Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tax or audit? To be or not to be?

Written by Claire Arritola

Accounting is a broad subject area. If you talk to any business professional they will tell you that you can do a lot with this degree. With the accounting fair coming up this Friday, a very pertinent question is on the minds of UM’s accounting majors- Tax or audit? If accounting is so broad, then why do these options feel so limiting? When you speak to any recruiter from an accounting firm, this is the first question they will ask. I attended the career fair last year (as a junior) and was able to honestly say that I was unsure. I received varied responses from the recruiters. One said “Oh, you should make a decision.” Another said, “I admire that you say you are unsure, many students arbitrarily choose.” This year, as a senior, I can no longer pull this “I am unsure” thing. So what am I to do? I have spoken to several people about this, professors and professionals in accounting. They all have the same answer- just pick one, and stick with it. It turns out that accounting firms don’t like to see students flounder. So I will go to the accounting fair on Friday and PICK ONE…which one it will be…is still in the air…but I have a couple more days ;-p

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Toppel Events for the Upcoming Weeks

Career Programs

Applying to Graduate Programs in Psyhchology
Tuesday, September 28, 6:30 p.m.
Flipse 526

Slice into your Career in Medicine
Tuesday, October 5, 6:30 p.m.
Toppel Career Center

Writing You Personal Statement for Graduate School
Featured Speaker: Anthony Coloca from Kaplan
Wednesday, October 6, 6:30 p.m.
Toppel Career Center

Career Fairs & Events

Accounting Career Fair
Friday, October 1, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Bank United Center, Multipurpose Room
Click for more information

Toppel Program Schedule

Internships 101 - Frits Bigham
Tuesday, September 28, 5:00 p.m.
Thursday, October 7, 4:00 p.m.

Alternative Options After Graduation - Frits Bigham
Monday, September 27, 5:00 p.m.

Interviewing Skills
Tuesday, October 5, 3:00 p.m. (Thaimi Fina)

Effective Resume and Cover Letter Writing
Tuesday, October 5, 2:00 p.m. (Thaimi Fina)

Career Programs for Business Students

Job Hunting in New York City
Featuring Career Professionals in the New York Area
Wednesday, September 29th, 12:30 p.m.
Toppel Career Center Library

All events take place at the Toppel Career Center unless otherwise specified.

Any questions regarding any of these events, check the Toppel Career Center website or call 305-284-5451

Friday, September 24, 2010

Med School and the Career Center

Written by Pallavi Pal

The common misconception of Toppel is that only business or engineering students can benefit from it. That is far from true. Although we do have many opportunities for business students, there are tools that Pre-Medicine students can use to their advantage.

Check out the “Slice into your Career in Medicine” at 6:30PM on October 5 at Toppel to meet with doctors and health care-professionals and listen to their personal view on how the healthcare system works. It is a great chance to network with professionals already in the field and answer the questions that you have.

Come to the “Writing Your Personal Statement for Graduate School” workshop held on October 6 at 6:30PM at Toppel. It is taught by Kaplan’s representative, Anthony Colocca. You can direct questions in regards to personal statements and MCAT classes to him as well.

Medical school interviews are a source of panic and fear for many applicants. Overcome your fear by coming in for Mini-Mock Interviews. There is no need to set-up an appointment, just come in Monday 11-3PM, Tuesday 3-4:30PM, and Wednesday 11-3PM.

We also have walk-in advising hours for resume, cover letter and personal statement critiques. Stop in anytime from 10-4:30PM Monday-Thursday. A perfect resume and personal statement can make or break your application for Medical School.
If you need coaching for interviews, come into one of the many Interviewing Skills workshops. The schedule for the upcoming workshops are listed on CaneZone, under the “Events” tab and then under “Workshops” tab. We have many other workshops also listed under that same tab.

A great resource for more information for medical school, the field of medicine, or the specific job you are interested in check out Vault listed on the CaneZone homepage. Career Shift, another subscription listed on the CaneZone homepage, is also an amazing collection of information.

Know that the staff at Toppel is always willing to help. Just stop in with your question no matter how big or small. We are here for yoU!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Learning Another Language and Culture Can Make the Difference

Written by Marlo Wyant

In today’s global economy, learning a second language has become increasingly important for securing positions with American and foreign-based companies. Foreign-based companies with offices in the United States, such as Deutsche Bank (DE), HTC (TW), or Michelin (FR) actively hire hundreds of Americans every year. While these companies select candidates for positions primarily based on prior work experience, they also take language heavily into account.

I had the opportunity to use my foreign language knowledge to help secure an internship at BMW Manufacturing in Spartanburg, South Carolina last summer. Although German language knowledge was not a requirement for the internship, I was able to use it to my advantage. The official language of the work place was English, however many colleagues in the office were German nationals. On occasion, meetings and casual office conversations would be conducted in German. Being able to participate in these bilingual meetings and conversations allowed me to become well-integrated into the team.

Speaking the language of the company’s country of origin not only allows you to communicate more effectively with your foreign colleagues, but it shows that you are more aware of the culture behind the company. Understanding the foreign culture can be very important when it comes to the etiquette of the workplace. Foreign colleagues might speak fluent English, but may feel more comfortable speaking to you if they know that they could also use their native language with you to fill in the linguistic gaps.

When you are applying or interviewing for a company that has significant foreign business, make sure to stress your language abilities, study abroad experiences, and participation in relevant clubs. Any connection you can make to the business culture, could be the make or break of getting hired. If you are currently a beginner at learning a language and are taking steps to achieve fluency, you can still mention this on a resume. Always: remember to never exaggerate how proficient you are in a language—the interviewer could just switch languages on you.

To get a start to your language and cultural endeavors:
1. Sign up for a foreign language class at UM, either as a full class ( as an independent study course (

2. Independently study a language via a program like Rosetta Stone, read literature and watch foreign language movies and shows

3. Visit the study abroad office website to see what is available at

Discussion Question

Do you speak any other languages and how has it helped in your career development?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Mini-Mock Interviews and Resume Critiques

Mini Mock Interviews
Do you need to practice your interviewing skills but you haven’t attended an interviewing skills workshop? Come to Toppel for a mini mock interview where you will meet with a peer advisor for about 20 minutes; no appointment or workshop attendance required. Interviews can be tailored to jobs, internships, graduate or professional school. The peer advisor will ask you a sample of interview questions and then give you feedback about your nonverbal communication and interview answers. Simply stop by for a walk-in mini mock interview during the following times:
Mondays & Wednesdays: 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Tuesdays: 3:00 – 4:30 pm
Please bring an updated resume.

Resume Critiques
Follow these steps to have your resume critiqued:

1. Register for CaneZONE
2. Complete registration data on CaneZONE
3. Upload a resume on CaneZONE

Once you upload your resume, it will automatically be forwarded to a career advisor to be critiqued. Your resume will be emailed to you with suggested changes within 3-5 business days. Once you receive your critique, make the suggested changes as soon as possible and re-upload the resume so that the corrected resume will be in our database. Once approved, you will be able to forward your resume to sign up for interviews schedules, internship listings and job listings.

You can also come in for walk-in advising, Monday through Thursday, 10:00 am to 4:30 pm (Monday through Thursday, 2:00-4:00 pm during the summer), or schedule an advising appointment.

Stuck in a Rut?

Ever find yourself stuck in a job search rut? Feel like you’ve looked at all the search engines and databases for any possible job or internship? Ever wonder if there was a faster, simpler way to have the information delivered right to your doorstep?

Look no further. There is a simple way to find out about internship and job possibilities. Log in to (if you don’t already have a Twitter Account, get out of the Stone Ages and create one!) and follow the following helpful “people.”

Once you follow them, they send tweet updates to your account with information about different jobs and internships offered all around the world, or specialized in one specific area.

Check them out and revolutionize your internship search!






Tuesday, September 14, 2010

First Day as a Congressional Intern

Written by Pallavi Pal

“Ah, the life!” Unfortunately, the life of a Congressional Intern cannot be described in such rudimentary terms. Found at the bottom of the ladder, the Congressional Intern does not have a life filled with excitement and energy. It is not filled with business meetings and making a difference in the community. It is not filled with esteem and power. What an intern can find, however, is the chance to learn and be taught from those older and much wiser. It is this experience and this knowledge that cause hundreds of interns to flock to DC and perform acts of menial labor.

Menial labor, what exactly do I mean by acts of menial labor? Well, to begin with, the intern will begin their day by sorting the mail, followed by answering phone calls, filing papers, working on excel spreadsheets in order to categorize data and then finally, if lucky, the intern can give Capitol Tours to constituents. The grandiose, more respectable tasks are handled by the Legislative Assistants and Chief of Staffs.

Although we are given rather tedious tasks, what an intern must remember is that we are a given a chance, an opportunity, an advantage among all our peers to get ahead in life and pursue our dreams. A Congressional Intern has the possibility to mix and mingle with the movers and shakers on Capitol Hill. Whether the career path the intern chooses is in a job on the Hill, a job in the government, a career in a non-profit organization, or even none of the above, the Hill provides interns the occasion to field their dreams by interacting and networking with those in these respective careers.

My first week on the job might not have been the most invigorating experience of my life but I have come to realize, out of all my three internship experiences thus far, working on the Hill has bestowed upon me the opportunity to meet those who have already fulfilled the dream that I have only encountered in my fantasies. Meeting such successful people, working both on and off the Hill, has transformed my visions and illusions into tangible goals. It has shown me that although I have made it this far, there is far more out there in store for me. I cannot wait to not only see my dreams but now to live and experience them.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Advice from Graduating Seniors

We can’t believe how fast these past four years have gone by and if you don’t believe us just wait and see for yourself. With this in mind, upon graduation we would like to leave you with some words of wisdom from Graduating Seniors:

Words to Live By
1. Don’t Stress—No matter how important that test or paper may seem, remember that college is about learning and growth. While it is important to always try your best, don’t worry so much about individual grades, and focus on the journey instead. Things are never really as bad as they seem, so relax.

2. Get Involved—the biggest regret we have in college is not getting involved earlier. Try as many different clubs and organizations out as possible to make yourself well-rounded and use this time as an opportunity to gain experiences and try things you will never be able to again. Also by having more activities and commitments, it will help you out with time management skills in the long run.

3. Get Experience—Internships are a great opportunity to learn more about what it is you really want to do with your life, and are also great for helping build your resume. It gives you a chance to build contacts as well and get an idea of what life may be like after school is finished.

4. Time off for good behavior—if you have the opportunity, take some time off after graduation and relax. You have earned it! Travel, see friends, and figure out what your next step is. It’s ok to take a step back before taking the next few steps forward. Don’t take life too seriously, be proactive but just remember things always work out for a reason.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Social Media, Your Online Image and Your Job Search

Are you on LinkedIn or Twitter? Have you ever “Googled” yourself? Have you checked the privacy settings on your Facebook account? If you answered no to any of these questions, you may be preventing yourself from finding that perfect job or internship.

More and more employers are using social media/networking to post jobs and to also get the inside scoop on candidates that they can’t get from a resume or interview. What does that mean for you? It means that not only do you need to have an online presence, but that presence has to be free of potentially damaging information!

Here are Toppel’s 6 Steps to Enhance Your Online Professional Image:
1. Create or Enhance Your LinkedIn Profile
2. Create and Use Your Twitter Account Effectively
3. Clean Up Your Facebook Profile
4. Google Yourself and Set Google Alerts
5. Create a YouTube Channel
6. Write and/or Comment on a Blog or Write Reviews
For more, click here.

US Peace Corps

Ever wonder what it’s like to be in the Peace Corps? UM Alum Tim McNaught is currently a Peace Corps volunteer in Azerbaijan. Watch his video to see what he has to say about his experience.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Welcome Back!

We are glad to have you guys back on campus! I hope you had a happy, productive and fun summer. Now it is back to business! Now is the time to start thinking about the that next position that you are interested in. We have a lot of really exciting programs and events coming up and you should definitely take advantage! Toppel has the usual, great offerings of Interviewing skills, resume and cover letter writing, junior/senior and freshman,sophomore orientations. We also offer workshops on networking and dining etiquette, finding government jobs and internships. Along with all of these workshops there are also a lot of special programs and events coming up in the month of September. We have the EPIC (Employer Practice Interviews and Critiques) program occurring on September 8th 9AM-4PM. This program allows you to interact with employers and get direct feedback about your resume and interviewing skills (Visit CaneZone for more info and to register). Need your resume critiqued? Come to Resumania on September 13th from 10AM-4:30PM. Our main event int he month of September is the FALL CAREER EXPO on September 15th from 11AM-3PM. Before you attend the expo go to the Pre-Expo Reception on September 14th at 6PM at the Rat to get a leg up and interact with employers before the fair.

As you can see, September is a very busy month for Toppel. Remember that many full time and internship positions require you to apply way in advance in the fall! Don’t miss a great opportunity! Come on by our events and start the fall 2010 semester off on the right foot :)