Thursday, March 31, 2016

Guide to Finding Summer Internship Housing

By Vinessa Burnett, Toppel Peer Advisor

So you’ve just landed your dream internship in a big new city and can’t wait for summer to roll around. Before you get too excited, you remember that there’s one caveat: you have to figure out where to live. As more and more companies expand their selection pool of interns to students across the country, many more students are left with the daunting prospect of searching for a place to live –often without much financial assistance or resources. This can be particularly challenging, given that most apartment complexes do not do short-term leases, and finding someone willing to sublease their place for three months can be difficult. But don’t worry, that’s where I come in. I’m here to help make the summer internship housing search process a whole lot easier!

Listed below are some of my favorite websites for finding summer internship housing, followed by some other helpful tips and tricks.
Rentler is a great website when first starting your housing search. It has a simple interface and shows you exactly what you are looking for. Once you’re on the website, click the “Find all rentals” drop down menu and select “Sublease or Student Contract”. Next, select the city where your internship will be located in. A list of available options will be presented grid-style for you to choose from.
Leaseful is an up-and-coming website geared specifically towards college students seeking to sublease for the summer. Simply enter the location of your internship and the dates that you will be staying. After clicking “Search”, you’ll be presented with a wide variety of subleasing options from other college students just like you.
On Hotpads, you can search for your ideal place in just a few clicks. First, type in the location of your internship and click search. A wide range of options will be presented to you on a map. To narrow your options down to just subleases, select the “More” tab at the top right and under “Listing Type”, select “Sublet.”
While not as user-friendly as some of the other websites I’ve listed, Sublet definitely does live up to its name. On the home screen, simply select “Sublets”. This will take you to another page where you’ll enter the location. Once your search results appear, you’ll be able to sort and filter your results according to lease term, price, and even narrow it down to only furnished listings!
Known by travelers as a unique alternative to traditional hotels, Airbnb has grown to become much more than that. Many Airbnb hosts are open to long-term leases and most provide additional discounts for monthly rentals. If you’re curious about a particular listing, just send a message to the host!

And if you or someone you know is staying in Miami this summer...
Summer Intern Housing at UM is a great way for interns to have flexible move-in and move-out dates and avoid the potential hassle of finding a lease/sublet for the summer. This is available to all undergraduate and graduate students who are participating in a summer internship. Many universities offer this kind of option, so if you are interning outside of Miami, this could be something to consider. For more information on UM’s Intern Housing Program, feel free to contact the Department of Housing and Residential Life at 305-284-4505.

Useful tips:
Most major cities have Facebook groups dedicated to housing, and in particular, subleases. For example, there is a Dallas (TX) Sublets and Subleases group. To find the Facebook housing group for the city where you’ll be interning, simply enter in the search bar the name of the city, followed by either the word “housing” or “sublease.” Once in the group you’ll be able to comment on listings and interact with hosts.
Be cautious of websites such as Craigslist that often feature scams. Do all that you can to verify the legitimacy of any listing that you come across so that you can ensure your physical and financial safety.
Many universities and colleges offer internship housing to non-students during the summer. Be sure to reach out to local universities in the area to inquire about summer internship housing.
Living with another intern could easily cut down costs in half. If possible, connect with other incoming interns and try to find a place to live together.

Hopefully these tips and tricks will help you in your internship housing search for the summer. The search process isn’t easy, but with the right know-how, you’ll be able to find a place in no time!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Spring Break is Here

By Madison Bowden, Toppel Peer Advisor

Spring Break is here, and while you may be planning on what beach to tan at don’t forget to walk into  the Toppel Career Center! With Spring Break coming there is also the question of “Where will I be this summer?” arising. The Toppel Career Center can help you find those last minute internships, immersion programs, and other career development programs to get your career started whether you are a freshman, sophomore, junior, or even senior! So enjoy Spring Break but remember to check into Toppel when you return. If you have yet to stop into Toppel Career Center this year I urge you to start your journey with us! 

Here is a list of some of the many resources Toppel Career Center has to offer:

1. Counseling with a Professional Advisor (Schedule this through Handshake or come into Toppel Career Center for help)

2. Walk-In Advising any time from 9:00-4:30 p.m. (Monday-Friday) where a Peer Advisor can help you get started with your Networking resources such as LinkedIn; Critique your Resume; Mock Job Interviews; familiarize you with Internship/ Job Resources 

3. Workshops for Career Development that are posted under Events on Handshake (If you are not familiar with Handshake yet I URGE you to stop into Walk-In Advising and learn all about the great things Handshake has to offer)

4. Grad School Resources and Information Sessions

5. Career Assessments that identify strengths, personality characteristics, interests, and potential career paths

6. UShadow- Shadow a Professional in a field you are interested to pursue!

Have a great Spring Break, and don’t forget to come into Toppel Career Center when you return to advance in your Career Development! 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

6 Ways to Refresh Your Life Over Spring Break

By Melissa Wyatt, Toppel Peer Advisor

Trying to balance classes, extracurriculars and work is tough for any college student – so it’s no surprise that spring break is one of the most anticipated weeks of the year. While it’s important to have fun and relax, spring break is also a great opportunity to get ahead. A little bit of effort can go a long way, and preparing for what’s ahead will allow you to end your semester on a high note. Here are six easy ways to refresh your life this spring break:

1. Update Your resume

When homework deadlines are looming over your head, it’s easy to put career readiness on the backburner. With a free schedule, spring break is the perfect opportunity to update your resume. Templates and advice are available at, so you can accomplish this in no time! You never know when you’ll need a resume, so it’s important to keep yours updated.

2. Catch up – and get ahead!

Spend an hour or two every day catching up on class readings and getting ahead on homework assignments. A little bit of effort now will prevent many long nights in the library, especially as final papers and projects pile up in the coming weeks.

3. Organize your room and study space

It’s hard to stay focused when your notes are unorganized and laundry has piled up on your floor.  Now that you don’t have as much on your plate, take the time to organize your desk. A clean room is key to a clear mind – don’t underestimate how these small changes can make a big difference in your productivity.

4. Send in your last internship and job applications

It’s time to stop procrastinating and submit the last of your summer internship/job applications! Finish up the applications you’ve already found, and continue to seek out new opportunities. You never know what you’ll find - your dream job could be waiting.

5. Get rest

Don’t forget to treat yourself well. Be sure to get ample rest over spring break, because this will ensure that you are in tip-top shape for the rest of the semester. Having an adequate amount of sleep will also increase your overall productivity and happiness.

6. Learn something new

Have you been hoping to sharpen your Photoshop skills, but just couldn’t find the time? Use spring break as an opportunity to hone your existing skills and develop new ones. The Internet is full of online tutorials and advice to help you learn something new. Each unique skill you have makes you stand out in a job, so take this time to diversify yourself as a candidate.

These are just a few ideas to have a productive spring break – you could try your hand at volunteering, exercising, or just spending more time outdoors. Have a fun week off and enjoy unwinding from the stresses of everyday life! Don’t forget to stop by the Toppel Career Center when classes are back in session.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Failure is a prerequisite for success.

By: Beverly Asante, Toppel Peer Advisor

Everyone has to experience failure in life. It happens to the best of us. It hurts, it’s unfortunate, but it is part of what makes us human. Think about it, without failure, how would we grow? It’s the times that life kicks us while we we’re down that really allows us to appreciate it’s great moments. I know this may be difficult to hear while you’re still in battle, but just hang in there, because the sweetest victories are the ones that you fight the most to achieve. No matter where you find yourself, whether it be studying for an exam or grabbing coffee with a friend, I hope you can relate. 

Failure will occur within your college career. 

Whether it be an exam, a project, or even the class itself. Failure will come, and it doesn’t have to necessarily mean a failing grade, it can be a potential goal that you set for yourself that you didn’t quite reach. It could be something as simple as the moment you stop trying. Whatever your definition of failure is, it isn’t always a bad thing. As human beings we naturally have conflicts and to our best ability, we try different tasks to overcome these conflicts. If we fail at overcoming them, then we adjust our plan, and take a different approach.  This is how failure within our academic career should be viewed.  If you fail the first exam for example, just look at it as a test run. Take note of where you went wrong and then apply that knowledge, by adjusting your plan and ensuring success in future exams. Again, life is all about adjustments and failure all though painful, forces you to adjust until you get the results you deserve. 

Failure is good.

I’ve mentioned before that failure hurts. I mean it reealllyyy hurts. Yet, that pain is just what we need to motivate us when we are not working to our full capacity. For example, I am sure we’ve all had times where we underestimated something. Until we realized that, that something was a lot more difficult/serious than we anticipated it to be. That’s when failure comes and sneaks up behind us like a thief in the night. Again, failure although it sucks at the moment, will force us to work harder. It will motivate us to make every single moment better than our last. This is where success can be derived from failure.  Having a goal, acting on that goal, and the human ability to believe in that goal despite some little failure is what makes us who we are and is central to human advancement, and our future. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Let your Personality Shine

By Lindsey Shanck, Toppel Peer Advisor

Even though Toppel recommends keeping resumes and social media professional and concise, there are still ways to let your personality shine through. In fact, it is very important that you come across to employers as unique so that you stand out from other applicants. Here are some simple ways to make sure you are displaying your “Personal Brand” to employers.

1. Your Resume
While it is recommended that most majors stick to a simple and professional resume format, students in the School of Communication, marketing majors, art majors, or any major where creativity is key, can spice up their resumes with unique layouts, colors and fonts. If your major recommends a simple format, adding any clubs that you are a part of or any volunteer experience you have had on a resume can show the employer that you are well rounded. 

2. Cover Letter
A cover letter has basic elements that should be included (see for details) but that does not mean that it has to be dry and boring! When talking about past experiences you have had, include what you personally learned from them. Also add in personal background for why you are interested in the field or company you are applying to.

3. LinkedIn
The summary section of LinkedIn is often overlooked and filled with a few redundant sentences about the student. Be creative with the summary, or talk about why you are studying what you are studying. Give people reading your profile some insight into who you are. Add your custom URL onto your resume under the contact information so that employers can learn more about you.

4. Facebook and Other Social Media
Instead of changing your name on your Facebook to something unrecognizable, use your social media platforms to your advantage and clean them up so that if employers were to find your accounts, they would project positivity and maturity.