraid of. You’re only getting a step closer to what you want. Each step you don’t take, you’re farther from your goal—that’s scary. So, really, with all my logic the future seems way better than the past. Basically, I’m saying the future is bright, as long as you do what you want.

I feel my Senioritis coming on so I will leave you with the following. Keep the big picture in mind and you’ll be fine. Making mistakes is something we all do, but it’s only valuable if you learn from it. Use this time to grow, understand who you are, and chase some dreams. #NoRegrets


Friday, April 11, 2014

My New Job at the Toppel Career Center

 By Toppel Peer Advisor, Kelly Martin

Starting any new job, it seems natural to feel nervous and unsure of how you will begin to fit into your new role. However, as one of the newest members of Toppel’s team, I have been given no reason to be nervous—everyone in the office has made me feel nothing but comfortable and welcomed from day one. Now, two weeks into my new position as a Toppel Peer Advisor, I have already learned so much from the grad assistants, my supervisors, and the entire office, and I feel like a real part of the Toppel team.

Not only have I learned how to critique resumes and cover letters, and how to help students at walk in advising, but I’ve also learned about all the amazing resources that Toppel provides to students. From various workshops, to career fairs, networking nights, career advising, and just about anything you could think of career-related, Toppel seems to have an answer to it all.

Now, as junior (almost senior!) who is beginning to face the fact that reality and my future career are fast approaching, I can’t help but feel that I wish I had taken advantage of the resources that Toppel offered sooner, and know I will definitely utilize them over the next year before graduation! Everyone at Toppel is so friendly and genuinely cares about helping students, that nobody should be intimidated by coming into the office and at least checking out what Toppel has to offer, or seeking advice on more specific questions related to your career. Toppel can help you develop in so many ways, and put you on the right track towards finding an internship or job!

As I begin to reach the final chapter of my time at UM, I reflect on my time and experiences, and wonder what I might tell my freshman self if I could. Though I wouldn’t change much about my time here in Miami, I think I would tell the 18 year old me to take advantage of every resource and opportunity that UM offers to its students. So to any freshman who is hesitant to try new things, or even to seniors trying to make the most of the end of their time at UM: take advantage of everything! Including the Toppel Career Center; nothing but friendly, helpful staff will greet you and make your experience at Toppel productive and worthwhile.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Moving Out of your Residential College

By Rachel Rooney, Toppel Peer Advisor

This is the time when you will wonder why you brought so many unnecessary items with you to college. Moving out is nowhere near as much fun as moving in. It’s the end of the school year, and you have limited time to pack with finals at the forefront. Hopefully, this post will make the process a little bit easier for you.

My first tip is to know your dates. The last day of finals is Wednesday May 7, 2014, and housing closes at noon on the 9th for all non-commencement participants. It closes on the 10th for all commencement participants. Make sure you book your flights accordingly. 

Then, prepare. Get packing tape from either UPS or Target and get boxes, lots of boxes. There are a variety of places you can look for them. One of the main ways to do is this to call retailers, grocery stores like Publix, and office buildings in the area, because these places get packages every day. It is best to call first and ask. You can also search on Craigslist on their Free and Wanted pages, or ask friends for them. Keeping boxes from large care packages is also a good idea. It can sometimes be easier to buy boxes at the local UPS store than it is to get them for free however. 

If you are planning on shipping items home, research shipping companies, such as UPS, FED-EX, and U.S. Postal Service. There is a post office on campus, so that may be the best place; however some places may get it to your home faster (since the Postal Service does not operate on weekends).

Packing everything can be a bit stressful, and finding an affordable storage facility and getting all your things there is another part of the process. It can be especially if your parents don’t come down to Miami to help you. In this case, find friends who have cars and ask for their help. If all else fails, text them over and over and over until someone gives in and agrees to help you. The University of Miami has prepared a list of storage facilities close to school and they are listed here: http://www.miami.edu/sa/index.php/residential_life/housing_a-z/storage_off-campus/

I personally recommend Uncle Bob’s Self Storage and Door to Door Portable Storage. It is up to you to decide which facility is safest and most affordable. Keep in mind that places closest to campus will be more expensive than those farther away. 

The link for Uncle Bob’s is here: http://www.unclebobs.com/

Keep calm! The school year isn’t over yet; we still have four more week and finals. It is however important to think about the moving out process and to talk it over with your parents and the people you will be sharing a storage facility with. Just remember summer is almost here!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Always, always, always be prepared for opportunity

By Maura Gergerich, Toppel Peer Advisor

Now that spring break is over and done, the ever approaching end of the year is only a month away! Isn’t is scary how time flies like that? Hopefully, most of you know what activities you want to fill your summer with, whether its traveling, a job, an internship, or just a well needed break. If you still have no idea, that’s ok too! You still have time to get it together and plan for summer vacation. Now is definitely the time to start cracking down even though you may just want to slide by the rest of the school year. If you really want to find that great opportunity, make sure you have to right tools so you don’t stand in your own way.

Keep your resume updated

Just make sure to give that resume a once over every once in a while so that all your new experiences don’t pile up. Make sure you don’t forget anything by just updating as you go. It’s not a tedious task I promise!

Don’t have a resume yet?
We can help you there! A great place to start is with our resume guide. We have copies all around the office, but you can also get it here: http://www.sa.miami.edu/toppel/mainSite/Students/ResumeDevelopmentGuide.aspx
You can always come to the office for walk-in advising as well Monday-Thursday, 10am-4:30pm and one of our GA’s or peer advisors will get you on the right track. Once you have one started, make sure you upload it to HireACane.com so that you can apply for internships there. The sooner the better. If you attend one of Toppel’s career fairs its important that you have your resume uploaded ahead of time. They do take 3-5 days to get approved and you don’t want to be panicking when an employer wants your resume in our system.

Go the extra mile
Certain majors need more than your average resume. Majors like architecture, advertising, or art may need to have a portfolio on hand as well to showcase their work. Any sort of theater resume is done a bit differently than a professional one so it’s up to you to talk to your professors if you have any questions or concerns.

Always be prepared when an opportunity comes knocking. You never know, you could receive a random phone call interested in hiring an intern (trust me, I speak from experience). At the same time, don’t rely on this to happen. If you are positive you want some sort of internship make sure you apply to several just in case! But, should jobs suddenly arise in your path make sure you have the right tools to really sell yourself and make the most of it!