Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Happy Halloween!

By Maura Gergerich, Toppel Peer Advisor

I hope that each and every one of you has a good Halloween this year! On campus and off, Halloween is always a great day to go out and have some fun in your crazy costumes. Although, in the midst of the madness, there are certain  things that you should make sure you and your friends keep in mind to stay safe. 

Travel in groups
Don’t go wandering off alone. It may seem obvious but keep your friends close by and make sure your phone is fully charged so you can find help if you get separated. You are much more of a target if you don’t have a group to stick with.

Make sure you know what you’re drinking!
I promise you wont seem paranoid if you make sure you watch your drinks being poured. Even once it is in your hand make sure you pay attention. In crowded places like the grove it is so easy for something to get slipped into a drink when you’re not looking. With this in mind, make sure you have transportation planned before you set out. I know everyone likes to go out and have a good time, but make sure you have a designated DD or cash if you plan on taking cabs.

Watch out for others
If you see someone while you're out and about, don’t be afraid to be a good Samaritan and ask if they need help. You would want someone to do the same for you if you had gotten yourself into a sticky situation. If you see some sort of sketchy activity occurring or see someone lost and distressed, even if you don’t feel like being the hero you can always find someone who is able to lend a helping hand.

Monitor your social media
Keep in mind that what you post online can and will affect your future. We all know costumes can get a bit risque in a college environment. Whenever you’re about to post something, stop and  think about how you’d feel if your employer were to see it. When in doubt, don’t post something. I know it’s super cliche but it’s better to be safe than sorry. You wouldn’t want to risk losing a job opportunity because of a few crazy pictures. All in all just make smart decisions so you are able to make the most of your night!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Your Time Isn’t Running Out

By Kayla Lott, Toppel Ambassador

It seems like today everyone is trying to make everything into a timeline, and I can’t say that I haven’t done that myself, especially going to an institution like UM.  Everyone seems to already have their lives figured out and laid before them, and then there’s you, still looking for that big-break internship.  You may be a junior, sophomore or even a freshman freaking out about your future and how you’re not ready for it.  You may very well not be, but no one can be ready for the future.  Unless you’re some type of future seer, no one knows what the future holds, and it’s okay not to have your whole life figured out

Not to mention people are always changing.  It’s said that people change jobs seven times during the time they work.  What you do coming straight out of college most likely won’t be what you’re doing ten years from now, and what you’re doing ten years from now most likely won’t be what you’re doing ten years from then. You shouldn’t be the same person in ten years that you are now, and your job may be affected by these changes.

Also, don’t ever feel like you haven’t done enough.  You are young.  Of course most of us don’t have the experience of a CEO!  Hiring managers understand that.  As a matter of fact, they like that better than experienced people because the experienced have a tendency to act like they know everything, and at 22, no matter how “experienced” you are, you don’t.

Don’t look at college as an hourglass that’s running out.  Look at it as a time to learn who you are and the person you want to be.  The next four, three, two or even one year is a time for you to develop your sense of self and sense of purpose.  Don’t take this time for granted because in the blink of an eye, it’ll be over, and you’ll actually have to start worrying about the future.  As a Chinese proverb says, “one step at a time is good walking.”

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Keeping Your Social Media Employer-Friendly

By Monique Beaupre, Toppel Peer Advisor

Just as you would research a company before accepting a position, companies would like to learn everything they can before deciding to hire you. By simply typing your name into a search engine, institutions can potentially access your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram (upon many other forms of social media). Therefore it’s important to appear as professional as possible on these highly accessible mediums. Over 50% of recruiters and hiring managers confirmed that they decline applicants based on inappropriate social media activity.

We’re currently in college, living “the best years of our lives”. This fact shouldn’t be keeping us from getting job offers we are qualified for. It’s best to refrain from posting your party pics, which probably include underage drinking and skimpy costumes. If you feel compelled to show off how hard you can party, make the most of privacy settings. Select specific audiences for your racy posts and utilize the “untag” button. 

However, take a moment to think before you post. Ask yourself if your social media content could embarrass you in the future. Keep in mind that what you post on the internet is public and permanent. 

On the flip side, it’s easy to use Twitter and Facebook to your advantage!

Show passion and dedication to your sector. You can do this by retweeting big players and interesting articles in your field. Share this content on Facebook as well.

Reinforce your professional experiences on your social media profiles. For example, update your Work and Education section on Facebook. Research shows that potential employers are happy to find online profiles that match resumes.

To learn more, stop at Toppel TODAY Tuesday, October 23 at 2:00pm for Leveraging Your Social Media for Your Job Search! 

Full event details at: https://miami-csm.symplicity.com/calendar/index.php/pid820744?ss=ical_agenda&_ksl=1&s=

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

7 Important Skills Not Always Found on a Resume

By Maura Gergerich, Peer Advisor

1. Be a team player

Most jobs will require you to work with your co-workers on projects and activities. You will rarely find an office that sticks their employees in a cubicle with a stack of papers to fend for themselves. Everybody knows that one person who may be so qualified for a job, but gets looked over because people don’t like to work with them. Learning how to work on a team is essential (yet we all know it’s not always easy). Work on being able to organize and collect ideas from multiple people. It is also a good idea to know how to step up and lead a group without micromanaging or being a control freak (no one likes feeling led by a dictator). 

2. Flexibility is important

Being able to adapt to new situations is an important life skill in and out of the work force. If you are a dependable worker and can stay such no matter what is thrown your way, you become such a valuable asset to your employer. Every office has a certain daily routine but it’s when things get crazy that the most aid is needed and it is important that your coworkers can rely on you in these situations.

3. Creative thinking

While it is important that you fit in with the routine of a company, it is also good to be able to bring something fresh to the table. Employers generally like having outside minds to give feedback and especially if you are new to a position, you still have an outsider’s impression. Innovation happens when things keep moving forward and your ideas are what push things to the next level.

4. Effective communication

You may have the most brilliant ideas of your generation, but if you don’t know how to communicate them effectively they will most likely fall by the wayside. Aside from articulating yourself you should also be a good listener and be attentive in your body language.

5. Problem solving

Unless you’re a supervisor or CEO it may not always be your job to solve office problems, but if you are able to find solutions to unexpected issues without overstepping your boundaries, you become a valuable asset to your workplace.

6. Accepting constructive criticism

This is crucial to any field in life. Every idea you present will receive feedback from your employer and possibly even your peers so knowing how to accept suggestions and incorporate them without getting defensive is a must. You should also be able to give feedback on other’s ideas so that your suggestions are constructive criticism rather than just criticism.

7. Confidence!

Whatever you do for a living and whatever degrees you have, confidence is a major selling point. Whether it’s in an interview or on the job itself, make sure to always smile and keep your head high.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Is Grad School Right for Me?

By: Emmy Petit-Frere, Peer Advisor 

As the end of my undergraduate career approaches, I find myself asking, “Is Grad School Right for Me?” I’m sure I’m not the only one who has their doubts and fears about rushing into Graduate School. After speaking with many recent grads, advisors, and reading up on some articles, there were 2 key questions that helped me in deciding whether Graduate School would be right for me. 

Is a graduate degree a requirement for my desired career industry?
This is an important question. Is it truly necessary for you to go straight to Grad School for your particular career objectives? If you’re looking to be a lawyer or doctor, then it’s obvious you will need a Graduate degree to pursue your career objective. If it’s not, then you may not want to rush into a graduate program. Get some experience in your field, determine if you like it, and then revisit the idea of Grad School. The positive of doing this is possibly having your employer pay for your graduate program, and you’ll have the peace of mind of doing the right thing.

Will grad school be a financial burden?
It’s time to use some of those economics skills you learned in Undergrad to determine the cost-benefit analysis of grad school. Find out the costs of the different Grad programs you are considering. Speak with the institution's financial assistance department; seek out grants, scholarships, and assistantships. Make sure that this investment you will be making won’t turn into an unforeseen financial burden. 

There are many more questions that can be addressed when considering Graduate School as an option, but these two seem to be ones most are concerned with. While Graduate School is a great place to further your knowledge on your subject of interest, it requires some decision making to ensure it is the right place for you, given your career objectives. 

Still having trouble figuring out if Grad School is right for you? Swing by Toppel’s, “Is Grad School Right for Me?” information session on Tuesday, October 15th at 6:30 pm at the Toppel Career Center. RSVP on HireACane! Look forward to seeing you there!