February 2012 Archives

University of Minnesota Job & Internship Fair!

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Hello everyone,

Today I wanted to write about Career Fair that I went last week.

University of Minnesota holds "Job and Internship Fair" every year for the students. It is the biggest student career fair in Minnesota! More than 200 organizations will be there recruiting for hundreds of jobs and internships. The Job and Internship Fair is open to all U of M undergraduates, graduate students, and recent alumni.

This is a great opportunity not only to navigate your job options, meet with the employers, ask questions that you prepared, but also to practice your interview skills
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One thing I noticed was this is a place you can actually "interact" with the companies in person. In fact, there are interview rooms were prepared, so if you scheduled an interview session, you can have interview with (possibly) your future employer!

There are few things that you may want to prepare

-Bring your student ID to get in.
-Bring copies of your most updated resume
-Dress professionally
(Actually, I was very surprised how this event expected me to be very professional)
•Women: Professional-looking dress, dress suit, or pantsuit; clean and comfortable shoes
•Men: Suit or jacket; shirt and tie; clean and comfortable shoes

-Check Parking info and directions (And free shuttle will be offed by UofM)
-A free coat check will be available.

First thing, you need to register. This year, I paid 10$ for pre-registered.

Second, Update your resume and take copies with you. For advice about creating a resume, see this Resume Guide, or look for more info on your college career site.

Third, Find out which companies will be at the Fair. Do some preliminary research so you can target a few (3 to 5) companies that truly interest you. This is very important for opening a conversation with the company.

Find out the company's size, general history, product(s), target market(s), and competitors. Good sources of information for that include:

•The company's Web site and annual report (often found online)
•Libraries. Use your public library, or business libraries such as the University of Minnesota Business Reference Library and St. Paul's James J. Hill Reference Library.
•Career Centers: Try your campus career services office or your local community's career center, where available.

These are the common questions you can ask for general information

•What types of career opportunities does your organization offer?
•What majors does your organization typically hire?
•What are the job responsibilities for that type of position?
•What are the most important qualities or characteristics you look for in hiring for that position?
•What are the most important skills necessary to do the job?
•What recommendations would you make for someone who would like to enter that field?
•Are you aware of related occupations that I would be qualified for with the background/major that I have or am planning to pursue?
•How did you get into the organization/career field? What is your background? How does it relate to the position?
•What are typical first-year assignments?
•Could I set up a time to visit you at your workplace to talk more about what you do?
•Do you know someone in your organization who does...?
•Do you have internship or summer job opportunities for someone in my major?
•Do you know of other contacts that might be helpful to me?
•May I contact you if I need more information?

Fourth, prepare a short script (just 2 or 3 lines) to introduce yourself with. Practice it and a firm handshake. In your script, try to include why you're interested in that company and the kind of position you're seeking.
I know, in some culture, having a "firm and confident" hand shaking is not very common, so be prepared :)

Lastly, be sure to follow up with the organization after the Fair

•Keep notes on your conversations and how you said you would follow up.
•If no business card is available, ask if the recruiter can be reached at the telephone number or address on literature. Information at the Fair may be more current than materials found in a library or career center.
•Send thank-you letters immediately - within two days if possible.
•If contacting by letter, refer to the date and location of the Fair, and jog the recruiter's memory of you. Mention any unique points you discussed so the employer will remember you.
•Any important information should be restated and emphasized.
•Reiterate your qualifications and include any information you neglected to mention.
•Proofread your letter and let someone else look it over.
•You may want to include a copy of your resume.


Are you ready to be meeting your future job opportunities? Be confident and Positive, that is the last key!

Good luck!

A small COMPARISON !

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Hi Everyone!

How's everything so far? We're only two weeks away from the Spring Break :-) isn't that so exciting?! I guess it's time to start planning for something fun.

Yesterday, the Ambassadors were holding a contact table at Coffman Union, which is basically like an information desk for the current international students. As we were talking with Michelle and Ricardo, I learned something interesting that I want to share with you today.

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As you might know, in the U.S and mostly Western culture it is usual for the children to leave their families at the age of 18, when they go to college and university. As a result, they should work and earn money. They start working even before they go to college; perhaps as early as age 15. Thus, I always find Americans with so many years of job experience.
This is very different from Iranian culture. We don't leave our families, as long as we go to a college that is in the same city as our parents; and we do not work as long as we live with our families. Therefore, we are not as independent and experienced as Americans with our age.

This is a significant difference between Iranian and American culture. I always pay attention to these differences, and they are all interesting to me. But, I was even more interested yesterday, when Michelle and Ricardo told me that this is true in their countries as well. I was so fascinated, as I always thought even two neighbor countries do not have the same culture, but yesterday I learned that even three countries far apart from each other and from three different parts of the world may have some similarities in their cultures. I wonder how cultural practices could travel through time and space. That is true about food, art, and architecture of countries as well. So now, I try to look for similarities more than the differences between cultures.
And I wish you all a happy weekend!


CLA Career Center

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Hi all!
I thought the winter ended, but I guess not. Outside became colder and snow is coming.

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Today I am talking about CLA Career Center.
Recently, I applied a summer internship to London through learning abroad center. The program tuition is
still high, so I also applied some scholarships too through CAPA. After I applied the program, I realized I have to do some work on cover letter and resume. I never done those before, so I needed some help.
I knew CLA Career Center would help me out. So I visited it and got some help.
They open Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m, and location is very convenient; 411 STSS (Science Teaching and Student Services) building. They helped me with my resume and cover letter.
Now I need to wait for the results! Hope I get scholarships and right internship program.

Anybody who are degree-seeking students enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts, Twin Cities can get help, and they can help recent CLA alumni up to one year after their graduation. They are also the pre-law advising office for all students who attend the U of M, Twin Cities.

I hope anybody who seeks for help in CLA Career Center would get right help!
See you next time and wish my luck~!

Bharat- The Indians!!

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Hey!!! I hope that busy school work isn't taking a toll on your social life. And if it is, take a deep breath.. everything will be alright! After all, hard work always pays off. :)

This blog post is for all of you who are passionate about celebrating India's rich culture. Bharat- The Indians is a student organization at University of Minnesota that fosters awareness about India, and its culture and tradition. Being a member of this group myself, we have organized several events that feature traditional dance and singing performances, activities, games and FREE INDIAN FOOD!

Here are some pictures from our events.

Republic Day Celebration:

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Holi Celebration:

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Jashn-e-Diwali:

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India's Culture Day with MISA:

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To keep yourself updated about our upcoming events you can either join us at Bharat's facebook page, send us an email on bharat.umn@gmail.com or contact me!

I hope you join us in our celebration of India's culture. :)

Still Undecided?!

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Are you still not sure which major would be the best choice for you?
Are you still exploring majors?

If that is your concern, let me show you a glimpse of Architecture here at the U.
College of Design offers three different programs for architecture. You can either pursue the B.A program, the B.D.A. program, or the B.S. program. At your freshman year you are considered as a pre-architecture student, and by the end of the spring semester you should apply for the B.A or B.D.A programs. If you get admitted to the B.D.A program, you have the option to apply for the B.S by the end of the second year. The B.D.A and B.S. programs are very similar, except that you should take 9 extra credits if you pursue the B.S. degree, and that B.D.A offers workshops, while B.S. offers studios that work on long term projects. I am currently enrolled in the B.D.A program, and I yet have to decide whether I want to pursue the B.S. program or not. So, in that regard I have the same problem as you do ;-)

This was an overall explanation about the Architecture program at the University of Minnesota. Now let me tell you a little bit about the major itself.

Do you consider yourself a creative person?
Creativity is what you need to have, in order to be a successful designer. Our projects are all about creativity. The professors want you to think out of the box! That is, you have the opportunity to go crazy, but unlike what you expected you will be admired for what you've done! Isn't that so exciting?!
They give you instructions, but you are allowed to "BREAK THE RULES", as long as you have a good and reasonable explanation for what you've done. This is what I hear over and over again from my TAs at the reviews. By the way, just in case you don't know, a review is the session that you present you project and be critiqued for what you've done.
So, in my opinion, if you find yourself a rule follower, you might not like this major. As, I think rules prevent you from being creative. I believe designers will eventually reach a point that will need to break the rules, or perhaps they don't even have any instructions to follow. Therefore, you need to be capable of making design decisions on your own.

At the end, if you think you are a creative person, and perhaps a rule breaker that has the ability to independently make reasonable and creative design decisions, then architecture is probably the right fit for you.


Awesome places where I visited.

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Hi all!
We survived the long winter break, and I am back to Minneapolis from a long trip.
I went to Las Vegas, Los Angeles , and San Francisco.
I had a great time with my dear friend, Meng, and her parents.
I somehow missed here in Minneapolis very much. Now I am back, I am so busy with
my new semester schedule. However, time to time when I am tired I'd like to re-visit
places that I went before. Those places were so awesome, I'd like to share three places today.

1. During the short autumn, we have a gorgeous weather and outside feels so nice.
Even though now it is too cold to go there, time to time during nice weather day I'd like to go 'wilde roast cafe' at riverplace to enjoy their gelato (Italian ver. Ice Cream) . Their gelato are really good to rid of your too-much-help stresses, and they have happy hour Mon-Fri 3:3-6:30 for half-priced tap beer, wine by the glass, and all appetizers! YUM!
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2. Also, have you been to 'big bowl' restaurant?
It is located in Rosedale shopping center in Roseville. If you like spicy foods or fusion Asian foods, you will LOVE there! Also, after you finish your dinner with your friends, you can walk around the shopping center. It is definitely smaller than MOA , but they have various good shopping stores, including A&F, Apple, American Eagles, Hollister, etc...
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3. Now you all heard about places where you can eat, I am introducing 'Walker art museum' and 'Minneapolis Sculpture Garden'. The garden is located next to museum. It is part of Walker art museum. They have cherry spoon!!! (actually the artwork name is Spoonbridge and Cherry, 1985-1988). Anyway, this is a place where I'd love to go once a while when I have too many thoughts to process. During spring, summer, and autumn, it is awesome to walk around the garden. Museum itself also have many artworks including special exhibitions. They have a conservatory too. Check out these places~! The garden admission is free, and they open daily, 6 am-12 midnight. Cowles Conservatory admission is also free. And they open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 am-5 pm; closed Monday. You can review Walker art museum visit info by visiting their website. These places are worthwhile to visit.
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Today is really cold!!! Take care all!
And see you next time~ > <

Time and Stress Management :o

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Hey there guys!!

Stress?......I know that as a college student, time management becomes a big concern, homework, projects and work can completely consume your time and Where does my social life go?. This does not have to be the case! All you need is to learn how to synchronize school with fun by balancing your schoolwork for the schooldays and try and get as much done as possible so you can enjoy your weekends... Personally at first I had no clue how to do this (and not so much now) but I always try to stick with this plan and enjoy the good days of a college life. Because once you are done you have to face REAL LIFE! And in my case it can be scary: 0. Anyway, whenever I can find some time to relax and enjoy , I like to go out with friends, try new places, go to concerts and try NEW FOOD! Minneapolis is a very Multicultural place and has a little of everything for everyone....They even have Mexican food (not the best) but it gets a little close =). My point is, don't get to overwhelmed with what school can appear to be, there is always a way to take advantage of both lives and situations....so LEARN TO BALANCE and you will have both fun and good grades!!!

In case you are having a panic attack because of this school mess try out some of the meditation classes offered at the University....you can be the chillest person ever!!

Have a good one

Ricardo

My "first time" experiences

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Hello People! I'd like to share my "first time" experiences after I came to University of Minnesota.
For some people, it may be a small thing, but it was a definitely new eye-opening experiences for me!


1. New food

I LOVED TRYING NEW FOOD. For example, Pho is Vietnamese rice noodle. Although I saw many rice-noodle places in South Korea, I've never tried before I came to Minnesota. When I was in Korea, I was very conservative about the culture food and trying new food. However, after I came here -and also, I was sick and tired of dorm food- I started trying new type of foods. Now, Pho is one of my favorite foods!

2. Using a dryer for my laundry

Ok, I should be honest about this. My mother did most of laundries when I was in Korea and she hanged the clothes to dry them. However, if you do the same thing in Minnesota, your clothes will either be all frozen or take forever to dry. I used "dryer machine" for the laundry and I loved how it dries so perfectly. However, you should be careful because it will make your clothes shrink.

3. Waving to the professors and Gaze people in their eyes.

This is one thing I really struggled. In Korea, we bow to the people when...
1. The person is older than you. 2. The person has socially higher rank than you. 3. First time you meet the person 4. Or, whoever you respect.
So, it was very hard for me to just waive at my professors (and I was even asked to call their first name!)


Also, I was from the culture that "looking straight in the eyes can be considered as a rude behavior" However, people in here think that is the right way of communication. If you keep on looking at somewhere else, they think you are distracted rather than having a conversation. It took me for a while to learn how to look into other people's eyes. (It was so awkward!!)

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